St. Hedwig’s Church
One Depan Avenue
Floral Park, New York 11001
Monsignor Edward Wawerski
Born in Poland, near Lublin, on June 2, 1936, Monsignor was only three old at the time of the Nazi invasion of country. His formative years were spent under the two totalitarian systems (Nazi and Communist) of 20 th centaury Poland.
Monsignor studied for the priesthood at the Diocesan Seminary in Lublin and was ordained to the priesthood on April 9, 1961 by Bishop Piotr Kalva of Lublin. After serving as a parish priest in Poland for twelve years he was able to come to the United States in 1973.
In this country, he served in parishes in New Jersey and North Dakota. One Year service in the latter state, during a long winter, convinced Monsignor to come to Long Island. His first assignment in the Rockville Centre Diocese was as an assistant at St. Hyacinth’s in Glen Head for twelve years and then to St. Hedwig’s for about eighteen months.
Subsequently he was appointed pastor at St. Ladislaus in Hempstead where he remained twenty years. In Hempstead he found a parish in major decline primarily because of demographic changes which resulted in declining attendance. Monsignor was able to rejuvenate the congregation and make major repairs on the parish plant. On May 27, 1996 the Father Wawerski was honored by the Pope with the title of Monsignor.
In 2005, upon the retirement of Father Francis Filmanski, who had served as St. Hedwig’s pastor for thirty-two years, Monsignor was asked by Bishop Murphy to become pastor of St. Hedwig’s while remaining pastor of St. Ladislaus as well. He would remain pastor of both parishes for more than five years.
At St. Hedwig’s, Monsignor began a major program of renovation of the parish plant. The over one hundred year old church building received a new roof and a refurbishing both inside and out. In the interior, Monsignor was careful to preserve the century-old character of the building for which the parishioners are grateful. The rectory and parish hall were also renovated and a new heating system was installed in all three buildings. The overwhelmingly positive reaction of the parishioners to the renovation program testifies to Monsignor’s empathy with the congregation.
During Monsignor Wawerski’s pastorate the parish has continued to grow more diverse in terms of population and new devotions arising from popular appeal have both added to the traditional devotions which have always been a part of the parish.
As the year 2011 began, Monsignor Wawerski gave up the pastorate of St. Ladislaus and become pastor of St. Hedwig’s alone.
As he completes fifty years of service in Lord’s Vineyard, Monsignor can look back on a life of service to God’s people and can be proud of the flourishing community of St. Hedwig’s.