Jezuici w Grudziądzu (1935–1949). Historia domu zakonnego na podstawie dokumentów jezuickich
Der Jesuitenorden in Graudenz. Die Geschichte des Ordenshauses im Lichte der Jesuitenquellen
Jesuits in Grudziądz (1935–1949). The history of a religious house based on Jesuit documents
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The religious house of Jesuits in Grudziądz, like the one in Gdynia, was founded in the same year –1935 – and was built from scratch. The Grudziądz Jesuits, having gained approval from Bishop Stanisław Okoniewski, started their ministry for Grudziądz community from service in the parish of St. Nicholas. In 1938 they regained their former church of St. Francis Xavier and exchanged their rented flat for a house purchased at 6 Starorynkowa Street (10 Kościelna Street after the WW2). For four years (1935–1939) of their work and presence in the city, the Jesuits, fathers Michał Malinowski, Adam Wojnar, Michał Szafran and later also Ildefons Nowakowski, Józef Gołębiewski, Antoni Bieleń and Bronisław Bojułka, engaged in both pastoral work in their own church, leading, among others, Catholic associations, taking care of schoolchildren and local intelligentsia, and carrying out missions in city parishes and nearby churches, even outside the diocese. The activities of four monks was interrupted by the outbreak of the WW2. The Jesuit Church was the only one in the city to be closed, whereas three priests and one brother were arrested by Germans on October 5, 1939. On October 11, 1939 three Jesuits, fathers Gołębiewski, Bojułka and Bieleń were murdered in Księże Góry; brother Maciej Szafran, due to his old age, was released. After the end of the war in 1945 the authorities of the Society of Jesus decided to return to Grudziądz. The rebuilding of the church and religious house was launched, as well as the position and place of Jesuits in the sacral space of the city. It was i.a. fathers Jacek Bela, Ignacy Dubaj, Henryk Poczobut, Wiktor Rajski, Jan Kurdziel, Piotr Burzak, Zygmunt Moczarski, Henryk Krzakowski, Józef Kladiera, Medard Klimas and Wincenty Odanowicz who started again their pastoral work in Grudziądz. The monks were well remembered from the pre-war period, and consequently their return met with a favourable reception of the faithful, who attended masses and celebrations in the church of St. Francis Xavier, and of the municipal authorities, who helped them rebuild their church and religious house. The Jesuits resumed pastoral work, which made them famous before the war, expanding the scope of their activity year by year. Their work was approved by Bishop Kazimierz Kowalski and other parish priests with whom the Jesuits cooperated. For unexplained reasons, in August 1949 the Society of Jesus decided to leave Grudziądz and hand over their religious house and church to the Congregation of Marian Fathers, with whom they previously cooperated from at least 1947.
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