Dziennik Chicagoski -- October 05, 1891Eighteenth Convention of the Polish Roman Catholic Union in America (Summary)
According to the instructions given by Mr. Peter Kiolbassa, president of the Polish Roman Catholic Union in America, the delegates representing different groups of this organization in Chicago and Milwaukee gathered on September 29 at the railroad station, whence they left at 3:10 P.M. in a chartered coach for the convention. Delegates from other cities, as well as members of the clergy, boarded the train here and there along the route, and thus the party arrived at 5:00 P.M. in the small but romantic city of Manticoke, Pennsylvania, which is situated in the mountains.
Some delegates found lodgings with local members; others went to hotels. As soon as quarters were found, everyone felt at home, thanks to Polish hospitality.2
On September 30, at 2 P.M., the delegates gathered at the Broadway Armory, which was beautifully decorated with all kinds of banners on the outside and with beautiful garlands, wreaths, and portraits of the Polish heroes and Kosciusko and Pulaski on the inside. There were many banners and American and Polish flags, among them a Polish flag with a white eagle.
The president of the Union, Mr. Peter Kiolbassa, asked Reverend W. Raszkiewicz to say a prayer, after which he formally opened the eighteenth convention of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America with a speech full of enthusiasm.
Up to then, out of the seventy-eight societies which constitute the Union, only forty-five delegates had arrived. There were fourteen priests.
The president of the organization made a suggestion, which was unanimously accepted, that Mr. Ignacy Machnikowski, editor of the organ of the Polish Roman Catholic Union, be made secretary of the convention.3
A Committee on Resolutions was formed, end Reverend V. Barzynski of Chicago was chosen as one of its members.
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 6, 1891.
Mr. Peter Kiolbassa made a motion that the delegates gather on the following day at 9 o'clock in the morning at the hall, from where they would march to church. The motion was carried.
Reverend V. Barzynski announced that the very Reverend Bishop O'Hara, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, would honor the convention with his presence of the next day's church services.
First Evening Session
Before seven o'clock in the evening, the hall was so full of people that some had to stand outside. The session started at half past seven.4
Mr. Ignacy Machnikowski of Chicago, who was the first speaker, expressed his gratitude for the honor of addressing such a large Polish audience, and then spoke of our American good laws of freedom, liberty,and tolerance, which do not exist in Russia and Prussia.
He praised the Polish Roman Catholic Union in America for its great merits, for its good work, for establishing parishes, building churches, schools, and libraries; he praised the organization for holding national celebrations and arranging theatrical plays. He made many good suggestions and remarked that we should not be indifferent as to what kind of people fill the world; that, according to the will of God, the world should not be filled with people who live only for the pleasure or satisfaction of their daily needs; for they are not capable of fulfilling God's plan on earth. Only those people can fulfill God's plan who can raise themselves above this world. Such aim may be attained only by a truly religious person, for religion teaches us duties toward God and country, and for this reason it is the most important factor in education. He spoke about parochial schools and their great influence. He assailed the 5opponents of parochial schools and begged his countrymen to send their children to these institutions.
The next speaker was Reverend V. Barzynski, who was received with great ovation, and who spoke of the great difficulties [met by the]Polish clergy in America, of the enemies and opponents of religion and the Roman Catholic Church in America, and of our fatherland and its fate. He also mentioned our great men, artists, writers, heroes, and called upon his listeners to follow their example. His speech, which is a gem and was stenographically reported, was rewarded with great applause.
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 7, 1891.
The chairman invited Mr. Peter Kiolbassa again to the stand, and the latter delivered another speech in which he compared the Polish settlements of Chicago with those of New York and other cities praised the Polish clergy for its splendid work. Tremendous applause rewarded the speaker.6
The next speaker was Reverend Wojcik from Minnesota, who, in a very interesting talk, described a certain fashionable residential district, its unnatural life and bad example.
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 8, 1891.
Finally, Reverend Stephen Szymanowski of Camden, J. J., chairman of the convention, took the floor and stated that the Americans must respect the Poles, and then he said, "I will take the liberty to point out what kind of Poles I mean, and my task will be simplified by presenting to you a practical and exemplary type of Pole whom you whould strive to emulate; he is in our midst, and his name is Peter Kiolbassa. (This remark brought prolonged applause). By his work, integrity, steadfastness of character, loyalty to the Catholic Church and fatherland, he has gained the respect and affection not only of the Poles but also of the people of other nationalities. His high position as city treasurer has not in any way changed him, for he is a man of unwavering principles.7
"If all Poles in America would conduct themselves as he does, then the people of other nationalities would be obliged to respect them."
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 9, 1891.
The September 30 afternoon session began at 2:18 P.M. with a prayer by Reverend V. Barzynski, chairman of the committee, introduced a motion that the wording of some paragraphs in the constitution of the organization be changed for the purpose of removing their ambiguity, and proposed the elimination of paragraph 1, article fourteen, of the constitution, alleging it was obscure and unnecessary. The motion was put to a vote and adopted unanimously.
Other paragraphs of the constitution were put to a vote and adopted.8
The next item on the program was the official organ of the organization. Mr. Kiolbassa asserted that the Polish Roman Catholic Union in America was strong enough to have its own organ published and supported by the organization. All agreed that such organ was necessary. However, Reverend V. Barzynski declared that he knew from experience it would be hard for such organ to exist, saying that some time ago the organization had adopted a resolution that every member should subscribe [to] Wiara I Otczyzna (Faith and Fatherland) but no one had complied with it.
Mr. Kiolbassa supported the objection of Reverend V. Barzynski, arguing that the maintenance of such organ would put the organization to a great expense.
Finally a motion was made that the weekly publication Wiara I Ojczyzna be adopted as the organ of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, and that it be published twice a week. This motion was carried unanimously.9
There were many patriotic and religious speeches on September 30 by delegates from other cities. The last speaker was Mr. Ignacy Machnikowski of Chicago, who spoke of the Roman Catholic Church and its great and uplifting work, and who displayed a profound knowledge of history--ecclesiastical and political. He also spoke of our unfortunate fatherland and the fate of our people, our patriots, and our great heroes, warned us against the danger of discord, and recommended harmony and co-operation. Great applause.
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 14, 1891.
The Thursday Oct. 1, 1891, session began at 9:30 A.M., right after church services. After the reading of telegrams and other correspondence, the delegates resumed their tasks. New motions were made and carried, and resolutions were adopted. Finally, Reverend V. Barzynski announced that an election of officers should take place. The motion was carried unanimously and Mr. Peter Kiolbassa was reelected president by acclamation. The newly elected president thanked the delegates for their support. Mr. John Arkuszewski of Chicago was elected vice-president of the organization, and Mr. Gniot of Chicago cashier.10
Then a board of directors was elected, which passed a few resolutions. Finally, the presidential oath of office was administered to Mr. Kiolbassa and the directors, and the convention was over.
III B 4, I A 2 a, II B 2 d 2, IV
Secondary listingsPolish // Attitudes > Education > Parochial > Elementary, Higher (High School and College) (I A 2 a) ?
Polish // Contributions and Activities > Avocational and Intellectual > Intellectual > Publications > Periodicals (II B 2 d 2) ?
Polish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Your search criteria returned no results.