Our mother church, the Polish National Catholic Church, was formed in 1897 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, by a group of faithful Catholics and their spiritual leader, the Rt. Rev. Francis Hodur. Together they established St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Parish.
Father Hodur authored a National Church (“Kosciol Narodowy”) program that called for
- Legal ownership of church properties as well as parish government in secular matters by a parish committees elected by the parishioners,
- Appointment to pastors approved by parishioners, and
- Appointment of Bishops with input by clergy and laity.
This “Program” was in direct conflict with Roman Catholic practices and resulted in Father Hodur’s ex-communication from the Roman Catholic Church. In response to the ex-communication, Father Hodur and his parishioners decided not to return to the Roman Catholic Church, but rather pursue the “Program.”
Father Hodur was elected the first Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church in 1904 at its first Holy Synod. The Synod also voted to permanently break from the Roman Catholic Church.
Our parish was founded in February 1927 by a local group of Polish Roman Catholic parishioners who had also become dissatisfied with the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and who had heard about the National Church program. Joseph Stajkowski and Francis Szaj contacted Bishop Hodur who sent the Rev. Stanly Cybulski to meet with the group and organize a new parish. Initially, services were held at the Stajkowski family home or in their garden. Subsequently, a former Baptist Church building was acquired. By 1936, a new property was acquired consisting of a church, rectory, auditorium, and youth club.