125th Anniversary Celebrations Begin


Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, of the Diocese of Springfield, MA, was the principal celebrant for the April 17, 2016 Opening Mass of the year long celebration for the 125th Anniversary of the parish of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr (Chicopee, MA). He is pictured with our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (left) and the Pastor and Rector of the Basilica, Fr. Joe Benicewicz, OFM Conv. (right). “The first Mass, a midnight Mass, was celebrated by Rev. Franciszek Chalupka on Christmas 1891 in an unfinished church. It was not only the first church for St. Stanislaus Parish but also the first Polish church in Western Massachusetts.” Our friars have been serving the people of the parish since 1902.


Friar James with Lynn Carney (Cemetery Support – Diocesan Office), Elaine Martyka (Long Time St. Stanislaus Parishioner) and Sr. Norbert Petrucci, SFMA (Chicopee Franciscan Missionary Sister, St. Stanislaus Ministry of Care Office)

April 17th Bulletin Announcement from Pastor, Fr. Joe Benicewicz, OFM Conv.:
125th Anniversary & My Acts of Faith As we begin the celebration of our parish’s 125th Anniversary today, we thank God for the countless blessings and graces that have brought us to this point in our history. The Anniversary Committee, led by Deacon Joe Peters, has been hard at work planning a series of events that will help us celebrate this very significant anniversary in the life of our parish. It was at one of those meetings that the genesis of the My Acts of Faith booklet, that you will receive on the way out of church today, was born. Stop and think for a moment what it took for those who left Europe to come to these shores. They brought little to nothing with themselves, but they brought what they needed the most, their faith. Specifically, it was faith in Jesus Christ that brought this parish community together 125 years ago and it is our faith and God’s grace that will ensure our future. The My Acts of Faith booklet is meant to help us root this year of celebration in prayer, worship, and praise of God through whom all blessings flow. I invite the entire parish family to unite together for a year long pilgrimage of faith. No matter how young or old, no matter if single, married or religious, no matter how mobile or immobile, no matter if an introvert or an extrovert, no matter if of more means or less means, everyone can pray. We will distribute them to all of our home-bound and those unable to attend Mass. The children will have their own form to use. I invite you to use the My Acts of Faith to pray and do good works for the intention of our parish and its future. At our Closing Mass on May 6, 2017, during the Offertory Procession, we offer all of our prayers and good works to God. It has been said that our daily habits ultimately determine who we become. Can you do 125 acts of faith for the parish this jubilee year? Let us travel together, one family in faith, on a journey to a newer, deeper faith life in Jesus Christ. If you would like extra booklets to give to family members just ask the ushers for what you need. I ask you to consider making the Anniversary, Vocation, and Deceased Prayers that are found in the booklet part of your daily prayers. May the Lord bless our celebration this year! I offer a special word of thanks to Jan Peters who was a tremendous help in getting these printed. {Bits of History – Beginning in today’s bulletin, thanks to our parishioner and local historian Stephen Jendrysik, will be a weekly feature offering us a look back at the people and events that have helped form us as the parish that we are today. I am most thankful to Steve for all of his work on this and I hope that you will enjoy these throughout the coming year.}

April 17th Bulletin Announcement

The Majority of Austrian Poles who came to Chicopee were
teenagers. By and large, they were penniless and uneducated.
The males were avoiding military service. These young
men and women were fleeing from the poorest province of
the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Galicia, in southeastern Poland,
was an agriculturally depressed region with a serious
overpopulation problem. Considerable historic evidence implies
that the youngsters planned to make some money and
return to their homeland. ~ Stephen R. Jendrysik