SHARING THE POLISH HERITAGE IN SAN JOSE
By Edmund Lewandowski
Not many people know that there is a thriving Polish Community in the heart of Silicon Valley. It
is centered around the Polish Pastoral Mission in San Jose which opened its new church in 1998.
This is a place where people of Polish descent can practice their catholic faith in their native
language. The mission is also providing masses in English for those who do not know Polish. The
children can attend Polish Saturday school to learn the language, history and traditions of the
land of their ancestors.
The community organizes various events celebrating the Polish heritage. The biggest annual event,
repeatedly attracting several thousand people, the eight Polish Festival is coming September 19,
2004. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 10250 Clayton Rd. (corner of Clayton Rd. and
Caylene Dr.) in San Jose. As always, the key would be the colorful and dynamic performances by the
Polish Folk Dance Ensemble "Lowiczanie" at 1:00, 2:15, 3:30 p.m. and the delicious home made
Polish food. The food is being prepared by volunteers from the parish and it tastes exactly like
your Polish grandma's favorite dishes. The festival menu will include several kinds of pierogi
(i.e. meat, potato, cheese and cabbage with mushrooms), stuffed cabbage rolls, sauerkraut hunter's
stew, variety of babkas, very popular Polish poppy seed cake, chrusciki and other Polish pastry
delicacies. Do not forget the authentic Polish sausage made locally by a Polish sausage factory
and served hot from the grill with your choice of mustard. The authentic beer from Poland is the
beverage of choice to complement the sausage.
The different festival booths will be offering Polish and English language books, Polish music on
CD and cassettes, traditional Polish Koledy, videos, amber and silver jewelry and many other gift
items from Poland. There will be activities specifically organized for children, games and treats.
There is an English language Mass every Sunday at 9 a.m. and a Polish language Mass every Saturday
at 6:30 p.m. and every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. followed by a social gathering in the
parish hall. There are several prayer groups which offer an atmosphere for spiritual growth in
faith. The meetings are held weeknights and are widely open to everyone. For more information
about Polish Mission please call (408) 251-8490.
Please come and enjoy experiencing our Polish heritage with us. All proceeds from the event will
go towards helping local Polish community in San Jose. The Polish Festival is open to the public
and there is no admission charge. For more information please visit www.polishfestival.com or call
(408) 251-8490. Zyczymy milych wrazen i smacznego.