Highlights of Events

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Annual Fund Raiser

Guest of Honor: Reverend Canon Philip S. Majka

Fr. MajkaThe formal program began after brunch with William Klepczynski and Raymond Glembocki introducing the guest of honor, Rev. Canon Philip S. Majka. He was born and raised in Connecticut and attended local schools continuing his education at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT; Queen of Apostles Seminary, Madison, WI and SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, MI. He was ordained on May 1, 1965, and served as associate pastor of five parishes and appointed pastor of two other parishes. Father Majka has received numerous awards and honors for his many years of service as Chaplain and member of Polish-American organizations. In 1999, he was awarded the Cavaliers Cross of Merit from the Polish Government. Since 2006, Fr. Majka has served as the Catholic chaplain at Dulles International Airport and in 2010 became vice president of the National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains. He will celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of his Ordination to the Priesthood in May 2015.


Speaker Paul A. Brazinski

Topic “Holy Bones, Holy Blood – Relics of Saint John Paul II”

PresentationPaul A. Brazinski was the featured speaker at the Wadowice Champagne Brunch on October 19, 2014, speaking on “Holy Bones, Holy Blood – Relics of Saint John Paul II.” Paul came to the forefront of Washington DC Polonia when he received the First Place Scholarship Grant from the Polish American Arts Association. Paul is pursuing his Ph.D. degree at Catholic University, where he is majoring in Church History and Byzantine studies. He is a scholar who is also an athlete and is proud of both activities. As an undergraduate at Bucknell University, Paul pursued Latin and ancient Greek, while playing football. At the University of Cambridge in England, Paul studied medieval and Byzantine archeology, and also captained the varsity lacrosse team. Paul has published in Papers from the Institute of Archeology and has presented at the International Archeological Institute of America. Most recently, Paul authored a pamphlet for The Friends of John Paul II Foundation, titled “The Relics of Saint John Paul II: History, Function, and Miracles” which was gifted to all the guests at the Wadowice brunch. The Friends of John Paul II Foundation plans to print and distributed the pamphlet to the middle and high schools in the greater Washington DC area.

In his presentation, Paul explained about three classes of relics as they pertain to Saint John Paul II. Among the Pope’s first class relics are the vials of blood that were collected by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow in 1981, when the Holy Father was shot, and then at his last hospital stay in 2005. Drops of the blood have been disbursed throughout the world, and are referenced in ornate reliquaries, such as the one in Baltimore at Holy Rosary Church. Second class relics, like the pope’s clothes, tennis shoes, and skis are kept in Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC. Tertiary relics are those objects that have contact with primary and secondary relics; these include reliquaries and pictures of St John Paul II which have been blessed by the Vatican.

Christians have historically acquired relics and made pilgrimages to be in their presence, hoping that the saint will help them by performing a miracle. Paul’s presentation was informative and engaging. Mrs. Cecilia Glembocki thanked Paul and wished him success in completing his doctorate.


May 18, 2014 (Sunday)

Birthday Celebration

PresentationOn May 18, the date of the birth of Karol Wojtyla, the Friends of John Paul II Foundation held their annual birthday celebration of John Paul II. This year had the added joy of his canonization and the recounting of his legacy.

Following dinner, the program was introduced by Bill and Gloria Klepczynski. Marianna Eckel presented a program of songs and dances from the Wadowice Mountain Region and Krakow where Karol grew up.

Dr. Piotr H. Kosicki, Assistant Professor of history at the University of Maryland spoke about Saint John Paul II on Solidarity and the Dignity of the Human Person. He pointed out that these two concepts were John Paul II’s greatest issues and read short excerpts from his Papal Encyclicals.

Rev. Canon Philip Majka, Cecilia, and Ray Glembocki gave short accounts of their experiences at the Canonization in Rome. Father Majka reminded us how important it is to preserve the Legacy of John Paul II and that it behooves each one of us to do what we can to make sure it lives on.


October 19, 2013 (Saturday)

Wadowice on the Potomac

PresentationOur Chapter honored Archbishop Carlos Maria Vigano during our annual “Wadowice on the Potomac” held at the at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. More than ninety guests recognized his Excellency, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, for his dedication to the Church and for his promotion of the legacy of John Paul II. His Excellency Archbishop Vigano recalled his association with Blessed John Paul II from the time when he was ordained a bishop by John Paul II and of the sadness he felt after John Paul was shot. He spoke of John Paul’s love of languages and how important it was to address his audiences in their native tongue. He remembered his courage, his passion for young people and his courage to have lived a life filled with human frailties. The Chapter awarded the Archbishop a paperweight as a reminder of his work on behalf of John Paul II. The three-dimensional work included an image of the Archbishop, John Paul II, and the Vatican flag. It was designed by Carla Tomaszewska of Maryland.


October 20, 2013 (Sunday)

Dedication and Unveiling of the Blessed John Paul II Mosaic at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

DedicationPrior to the unveiling ceremony, a Mass was celebrated at the altar of Our Lady of Czestochowa by Cardinal Maida and concelebrated by about 15 priests including the rector of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Mosaic of Blessed John Paul II is located by the altar and was donated by the Polish American Bishops and Clergy. They were recognized for their continued support and promotion of the legacy of Blessed John Paul II. The Friends of John Paul II Foundation hosted a reception following the ceremonies at the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II at McGivney Hall on the Campus of Catholic University.


Arlington Catholic Herald, November 7-13, 2013

“John Paul II’s Legacy Endures”

Cecilia GlembockiThe Arlington Catholic Herald wrote an article about Cecilia Glembocki, immediate past president of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Friends of the John Paul II Foundation. You can view and read the article by clicking here.


Presentation on Sunday, May 5, 2013

Speaker: Fr. Prof. Raymond Studzinski, O.S.B., Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Area Director of Pastoral Studies
Catholic University
620 Michigan Avenue, N.E
Washington, DC 20064

To see the outline of Fr. Studzinski’s
presentation in PDF format, please click here:
Notes on Fr. Studzinski’s lecture


A HALLMARK of the papacy of John Paul II

DedicationA hallmark of the papacy of John Paul II was the promotion of inter-religious dialogue. He made a particular effort to promote the teachings of Vatican II relating to the Jewish faith. In September of 2006, the Friends of John Paul II Foundation, Washington, DC Chapter was privileged to honor his Eminence William Cardinal Keeler and Rabbi Jack Bemporad for their inspiration to persons of good will and a tribute to the teachings and legacy of John Paul II.