On Sunday, November 21, 2010, St. Stanislaus Catholic parish held a special Polish Heritage Thanksgiving (Dozynki) Mass and celebration at the historic church in Chappell Hill, Texas. This unique event combined two well know traditions; the American Thanksgiving and the Polish Dozynki or harvest celebration which dates back to the middle ages. The stated goal of the celebration was to bring people together in the spirit of gratitude and appreciation to God for all we have been given.
Before Mass began, Pauline Krotofil and Pauline Mazurkiewicz led the recital of the Holy Rosary in Polish and then Virginia Hill gave a short Dozynki presentation. The Mass began with a Dozynki procession with baskets of homemade bread, bowls of salt and a wreath. The procession was led by St. Stanislaus pastor Father Jozef Musiol who was accompanied by CCD youth and adults in Polish folk dress. During Mass, choir director Michael Addicks played the organ and led the choir in singing Polish hymns. CCD children in Polish folk dress took up the collection and brought the offerings to the altar.
At the end of Mass, a military veteran gave a presentation and then Fr. Jozef blessed the bread and salt, Dozynki bouquets and basket. The basket, bread and salt was carried out of the church in a procession and as the congregation left the church, everyone was handed a piece of the blessed bread which was then dipped in the salt and eaten.
The celebration continued in the parish hall with a welcome presentation for Father Jozef. Fr. Jozef then blessed the meal and everyone headed for the food table which was loaded with fried chicken, kielbasa, corn, green beans and a large variety of covered dishes including some good Polish foods and soups. A second table held delicious homemade deserts.
As the attendees ate, they were entertained by “Polska Kapela” with Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, James Mazurkiewicz and Mark Hopcus playing lots of old Polish songs. When the band took a break, Virginia Hill gave a presentation on Our Polish Heritage and then the raffle and silent auction winners were announced. As the festivities wound down, anyone who planned to sing at the Chappell Hill Polski Kolendy on the day after Christmas was invited to stay for a Kolendy practice led by Fr. Jozef and Michael Addicks.