Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Father Mucha's Retirement

In 1970, Father Jan Mucha stopped in Denver while visiting relatives in the United States - a visit that would change the course of his life and that of St. Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church in Globeville. Parishioners liked the young Polish priest and asked him to stay. Mucha accepted their invitation, assisting the pastor, Father Fraczkowski, and assuming the pastorate in January, 1974, after the death of Fraczkowski.

Under Father Mucha’s care, the parish has embraced its Polish heritage and traditions, with Sunday Mass in both English and Polish. Mucha also encouraged the practice of Polish customs associated with Christmas and Easter, and brought back the celebration of Corpus Christi with its procession through the neighborhood. The revitalization of the parish contributed to an improved self image for the Globeville area at a time when the neighborhood was under attack from both industry and Denver city planners.

Father Mucha completed a full restoration of the church in time for the parish’s 75th anniversary in 1977 and presided over the 100th anniversary of the parish in 2002.With the fall of Communism, the parish has become home to a new generation of Polish immigrants and a center for Polish activities. The church has been restored, and the front entrance proudly bears the church's name in Polish, a striking sight to those who pass the church each day on Interstate 70.

“When I came the parish was in danger of being closed,” Father Mucha told the Denver Catholic Register. “There was a small number of people who came here for Mass. Today we have many people, many youth. Our church has three choirs. It’s a wonderful community, one I will miss very much.”

1 comment:

Mother * Wife * Art Teacher * Artist said...

I would love to correcpond with you about Globeville.
I just lost my mom, but she was from Globeville, and Leyden. She was Polish.
my e-mail