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Father Leopold Moczygemba Awardees

Year     Convention               Awardee                        

1990   San Antonio, TX   -   Rev. Henry Moczygemba

1991    Chicago, IL  -   Msgr. Stanley Milewski

1992   Newark, NJ  -   Msgr. Martin Piasecki

1993   Detroit, MI  -   Msgr. Vincent Borkowicz

1994   Hartford, CT  -   Msgr. John Wodarski

1995   Brooklyn, NY  -   Msgr. Edward Fas

1996   Miami, FL  -   Most Rev. Thomas Wenski

1997   Redondo Beach, CA  -  Rev. Wladyslaw Gowin

1998   Buffalo, NY  -   Msgr. John Gabalski

1999   Washington, D.C.  -  Very Rev. Canon Philip Majka

2000  San Antonio, TX   -  Rev. Canon Bernard Goebel

2001   Albany, NY  -   Rev. Boleslaus Watroba

2002   Milwaukee, WI  -   Msgr. Lawrence Bukaty

2003   Detroit, MI  -   Msgr. Walter Ziemba

2004   Syracuse, NY  -   Msgr. Casimir Krzysiak

2005   Chicago, IL  -   Rev. Edward Siedlecki

2006   Newark, NJ  -   Msgr. Joseph Marjanczyk

2007   Cleveland, OH  -   Rev. Ralph Bodziany

2008   Orlando, FL  -   Rev. Joseph Zawada

2009   Brooklyn, NY  -   Rev. Marion Gural

2010   Orchard Lake, MI  -   Rev. Stanislaw Elis

2011    Doylestown, PA   -   Rev. Lucius Tyrasinskiy

2012   Michigan City, IN  -   Msgr. Zdzislaw Peszkowski

2013   Pittsburgh, PA  -   Rev. Joseph Swierczynski

2014   None  -   Canonization of St. John Paul II

2015   Connecticut   -   Msgr. Daniel Plocharczyk

2016   St. Louis, MO  -   Most Rev. Robert Carlson

2017   Orchard Lake, MI  -   Msgr. Thomas Machalski
                                      & Very Rev. Canon Walter Ptak


2018   Cleveland, OH  -   Rev. Gerald Keller

2019   Utica, NY  -   Very Rev. Canon John Mikalajunas

2020  Miami, FL  -  Postponed

2021  Miami, FL  -  Postponed

2022  Miami, FL  -  Postponed

2023  Miami, FL  -  Postponed

2024  Miami, FL  -  Rev. Stanisław Rakiej, S.Chr.

Father Leopold Moczygemba
Patriarch of American Polonia


Father Leopold Moczygemba, son of Leopold Moczygemba and Ewa Krawietz, was bom October 18, 1824 at Wielka Pluznica in Upper Silesia near Opole. He died February 23, 1891 in Dearborn, Michigan. What did he do to become the Patriarch of American Polonia?

Young Leopold was ordained a priest in the Order of the Friars Minor Conventual at Pesaro, Italy, July 25, 1847. When the first bishop of Texas, Most Rev. John Odin, went to France and Bavarian Germany looking for priests in 1852 to come and serve the German speaking Catholics already in Texas at New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Castroville and D’Hanis, our Father Leopold volunteered.

Two years later, when four of his brothers accepted his invitation to emigrate to Texas, in 1854 - to his surprise, 96 other families came also. That necessitated an urgent, immediate response of establishing a new land development in Karnes County near where the Cibolo Creek empties into the San Antonio River. Thus, Panna Maria was founded on December 24, 1854.

A great Missionary in Texas for five years. Father Leopold Moczygemba spent the rest of his 34 years of priesthood working in 11 other states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He spoke seven languages in his ministry and crossed the Atlantic Ocean nine times in search of religious personnel and funds.

He rose to the highest position in his religious order in America, was chairman of the first Polish convention in the USA in 1873, co-founded the Polish Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Detroit in 1885, and was a confessor at the First Vatican Council in Rome in 1869.

His body was re-buried October 13, 1974 in the church yard of Panna Maria as part of the Floresville Deanery celebration of the Centennial of the Diocese of San Antonio, now an archdiocese.

There were four other Moczygemba priests: another Leopold, who was born of the first marriage performed in Panna Maria; Thomas, the first native-born priest of Texas; Leo and Henry, who died March 2, 1995.

Father Leopold Moczygemba, like the compassionate Jesus, like the courageous Moses, and the energetic St. Paul in his many travels, was a giant of a man for God, his Church, and his Polish People. He ranks at the very top of great American Catholic pioneers. Father Leopold Moczygemba truly deserves the title: Patriarch of American Polonia!

The above is based on the bibliographies of Father Joseph Swastek and T. Lindsay Baker, and composed by Bishop Emeritus John W. Yanta of the Diocese of Amarillo.

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