Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

An Act of Faith It Was Easter Sunday, and the Polish Engineers Were Visiting

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

An Act of Faith It Was Easter Sunday, and the Polish Engineers Were Visiting

Article excerpt

This is an Easter story.

First, some background.

Christ's rising from His tomb after dying on the cross three days before fulfilled the prophecies describing the Messiah. It is the foundation of Christianity. You must have faith to believe it. Without this faith, you are not a Christian. Remember this as you read on.

Back in the mid-1970s, when communism was still flourishing behind the Iron Curtain, my father's company, Allegheny Ludlum, began doing business with a number of communist countries -- that is, the ones that our government approved.

My father sold steel mills -- all the equipment, the training, the whole package.

His clients included the governments of Bulgaria, China and Poland. Each time he sold a steel mill, the senior engineers who would eventually run their countries' plants had to come to America and be trained at one of Allegheny Ludlum's mills. Training usually lasted five months.

My father and mother often entertained these visiting engineers. They soon grew homesick and tired of hotel living and eating American fast food. Mom would cook up dishes native to their respective countries, which was a treat for them as well as for us kids.

My father was pure Polish, the son of an immigrant. His first language was Polish. So he could speak and socialize fairly well with the visiting Polish engineers.

*

Now, remember that religion was banned in all communist countries at that time. People were forbidden from practicing it publicly. In fact, it was a crime, punishable by imprisonment.

Poland has a history of being a Catholic nation. It also has a history of being occupied by other countries most of the time. The occupying power at that time was communist Russia, the Soviet Union. I had read that, despite their communist overlords, the Polish people still practiced their faith quietly, mostly underground. …

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