Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Polish Parishes of the Diocese of La Crosse: Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries

Polish Parishes of the Diocese of La Crosse: Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries
Written by Reverend Janusz Kowalski, Ph.D ; (Stevens Point, WI: Point Publications, 2013).  Pp. 276, ISBN 978-0-9837283-5-1.
This book was original reviewed by John M. Grondelski
Polish American Studies, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 91-93

John M. Grondelski, reviewer, [with written permission granted] “As these parishes disappear, the imperative to record their history grows ever greater.  Fr. Janusz Kowalski, who holds a doctorate in history from the University of Rzeszów, contributes to the cause with this history of Polish churches in the Diocese of La Crosse, which today covers 19 counties in central and southwest Wisconsin, the state currently with the highest percentage of claimants of Polish ancestry in its population.”

After some sleuthing I found the book, and purchased a copy. As a Wisconsin Genealogist and historian of Polish genealogy research, I feel this book is a good buy to add to my reference shelf.

The book is about the Polish immigrants settling in Wisconsin from 1868 to 2000 in the La Crosse Diocese. The boundaries were ever changing, and Appendix maps are included with the changes.  It covers brief church histories and in many cases pictures of the churches. Of the 37 churches covered; here is a sample list;  St. Florian of Hately, St. Peters in Stevens Point, Sacred Heart of Jesus of Cassel, St Stanislaus in Superior, St. Mary’s of Hurley, Peplin, Lublin, Wausau and more.

Informative chapters about the schools and the Fraternal organizations, such as the Catholic Order of Foresters, Rosary Society and the history of them.

A brief chapter is about the Roadside shrines and cemeteries, and the Polish traditions linked to them.

Traditions of Polish Catholic Baptism, Funerals, and Wedding customs. I caught myself, a catholic, pole, saying to myself, “That’s why they did that” on more than one occasion.      

The book is footnoted and Bibliography included with some websites for further information and sources.
Cost: 19.50 + 6.00 shipping
You can order your copy the old fashioned way, by mail:
Reverend Janus Kowalski
St. Therese
Attn; Mary Kluman
112 W Kourt Street
Schofield, WI 54476                                   By: Nadine Guilbault