Located on Fitzwater Street, St. Stanislaus was the second Polish parish founded in Philadelphia and the oldest surviving parish. As of this year St. Stanislaus turned 131 years old. What stories does this small parish have to tell…
Between the years of 1892 and 1899 were turbulent years for the Parish of St. Stanislaus. Just within these seven years, one priest and multiple parishioners were arrested, three fires, money was stolen, both attempted murder (twice) and murder, and the most important fact, the congregation split not once but twice.
The first Mass at St. Stanislaus was on 12th of April 1891. But the church was bought on the 8th of October 1891 by Rev. Michael Baranski a Polish Catholic Priest who would run the church. Rev. Baranski would change the history of the parish, during his tenure he would baptized 314 babies and marry 74 couples. One couple’s marriage ceremony even made it into the newspaper as “a novel and interesting social event”.
On the 15th of April 1892, one year and two days after the churches one year anniversary Rev. Baranski was arrested for crippling a pupil of his. Later the court would try him fraud. He was acquitted of his crimes on the 5th of October 1892.
This would be the backdrop of the St. Stanislaus parish and the troubles that would be soon continue.