It was raining and cold in Texas on the morning of December 26, 2011 but the skies cleared just in time for the annual St. Stephen’s Day Kolędy Polskie in Chappell Hill. At 1 PM, an enthusiastic group of kolednicy or Polish Christmas 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. St. Stanislaus’ pastor, Father Jozef Musiol, a native of Poland with a great singing voice helped Mike Addicks, Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz and Brian Marshall lead the singing group. Two other priests helped with the Polish singing, Washington County native Msgr. Boleslaus Zientek and Houston’s Our Lady Of Czestochowa pastor Fr. Waldemar Matusiak.
The kolędy procession was led by a star bearer and a couple dressed as Mary and Joseph complete with the baby Jesus. Others in the crowd were dressed as angels, shepherds, kings, beggars, Santa Claus, devils, grim reaper and the ever popular trouble-making turon, an extinct Polish bison. Music was provided by a talented group of musicians that included many of the younger generation. This years kolędy musicians included Brian Marshall, Jakub Marshall, Michal Marshall, Brian Wisnoski, Frank Motley, Charlie Brossman, Ron Kasowski, Jacob Kasowski, CJ Jozwiak and James Mazurkiewicz.
After singing in front of the church, the group walked across the street to sing to Regina Jaworski and then down the road to the Moszkowicz and Faterkowski family homes. Everyone boarded the big yellow school bus that took them to the Laskowski and Kaminski farms where 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 a couple verses of 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.
Next on the agenda was a visit to Chappell Hill Sausage, owned by the Cone family. They provided the group with more delicious food and plenty of wino and other drinks. The last stop for the bus was a visit to Tommy Lindsey who looks forward to the groups visit each year.
After unloading from the bus at the church, the group drove to St. Stanislaus Cemetery for a candle light vigil led by Father Jozef. More kolędy was sung as the final light of day left the sky. It had been a long day already, but 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 beautiful day of celebration of our Polish history and heritage will definitely become a lasting family memory for all those that participated.