Reverend Marek Bożek
Pastor of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Saint Louis
Proboszcz Parafii Św Stanisława Kostki w Saint Louis
August 11: Annual Parishioners Meeting - In accordance with our by-laws, the annual open meeting of all parishioners will be held on Sunday, August 11th at 10:30 a.m. in the Polish Heritage Center. Due to the meeting there will be only one Mass at 9:00 a.m. that Sunday. Registered parishioners over the age of eighteen (18) need to present themselves in person with a government issued photo ID. Voting will take place on two days: Saturday August 10th from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., and on Sunday, August 11th from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
August 15: Assumption and Dedication of the New Statue - On August 15th Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, also known as Dormition of Virgin Mary. In Polish tradition it is a feast of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Special blessing of the produce of fields, gardens and orchards will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. outdoor Mass We invite you all to join us this day with samples of the produce from your gardens to cultivate this beautiful custom. At the end of this joyful celebration will dedicate our new, beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, located in the garden area next to the sacristy. This priceless addition to our parish campus we owe to the generosity of the ladies from the Sodality of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
August 25: Meeting with the Episcopal Bishop - On Sunday, August 25th we will host in our Parish The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. He will be the first of several guests visiting St. Stanislaus in the coming months to represent various Catholic, but not Roman, churches and denominations. As it has been explained before, the Episcopal Church and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht are in full communion with each other, hence Bishop Smith will be talking about so called “Option 2” (See May Bulletin, page 4).
Immediately after the 9:00 a.m. Mass Bishop Smith will deliver his presentation inside the church building. Questions and comments are welcomed, as he will be joining us at the Polish Heritage Center during the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Then, at 12 Noon Bishop Smith will meet with the Polish-speaking Parishioners. We encourage all Parishioners to attend.
August 26: Feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa - The icon of Black Madonna is dear to every Pole’s heart. We are privileged to have a side altar dedicated to Our Lady of Częstochowa, where since 1892 generations of our parishioners have entrusted their joys and sorrows in the loving hands of Mary, Queen of Poland. On the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa - Monday, August 26th, a 7:00 p.m. Mass will be offered at this side altar. We invite you all to participate, especially the members and friends of the Częstochowa Sodality.
August 31: Study & Discernment Meeting - As we face the future outside of the institutional Roman Catholicism we need to educate ourselves about all the options available to us as a Catholic community of faith. Since the first session of the "Study & Discernment" Committee is an important and highly educational introduction to this process it will be offered once again on Saturday, August 31st at 5:00 p.m. The Board of Directors and the Pastor strongly encourage all the members of St. Stanislaus Parish to attend this, and as many future meetings as possible, to prayerfully discern our choices, and to discuss them with fellow parishioners. It cannot be overemphasized how important it is that we all try to participate in this process, to use every educational opportunity, and thus make a prudent and wise choice in due time.
September 29: Captain Blandowski Memorial Ceremony - St. Stanislaus will honor Captain Constantine Blandowski, the first Polish patriot to die in the civil war during the Camp Jackson Campaign. The ceremony and civil war encampment will take place on Sunday, September 29th at 11:00 a.m. on the (old school) grounds of St. Stanislaus. Other activities such as a civil war fashion show, Polish souvenir booth and food booth are in the planning. A future plan for the site of the ceremony includes a memorial garden to honor our past and present veterans.
In Poland, where I came from, we say "When Guest arrives, God arrives" and this is the rule by which I strive to live as a person as well as a pastor of a growing Catholic church of more than 500 households. We cherish our Polish roots while celebrating diversity of all who enter. All are welcome at St. Stanislaus and all are needed to spread the Good News of God's unconditional love. Here you can find out what is happening in our Parish in coming days and weeks, familiarize yourself with our story or watch recent Sunday homilies. Make yourself at home, and come back often!
Some of the Vatican observers have noted how often the new Pope has been speaking recently on collegiality and synodality. In June alone the Pope has spoken of “synodality" on three separate occasions! In one such talk he indicated that the idea of collegiality was a still “half-baked” development of Vatican II. Not “half-baked” in the derogatory sense, I think, but rather in the sense of “unfinished” like “a work in progress.” People were even more surprised – some conservatives were outright scandalized – after Francis’ homily on June 29th. Speaking to newly appointed archbishops, he reminded them that every bishop is called to be “a servant of communion, working tirelessly to overcome divisions so that differences become a treasure and not a source of conflict. United in our differences: there is no other Catholic path for unity." In the only improvised section of his homily, Pope Francis returned to a theme of synodality, about the need to find ways to better demonstrate and make concrete the common responsibility of all bishops – “we must go forward on this path of synodality!" All these unexpected declarations seem to suggest that the new Bishop of Rome views synodality as a source of unity within the Roman Catholic Church itself as well as with the Orthodox, Anglicans, and Old Catholics for whom synodality is the primary form of church governance.
As many of you know, last month I participated in the Old Catholic Theology program at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. There, in the heart of Old Catholicism, I was reminded on multiple occasions that Old Catholic Churches have an episcopal-synodal structure, which means that they incorporate the apostolic offices of bishops and priests into democratic structures at all levels. In the Old Catholic tradition, the local church gathers around its bishop whose authority flows from election by the diocesan synod, which is composed of clergy and laity. Read more here
No matter how many times you have been told by your priest or minister that you don't belong in the Church - it simply is not true! God's love is much bigger than man made limitations and there is plenty of room for you in God's Family!
Should you wish to discuss your spiritual journey with me, schedule sacramental celebration, or just chat with someone who will not judge you - send an e-mail message and I will get back with you at the earliest convenience.
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4:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass (English)
9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass (English)
11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass (Polish)
My life and ministry is centered around St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Parishioners, as well as anyone in need of priestly assistance, may request my ministry for spiritual counseling, sacramental preparation and celebrations. At St. Stanislaus we also offer a wide range of educational and social activities. I strive to make this faith community a place where all disenfrachised and excluded persons can find their spiritual home.
Sunday Mass (Eucharist) is offered at three different times: Saturday 4:00 PM (English), Sunday 9:00 AM (English) and 11:00 AM (Polish). All are welcome at our Eucharistic table and Holy Communion is never denied to anyone!
Weekday Mass is offered on Tuesday at 5:30PM, Wednesday at 11:45AM, and Thursday at 5:30PM.
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is available every Saturday from 3:00 until 3:45 PM or by appointment. Communal Penance Service with General Absolution is celebrated twice a year - before Easter and Christmas.
Bible Study is conducted every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. Meetings are always open to the newcomers.
Sunday School or Parish School of Religion is a program through which our young members grow in knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. Its meetings take place every other Sunday at 10:15 AM September through May.
Anointing of the Sick is offered communally twice a year and individually by request, either at home or any healthcare institution.
Baptism of Infants and Adults is celebrated as a joyful event and is a testimony to the growth of our community.
Funeral Mass or Service is always a celebration of life of the deceased person. It is never denied.
Weddings, and Marriage Preparation, are offered to all couples on as needed basis. We are honored to be one of the most popular wedding churches in St. Louis Metropolitan area.