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July 9, 2012

My wife Terry and I travelled by car  from our home in Bermuda Run, NC to Garfield, NJ in 100+ degree weather to attend a banquet honoring Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków, Poland scheduled for Sunday afternoon on July 1, 2012 in Royal Manor.  Many will recall that Cardinal Dziwisz served as the personal secretary of Karol Cardina Wojtyła, who  later  became Pope John Paul II (1978-2005).  In that capacity he remained for forty years.  About 300 persons attended the banquet not only to meet him but to support his current project , the creation of an “International  ‘Be Not Afraid’ Center” in Kraków which is designed to preserve the legacy of Blessed John Paul II. For more information about the Center one may contact Rev. Mirosław Król, Pastor of St. Theresa R.C. Church 131 E. Edgar St., Linden, N.J. 07036.

It was good to see and meet Cardinal Dziwisz once again.  I first met him in 1969 when he accompanied Cardinal Wojtyła on his first visit to the USA to the new Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa, in Doylestown, PA . I  happened to serve as Master of Ceremonies at the “Karol Cardinal Wojtyła Day” program on September 28, 1969.  Subsequently met him again in NYC in 1976 and later a few times in the Vatican where he served as the Pope’s gatekeeper and more recently in Krakow as the Metropolitan Archbishop.  There is a special bond between us since we are both “górals” (Tatra highlanders). He was born in the mountain village of Raba Wyżna and I am the son of góral parents from the villages of Ostrowsko and Gronków.  Cardinal Dziwisz is an avid reader of “The Tatra Eagle” (Tatrzański Orzeł) a quarterly co-edited by my sister Janina Kedron and me.  It was my pleasure to send him  a few months ago an autographed copy of my book “Tatra Highlander Folk Culture In Poland and America” which he acknowledged with thanks.

 The next day we escaped the inhuman hot weather in New Jersey by traveling to the Green Mountain State of Vermont where we experienced not only cool, refreshing mountain weather but old fashioned Polish hospitality of my sister Janina and my brother-in-law Henry Kedron.  They own a beautiful chalet near  the Killington-Pico Peak skiing region.  Returned to hot North Carolina late on Sunday July 8, and planning later to spend some time in the Appalachian mts. in Western NC near Boone and Banner Elk, about two hours away from Bermuda Run

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