More About St. Stanislaus

More About St. Stanislaus

By 1880, there were over 100 people in this area. Burials and baptisms were performed without a church building. Several immigrants dedicated time and funds to building a church and requesting official recognition from the diocese.

In the spring of 1883, Father Alexander Michanowski was assigned as the first resident priest. By 1886, the size of the parish doubled. Again in 1896, the parish greatly expanded. By May 1900, the current church building of St. Stanislaus was constructed. The parishioners were intent on making it one of the most beautiful churches in the state.

At the dedication of the new St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr church, over 50 area priests attended the impressive ceremony which Bishop John Shanley officiated.

The inside of the church was frescoed and painted in 1912. Over several years, numerous positive developments graced the Catholic Warsaw church including decor, necessary church items, a Catholic school and church committees.

Polish Pride

Being of Polish descent, the parishioners of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr church often celebrated and participated in many Polish customs including the Polish Millennium, the observance of Poland's 1,000 years of Christianity. On May 3, 1966, the present Archbishop of Prague, Joseph Cardinal Beran concelebrated the celebration Mass with 10 Polish and Czechoslovakian priests as well as three bishops. More than 800 people crowded the church for this monumental event. 

In 1976, St. Stanislaus parish erected a Bicentennial Pioneer Monument on the church grounds in conjuction with the national bicentennial. Alongside a special bicentennial flag, the 10-ton granite Bicentennial Pioneer Monument was unveiled in honor of the first pioneer Polish settlers in the Warsaw community. A state representative and Grafton's mayor gave the dedicatory speeches.

On October 22, 1978, the Polish community of Warsaw rejoiced in the election of a pope of their own beloved land. Karol Cardinal Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, who is now Blessed John Paul II. A celebration Mass was planned.

However, a smoldering fire, which started in an electrical junction box in the basement ceiling, destroyed several parts of the church. Despite the shock to parishioners and damage to the church, they decided to proceed with the celebration Mass.

Other Polish customs and holidays observed by St. Stanislaus include Corpus Christi. The pastor and altar boys lead a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to four temporary altars around the outside of the church. All Souls Day is also observed with a procession to the cemetery to pray the litany to All Saints.

On August 3, 1979, St. Stanislaus church was placed on the National Register of Historic places and a bronze plaque commemorating this event was unveiled, blessed and dedicated by the bishop.

On July 2, 2000, a standing-room-only crowd spilled down into the basement for St. Stanislaus' jubilee. Present and past parishioners from all over the country united in their beloved church in Warsaw.  Former students of St. Anthony's Convent and School run by the Sisters of the Resurrection were welcomed into the building to reminisce about their school days.

The parishioners celebrated with Mass and a dedication of a statue of the Blessed Mother and Christ Child, as well as a blessing of a time capsule. Over 900 people enjoyed the picnic following the activities. The day was rounded out by a performance by the Polish National Alliance (PNA) dancers, a Minneapolis clown act, a village parade and a community dance.

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