By fulfilling its mission in the Catholic Church, the Society of Christ Fathers for Poles Living Abroad takes part in the apostolate of caring for the souls of Polish people who live outside the borders of Poland. Spirituality of the Society of Christ Fathers, which follows from monastic and priestly life, is based on the charism of its founder - Servant of God Cardinal August Hlond - as well as the Society"s mission. It also rises out of subsequent traditions that have been built by the Society, especially under the leadership of its first superior general and co-founder - Servant of God Rev. Ignacy Posadzy. The broadly defined concern for Polish emigrants is not confined to performing pastoral duties only. In foreign provinces, apart from the pastoral work, great importance is also attached to the cultivation of the patriotic spirit, social life and the Polish culture. This goal is being pursued by means of any media available (radio broadcasts in Polish, parish brochures and catholic periodicals, websites etc.).

Polish parishes in foreign countries usually enable members of Polish communities to cultivate their traditions (celebrations commemorating important anniversaries, sharing the wafer, Easter meetings), preserve their mother tongue (Polish-speaking schools), participate in the activities of various organizations (Polish clubs, reading rooms, veteran and scout associations).  Young people in the Polish communities often gather in sports organizations and folk music bands. Particular concern must be expressed by the priests working in Eastern European countries, where they strive to reconstruct Christianity and Catholicism that were being deliberately destroyed for many years.

Moreover, the charism of the Congregation is also realized through the activities undertaken with the aim of prompting Poles to become concerned about the Polish emigrants.  This task remains the responsibility of the Emigration Apostolate Movement and the Institute of Emigration Pastorate. The Movement focuses on fulfilling the apostolate to the emigrants, both in Poland and outside its borders. The fundamental tasks assigned to the Movement"s members include drawing attention of the society to the issues and needs of the emigrants, dissemination of knowledge about the phenomenon of emigration, and contributing to the improvement of the culture of emigration. Its members are obliged to make sure that every Pole feels morally responsible for their fellow countrymen living abroad. Furthermore, the Movement is responsible for undertaking specific actions for the benefit of Polish emigrants. The wide spectrum of these actions embraces spiritual support (especially prayers), pastoral work, catecheses as well as cultural, social, and material support. The Institute of Emigration Pastorate was established in 1984 and initially trained highly-qualified personnel within the scope of emigration apostolate. Nowadays, when large numbers of young Poles emigrate to European countries, the Institute experiences revival and intensifies its activity. Its priorities include: gathering, compiling and updating the database with the information about pastoral work carried out in Polish communities as well as providing the emigrants who are about to leave the country with information on Polish priests and parishes around the world; cooperation with ecclesiastical and public institutions functioning in the areas settled by Polish emigrants and preparing reports on migration of the Poles; analysis of the phenomenon of emigration through the organization of scientific conferences and relevant publications.

In the interest of securing spiritual well-being of fellow countrymen, the Society of Christ Fathers organizes annual vigils in Jasna Góra Monastery (since 1985) on behalf of the Polish emigrants and their priests.  The vigil is attended by members of the Society, sisters and laypeople, especially the families of the emigrants.

Since the very beginning of the Congregation, its members have presented editorial traditions, which were initiated by the co-founder, Rev. Ignacy Posadzy. The Main House in Poznań is the seat of institutions that realize the Congregation"s apostolate. These include:

- the editorial staff of the monthly „Msza Święta” [The Mass], which has been published since 1936. Primate of Poland, Cardinal August Hlond imposed an additional responsibility on the Society"s members, beside their pastoral duties. That is, they have been supposed to propagate knowledge of the Mass, both orally and in writing, with the aim of encouraging the believers to participate in the celebration as often as possible while getting the most benefit out of it. Therefore, the „Msza Święta” [The Mass] periodical has been trying to deepen and describe secrets of Holy Communion from day one. Priests, vicars, catechists and parochial leaders can find interesting articles focused on the Bible and the Liturgy, which contemplate the Eucharist, remain firmly fixed within the liturgical calendar, allow for the current pastoral program, contain information about recent events in the Catholic Church, and report on the latest affairs in the Polish communities living abroad. There"s a number of texts that aid the altar serving and inspire the altar servers to be, as well as hints for catechists and organists. For every Sunday and ceremony in the liturgical year, the publishing provides meditation based on lectionary readings. A special homiletic supplement with sermons for every Sunday and ceremony in the liturgical year is addressed directly to priests.

Hlondalium publishing house, which publishes not only theological and philosophical books dedicated to the Eucharist, marriage, family and missionary work but also homiletic, liturgical and catechistic aids, as well as belles-lettres and juvenile literature. The publishing house offers: a selection of prayers compiled annually ("Modlitwy powszechne"), calendars, collections of sermons and children"s sermons for each period of the liturgical year, a number of job printings for parish offices and the general pastoral work, aids for the altar serving, posters, large-format background boards for decorating churches, and canvas-printed paintings.

- the editorial staff of "Miłujcie się" is also worthy of notice; since 1975, it has been editing a bimonthly under the same title (in English-speaking countries published as "Love One Another").  The periodical"s basic task is to shape the attitude of Christians on the ground of the idea of the social crusade for love ("społeczna krucjata miłości") that has been introduced by the Primate Cardinal  August Hlond and written down by the Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Nowadays, the bimonthly is released in an edition of several thousand copies. One-fifth of the entire circulation is distributed within Polish emigrant communities. It"s also published in a number of languages:  Russian ("Liubitie Drug Druga") and one-off Ukrainian edition - both publishings are distributed free of charge among Catholic communities in Eastern Europe; English ("Love One Another") that has been edited for several years now and lands mostly in the United States and Canada (but also in Africa, India, and the Philippines); furthermore, it's drawn up in the Czech language, while the Sister Missionaries of Charity took the initiative of editing and printing the periodical in Romanian, Hungarian, and Slovak.  The periodical is distributed in these countries by sister missionaries. Since 2008, it"s been printed in German as well. The editor"s office of this bimonthly manages to attract significant numbers of young people who are devoted to maintaining premarital chastity and refraining from addictions, especially drug addiction, alcohol abuse and nicotinism. They assemble in a variety of associations: Ruch Czystych Serc [Pure Hearts Movement]; Ruch Czystych Serc Małżeństw [Pure Hearts Movement for Married Couples], and Ruch Wiernych Serc [Faithful Hearts Movement], as well as the crusade for prayers on behalf of married couples balancing on the verge of breakup. 

oprac. ks. dr Marek Grygiel TChr


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