St. Casimir's, Posen

St. Casimir's, Posen

Father F. szulak, a Jesuit sent by Bishop Borgess in 1874, was the first priest to say Mass in the Posen area. He came to Rogers City by boat and walked the remaining miles to the little village where the first Mass was offered at the home of Valentine Losinski. It was also Father Szulak who suggested that the village be called "Posen".

In 1874 forty acres of land was donated to the church by Frederick D. Larke and a committee from the parish selected the highest point in the township as the church site. In the same year a log church was built by contractors, Lawrence Woloszyk and John Losinski. On clear days the church can be seen from the hills of both Alpena and Montmorency Counties.

On the first day of March, 1878, Father Anthony Bogacki was appointed the first pastor of the congregation. Soon after his arrival, Father Bogacki built a log cabin for his residence. Later the building was used as a school and still later as a home for the Sisters. In 1882 a new residence was built for the pastor. Brick for the building was hauled by ox carts a distance of twelve miles. The log church burned on January 28, 1883, and a temporary frame building was constructed the same year. The parishioners began making preparations for a new brick church in 1890 and upon its completion in 1891, the temporary structure was dismantled. In September of 1886, school was opened in the small log cabin which had been the pastor's residence and continued there until 1890 when a frame school building was constructed. In 1895 the Felician Sisters came to Posen and took charge of the school.

Father Bogacki was transferred to Bay City in 1896 and Father Jos. Lewandowski was in temporary charge of the parish until April, 1897. Later in the year Father Bogacki returned but resigned shortly after and from then until January, 1898, the congregation was without a priest. Father M. Matkowski was appointed pastor in 1898 and served the parish for the next fifteen years. During his time a new brick school building was erected and many other improvements and additions were made to the grounds and buildings. Father Choldkiewicz, former Metz pastor, was moved to Posen where he served the parish for one year. Father C. T. Skowronski was sent to Posen during the six weeks of the inter-regnum when the Reverend Joseph Koss was installed as pastor. Father Koss remained to serve the church until 1933.

In 1919 the Felician Sisters relinquished the school and the Sisters of Mercy took over. The curriculum was reorganized to suit the requirements of the day; new conveniences were installed in te parish buildings, the grounds were landscaped, a Sisters' home was built and cement sidewalks laid down. High school classes were started for a time under Father Kwasigroch but it was not until the time of Father C. Szyper that a high school was fully operated. From December, 1931, to August 1935, Father Leonard Kwasigroch was appointed administrator of the parish and in August of that year Father C. Szyper was appointed pastor.

A Sisters Convent was erected in 1949, under the direction of the pastor without the aid of a contractor. In June of that year, Father Szyper was transferred from the Posen parish after 18 years of service. Father Stephen Kozak came from St. Charles and took over the leadership of the parish. In 1957, Father Kozak celebrated his Silver Jubilee to the Priesthood. Father Kozak served the parish until January, 1968, when Father Clarence Smolinski was installed. Father Smolinski was born in Metz and is the son of Stanislaus and Augustina Smolinski who were married in the church he now serves.

In 1969, at the request of the church committee and a meeting with the people, it was decided to look into the possibility of building a new church, permission was granted by the bishop and Morriss and Wesolek, architects from Bay City were contacted. A building committee, consisting of 16 men, was appointed by the people present at the meeting and a move for the new church was underway.

Plans had been drawn up and approved by the building commission of the Diocese, then a questionnaire was sent out to parishioners and the response was in favor of the building. At this time, final plans were drawn up, and God willing, a new home was soon erected for the greater honor and glory of God. A new house of worship should be a fitting climax to the parish after nearly a century of existence.