Monday, October 4, 2010

The History of the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Part 5

Continued from The History of the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Part 4

The second epoch was the epoch of the later development of the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; this was the epoch of the parish rector Father Wojciech Ządała. It is true that in this second epoch t. j. from December 1919, construction was not seen in as large a scale as in the previous epoch, but this was only because all the buildings were already constructed. If necessity is the mother of inventions, just as soon as the construction was cleared up, it was needed again. The new pastor, Father Wojciech Ządała, did not think about future construction, but concentrated all efforts to repay the debt weighing on the parish.

Because of the rapid growth of the parish and the necessary construction of parish buildings, the parish was in debt for $113,100.00. At first glance, this was this enormous sum, but after examination of the number of buildings, this debt was unavoidable. Easily I contribute with worldly fortunes if this parish doesn't have any financial obligations, and if the parishioners readily contribute their offerings, but to lessen this debt isn't child's play, but truly is an enormous effort. Father Wojciech Ządała didn’t lose time. He knew well, because common sense dictates so, that the sooner the debt was paid off, the more and sooner the parishioners would be unburdened. It wasn’t difficult to predict the intentions of the new rector. This was his opinion and conviction that if the debt, however long it weighed on them, they would pay twice as much in interest. Thus, his foremost intention was to liberate the parish from overwhelming debt as quickly as possible.

It is generally said that it is easy to incur debt and to borrow money to construct a huge building, but difficult to repay the debt incurred. On that score, Father Wojciech Ządała proved to be a very talented manager, because year in and year out he paid off the imposing debt on the parish. And in this way, thanks to his savings, which is his outstanding mark, he saved the parish a respectable sum of money, usually turning a percentage in this critical time of depression which was later communicated itself to all, and especially to his indebted parishioners. Naturally the parishioners grew in number, and in measure of this growth, the shortage of places in the school was felt more and more clearly. Until now, the teaching Sisters living on the last story of the school building were deprived of every household comfort.

With the thought of turning the former apartment of the Sisters in the school into the necessary classrooms, for the heretofore overcrowded children, Father W. Ządała conceived a plan for erecting a residential home for the Sisters. After receiving the proper permission from the authorities, he got down to work. The work on this building began in October of 1923, and not until the next year was the Sisters’ residence finally completed. The Sisters’ residential building, except for the chapel and the lower common lodgings, it housed 24 small rooms called cells, and was built at a cost of $52,000.00. Now the teaching Sisters, after working all day teaching the children in the school, could rest comfortably. Without exaggerating in the least, we can claim that in the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reverend Sisters have one of the most comfortable and splendid homes, not only in the city of Detroit, but also in all of America.

In spite of the eager donations of almost all families in the parish, the composite amount was insufficient for this goal. Which is why, to reduce the debt quickly, a large part of the cost of the home for the Sisters was linked to the existing debt, and in this way the debt for the parish increased considerably. This worried the Reverend Pastor quite a bit, and he spoke to the dedicated hearts of the parishioners. On the other hand, seeing the thriftiness of the Reverend Pastor in leading the parish, they rose to the highest level, the parishioners, with Father Ządała standing at the forefront, retired this debt in a comparatively short time.

From "Silver Jubilee Souvenir Booklet of the Church of the Assumption 1912-1937", Detroit, Michigan. Translation from Polish to English by Stephen Danko, 2007.

To Be Continued...

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