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History of St Stanislaus parish, 1897-1982

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History of St Stanislaus parish, 1897-1982

Posted: 1256063777000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Ziemkowski, Pietrasik, Richter, Betka, Gadziemski, Ptaszenski, Majewski , Wojtaszak, Sniegowski, Noa, Faye, Kubacka, Lewandowski , Piaskowski , Malinowski, Koss, Winowiecki, Hass, Babcock, Droski , Schiller , Witkowski, Godzizs
I came across this and thought someone might find it interesting/useful.

Ludington Daily News, 6 Mar 1982

Mrs Claudia Ziemkowski gave the highlights of the history of St Stanislaus Catholic Church:

In 1897, 53 Polish families began a dream of having a church of their own and five lots on Third Street, between Lincoln and Taylor streets, were purchased. The Rosary Society was formed in 1899.

In 1900, the Rev Joseph S Pietrasik was appointed to build a combination church and school. Because of the financial depression, he went to the mills for free lumber, brick yards gave him bricks, farmers hauled stone for the foundation and the parishioners worked two and three hours every day on the church. It was finished in a year's time at the cost of $365 which was paid to the architect.

On 2 Sep 1901 the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in the new church. On 9 May 1901, Bishop Richter blessed the church-school building and placed it under the patronage of St Stanislaus, martyr-bishop of Cracow, Poland.

The first church committee consisted of Anthony Betka, Valentine Gadziemski, Frank Ptaszenski, Michael Majewski and Albert Wojtaszak. The first altar boy, as well as janitor, was Aloysius Betka. The first person baptized was Theresa Sniegowski and the first boy sent to the seminary from St Stanislaus was Bishop Thomas L Noa, bishop of Marquette Diocese.

In 1907, the parish rectory was built and in 1909 the school was started with two lay teachers, Miss Faye and Miss Kubacka.

Several priests served the parish through the years: Father Piestrasik until 1912, Father John Gatzke to 1914, Father Joseph Lewandowski to 1918. During his pastorate, a convent was erected for the Sisters and three Sisters of Mercy staffed the school in 1915.

In May, Father Francis Piaskowski was appointed pastor and in 1919, the Sisters of Mercy were succeeded by the Felician Sisters. Father Malinowski was appointed pastor in 1929 and Father Joseph A Koss replaced him in 1931. Father Koss was instrumental in sending Father Thaddeus Sniegowski to the Seminary and also realized the need of a new church. In 1947, he started a building fund. That same year he was transferred and on 7 May 1947, Father Boniface Winowiecki was appointed pastor. He served at St Stanislaus until his retirement in 1974.

In 1949, the Grotto "Our Lady of Fatima" was erected on church grounds as a memorial in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Rosary Society. Parishioners contributed their labor and businessmen contributed almost all of the materials. On 28 Oct 1951, the Parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

In June 1953, Bishop Hass gave his consent for the building of a new church and it was completed 22 Jul 1955. Transfer from the old to the new church was highlighted by a Solemn Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The formal dedication took place 11 Sep 1955 with Most Rev Allen J Babcock, bishop of the Grand Rapids Diocese, presiding over the ceremonies.

In 1967, St Stanislaus and St Simon schools merged to become the Ludington Area Catholic School. In 1974, Father Norman Droski succeeded Msgr Boniface Winowiecki and began remodeling the rectory. He was transferred in 1975 and with the shortage of priests, the church was placed under the pastors of St Simon church, Father Thomas A Schiller and Father Philip Witkowski.

In 1980, the old building, which had housed the church school, was torn down and the convent was moved to Fourth Street, where it became a private home. In September 1980, the new parish hall was completed and the parish now has its own priest, Father Joseph Godzizs.
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