About Us

History of St. Adalbert Church - Philadelphia

St. Adalbert Church was founded by a committee of twelve in 1903 through Archbishop Ryan. The initial church and school was built in 1905 but proved to be too small for the growing Polish immigrant community. In 1908, the cornerstone for today's church building was laid, and opened in August 1909. During that period, the first wing of St. Adalbert School (today Our Lady of Port Richmond Regional Catholic School) was constructed.


Fr. Monkiewicz was appointed the first pastor of St. Adalbert Church, and served until his death on June 3, 1946. 


Today, the parish of St. Adalbert continues to serve the Polish-American community of Port Richmond and surrounding parts of the city and suburbs. 



St. Adalbert Parish School was expanded in 1953 with an additional wing and modernization of the school auditorium.


July 1946: Fr. Francis Palecki was appointed the second pastor of St. Adalbert Parish and served until his retirement on October 13, 1968. Msgr. Jaworowski succeded Fr. Palecki on the same day.


1964: The Rosary Society made a gift of a seven-foot statue of the Blessed Mother, which was erected on the rectory front lawn.

On August 2, 1976, the 41st Eucharistic Congress was held in Philadelphia. Msgr.

Jaworowski was chairman of the Polish Committee for that Congress. Bishops from

Poland concelebrated a Mass in St. Adalbert Church and ate a Poor Man's Supper. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the Archbishop of Krakow, was the main celebrant

with over twenty concelebrants.


In exactly 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks later, Cardinal Wojtyla was chosen to be the 264th Roman Pontiff, Pope John Paul II.


January 1980: Mr. Jerome Ossowski becomes the parish organist.


October 1980: President Ronald Reagan visits Philadelphia and comes to speak in the St. Adalbert parish hall.

On October 7, 1987, then Vice-President George H.W. Bush visited St. Adalbert to give a report on his recent visit to Poland.

Cardinal Jozef Glemp

On June 3, 1984, Msgr. Anthony Jaworowski celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. On September 12 of that year, Msgr. Francis Palecki died after serving 26 years as the pastor. He was responsible for many of the improvements

to the church.


On September 12, 1985, Cardinal Jozef Glemp celebrated Mass in St. Adalbert Church.

On April 14, 1986, Bishop Stainslaw Nowak celebrated Mass.



In April 1989, Frances Siedliska, Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth was beautified in Rome.

Msgr. Hnery Jankowski, Chaplain of the Solidarity Movement, celebrates Mass at Saint Adalbert Church. 

Msgr. Jankowski was the first chaplain who would say Holy Mass for Solidarity strikers in the Gdansk shipyard, earning him the moniker of “Solidarity Chaplain.” His contacts with American Polonia also helped with the procurement of much needed medicine. Msgr. Jankowski died July 12, 2010 in Gdansk, Poland.

In July 1993, Father Jerome H. Pohl was appointed assistant Pastor at St. Adalbert.


Father Pohl would serve at St. Adalbert until his retirement in 2003, and continue to split his time between St. Adalbert in Philadelphia and Poland until his death in 2012.

On June 29, 1994 Father Francis S. Feret, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Pottstown is installed as the 4th pastor of St. Adalbert Parish. On June 14, 1998, Fr. Francis Feret received the honor of becoming a Monsignor.


On August 9, 1998, St. Adalbert hosted the Officers, Directors and Delegates to the National Convention of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. Cardinal Adam Maida was the main celebrant of the Mass. Cardinal Bevilacqua presided.


October 21, 1998 - Father Tadeusz Gorka from Poland is assigned to St. Adalbert Parish as parochial vicar.

On June 7, 2012, Archbishop Charles Chaput appointed Father Jan Palkowski as Pastor of St. Adalbert Church, effective July 3, 2012. Father Palkowski was installed by Bishop Fitzgerald on July 21, 2012.


Father Gorka, who had been administrator pro tem, was transferred to Sacred Heart Parish in Swedesburg, Pennsylvania.


December 2013 - Restrooms are installed in the rear of the church

February 22, 2014 - REVEREND MONSIGNOR ANTHONY E. JAWOROWSKI dies. He was ordained June 3, 1944 by Bishop Hugh Lamb and served as an associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua, Cumbola; St. Hedwig, Chester; St. Mary of the Assumption, Coaldale; St. Casimir, Shenandoah; and as a faculty member of Pius X High School, Pottstown. He was a Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Clifton Heights and retired as Pastor of St. Adalbert Parish, Philadelphia after 22 years in 1994.

July 2015 - Preparation for the World Meeting of Families & Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia: The Martyred Sisters’ House on the corner of Allegheny and Edgemont was been renovated both inside and outside. This work cost the parish nothing. The work was donated by Mr. Wojciech Spadlo and
his employees for their many hours working on the walls. Mr. Spadlo introduced us to Mr. Grzegorz Wojtera of Trenton who donated all the needed materials.

Master painters also painted the house and the rectory.  Mr. Grzegorz Urban performed tile work, Mr David Plewa electrical work in the rectory and Martyred Sisters’ House, Mr. Francis Zapala and Mr. Kazimierz Kurpaska performed additional renovations to both the house and rectory. 

October 21-27 2015 - World Meeting of Families hosted in Philadelphia. Visitors from Poland & Chicago stay at Saint Adalbert's parish hall & rectory, including Bishop Grzegorz Kaszakof Sosnowiec Diocese - Poland.


Cardinal Gerhard Muller visits Saint Adalbert's Parish & gives talk to parishoners & pilgrims. The Cardinal concelebrates Mass in the Church at 7PM.