Our Saviour's Parish
Polish National Catholic Church
500 Smithfield Road
Woonsocket, RI  02895
Father Henryk Wos, Pastor


 Helpful Answers


How did our church begin?
Our church was founded over 100 years ago by Polish immigrants whose spiritual needs were not being met by the Roman Catholic Church. Today the Church is made up of members with many ethnic backgrounds and the services are celebrated in English.

How do we worship?
We worship by attending Holy Mass which is the Sacrifice of the New Testament offered by the priest. We also worship by taking part in traditional services, like: Rosary, Vespers, Stations of the cross, Lamentations, Devotions and Litanies.
Following the PNCC's first synod in 1904, the vernacular (first Polish then English) gradually replaced Latin as the language of the Liturgy. Our Masses are celebrated in the language of the people, so that all worshipers can understand God’s message (in The USA and Canada basically in English).

Other information:

The Eucharist
For the Mass our Church uses one of three liturgies: the Contemporary Rite, the Traditional Rite, and the Rite of Prime Bishop Hodur. The Contemporary is the shortest of the Mass types and the most used in PNCC parishes. It is similar to the current Roman Rite Mass except some parts are from the other two Masses. The Traditional is longer and is still widely used. It is the older Mass used at the time when the PNCC formed. The Prime Bishop Hodur Mass is the longest and filled with additional prayers and litanies, as well as parts of the Traditional Mass.
We believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration. As in the Maronite Church and several other Eastern rite churches, communion is given through Intinction, whereby the Host is partially dipped in the wine and then placed on the tongue of the communicant. Altar rails are common in PNCC parishes and are used during the distribution of Communion.

Our Church regards a confession of faults to God, followed by the assignment of penance and absolution given by the priest, to be the way the congregation normally obtains forgiveness of sins. The sacrament may be administered in one of two ways: public or private. Private confession is required for all members under the age of sixteen, while public confession is a part of every Mass. In this form, the faithful confess their sins directly and privately to God. The entire congregation then recites the Prayer of Confession. Adults may avail themselves of private confession if they so wish.

Birth control
Our Church teaches that the use of birth control is a matter of personal judgment for husband and wife, rather than the responsibility of church authorities to instruct its members regarding issues of procreation.

As the Church we hold that human life should be protected by law from the moment of conception, it opposes abortion, legal or otherwise.

Marriage and divorce
Our Church believes that "Marriage is the sacrament which makes a Christian man and woman husband and wife, gives them grace to be faithful to each other and to bring up their children in love and devotion to God.” Unlike in the Catholic Church, PNCC deacons are not permitted to officiate at weddings. Our Church permits divorced people to participate fully in the Mass and to receive the Eucharist. The Church does not recognize civil divorce, and it requires an annulment before parishioners can remarry. Every our diocese has a matrimonial commission that studies each request for marriage by persons who have been divorced. The commission presents its findings and recommendation to the bishop, who makes the final decision.

Priesthood and marriage
Since 1921 our Church has permitted its clergy to be married, and in practice encourages them to be so. They believe that a married priest will have a better understanding of the marital issues facing his parishioners. If a person is unmarried at the time of ordination, he must remain so for a period of two years before entering marriage. The Church does not permit women to be ordained either to the diaconate or ministerial priesthood.

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