When it comes to faith, freedom and community outreach, this parish certainly has my respect and gives me hope for a future.
In 1878 there was a large enough Polish presence for a church to be established in St. Louis City. By 1880, construction had begun on St. Stanislaus and by 1882, staffed by Franciscan fathers, people were being welcomed to services.
Parishioners embraced their community and, in 1891, formed a religious, charitable, not-for-profit corporation under Missouri state law called “Polish Roman Catholic St. Stanislaus Parish.” Title to the property was signed over to the Parish Corporation by St. Louis Archbishop Kenrick and the parish has been self-sustaining ever since. They have taken care of renovations after disasters, upgraded the property as needed, added land when possible, and built a beautiful Polish Heritage Center.
There was a time when churches were being closed, properties were being sold, people were expected to fit themselves into new configurations. This was a time when St. Stanislaus seemed to catch hold of the spirit behind the story of their patron, St. Stanislaus Kostka, Patron Saint of Holy Disobedience, because, when they were requested to hand their parish to local church authorities, the Parish Corporation stood firm, they strongly preferred to continue worship, community service, celebration and cultural education where they were.
At St. Stanislaus they say, “When guests arrive, God arrives!” If you have a chance to visit, you will notice their lovely sanctuary, their welcoming smiles, their inclusive gathering . . . as if they actually read “The Book” and decided to “go for it.” If you need someone to talk with, they are there, if you are sick, they will pray with you, they will come visit you if traveling to them is a hardship. They provide for others in the community, teaching, by example, everyone matters.
If you’d like to learn Polish, you’re invited. You can visit from a distance by viewing Homilies on YouTube, you could attend events. You might want to talk with someone with an open heart about your own faith walk, or find someone to stand with you through your journey, It’s possible you have found your new safe place, maybe even your new spiritual home at St. Stanislaus.
“Where Doors And Minds Are Open”