A memorial to the large number from St. Josaphat’s who served in both World Wars. It stands across the narrow street from the church, set into the hillside, with a statue of Christ displaying his Sacred Heart and welcoming us to stop and read the names. As you can guess from the names if you enlarge the picture, St. Josaphat’s was a Polish congregation.
Except for the inevitable distortion of the towers, this is a very accurate rendition of the front of St. Adalbert’s on the South Side. (The distortion is the result of using many photographs to construct what amounts to an impossibly wide-angled rectilinear lens to get the whole front across a very narrow street.) Built in 1889, this church served generations of Polish Catholics, and still serves the congregation of Mary, Queen of Peace parish. The architect does not seem to be known, but old Pa Pitt would be delighted to be informed if anyone does know who it was.
Psalm 83:5 in the Vulgate numbering (Psalm 84:4 in Protestant and more recent Catholic versions): “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever.”
Father Pitt does not know much Polish, but this inscription honors the efforts of Fr. Wladislaw Miskiewicz, parish priest.
The church dominates the back end of 15th Street, one of those absurdly narrow streets in old Birmingham. This is the view from the steps up to the 15th Street pedestrian overpass that leads across the railroad tracks to the Slopes. This end of 15th Street was a whole village of Polish Catholic institutions.
St. Adalbert’s convent.
The Polish school.
We also saw the mid-twentieth-century auditorium, now being turned into condominiums.
Like most of the other schools on the South Side Flats, this one has been converted to loft apartments. Externally, though, the building has changed very little.
This old Polish school on 15th Street, built in 1898, was attached to St. Adalbert’s, the big Polish parish just down the street.