As you may already have noticed, the members of our parish Core Staff have been writing articles in our Clarion this summertime. Frankly, I did not know what to write about. I have thought about some topics for a few weeks. And just recently, I have been reading a lot about Casimir Pulaski (Kazimierz Pułaski). Why? He had spent his last four years in Poland in my hometown – where his fortress was located – before he left Poland to come to America. I’m sure you know a little bit of this interesting person; after all, we should have a free second Monday of March to honor Casimir in Illinois. I’d like to mention that he fought in defense of both of our countries. You might ask me why I’m writing about him or what his connection with the church is. Surprisingly, he was a man/soldier of faith. He ordered his soldiers to build a chapel (St. Barbara’s chapel, the patroness of his troops) in the middle of the fortress. Nowadays, the same St. Barbara’s shrine-altar is placed in my village church. In addition, under the motto, For Faith and Freedom, Pulaski assumed the military leadership of the Confederation of Bar, and Casimir, on his 21st birth- day, took command of a detachment of partisans. For the next years, in military campaigns against Russian forces and here in the USA, he showed that the most important values for a society are faith and freedom.
Did you notice what his life motto was? For Faith andFreedom. We would talk a lot about the faith and freedom. However, I’d like to present you some research I did after I read Pulaski’s motto. Here are some of the most repeated and interesting websites in this topic that caught my attention.
Faith & Freedom Coalition “Freedom regards religion as the companion in all its battles and all its triumphs as the very cradle of its infancy and the source of all its claims …. because religion alone is the safeguard of morality, and morality is the best and surest pledge for the survival of freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville-www.ffcoalition.com.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom is a non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting our religious liberty in the courts. The mission is to engage in cases that will uphold our religious liberty and Americaʹs heritage and to educate Americans about our fundamental constitutional rights. www.faith-freedom.com.
Faith & Freedom is a quarterly publication of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. The magazine covers critical issues facing American churches today, and gives an insider’s look at trends within our churches. Attention is also paid to religious persecution worldwide, and the role of Christians in transforming culture. www.theird.org.
Faith & Freedom Society or The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a nonpartisan advocacy organization to challenge the radical religious right. TIA remains committed to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in public life by encouraging civic partici- pation and facilitating community activism. TIA strives to protect both the sanctity of religion and the integrity of government. www.interfaithalliance.org.
Faith and Freedom David Burrell (University of Notre Dame). The author brings together the best of his work on creation and human freedom. He dismantles the ʹlibertarianʹ approach to freedom underlying Western political and economic systems. David engages with Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The author is noted for his rigorous approach, his wry humor, his intellectual subtlety and his generous spirit.
Religious freedom remains one of Americaʹs most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it. Pope Francis. www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty.
The Polish and Americans have always recognized Pulaski’s heroism and the price he paid for their free- dom. In his first letter to Washington, after arriving in America, Pulaski wrote, “I came here with faith, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.” He proved true to his word, motto, For Faith and Freedom. For this, we honor him as a soldier of Liberty and Faith for all.