St. Mary Polish American Society

$4,155 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 39 months

The Schuylkill River corridor in Montgomery and Chester Counties in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA has been home to a vibrant Polish population for more than 100 years. Four communities had strong Polish concentrations that were centered around the Catholic churches in their locality. These included- St. Mary’s Church in Conshohocken, Sacred Heart Church in Swedesburg and Bridgeport, Holy Trinity Church in Phoenixville, and Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Pottstown. In recent years, each of these communities have been impacted by changing neighborhood demographics, a diminishing supply of priests, and fewer people practicing their faith; resulting in a wave of parish mergers, making it difficult for Montgomery County’s Polish Catholics to observe the beautiful customs and traditions which are so near and dear to so many people and have served to unite generations of families.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church served as a landmark for the Conshohocken community for more than 100 years, as the first Polish parish in Montgomery County. It was lovingly built and nurtured by Polish immigrants and their descendants for generations, serving the spiritual and cultural needs of parishioners and visitors alike. The architectural beauty of St. Mary’s Church building represents the tremendous love for and devotion to the Catholic faith of the Polish people.

In July 2014, after 109 years of service to Conshohocken’s Polish community, St. Mary’s was merged into a single consolidated St. Matthew’s Parish, along with Sts. Cosmos and Damien and St. Gertrude Parishes. With nowhere to formally celebrate Polish heritage in Montgomery County and since St. Mary’s Church was no longer used by St. Matthew's Parish, a group of Polish Americans from throughout Montgomery County and former parishioners of St. Mary’s Church formed St. Mary Polish American Society, under the patronage of Mary, Our Lady of Częstochowa, Queen of the Polish Nation. St. Mary Polish American Society is an official 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit corporation dedicated to the two-pronged mission of promoting awareness and appreciation of our Polish history and cultural heritage and raising funds for the upkeep and maintenance of St. Mary’s Church.  For two years, St. Mary Polish American Society paid all the bills at St. Mary's Church by holding fundraising events and seeking donations.

On April 8, 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia formally announced the formation of a quasi-parish at St. Mary’s Church to serve the community throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia interested in celebrating the Mass in the Extraordinary Form effective in August 2018. This new parish, which retains the name St. Mary’s is staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The Fraternity is an order of priests that celebrate Mass and the sacraments in Latin, using the traditional liturgy present before the Second Vatican Council. St. Mary Polish American Society strives to work with the Fraternity to restore St. Mary's Church and ensure that St. Mary’s can remain a strong faith community for generations to come, while also continuing to promote Polish heritage and culture in Montgomery County.

On Sunday September 9th, 2018, Father Carl Gismondi, the newly appointed pastor from the Fraternity of St. Peter celebrated an opening High Mass at St. Mary’s Church, officially marking St. Mary’s rebirth as the home for the Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Mass schedule for St. Mary’s will be as follows:

Sunday- 8 am Low Mass and 11 am High Mass
Monday-Thursday- 7:15 am Low Mass
Friday- 6:30 pm Low Mass
Saturday- 7:15 am Low Mass

Within the context of our mission, St. Mary Polish American Society seeks to:

• To raise funds to assist the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in financing the regular upkeep and maintenance, and restoration of St. Mary’s Church

• To pay homage to the legacy of St. Mary’s Church as the original Polish parish in Montgomery County

• To carry out a calendar of events that will integrate programs of social, civic, and cultural enrichment of Polish customs and traditions which are deeply rooted in our Catholic faith

• To hold meetings and socials

• To sponsor activities that will recognize the contributions of Polish Americans and thereby enhance a sense of ethnic identity and pride

• To inspire the next generation of Polish Americans to be more mindful and respectful of their ethnic and Catholic heritage as having practical and real value in their lives

St. Mary Polish American Society humbly strives to serve St. Mary’s Church, out of love for our Catholic faith and Polish heritage, and respect for the sacrifices and achievements of our ancestors. All are welcome to attend our events and to volunteer their time, talents, or treasure in any way they can to help us achieve our mission and goals.

Through the intercession of the Blessed Mary under the title Our Lady of Częstochowa, Patroness and Queen of Poland, we pray that our efforts will continue to be successful in celebrating the Catholic faith as a beautiful and integral part of our Polish heritage in Montgomery County and the surrounding area with St. Mary’s Church as our home.

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Friends, we are thrilled to announce that St. Mary Polish American Society has OFFICIALLY received TAX EXEMPT status. ALL future donations made to St. Mary Polish American Society and those retroactive to June 24, 2015 (our date of incorporation in Pennsylvania) qualify as eligible tax deductions. This is HUGE news, as it also enables us to pursue government grants, and solicit donations from business and other organizations. Please spread the word about this wonderful news!!!!
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What an amazing weekend it was! Polka Fest was a HUGE success. We had more than 200 people in attendance, and raised more than $4,500. There are so many people to thank who helped make Polka Fest such a wonderful event. Thanks to our day of event volunteers, to the TK Club for hosting the event, to the members of the St. Mary Polish American Society board who helped plan and organize Polka Fest, to the Naturalistix Polka Band who provided the soundtrack to our afternoon, to all the individuals and businesses who donated items for the basket drawing, and to everyone who came out and supported Polka Fest.
A special thanks in particular to Sandy Radaszewski for coordinating the basket drawing donations and leading the cooking efforts, to Dorothy Swedkowski for handling ticket and babka orders. We also thank our food vendors, including L & M Bakery in Delran, NJ who provided the babkas, to Krakus Market in Port Richmond who made the gołąbki for Polka Fest, and especially to Czerw’s Kiełbasa in Port Richmond who DONATED all 55 pounds of kiełbasa for Polka Fest. Be sure to check out the photo album and video from Polka Fest on our Facebook page or Shutterfly page (, and feel free to send additional photos and videos from Polka Fest for us to add to our collection. We’re planning to hold our next major fundraising event, likely something similar to Polka Fest, in September. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

A reminder that we will resume our weekly prayer vigils at the Mary statue outside St. Mary’s Church this Sunday at 12:30 pm. All are welcome to join us as we will gather to pray a Novena to Our Lady of Częstochowa.
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St. Mary Polish American Society officially made its first payment to St. Matthew's Parish this week as part of our ongoing arrangement to pay for the maintenance and operating expenses associated with St. Mary's Church. This covered such items as property and liability insurance, gas and electricity, water, and landscaping. This will soon also cover the needed improvement projects on the roof and gutters and electrical system in the church. Each month we will be responsible for these ongoing expenses, underscoring the ongoing need for fundraising activities and donations.

Our most recent estimates place the roof and electricity work combined at under $5,000 and the yearly operating costs at between $25,000 and $35,000 a year. No amount is too small, please consider making a contribution to St. Mary Polish American Society.

A sincere thanks to all for their ongoing generosity and support of St. Mary Polish American Society. May God bless you and your families. Bóg Zapłać!
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A reminder that advance tickets for Polka Fest are on sale until June 19th for $10. If you're planning on coming to the event, please order your tickets in advance, to help us better plan how much food to purchase.

Also, As part of Polka Fest, we'll be taking orders for plain/crumb babkas and cheese babkas from L & M Bakery in Delran, New Jersey. The price will be $15 per babka. Advance babka orders must be placed by Wednesday June 15th. To order a babka, please email us at
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Helen Gardocki
33 months ago

Sto Lat

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$4,155 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 39 months
Created November 12, 2015
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Helen Gardocki
33 months ago

Sto Lat

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