Today we celebrate Independence Day. Let us pause to give thanks for the freedoms we have as citizens of the United States and as members of our Church. Let us pray that these freedoms remain and are protected in law, in spirit, and in the life of our Church.

Independence Day is a day that is special to the heart of every Polish National Catholic. Our parents, grandparents, as well as members of our parishes to this day, have come to the United States not just for economic opportunity but also to live within the spirit of freedom.

When our ancestors’ former Church continued to oppress their freedoms, treating them as obedient servants only, with their pastors and bishops as a sort of exclusive royalty, they struck back by organizing a true Church that upholds the Holy Catholic faith and operates as a free society.

In our Church, as in our country, every person has a voice and a vote. In our Church, women have voted and participated in its democratic traditions even before women had a right to vote in our country. In our Church the clergy are not an aloof, royal class, but co-workers with the laity. We are a Church of liberty, freedom, and equality.

Let us give thanks this Independence Day for our free country and our free Church.