The Polish Pastoral Ministry in the United States is conducted primarily in relationship with ethnic parishes. These parishes were founded mainly towards the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Most of them still exist and are fulfilling their wonderful mission for the faithful even though in most cases in a strikingly different way from the way they did originally. A considerable number of them has been closed, merged or clustered, or has lost their Polish character. There are many reasons for these changes. One of the reasons is the cultural-social changes as well as the natural process of integration and assimilation of Polonia itself. All these processes are very important for the future of the American Polonia and its pastoral care. For this reason we will continue to observe these changes and collect various materials dealing with this subject.
Preserve the Memory of the Polonia's Achievements
The Polish commitment to faith, Polish culture and tradition are well known. Polish emigrants with great dedication built beautiful churches and founded Polish parishes. They set up a Polish Seminary in Detroit, which later moved to Orchard Lake (1909), which still exists today. They established many Polish schools, various associations and religious, veterans' and patriotic organizations. We look with admiration on the beautiful Polish churches, the Polish parishes and parochial schools, the beautiful and fully dedicated work of Polish priests, sisters, and brothers. With a great respect, we refer also to all Polish organizations and activists who have kept in their hearts the love for the homeland and Polish culture. But times change, many Polish parishes are depopulated and aging. Therefore, they are combined with others or closed. The same is true about Polish schools and Polish organizations. We cannot effectively oppose these changes, but we can and we should keep as much material about them as possible. We should not allow ourselves to irretrievably lose memories of them.
We want to preserve the memories of them for future generations. That's why we ask all who cherish Polonia and want to preserve the memory of her achievements to join our great program to collect as much material and information as possible. The Polish Seminary in Orchard Lake and its Archives is a good place to collect these materials, to develop and preserve them for future generations. Please send to us all archives materials, we preserve them, so the memory of American Polonia will never wane.
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