History of Sacred Heart Parish

The Sacred Heart Story

HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PARISH OF THE MOST SACRED HEART
IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

A translation, from the Polish, of a History of Sacred Heart Parish Found in the
Silver Jubilee Commemorative Booklet of 1929.

Because there was employment in the gypsum mines, several Polish families settled in the southwest sector of the City of Grand Rapids, about three miles distant from St. Adalbertís Church and School. This distance from the church and parish school created a great difficulty for all, especially for the school children. For that reason, already in 1897, steps were taken to establish a Polish Catholic parish in this area. Only in 1903, however, was the petition for the formation of a new parish presented to Bishop Henry Richter. As soon as the bishop looked into the situation, he gave his permission to build a new church and school.

At this time there came to St. Adalbertís Parish a young and energetic assistant whose name was Father Ladislaus Krakowski. The Most Reverend Bishop entrusted the task of establishing the new parish to Father Krakowski on August 17, 1903. The history of the establishment and development of this new parish attests how zealously and energetically Father Ladislaus Krakowski applied himself to the task at hand. From the very beginning the success of this project was assured by the very fact that the parish was entrusted to the almighty protection of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Conscientious and respected gentlemen were chosen to make up the parish committee. They were John Radlicki, Frank Sniatecki, Bob Pienta, Andrew Amborski and Joseph Miskiewicz. On October 1, 1903, a parcel of land, located across the street from a city park, was purchased for $1,900. In March 1904, the contract was set for the construction of an attractive building which was to serve church, school, and residence for the Sisters. The general cost was $11,645.

On May 24, 1904, Bishop Richter announced by a formal decree, the division of Sacred Heart Parish from St. Adalbertís. He set the boundary lines between the two parishes, i.e. Shawmut westward from Indiana, then north to Jackson, and westward on Jackson. At the same time, with the same decree, he appointed Father Krakowski to be the pastor of the new parish. Father Krakowski conducted religious service for the members of Sacred Heart Parish at St. Adalbertís up until November 1904. On May 30, 1904 he left St. Adalbertís rectory and took up residence with the confines of his parish.

Page 257

On Thanksgiving Day, 1904, Bishop Richter blessed the new House of God in the presence of numerous clergy and laity from the city and beyond. He dedicated it to the glory of God and for the welfare of the people and for the salvation of their souls. The Word of God on this occasion was given by Rev. Edward Kozlowski, the pastor of St. Stanislausí Church in Bay City and later the second Polish bishop in the United States.

The first floor of the building was set apart for classrooms and for the Sistersí living quarters. The second floor was to function as a church. On the day of the dedication the parish consisted of only one hundred families. It must be noted that this building was constructed without the negotiation of any loan. This was due to the generosity of the parishioners and the energetic efforts of the Parish Committee, headed by the pastor. However, the motivating force behind this entire project was the spirit of harmony which existed among the parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish.

Not only the parishioners gladly made contributions for the building of the church, but there also were numerous individuals who provided items which were necessary for the church and divine service.

 

Joseph Michalowski The Side Altar

Joseph Miskiewicz The Main Altar

John Radlicki Monstrance

John Czachorski Pix

Andrew Szymczak Sanctuary Lamp

J. Sonnenberg Stations of the Cross

C. Greulich Chalice

Jacob Pienta Cope and Dalmatic

Frank Sniatecki Chasuble

Casimir Krzyzanowski Cope

Andrew Orlik Chasuble

Martin Pawlowski Chandelier

Albert Hernacki Chasuble

Martin Ewert Chasubles

John Myszka Chandelier

A. Nowicki Priedieu (Kneeler)

Stanley Dutkiewicz Candelabra

(Page 258)

Policarp Dorff Bell

John Witucki Candlesticks

Paul Lukowicz, Witkowski,

Plewka, Bialorucki,

Grzecka, Wojciechowski, etc. Other Items

Sacred Heart Society Sacred Heart Statue

Rosary Ladies and Young Ladies Altar Linens

Rev. Edward Kozlowski One Lot

Rev. Alexander Lipinski Gold Knobbed Cane

Rev. Marianus Matkowski Gold Watch

It is incumbent here to make mention of the respected and venerable pastor of St. Isidoreís, a true friend of the Parish of the Sacred Heart, the late Rev. Marianus Matkowski. During the initial days of the foundation of the parish, he especially aided the young Father Krakowski with his invaluable counsel in the latterís difficult assignment which was beset with roadblocks. He encouraged him onwards. Honor to his memory!

The new parish also found many sincere well-wishers in the parishes of St. Adalbert and St. Isidore. A list of these benefactors is found in the offerings. (6) To this very day, the parishioners of "Heartís" (7) recall the names of these friends of theirs and gratefully they bless them.

Father Krakowski, apart from building the school, built a parish-house and a home for the Sisters, and in 1903 (sic) he purchased more lots for $1500, so as to complete the parish property in such a way that it would comprise an entire city block. (8) After the construction of the school, rectory, and convent, Father Krakowski did not cease working. Already then, he began to gather funds for a permanent church. In 1904 (sic), there was already $1500 in the parish treasury, the beginning of a fund for the construction of the church. (9)

In 1913, Rev. Edward Kozlowski was raised to the dignity of Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Bay City, one of the largest in the diocese, was without a pastor. Bishop Richter, evaluating Father Krakowskiís work and exemplary administration of "Heartís", without the slightest hesitation, appointed him pastor of this parish which already consisted of approximately 1200 families. In January of 1914, the parish bade farewell to its beloved pastor who stood at its helm for eleven years. It bade him farewell, sadly for the people knew they were losing their founder, their zealous pastor, and their benefactor. Alas, one thought gave them great comfort and that was that their pastor was being singled out and was being honored for his exemplary work with a merited advancement. To this very day the people at "Heartís" affectionately and gratefully recall the efforts and the zeal and the total commitment of Father Krakowski. The fact that the Parish of the Sacred Heart was formed and the fact that in so short a span of time, despite intense opposition , it has developed and has been so well administered, is acknowledged by all, after divine blessing, to have been the result of the dauntless energy and the indefatigable labors of Father Krakowski. Because of this , as a gesture of recognition, this area of "Heartís" is proud, even to this day, to be known as "Krakowo" (Cracow).

At the behest of Father Krakowski various societies were formed in the parish. A fraternal Mutual Aid Society, under the protection of the Sacred Heart, was founded on September 6, 1903. A Young Menís Society, under the patronage of St. Ladislaus, was organized on May 22, 1904. The Ladies Rosary Society was established on January 4, 1904. A Young Ladiesí Sodality was formed in March of the same year. The St. Joseph Society was organized on July 22, 1906. The Parish choir developed beautifully under the direction of Messrs. Damsky and Furmankiewicz, and especially so under Maximilian Wojtalewicz.

Bishop Richter appointed Rev. Joseph Kaminski, the pastor of St. Maryís Parish in Alpena, Michigan, as Father Krakowskiís successor. Father Kaminski performed his first service on Candlemas Day, February 9, 1914 .(sic). (10) The people of Sacred Heart welcomed the new pastor affectionately and with good wishes for they already knew him as a lad who went to St. Adalbertís School. They knew him as a student and seminarian, and they even remembered him as a chap who used to deliver groceries to their homes.

Under Father Kaminskiís administration the parish developed even further. There was no need of the intense initial effort because the foundation had been firmly laid and the strategy for the future was well planned. The pastorís responsibility was to maintain that which had already been built and with the development of the parish, as the need arose, to build. It so happened that the biggest need of the parish was the enlargement of the school. More and more families were moving into the confines of the parish, and with families there came children. A school is the lighthouse of a parish, and so with this in mind, under the guidance of the pastor, the people began to work in this direction.

(Page 260)

In 1918, an addition to the school of four classrooms was erected at the cost of $20,000. (11) Two years later, the second floor of the original school was transformed into classrooms. Since even this did not suffice, a temporary "Bungalow School" of six classrooms was erected with an outlay of $11,000. Presently the school is able to accommodate all the children of the parishioners. Since the accommodations for the Sisters were so limited, a private residence was purchased for $7,000 and remodeled to provide sleeping quarters for the teachers. In addition, six lots across from the church were procured to serve as a playground for the children.

The crowning achievement of the parish Ė and one of which it may well be pardonably proud Ė is the magnificent church, the House of God. Already on February 29, 1920, at a parish meeting, it was unanimously agreed to build a new church. This building project was begun with dispatch. Bishop Edward Dennis Kelly blessed and laid the cornerstone in September of the same year. Initially the basement was completed, and on January 30, 1921, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Casimir Skory blessed it. From then on all services were conducted in it. The following year the superstructure was erected, and in the course of 1923, the interior was completed.

Christmas of that year will long be remembered by the parishioners because at midnight the pastor officiated at the "Pasterka" (The Mass of the Shepherds) in the new church. It is difficult to describe the deep impression which the appointments of the sanctuary, the solemn ceremony, and the sermon had made on the parishioners. Marvelous, indeed, was the sight when the darkened church was illuminated and there came into view the beautiful new altars, tastefully decorated with flowers and palms. The same can be said for the pulpit, the Communion rail, the new pews, and the artistically executed Stations of the Cross. In a word, the entire church appeared in the full spendor of it beauty and magnificence.

This church has been built in the style of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome. The coffered ceiling is masterfully executed. The pillars have been placed at the sides so that they do not obscure the altars and the pulpit. Experts have affirmed that this church can be considered one of the most magnificent, not only in the diocese, but in this entire area. This church will forever remain a monument of the faith and love and generosity of the people of "Heartís".

(Page 261)

Four big bells, costing $6,000, have been lifted into the belfry. New pews have been placed in the nave. They cost $7,000. Three new altars, a pulpit, and communion railings have been installed in the sanctuary at a cost of $6,000. New vestments have been purchased for several thousands of dollars. The entire structure, with heating and plumbing and electrical work, cost $225,000.

For a period of time the assistant priests from St. Adalbertís helped Father Kaminski in his pastoral ministrations. Rev. Thomas Noa, a professor at St. Joseph Seminary, came as a weekend assistant from September 1917 to November 1921. At that time Rev. Roman Kosnik was appointed as resident assistant. He served until July 1923, when Father Noa again came and assisted until February, 1924. It was then that the bishop appointed Rev. John Szydlowski assistant. He served in that capacity until October 1925. Once more, Rev. Dr. Thomas Noa came and helped out until April 1926. The present assistant, Rev. Adalbert Narlock, came to the parish on April 3, 1926.

Sacred Heart Parish has given three priests and one religious brother to the Church. They are Rev. James Czachorski, Rev. Casimir Krzywicki, Rev. Francis Lukowicz, and Brother Hyacinth (Edward Sniatecki) of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

The following young ladies, daughters of parishioners, have entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame:

Sister Mary Estra Szymczak

Sister Mary Renalda Matulewicz

Sister Mary Philonella Zomberg

Sister Mary Reginalda Szymczak

Sister Mary Irmina Pienta

Sister Mary Melitona Gajerowicz

Sister Mary Sulpicia Gajerowicz

Sister Mary Aloisia Gajerowicz

Sister Mary Nobilis Frankowski

Sister Mary Bonawentura Ziomkowski

Sister Mary Austiana Myszka

Sister Mary Angela Radlicki

Sister Mary Francella Nierzwicki

Sister Mary Valeria Wachowiak

Sister Mary Fulgentia Witucki

Sister Mary Eleanore Witucki

Sister Mary Halina Kaczanowski

(Page 262)

Sister Mary Antilia Plewka

Sister Mary Auxentia Wojciechowski

Sister Mary Rufina Bochniak

Sister Mary Imeldina Antoszczak

Sister Mary Clotilda Grzegorski

Sister Mary Epiphany Myszka

Helen Matel

Pelagia Frankowski

Blanche Sieminski

MaryLukowicz

The following young ladies have entered the Felician Sisters:

Sister M. Bartel Szczepanski

Sister M. Virginette Wiktorowski

Sister M. Florence Chlebek

Sister M. Beatrice Klejna

 

The Rectory

Father Ladislaus Krakowski left St. Adalbertís rectory on May 31, 1905 (sic), and took up residence in the confines of his own parish. A private house was rented, a goodly number of blocks distant from the church, and it was supplied with the most necessary furnishings. Such arrangements were not at all suitable. However, the pastor willingly tolerated this lack of accommodations for the proximately of his worthy and well-wishing parishioners mitigated this inconvenience. Not for long did the people allow their pastor to reside in property owned by others. Already in 1905, a commodious parish-house was built near the church at a cost of $5,000.

The Sistersí Home

From the beginning, living accommodations for the Venerable Sisters were provided in the school building. Because of the fact that the number of children was constantly increasing, the school became too small. For that reason it was absolutely necessary to provide accommodations for the Sisters. The parishioners again gladly offered contributions for a new home for the nuns. A fine residence was built for them in 1906 (sic) at a cost of $9,000.

The School

The Sister-teachers, with Sister M. Cyril as superior, arrived in January 1905, from the Motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There were 140 children enrolled in the school. (12)

From its very beginnings the school consisted of eight grades. (13) In 1918, at the behest of Rev. Joseph Kaminski, an addition of four classrooms was made to the school at a cost of $21,000. In 1920 the second floor of the school, which up until that time served as a temporary church, was remodeled into class space. In 1925, a temporary school building, consisting of six rooms, was built for $11,000. Presently there are about 900 pupils being educated in the parish school. The curriculum embraces ten grades, i.e. eight elementary grades and two years secondary. The entire school includes seventeen classrooms in which seventeen religious, one lay person, (14) and the parish assistant, Rev. Adalbert Narloch, teach.

The parish school is comparable in every respect to other schools. Of this the parishioners are convinced for they gladly send their children to the parochial school, and they make generous contributions for its maintenance.

The following Venerable Sisters presently teach and work in the parish:

Sister M. Genevieve, Sister M. Prudencial

Sister M. Ursulina, Sister M. Antima

Sister M. Orata, Sister M. Hippolita

Sister M. Euthemia, Sister M. Romuald

Sister M. Natalie, Sister M. Melanie

Sister M. Marcella, Sister M. Anaclete

Sister M. Theodore, Sister M. Donatilla

Sister M. Carola, Sister M. Stanislaus

Sister M. Eusebia, Sister M. Bellanda

Sister M. Agnola,

Superior Sister Mary Ambrosiana

Miss Helen Merdzinski

The following Sisters have taught here:

Sister M. Cyril, Sister M. Cantia

Sister M. Susanne, Sister M. Tita

Sister M. Bronislaus, Sister M. Bogumila

(Page 264 & 265)

Sister M. Esdras, Sister M. Vladimir

Sister M. Martin, Sister M. Marcela

Sister M. Chester, Sister M. Protase

Sister M. Lea, Sister M. Berteline

Sister M. Ewaldine, Sister M. Victorine

Sister M. Pientia, Sister M. Monalda

Sister M. Amerine, Sister M. Armela

Sister M. Parmenia, Sister M. Thilla

Sister M. Orlanda, Sister M. Discola

Sister M. Mamelta, Sister M. Hugonia

Sister M. Momona, Sister M. Michael

Sister M. Peter, Sister M. Salomea

Sister M. Thaddea ,Sister M. Adelfina

Sister M. Xaverine, Sister M. Clarana

Sister M. Aquin

The Present Value of the Parishís Investments

According to Expert Opinion

The new church $225,000.00

School 85,000.00

Rectory 15,000.00

Convent 27,000.00

Property 26,000.00

New pews in church 8,000.00

Altars, Pulpit, Com. Rail 9,000.00

Bells 6,000.00

Organ 10,000.00

School seating, etc. 8,000.00

Rectory Furnishings 2,000.00

Convent Furnishings 2,000.00

Vestments and Linens 4,000.00

Total $427,000.00

Parish Societies

The following societies exist in the parish:

The Sacred Society

St. Ladislaus Society

St. Stanislaus Kostka, affiliated with the Polish Roman Catholic Union (Zjednoczenie

St. Joseph Society, affiliated with the Catholic Order of Foresters

St. Stanislaus Society for Boys

The Rosary Ladies

The Young Ladies Sodality

The Third Order of St. Francis

Mothersí Club

The Children of Mary

The Parish Choir under the patronage of St. Cecilia

Written by: Rev. Joseph S. Kominski

Spring 1929

Translated by: Eduard Adam Skendzel

December 29, 1975

Page 56

ÖCukierski (Cukerski), a prominent pioneer Grand Rapids Polander and member of Sacred Heart Parish. It was under his aegis that John Ball Park became the most scenic and largest park of the city with many facets of interest, including the city zoo. It was this same Cukierski who eventually planned the beautiful Polish Catholic Cemetery in 1909, known since 1947 as Holy Cross Cemetery.

It was this immediate, beautiful John Ball Park area, eventually to become a choice residential section, which Father Krakowski and his men had wisely chosen in September 1903 as the location of their new Parish of Sacred Heart. What vision on their part! Many of the old pioneer Polish families, as they improved their economic condition, left the older Wojciechowo area (The St. Adalbertís Area) and built new homes in this section of the city.

The Sacred Heart Society

As mentioned, it was the laity who, as in the case of St. Adalbertís Parish, founded the new parish of the Sacred Heart. It was their committee which visited Bishop Richter and proposed the idea of founding a new parish in the southwest sector of the West Side, citing the long distance of almost three miles and more as too excessive. This was quite a hike for their children of school age, especially in bad weather, and also made their attendance at Sunday Mass at St. Adalbertís a real chore.

To facilitate the establishment of a new parish, Father Krakowski and these pioneers founded the Sacred Heart Society on September 6, 1903, at the clubrooms of "The Society of St. Albertus" (St. Adalbertís?) on the corner of Fifth Street and Davis Avenue, N.W. Initially, it was called a "Building Society under the Patronage of the Sacred Heart" (Towarzystwo Budownicze) and it was formed with the specific goal of erecting the first parish building. Within a year, after the achievement of its objective, this group took on the name of "The Sacred Heart Mutual Aid Society".

Page 58

Thus began the "Society of the Sweetest Heart of Jesus." Of primary concern was a method to provided financial support to assist in the construction of Sacred Heart Church. Realizing that a building fund would have to be established and properly administered, the selection of an executive board became the first order of business. This newly-chosen group would ultimately claim the distinction of becoming the Societyís first administration.

The first officers of this group which really was the genesis of Sacred Heart Parish were:

President John Radlicki

Vice-President Joseph Michalalowski

Corresponding Sec. John Myszka

Financial Sec. Peter Chlebek

Treasurer Frank Sniatecki

Visitor of the Sick Anton Nowicki

Councilors Andrew Szymczak

(-Trustees) Martin Ewert

Martin Wiktorowski

When this group became a Mutual Aid Society, the same officers were chosen with the addition of the following gentlemen:

Additional Councilor Martin Nowakowski

Standard-Bearer Joseph Sikorski

First Marshal Casimir Krzyzanowski

Second Marshal Peter Trepka

Sergeant-at-Arms Valentine Szymanski

Parliamentarians Albert Sawicki

Thomas Malewicz

The first efforts of these men, ninety-four strong by the end of 1903, were directed completely toward fund-raising activities. Records indicate that on September 5, 1904, the treasury had grown to a sum of $1,418.05. This represented the profits gained from dances, stage shows, and membership dues. These monies were soon turned over to the church as a form of financial support.

 

Page 59 and 60

Eventually the members directed their attention to the fraternal and protective aspects of their organization and to the construction of their own hall. This they did in collaboration with the little known St. Joseph Society in 1909, when together they built the hall at Park and Lane Streets under the name of Kosciuszko Hall.

Not much is known about the St. Joseph Societyís beginnings. In Father Krakowskiís annual report to the Bishop for the calendar year of 1906, the name of this society appears for the first time.

The St. Ladislaus Society

The full name of this group of young men, then, was "The Alliance of Polish Young Men Under the Patronage of St. Ladislaus. It met regularly on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Its first officers were:

Officer 1904 1905

President Joseph Michalowski A. Krakowski

Vice-President A. Koter H. Wiktorowski

Corresponding Sec. H. Witkowski St. Olejniczak

Financial Sec. H. Bednarek J. Krasicki

Treasurer W. Sawicki W. Sawicki

Trustees N. Dominiak N. Dominiak

A. Krakowski Fr. Malek

J. Wisniewski J. Szczepanski

Marshal W. Malewicz

Visitator Fr. Baczkowski

Standard Bearers M. Radlicki

M. Szczepanski

J. Lorencki

The Ladies Rosary Society

This society was founded on January 4, 1904, for the spiritual purpose of giving honor to the Virgin Mary and also for the practical purpose of caring for the altars. Its first officers were:

Officer 1904 1905

President D. Witkowska D. Witkowska

Vice-President M. Hernacka M. Hernacka

Treasurer E. Amborska P. Michalowska

Secretary A. Trepka A. Trepka

The Young Ladies Sodality

This society was formed in March 1904. Its first officers were the following:

Officer 1904 1905

President Martha Amborski Leocadia Markowski

Vice-President Eva Pienta Agnes Szymczak

Secretary Julia Witkowski Mary Ann Ewert

Page 60 (cont)

Treasurer Anne Radlicki Agnes Myszka

Leaders

Chaplet 1 Leocadia Markowski Mary Ann Zomberg

Chaplet 2 Helen Baczkowski Antoinette Radlicki

Chaplet 3 Mary Amborski Stella Matukiewicz

Page 61

The Founders of the Parish

Who were the founding members of the Parish of the Sacred Heart? Who were the charter members of the parish, i.e., members from the very beginning when it was organized? In view of the fact that no such list exists in the parish archives, the minutes of the first meeting of the Sacred Heart Society do offer a comprehensive view of a goodly number of the founding families of the parish. However, this is not a complete listing because other charter parishioners may have entered the society at a later date and then, too, other individuals may have opted not to join this particular society although they were charter members of a new parish, perhaps unwillingly, when the division between the mother-parish and daughter-parish occurred on May 28, 1904.

Andrew Amborski ,Andrew Orlik

Peter Chlebek, Jacob Pienta

Martin Ewert ,Anthon Plewka

Albert Gajerowicz ,John Radlicki

Stephen Grzegorski ,Karl Rainka

Albert Hernacki ,Stephen Sierota

Thomas Jendrzejczak ,Frank Sniatecki

Valentine Kaminski, Joseph Szalkowski

Martin Koter, Joseph Szczepanski

Albert Kozlowski, Andrew Szymczak

Rev. Ladislaus Krakowski, Valentine Szymczak

Frank Maciejewski, Peter Trepka

Thomas Malewicz ,Martin Wiktorowski

Albert Michalowski, Valentine Wiktorowski

Joseph Michalowski ,John Witucki

John Myszka, Adam Wojciechowski

Joseph Myszkiewicz, Frank Wojczynski

Anthon Nowicki , August Zomberek

Again , the roster of the charter members of the St. Ladislaus Society and its first officers gives names of individuals who also can rightly be called charter members of Sacred Heart Parish.

Chaplain Rev. Ladislaus Krakowski

President Joseph Michalowski

Vice-President Andrew Koter

Secretary Harry Witkowski

Treasurer Albert Sawicki

Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Nowakowski

Page 62

The Charter Members were:

Henry Bednarek, Walter Krasicki

Walter Diski, Michaeal Przybysz

John Dominiak, Martin Radlicki

Nicodemus Dominiak, Anthon Sikorski

Stephen Ewert, John Szczepanski

Peter Holewinski, Ignatius Weszolski

Stanley Koter, Max Weszolski

Martin Kowalik, John Wisniewski

Alexander Krakowski

Even these lists cannot be considered complete since the names of charter families like that of Anton Lipczynski (who made the motion at the May 15, 1904 meeting of the Sacred Heart Society that the area be called "Krakowo" i.e. Cracow) and John Czachorski and Joseph Sikorski are not found on these rosters. The aforementioned surname can well be representative of others who were charter members of the parish, but whose names are not included on any extant roster. There are names like Pattok, Krutel, Kaczanowski, Dondajewski, Matel, Strenk, Hajnych, Lukowicz, Kraiewski, Krzyzanowski, Cywinski, Jankowski, and others that should be recalled.

And we do know that there must have been other pioneer families since in his first annual report to the Diocese of Grand Rapids for the year 1905, which he signed on January 5, 1906, Father Krakowski lists 140 families as belonging to the parish. He lists 41 baptisms of the year which would indicate that most of these were young families in their child-bearing years.

There is still another source that gives a listing of some of the evidently very active and very generous charter members of the parish who not only made contributions for the construction of the church, but who also provided items needed for Divine Service.

Joseph Michalowski The side altar

Joseph Miskiewicz The main altar

John Radlicki Monstrance

John Czachorski Pyx

Andrew Szymczak Sanctuary Lamp

J. Sonnenberg Stations of the Cross

C. Greulich Chalice

Jacob Pienta Cope and Dalmatic Vestments

Frank Sniaatecki Chasuble

Page 63

Casimir Krzyzanowski Cope

Andrew Orlik Chasuble

Martin Pawlowski Chandelier

Albert Hernacki Chasuble

Martin Ewert Chasubles

John Myszka Chandelier

A. Nowicki Priedieu (Kneeler)

Stanley Dutkiewicz Candelabra

Policarp Dorff Bell

John Witucki Candlesticks

Paul Lukowicz, Witkowski Other Items

Welke, Plewka, Bialorucki

Grzeczka, Wojciechowski, etc.

Sacred Heart Society Sacred Heart Statue

Rosary Ladies and Young Ladies Altar Linens

Rev. Edward Kozlowski One Lot

Rev. Alexander Lipinski Gold-knobbed cane

Rev. Marianus Matkowski Gold Watch

Page 71   1904 BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES AND FUNERALS

The First Baptisms

The Sacred Heart Parish registry of baptisms had its beginnings in the summer of 1904. The first three, because of their primacy deserve to be quoted as they were recorded by Father Krakowski.

John Myszak, of Plaster Mills. Born June 5, 1904, to Michael Myszak and Paulina Gajewska. Baptized on June 11, 1904, with Martin Elwert and Agnes Krajewska as godparents.

Helen Drzazgowska, of Dayton St. Born May 31, 1904, to Adalbert Drzazgowski and Anna Szymanska. Baptized on June 11, 1904, with S. Drzazgowski and Josephine Szymanska as godparents.

Chester Dutkiewicz, of Watson St. Born May 30, 1904, of Lawrence Dutkiewicz and Anastasia Pawlowska. Baptized on June 12, 1904, with Anthont Dutkiewicz and Josephine Pawlowska as godparents.

Page 71 & 72

The First Marriages

The very first marriages in Sacred Heart Parish took place in St. Adalbertís Church; the second was the first in the new church. Father Krakowskiís penmanship leaves much to be desired and at times is most difficult to unravel his handwriting. However, persistent deciphering has resulted in the following rendition of his first two entries in the parish register of marriages.

Valentine Kaminski, son of John Kaminski and Anna ____, and Mary Wojtczak, daughter of Frank Wojtczak and ______. The witnesses were Florian Purzecki and Hedwig Wlodarek. It occurred on June 20, 1904, at St. Adalbert Church.

John Lorencki, son of John Lorencki and ________. And __________ Maciejewska , daughter of Matthew Maciejewski. The witnesses were Frank Mallek and Mary Rakoczy.

The First Funerals

The first funerals took place in St. Adalbertís Church. In 1904, there were seven funerals, six of which were infants.

Frances Wierzcholska, aged 39. Died on May 27, 1904. Interment was at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

John Berdych, aged 11 weeks. Died on Sept. 11, 1904, and was buried on Sept. 12, 1904, at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

First Annual Report to the Diocese of Grand Rapids

A synopsis of Father Krakowskiís first report to his bishop on the state of the parish for the first full year of its formal existence gives a good view of the condition of the fledgling parish. This report for the year 1905 was signed by him on January 5, 1906

Families 140 Confirmation 50

Baptisms 41 Marriages 12

First Communion 30 Funerals 9

Church goods acquired: Organ $1000.00

Altars 180.00

Sidewalks 131.40

School Seats 221.25

Convent Furniture 85.00

Societies: Sacred Heart 90 Menís Rosary 15

St. Ladislaus 40 Womenís Rosary 75

St. Stanislaus 34 Young Ladies 60

Page 73

Father Krakowski refers to Sacred Heart Church as the eighth Catholic Church in the City of Grand Rapids:

1. St. Andrew 1833 5. St. Joseph 1887

2. St. Mary 1857 6. St. Alphonsus 1888

3. St. James 1870 7. St. Isidore 1897

4. St. Adalbert 1881 8. Sacred Heart 1904

On would wonder why SS. Peter and Paulís is not listed. The St. Adalbertís Golden Jubilee Book of 1931 records 1903 as the date for SS. Peter and Paul.

Page 81

In September 1905, school reopened with forty new pupils with two boys and two girls in grade 8. However, it was only in June 1908, that there were any Grade 8 graduates. They were:

August Mazurkiewicz John Bonczkowsi

Anthony Gajerowicz Stanley Orlik

Joseph Malewicz Wanda Nowicki

Page 86

Polish Catholic Cemetery

80 Acres of beautiful rolling terrain, out Walker Road, purchased in July, 1909 for $7,800. Wencel Cukierski was commissioned to design a complete plan of roads and burial areas.

Known as the Polish Catholic Cemetery until its name change after World War II, in 1947, to Holy Cross Cemetery. Dedicated on Octoer 24, 1909, by Bishop Peter Rhode, Auxiliary of Chicago.

Page 118

Sacred Heart "High School "

The school remained the object of Father Kaminskiís concern. Since Catholic Central High School on Sheldon Ave. was so far removed and since he wished to insure that more of the students receive a secondary education under Catholic auspices, a ninth grade was initiated in Sept. 1927, and a tenth grade in Sept., 1928. At the end of the school year there were approximately 900 pupils in the parish school, taught by seventeen nuns, one lay person, and one priest. Miss Helen Merdzinski, the first lay teacher ever to teach at Sacred Heart School, taught high school English while Rev. Adalbert Narloch taught French and Polish. There were twenty-three Sisters assigned to Sacred Heart School.

Page 121

 

The Silver Jubilee Ė May 30, 1929

Page 140

The surprising and unexpected departure of a respected pastor brought sadness and nostalgic memories to his people. They wrote a resolution which well expressed their sentiments.

"Whereas, the Rev. Joseph S. Kaminski, pastor of Sacred Heart Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his resignation in November, 1931, has faithfully and zealously laboured for eighteen years in the Church spreading the Word of God and peace and good will amongst his flock; and

Whereas, the fruits of his efforts in our behalf, both in spiritual and temporal matters, have left an everlasting memorial of his faithfulness, devotion, and zeal in physical properties of the Church, as well as within our hearts, in the love and affection we bear him,

Now, therefore, we a Committee of the members of the said Parish, in behalf of them all, desiring publicly to attest to the foregoing, do hereby declare our deepest and lasting appreciation and gratitude, and affection toward him for his long, untiring, and fruitful labours in our behalf in token of our high esteem and reverence justly deserved by him." (sic)

John Lach John Olejniczak

V. Boruta Szczepan Niewiadomski

Stanislaw Palaszek Antoni B. Rosloniec

Tomasz Bochniak Antoni Oracz

Piotr Purczynski Lukasz C. Popielarz

Frank S. Dominiak Vincent Gryczanowski

Stanislaw Herda Franciszek Saganski

Jozef Heinich Roman Androkowicz

Stanley Batory Jakub Walendzik

Stanislaw Golas Antoni Borek

Page 154

Father Joseph Francis Karas

It was Father Karasí delightful task to welcome and to present Bishop Joseph Casimir Plagens (1941-1943) to the people of Sacred Heart upon the latterís visit in 1941 after his arrival to Grand Rapids, as Bishop Pintenís successor, on February 18, 1941.

Father Karas formed the conference of the Society of St. Vincendt de Paul at Sacred Heart Parish in 1945.

Died at age 52 in St. Maryís Hospital on January 11, 1947.

Page 161

The custom of giving a newly-born infant the name of the saint on whose day it was born, which had been widely followed by the rural population of Poland at the time of the early emigration, certainly was discarded.

ASSOCIATE PASTORS

Pages 320 & 321

                 

ASSOCIATE PASTORS AT SACRED HEART PARISH +

                 
                   

Rev.

Thomas L. Noa

 

Sept.

1917-

Nov.

1921

     
 

(Week-ends)

 

July

1923-

Feb

1924

     
     

Oct.

1925-

April

1926

     

Rev.

Roman A. Kosnik

 

Nov

1921-

July

1923

     

Rev.

John E. Szydlowski

 

Feb

1924-

Oct

1925

     

Rev.

Adalbert A. Narloch

 

Apr

1926-

Oct

1929

     

Rev.

Leo I. Zielinski

 

Oct

1929-

March

1932

     

Rev.

Anthony P. Arsulowicz

   

1932

         

Rev.

Stephen J. Kozak

 

Mar

1932-

Apr

1934

     

Rev.

Casimir E. Walkowiak

 

Apr

1934-

May

1935

     

Rev.

Francis Kupinski

   

1935

         

Rev.

John J. Bozek

 

May

1935-

May

1936

     

Rev.

Bernard L. Sikorski

 

May

1936-

May

1939

     

Rev.

Edward A. Chmielewski

 

May

1939-

March

1944

     

Rev.

Ceslaus Klimowicz

 

Mar

1944-

June

1946

     

Rev.

Henry J. Niedzwiecki

 

June

1946-

May

1947

     

Rev.

Herman S. Kolelnda

 

June

1947-

July

1949

     

Rev.

Joseph F. Wierkierak

 

July

1949-

Aug

1951

     

Rev.

James L. Jendrasiak

 

Aug

1951-

Apr

1953

     

Rev.

Stanislaus Matiss

 

Nov

1951-

June

1956

     

Rev.

Casimir Zawacki

   

1953

         

Rev.

Edward S. Orlowski

 

Oct

1953-

June

1954

     

Rev.

Edward A. Roczen

 

June

1954-

May

1957

     

Rev.

Vincent J. Kamarauskas

 

June

1956-

Sept

1959

     

Rev.

Victor G. Kaleckis

 

Sept.

1957-

Oct

1961

     

Rev.

Dominic Lengvinas

 

Sept.

1959-

Nov.

1960

     

Rev.

Anthony Treska

   

1960

         

Rev.

Anthony S. Trubiroha

 

June

1961-

Oct

1966

     

Rev.

Alvin T. Wallke

 

June

1962-

Sept

1962

     

Rev.

Stephen E. Vesbit

 

Sept.

1962-

June

1966

     

Rev.

Melvin E. Fox

 

June

1963-

Sept

1963

     

Rev.

John J. Wisneski

 

June

1964-

Sept

1964

     

Rev.

Alan M. Langlois

 

June

1965-

Sept

1965

     

Rev.

Daniel Quillan

   

1965-

 

1968

     

Rev.

Richard J. Van Lente

 

June

1966-

July

1966

     

Rev.

Anthony C. Vainavicz

 

July

1966-

Sept

1966

     

Rev.

Donald E. Lomasiewicz

 

Sept.

1966-

Feb

1970

     

Rev.

James M. Bozung

 

Oct

1966-

Sept

1967

     

Rev.

Felix L. LaPres

 

June

1967-

Sept

1970

     

Rev.

Anthony Treska

 

Feb

1970-

Sept

1970

     

Rev.

Norman P. Droski

 

Sept.

1970-

Oct

1973

     

Rev.

Edward Statkus

 

Sept.

1973-

Sept

1974

     

Rev.

Eric Heiquit

 

Aug

1974-

Sept

1974

     

Rev.

Edward J. Kubiak

 

Sept

1974-

         
                   

Note: Franciscan Fathers

                 
                   

During the years 1945 to 1957, the Franciscan Fathers (Pulaski, Wisconsin) on Lake Drive, S.E., also assisted at

                 

the parish. Numbered among them are the following:

                 
                   

Rev.

Thomas Adamiak

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Gerald Stajkowski

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Leonard Bigos

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Benitius Swiencicki

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Bonaventure Bolda

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Martinian Snopek

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Ignatius Stankiewicz

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

Krato Jelenic

O.F.M.

             

Rev.

January Padlo

O.F.M.

             
                   

Deacons: "Transitional deacons" studying for the priesthood, and not, "permanent deacons".

                 
 

Daniel C. Aerts was ordained a priest in January 1978, and Edward A. Hankiewicz in June, 1979, in Rome,

               
 

by Pope John Paul II.

               

Daniel C. Aerts

   

Jan

1977-

Jan

1978

     

Edward A. Hankiewicz

   

June

1978-

Sept

1978

     
               

Page 321

 
                   

Page 63, 64 & 65

                 
                   

Pioneer Members of the Parish- Though this list may be imperfect and incomplete, it might well be the closest thing to a roster of the pioneer members of

                 

the parish

                 
                   

Abramowicz, P.

   

Baran, Juljan

           

Amborski, And.

   

Baranowski, And.

           

Antczak, Fr.

   

Bartnik, Jak.

           

Baczkowski, Joz.

   

Batog, Stan.

           

Bednarek, Henryk

   

Kaczanowski, Jan,

           

Berdych, Fran.

   

Kamyszek, Szym.

           

Biender, Wiktor

   

Kawka, Tomasz.

           

Borek, Tomasz.

   

Kluczewski, Ant.

           

Boruta, Konst.

   

Kolczynski, Frank

           

Brzozowki, A.

   

Kolodziejczak, Fr.

           

Centillli, Bernard

   

Korey, Henryk

           

Chlebek, Piotr.

   

Koter, St.

           

Ciecmiorowski, Wal.

   

Koter, Marcin.

           

Cywinski, Jan.

   

Koter, And.

           

Czachorski, Jan

   

Kowalik, Melchior

           

Czarnecki, Michal

   

Kozlowski, Michal

           

Czechanski, Fran.

   

Kozlowski, Woj.

           

Cukierski, Waclaw.

   

Kozminski, Stan.

           

Dabkowski, Alex.

   

Krajewski, Wal.

           

Dadajewski, Woj.

   

Krajewski, Woj.

           

Danielski, Jozef

   

Krasicka, Jozefa

           

Dickman, Adolf

   

Krutul, Woj.

           

Dominiak, Sylv.

   

Krygier, Juljan

           

Dominiak, Fran.

   

Krygier, Piotr.

           

Dominiak, Roch.

   

Krzyzanowski, Kaz.

           

Dominiak, Nikod.

   

Kubiak, Jan

           

Dominiak, Ant.

   

Kurzawa, Stan.

           

Drzazgowski, Stan.

   

Lewandowski, Jozef.

           

Dutkiewicz, Waw.

   

Lewandowski, Fran.

           

Ekwert, Marcin.

   

Lipczynski, Ant.

           

Ewert, Marcin.

   

Lorenski, Jan

           

Flarski, Miecz.

   

Lukowicz, Pawel

           

Fifelski, Michal

   

Maciejewski, Fran.

           

Fifelski, Jozef

   

Macioszek, Stan.

           

Frankowski, And.

   

Malek, Michal

           

Gabert, Fran.

   

Malewicz, Tomasz

           

Gajerowicz, Woj.

   

Marciniak, Felix

           

Gorecki, Joz.

   

Marczynski, Fran.

           

Graczyk, Wal.

   

Markowski, Jan

           

Grzegorski, Szczep.

   

Masalkowski, Fran.

           

Halas, Piotr.

   

Matel, Antoni

           

Hernacki, Woj.

   

Matukiewicz, Karol

           

Hernes, Marcin.

   

Maza, Ant.

           

Jankowski, Woj.

   

Mazurkiewicz, Kat.

           

Jedrzejczak, Tom.

   

Michalak, Jan.

           

Michalowski, Joz.

   

Rettig, Joz.

           

Michalowski, Woj.

   

Romkiewicz, Kost.

           

Michalowski, Mich.

   

Sieracka, Elzbieta

           

Miszkiewicz, Joz.

   

Sikorska, Kat.

           

Milanowski, Ant.

   

Smigiel, Mich.

           

Milewski, Winc.

   

Sniatecki, Fran.

           

Myszak, Michal

   

Sokolowski, Jan

           

Myszka, Jan

   

Stachowiak, Konrad

           

Nerkowski, Joz.

   

Stachowiak, Tom.

           

Nierzwicki, Wlad.

   

Stachowiak, Jan

           

Niewiadomski, Szcz.

   

Strenk, Winc.

           

Nowakowski, Marcin.

   

Szatkowski, Jozef

           

Nowakowski, Fran.

   

Szczepanski, Jozef

           

Nowicka, Agnieszka

   

Szymanski, Wal.

           

Nowicki, Jan

   

Szymczak, And.

           

Odojewski, Maciej.

   

Tomasik, Waw.

           

Olejniczak, Jan

   

Trepka, Piotr

           

Olejniczak, ST.

   

Wachowiak, Jozef

           

Orlik, And.

   

Welke, Ant.

           

Orlik, Wlad.

   

Welniak, Ant.

           

Orlik, Piotr

   

Wierzcholski, Jakob

           

Paczkowski, St.

   

Wiktorowski, Marc.

           

Pattok, Ant.

   

Wiktorowski, Wal.

           

Pawlowski, Marcin.

   

Wisniewski, Jan

           

Pawlowska, Fran.

   

Witkowski, Jan,

           

Piotrowski, Szcz.

   

Witucki, Jan

           

Pienta, Jacob

   

Witucki, Jozef

           

Plewka, Ant.

   

Wojciechowski, Adam

           

Przybysz, And.

   

Wojczynski, Fran.

           

Przybysz, Fran.

   

Zamiara, Jakob

           

Purczynski, Piotr

   

Ziomkowski, Winc.

           

Radecki, Jul.

   

Ziomkowski, Jan

           

Radlicki, Jan

   

Zymajtys, Ant.

           

Rainka, Karol

   

Zomberg, Aug.

           

Rakoczy, Wal.

                 
                   

Page 121

                 

Sisters in Sacred Heart School 1934

                 
                   

Sr. M.

Grace

Superior

   

Sr. M.

Euthemia

 

Grade

6

Sr. M.

Adelwina

Grade

1

 

Sr. M.

Bertiline

 

Grade

7

Sr. M.

Teneria

Grade

1

 

Sr. M.

Natalia

 

Grade

7

Sr. M.

Aloysia

Grade

2

 

Sr. M.

Bernadine

 

Grade

8

Sr. M.

Marsilia

Grade

2

 

Sr. M.

Romaulda

 

Grade

8

Sr. M.

Prudentia

Grade

3

 

Sr. M.

Regina

 

Grade

9

Sr. M.

Merceda

Grade

4

 

Sr. M.

Praksada

   

Music

Sr. M.

Hieronyma

Grade

4

 

Sr. M.

Hyacinth

   

Dining Room

Sr. M.

Carola

Grade

5

 

Sr. M.

Mundana

   

Cook

Sr. M.

Anysia

Grade

5

 

Sr. M.

Genevieve

   

Laundry

Sr. M.

Jovanna

Grade

6

           
                   

Page 141

                 

Parish Statistics During the Kaminski Pastorate

                 
                   

Year

Families

Baptisms

 

F. Com.

 

Conf.

Mar.

Funl.

 

1914

337

94

 

60

 

60

34

20

 

1915

400

126

 

80

 

80

32

23

 

1916

400

120

 

94

 

94

29

29

 

1917

400

124

 

76

 

82

20

29

 

1918

400

132

 

82

 

90

8

23

 

1919

340

101

 

72

 

80

14

28

 

1920

350

104

 

78

 

83

21

36

 

1921

*

         

21

   

1922

400

102

 

110

 

114

15

44

 

1923

*

               

1924

500

101

 

120

 

124

31

22

 

1925

500

106

 

110

 

114

18

23

 

1926

*

91

 

83

 

+

18

27

 

1927

*

90

 

88

 

+

15

37

 

1928

*

99

 

66

 

+

34

29

 

1929

*

73

 

+

 

144

16

28

 

1930

*

71

 

131

 

191

13

26

 

1931

*

60

 

97

 

+

19

25

 
                   

* The statistics for these years are not included in the Diocesan Archives.

                 

Transcriber: Maureen Slade
Created: 18 March 2004
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/churches/catholic/sacredheart.html