Niwiska, March 14, 1999
My Dear Cousin and Family,
Thank you very much for the letter I received. It makes us happy that you are well. We also have enjoyed a fair amount of health despite the bitter winter during which the flue spread like wild. In village and in cities the flu just spread oval over the place and put people in bed, and it even sent people to the hospital. It seems to be passing by a bit, because it’s gotten somewhat warmer. The starlings and pelicans are bring with them the spring.
We’re glad that you and the prist are coming to Poland, to the country of your grandfathers and their fathers. You’re going to the country where the meadows welcome the duckling spring and the grain fields murmur of rye bread. The forest smell of wild mushrooms and the winds blowing through the trees tell stories of long ago and the history of our ancestors. You just have to listen.
I’m so happy that all the relatives like to read or listen to the letter I write. I write just like I know how.
As far as your journey is concerned, I am so happy that you will have the opportunity to go not only to Poland, but also to see the sites of Rome, the home of our fellow Pole, John Paul II who is in Peter’s capital. Crowds of pilgrims, not only from Poland, but also from the whole world go to see the Pople. They kneel before him, and converse with him. He gives them his apostolic blessing. The greatest personalities of all the countries of the world want to meet with him. He too, espirte his poor healthy travels to various continents, proclaims the Word of God, calls people to peace, calls people to penance. He asks that here be an end to wars that bring death and disablement, orphans, and poverty. He asks the nations to love one another and that they stop doing what is threatening to the person and to humanity.
He will also be in Poland in June, not far from us in Sandomierz. He will be in Lichen where Father Eugene Mikulski is building the largest basilica in Poland and even in Europe. Father Mikulski is doubling and tripling himself in order to get the project done. He is sending out “bricks” which are postcards that sold for the cost of one brick. He is asking for a lot of support for the sanctuary.
It is very good that the other cousin is coming to Poland. We’re glad that our families will be getting to know one another. We’ll talk and you’ll see how we live and what we do.
I am beginning to get these things a bit out of order, but returning to the sanctuary in Lichen, the Holy Father will be there the 4th of June this year at 8:00 AM to bless the basilica as a votive offering of the Polish nation for the year 2000. After the holidays I will write you−and I do hope that you don’t mind me calling you “cousin”−because my grandchildren are asking me to whom I’m writing. They want me to show them who you are in the picture, so I show them. I have two grandchildren Gabriel and Matthias (Maciej or “Macius” for short). Macius is going to be making his First Penance and First Communion this May.
I will write more on our village’s customs and practices. I’ll write about her and about what I and my Uncle Frank (Franciszek) and the family and all the relatives’ experiences and how we survived and how other of us died in the war for lack of shoes, medicine, and nourishment.
I conclude these few words sincerely, dear “cousin” or “uncle” giving you my best greetings, and we give our best wishes to all. I send my best to the priest who is translating these letters. Aren’t you a little angry at the length of my letters, is it going smoothly for you or is it difficult to do? Were you born in Poland or in America? Cousin Clementine despite the fact that she was born in America speaks and writes beautifully in Polish. I asked her if she might like to come to Poland with my sister Stasia.
(Please note: Anna’s granddaughter Gabriela died due to an accident on the Niwiska farm on 6 October 1999. It was difficult for her and the entire family to lose their precious little girl.