Christmas is traditionally a time of joy and happiness and the joy was certainly evident as a large group of kolednicy or Polish carolers congregated in Chappell Hill Texas on St. Stephen’s Day, December 26, 2010. The sky was a beautiful blue and there was a cold, brisk north wind blowing as the carolers began singing on the steps of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, a historic parish that was founded in 1889 by early Polish immigrants to Texas.
For the first time, the newly appointed pastor of St. Stanislaus, Father Jozef Musiol joined in the koledy celebration. Father Jozef, a native of Poland, has a great singing voice and of course he grew up singing Polish koledy so he helped Mike Addicks, Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz and Brian Marshall lead the singing group.
The koledy procession was led by a star bearer and a couple dressed as Mary and Joseph complete with the baby Jesus. The rest of the crowd was dressed in costumes representing angels, shepherds, kings, beggars, Santa Claus, devils, gypsy, grim reaper and the trouble-making turon, an extinct Polish bison. Music was provided by a great bunch of talented musicians including Brian Marshall, Jacob Marshall, Michael Marshall, Lawrence Wisnoski, Brian Wisnoski, Frank Motley, Charlie Brossman, Ron Kasowski, Jacob Kasowski, CJ Jozwiak, Albin Januszewski and James Mazurkiewicz.
The group left the church and walked down the street to sing to Regina Jaworski and the Moszkowicz family and then boarded a big yellow school bus that took them to the Gurka and Mikolajchak farms. At each stop, the group sang traditional Polish koledy including Gdy Sie Chrystus Rodzi, Pojdzmy Wszyscy, W Zlobie Lezy and Wsrod Nocnej Ciszy, a few English language Christmas carols and even Siwy Kon, Pije Kuba and other traditional Polish songs. The families obviously enjoyed the entertainment and responded with some great spreads of food and refreshments for the kolednicy.
After unloading from the bus, the group sang at the Faterkowski farm and then walked next door to St. Stanislaus Cemetery for a candle light vigil at the cross of John Kmiec. More koledy was sung as the final light of day left the sky. After a long day, everyone headed to Jozwiak’s Store to finish the evening with good fellowship, food, drink and dancing as the musicians continued to play old Polish songs throughout the evening. This was definitely one of those events that will become lasting family memories for those that participated.