Polish American Congress Michigan Division Meets with Michigan National Guard Soldiers

Polish American Congress-MI

Meets with Michigan National Guard Soldiers

On September 8, 2020 a 15-member team from PAC-MI presented an orientation program to 69 Michigan National Guard soldiers, whose unit is being deployed to serve 10 months with NATO security forces in Poland. Upon receiving the invitation this summer from the unit’s commander, Captain Robert McNamara, our Division went to work to prepare a day of informational presentations about Poland- tourist, cultural, historical, language, music, social, and political- to help better prepare them for this experience abroad. Most of the soldiers had not travelled beyond Michigan before.  Each one received an informational folder covering many of the topics presented, as well as a bag of interesting reading about Poland and all things Polish, with pamphlets, brochures, and colorful reference materials.

The wide-ranging program included expert speakers with power point presentations, videos, audience participation, music, and sharing of personal experiences.  Among some of our presenters were: WSU Polish Studies professor, Dr. Alina Klin, who travels regularly to Poland with her students; the Honorary Consul for Poland, Richard Walawender; Stella Szczesny, from PNA and our Division’s National Director, who gave an interesting comparison from her visits to Poland of life under Communist times to changes and vast improvements in Poland today; Teresa Wiacek, of the Polish Scouting Organization, who prepared an interesting array of representative Polish music; and  (Retired) Col. Chester Szczotka who shared his life journey from a pre-war childhood in Poland, to surviving the Gulag in Soviet Russia, followed by growing up in Uganda, England, immigrating to Texas and Michigan, completing university studies and serving in the US Army Reserves, achieving the rank of colonel. We even had a member of the Polish Winged Hussars Re-Enactment Group visit in impressive full gear, sharing the strategies and significant contributions of these bold warriors to Polish history.

The soldiers were able to view interesting and informative displays about Polish culture and history prepared by our Executive VP, Barbara Lemecha. Together with the presentations, they were able to learn, probably for the first time, about Poland’s past and present, and what has influenced and shaped the country and the nation’s character.

The day was highlighted with a delicious luncheon featuring Polish style cuisine from Polish Village Café in Hamtramck and freshly baked pączki for dessert donated by Bożek Market. The afternoon’s program featured a motivational speech by (Ret.) Colonel Andrew Raczkowski, who impressed on the soldiers the importance of the mission for which they were being sent.

Our Division is especially grateful to all who participated, presented, donated, and lent helping hands to realize this unique project and opportunity. PAC-MI received a commemorative recognition plaque from the Michigan National Guard in appreciation of our efforts.

COVID-19 Update #2 to Polonia from Polish Consulate in Detroit

Dear Friends of Polonia!

I hope this message finds you and your family in good health. I am writing to update Michigan’s Polonia of some useful information in these challenging times.

As promised, I am providing some information for our Polish and Polish-American businesses, in order to spread the word how they should take advantage of the huge amounts of money that our federal government and state and local governments have made available to businesses and to pay their employees during this time.

Please excuse the fact that I am including certain information I authored from my law firm, but I am providing this to Polonia as a free of charge resource to make sure we take advantage of what is available to us. I am happy to answer any questions from any Polish or Polish-American business free of charge, to assist in applying for money (but don’t tell my other clients).

  1. Federal Government Financial Assistance. The U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the “CARES Act”. This provides two, very substantial financial aid programs to small business (under 500 employees). One program provides money that does not even have to repaid under certain conditions for businesses to pay their workers, rent, mortgage, utilities and debt interest. The other program offers very low interest rate long-term loans for businesses to pay working capital. Again, this is almost like getting free money to pay 2 months’ worth of a company’s operating expenses. Importantly, it is also available to sole proprietors, independent contractors, startups and very small businesses.  Polonia needs to take advantage of this!  Attached is memo in Polish and English that explains the two programs and how to apply.  Applications can be done online and through participating lenders and banks.
  2. State and Local Financial Assistance.  There are also smaller programs available through the State of Michigan (MEDC) and certain counties (e.g., Macomb and Oakland). The details of these programs are available on the website listed below.
  3. Website of Polonia Angels for Further Information.  Several of us have been in the process of launching an investor group to support Polonia businesses by providing investment funds. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced us to pause this initiative, but in the meantime, we are building up a financial resource center for Polonia to understand the financial help they can apply for and receive. Please refer to: https://www.poloniaangels.com/small-business-relief-program-resourcesThis website will be updated on a regular basis.

Finally, let me also remind you of the items I previously wrote to you about, and make another special request that you feel free to bring to my attention any Polish citizens who may need special attention or assistance in these times:

  1. U.S. Census Update. While the deadline to complete the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire has been extended somewhat, please encourage your friends to complete online now. Instructions are set forth below (in Polish and English). See below for more details.
  2. Polish Citizens Returning to Poland.  Polish citizens in Michigan seeking to return to Poland, can find details about the Polish Government’s program through Polish LOT Airlines to take them back. Details and arrangements can be found and made online at this website: Link to LotDoDomu
  3. Polish Citizens Wishing to Prolong their Stay in US. This website has details: link to website
  4. Polish Citizens Needing Urgent Assistance. We will be working with our Polonian organizations and churches to coordinate assistance programs to our elderly and most vulnerable. In the meantime, if you are aware of any elderly Polish citizens who have nobody to care for them, or become hospitalized, please let me know.

Remain safe and know that our prayers are with you all,


Richard A. Walawender

Honorary Consul

Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Detroit
150 West Jefferson, Suite 2500
Detroit, Michigan 48226 (USA)

T +1.313.496.7600


This electronic message and all of its contents and attachments contain information from the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Detroit. which may be privileged, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure.  The information is intended to be for the addressee only.  If you are not the addressee, then any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this message, or its contents or any of its attachments, is prohibited.  If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify us immediately and destroy the original message and all copies.  To unsubsribe to emails, please reply with the message “unsubscribe”.



Not much time remaining to complete and submit U.S. 2020 Census Questionnaire Online. Each home should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census and to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online, at https://2020census.gov/ and in Polish at https://2020census.gov/pl.html  Assistance is available in Polish or English by calling 1-844-479-2020. In completing the Census 2020 Questionnaire, remember to include your Polish ethnic origin.

Weź udział w Spisie Ludności online! Nie zostało dużo czasu! Kwestionariusz w wersji online jest już dostępny na stronie internetowej https://2020census.gov/pl.html  W celu uzyskania pomocy dotyczącej Spisu Ludności 2020 lub wypełnienia go telefonicznie zadzwoń pod numer 844-479-2020. Połączenia odbierane są także w języku polskim! Wypełniając kwestionariusz Census 2020, pamiętaj, żeby w odpowiedzi na pytanie numer 9 wpisać: POLISH. 

Holy Mass this Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 4 pm. offered for the intention of Rev. Canon Louis Madey St. Josaphat Church, 715 E. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201

Fr Madey


Friends of Polish Art ‘Święconka’


Polish American Congress Michigan Division

11333 Joseph Campau

Hamtramck, MI 48212




Dear President Andrews-Espy,

It has come to our attention that an offer, made by the Kosciuszko Foundation and Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (known as NAWA), to fund a full time Polish lectureship at Wayne State University, was rejected. The offered funds would pay for a full-time Polish lectureship for the 20224/2025 academic year. Discussions in this matter were initiated in the fall of 2022. At that time, the chair of the CMLLC Department, Prof. Vanessa DeGifis, backed the project.

As president of Polish American Congress-Michigan Division, an 80- year-old representative organization of the Michigan Polish American community, I have occasion to voice concerns on behalf of Michigan’s Polish Americans (numbering 800,000). Today I write to express our disappointment about the decision made by WSU in this matter and to fervently appeal to the university administration to seriously reconsider the offer.

We are proud of WSU’s long tradition of teaching the Polish language and maintaining a vibrant language and cultural program showcasing Polish, as well as other Slavic languages, from which hundreds of WSU students benefitted, as far back as the 1940’s.  It was a respected program known by the Polish American community as well as the area community at large. It has such a proud legacy.

In more recent years, Polish Studies, as part of the Slavic Studies program, offered students a variety of educational experiences beyond the classroom as well, such as study abroad trips, on campus cultural events, panel discussions, film screenings, and various workshops. These efforts not only educated students about Poland, but about other Slavic and European countries. We would be saddened to see such valuable experiences not continue.   We were heartened, however, with the recent response of past Polish students, who recently organized an on-line petition to support the plan to reinstate a full-time lectureship in Polish. The enthusiastic response to the petition is a testament to earlier achievements and continued interest in the WSU Polish Studies program.

Furthermore, allowing the opportunity for a full-time lectureship in Polish by an experienced NAWA lecturer, would also greatly enhance the university’s Slavic and Global Studies Programs. With today’s geo-political situation in Eastern Europe, a full time Polish Studies lectureship could provide better exposure and a deeper understanding to students and the campus community, by teaching not only the language and culture, but also by sharing current perspectives about that part of the world.

The financial commitment made by these two institutions would have alleviated a financial burden which normally would have fallen on WSU.  By not only satisfying the financial aspect, Kosciuszko Foundation and NAWA would be available to build a closer relationship with WSU and the student body, offering scholarships, sponsoring informative campus events and study abroad opportunities.

We believe that investment in a full-time lectureship would ensure the program’s continuation, enrich university course offerings, and even allow opportunities for expansion. We see it as an asset for WSU, its diverse campus community, and the larger community of the state of Michigan.

Polish American Congress is ready to promote the proposed WSU Polish program among high school students, parents, local language schools’ teachers, youth program leaders and our community’s various media to encourage its development and sustainability.

Therefore, on behalf of the Board and membership of Polish American Congress, and the Michigan Polish American community, I respectfully make an appeal to you to reconsider the offer being made by Kosciuszko Foundation and NAWRA to institute a full-time Polish lectureship, thus increasing and enhancing learning and enrichment opportunities at Wayne State University.


Ann Bankowski, President

Polish American Congress-Michigan



WSU Provost Laurie Lauzon-Clabo

CLAS Dean Stephanie Hartwell




Mikołaj Kopernik Special Exhibit

Mikołaj Kopernik Special Exhibit


śp. John Śidor

Dear PAC officers, chairpersons, and directors,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that one of our fellow officers and colleagues, John Sidor, passed away suddenly Wednesday, December 6th.

Many of us saw him Saturday at the PAC meeting and we shared an opłatek. Mariola and he were so excited to leave for Poland next week with the whole family to spend Christmas there.

May the Lord receive John into His loving arms this Christmas season and may He Bless the Sidor family at this difficult time.


Sharing this link for your information. Visitation is Monday, 2:00-8:00pm at Vermeulen Funeral Home in Plymouth, with Rosary at 7:00pm.

Funeral services are Tuesday, in state at 10:00am at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth, with mass at 10:30am.  Burial at St. Hedwig Cemetery in Dearborn Hts., MI.

May our friend and colleague, John Sidor, rest in God’s eternal peace!

Ann Bańkowski, President



poster Polish American Congress

Dyżur Konsularny w PIAST Institute

Konsulat Generalny RP w Chicago organizuje dyżur konsularny w Hamtramck w

dniach 17–18 listopada w Piast Institute: 11633 Joseph Campau Street Hamtramck,

MI 48212

Na dyżur obowiązują wcześniejsze zapisy telefoniczne.

Zapisy będą prowadzone w dniach: 7 i 8 listopada lub do wyczerpania miejsc. W

celu dokonania zapisu na dyżur, prosimy dzwonić do naszego Urzędu w wyżej

wymienione dni pod numer telefon: 312 337 8166, wew. 1 w godz. 11.00-14.00

(czasu Detroit).

Podczas dyżuru będzie możliwość złożenia wniosku o wydanie dokumentu


Przed wykonaniem telefonu w sprawie rezerwacji terminu wizyty paszportowej


• przygotować dane osobowe (imię nazwisko, numer PESEL lub w przypadku

braku numeru PESEL data i miejsce urodzenia),

• przygotować dane kontaktowe – numer telefonu,

• przygotować dane dotychczas posiadanego polskiego paszportu lub

dowodu osobistego;

• upewnić się, że:

1. w przypadku zawarcia związku małżeńskiego w USA,

dokonano transkrypcji (rejestracji) amerykańskiego aktu małżeństwa w

Polsce. Dopiero po uzyskaniu odpisu polskiego aktu małżeństwa z

informacją o nazwisku noszonym po zawarciu małżeństwa można

wystąpić o wydanie paszportu na to nazwisko.

2. w przypadku urodzenia dziecka w USA, dokonano transkrypcji

(rejestracji) amerykańskiego aktu urodzenia w Polsce. Dopiero po

uzyskaniu odpisu polskiego aktu urodzenia można wystąpić o paszport dla

danej osoby.

UWAGA: W przypadku osób dorosłych, które nigdy nie posiadały polskiego paszportu, bądź

posiadają nieważny od kilku/kilkunastu/kilkudziesięciu lat polski paszport (bez numeru PESEL) i

nie posiadają ważnego polskiego dowodu osobistego, należy zweryfikować czy konieczne jest

przeprowadzanie procedury potwierdzenia posiadania obywatelstwa polskiego. W tym celu

należy wysłać e-mail na adres Wydziału Ruchu Osobowego: chicago.passportvisa@

msz.gov.pl z podaniem danych osobowych i paszportowych wymienionych poniżej.

Informacje na temat wymaganych dokumentów do złożenia wniosku o paszport znajdą

Państwo na stronie internetowej Konsulatu Generalnego RP w

Chicago: https://www.gov.pl/web/usa/sprawy-paszportowe-informacje-ogolne