Polish Heritage Poloniase Ball 2017
Polish Independence Day - November 11 - 99th Anniversary
Our Annual Polonaise Ball on Saturday, November 11, 2017 (also the 99th Anniversary of Poland's Independence) took place at the SugarLoaf Hill Chateau in Chestnut Hill, PA and was a wonderful event enjoyed by all. On arrival, guests were greeted by the piano music of Wojciech Hollender. There were cocktails and appetizers, followed by dinner in the main ballroom and presentation of the Polish Heritage Society Award.
This year's honoree was Father Edward Volz from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. His spiritual journey started in 1984 when he entered the Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1988. For many years he served as pastor in several Pennsylvania parishes. Since 2015 he is Director of the Shrine.
In addition, after the award ceremony there was dancing to the music of the Dennis Ostopowicz Band, and the PKM Dancers led the audience in the traditional Polonaise. Fund raising for the Scholarship Fund included a Chance Raffle with many nice prizes and a Silent Auction for a home wine tasting party. Those who missed this very elegant event have a chance to join us next year.
Born Raymon Volz on September 26, 1941, in Newark, New Jersey, Father Edward's early years were shaped by the European traditions of his grandparents. His father's German family and his mother's Polish heritage provided Father Edward with a rich cultural legacy that has had a lasting influence upon him.
Fr. Edward Volz
His American-born parents, Alfred and Helen Volz, raised their three children in a predominantly European neighborhood. His father Alfred converted to Catholicism from the Lutheran faith. Over the years, the family supported two churches, the Polish parish of St. Casimir, where Father Edward was baptized, and the English-speaking parish of the Blessed Sacrament.
While a student taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph at Chestnut Hill, Raymond became aware of his religious vocation. However, several years intervened between this calling and his entry into the seminary. He attended Weequahic High School and, after graduation, joined the Electrical Brotherhood of Local 52 and began working as a member of the Union.
During this apprenticeship, the call to the priesthood continued. Significantly, the electrical company that hired this young apprentice was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Newark to serve the religious communities there. At this time, the desire to work in the Lord's vineyard reawakened, and Raymond again contemplated entry into the priesthood. Finally, while working one day in a convent, Raymond was challenged by a nun who simply asked, "When are you going to say yes to the Lord?" and walked away. Her words proved to be the catalyst that sent him to the Pauline Fathers.
In time, the call became stronger, and at the age of 22 Raymond gave up his career as an electrician and initially contemplated becoming a Franciscan brother. However, the advice of his great-aunt prevailed. She urged him to go to Doylestown and help build the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa with the Pauline Fathers. On All Souls Day in 1963, Raymond entered the Order of Saint Paul the Hermit and began his journey following Christ and as a religious.
After fulfilling his apostolate in 1964, Mr. Raymond Peter Volz received his religious habit, was renamed Brother Edward, and entered the Novitiate to study for two years, first in Doylestown and then at St. Paul's Monastery in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. In 1966 he professed his first vows and returned to Doylestown.
While at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Brother Edward wore many hats. Under the directorship of Dr. Chase and his wife Virgina, Brother Edward was deeply involved in the efficient management and operation of the first Polish-American Festival. This inaugural celebration also launched the first Adam Styka Art Exhibit, which continues to enrich the Shrine's annual festivals to the present day.
After serving God's vineyard as a religious brother for many years, in 1984 Brother Edward entered Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, where he completed his studies and was ordained a deacon on May 8, 1987, and a priest the following year on June 18. After a brief return to the Shrine in Doylestown, Father Edward became the pastor of Saint Lawrence Church in Cadogan, Pennsylvania, where he served for eighteen years. He was then assigned to St. Mary's parish in Freeport, Pennsylvania, for five years. In addition to his responsibilities as a pastor, Father Edward remained deeply involved with the Shrine and played a vital role in the events held there, especially the Polish Festival held in autumn each year. In May 2015, Father Edward was appointed Shrine Director, and he has also served for the last nine years as the Financial Advisor to the Provincial Council of the Pauline Province of the United States.
Throughout his life as a religious brother and the as a priest, Father Edward has realized his vocation by sharing his belief that God manifests his divine love for us through the beauty of his created World. In that sense then, Father Edward's dedication to the world of art, particularly to the paintings of Adam Styka, is a testament to God's creating love. For perhaps divine providence manifests itself most sublimely in beautiful works of art, where the creating word of God fills the soul of the human artist. In the presence of such divinely inspired masterpieces, we too receive inspiration and an intimation of the heavenly world that we will someday live with the Lord.
1. Irene Musman presents the award to Fr. Edward Volz
2a. Fr. Edward Volz, Administrator of the National
Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown
2b. Program Cover
3. Ball Committee Chair Marie Hejnosz
4. Ball Committee Chair Marie Hejnosz and PHSP President Jean Joka
5. Honorary RP Consul Debbie Majka introduces the PKM Dancers
6. PKM Dancers
7. PKM Dancers
8. PKM Dancers
9. PHSP President Jean Joka, Fr. Edward Volz and Ball Committee Chair Marie Hejnosz
10. Teresa G. Wojcik, Fr. Edward Volz and Teresa N. Wojcik
11. Prizes in the Chance Raffle awaiting winners
Yoda says: If you not ticket buy, prize you win not
12. Eleanor Kirbyson, Andrzej Pustelniak, Irene Musman, PHSP President Jean Joka
You may want to visit the PHSP web pages: www.polishcultureacpc.org/orgs/PHSP.html