What really shocked me when I began reviewing stories for the current issue of the Polish Weekly was the fact that Father Timothy Whalen, who has served so ably as Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools for so many years is being recalled to his former diocese in Pittsburgh (see this week’s Publisher’s Note). I will never forget the controversy that accompanied Fr. Whalen’s appointment as Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools. The assignment of priests is, of course, a prerogative of the Church and its hierarchy, but there were some who were dismayed because they thought Fr. Whalen was not “Polish” enough to preside over such a venerably Polish institution as the OLS. Personally, at the time, I wondered what the problem was, and why some people were complaining about a choice that was not theirs to make. Time has proved what a wonderful choice it was to place Fr. Whalen as the leader of Orchard Lake, and from what I have seen and heard so far, the resistance to his leaving and the sense of loss at his imminent departure are a well deserved contrast to the hesitant welcome he may have received from some quarters on his arrival in the Detroit area.

No matter where his assignments and his journey through life may take him, I will always consider him a dear friend, and I will always remember his cheery smile, tireless energy and constant good will. I know nothing of any speculation about the reasons for Fr. Whalen’s return to his former diocese. I know it represents a loss to our local Polonia, and it represents a new opportunity for Fr. Whalen, and for whoever ultimately replaces him. I am anxious to know more, but only in the context of a positive attitude.

I regret that I am not well acquainted with Monsignor Kosanke, who is also leaving his position with OLS, but at least he will still be with us, apparently, in the Detroit area. Let us hope that Fr. Whalen will be able to visit us from time to time, and if I ever am in Pittsburgh, I know one friend I will surely want to visit with!

As noted by our publisher, the next installment of Frank J. Dmuchowski’s story begun last issue will be delayed until the March 29, 2011 issue because of our coverage of the administrative changes at the Orchard Lake Schools. I look forward to the next installment.

I am again amused by the turnabout in the dynamics of the European labor market. Among the news from Poland is an item detailing the exodus of Polish workers from the UK. Do you remember how fearful the British were that their jobs were doomed to be usurped by the influx of Polish labor when Poland joined the EU? The times, they are a chaingin’.

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