Corpus Christi Parish will welcome the gifts of the harvest during its 40th annual Dozynki Festival. The East Side parish will celebrate the Polish tradition with a Mass on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. This celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the rosary prayed in five different languages, followed by a bilingual Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz.
The inaugural Harvest Festival was celebrated in 1979 by families whose parents and grandparents struggled to survive on limited food during World War I and World War II until the harvest season. Michael Sikorski and Claude Winkler proposed the celebration to Father Anthony Koniecny, OFM Conv., and the parishioners began organizing their first Dozynki Festival.
This family event presents children and grandchildren an opportunity to understand the bridge between their Catholic faith, the Holy Mass and the world around them. As Catholics, the best way to express our gratitude to God for our blessings is through the Eucharist. The unique Dozynki liturgy procession consists of parishioners offering the traditional Dozynki Wreath, harvested wines, garden fruits and vegetables, freshly baked breads, and a precious shrine made of grain that enshrines the Blessed Virgin Mary. This liturgy offers a chance to visualize and understand that the gifts being offered at the altar, are the gifts of nature from God. The Dozynki Mass is led by children and individuals dressed in native costumes, celebrating the rich culture of the Polish people, and acknowledging the sacrifice of those who have laid the foundation for the community.
At the conclusion of Mass, the festivities move outdoors under the big top and into the parish social center. Chicken dinners, food, live music, dancing and more may be enjoyed by all.
All faith communities are encouraged throughout the region to attend this international experience and visit the beautiful interior ecclesiastic art in this historic house of worship. It doesn't matter what urban, suburban or rural parish you belong to in today's world. It doesn't matter whether you are of Polish descent or speak the Polish language. They are one church with many members. Christ is the head of that Church. Aren't we already living in a multicultural world? As a Polish church, they are expressing their love for all cultures, all customs and all traditions that were brought to America by their parents, grandparents and great grandparents. What better way is there to model your Catholic Faith with the larger faith community as well? All are welcome to celebrate the rich diversity and international legacies that make Buffalo flourish. The Church is many parts and one body - the living body of Christ. As we move toward a bright future in the city of Buffalo, let us together give thanks to God through prayer and celebration, cherishing the memories of our past and looking hopefully to tomorrow.