On December 3rd, 1899 in the school hall of St John Cantius, R.C. church in Philadelphia, PA, a group of Polish people gathered to form a brotherhood to help each other out financially, in case of death of either the member or his wife. The idea of organizing such a brotherhood was first conceived by three men, Julian Wessel, Francis Jaskowiak, and Francis Chwieroth from the Frankford-Bridesburg section of Philadelphia. They presented their idea to Reverend Marian Kopytkiewicz, Pastor of St John Cantius in Bridesburg. The Pastor thought the brotherhood was an excellent idea, so he called for a meeting of all the parishioners who would be interested, invited other parish priests and their parishioners. Among the attendees were Reverend Gabryel Kraus from St Laurentius and Reverend Mieczyslaw Kopytiewicz from St. Josephat Church. From this meeting the “Death Benefit Fund Society under the care of St. John Cantius came to be. In later years the name was changed to Polish Beneficial Society of St. John Cantius, and now known as Polish Beneficial Association.

Over the past 119 years, the Polish Beneficial Association has grown and expanded its benefits to help the members and the community. Through the Polish Beneficial Association, many Poles were able to buy their first home and to provide for their family's future needs through life insurance. Some members have benefited from the Education Stipend Program.

The Polish Beneficial Association, for many people, became an avenue to overcome the language barriers of the surrounding communities and for others became a center to nurture the cultural heritage that they left behind in Poland.

Reverend Marian Kopytkiewicz

Reverend Gabryel Kraus
Julian Wessel
Franciszek Jaskowiak
Franciszek Chwieroth

Joseph Slomkowski 1900-1902
Franciszek Chwieroth 1902-1908
John Grabowski 1908-1916
Adalbert Manusza 1916-1925
John Michalski 1925-1931
Francis Krupinski 1931-1942
Walter Pytko 1942-1966
Stanley Jakubowski 1966-1978
Stanley Matlowski 1978-1990
Theodore Drejerski 1990-2005
Loretta Zekanis 2005-2014
Sam Sbraccia 2014-present