By Lindsay Carey
The Holy Trinity Polish National Catholic Church on Summer Street in Plantsville will have their 100 year anniversary celebration in October.
The anniversary is a special opportunity to celebrate the families who have had five generations grow up within the church.
“We’re a family,” said Rev. Joseph Krusienki, who has been with the church for 43 years. “We’re not numbers. We’re not faces. We’re people.”
The church will honor the 16 men from the Southington area that separated from the Roman Catholic Church, because of the restrictions and discrimination felt by the Polish in 1914.
Polish immigrants formed their own church because they could not hear mass in their native tongue, were not represented in secular church decisions and also because they had to submit to the priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Poles were not allowed to go upstairs to worship in the sanctuary,” said church member Arlene Strazzula. “They were told to go down to the cellar, because they weren’t good enough. This is coming from tales that our grandfather told us.”
The family oriented church still consists of several members that come from the original founders and Holy Trinity’s earliest members.
“When I see young children I’ve baptized grow up, it’s a great feeling,” said Krusienki. “It’s nice to see the generations going forward.”
Strazzula and Marilyn Folcik, the chair of the Parish Committee, said that their grandfather was one of the 16 to establish the Holy Trinity church on July 11, 1914. After forming, they began holding services on the second floor of Taylor’s Grocery, where Strazzula and Folcik’s grandparents were married.
Later, the 16 founders purchased land on Summer Street and began building the foundation of the church with their own hands.
From her grandparents to down to her grandchildren, Strazzula’s family represents five generations of members. There will be a memory book for the anniversary celebration that will feature the families that have been a part of the church for a long time.
Two families at Holy Trinity still have four generations of church members living.
“We’re diehards. We’re survivors. We’ve got a lot of history,” said Folcik. “We’re always that little white church. We always kind of get pushed aside, but we’re still standing here after 100 years. That says a lot. It’s not a big church, but we have a lot of heart.”
The celebratory mass, set for Sunday, Oct. 19, by Most Rev. Anthony Mikovsky, Prime Bishop, Most Rev. John Swantek, Prime Bishop Emeritus, Right Rev. Paul Sobiechowsk, Bishop Eastern Diocese, and Very Rev. Krusienski, Pastor, Clergy of the Eastern Diocese will begin at 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity and a banquet dinner at the Aqua Turf will follow. The Saint Casimir Parish in Wallingford will also join in the celebration.
By Lindsay Carey