Requiem for Saints Cyril and Methodius — America’s ‘Polish Seminary’| National Catholic Register

The board of regents of the Orchard Lake Schools in Michigan has decided to close Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary at the end of the academic year 2021-22. Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary is part of a group that once comprised three academic institutions in Orchard Lake, Michigan. The other two institutions were St. Mary’s Preparatory, a Catholic high school, and my now-defunct alma mater, St. Mary’s College, which has been theoretically absorbed into Madonna University as its “Orchard Lake campus,” but from what I hear offers limited programming. The Orchard Lake Schools also included a number of other institutions associated with the College and Seminary that, together, supported what is now known as Orchard Lake’s “Polish Mission.” The seminary was founded in 1885 in Detroit and had always been known as “the Polish Seminary.” Father Joseph Dąbrowski (who was also responsible for bringing the Felician Sisters to the United States) founded Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary to care for the pastoral needs of the growing Polish diaspora in the United States. Some say there is a document with Pope Leo XIII’s signature somewhere approving the seminary’s establishment that might arguably make it “pontifical” in its founding. Between 1880 and 1920, estimates of up to 2 million Poles came from the lands of partitioned Poland — then split between the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian empires — for work in the United States. While Poles had come to America earlier — Poles organized the first strikes in Jamestown in 1619, Tadeusz Kościuszko designed West Point, and Casimir Pulaski was the only foreign senior officer to die for the American Revolution — the emigracja za chlebem (the “emigration for bread”) laid the foundation for the first of two massive emigrations that became the 10 million-strong Polish-American community. (The other was the emigracja polityczna, the “political emigration” of Poles who had served with the Western Allies during World War II and who refused to return to a homeland under communist slavery.)

Requiem for Saints Cyril and Methodius — America’s ‘Polish Seminary’| National Catholic Register

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