Continued from October 29
A familiar language was about all that Rosa found comforting during her first few days in Minneapolis. But she had followed her Chicago priest’s advice about living in a small neighborhood in which the majority of residents spoke languages she understood.
First stop: the parish house of Holy Cross Church.
Her hand shaking, Rosalia-now-Rosa knocked on the door. A tiny woman, her hair pulled back in a tight bun, answered and with a glare in her pale gray eyes, stared at Rosa.
“Yah?” she demanded.
It was apparent that she was impatient with new immigrants interrupting her day, and Rosa showed every sign of being just that.
Even though she had no appointment with the parish priest—for how could she have made one—she hadn’t expected this cold greeting.
Rosa’s heart pounded as she explained that she hoped Father Jajewski could help her; she needed a place to stay and she needed an income, “No matter how small. I will do anything. I can cook and clean. I can sew….”
Something about using the priest’s name softened the housekeeper.
“Ah! You know the Father?” she asked.
After a slight hesitation, Rosa answered, “Father Rakoske in Chicago told me to contact him. He said he would write to Father Jajewski on my behalf.”
In her vaguely different Polish dialect, the housekeeper told her that Father Jajewski had returned to St. Casimir’s parish in St. Paul. Rosa’s hopes fell. Her disappointment and growing panic showed on her face.
Much kinder now, the housekeeper said, “But Father Kryjewski is here. Would you like to speak to him?”
“Oh yes, please!”