Open Letter to the Board of Regents of Orchard Lake Schools



To: The Board of Regents
Orchard Lake Schools
3535 Commerce Rd
Orchard Lake, MI

January 20, 2021

We, the undersigned representatives of Polonia, concerned by the latest news about the Orchard Lake Schools posted in American newspapers and on television, are asking you about the current state and future plans for the three organizations under the Polish Mission directions: Galeria, Museums, and The Central Archives of Polonia.

From the beginning of SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Polonia has been supporting this Polish seminary, the only one in the US. At the same time, in good faith, they have been putting into its care their cultural goods, archival documents, valuable exhibits, works of art, books and other important items from the historical point of view, evidence of a rich contribution of Polonia in the World and US. The OLS became the trusted place for the individuals as well as Polonia’s organizations where they could temporarily deposit or donate their collections. For example, the private collections of Edward Dusza and The Polish Scouting Organization temporarily held in the Archives.

For the last several years, all of the museums are closed and their collections are not available for viewing. For the last two years the Archives are also closed. Apparently the Archives are sorted out again, although two years ago were available for private viewing or through the internet. The Galeria is also closed for several years and all the objects are in unknown locations; not available to see. The Polish books, very often rare additions are in boxes instead of on the library shelves.

There is no director of The Polish Mission for some time. It looks like there is no one knowledgeable and responsible for the Galeria, the Museums or The Central Archives of Polonia. Someone should be appointed and informed about the state of all collections, including those on temporary loans and already due back in OLS for example: the letters of Polish orphans who immigrated to the US after World War II, or the Polish kings’ letters.

In our view, it is extremely important for the future cooperation between Polonia and the OLS, full confidence, truthfulness of information, and transparency. We hope that the Board of Regents agrees with us and is ready to cooperate with Polonia. We have faith that the future of Polonia’s collections is as important to the OLS as their good name.

Thank you for a timely and honest response.

Marek Bober, Editor-in-Chief, Kurier, Chicago, IL
Wanda Bender, Treasury of Polish Heritage of Necedah, WI
Marian Brokos, political refugee, member of „Solidarity” Poland and, Pomost USA
Waldemar Biniecki, Editor-in-Chief Kuryer Polski and Columnist of Tygodnik Solidarność
Elzbieta Chojnowska, Grupa Poetycka „Arka”, Chicago, IL
Frank J. Dmuchowski, Assistant Editor Tygodnik Polski/The Polish Weekly
Zofia M. Duniec-Dmuchowski, Ph.D.,Troy, MI
Edward Dusza, Towarzystwo Krzewienia Nadziei, Chicago-Stevens Point
Zdzislaw Gajko, political refugee, member of „Solidarity” Poland
Jarosław Gołembiowski, The Chopin Society, Chicago, IL
Regina Gorzkowska-Rossi, Pro Arte Associates in Philadelphia
Jolanta Halaczkiewicz, Rochester, MI
Piotr Halaczkiewicz, political refugee, member of „Solidarity” Poland, Rochester, MI
Jacek Hilgier, Editor-in-Chief Gwiazda Polarna
Iwona Jedrzejczak, Shelby Twp., MI
Alicja Karlic, Editor-in-Chief Tygodnik Polski / The Polish Weekly
Jacek Kawczynski, Komandor Stowarzyszenie Rajd Katynski with members of SRKPIT
Jozef Koniecko, Vice-President of PH of Neceda Inc., WI
Jozef Luczaj, Civic Committee of Members of PSFCU, New York
Mirosława Kruszewska, Seattle, WA
Ks. Kanonik Roman Nir, PhD, former Director of The Central Archives of Polonia
Lester Puszynski, President of Polish Heritage of Necedah, WI
Zofia Puszynski, JB Deli, INC, WI
Maria Stasiewicz, Stoughton, MA
Marek Stasiewicz, Stoughton, MA
Maria Szonert Binienda, Esq, President Libra Institute, Inc
Stanislawa Rawicki, PNA, Chicago, IL

Home page thumbnail photo: Tomasz Mikołajczyk (Pixabay License)





The Polish Institute of Culture and Research at Orchard Lake is a not-for-profit organization that serves the Polish American community, regionally and nationally, as a center for Polish and Polish American culture and research. As part of the Orchard Lake Schools and rooted in the teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, the Institute is part of an ancient, living tradition of Polish and Polish American culture and serves as center for research and cultural activity for people from throughout its region, across North America, and around the world.

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St. Cyril and Methodius, commonly known as the Polish Seminary, was founded in 1885 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1909, due to better housing conditions, it was moved to the nearby Orchard Lake, where it exists today. The creation of this seminary is connected with the mass economic emigration of Poles to the United States.

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With this article, we would like to encourage all Americans of Polish descent and Polish government officials to reflect, and then to make sensible, joint efforts to save Polish national heritage abroad, in particular the unique archives of the Polish Mission in Orchard Lake, Michigan.

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