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to be the best it can be today and for those who join us for generations

to come.

During my extraordinary visit to Poland to address the Polish Episcopate

and reestablish cooperation between them and SSCMS, I met with Beata

Maria Szydło, Prime Minister of Poland, and Archbishop Salvatore

Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland. I also visited numerous

seminaries to speak to students and invite them to come study with us

at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary. One of my goals is to double the

SSCMS enrollment. The historic journey continued to Rome, Italy, where

I participated at Mass at the Vatican at the tomb of St. John Paul II on his

Feast Day. Later that week, at Mass celebrated by Stanisław Cardinal

Dziwisz, I gave the Homily in Polish and English, and was also blessed

with the privilege of being joined by special guest Mr. Angelo Gugel,

St. John Paul II’s personal assistant during his entire pontificate.

This journey exemplified some of my first-year leadership goals

in reconnecting SSCMS with Poland and the Catholic Church and

reminded the Polish Episcopate that SSCMS and the Orchard Lake

Schools family are prepared to grow with the Church here and

around the world. SSCMS has prepared nearly 2,000 priests for the

Church, for service to the Catholic people in dioceses in the U.S.

and lay people who serve academia and spread the Word of God. I

am truly humbled.

In ongoing efforts to unite the Orchard Lake Schools with the

community and Polonia, I joined so many guests at the Chancellor’s

Christmas Concert to celebrate the extraordinary performances of

the Collegium Cantorum Polonia Choir and Chicago Nightingale

Children’s and Youth Choir, and Mrs. Maralgua Darjaa, plus the

St. Mary’s Jazz Band, the SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary Choir and the Fr. Józef D

ą

browski Polish Language School Children’s

Choir. Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Archibishop Emeritus of Krakow, Poland, was the honorary patron of this Christmas tradition.

In the spirit of the season, I witnessed the celebration of Advent by Candlelight and the Chancellor’s Senate recognition dinner.

Faith truly does bring us closer to the Lord who lifts us up to do great work and give thanks for the support of the future of this

fine educational community.

Throughout my first-year efforts to revitalize the campus community, I also wanted to reintroduce Polish First Sundays, in which

after the 1:00 pm Mass the first Sunday of each month, campus visitors were invited to take part in a Polish dinner in the Dining

Hall. Both the Polish Panorama and the Campus Bookstore were open as well

to provide insights to Polish history and opportunity to purchase campus items

and Polish cards, gifts and books.

The 45th Annual March for Life in Washington, DC marked a journey in

support of the pro-life movement by both seminarians and Prep students at

the National Mall and march down Constitution Avenue leading to the steps of

the Supreme Court. The trip also afforded the seminarians and I the privilege

of a visit to the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and a meeting and special

dinner with the Ambassador, Professor Piotr Wilczek.

I am deeply grateful for all those who supported our seminarians, priests and

SSCMS at the annual Patronal Feast and Auction, from the morning’s Polish

Above: Fr. Krol gives a thumbs-up with

Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio,

Apostolic Nuncio to Poland.

Left: Professor Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in the U.S.,

and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the 71st Fidelitas Medal recipient.

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