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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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


  1. Polish Citizens Wishing to Prolong their Stay in US. This website has details: link to website


  1. 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. 



The Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791

The Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791

May 2, 2021 – 230th Anniversary of the Signing of the Polish Constitution

Enclosed is an invitation to this year’s Polish Constitution Day celebration, which will take place on Sunday May 2, 2021 at the Polish Sunday Mass at 1:00pm at the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II on the campus of Orchard Lake Schools. A short program is planned at the end of mass. The year 2021 has been designated by the Polish government as the “Year of the Polish Constitution of 1791”. All of Polonia is warmly invited. Please mark your calendar.

Serdecznie zapraszamy!
Ann Bankowski, President

Msza Święta Upamiętniająca Smoleńsk i Katyń, 10 kwietnia, 2021

Smolensk Katyn_polish 2021

Mass of Remembrance, Saturday, April 10, 2021

2 Smolensk Katyn_polish 2 Smolensk Katyn_polish 2021

Message from The Polish American Congress National President, Frank Spula

PAC–MI Members,


Below is a letter from our National President Frank Spula with a crucial request to contact our Senators and urge them to support the Senate Resolution 566. (suggested script included)

The memo clearly explains the urgency and the need for all of our members and friends to influence our two Senators to support this resolution. As you might recall our division did send a letter with that request to Senator Debbie Stabenow as well as Senator Gary Peters and we did receive a reply from both stating that they will take it under consideration.



Dear President Bankowski,


I would like to ask you to call your Senators and urge them to support Senate Resolution 566. This resolution honors the Polish soldiers and civilians who were murdered by the NKVD during the Katyń Massacre, as well as condemns Russia’s efforts to spread disinformation about this horrific event.


I also ask you to encourage your members to call their Senators and urge them to support the resolution. Calling our state representatives is a simple act of civic engagement that allows our voices to be heard. The more members of the Polish American community participate, the more likely it is that we will be able to make an impact.


You can find your Senators’ contact information by searching by state here. Below is a suggested phone script, which you can pass along to your members as well:


“My name is _______ and I am a constituent residing in zip code ________. I am calling to ask Senator ______ to support Senate Resolution 566, a resolution commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Katyń Massacre. This resolution honors the Polish soldiers and civilians whose lives were lost at the hands of the Soviet People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, also known as the NKVD, during the Katyń Massacre. The bi-partisan resolution condemns Russia’s efforts to spread disinformation about the Katyń Massacre and World War II. Passing this resolution will strengthen our alliance with Poland, one of our oldest and most reliable allies, as well as serve as a gesture of solidarity with Polish Americans, many of whom lost loved ones to the atrocities of this war.


For record purposes, please let me know how many of your members reached out to the Senators office. Thank you for your time!”


A copy of this resolution is attached to this email for your review. This resolution is sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and co-sponsored by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator James Risch (R-ID), Senator Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH), and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL).


Please let me know if you have any questions!




Frank J. Spula 




Continuing Legislative Alert

1 Dear PAC –MI Members

Three Seas Initiative (3SI)


Kaptur, Kinzinger Resolution Supporting Three Seas Initiative Unanimously Passes House


November 18, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed their bipartisan resolution in support of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI), a strategic partnership of twelve Central and Eastern European nations with the shared goal to foster energy, digital, and transportation infrastructure independence and resilience through collective financing of new infrastructure projects, increasing connectivity between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas, and countering Russian and Chinese malign influence. Three Seas Initiative membership includes: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The resolution includes 43 bipartisan cosponsors, signifying the robust bipartisan support in the Congress for the transatlantic alliance.

“I am thrilled our resolution in support of the Three Seas Initiative has unanimously passed the House” said Rep. Kaptur. “This resolution expresses robust support for the Three Seas Initiative to accelerate the development of cross border infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe. This effort signifies robust Congressional support for the transatlantic alliance and is a key step to complete the vision of a Europe that is undivided, prosperous, secure, and free from Russian and Chinese malign influence. I look forward to working with the incoming Biden Administration to continue to strengthen the Three Seas Initiative. I thank my colleague Congressman Adam Kinzinger for his partnership in shepherding this resolution through the House. I am also grateful to Majority Leader Hoyer, Chairman Engel, Ranking Member McCaul, and Congressman Keating for their commitment to strengthen the transatlantic alliance.”

“As a strong advocate for the independence and security of Europe’s energy markets, I’m proud to see our Three Seas resolution pass the House today. While Russia hopes to hold our European allies hostage with their Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the Three Seas Initiative seeks to counter their malign influence. The collaboration between Eastern European countries will help strengthen their regional interconnectivity to secure the energy markets of our most important partners,” said Rep. Kinzinger. “This ambitious initiative has impressively received bipartisan support, transatlantic support, and overwhelming support from the Administration. I want to thank my colleague Representative Kaptur for her unwavering dedication to the transatlantic partnership and I look forward to working with our allies to build upon this important legislation.”


Bill text can be found here.





October News




October News

October News

This Sunday, October 11, all Polonia is cordially invited to Celebrate “Pułaski Day” in Wyandotte, MI

The celebrations starts at 12:00 pm with a Mass at Our Lady Of the Scapular Parish,

976 Pope John Paul II in Wyandotte, MI

(Parafia Matki Bożej Szkaplerznej)


Masks must be worn and the Social Distancing Observed.


Due to Covid-19, restrictions all other celebrations at the

the Pulaski Park are cancelled.



October Polish Heritage Month