INFANT OF PRAGUE
Feast Day: 3rd Sunday in May
Patron of: children, colleges, family life, foreign missions, freedom, good finances, health, peace, schools, travellers, universities, and vocations
In 1628 the newly married Princess of Bohemia brought a small wax statue of the Christ Child with her from Spain, a gift from her mother. She gave it to a Carmelite monastery, telling them it was her dearest possession and if they honored it, they would never want. This began devotion to the Infant of Prague.
The Thirty Years War halted the custom for a time because Protestant Sweden took possession of the city and the statue was thrown in a pile of trash behind the altar, its hands broken off. It lay there for seven years before a priest found it, hearing an inner voice say, “Give me my hands and I will give you peace. The more you honor me, the more I will bless you.”
Copies of the statue were made and the devotion spread all over the world. Coronations and processions with the statue continue to the present time. The central message remains for us: Christ has no hands on earth but ours; to do His will gives peace.
SAINT HEDWIG CHURCH
1905 ST. HEDWIG PARISH, LAKEWOOD
THE FIRST POLISH-
During Father Konwinski's pastorate, St. Hedwig Parish, like many other Polish parishes in the Cleveland Diocese, experienced a degree of internal conflict. In February 1925, the community split over the election of the parish council. Two years later, the tensions rose again, when four councilmen resigned over a dispute regarding control of daily parish affairs. While it teemed with internal dissent, the parish continued to grow, building a new combination church/school (1927) and welcoming teachers from the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis (1927).
On April 18, 1929, Father Stanley Sobienowski replaced Father Konwinski. Dissent continued in the parish, leading Father Sobienowski to write to Bishor Schrembs in May 1932, suggesting that he might be more useful to the Diocese at another parish. Father Sobienowski left St. Hedwig Parish on July 26, 1933, leaving the parish to the temporary care of the Franciscan Fathers. On March 3, 1934, the parish welcomed its next pastor, Father Joseph C. Rutkowski. During Father Rutkowski's pastorate, the parish purchased a four-
Under the direction of its next pastor, Father Bruno Ejchost, St. Hedwig Parish continued to develop, purchasing a two-