Polish parish celebrates its heritage

Polish parish celebrates its heritage

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Father Pawel W. Kryszkiewicz, above, walks in procession, carrying a first class relic of Blessed John Paul II, at the start of the 120th anniversary Mass at St. Joseph Parish, Camden, on Oct. 21 Other photos: earlier this month in Poland, Father Kryszkiewicz holds the paperwork certifying the authenticity of the first-class relic with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, his mother Ewa Kryszkiewicz, and Father Eustachy Rokoczy; parishioners Helen Lubas and Marissa Wisniewski in traditional clothes at the anniversary Mass, and Bishop Galante providing closing remarks.

St. Joseph Parish in South Camden celebrated its 120th anniversary celebration Oct. 21 with Mass and a presentation of a first-class relic of Blessed John Paul II.

Bishop Joseph Galante presided at the Mass and made closing remarks. Concelebrating Father Pawel W. Kryszkiewicz, pastor, and former pastors Father Edward Lipinski and Father Piotr Szamocki.

Among those attending the Mass were many Felician Sisters. The community staffed the parish school for 76 years, until 1979.

St. Joseph is the only Polish parish in the Diocese of Camden. The current church, dedicated in 1914, is located at 10th and Mechanic streets.

Earlier this month Father Kryszkiewicz, pastor, returned from retreat from Poland with the relic — a small vial with drops of the former Polish pontiff’s blood — in his possession.

In acquiring the relic for his church, Father Kryszkiewicz received the help of Father Eustachy Rokoczy, a Pauline monk from the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland and a family friend.

Father Kryszkiewicz made a formal request in the summer and was notified by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow that it had been approved.

Cardinal Dziwisz, as a monsignor, was secretary to Pope John Paul II.

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