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A Birthday Bash for Chopin and Mickiewicz

In celebration of the 214th birthday of Chopin and the recent 225th birthday of Adam Mickiewicz, the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University, the Chopin Singing Society, the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo and the Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle join in presenting a multi-media extravaganza featuring the Chopin Singing Society, celebrating their 125th anniversary and joining with the Canisius University Chorale all under the direction of Dr. Bradley Wingert. The event, Celebrating the Arts:  A Birthday Bash for Chopin & Mickiewicz, takes place on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 2:30 p.m. at the Montante Cultural Center, 2021 Main Street on the Canisius University Campus.

Additional artists presenting piano music of Chopin are Claudia Hoca, former pianist for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and current member and Assistant Director of Chopins, Melanie Bebak.  Poetry of Mickiewicz, considered the greatest Polish poet, will be offered. The presentations will have a backdrop of a PowerPoint presentation by Klara Chomicka-Frank of places and items of interest in the lives of the two artists, and there will be a display table of memorabilia offered for the audience’s enjoyment. A reception will follow.  The event is free and open to the public.

Submitted by: Matthew Kochan, Mary Lou Wyrobek Permanent Chair of Polish Culture

UN Holocaust Remembrance Day Program

In honor of U.N. Holocaust Remembrance, the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University will once again join with the Holocaust Education Resource Organization (HERO) and the Buffalo Jewish Federation to host a lecture, titled “Whosoever Saves a Single Life, Save an Entire Universe: Rescue During the Holocaust.”  The guest lecturer  will be Dr. Eileen Lyon, professor of history at SUNY Fredonia.

The lecture is today, Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chester and Diane Stranczek Commons of the Canisius University Science Hall. 

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Dr. Lyon received her PhD from the University of Cambridge and her research interests include British and Europoean history, history of the Holocaust, and religious and political history.

Her lecture will focus on three women religious, two from Poland: Mother Superior Matylda Getter of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, and Sr. Wanda Garczynska, prioress of the Chaste Sisters Nunnery in Warsaw, which served as a shelter for many Jews, especially children. Also featured will be long-time Buffalonian, Sr. Margaret Szlachta, the Hungarian of the Sisters of Social Service. Each sister has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, Gentiles who assisted Jews during WWII. Dr. Lyon will also touch on a relatively new area of study on the efforts of members of the Jewish Resistance whose activity included trying to save Jews.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. 

Submitted by: Matt Kochan, The Permanent Chair of Polish Culture, Canisius University


Copernicus and Questions of Faith and Science

In celebration of the 550th anniversary of the birth of the “Father of Modern Astronomy,” Nicolaus Copernicus, the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University is hosting a lecture by Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ, today, Monday, October 23, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at the Science Hall Commons of Canisius University.

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Br. Consolmagno is an American research astronomer, physicist, religious brother, and the Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. The lecture entitled Copernicus and Questions of Faith and Science will allow time for questions and book signings. It is free and open to the public with a reception following.

Br. Consolmagno, known as “the Pope’s Astronomer, has a PhD in planetary science from the University of Arizona and Chairs the Mars Nomenclature Task Group at the International Astronomical Union. Among other awards, he has received an Honorary Degree from Georgetown University and the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public. He has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?, Turn Left at Orion, Finding God in the Universe and has edited The Heavens Proclaim, a Vatican Observatory Publication, writes a monthly column on astronomy for the British Catholic periodical, The Tablet, and has an extensive list of Peer-Reviewed Publications.

The Vatican Observatory was established by the Holy See for astronomical research and public outreach to advance the scientific understanding of our universe and is one of the oldest active astronomical observatories in the world, with its roots going back to 1582 and the Gregorian reform of the calendar. The Jesuit astronomers of the Vatican Observatory have contributed to discoveries in many fields from the origins of our solar system to the structure of galaxies. Along with the Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, the Vatican Observatory Research Group maintains one of the most important centers in the world for observational astronomy in Tucson, Arizona.

Submitted by: The Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University

Permanent Chair of Polish Culture Event

On Sunday, May 28, 2023, the Polish Singers Alliance of America will be completing its 52nd International Convention with a Mass and Concert at Assumption Church where singers from the United States and Canada will join their voices in song.  Mass begins at 12:30 p.m. and members of the Chopin and Kalina Singing Societies will lead the congregational singing.

The Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton will join in a Prayer for Ukraine as part of the Mass.  A brief tour of Assumption Church will follow.  The Permanent Chair of Polish Culture has joined with the Alliance to present a concert featuring the award-winning choirs, recipients of the Alliance’s scholarship, and a combined chorus of over 100 members in music celebrating the 550th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus and the 134th anniversary of the Alliance.  The concert will feature a wide-range of composers celebrating Polish song with pianists offering the music of Chopin for the enjoyment of the audience.

A free will offering for the Leokadja Dombroska/Polish Singers Alliance of America Scholarship Fund will be taken.  All are welcome to attend.

Submitted by: Mary Lou Wyrobek President-Permanent Chair of Polish Culture Event