FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF VILNIUS TO THE ARCHDIOCESE AND METROPOLY OF BIALYSTOK
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The political borders established after World War II divided the Archdiocese of Vilnius. Only a small part of it remained within Polish borders, and archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski of Vilnius, forced by the Soviet authorities to leave Vilnius, came to oversee it. He settled down in Bialystok and organized the chancery and the archbishop's tribunal here. It was also in Bialystok that the Seminary and the Theological Faculty of the University of Stefan Batory, evicted from Vilnius, resumed their operations. This was the beginning of the church administrative center in Bialystok, which came to be known as the Archdiocese of Bialystok. On June 5 1991, during his visit to Bialystok, John Paul II announced the decision to create the Archdiocese of Bialystok, which was consequently raised to the status of the Archbishopric the following year with the bull 'Totus Tuus Poloniae Populus' - as part of an overall effort to reorganize Church structures in Poland. It was also at that time that the metropoly of Bialystok was created, comprising the Archdiocese of Bialystok, the Diocese of Drohiczyn and the Diocese of Lomza. The first head of the metropoly was archbishop Edward Kisiel.
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