If you will be attending the Elevate Conference in Doylestown, PA this weekend you are in for a special treat. Not only will you be able to meet your favorite Relevant Radio® hosts, but you will have the opportunity to view and venerate relics from about 150 saints and a relic of the True Cross.
How are so many relics going to be in one place? It is thanks to Father Jason Kulczynski, pastor of Holy Martyrs Parish in Orland, PA and National United States Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena, who has become known to some as ‘The Relic Priest.’
Fr. Kulczynski stopped by Morning Air® this week to explain how he came to be in possession of so many relics, and the stories behind some of the relics and the saints they are from.
Fr. Kulczynski’s interest in relics began at an early age. He said that in grade school he was introduced to relics at his local school and parish, and dreamed of having one himself.
“We moved to Pennsylvania, to Chalfont, and in living in this area we visited the Shrine of St. John Neumann,” he explained. “At the time you could obtain, for a donation, a first-class relic of St. John Neumann. So that was the first relic that I had. At some point, I learned that the same office that dealt with obtaining papal blessings also could obtain relics from the Vatican. So from that point on, every Christmas my Christmas list looked like the litany of saints.”
Over the years, Fr. Kulczynski acquired more relics, but it was more of a private collection. It wasn’t until Philadelphia hosted the World Meeting of Families in 2015 that the idea of exhibiting these relics was brought up.
“When the World Meeting of Families was in Philadelphia, a friend who was working at the St. Rita Shrine asked if I could put the relics I had on display. And I think at that point I had about 60,” he explained. “So I thought, let me try this at the parish where I was living. And so the first exhibition took place about five years ago now.”
Since that first exhibition, the collection has grown. Fr. Kulczynski shared that there have been several instances where a priest or devout lay person dies, and their family members don’t know what to do with their extensive relic collections. That’s when they give Fr. Kulczynski a call. He has received several collections of 25-30 relics, and has been able to share them with people across the country as the collection is displayed at various parishes and shrines.
While his own parishioners at Holy Martyrs get to experience the exhibit a few times each year, the relics (which now number about 150) are brought around the country so that the faithful can venerate their favorite saints, and learn more about saints they may not have heard of before.
“We have these relics on display for veneration on All Saints Day every year, and then one day during Lent usually. And so far, they’ve been travelling at this point as well.”
If you will be at the Elevate Conference On June 22, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Fr. Kulczynski and see this impressive sacred relic display for yourself!
Listen to the full conversation with Fr. Kulczynski below: