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Greek Catholic Parishes in Poland

by Jonathan D. Shea, A.G.

The Catholic church in Poland is comprised of several rites: the Latin, to which most Polish Catholics belong, and the Greek Catholic, Armenian, and Byzantine rites-the latter three commonly collectively called "Eastern rite:' Catholics of the Eastern rites constituted 14% of the Polish Catholic population in 1939. In three of Poland's interwar provinces, the percentage of Eastern-rite Catholics was even higher. According to statistics compiled in 1931, Greek Catholics alone constituted 72.9% of the Catholic population in the province of Stanislawow, 54.5% in the province ofTarnopol, and 41.7% in Lwow province.

Of the aforementioned rites, the Greek Catholic rite was the largest, and the majority of its adherents were ethnolinguistically of Ukrainian origin. During the time of the Second Polish Republic (the period between World Wars I and II) the Greek Catholic population was divided into three Dioceses which constituted the Galicia - Lwow Church Province, whose spiritual head was the Archbishop of Lwow, The three Dioceses were Lwow, Stanislawow, and Przemysl. In 1934 the Pope separated nine deaneries from the Przemysl diocese and created the Papal Apostolate of Lemkowszczyzna, which encompassed III parishes.

The number of Greek Catholic parishes in the aforementioned dioceses historically outnumbered those of the Latin rite. Latin- rite parishes in the approximate same territory as the Greek Catholic dioceses numbered 383. The Greek Catholic Diocese of Lwow alone had 933 parishes, Stanislawow 419 and Przemysl 759. These figures do not include numerous branch churches scattered throughout the area whose parishioners typically came from a two- or three-village area. Greek Catholic parishes as a rule were much smaller, member-wise, than their Latin-rite counterparts. (The average size of a Roman Catholic parish in this territory was 3,500 parishioners, whereas the Greek Catholic parish's average was 1,900).

World War II brought great changes to the Greek Catholic church in Polish territory. The territory of the Greek Catholic dioceses was occupied by both Nazi and Soviet forces, neither of whom were favorably disposed toward the church. In 1939 the Soviets confiscated all properties of the Greek Catholic church and heavily censored its clergy, many members of whom were arrested and deported. After the war, the Soviets attempted to completely liquidate the church, requiring its adherents to convert to Orthodoxy. In Poland during the repressive Stalinist period the Latin-rite Church's intervention assisted in salvaging what was left of the Greek Catholic parishes in the aftermath of World War II.

After World War II most of the territory of the Greek Catholic dioceses found itself in Ukraine. The number of parishes on Polish territory was much smaller. Many of these parishes were destroyed or closed, as much of the population was either voluntarily or involuntarily resettled in the Soviet Union or in the western part of Poland in territory regained from Germany. In present-day Poland, 1988 statistics indicate that the Greek Catholic rite parishes are divided into two administrative units: a) North- West, with deaneries in Koszalin and Olsztyn (18 churches and 43 pastoral centers connected to extant Latin-rite churches, and b) South- East, with deaneries in Przernysl and Wrodaw (11 churches and 39 spiritual centers).

The LDS has filmed records from certain of the Greek Catholic churches in Poland (marked "Koscio! grecko-katolicki" or "Parafia grecko-katolicka" in the catalogue). The State Archives in Przemysl also houses a rather extensive collection of documents on Greek Catholic parishes (see list). The registers are frequently in Latin, but Ukrainian and Polish were also used in record-keeping.

GREEK CATHOLIC PARISH DOCUMENTS IN THE STATE ARCHIVES IN PRZEMYSL

- Bartne 1784-1842
- Bednarka 1776
- Berehy Dolne 1784-1837
- Besko 1784-1853
- Bonarowka 1837-1898
- Bobrka 1816-1934

- Cisna 1784-1883
- Cieplice 1784-1855
- Czarnorzeki 1784-1833
- Chyrzynka 1784-1944

- Dachnow 1744-1764
- Debno 1765-1944
- Dobra Szlachecka 1784-1919
- Dzikow Stary 1785-1852

- Gladyszow 1776-1854
- Grab 1914-1931
- Grochowce 1784-1856

- Hanczawa 1776-1849
- Hludno 1784-1882
- Hrabenne 1785-1867
- Hujsko 1764-1818

- Iaksmanice 1939
- Iaroslaw 1760-1865
- Iawornik 1842-1866

- Kalnikow 1784-1835
- Karlikow 1784-1850
- Klimkowka 1784-1853
- Komancza 1764-1938
- Korytniki 1784-1945
- Kramarzowka 1784-1839
- Krecow 1823-1896
- Kroscienko 1784-1896
- Krolik Woloski 1928
- Krywa 1776-1844

- Lesko 1832-1913
- Leszczawa Gorna 1837-1895
- Leszczyny 1785-1836
- Lezajsk 1828-1843
- Lipowiec 1770-1859
- Liskowate 1777-1852
- Lazy 1803-1820
- Lobozew 1784-1863
- Lopienka 1784-1898
- Lukawe 1784-1861
- Lupkow 1784-1872


- Malastow 1784-1854
- Maniow [no dates available]
- Mecina 1784-1859
- Milkow 1777-1783
- Miedzybrodzie 1849-1945
- Monasterzec 1815-1905
- Mszana 1835-1860

- Nehrybka 1851-1946
- Nowica 1784-1849
- Nowe Siolo 1823-1900
- Nowosielce - Gniewosz 1777-1943

- Odrzechowa 1777-1943
- Olchowce 1785-1856
- Oleszyce 1810-1863
- Oparowka 1784-1840

- Pielnia 1777-1915
- Plonna 1784-1888
- Polany Surowiczne 1784-1864

- Radruz 1784-1840
- Radoszyce 1784-1880
- Radymno 1782-1814
- Regetow 1784-1853
- Rozb6rz Okragly 1785-1944
- Rychwald 1784-1847
- Rzepnik 1766-1785

- Sanok 1784-1912
- Sanok - military vicarate 1870-1918
- Szczawne 1913-1944
- Siedliska 1782-1890
- Sieniawka 1784-1856
- Smerkowiec 1784-1828
- Smolnik 1776-1938
- Stare Siolo 1776-1857
- Sucha Wola 1811-1845
- Suroch6w 1784-1808
- Szklary 1930-1942
- Sliwnica 1859-1944

- Tarnawka 1855-1941
- Torki 1799-1847
- Trepcza 1784-1840
- Trojca 1781-1875
- Trzcianiec 1785-1895
- Turzansk 1784-1896
- Tyrawa Woloska 1843-1946
- Tyrawa Solna 1784-1946

- Uherce 1855-1890
- Ulucz 1784-1851
- Ulazow 1776-1855
- Uscie Ruskie 1821-1852

- Wapowce 1811-1938
- Weglowka 1794-1849
- Wietlin 1785-1854
- Wislok Wielki 1784-1867
- Wojtkowa 1784-1870
- Wola Nizna (Iasliska Wola) 1784- 1863
- Wola Oleszycka 1785-1851
- Wolkowyja 1784-1855

- Zawadka Sanocka 1784-1891
- Zdynia 1776-1851
- Zyndranowa 1784-1853
- Zernica Wyzna 1784-1850 [3]1737-1939 [4] 451 [5] ks.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2012