Joe Brozeski, coordinator of the local Polish Heritage Project, received a letter from the Library of Congress, which included all 10 of the locally produced audio recordings of sacred music sung in Polish as well as other materials related to the project in its collections.
The Oil City-based Polish Heritage Project
- an 18-year, 10-recording journey that has preserved the nuanced sounds of a local Polish choir - now stands in the nation's capital as a testament to fading, small-town ethnic church traditions.
Project coordinator Joseph Brozeski sent copies of the project's 10 compact discs, eight lyric books, two devotional books and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Centennial Hymnal to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
received a thank you letter and grateful acknowledgement last month on the project's undertaking, having first made contact with the library with the help of U.S. Sen.
said having the materials cataloged and made available in the Library of Congress
was one of his
With fears that the North Side church may someday close its doors - a fate suffered by countless other Catholic parishes throughout the country - the Oil City businessman has made it a personal mission to see his
tightly held ethnic traditions live on through the Polish Heritage Project
"With the fact that we don't know what is going to happen to Assumption Church
, if it's closed, this is going to live on," Brozeski
"This is going to continue on long after everyone is gone or the church is gone.
"You're not going to find many places that have undertaken a heritage project like this in a small town like ours.
It puts Oil City on the map."
An outspoken champion of retaining ethnic tradition and substance within churches, Brozeski
believes the Oil City recordings perfectly capture the spirit of faithful ethnic-rich parishioners singing hymns in Polish.
For many of the singers, Polish was the language they grew up speaking.
"Churches are losing their ethnicity," he
Comments from across the country have been "very positive," Brozeski
has a stack of notes from people telling how the "tapes remind me of home" and how "they bring back fond memories."
Information on how to order the compact discs and publications as well as how to offer a memorial/donation to the project is available online at www.polishheritageproject.com, or by contacting Brozeski