Scores of people gathered on Sunday afternoon, the 12th of December, outside the Dom Polski Narodowy (“Polish National Home”) in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for the dedication of a mural commissioned to honor the heroic exploits of the late +Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv. Measuring 60 feet by 30 feet, it is the largest mural ever created by the artist Rafał Pisarczyk. The artist was quoted as saying: “Dajcie mi ścianę a oddam wam serce.” (Give me a wall, and I will give you my heart.)
The mural depicts the saga of the late +Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv., who shepherded hundreds of Polish orphans during World War II and its aftermath – from their exile in Siberia, to refugee camps in East Africa, and eventually to a new life in Canada. While a vigilant Angel of Poland stands sentry (left) over the group clustered around Fr. Łucjan (above), with their ship on the sea behind them (below), the radiant faces of the children show no signs of fear or pain – only hope and calm. The artist used original photographs to depict the faces, as well as the ship.
A caption from one of Fr. Łucjan’s books – Miłość mi wszystko wyjaśniła (“Love Explained Everything to Me”) offers to passersby an inspirational message: Lekarstwem n wszystkie wspolczesne choroby i bolaczki jest ludzka milosc, ale nie okaleczona, zubozala, czy samolubna, tylko autentyczna I czysta. (“The cure for all today’s modern diseases and pains is human love, but not crippled, diluted or egocentric, only authentic and pure.”)
Dedication by the artist – Rafał Pisarczyk
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were the Most Rev. William Byrne, Bishop of Springfield, who blessed the mural; the Mayor of Chicopee John Vieau; the Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Friars Conventual – the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (pictured below with Rafał Pisarczyk); the Vicar General of the Springfield Diocese Rev. Piotr Calik; the Rector/Pastor of St. Stanislaus Basilica – Fr. Brad Milunski, OFM Conv.; Mr. Tomasz Moczerniuk, who conceived and coordinated the mural project; Mrs. Ewa Konarzewska, principal patroness of Fr. Łucjan’s legacy; various civic and Polish officials; and the artist Rafał Pisarczyk.
See a news story from during the process of completion.