Polska praca religijna we Francji 1923-1933

Roman Dzwonkowski


After the World War I the majority of the Polish economic emigration of the inter-war period settled in Prance /about 500 thousand/. Along with a system of various organizations the immigrants created also their own press. The author discusses here the religious press, its origin, functions and changes.

In the inter-war period there was in fact only one religious paper - a weekly "Polak we Francji" - issued by the Polish Catholic Mission in 3,5 thousand copies. It only partially fulfilled the existing needs but could not develop any further because of financial shortages. The periodical tried to support the religious, cultural, financial and national rights of the immigrants. During the V/orld War II there were two religious periodicals for inteligentsia coming out in Prance.

The religious press develops dynamicly after the second world war then the immigrants decide to stay in Prance and enter the period of stabilization. In the 1950s the Polish religious press reached its highest level. The circulation of a few most important periodicals ammounted then up to 40 thousand issues. There were also some periodicals for children and the youth. Since then, slow but gradual regress of the religious press has begun.

The Polish religious press after the second world war was published by the Polish orders. It was particularly advantageous since a number of financial and organizational problems were automaticly solved. In a few cases the periodicals initiated some social actions responding to the needs of their readers.

Prom the very beginning the religious press had two main, only seemingly contradictory functions: antiassimilation and inculturalization. The latter consisted in presenting and explaining in Polish the world of the French culture to the Polish immigrants.

There are striking differences in the social and financial situation of the religious and secular press. The latter was particularly dynamic before the second world war. After the war, there is only one secular newspaper left. The religious press, on the contrary, reached its culminating point after the war and still appears more resistant to various difficulties than the majority of secular periodicals.

In general, in 1923-1983 there were 31 religious periodicals coming out in Prance. Most of them came into being after the second world war. In the early 1980s there were: one weekly, 2 monthly periodicals and a few bulletins.

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Studia Polonijne · ISSN 0137-5210 | eISSN 2544-526X

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