Panna Maria Heritage Center Logo

Silesian Parishes: St. Ann / Kosciusko



In 1873, some forty families moved some five miles north of Panna Maria to establish Cestochowa. This was named in honor of Czestochowa, Poland, the home of a famous image of the Black Madonna, Our Lady of Czestochowa, who is revered by Polish Catholics as much as the Virgin of Guadalupe is beloved by Mexicans. Initially, the migrants continued to attend services at Panna Maria’s Immaculate Conception Church, and a priest from Panna Maria would travel to Cestochowa periodically, to minister to those who could not make the journey. However, after lightning damaged the sanctuary in Panna Maria in 1875, the residents of Cestochowa decided to build their own church. In the late 1880s, some ten families moved still further north, settling approximately twelve miles east of Floresville in southeastern Wilson County. They founded Kosciusko, named for Tadeusz Kościuszko, a hero of the American Revolution as well as a leader of the failed Polish insurrection against the Russians in the 1790s. By 1890, Kosciusko was selling supplies to the new Polish and German settlers arriving on the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad. When the residents of Kosciusko founded St. Ann parish in 1892, they attracted members from Cestochowa, just as the Cestochowa church had earlier taken parishioners from Panna Maria. But, Kosciusko remained a very small town. In 1900, the population was twenty-two, but this had fallen to just ten by 1930. The population was less than four hundred residents by the end of the twentieth century.

Parish News

Parish updates, tour and location information will be located in this area.

Then and Now

Opportunities for photo scanning sessions and oral histories sharing will be posted in this area.