Members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the General Joseph Haller Post 111 of the Polish Army Veterans Association walk in the entrance procession of a Mass Aug. 23 at Falcon Field in New Britain.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair opened the 34th annual dożynki, or Polish harvest festival, with a celebration of the Mass.
The event also celebrated the 40th anniversary of ordination of Msgr. Daniel Plocharczyk, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in New Britain; and the April 27, 2014, canonization of Pope Saint John Paul II. The two-day dożynki featured singing, dancing, entertainment, games and recreation for all ages.
In his homily, Archbishop Blair drew laughter when he said that the late Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka of Detroit, who died Aug. 20, once introduced then-Toledo Bishop Blair to Pope John Paul II, saying, “His mother speaks Polish, but he doesn’t speak Polish.” (He does speak some Polish.)
In keeping with the theme of thanksgiving for the harvest, the archbishop reminded Mass attendees that “Saint Paul says that the greatest sins of the pagans was that they had not given to God either glory or thanksgiving.” Archbishop Blair warned of a growing “materialistic atheism” that has led to the banning of the mention of God in the public school classroom.
He encouraged the faithful to heed the words of Psalm 104, which praises God and his works: “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have made them all.... The earth is full of your creatures, and all of these look to you to give them their food in due season.”