A Polish friend of archivist Muriel Olsson made a rough translation for us, and we found that the card was, in fact, a souvenir made to commemorate the consecration of the church. The text reads:
For the first church of St. Stanislaus Kostka
in Hastings on
on Sunday June 14, 1914
[blessing] was given by Father
J.F. Mooney [Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York]
holy mass in this church was given by Father Dr. J. Dworzak and Father K.
The text goes on to say that Father Dworzak [of St. Casimir’s Church in Yonkers] founded the congregation on September 1, 1912, and that it was incorporated on May 19, 1913. The building was bought on December 19, 1913 for $3,000 from the Baptist Church by parishioners J. Jarosz, T. Maslowski, B. Karnicki, and A. Kowalski.
This card was an exciting discovery because it complements five small photographs in our collection that show the procession to the church on this important day. St. Stanislaus’ 90th anniversary booklet describes this procession. Paderewski’s Band was playing as the marchers left Washington Avenue, crossed the bridge, and streamed up Main Street. The new congregation included over a hundred children, and the little girls dressed in white appear to have led the procession. (The Polish Military Association of Yonkers also participated, which may explain the photograph of men with rifles.)
Crowds at the entrance to the church. Father Mooney gave the blessing in front of 3,000 people before the congregation entered the church for Mass