'Father Miro' receives award
The Rev. Miroslaw Stelmaszczyk of Holy Family Catholic Church of East Deer is known by a number of names: Father Miro, the Potato Pancake Prince and, now, Polonian of the Year.
The Pittsburgh chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation bestowed its most prestigious cultural award to Father Miro at the organization's 29th annual Polonian of the Year luncheon last weekend at the DoubleTree hotel in Green Tree.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is a nonprofit that promotes educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and the understanding of Polish culture and history.
Father Miro, 62, was born in Kraszewice, Poland, and worked nine years in Poland as a priest before coming to the United States in 1986.
He has served in a number of churches in the region including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Carnegie, St. Clare of Assisi in Clairton, St. Catherine of Sweden in Hampton, and his current position, pastor of Holy Family Church.
Several dignitaries attended Saturday's ceremony including Richard Schnepf, Polish ambassador to the United States, and the Polish consulate in Pittsburgh, Jan Saykiewicz.
According to John Bartus, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of The Kosciuszko Foundation, Father Miro won his group's annual cultural award for a number of reasons.
Among his accomplishments, Father Miro led the opening prayer of a legislative session of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 and for a similar government event for the parliament in Canada.
“Let's face it, he's like the Pied Piper,” Bartus said.
“If he wasn't a priest, he would have made a great diplomat.”
Father Miro's enthusiasm is infectious as evidenced by his motto: “Celebrate Life.”
Adding to his legend, Father Miro makes what many consider the best Polish pancakes in Western Pennsylvania.
“He's not just there at the ethnic festivals,” Bartus said. “He actually makes the pancakes.”
Bartus added that even with Father's Miro's popularity, he still is very humble.
Past recipients of the Polonian of the Year award include former state Rep. Michael Dawida and Timothy Kuzma, president of the Polish Falcons of America.
Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Snow sculptors have a ball with Iceburgh, Einstein
- Student suicide brings issue of bullying to fore in New Kensington-Arnold
- Harrison mom, boyfriend charged in abuse of young boys
- Drivers survive head-on crash on Route 356 in Allegheny Township
- Apollo targets owners who fail to maintain vacant properties
- Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
- Springdale Township standoff ends peacefully
- Teenage suspect in Leechburg killing held for trial
- Mia Z (Zanotti) of Hyde Park advances on NBC’s ‘The Voice’
- Winfield puts off decision on oil, gas drilling ordinance