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Username: Livedog2

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, now I’ll christen the thread with my own 1st posting of a Famous Detroiter thread [See Above].

Name: Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski

Claim to Fame: The Crisis-Maker Polish Priest of Detroit

Birth Date: August 13, 1838

Birth Place: Galacian town of Mielec in Austrian-Poland

Death Date: April 11, 1898

Place of Death: Detroit, Michigan

Obituaries: The Detroit daily German newspaper, Die Detroiter Abendpost, April 13, 1898.

“It must not be thought that only Polanders participated in the funeral and burial, or that only Polish people visited the church in the course of these last days in order to have a last glance at the well-known features of Dominic Kolasiński as he lay in death. People came from all parts of the city; rich and poor, people of all nationalities, Detroiters all, they came by train or in carriages or on foot to Canfield Avenue and Russell Street. Some came out of curiosity; others came out of sympathy for a man who played such a great role in this city for more than sixteen years. Yesterday and today, they made many demonstrations in honor of the memory of this famous priest whom today we have consigned to the earth and whose memory will never fade. His story will be told even to coming generations."

A Detroit Polish publication of that day (Swoboda — April 15, 1898).

“When his friend, Rev. Romuald Byzewski (pastor of St. Francis Church), appeared on the pulpit, the people wept so audibly that the preacher himself could not be heard. . . . He reminded them of the days of triumph and tragedy they had traversed with their pastor. He urged them to continue to nurture in their hearts, to their dying day, the love which they so sincerely were manifesting toward their pastor on this day of his funeral. . . . At the closing of the casket, the weeping and wailing of the people became so general that tears were observed in the eyes of even those clergymen who, while the lamented pastor was still among the living, could hardly have been called his friends.”

Biograpy: For better or for worse, the history of the Pioneer Detroit Polanders is emblazoned with the name of Dominic Hippolytus Kolasiński. In 1882, he became the fifth pastor of St. Albertus Parish. A very charming and capable man, he proved to be both a very charismatic priest and a very controversial leader. He rallied his people to build the present beautiful Gothic Church of St. Albertus which was dedicated on July 4, 1885.

Unfortunately, late in November of 1885, trouble and dissension polarized the parish into two factions. Father Kolasiński was the center of contention. He was removed from his pastorate and suspended from the priesthood on November 30, 1885, for a variety of alleged reasons. Riots and disturbances and mayhem followed. Young John Lewicki, 24, was killed in one such riot on Christmas Day of 1885.

Father Kolasiński’s adherents would not allow him to leave. Moreover, after consulting a competent canonist, he wrote a letter to Bishop Casper Henry Borgess on December 30, 1885, in which he lamented the latter’s lack of canonical procedure. First, he had not been presented with a document of detailed specific charges made against him. Second, he had not at any time previously received the two requisite warnings concerning any of his alleged irregularities. And third, he was denied due process to protect his person with proper legal representation. That is why he felt his suspension was issued illicitly and invalidly. He felt no man is above the law and that his bishop must follow Canon Law. He rationalized that if bishops fail to observe rules
and regulations, then priests and laity are not required to accept disciplines which contradict the general laws of the Church. That is why he initially refused to leave his pastorate. It was only in early April of 1886, after a judgment of the civil court on March 19, 1886, rendered a verdict in his disfavor, that the priest left Detroit for the Dakota Territory. Here he became pastor of a rural Polish parish of Poznanian and Kashubian farmers near Minto.

Buried: Sacred Heart of St. Mary Cemetery

Location: 17219 Mound Rd., Detroit, MI 48212, Between E. Davison St. and McNichols Rd.

Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski
Entrance to Sacred Heart of St. Mary Cemetery.
Mausoleum for Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski
Inscription over the entrance to Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski Mausoleum
over entrance
Inscription to the right of the entrance to Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski's Mausoleum
Inscription to the left of the entrance to Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski Mausoleum
Doorway to eternity on Rev. Dominic Hippolytus Kolasinski's Mausoleum.