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Father Frank Kurzaj
Panna Maria

      I CAME TO PANNA MARIA knowing environmental catastrophe from my native region, Silesia, in Poland. My brother has two mentally sick children. It is harder over here to get some results because of this strong connection with the political lobby. In Poland, it was only a problem with money, but everybody understood or knew that something was wrong. But the bottom line was we did not have money, so nothing could be done. Here, I believe the money is not the biggest problem; the politics is the biggest problem.
      For me personally, being involved in this is a continuation of my work as a Christian minister. I have a responsibility not only toward the soul, but also for the well-being of these people. This is a part of my ministry. So, from this point of view, I know that I have to do this work, and nothing will stop me from continuing if I see any solution. I decided a couple of years ago that this work would take at least six, seven, maybe ten years. So as long as I’m here in Panna Maria, I will probably be working on this. We can only take steps one after the other.
      We cannot solve the problems in one year, one month, or one regulatory hearing. I would like to encourage everyone who has something like this,
or is watching or looking around, to see that problems similar like this exist, to start now, because it takes time.
      So what we are doing? We are trying to know something about our health, and for this reason we are doing the health study. We are trying to know something about the aquifer, so we are working on this hydrological study. We believe that finally the state representatives and the state agencies will listen to us when we have this information, and unfortunately not now, but in six or ten years from now they will do something here. This is how it works in Texas.
      I am very pleased with this health study. People who were on the other side of this issue, now are seeing and listening. Even the people who are working at the uranium mill tailings pond are seeing that we are only trying to discover the truth. We are not on the side of the industry; we are not on the side of the church; we are trying only to learn the truth of what is happening here.