Located in the agricultural lands of east San Antonio is a
beautiful church modeled in gothic traditional architecture. The
Annunciation BVM church at St. Hedwig, Texas has a rich and
vibrant past. Lineage can be traced as far back in time as 1795
in Poland during the tragic time when country after its glorious
past lost independence. The political environment of that era
gave rise to a number of Polish emigrants looking for something
new and challenging.
Father Leopold Moczygemba, a missionary of the Franciscan Order,
had written a letter inviting people from Poland to pack up
their families and move 8,000 miles to a new, and very different
land. He created community of Panna Maria, Texas in 1854 and was
instrumental in founding other Polish communities in USA.
The community, which the first thirteen families from Poland
built in 1855 with their hard work, they called St. Hedwig,
after their beloved Patroness and placed their parish under the
protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The two priests most
frequent mentioned in the church building were Fr. Vincent
Barzynski and Fr. Felix Zwiardowski of the Resurrection Society.
From the year 1855 until the present, the original families and
descendants, 40 Pastors, and a rich blend of other
nationalities, have all contributed to maintaining the religious
faith and customs of the Roman Catholic Church.