In 2016 St. Stanislaus Parish and Oratory in Milwaukee has a lot to celebrate! Another major step in the Church renovation was completed: the Sanctuary received its stained glass windows, ceiling art and statues were redone, the high altar was restored, and a new marble altar rail was installed. But also, the Parish reached its 150th year! Founded in 1866 as the first Polish American congregation, it has been strongly renewed since being designated an Oratory of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in 2007.
In late September the Parish held several very moving, joyous liturgical and social events to mark the anniversary in a big way. Saturday evening the 24th, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki kicked off the celebration with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament for a packed Church. A crowd of about 400 people attended this, along with Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry from Chicago and numerous priests from the Institute and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Then all moved to a grand buffet dinner and festival, marked by Polish food, music and dancing—Archbishop Listecki can still do a mean polka! A new video of the Parish history was shown, along with other photos and information from our archives.
On Sunday morning the 25th, there was a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, including a Consecration of the rebuilt main altar, offered by Auxiliary Bishop Perry and attended by many local and Institute clergy. The Consecration was particularly powerful, not only because few attending had ever seen that sacred ritual before, but also because it vividly brought out the full spiritual meaning of the altar and embedded relics.
The whole weekend was unforgettable, and highlighted how grateful we are to our ancestors in Faith who supported St. Stanislaus for so many decades, to the Institute for serving and restoring the Parish today, and to all the many parishioners who make it live.
As we often say,
Niech Jezus Chrystus, Wieczny Kap?an be?dzie chwalony teraz i na wieki!
May Jesus Christ be Praised, Now and Forever!
– Stephen Sharkey, PhD.