Sunday, July 11, 2010

Please honor us with Your presence...

My future grandparents, John Charles Bambenek of Winona, MN and Laura Pellowski of rural Arcadia, WI, were married at Sacred Heart Church in Pine Creek on November 17, 1914. They first settled in the town of Dodge, where their first child, Frances Adeline, was born on October 8, 1915. Below is an invitation to their wedding, scanned from an original which is now in my possession. The Polish text reads, as best I can tell:

Please honor us with Your Presence
Together with Your Family
At the Wedding Ceremony

of our daughter

on Tuesday, 17 November 1914 at 9:30 am
at the Church of Jesus' Heart
in Pine Creek, Wis.

You are also cordially invited to the wedding banquet, which will take place at our home immediately after the wedding.

With deep respect,
Jacob and Franciszka Pellowski.

I have also obtained, courtesy of Mr. Ben Schultz at the Polish Museum in Winona, a copy of the official church record of the Pellowski-Bambenek wedding. Fortunately, I'm a little more confident in my ability to translate Latin.

I, the undersigned, with three announcements made and the consensus of both parties confirmed, have through my words joined together in matrimony John Bambenek, from Winona (St. Stanislaus) son of Charles and Frances (nee Nygowska) and Leocadia Pelowski, from Pine Creek, daughter of Jacob and Francisca (nee Zabinski), with Felix Pelowski, Helen Bambenek, Francis Malotka, and Genovefa Pelowska as witnesses.

Reverend Jas. W. Gara

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pine Creek, WI (I)

Sacred Heart Parish, in Pine Creek, Wisconsin, was established on February 7, 1864. Because the majority of the local settlers were Bohemians, the fledgling church was named after after Bohemia's patron saint, King Wenceslas.

After the Kaszubian Polish settlers emerged as the majority in Pine Creek, the name "Sacred Heart of Jesus" (a very popular Kaszubian devotion) was added to the young congregation's name, as in the sign below. Note how Saint Wenceslas (in Polish, Święty Wacław) takes second billing on the current church building, erected in 1875. AMDG, by the way, stands for Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, which is Latin for "To The Greater Glory of God." To judge from the strikeout marks, the engraver must not have been Polish. The picture below shows the Sacred Heart parish buildings appeared around the turn of the 20th century.

I couldn't even guess how many of my Pellowski and Zabinski relatives were christened here, or made First Confession here... and so on. Very many members of my family lie buried in the cemetery on the hill behind the church. I never fail to get chills down my spine when I am in the vicinity.