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Polish Texans plan Panna Maria Heritage Center
ELAINE M. STEPHENS/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
Monsignor Franciszek “Father Frank” Kurzaj of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Floresville thanks Wilson County News Publisher Elaine Kolodziej for her newspaper’s support of Polish Texan history Sept. 19 during an event outlining the establishment of a Polish heritage center in Panna Maria.
FLORESVILLE -- A new center dedicated to preserving the history of Panna Maria and the early Polish settlers in Texas is growing past the idea stage into reality.
Amarillo Bishop Emeritus John W. Yanta invited friends and Silesian Texans to a luncheon Sept. 19 to discuss plans for the Panna Maria Heritage Center, a project of the Panna Maria Heritage Center Foundation. The meeting in the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Floresville drew about 70 guests for the event and a meal, catered by Sacred Heart parish priest Monsignor Franciszek “Father Frank” Kurzaj, president of the Father Leopold Moczygemba Foundation. Guests from Cestohowa, Floresville, La Vernia, Falls City, St. Hedwig, Poth, Panna Maria, Kosciusko, San Antonio, Bandera, Yorktown, White Deer, and McCook were invited to assist in bringing together photos, artifacts, family treasures, and stories to be included in the new center.
Project designer Steve Harding displayed plans and drawings for the center. The 14,500-square-foot museum and library will include audio tours, rotating exhibits, a genealogy room, interpretive exhibits, and much more. A date for groundbreaking has not been set. Guests were asked to assist as contacts to gather family photos and artifacts. The foundation is organizing a plan for scanning photos; more information will be provided to contact people in area parishes.
The Panna Maria Heritage Center Foundation invites the loan of items to display or donations and gifts to the center, such as photos, both historic and contemporary, artifacts, family treasures, and stories of Silesian Texan families.
For more information, call 713-962-9413 or visit www.stevehardingdesign.com.
Elaine M. Stephens is president of the La Vernia Historical Association and a member of the Father Leopold Moczygemba Foundation.
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