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South Texas Living

Father Leopold Moczygemba Foundation hosts annual gala

Father Leopold Moczygemba Foundation hosts annual gala
Father Frank Kurzaj presents special recognition to the Felician Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Hope Province for 80 years of service in Texas schools, hospitals, and parishes. / ELAINE MAZUREK STEPHENS/Contributor

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Elaine Mazurek Stephens
Special to the Wilson County News
December 26, 2012
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The ninth annual gala of the Father Leopold Moczygemba Foundation was held Dec. 2, beginning with Mass at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, followed by a concert, a banquet, an awards ceremony, special recognitions, and more in the parish’s O’Brien Hall.

The foundation works to unify the descendants of the first Polish Silesian settlers in Texas while building a cultural bridge between Texas and Silesia, Poland. Silesia is a geographical region in Europe, which includes southwestern Poland, the region from which many immigrants came to Texas in the 1850s.

Dinner in the parish hall featured music by Polish folk group, “Silesia.” The group includes Krystian Czech, Dariusz Kownacki, Gabriela Dworakowska, and Barbara Wysocka. Their home village, Łubniany, is also the home of many early Silesian Texan immigrants.

Also traveling with “Silesia” was Sister Franciszka Orzeł from Russia.

The foundation presented annual service awards to:

•Magdalen Opiela Jarzombek of Poth, for her dedication and work for the foundation. Jarzombek was born and raised in Cestohowa, Texas.

•Lillian Keller Mzyk of San Antonio, for her many years of work with the foundation. Myzk grew up in Kosciusko, Texas.

•Radoslaw Stefan Kiesz, M.D., president and CEO of the San Antonio Endovascular & Heart Institute, for decades of selfless medical care to patients in Texas and Poland.

The Felician Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Hope Province received special appreciation and recognition for their 80 years of service in Texas schools, hospitals and parishes.

Winners of the 2012 Silesian Texans Essay Contest also were recognized: Alexandria Mitchell of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School and Zachary Gonzalez of La Vernia High School.

The gala concluded with singing “Serdeczna Matko,” (Beloved Mother).

Next year’s gala is tentatively planned for Dec. 15, again at St. Jerome’s.

For more information about the foundation, visit www.FLMFoundation.org and www.SilesianTexans.com.

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