Upcoming local and national events – let’s go!!!

What Matters to Girls

The Schenectady League of Women Voters is hosting the Working Group on Girls Community Forum, “What Matters to Girls” on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7pm at the 1st Reformed Church, 8 North Church St., Schenectady NY. The Forum is dedicated to empowering middle and high school girls and will provide information on Girl’s Day Out and Girl’s Circles programs for student participants and adult volunteers. Topics will include increasing self esteem, making healthy choices, valuing education, and expanding girl’s vision of the future.

Connecting Faith-Based Groups with the Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know about Changes in Health Insurance for Your Members

Congressman Paul Tonko is hosting a workshop on Connecting Faith-Based Groups with the Affordable Care Acton Wednesday, May 29th at The Crossings of Colonie, 580 Albany Shaker Rd., Loudonville, NY from 1—3pm. The focus of the workshop will be on providing up-to-date information on federal health insurance programs available to members of Faith-Based organizations. Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Region II U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will be available to provide information and resources that can help make it easier to understand health insurance options.

Medicare (health insurance for people 65 and older or with long- term disability or end-stage renal disease), Medicaid (health insurance for people with limited income), and new options for expansion of health insurance that will soon be available under the Affordable Care Act will be discussed.

You may pre-register online or by calling 518-465-0700.

Youth Forum

Schenectady Youth Boxing & Fitness is sponsoring a Youth Forum on June 13th, 10am-12pm at the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors Theater, 432 State St., Schenectady, NY. The forum includes a roundtable discussion with members from community youth focused programs with a focus on sharing goals and information as well as information on upcoming summer plans. A light lunch and opportunities for networking will follow. For more information please contact Schenectady Youth Boxing & Fitness or Judy Decker by E-mail.

2013 Kurs Youth Encampment

The 2013 Kurs Youth Encampment sponsored by the Young Men’s Society of the Resurrection of the Polish National Catholic Church will be held from June 29th through July 6th at the Bishop Hodur Retreat & Recreation Center, 596 Honesdale Road, Waymart, PA. This is by far the best summer youth event anywhere. Our young people are encouraged to attend as well as to invite friends and parishioners for a summer event that builds up faith and friendships that last a lifetime.

Click on the links below for further information and forms:

National United Choirs 2013 Music Workshop

The National United Choirs Click here for details and a registration form.

Polish National Union Trip to Poland

The Polish National Union (Spójnia) is sponsoring a trip to Poland in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Żarki (Libiąż) Poland, the birthplace of Bishop Francis Hodur. The parish was built through the generosity of members of the Polish National Union. The trip will run from September 18th through 25th and includes tours of southern Polsnd including noted attrations in Kraków, Zakopane, and Żarki. For details please see the current issue of Straż. Reservations are due by June 10th.

National United Choirs – Music Scholarship Sunday

Make a joyful shout to God all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious – Psalm 66:1,2

UnknownJanuary 27th, the last Sunday of January, has been set aside by PNCC Synodal resolution as Music Scholarship Sunday, which puts special emphasis on the Music Scholarship program of the National United Choirs of the P.N.C.C. It is the Sunday when the choirs, organists, directors and choir members should be recognized for their contributions to the music ministry of our church. It is also the Sunday when we look to the future and identify those that we hope will be part of the music ministry of the church. Thank you for your support of the music scholarship program. Scholarship applications are available on-line at the NUC website.

2011 National United Choirs Scholarship Recipients

We joyfully acknowledged our 2011 NUC scholarship recipients on Heritage Sunday, October 16th. Both recipients contributed their talents to Sunday’s worship. The Parish provided a cake during our coffee hour after Holy Mass in celebration.

Hannah Bilinski – received an endowed Scholarship named for Cecelia Shumlas. Cecelia was an active member of the Choirs, yielding not only through her inspiration, but also through her family many other church musicians and choristers. It was for this familial dedication that an endowed scholarship was named in her memory.

Victoria Konicki – received a Junior Incentive Award. This category is reserved for first time applicants. As her age and proficiency increase, Victoria will be eligible for additional consideration in the general and endowed scholarship categories.

There are other endowed Scholarships, many in honor and/or memory of persons vital to the history of the National United Choirs and music in the Church. There are also specialized scholarships for other disciplines in the sacred music field. Again, as interests in music change or become more defined, there is a scholarship out there waiting to be conferred.

It is through your support on every last Sunday of January that these scholarships are funded. We can now continue to witness how our worthy donations are being used.

May our Lord grant Hannah and Victoria much joy in their musical careers as they use those talents given to them by God for His glory and for use in the Church.

Thanks for your donations to the NUC Music Scholarship Program

The Music Scholarship Program will indeed be able to present financial help to its applicants once again this year with the help of your worthy donations. All across our Church, helpful church-people have offered their donations, which will turn into a blessed music ministry in our Church.

It was gratifying for this pastor, when asked to stand as a former recipient of a Scholarship at the Music Workshop in 2009, Hannah stood as well – a proud moment indeed.

This year the Scholarships will be announced at the Music Workshop to be held in our Diocese, hosted by Holy Mother of Sorrows parish in Dupont, PA.

The Deadline to apply for any Scholarships is April 1st. Applications for any of these awards may be received from the Music Scholarship Administrator: Mrs. Cathy Bilinski, 4051 Washington Crescent, Troy, MI 48085

Just to add a thankful, happy, yet tearful note: Yesterday, February 5th, the Chair of Music at the Savonarola Theological Seminary for over 30 years, Ś+P Michael Augustine, was buried in Scranton, PA. No doubt he will be directing the heavenly chorus, as he had the Cathedral Choir and the Scranton Circle of the United Choirs for many years. Ś+P Mr. Augustine was a brilliant teacher and a mentor to Father Stan who served as Father’s music instructor during his seminary matriculation.

History of the National United Choirs Music Scholarship Program of the PNCC

The Music Scholarship Program was instituted on August 8, 1964 by the Sixth General Convention of the National United Choirs of the Polish National Catholic Church held in Carnegie, PA. The program was implemented at the Seventh General Convention, held in Cleveland, OH, on August 6, 1966, when the first awards were presented. The XII General Synod of the PNCC established the last Sunday in January as “Music Scholarship Sunday.”

The Music Scholarship program was instituted and tailored to develop musicians within the Polish National Catholic Church. The program was further expanded to establish a Chair of Music at the Savonarola Theological Seminary of our Church in Scranton, PA, and to also make scholarships available in other areas of music to enrich the musical life of the Church.

The Scholarship Program awards are divided into 2 categories: general scholarships and endowed scholarships.

General Scholarships

  • The Bishop Francis Hodur Award
  • The Bishop Francis Bonczak Awards
  • The Bishop Francis Bonczak Youth Awards
  • Church Music Award for Clergymen
  • The Bishop Thaddeus Zielinski Awards
  • Junior Incentive Awards

Endowed Scholarships

  • The Polish National Union Award
  • The Adam P. Pikulski Award
  • The Cecelia Shumlas Award
  • The Bishop Walter A. Slowakiewicz Award
  • The Emil Swantkowski Award
  • The George J. Balcar Award
  • The Bishop Eugeniusz W. Magyar Awards
  • The Edward and Frances Bialoglowicz Award

The Deadline to apply for any of these Scholarships is April 1st. Applications for any of these awards may be received from the Music Scholarship Administrator by writing to:

Mrs. Cathy Bilinski, Administrator
4051 Washington Crescent
Troy, MI 48085

Or by E-mail.

A few questions to test your personal knowledge of music history within the PNCC (answers will be posted February 1st):

The chant style of the PNCC is based upon _________ Chant.
The new hymnal of the PNC will be published in 20__.

Congratulations to Adam Konicki & Hannah Bilinski

These are our National United Choirs Music Scholarship recipients for 2010. The announcement of the Scholarships was made during Convo 2010 in July. Of the 18 Scholarships awarded this year, eight were in attendance at the Convo and were able to receive the accolades of their peers.

Adam, a first-time recipient, received the Polish National Union Award. This Award is endowed by our fraternal organization and is given to a member of both the Church and Spójnia. We congratulate Adam for this accomplishment and look forward to his sharing his God-given talent with us here in church sometime in the future.

Hannah received the George J. Balcar Award. George was a lifetime member of the Church. His home parish was SS. Cyril and Methodius in Chicago, IL. He was a dedicated churchman seriously devoted to his parish and his Church. George was also intricately involved in the United Choirs, being both the Treasurer of the Western Diocesan Circle Choirs and of the National Board. After his passing, and in recognition of his fierce love for the Choirs and the Church, this Fund was established to honor those of the same mettle.

Our heartfelt congratulations are extended to our 2010 recipients.

Applications for 2011 Scholarships will be available in February. Let us have all our parish musicians apply to be so honored.

Upcoming Parish Events

SOCL: Our School of Christian Living sessions begin next Sunday, October 17th. Registration for these sessions continues. Children who have reached the necessary age for sacramental preparation will be enrolled for those session. We’re looking forward to another great year!

Music Scholarships: We will recognize and congratulate all Music Scholarship recipients from our Parish next Sunday, October 17th. In honor of their accomplishment we will share in coffee and cake following Holy Mass.

Semi-Annual Rummage Sale: Our Fall edition of our semi-annual rummage sale will take place on Saturday, October 23rd. Have something that needs a good home, a good home looking for something, make the connection.

Donations to Help Pets: Our annual tradition of gathering items for pets in need and pet rescue organizations continues. Please drop items off at the Parish.

Operation Christmas Child: We will be collecting shoeboxes during the last two weeks of October and the first two weeks of November. Let us once again help Samaritan’s Purse bring the love of Jesus to a child somewhere on our plant once again this year.

Pampered Chef: Stay tuned for further details on our Pampered Chef party following Holy Mass on Sunday, November 7th. Will Father Stan and Deacon Jim put on another edition of “Cooking with Clergy?”

National United Choirs Music Scholarships and Choir Sunday

Our National United Choirs (NUC) is asking every choir throughout our church to sing a common hymn next Sunday, January 31st, on its annual observance of its ministry to our Church. The National United Choirs is one of the oldest organizations we have in our history.

The Music Scholarship program has at its core a ministry to the musicians studying in all disciplines. There is a scholarship and category for instrumental, vocal, conducting, and study of sacred music. If anyone of our congregation is eligible to apply for a scholarship, please see Father Stan for an application. He can also fill you in on the details of the application and its process.

The Scholarship program was begun in 1967 at a convention in Cleveland, OH, and has been highly prolific in its years of operation. Father Stan was a two-time recipient back in the last century. We are also blessed to have a multiple-year recipient in Hannah, and singular year winners in Jenna, Melissa, and Claudia.

If you have read the articles in the church papers, you would have seen the notices to purchase the CD’s and/or tapes that were made of the concerts performed at the bi-ennial gatherings of the Choirs. And, God being kind, the long-anticipated bi-lingual hymnal will soon see the light of day.

Again, if anyone is taking lessons in any of the music disciplines and would like to apply for a scholarship this year, the application request must be mailed soon to meet its completion deadline of 1 April.

We thank our good Lord for the ministry of the Choirs, and pray that they will continue to serve our Church in the years to come.

Congratulations Music Scholarship winners

Bishop Francis BonczakWe pause to take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate the National United Choirs (NUC) Music Scholarship Recipients for 2009 in our parish. The announcement of these conferrals was made during the Music Workshop program in July.

Both Claudia Bertasso and Hannah Bilinski received scholarships this year in the same category. These were endowed scholarships given in memory of Ś.P. Bishop Francis Bonczak, who was a fierce supporter of the Choirs in a time past.

CONGRATULATIONS, Claudia and Hannah, for this honor begin bestowed upon you, and may our gracious Lord continue to enhance and bless the gift He has given to you.

A note about Ś.P. Bishop Francis Bonczak:

He was born December 1, 1881. Ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 30, 1903. Consecrated Bishop on August 17, 1924. Entered into Eternal Rest September 21, 1967.

Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Milwaukee, WIFr. Bonczak organized Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Milwaukee, WI in 1914. The Parish’s first church building was completed in 1917. Father Bonczak was succeeded in 1922 by Father Leon Grochowski, but he returned to the church as Bishop in 1930, retiring in 1953.