Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Lira Ensemble Cleveland Christmas Show

One thing I appreciate about my hometown of Cleveland is the support Cleveland Polonia shows when Polish cultural events are performed.

Janet and I made the 2-hour trek recently to see “A Polish Christmas” at the Cleveland Music Hall. The performance by the Lira Ensemble of Chicago [the only professional performing arts company in the United States specializing in Polish music, song, and dance] featured Carols, Paderewski and more.

An extraordinarily wide variety of entertainment was provided by the orchestra, dancers and singers. Besides the wonderfully enjoyable Kolendy featuring carols like Bog sie rodzi, O gwiazdo Betlejem and Gdy Sliczna Panna, the 40-piece orchestra accompanied the singers and soloists in a number of beautiful opera pieces by Paderewski and Moniuszko. Mazurkas and Polonaise were also performed in addition to a spectacular Polish-American Christmas medley with the use of voice and handbells seen in the picture above.

The Cleveland Music Hall is an opulent and well-tuned music venue. The 3,500 seats were nearly all filled and it was easy to tell how appreciative the audience was by their enthusiastic applause.

Lira takes its name from (in English) “lyre” a traditional symbol of music. Their Christmas Concert Tour this year only played Cleveland and Buffalo besides Lira's home base of Chicago. This group sets the standard of quality for Polish performing arts in the USA.

Christ for King of Poland?

46 of 460 Polish MPs have called for Jesus Christ to be named honorary King of Poland, but have failed to win support from the country's powerful Roman Catholic Church. Lawmakers for the ruling Law and Justice party and League of Polish Families as well as the opposition Peasants Party back the resolution. Wojciech Wierzejski, a top LPR MP, said: "Jesus is a King in the hearts of many Catholics."

Backing from the church would be crucial to build support for the proposal, but several bishops criticized it, and said parliament should stay out of religious affairs.

Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski said: "Let parliament deal with passing better laws that we need."

Archbishop Leszek Slawoj Glodz said: "Let bricklayers build apartments, tailors sew dresses, and MPs not interfere in things they do not know anything about. "MPs should pray and suffer, so that they will be remembered fondly."

The Archbishop makes a rather snippy comment. The kind of comment that tends to push people away from the tenderness of our faith. Remember the Reformation?

What would JPII if he were still on earth say of this Jesus for King matter?

In his first encyclical, Redemptor hominis, John Paul II made Christ the center of the church's witness in a manner that shaped all his papacy. Those external to the Catholic world may think it odd to congratulate a pope for being "Christological." But John Paul II, schooled on the resources needed to oppose totalitarians, called Catholic theology back to its animating center with a renewed sense that Jesus matters.

During JPII's historic visit to Nicaragua in 1983, he scolded 5 priests who held positions in the Sandinista government. The visit took place admist the ongoing contra war. This was a period of extreme polarization between the Nicaraguan Catholic hierarchy and popular sectors of the Nicaraguan Church and heightened tensions between the hierarchy and Sandinista state. The Pope stressed the importance of Church unity as the best way to prevent Nicaragua from being corrupted by "godless communism".

The Church entered the political arena and fought against communism and totalitarians under JPII leadership. Heck, the fought to stay alive under communism -remember Nowa Huta? Maybe Glodz should think of this situation as being a two way street. Let the Sjem elect who they wish for honorary King of Poland. At least that would be a confidence vote against totalitary and communist ideology. I don't see a threat of the Polish government pushing for control of the Church even though the politicians made Christmas a national holiday. What makes the election of Christ any different?

Perhaps the clergy see something more that has not been revieled to my intellect. But, on this issue I'd vote my faith. I could be wrong, but I'd vote my faith.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Who'll Take Care of Our Church Tomorrow?

An article ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about St. Stanislaus the Church in which I was Baptized. It laments the fact attendance is down and the volunteers are aging without much hope for a generation of devoted helpers to follow.

Maybe after we're gone, St. Peter ought to throw away the keys to the pearly gate.

[Read Article]

German's Want Compensation from Poland Over War Losses

A German group has filed claims against Poland with a European court over property lost in the aftermath of World War II, a member said today.

The Prussian Claims Society, which represents some Germans who were expelled from Poland after the war ended, filed the complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, the society's deputy leader Gerwald Stanko said.

"Twenty-two individual complaints have gone to the European Court of Human Rights," Stanko said. He said the aim was to secure either compensation or the return of property.

The Prussian Claims Society has threatened for several years to file restitution claims for property lost when the borders of Germany and Poland were moved westward after World War II.

The threat has weighed on relations between Warsaw and Berlin.

The German government has made it clear that it does not support the claims, but the topic is extremely sensitive in Poland, which Nazi Germany invaded in 1939 at the start of World War II and subjected to a brutal occupation.

The German government had no immediate response to the group's move.

Personally, I think the Polish-Lithuanian borders should be restored to it's 13th century grandeur making that Commonweath the largest state in Europe. Think we got a case?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cardinal Glemp Resigns

Pope accepts resignation of Polish Cardinal Glemp, names replacement

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Polish Cardinal Jozef Glemp of Warsaw, who turns 77 Dec. 18, but said the cardinal will retain the personal title of Polish primate until his 80th birthday.

Announcing the cardinal's retirement Dec. 6, the Vatican also announced the pope had named Bishop Stanislaw Wielgus of Plock to succeed him.

Cardinal Glemp has headed the Archdiocese of Warsaw since 1981 and led it through the tumultuous years of Poland's martial law, underground Solidarity movement and the fall of communism in the late 1980s. The new archbishop of Warsaw, 67, spent 30 years teaching philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin. An expert on medieval philosophy and on the history of philosophy in Poland, he served three terms as the rector of the Lublin university. Pope John Paul II named him bishop of Plock in 1999.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Polish Winged Hussar

The Greatest cavalry That Ever Was

See Also:

[Suligowski's Regiment]

[Winged Hussar on Parade]

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Letters to Santa from Polish kids

Listy do Świętego Mikołaja:
Letters to Santa Claus:

Kochany Święty Mikołaju!
Mam na imię Michał¸ Mama powiedziała, że jestem bardzo grzeczny i że przyniesiesz mi fajny prezent. Bardzo chciałbym dostać rower, najlepiej górski z dwoma amortyzatorami w kolorze żółtym, koniecznie w żółtym. Do zobaczenia.

Dear Santa Claus,
My name is Michał, My mom says I am a very good boy and you will bring me a cool present. I would really like to get a bike; the best would be a mountain bike with two yellow shock absorbers and they have to be yellow. See you,

Szanowny Święty Mikołaju!
Bardzo Cię proszę, nie przynoś mi rózgi.
Będę bardzo grzeczna i nie będę ciągać kota za uszy ani zamykać go w lodówce. Czy możesz zamiast rózgi przynieść mi Baby Born? Czekam na ciebie.

Dear Mr. Santa Claus,
Please, don’t bring me a switch. I will be a good girl and I will not pull my cat by the ears and lock it in the refrigerator. Can you bring me a baby doll instead of a switch? I am waiting for you.

Katyn - Post Mortem

Andrzej Wajda – one of, if not the most renowned Polish filmmakers who in 2000 was presented with an honorary Oscar for his outstanding contribution to world cinema is filming his latest epic.

Titled "Post Mortem" the film is a story about the Katyn massacre, the mass execution of Polish citizens ordered by the Soviet authorities in 1940. In 1943, mass graves were discovered at Katyn forest by the German army but the Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacre until 1990. Only then did the Russians admit that the Soviet secret police had in fact committed the crime and killed over 22,000 Polish soldiers and intellectuals.

Andrzej Wajda has been considering making a movie about Katyn for a long time. The project is of particular significance to Wajda since it is partly autobiographical. Wajda’s father – captain Jakub Wajda – was one of the officers murdered by the Soviets in Katyn. But the movie is not going to deal directly with the crime but rather with a lie about the true perpetrators and a cover-up by the Soviet and Communist authorities. It will tell a story from the point of view of women – mothers, wives and daughters of Polish officers – who are waiting for their men to come back home.

The film will be officially released on the 17th of September 2007 – precisely on the day when the Red Army invaded Poland in 1939.

Katyn Massacre
Graphic photo gallery of mass graves
This post contains pics of the production