1898 Polish Detroit Notes Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1898

January 1898 Potrzuski and followers consulted with Bishop. They wanted Fr. K to disclose his personal receipts and expenditures. Specifically they wanted to secure the financial books for the school, which Fr. K had always handled himself.

January 3, 1898    3,000 gather at a parish meeting at the schoolhouse where Potrzuski’s slate was elected to the parish. They passed resolutions at the meeting to the effect that management of the parish’s financial affairs was taken totally out of the hands of Fr. K. (p.151) The proceeds from the parochial school along with all fees for baptisms, marriages, burials and other ceremonies were turned over to the new treasurer (not Potrzuski) to be used for decreasing the parish indebtedness. Fr. K would only receive a small fixed percentage of these fees. He also lost his authority to hire the organist and other church officials and was to confine his duties to tending to the spiritual needs of his flock. Fr. K seemed to take this all in stride all appearances were that both sides were willing to patch up differences and make harmony.

Fr. K had lost much of his fiery nature due to poor and declining health. For a several years he had suffered from a heart aliment that sent him into choking spasms. The stress of the preceeding 12 years was taking its toll.

End of March 1898 Fr. K hosted a banquet for Fr. Dabrowski and the faculty from the seminary (at Detroit’s Richter’s Hotel) on the occasion that he received a recent graduate of the seminary as his assistant, Fr. Jozef Folta.

April 4, 1898 (Monday) Fr. K’s physician was summoned to his residence to treat breathing difficulties.

April 5, 1898 (Tuesday) His condition seemed improved but the doctor ordered him to rest.

April 8, 1898 (Good Friday) Fr. K suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body.

April 9, 1898 Bishop Foley spends time with Fr. K praying for him.

April 10, 1898 (Easter Sunday) The doctor trying to treat Fr. K is interrupted by parishioners who don’t trust him and want to treat him theirselves. Bishop Foley appears again and tells the parishioners to let the doctor treat him. Fr. K awakens briefly and kisses the Bishop’s ring to make peace.

April 11, 1898 (Easter Monday) Rev. Dominc Kolasinski died at 7:30am (p.153). Word spread around the parish and mourners gathered at the church. B. Foley came to lead them in prayer.

April 12, 1898 (Tuesday) Fr. K lay in state in SHM church while 15,000 mourners paid their respects. The procession with his body from the school building (and his residence) to the church was led by 6 priests headed by his old nemesis Fr. Dabrowski and he was carried by the Kosciusko Guard.

April 13, 1898 (Wednesday) Fr. K’s funeral. One hour before Mass the church was packed. The Journal estimated 35,000 people inside and outside the church (many non Poles but curious). Hysterical sobbing broke out as Fr. Romauld Byzewski, pastor of St. Francis, gave his eulogy. B. Foley said a few words to the parishioners urging them to pray for Fr. K. After Mass, 20,000 people followed the carriages to Greenwood cemetery to see him laid to rest. A graveside eulogy was given by his brother.

December 1898 Fr. K was reinterred in a stone mausoleum paid for from special collections taken up by his followers. A summary of his estate and the news reporting is on p. 155.

[The reason for Fr. K’s charisma is given as his deep attachment to traditional Polish religious practices and his intense Polish patriotism. He had an innate ability to reach the innermost yearnings and anxieties of those recent Polish peasant immigrants (particularly from Galicia) who were bewildered and overwhelmed by the alien ways of urban America.]

1897 Polish Detroit Notes Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1897

February 1, 1897 SHM church was put up for sale. A Canadian agent proposed a refinance plan and the church was given a 30 day injunction. But he couldn’t come through with the arrangement.

March 4, 1897 The church was sold at auction to the attorneys for the American Savings Bank for $40,000. News of the sale stunned the Kolachy.

April 20, 1897 After a couple of stays from the court a refinancing plan was worked out and the church was re-mortgaged.

Some of the more well to do in the congregation were getting fed up with Fr. K’s financial mis-handling of the parish funds. There were again allegations that Fr. K was pocketing enormous funds for personal expenses. Although Fr. K countered that the parish treasurer (Franciszek Potrzuski, the wealthiest of SHM parishioners) was actually doing it. (p.150)

1896 Polish Detroit Notes Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1896

Mid year 1896 the church owed $56,450 of which $40,000 was to American Savings Bank. The bank was preparing to go out of existence and secured a judgment of foreclosure against the church (well before the mortgage was to expire) and an order for the sale of the property.

1895 Polish Detroit Notes Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

 1895

Must have been a relatively calm time as no events were noted.

1894 Polish Detroit Notes Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1894 (Chapter 5)

January 1894 The Detroit News publishes letters of a debate nature from parish priests regarding the reinstatement of Fr. K.

February 3, 1894 Satolli’s personal representative, Msgr. Donato Sbaretti, came to Detroit to negotiate a settlement with Fr. K. The church wanted the 10,000+ members of SHM parish in their flock.

February 4, 1894 Organ recital is given to dedicate the new organ at SHM. There was a large turnout from the city at large.

Februray 6-10, 1894 Sbaretti and Kolasinski negotiated an agreement to reinstate the parish of SHM into the good graces of the Roman Catholic Church. Fr. K would do a one week period of penance but the church would not be closed (even temporarily). Fr. K would have to read his recantation in 3 languages before his congregation.

Fr. K went to St. Michael’s Benedictine monastery in Chicago for a week of penance. Detroit clergy thought he got off too lightly. Bishop Foley reconciled himself to the reinstatement of Fr. K so as not to antagonize the apostolic delegate.

February 17, 1894 The announcement was made about the rededication of the church the next day. Fr. K let his followers think he was in Washington DC finishing up details of the negotiations and he let them… no mention of his doing penance.

February 18, 1894 Over 10,000 show up to attend the rededication of the church. Some of the crowd feint from being pressed against walls, doors, etc. Fr. K didn’t say Mass but he did give a sermon. (p. 141) after which he had to read a statement of submission and retraction of his errors in 3 languges (Polish, German, English) to the congregation. He did this in little more than a whisper after having given his sermon at full volume. Most of those present didn’t hear him. Sbaretti admonished him twice to speak louder but he ignored him. Then he ended by saying a profession of faith in Polish and descending the pulpit. He was instructed to repeat the profession of faith in English but he refused and the Mass continued. Afterwards he appeared at the Episcopal residence before Bishop Foley where he professed his repentance and made a promise of obedience and kissed his ring.

Fr. K had turned what should have been a humiliating affair into a victory of sorts.

April 1894 Newspaper reporters launched an investigation into the cemetery that Fr. K had bought for SHM parish. He bought it just after he organized his flock but it was nothing more than swamp land. It had drainage problems and sometimes coffins would float up. Many were only buried a couple feet deep instead of the 6 feet required by state law. Nearby residents began to complain of a smell (in April 1894) prompting the investigation.

When Fr. K bought the cemetery he failed to tell the township that he was putting a cemetery in and he didn’t incorporate it according to state law. So after the reporter’s investigation the township filed papers to have the bodies exhumed and the cemetery vacated. The Bishop would not allow the 200+ bodies to be buried in a Catholic cemetery because they died “outside” the church.

April 24, 1894 The township was granted an injuction and Fr. K had to improve the cemetery. It was incorporated as a public cemetery named “Greenwood” and became known as Sacred Heart Cemetery.

The church was still heavily in debt.

1893 Polish Detroit Notes Monday, Oct 16 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1893

January 23, 1893 The News reported that Fr. K was summoned by the church to Washington DC to meet with a supposed confident of the Pope for the purposes of reinstating the priest and his flock. It turned out to be a false report and was retracted by the paper a few days later. P.121.

July 10, 1893 Michael Lipa was born and baptized at SHM.

In the fall of 1893 Fr. K corresponds by mail with Satolli, the Pope’s confident. He restates his case, admits to some irregularities with regards to the handling of the congregation’s affairs. The Roman church is concerned because the massive church is almost completed and now has almost 5,000 families. They want an end to schismatic parishes. Satolli tells Fr. K to make every effort to remove any scandal attached to his name and forwards the paperwork to bishop Foley asking him to consider what resolution might be acceptable. Foley still insisted the only option was for Fr. K to leave and never come back. Other priests in the Detroit Archdiocese started a petition backing Foley’s postion. P.124

The church was finished in December 1893 and Fr. K announced that the dedication would be on December 24, 1893 and the ceremony would be led by Satolli or his representative.

December 22, 1893 Bishop Foley issues a denial statement to the effect that neither Satolli nor his rep will preside and anyone who appears to be such is a phony.

December 23, 1893 Fr. K appears to send and receive telegrams from Satolli.

December 24, 1893 An unseasonably warm day dawns and the new church is dedicated by one Joseph Rene Vilatte a former priest from Wisconsin who was ordained a bishop in India/Ceylon by some priests there. 5,000 parishioners attended the opening ceremony as did a large contingent of police. All drinking establishments in the Polish quarter were ordered closed in an attempt to prevent the kind of violence that happened 8 years earlier on Christmas. The bishop did the blessing with the water thing, then Fr. K said high mass. The sermon was delivered by Fr. K’s new assistant Fr. Ignacy Barszcz. A Christmas Eve mass was celebrated at midnight. The parishioners were thrilled.

1892 Polish Detroit Notes Monday, Oct 16 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1892

June 5, 1892 Fr. K imports a bishop (from Russian Poland) to bless the cornerstone of the new church. Mieczyslaw Hordniecki  turns out to be an unconventional bishop with an unconventional ceremony. His back is kept to the thousands of onlookers and he doesn’t address the group because he doesn’t speak Polish. It turns out the pseudo-bishop was actually a deposed priest from the Chicago area who carried out the ruse and was later exposed by the Evening News.

1891 Polish Detroit Notes Monday, Oct 16 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1891

April 23, 1891 Rail workers on Detroit’s trolley system go on strike p.515 Almanac.

 May 4, 1891 Detroit Polonia celebrated the 100 year anniversary of Poland’s 3rd of May constitution (they celebrated on the 4th because the 3rd was on a Sunday and was a solemn observance). A parade was organized at St. Josaphat and proceeded to St. Albertus and then out of the Polish quarter and downtown. Those from SHM were invited to participate but without banners of Christ. Fr. K drew the line and refused to allow his flock to join in the festivities because he felt his status was threatened. The procession consisted of 20,000 marchers and ended back at St. Josaphat where a picnic was held into the evening hours. Polish neighborhood homes lit candles in all their doors and windows.

 June 1891 Fr. K and his first lieutenant Frederick Raeder had a falling out for reasons unknown. Raeder came after him with a shotgun and Fr. K pressed charges. Raeder claimed the situation was misunderstood and he was released p. 102 in shame and vowed revenge. He wrote and published a manifesto denouncing Fr. K. and the News preprinted it. (Manifesto details p.102)

 June 13, 1891 Anna Clara Lipa was born and baptized at SHM.

 As fallout from the manifesto, Fr. K’s assistant, Fr. Prowdzicki claims K deceived him and left the parish. He was secluded in the seminary where he did penance for his bad judgment.

 July 16, 1891 Fr. K creates a clever ruse to avoid getting a bishop to bless the laying of the cornerstone for the church. P.115. Money is getting tight and K can’t pay the construction workers regularly. Work becomes intermittent and he pleads with his flock for more sacrifice, even mortgaging their homes.

 August 1891 Fr. K attempts to meet with a cardinal in Baltimore to make peace with the church. He is refused. In September he confided that he had given the cardinal a list of conditions under which he would submit to bishop foley. Bishop Foley just laughed.

After that, Fr. K kept a low profile while work on the church continued.

1890 Polish Detroit Notes Monday, Oct 16 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1890

February 1890 Fr. K lures Fr. Wiktor Prowdzicki from Buffalo, NY to be his assistant at SHM.

July 4, 1890 The Evening New proclaimed that Fr. K violated Catholic practices p.104

July 13, 1890 Ex-Kolachy send a letter to the Archbishop of Krakow asking for a statement to the effect that K doesn’t have the right to perform the duties of a priest. A similar letter was sent to a cardinal in Rome. But those who might have been swayed to leave Fr. K had already done so and the remaining devotees were too emotionally committed to believe any evidence coming from hostile ecclesiastical authorities.

July 25, 1890 Fr. K signs building contract for the new Sweetest Heart of Mary church which would be the largest church in the Detroit archdiocese. Description p.100

September 27, 1890 An open letter from Kolachy states the 2,870 families of SHM parish will continue to build their new church.

A description of K’s emotional hold over his flock is given p.107. From p.108… Sunday News, “ religion is as necessary to the hard lives of these people as the oxygen of the atmosphere”.

A description of the rivalry between parshioners of SHM and St. Josaphat’s is given p.109.

Fr. K’s second attorney was Feliks Lemkie.

November 9, 1890 Fr. K is tried in court for an assault charge made against him by Jozef Skupinski. K’s lieutenant, Frederick Raedar took the blame claiming he did it. Charges against Fr. K were dismissed.

December 21, 1890 The new St. Casimir Church is dedicated. The coverage switches from 1889 to 1890 on p.100;

1889 Polish Detroit Notes Monday, Oct 16 2006 

[Disclaimer statement] The information in this post was taken from Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. In some cases the text was copied from the book, but most of it was paraphrased by me. You should not assume any information you find here is true. These are my working notes for a novel (a work of fiction) that I am writing and nothing more. If you want good, solid, well researched information on the subjects mentioned here you should get a copy of Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton (ISBN 0814316719 Wayne State Univ Pr (1981)). [End of statement]

1889

January 19, 1889 Anton Dlugi was arrested on the basis of an affidavit issued by Wayne County Circuit court. Albert Punkey had accused him with the paternity of his 17 year old daughter’s child (born fall 1887). Claimed his daughter was seduced by Dlugi while a student at his school. The child died shortly thereafter. (p.92)

January 23. 1889 Fr. K administers first communion to 250 children of Kolacky. He converted the rear of his house on Beaubien street to a chapel. He starts his maverick flock. The bishops threatens excommunication to any who participate or received sacraments from Fr. K. Kolachy tell him to stick it. Frederick Raeder becomes Fr. K’s spokesman and Kazimiriez Nowak becomes treasurer… reports $17,000 raised by mid January for a new church for Fr. K.

Fr. K marries many in his home. P.95

Early February Fr. K announces the building of a new church to be called Sweetest Heart of Mary. It is build in 4 months. Ground floor is a chapel which seats 1,000 upstairs are 4 classrooms and K’s living quarters. 3 large bells installed.

March 5, 1889 The bishop relives Fr. Bronikowski of his pastorate at St. Albertus… attendance is falling.

March 10, 1889 John A. Lemke is ordained a priest by Bishop Foley at St. Albertus, son of Jan Lemke he is the first native born of Polish descent to become a priest. He is assigned as an assistant at St. Casimir.

March 11, 1889 The bishop names Rev. Kazimierz Rohowski (German) as the new pastor of St. Albertus.

March 11, 1889 Dlugi brought charges against Fr. K claiming he was slandered in speech Fr. K gave on Feb. 10th in which K accused him of having “by fraud and deception” misappropriated large sums of money from the Polish people. Also he brought charges for monies owed him (relatively small amounts).

Fr. K was living at 624 Beaubien at this time. (address)

March 12, 1889 Fr. K was arrested and his supporters vied for the honor of posting his $1,000 bail.

April 3, 1889 The Kolachy then retaliated by charging Dlugi with several money-owed suits (small amounts) meaning to harass him to get him to leave town.

April 12, 1889 Dlugi’s suits against Fr. K were heard in court and testimony was taken for 10 suits against Dlugi. Frequent digressions and interruptions (p.93) in court had the case continued for a week.

April 17, 1889 The judge ruled that the money raised from the picnic for Fr. K rightfully belong to K and Dlugi had to pay him an additional $153. Action on the other suits by and against Dlugi were continued.

May 12, 1889 Sunday News reported Dlugi had fled the city and was “on the Atlantic”. He’d forfeited the $1,000 bond posted by his friend Jan Hansz.

June 1889 Bishop Foley authorizes a new Polish parish to be built on the western fringes of the Polish community at Hastings and Freemont (Canfield). It will be called St. Josaphat.

June 10, 1889 The new church, Sweetest Heart of Mary is complete and Fr. K is escorted from his home on Beaubien to his new quarters at the church, in a magnificent carriage drawn by a pair of elegant horses which the press described as a “gift” from his flock ($1,000). Fr. K says his first mass in the new church.

A description of Fr. K’s elaborate new quarters and pet birds on p.97.

July 28,1889 The cornerstone is laid for the new St. Casimir Church at 23rd and Myrtle.

August 1, 1889 Karolina Lipa was born and baptized at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church.

October 6, 1889 Bishop Foley blesses the cornerstone for St. Josaphat and the new church opened its doors in February of the following year (1890).

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