REV. STANISLAUS J. NOWAK, rector of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Florida, N. Y. In the year 1893 our
Polish neighbors at Florida, N. Y., after mature deliberation and consultation, concluded to have their own church,
and the necessary steps were taken to secure the approval of the church authorities for their project. Having demonstrated
the feasibility of the idea, and the necessary approval having been obtained, Messrs. John and Anton Dulski, Joseph
Andryszak, Joseph Wozniak, Ignatius Brink and John Majorowski were appointed as collectors, and succeeded so well
that within two years over two thousand dollars were subscribed.
On July 2, 1895, Rev. Stanislaus J. Nowak was appointed and entered on his work as rector of the new church. Father
Nowak is a native of Posen Germany Poland, studied at Germany and at Rome and came to this country at the express
wish of Archbishop M. A. Corrigan, and finished his theological studies and was ordained priest at the Provincial
Seminary at Troy, N. Y., by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Tierney, of Hartford. After spending a short while at Shokan, Ulster
County, Father Nowak was appointed as assistant to the Very Rev. Dean Sweeny, of St. Joseph's Church, Kingston,
N. Y., and while there Father Nowak received his appointment as rector of the Polish Church. Since coming to Florida,
N. Y., Father Nowak has been a successful as well as an indefatigable worker, and under his supervision the church
was ready for the dedication in November.
With all the pomp and ceremonial of the Catholic ritual, the new church of the Polish congregation at Florida was
dedicated on Sunday, November 10, 1895, by Archbishop Corrigan, to the service of God under the patronage of St.
Joseph. The solemn high mass on that date was celebrated by the Very Rev. E. M. Sweeny, of Kingston, N. Y. (with
whom Father Nowak lived as assistant before coming to Florida). Father McCorry, of Goshen, acted as deacon, and
Father Nowak as subdeacon, and Father Connolly, the archbishop's secretary, acted as master of ceremonies.
After the gospel had been chanted by the deacon, his grace, the archbishop ascended the steps of the altar and
after a few very well chosen words of congratulation to the pastor and people on the happy culmination of their
work in offering a church free of debt for the purposes of divine worship, preached an able and scholarly sermon
on the holiness of the church, and during his remarks he was listened to with rapt attention, showing that his
words had made a very deep impression. The Polish sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. M. Barabasz, of Baltimore, Md.
The rectory was built the same year and occupied in December. St. Joseph's congregation owns its own cemetery,
which was blessed in October, 1896, and is located at Union Corner.
In July, 1892, Father Nowak was transferred to New York City, where he organized a new Polish congregation, and
established St. Joseph's Home for the Polish Immigrants on Broad street.
Father Michael Slupek was in charge of St. Joseph's Church at Florida for nearly two years, and was succeeded by
Rev. Joseph Kiosks, who was pastor of St. Joseph's until October, 1902. At that time Father Nowak returned to St.
Joseph's, and under his management the church is freed from debt again.
The church will be enlarged this year, as it is too small for the congregation. There are thirteen hundred Polish
people in Florida and vicinity. The Poles of Florida are showing a desire and aptness to develop into a most industrious
and desirable class of citizens.
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908
Orange County, NY
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