Upcoming Events

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The 2020 PFA National Volleyball Tournament will take place on March 27-29 in La Porte, Ind.

  • Click here for additional information.

The 2020 PFA National Bowling Tournament will take place on April 24-25 in South Bend, Ind.

  • Click here for additional information.

The 42nd Quadrennial PFA National Convention will take place on July 15-19 in New Britain, Conn.

  • Additional information will soon be available here.

The 2020 PFA National Golf Tournament will take place on August 13-14 in Erie, Pa.

  • Additional information will soon be available here.

To receive updates regarding these events and more, please sign up for emails here.

President Kuzma’s Blog

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January 9, 2020

Happy New Year!

Isn’t it nice how we all start the New Year off with such a positive attitude? Everyone is still feeling the joy of Christmas and every phone call, email, greeting at the store or on the street begins with that Happy New Year! And rightfully so. It’s a great time to be cheerful and optimistic about our lives, our work and our future. But it will inevitably wear off and we will soon be grousing about the cold, the snow—WINTER. That is everyone except those hunkered down in Florida, Arizona, Texas, or anywhere down south. Regardless of the weather or where we live, maybe we can make that good cheer last a while longer. That’s a simple enough resolution.

Patti and I enjoy the Winter. It starts to get to you when Winter won’t let go in March or April, but for the most part we are fine with it. Nothing takes the edge off a blustery January day more than a hot cup of ________ (tea, chocolate, coffee, or something stronger) and a nice warm fire in the hearth. That’s a problem if we are looking for firewood in May, and not for an outdoor firepit.

January is also special for us because this is our anniversary month. This January 4 marked our 28th year of married life. It’s our annual anniversary tradition to go to the Holiday Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. We had some of our wedding pictures taken there and we have gone back every year with only two exceptions. Below is a photo from 1992 and another from this year’s anniversary. One look at me and it’s not hard to know which year each photo was taken. Patti is another story.


For the Polish Falcons, 2019 ended on a deeply sad note as our Legion of Honor Grand Master, Frania Tracz, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 10. I attended the Falcon services at the funeral home and the funeral mass the following day at St. Michael’s Church. I was honored to serve as a pall bearer. It is hard to describe the depth of the sadness of the Members of District V. The time of year, the suddenness had about everyone using the same word—Unbelieveable. Druhna Wendi Kowarik, Nest 36 President and a great friend of Frania, delivered a moving eulogy at the funeral that perfectly captured Frania’s life and the memories we all share.

Frania was such a dedicated Member of the Polish Falcons. Her devotion to the ideals and principals was unmatched and unwavering her entire life. Fittingly, her dedication to the organization was rewarded in 2016 when she was elected as the Grand Master of the Legion of Honor. She was the ninth Member to hold this prestigious position and she truly shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to be elected Grand Master.

Frania was so proud to be the Grand Master. She wasted no time in making changes to improve the awards program. She convened a meeting of the Commandery in 2017 and again in 2019. Her desire was to encourage Nests and Districts to nominate more deserving Members for the Awards they so richly deserve.

For the National Convention this year, Frania was also preparing for the celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the founding of the Legion of Honor in 2020. Just a week before her passing, Frania, Vice President Trish and I had a meeting to discuss the meeting of the Legion of Honor Conclave at the National Convention, and how we were going to mark the Legion of Honor anniversary. Frania was thrilled at the prospect of this celebration. While we still celebrate this momentous occasion this year at the Convention, it will be marked with sadness knowing Frania will not be there to share it with us. But I know that her spirit will be in the room during, just to make sure we do it right. May her soul, and all our departed Falcon Members rest in peace. Czolem!


Just a couple quick items. The National Convention will be here before we know it. We are preparing announcements for the next issue of the magazine and the website. I will keep you informed about what is happening and what you need to know about the Convention.

Also, in addition to the Convention, 2020 is shaping up to be another busy year for Polish Falcons. Druhna Puskar is working hard on the upcoming youth programs. I am also working out the final details of a new and exciting trip to Poland in the Fall.

To help keep Members informed about what is happening in the organization, Communications Director Courtney Caughey-Stambul has started a new weekly news feed that is delivered by email. If you are not on our email list, click here and get registered so you don’t miss any of the things that are happening with the Polish Falcons.

The Story of St. Nicholas

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Today as a part of our Christmas series of emails, we invite you to read the story of St. Nicholas below, and then to make your own St. Nick candy bar wrappers. Candy bars make great stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers, teachers and classmates! To receive our weekly Christmas emails, sign up here.

The Story of St. Nicholas
Written by Samantha Wallace

These days, especially in the West, the day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the Christmas season (although we’ve all seen Christmas decorations going up for sale as soon as Halloween ends). But for Polish people, including the Polish diaspora living around the world, nothing says the holidays are here like St. Nicholas Day (Dzien Świętego Mikołaja) on December 6.

The day is the feast day of the revered Christian saint, who – through his reputation for protecting and giving gifts to children – is generally acknowledged as the inspiration for Santa Claus. However, Nicholas is still separately celebrated for his own merits and contributions to Christianity, especially in Poland, which has a strong Christian background.

Born during the 3rd century in a village called Patara – in an area of what is now Turkey, but at the time was part of Greece – Nicholas was a devout Christian from a young age, at a time when Christianity was still in its infancy and was still being strongly persecuted in some areas of Greece and eastern Europe. He came from a rich background and inherited sizable wealth when his parents died while he was still a young man, but after his parents’ deaths, he used the wealth he inherited from them to, as Jesus proclaimed, “sell what you own and give the money to the poor” – especially to children. This is, most likely, where the idea of Santa Claus/St. Nicholas giving gifts to children began.

Nicholas’ faith and devotion to the poor earned him love and respect from the Christian community, and he was made Bishop of Myra in Lycia in 317 A.D. Due to the turbulent religious times, he was imprisoned and then exiled under the direction of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, but he was eventually released and attended the pivotal Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., which brought together leading figures in Christianity in order to discuss and solve issues about the early years of the faith.

There are many tales told of Nicholas, most miraculous in nature, about his generosity and protection of children. One story tells of a poor man with three daughters; in older times, a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value, known as a dowry, and the larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, however, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were destined to be sold into slavery – but mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home, providing the needed dowries.

The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes for gifts from St. Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold, which is why three gold balls – often represented as oranges – are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas.

Another story tells of three theological students, traveling on their way to study in Athens when a wicked innkeeper robbed and murdered them, hiding their remains in a pickling vat. It so happened that Bishop Nicholas, traveling along the same route, stopped at the same inn, and in the night he dreamed of the crime, got up, and summoned the innkeeper. As Nicholas prayed to God, the three boys were restored to life.

Nicholas died on December 6, 343 A.D., and he has been recognized as a saint since long before the Catholic Church began regulating canonization procedures in the late 10th century; the Roman emperor Justinian I built a church to honor St. Nicholas in Constantinople as early as the 6th century. The celebration of his life and legacy continue to this day, with Poles commemorating it in their own unique way.

The festivities begin the night before, when stockings are hung by the fireplace in hopes that they will be filled with nuts, tangerines or oranges (emblematic of the gold balls said to have been given by St. Nicholas to the poor man’s daughters), and small gifts by the Saint. In older times, freshly cleaned and polished shoes were set out for these gifts.

Nicholas is said to descend from Heaven that night with an angel helper and travel by sleigh (another inspiration for Santa Claus) to visit homes. It is said that he would give out the small gifts and oranges, and often pierniki, saint-shaped cookies made with honey and spices, as well – the making of which is still a tradition in many areas of Poland. Another older tradition held on feast day was when small boys would dress up as bishops and beg alms for the poor. Old or now, these cherished traditions ensure that the selfless legacy of St. Nicholas will continue in Polish homes around the world.

We’re Moving!

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Attention Members: We’re Moving!

To complete our move, National Headquarters will close at noon eastern on Monday, November 4 and reopen at noon eastern on Thursday, November 7. Thank you for your patience during this transition.

New Address:
Polish Falcons of America
1016 Greentree Road
Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Phone, Fax, Email and Website remain the same, and are as follows:
Phone: 412-922-2244 or 800-535-2071
Fax: 412-922-5029
Email: info@polishfalcons.org
Website: polishfalcons.org

Please email us if you’re in need of immediate assistance.
In the case of an urgent matter, please call Trish Del Busse at 724-747-3179.

Nomination of Poland for Entry into the Visa Waiver Program

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October 4, 2019

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Nomination of Poland for Entry into the Visa Waiver Program

Today, President Donald J. Trump is announcing that the Department of State has formally nominated Poland for entry into the Visa Waiver Program. This is an important step in continuing to increase economic, security, cultural, and people-to-people connections between our two nations. Now that Poland has been nominated, the Department of Homeland Security will take necessary action, as soon as possible, to assess Poland’s entry into the program. If Poland is designated as a Visa Waiver Program country, its nationals would be authorized for visa-free travel to the United States for business and tourism. The bilateral relationship between the United States and Poland has never been stronger, and this would serve as a remarkable accomplishment for both countries.

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Click here for a press release from the Polish American Congress.

Polish-American Heritage Month

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October is Polish-American Heritage Month! 2019 marks the 411th anniversary of the arrival of the first Polish settlers in America on Oct. 1, 1608. On Wednesdays this month, we will be sharing a variety of cultural content for our Members to enjoy. Today, we invite you to try these recipes (click to download) using a Polish cuisine staple, kielbasa!

For remaining weeks, please like our page on Facebook, or join our email list.

Soldier’s Day at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

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Once again, the Polish Falcons of America has been invited to participate in the annual Soldier’s Day at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pa. This solemn celebration will be held on Sunday, August 18. It is organized by the community of former Polish soldiers living in the United States and Canada.

This year, the celebration will focus on the 100th Anniversary of the return of the Blue Army from France to Poland. Over 20,000 volunteers from America, mostly Members of the Polish Falcons of America, served in this Army.

The program for the day is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. — Breakfast at the Pilgrims’ Center cafeteria
  • 11 a.m. — Laying of wreaths on the grave of past Polish Falcons National President, Dr. Teofil Starzynski, and by the monument “The Avenger” at the Veterans Cemetery
  • 11:30 a.m. — Celebration before the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (National Anthems, Taps Bugle Call, Rifle Salute, Review of Troops and Parade.)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Holy Mass
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. — Presentations by distinguished guests
  • 2 p.m. — Lunch in cafeteria

I am asking for as many Falcon Members to attend as possible. If you plan to attend please let me know as soon as possible so we can let the organizers know what to expect. Please contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Czolem,

Timothy L. Kuzma
President & CEO
Polish Falcons of America