A BRIEF HISTORY OF
SAINT STANISLAUS KOSTKA PARISH
Our story began in 1890 when Bishop Aldering of the diocese of Fort Wayne, appointed Rev. Emmanual Wrobel to start a parish for the Polish speaking people of Michigan City. Temporary quarters were set up at Saint Mary rectory in Michigan City and services were held on the second floor of St. Mary elementary school. In January of 1891, Father Wrobel was officially appointed pastor of the new Polish parish which would be called Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church. In 1892 he erected a two-story building that would serve the purpose of church, school, and residence for the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who would teach the children of the school. He also erected a two-story rectory. Father Wrobel would serve the parish until 1909, when he left due to ill health.
The Rev. Msgr. Joseph Bolka would take over as pastor in 1909 and continued to expand Saint Stanislaus Parish. In 1916, the cornerstone for our large and beautiful church was laid during a dedication ceremony. Our church was built mostly by parishioners who donated their time and talent to erect this magnificent building that we are blessed to enjoy today. Stories of families donating their hard-earned nickels and dimes to fund this extensive project still circulate today. The building was completed in 1926, and dignified and inspiring décor was added to the sanctuary in 1945.
Through the years and because the generosity of our parishioners and friends we have managed to make additional renovations, improvements, and repairs including:
· Removal of the upper steeples of the church.
· Remodeling of the church hall which included adding a kitchen, restrooms, and air conditioning.
· Construction of new church front stairs and painting the interior of the church green.
· An additional wing was added to the school building which included a gym/locker rooms, visual
aid rooms, recreation rooms and four classrooms
· Weatherproof coverings for our magnificent stained glass windows
· A new computerized heating system for the church and school which included new electrical wiring
· Repair of the (north side) Rose Window
· Lower portion of the church interior repainted.
· Installation of a restroom in the church.
· New church roof
· Repairs of East, North, and South parapets
· Energy efficient lighting in church and school
· Handicapped lifts installed for church, hall, and sacristy
We are extremely grateful to our predecessors for all their sacrifices during the creation of this parish, those who enlarged and maintained it, and our current parishioners who sustain it as a spiritual beacon of grace, service, and education.
In the midst of our fundraising campaign to continue repairs and renovations to our beloved church we remember the words of fellow Pole, Saint Pope John Paul II:
Thanks to the archivist from the Diocese of Fort Wayne, we have access to an article recounting the construction of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church that was printed in Our Sunday Visitor on October 24, 1926, as well as a transcript from the historical data section of the Parish Reports for Saint Stanislaus Kostka kept at the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Archives. To access the articles, click on the links below.