Fr. Lucjan Bojnowski - Poland (USA)

Founder of the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception

Fr. Lucjan Bojnowski was one of New Britain’s most famous Polish citizens. Born in Swierzbutowo, parish of Dąbrowa Białostocka, Province of Grodno in 1868, he came to the United States in 1888 and shortly after enrolled in the Polish seminary at Orchard Lake, Michigan. After being ordained, he was assigned to a Slovak parish in Bridgeport where he served for approximately six months. His arrival in New Britain in 1895 marked the beginning of the Bojnowski era in the history of the Polish community.

Bojnowski's accomplishments were substantial. His efforts to provide a structure that would care for his parishioners from the cradle to the grave occupied the great majority of his time. He established various religious societies at the parish, the first being the Towarzystwo Panień Dzieci Marji pod Opieką Niepokalanego Poczęcia on February 14, 1897. The Towarzystwo Imienia Jezusa was created July 11 of the same year and several days later the Towarzystwo Sióstr Różancowych was founded on July 15. The Knights of Boleslaus the Brave were founded in 1895. Two other early organizations were of a political nature. Both were established in October of 1900 and were evidence of a rift in New Britain’s fledgling Polish organizational network. One, the Polish Political Club #1, did not enjoy the backing of Msgr. Bojnowski. The other, which he endorsed, was the Polish Citizens Club. In 1904 Bojnowski founded an order of nuns, the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

Urged by the desire to honor the Blessed Mother in a special way, on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and wishing to ameliorate the sad plight of orphaned children, Father Bojnowski brought together a group of devoted Sodalists from his parish and, with ecclesiastical approbation, formed the nucleus of the present Community.

He also founded a Polish Orphanage, Our Lady of Różanystok, whose name derives from a much-revered icon in his native parish. In 1906, he established a Polish language newspaper Przewodnik Katolicki which ceased publication in the late 1960s. Bojnowski was also instrumental in the creation of a Polish bank, Peoples Savings Bank, in 1907. His last major project was the erection of St Lucian’s Home for the Aged, which was constructed in 1925.

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