WEST SIDE DETROIT POLISH AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
HOLDS NINTH ANNUAL OP?ATEK –
HONORS FELICIAN SISTERS ON 140 YEARS IN NORTH AMERICA:
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014 –
FELICIAN SISTERS PRESENTATION CHAPEL, LIVONIA, MICHIGAN
Photos by Dianne Zak Marietti, Laurie A. Gomulka, and Lawrence A. Choraszewski
(Reprinted with Permission)
On the cold winter afternoon of December 28, nearly 200 people gathered in the beautiful Felician Sisters Presentation Chapel in Livonia to celebrate the season. The West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society holds its Annual Op?atek each year between the Christmas and New Year holidays to extend the Christmas festivities. Traditionally, the Society honors a group or organization at this event that has made a significant contribution to our west side Polonia. On this, the Society’s ninth year, it was the perfect occasion to honor the Felician Sisters on their 140th anniversary in North America. With the help of Sister M. Margaret and the support of Sister M. Angela and all the other Sisters, the event came together splendidly.
The Sisters greeted everyone with warm smiles. Ms. Laurie A. Gomulka, Vice President & Executive Director/Secretary of the Society, welcomed the guests, thanked the Felician Sisters, and presented a framed certificate of appreciation to the Sisters, which was graciously accepted by Sister M. Nancy, who was in town for the holidays from Pennsylvania. Sister Nancy gave a brief history on the Felician Sisters and expressed her gratitude for the honor on behalf of all the Sisters. Next, a delightful array of kol?dy was presented by the Filarets Choirs under the direction of Dr. David Troiano-Olszewski. Many guests sang along to the familiar Polish Christmas carols, but there were some fresh and interesting carols presented as well.
Following the concert, everyone proceeded to DeSales Hall in the lower level of the Chapel for a wonderful reception. Rev. Gary Michalik, President of the Society and Pastor of St. Colette Catholic Church in Livonia, once again welcomed everyone with a beautiful greeting and invited all the guests to pray. Everyone then shared the op?atki wafers with one another and in typical Polish style shared wishes with each other for the New Year. A variety of hors d’oeuvres, Christmas cookies, and beverages was beautifully displayed by the staff, and it didn’t take long for the guests to begin enjoying the great food and even sharing Christmas cookies brought from home as well. Accordion playing, toe-tapping, singing, renewing friendships, merriment and socializing followed throughout the afternoon.
The Society is grateful for the wonderful friends they have in the Felician Sisters, the Filarets Choirs, and the memories that they created once again as they closed out another year. Everyone in the West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society looks forward to creating many more memories in the year to come!