November - Month of Remembrance and Prayer

with the Polish Catholic Community

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It is the Polish tradition that on All Saints' Day in all cemeteries in Poland a Holy Mass for the dead should be celebrated. Polish emigrants cultivate this tradition all over the world, also here in Adelaide, far from their family home.

It was a historic event for the Polish community when chaplain Fr. Michal Skiba SChr organized a pilgrimage to the cemetery in Sevenhill to celebrate a special Mass in memory of the first Polish settlers who were buried there. Most of them came to Australia about 150 years ago and settled in the Polish Hill River.

 

On Sunday November 4, Fr. Michal celebrated the Holy Mass in the cemetery, followed by the procession with the consecration of all the graves. During the procession, people recited the rosary for the intention of the fallen in this cemetery. About 50 people from Adelaide came for this occasion and everyone had the opportunity to lay a symbolic flower on the graves of their ancestors.

 

After the procession, Fr. Michal Skiba invited everyone to go to the St. Aloysius ’Church in Sevenhill to lay a wreath in front of the tombstone of the first Polish chaplain, Fr. Leon Rogalski S.J. In 1869 Fr. Leon was sent on a mission to South Australia to provide pastoral care to the Poles who settled in the Polish Hill River. He passed away on 3 June 1906 and was buried in the crypt of the St Aloysius’ Church.

 

This pilgrimage will be permanently included in the polish liturgical calendar and Fr. Michal Skiba committed himself to come to the Sevenhill cemetery and celebrate a special Mass in memory of the Polish ancestors.