Pastor of SS. Cyril & Methodius Awarded

On June 6, in well known Polish owned and styled Princess Manor Restaurant (92 Nassau Ave) Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY an annual banquet event was held hosted by New York Group of Friends of the Association of John Paul II Foundation. NOWY DZIENNIK, Polish daily newspaper in New York, brought the story on the event in June 16 edition. During the banquet, each year some Polish priests are awarded in recognition of their merits for JP2 Foundation and Polish-American community. This year award went to Rev. Tadeusz Maciejewski, CM, the Pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Lower Greenpoint (since 2006). Earlier, he was vicar in St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Upper Greenpoint (2000-2005). Representatives of Polish organizations in New York and numerous priests from Polish parishes, including Confreres from both Greenpoint Vincentian parishes were present at the reception. Mr.Mieczyslaw Pajak, Chairman of the John Paul II New York Group of Friends of the Association welcomed guests. He was assisted by Mrs. Stanislawa Bogun, chair of the banquet. They briefly introduced history and goals of the Foundation to attendants.

John Paul II Foundation was established by a Papal Decree of October 16, 1981 as a religious, educational, charitable and non-profit organization in response to the historical event which was the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to Peter’s Chair. Its official seat is located at the Vatican. The Foundation owns a building in Rome at 1200 via Cassia (known as Polish House) where the secretarial offices are located. The main goals of the Foundation are: preservation and development of the Christian heritage and culture; collection and preservation of documents and propagation of the teachings of Pope John Paul II; assistance to Christian pilgrims on visits to the Holy See, particularly pilgrims from Poland and Eastern countries; providing educational assistance and scholarships to young intellectuals from Eastern countries to study at the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland. These goals are carried forward by the various established institutions of the Foundation such as Groups of Friends. Such Group of Friends was established in New York in 1997.

Mieczyslaw Pajak (left) and Fr. Tadeusz Maciejewski (right) during the awarding ceremony. (Picture Marcin Zurawicz/Nowy Dziennik)

“Thank You for coming to this banquet in such big number”, said Mr Pajak, the Chairman of the Group of Friends of the Foundation, “Today, we’d like to give thanks to one magnificent priest out of many, the patron of our New York Polish community. Father Tadeusz Maciejewski made himself recognized as superb manager and a great friend of the John Paul II Foundation. He always supports our initiatives in his prayer and his deeds”, Mr Pajak added.

Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewicz, JCD, the pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa and St. Casimir Pariah, Greenpoint recognized in his speech merits of Fr. Tadeusz for Polish Americans. So, did Fr. Rafal Kopystynski CM, the Vincentian Provincial superior. Followed, the artistic two-part performance with religious and patriotic songs by senior students from Casimir Pulaski Polish Supplementary School (St. Francis de Chantal Parish), Borough Park, NY, conducted by Mrs Izabela Kobus-Salkin.

However, the highlight of the ceremony was, of course, honoring the Father Tadeusz Maciejewski – what Mr Mieczyslaw Pajak did by himself. Next, there were flowers and congratulations. Mrs. Dorota Andraka, President of Polish Supplementary Schools Headquarters and Principal of Polish Supplementary School at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Brooklyn, NY read the benediction message from Pope Benedict XVI on the ocassion.

Father Tadeusz Maciejewski CM, 47, born in Bydgoszcz, Poland, is very well known to inhabitants of Little Poland on Brooklyn. He was ordained priest in May 1988 for the Province of Poland of the Congregation of the Mission in Krakow, Poland. In 1995 he arrived to the United States and St. Stanislaus Parish, New Haven, CT was his first assignment as vicar. In 1996 he moved to Greenpoint and stays there almost all time to present. First he was appointed vicar at SS Cyril and Methodius Parish, which bishop Daily of Brooklyn handed to Vincentian Fathers that year in acknowledgement for they accomplishments in pastoral ministry in his diocese. Temporarily, in 2000 moved to St. Peter’s Parish, Concord, NH. Returned to Greenpoint later in the year i became vicar at Sta Stanislaus Kostka Parish. From here he was transferred to SS. Cyril and Methodius again and has been apponited the Pastor and Superior.

Saint Cyril and Methodius Parish in Lower Greenpoint was erected in 1916, when it became obvious St Stanislaus Kostka Church can no longer hold all the pastoral needs of Polish immigrants in Greenpoint. Additionally, numbers of Polish inhabitants increased in the northern area of Greenpint Avenue. Fr. Emil Strenski, pastor of St. Joseph Parish., Jamaica, NY was assigned as first pastor and builder of the parish. In 1935 due to his health condition he was replaced by Fr. Mieczyslaw Mrozinski, who later became Monsignor. There was Parish School staffed by Sister of Holy Family of Nazaret, but it was closed by the bishop Daily in 2000 with stronger opposition from parishioners. Present church, at 150 Dupont Street was build in 1951 repalcing the previous, post Protestant temple at Eagle Street . Vincentians of New England Province took over the parish in 1996 and Fr. Joseph Mietelski CM became the first Vincentian Pastor. After his sudden death of cancer in 2002, Fr. Rafal Kopystynski CM, the present Visitor of the Province became the Administrator immediately. In 2003 he was replaced by Fr Roman Kmiec CM who held the post until arrival of Fr. Tadeusz Maciejewski CM in 2006.

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