Reverend Marek Bożek
Pastor of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Saint Louis
Proboszcz Parafii Św Stanisława Kostki w Saint Louis
February 15-16: Meeting with Bishop Bilinski: On the weekend of February 15-16 we will host in our Parish the Rt. Rev. Stanley M. Bilinski, Bishop Ordinary of the Western Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church (more info on the PNCC can be found in October bulletin on page 6). He will be the fourth of several guests visiting St. Stanislaus to represent various Catholic, but not Roman, churches and denominations. Bishop Bilinski will deliver his presentation inside the church building immediately after each Mass that weekend. Questions and comments are welcomed.
February 22: Gospel Choir Benefit Concert: February is observed in the United States as ”Black History Month” and we join our sisters and brothers in celebrating their proud African-American heritage. On Saturday, February 22nd at 5:30 p.m. we will host “The Michael Latchinson Singing Ministry” with a Gospel concert. Gospel music has its roots in the spirituals composed and sung by African slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has evolved and changed though the years and today is most recognized as the form it first took in the 1920’s, when Sanctified churches encouraged joyful personal expression of faith. There will be no entry fee and all the funds collected from a free will donation will benefit the food outreach of Mr. Otis Woodard. You do not want to miss this great event!
March 2: “Zapusty” Pre-Lenten Dinner: Please join us for the Zapusty Dinner which is a Polish version of the famous “Mardi Gras” celebration. In Poland it is sometimes called “Fat Thursday”, as it was celebrated the last Thursday before Lent - our last chance to dance and be merry before fast. The most desirable food on this day is “pączki”, a special kind of donut filled with fruit jelly.
March 2: Health Screening: We are excited to provide our members and guests with the very popular Health Screening ministry! Thanks to the generous parishioners willing to donate their time and skills, every first Sunday of the month, from 10:15 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. there will be two nurses (one English speaking, and one Polish) offering free blood sugar and blood pressure testing, as well as some invaluable healthy lifestyle advice.
March 5: Ash Wednesday: The season of Lent starts on Wednesday, March 5th. As a sign of penitential character of those forty days, the foreheads of the faithful are signed with ashes. In our church this will be done during the 7:00 p.m. Mass. We encourage all Parishioners to attend this poignant ceremony.
March 8: “Pride” Committee Meeting: All Parishioners and friends interested in having a strong Catholic presence at both “Pride Festivals” this year (Metro East Pride and St. Louis Pride) are invited to attend an organizational meeting on Saturday, March 8th. We will gather in the sacristy immediately following the 4:00 p.m. Mass (we should start no later than 5:15 p.m.)
March 9: Easter Bonnet Making Workshop:As part of our preparations for Easter we invite our parishioners and friends to join us for the 3rd Annual Easter Bonnet Making Workshop! The Easter Bonnet symbolizes the beginning of the Spring Season. On Sunday, March 9th we will gather in the small room of the Polish Heritage Center from 10:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to prepare our very own special Easter bonnets – please bring your own materials and tools. There will be a limited supply of extra bonnets and supplies available for anyone to use on their special creations. Remember we will be wearing our creations to one of the Easter Masses! Should you have any questions, please contact Debby Freeman-Gray on Sundays after the 9 a.m. Mass in the Polish Heritage Center.
March 9: Discernment Committee Meeting:All Parishioners are invited to attend the next meeting of our Discernment Committee on Sunday, March 9th, at 12:15 p.m. in the rectory. The focus of the committee is to gather information about a variety of choices (different Catholic denominations) we have and to participate in conversations about those choices. The bottom line is that the path St. Stanislaus chooses will be decided by us parishioners - the more we know the better choice we will be able to make!
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.