Monday, March 4, 2013


     It is very exciting to find a photo and a story about your grandparents in an old newspaper, especially when it is a story you haven't heard before. Imagine my happiness when I located this photo and story of my grandparents Lillian Braciszewski Stachowiak (yes, that famous Little Grannie) and Leonard Stachowiak in the Van Nuys News in a December 1949 issue. It is not hard to pick out Little Grannie in the photo.  She is the tiny woman holding the baby and Grandpa Leonard is the man to the left.

     What was the story about you ask?  Well, Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church parish in Van Nuys, California built a new church in 1949.  The parish was established in 1920 and Lillian and Leonard had been parishioners at St. Elizabeth's for over 16 years.  My  mother was baptized in the old church. and two years later (after this story) my parents would be married in this new church.
     On the occasion of this story, Saint Elizabeth's was holding its first Baptism at the new church, which is a cause for celebration.  According to the story, "First baby to be baptized in the handsome new structure now housing St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church was John William Smiley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smiley.  ... Rev. Patrick Francis O'Dwyer [the priest that married my parents] and Rev. Earl Walker officiated at the 11:30 o'clock ceremony.  [Okay, I have never heard the half hour called "o'clock"!]

     "Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Stachowiak served as godparents and later attended a family party at the Smiley home which celebrated both the christening and the 59th birthday of the infant's maternal grandmother Mrs. Mary Bauer".

     Well, I have never heard of the Smileys but obviously they considered my grandparents good role models and entrusted them with the special role of godparents.

1 comment:

  1. It's neat to find a mention of Fr. Earl Walker here. He married me and my wife and baptized our son about 40 years later, in the early 90s. He was a wonderful man and a good priest.