Reflections on this Anniversary
14 Mar 2021
RELECTIONS ON THE ANNIVERARY OF THE PNCC
"To Thee we come, O Lord, our God, before Thine altar Father, Thou knowest best our yearning hearts, this supplication answer. Lift up from want Thy people, Lord, bless us, O God; O Father, bless our toil." From the Hymn of Faith, written by the Organizer of the PNCC, Prime Bishop Francis Hodur 1912
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:
Throughout the history of the Christian Church, there has been many milestones as well as obstacles which have left their imprints on the road to Christ.
From the history of the early Church, we read in the Book of Acts 4:32, that the followers of Jesus were of “one accord and had all things in common.”
But the beauty of this “One Faith, One Lord, and One Baptism” that Paul spoke about in his letter to the Ephesians 4:5 became muddled. There arose many divisions, debating over the personage and identity of Jesus Christ (Arianism), as well as the understanding of the Holy Trinity; One God in three Divine persons.
So, in 325 AD, over 300 bishops were called by Constantine the Great, to resolve certain issues, which plagued Christian unity. As a result of their meeting, they agreed to set forth a formal proclamation of faith, which we know today as the Nicaean Creed, which gave definition to not only who Jesus was, but also gave a clearer definition of the Holy Trinity.
But problems continued throughout the coming years. where Rome battled with Constantinople, the sees of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church over several theological issues and intepretations of the faith. This would eventually lead to what is known as the “Great Schism” which happened in 1054 AD and divided the Church.
With this split of the Christian family, we would move on to the Age of Reformation, which began when Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, objected to many issues of the Roman Catholic Church, including indulgences, and nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral on October 31, 1517,These revolutionary opinions of Luther would begin the Protestant Reformation. Through his action, other great religious reformers came forward, such as John Wesley, John Knox, Jan Hus, Ulrich Zwingli and others.
In the 19th century, another great religious reformer was born in the poor village of Zarki, Poland on April 1, 1866, Easter Sunday. His name was Franciszek or Francis Hodur.
Francis came from a section of Poland known as Galicia, which was controlled by the Austro-Hungarian empire. They were anything but kind and did everything possible to oppress and make life difficult for the Polish people under their control.
Francis rebelled against these injustices and decided to come to America seeking religious freedom. Upon arriving in America, he saw other injustices perpetrated against the Polish immigrants by the Roman Catholic Church and through his efforts organized the Polish National Catholic Church in 1897.
On August 25, 1929, the Holy Name of Jesus Parish held its first Mass at the “Red’s Man Hall” in South Deerfield and in less than a year, a new church was built and consecrated. At the apex of this new church’s sanctuary the words “Chwala Bogu na Wysokoski” or “Glory to God in the Highest,” were inscribed to serve as a reminder to all who would worship within its walls, of the efforts and work of the early organizers of this Church who looked and still look to God for His blessings as did Prime Bishop Francis Hodur.