Sunday, February 10, 2013

Władysław Szylwian

On 8 November 2009, when Richard Lennon presided over a 'Mass of Eviction' at the parish church of St. Casimir in Cleveland. A, then, ninety-six year old altar boy, Władysław "Władek (Walter)" Szylwian, a Polish army veteran, and survivor of six years of Nazi concentration camps, disconnected power to the microphone.  This singular act began the parish's open and public resistance to the bishop, and now the parish is open to public worship again; for Rome saw the attempted suppression as unjust, and against church law. Multiple such decrees were simultaneously issued for multiple parishes which also were the objects of episcopal fiat.

This act of non-coöperation ignited an immediate mass public showing of disdain for the offending bishop. Many people removed themselves from church. A singing of Polish anthems civil and Marian were sung by many of those who remained in the building. Richard Lennon and others were dumbfounded. The next Sunday, Cleveland's first street prayer vigil began with a prayer circle outside Saint Casimir church, some other parishes also had such outside prayer vigils. They continued, unabated, until the churches were returned to the parishioners.

To-day, Mr. Szylwian has completed a century of life. He is one hundred years old. He has been discharged from hospitals and another care facility with still active pneumonia on directives by insurance, as of the moment he is at another care facility.

In the parish bulletin this notice appeared:
As we all know, the true life of a parish is
made up of many different components, not
the least of which is the very lives of the
people who are a part of it and, indeed, form
that which it is.
We at St. Casimir’s are blessed with a
wonderful group of very dedicated and
generous parishioners. They are really “true
believers” whose very identity is inseparably
tied-in with their faith and their parish

One such person, who to many has become a
public face identified with St. Casimir’s, is
Today, Wladek turns 100 years old!!! A
milestone by any means, it is further
amplified by the fact of Walter’s hard life
through the trials of World War II. For
many years, he has been a backbone of our
parish...a kind, steady, faithful, and helpful
presence spanning the decades. Since “sto
lat jest za malo”, we wish him ad multos et
plurimus annos! As he has currently taken
ill, we send him our love, our prayers for a
full and speedy recovery, and our fond
remembrance of his contributions to Polonia
and the life of our parish. Bog Zaplac!!!
Postscriptum 21 February 2013: Mr. Szylwian died last night.
Postscriptum 26 February 2013: Walter Szylwian unplugged (click Plain Dealer obituary)

No comments:

Post a Comment