Dziennik Chicagoski -- September 04, 1894Fourth Convention of the Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Queen of the Polish Crown (Summary)
According to the program of the convention, the delegates from societies belonging to this Union gathered today at 8 A.M. at Pulaski Hall. The societies represented were Saint Adalbert Society (delegates: W. Pijanowski, O. Grochowski, Ignace Morzynski, Joseph Napieralski); Knights of Saint Casimir Society (delegates: Francis Kaminski, J. F. Jackowski); Holy Name Society (delegates: Constant Gulcz, Vincent Jaworski); Saint Dominic Society (delegates: Joseph Herman, John Pacholski, John Rochowiak); Krakuses of Saint Gregory Society (delegate: B. L. Maciejewski); Saint Stanislaus Brotherhood (delegate: K. J. Drzycimski); and Saint Joseph Society (delegate: Anthony Polenz).2
All told, there were fourteen delegates representing seven societies, plus the Union's administration personnel, consisting of ten members.
At 9 A.M. the delegates attended church service at Saint Adalbert Church, where Reverend John Radziejewski delivered a sermon based on a passage from the Bible: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." [Mat. 5-7.]
After the services, the delegates returned to Pulaski Hall, where, on a motion by Napieralski, Joseph Herman was made chairman of the convention. In a short address, the chairman expressed the hope that the session would be peaceful and declared that he would not allow the discussion of private matters, and that delegates violating this order would forfeit their right to vote.
Subsequently, with the consent of the assembly, the chairman appointed J. M. Drzycimski secretary of the convention.3
Thereupon the assembly went on to choose a committee on credentials consisting of W. Pijanowski, Francis Kaminski, and B. Maciejewski. Shortly before 10 A. M., Reverend D. Majer, pastor of a Polish parish in St. Paul, Minnesota, chaplain of the Unia Polska (Polish Union), and J. M. Rozan, secretary of the same organization, arrived at the hall. The delegates rose from their seats in honor of the guests.
As soon as the credentials had been approved, O. Grochowski, general secretary of the Union, submitted a report of the societies that had not paid their dues. The report showed that only two societies had paid, and that the others were more or less back on their payments.
On a motion by W. Pijanowski, it was decided that the delegates of delinquent societies should promise that these arrears would be paid or else lose their right to vote. This motion, seconded by B. L. Maciejewski, was carried.4
It was found that the Saint Joseph Society had failed not only to pay its dues but also to provide its delegate, A. Polonez, with a credential. The delegate in question was present but could not participate in the discussions.
Next in the order of the day was the selection of a Records Committee, for which the following were chosen: W. Pijanowski, K. Gulcz, and John Pacholski.
On a motion by O. Grochowski, a committee of three--J. Napieralski, Stanislaus Budsbanowski, and John Radziejewski--was appointed to invite Reverend John Redziejewski to the afternoon session.
The Motion Committee consisted of O. Grochowski, Ignace Morzynski, and Vincent Jaworski.
Subsequently, J. Napieralski took up the question of the Sacred Heart of Mary Society, which had failed to pay three assessments and had with-drawn 5from membership,
O, Grochowski, secretary of the Union, motioned that a special committee be sent to both societies--the Sacred Heart of Mary and the Saint Joseph--in order to find out what they intend to do.
Then the chairman asked Reverend Majer to address the assembly.
Reverend Majer delivered a beautiful address, in which he described the position of the Polish Roman Catholics in foreign countries. He said: "We should always love the mother country and our faith. These two should not be separated." He praised all organizations, and emphasized the good qualities of catholic organizations, to which all people should belong for their own protection in case of misfortune. He said that if we were well organized we would gain politically and could hold more public offices. The speaker mentioned Krzeminski, arrested in Russia, and expressed regret that we could not help him just because we were not well organized. The 6speaker concluded his address by wishing the Union success, in his name and in the name of Unia Polska. Reverend Majer's speech was received with enthusiasm.
The next speaker was J. M. Rozan, secretary of Unia Polska. The speaker told the story of Unia Polska, of its birth and development. He emphasized the fact that Unia Polska had been founded on Catholic principles and for the good of our motherhood. He also spoke about conditions in his organization, and stated that despite the low assessments, Unia Polska pays a very high death benefit--$750.
The session adjourned until 2 P.M.
The afternoon session began at 2:30 P.M. Reverend John Radziejewski said a prayer, after which the credentials of A. Polonez, delegate of the Saint Joseph Society, were accepted.7
J. Drzycimski, secretary of the convention, read the minutes of the morning session, and the chairman asked Reverend J. Radziejewski to speak to the delegates.
Reverend Radziejewski accepted the invitation and proceeded to describe the condition of the organization. He talked about the importance of the convention, saying that it would decide the future of the Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Queen of the Polish Crown. He also said--humorously, of course--that two fishermen had come to this convention for the purpose of catching this organization in their nets. He referred to Reverend D. Majer, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and J. Rozan, of Buffalo, New York. Reverend Radziejewski described himself as a third fisherman anxious to get this organization in the net of the regular Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Finally he said that although it was up to the delegates which side to join, he recommended two Polish Roman Catholic organizations, namely, the 8regular Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Unia Polska.
Then Reverend D. Majer took this matter up. He did not condemn the regular Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Sacred Heart; on the contrary, he said that this organization is Catholic and Polish, but that, inasmuch as "The shirt is closer to the skin than the smock" [Polish proverb], he would like to see this organization join Unia Polska. He added that Unia Polska, besides paying a large death benefit, sees to it that its members get some help when they are old.
As to the Polish National Alliance, Reverend Majer said that he used to belong to it himself, but withdrew from it, not on account of its principles and aims, which are good, but because these principles were being perverted. However, he did not attack the Polish National Alliance. He concluded his speech by recommending Unia Polska to the delegates in case their organization 9was dissolved.
Subsequently, the secretary read the minutes of the last convention, held in 1893. Pijanowski motioned that the reading of the minutes from the last convention be discontinued. Maciejewski protested against the motion, arguing that the minutes revealed many activities unknown to the delegates. He was seconded by Napieralski, and Pijanowski withdrew his motion. Thereupon Grochowski, the secretary, proceeded to read the minutes.
At 4 P. M. the session adjourned for fifteen minutes.
The reading of the minutes lasted until 6 P. M. The financial statement showed that, during the last fiscal year, the gross income of the organization was $2,187.29, as against expenses of $1,565.90, and a cash balance of $621.39. After the reading of this statement, the session was adjourned until Wednesday.10
Wednesday morning the delegates went to Saint Adalbert Church to hear a Requiem Mass for the dead members of the organization.
When the delegates returned to the hall, there followed a roll call and the minutes of the Tuesday afternoon session were read.
Thereupon the committees submitted their reports, as follows:
The committee assigned to interview the Blessed Mary Society reported that it had not accomplished anything because the officials of the society were not at home.
Polonez reported that the Saint Joseph Society would pay all dues after its next meeting.
Joseph Napieralski reported that the Holy Mary Society would pay its dues after the convention.11
The financial reports came next. Grochowski announced that he could not make a complete report because some societies had paid their dues the day before. The financial secretary was given two hours to prepare his report. In the meantime, the problem of what to do with the organization was taken up and debated. It was decided that the delegates present the instructions given them by their societies in writing. Thereupon the session was adjourned for half an hour, so that the delegates could write their instructions.
As soon as the session was resumed, Grochowski was asked to read his report, and it was disclosed that he could not read it because he had had no time to prepare it. Maciejewski explained that the Records Committee's function was not to audit the books, but to see that the accounts were properly kept.
After long debates, it was decided that a financial statement taken from the books would suffice.12
Grochowski announced that the Saint Stanislaus Society of South Chicago had not paid its dues and had withdrawn from the organization.
Maciejewski reported that the Saint Casimir Society had not paid its dues and had joined the Polish National Alliance. After settling other minor matters, the session was adjourned until 2 P. M.
At 2 P. M. the chairman opened the session with a prayer and the secretary made the roll call. All delegates were present.
This session proved very interesting, even for outsiders. The galleries were filled with people that came to hear the delegates. Everyone was eager to know what would become of the organization. Would it continue to exist as an independent body or would it join some other organization, and if so, which one?13
After reading the minutes of the morning session, the secretary proceeded to read the written instructions prepared by the delegates.
These instructions revealed that: most of the members of the Saint Adalbert Society, seventy-eight of them, to be exact, wanted to belong to the Polish National Alliance. Out of the remaining members, twenty-seven voted for the Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Sacred Heart of Jesus and five for Unia Polska.
The Holy Name Society voted as follows: Nineteen members opposed any change; eighteen wanted to join the Polish National Alliance; twenty-four did not vote; the remainder wanted to join Unia Polska.
The Knights of Saint Casimir Society voted as follows: three votes for the Polish National Alliance, twenty-two for Unia Polska.14
The Krakuses of Saint Gregory Society voted as follows: "If the Polish Roman Catholic Union under the Guidance of the Queen of the Polish Crown is dissolved, twenty-four members of our group will join the Polish National Alliance."
The Saint Dominic Society decided to join either Unia Polska or the regular Polish Roman Catholic Union in America, but not the Polish National Alliance.
Twenty-eight members of the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Society decided to join the Polish National Alliance.
The Saint Joseph Society voted as follows: twenty-six members for the Polish National Alliance, and three for Unia Polska.
The situation may be summed up as follows: one hundred and eighty votes for the Polish National Alliance; one hundred for Unia Polska, and twenty-seven for the Polish Roman Catholic Union. Eighty-three members were undecided 15as to which side to join--Unia Polska or the Polish Roman Catholic Union.
Nineteen members did not desire any change.
Francis Kaminski declared that forty-eight members of his society were in favor of Unia Polska, saying that those who had not voted previously had expressed their desire to favor the decision of the majority.
Maciejewski declared that the majority should decide.
Gulcz maintained that the Holy Name Society was with the majority.
Maciejewski motioned that the instructions be read again. His motion was carried, and the instructions were read again.
Pijanowski declared that the entire Saint Adalbert Society desired to belong to the Polish National Alliance.16
Out of the sixty-one members belonging to the Holy Name Society, eighteen desired to join the Polish National Alliance, and the others said they would abide by the decision of the convention. And this is how the organization stands.
W. Pijanowski proposed that a committee be sent to the three large organizations, for the purpose of ascertaining the terms under which they would take in the Union. This motion was supported by K. Gulcz, with an amendment that not a committee, but the administration, should undertake this task.
Herman pointed out that there was no administration, that the terms of the officials of the Central Board had expired, and that, in order to continue to function a new Central Board would have to be elected.
Mr. Pijanowski insisted that his motion be accepted and demanded that a committee be appointed.17
Mr. Napieralski demanded that the Central Board be re-elected, or else the Polish Roman Catholic Union would be considered dissolved.
Grochowski took the floor and called upon the convention to decide which organization the Polish Roman Catholic Union should belong to, arguing that the societies knew long before the convention was convened that our organization would be dissolved. This motion was defeated.
Finally, Mr. Pijanowski's motion was put to a vote and carried. After a long debate, it was decided that the committee should consist of five members--B. L. Maciejewski, W. Jaworski, Joseph Herman, Grochowski, and Jackowski.
The Committee was given fourteen days in which to interview the three large organizations.
At the request of Pijanowski, Reverend John Radziejewski took the floor and 18declared that inasmuch as the result of the voting proved that the members did not favor the Polish Roman Catholic Union, he recommended heartily Unia Polska.
Reverend Majer took the floor and declared he did not speak in favor or against any organization. He went on to say that if the Polish Roman Catholic Union joined Unia Polska, the latter would change its name to Polish Union under the Guidance of the Queen of the Polish Crown. Reverend Majer also said that as soon as the organization joined Unia Polska, the new members would enjoy the same rights and privileges they had before. His speech was greatly applauded.
Herman, chairman of the convention, asked Rozan, secretary of Unia Polska, whether it was true that Unia Polska intended to join the large Polish Roman Catholic Union. Rozan answered that, Unia Polska had sent a delegate to the Cleveland convention as a matter of courtesy, but not for the purpose 19of joining that organization.
Rozan thanked the delegates for the welcome he had received at the convention, and asked the assembly to send a delegate to Unia Polska's convention if the Union is not dissolved.
The session was then adjourned for half an hour.
The session was reopened with a request by W. Pijanowski, who asked that the general secretary submit a financial statement for the last year and that the accounts be closed.
Grochowski, the secretary, declared that he had not prepared any statement, but that his books were in good shape, as confirmed by the Records Committee.
K. Gulcz, chairman of the Records Committee, declared that the accounts were in good order. Herman made a motion that the books be signed by the committee, 20to which the assembly agreed, and the formality of attaching the signatures followed.
Napieralski motioned that the terms of the contract made with the publisher of Sztandar (Standard), the organ of the Union be taken under consideration. On a motion by Drzycimski, it was decided that Sztandar would be published during this year, even if the organization was dissolved.
The general secretary read the report for last year. W. Pijanowski declared that he, as a member of the Records Committee, would not sign the books unless he had a chance to go over them. In his report, the secretary did not even mention the number of dead members. The assembly agreed to this. It was resolved to pay twenty dollars for the hall and twenty dollars for the Mass.
Thereupon the assembly proceeded to elect a new administration. W. Pijanowski motioned that the present administration be retained by acclamation. He was 21seconded by Maciejewski and opposed by Napieralski and Kaminski. Pijanowski and Maciejewski left the hall. Kaminski motioned that the societies be informed that these delegates had deserted the convention before the session was over.
Thereupon the election of the administration was put to a vote. J. Napieralski and Joseph Herman were elected president and vice-president respectively by acclamation. P. Morzynski and Vincent Jaworski were elected secretary and cashier respectively.
The assembly then proceeded to elect members for the advisory board. Although the advisory board, usually consisted of six members, this time the number of candidates was so small that Napieralski motioned that only three be elected. The advisory board, therefore, consists of John Rochowiak, John Jackowski, and J. Drzycimski.22
The minutes of the convention will be read at its next session, to be held within two weeks. Installation of the officials followed. The convention was closed with the singing of "Boze Cos Polske", (God love Poland).
III B 4, II D 1, II D 2
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