.- Members of St. Louis’ Polish community are looking forward toward a new parish home following a year-long dispute between the Archdiocese and St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Parish in north St. Louis. Last month, Archbishop Raymond Burke opted to place an interdict on board members at the parish, who refused to bring the civil structure of St. Stanislaus in line with Canon Law.
Under the current structure, the parish pastor is subject to the authority of the church’s board members. Archbishop Burke has repeatedly pointed out, and even the Vatican has confirmed, that this is contrary to Church Law.
Last year, the Archbishop removed Archdiocesan priests from the parish and transferred pastoral care of St. Louis’ Polish-Catholic community to nearby St. John the Apostle and Evangelist church.
The St. Louis Review reported recently that “About 125 people attend the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass in Polish at St. John”, and that, “The apostolate is served by Father Adam Hurbanczuk, a native of Poland.”
On July 1st however, a parish reorganization is expected to take place in which the community will move from its cramped, shared space at St. John’s to St. Agatha Parish in South St. Louis.
According to many parishoners however, the move is bittersweet, as the hearts of the community remain at St. Stanislaus, which has been home to St. Louis’ Polish-Catholics since the late 1800’s
The Review noted however, that a letter from a new advisory committee for the Polish-Catholic community said that they “reject [the St. Stanislaus board’s] rhetoric comparing their role to that of Solidarity in the fight for freedom in Poland.”
“This comparison”, the letter continued, “is simply insulting to many of us who are parishioners and who personally participated in the fight for the freedom of Poland and drew our strength and inspiration from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."
The Review added that plans are now in the works for the new community to regain semblance of normal parish life including the establishment of a parish finance committee, church directory, and activities like fundraisers and parish dinners.