Welcome to the

Polish Institute of
Culture & Research

Our Staff

Dr. John Radziłowski


Śr. Genowefa Potaczała

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Ania Bieciuk

Associate Director for Polonia Affairs

Dr. Alicja Karlic

Director of the Polish Media Center of Polish Institute of Culture & Research

Mietek Oniskiewicz

Assistant to the PICR Director / Media Center Associate
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Our Board of Trustees

Richard Walawender

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Ann Bankowski

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Frank Dmuchowski
Robert Dutkiewicz

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Dr. Stanisław Golec, MD MPH

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Mary Ann Harrington
Christopher Kalenkiewicz
Dr. Walter Knysz, Jr.
Stanisław Z. Majewski, B.S.,D.D.S., M.S.D

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Wallace M. Ozog
Waldemar Raczkowski
Christopher Wzacny

Brief History of the Orchard Lake Schools’ Polish Roots

The Orchard Lake Schools, originally known as the “Polish Seminary,” were founded in the late 19th century when the need arose for priests to minister to the huge numbers of Poles emigrating to the United States at the time.

In January 1879, Fr. Leopold Moczygemba, a Polish Franciscan priest, secured permission from Pope Leo XIII to establish a Seminary in the United States to train men for the priesthood to minister to these immigrants. Fr. Moczygemba entrusted this papal charter to Fr. Józef Dąbrowski, another Polish immigrant. In July 1885, the cornerstone was laid for Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary on Detroit’s east side. The first class of students enrolled in December 1886.

After 24 years of growth and expansion, larger quarters were required and the Seminary, under Fr. Witold Buchaczkowski, moved to Orchard Lake, Michigan in 1909, some 25 miles northwest of Detroit, scenic grounds of the former Michigan Military Academy. Remodeling and new construction from 1912 through 1928 permitted further growth in enrollment. Three distinct schools: Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, St. Mary’s College and St. Mary’s Preparatory emerged from a restructuring of the Seminary in 1927-28, each with a four-year program. Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary’s last graduation was held in 2022. The Seminary boasted graduating over 2,000 seminarians who became ordained priests. St. Mary’s Prepatory still functions to this day.

With their deep Polish heritage it is natural that the Orchard Lake Schools are home to the Polish Institute of Culture & Research.


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The Polish Institute of Culture & Research
at the Orchard Lake

3535 Commerce Rd., Orchard Lake Village, MI 48324