CRACOW CATHOLIC PRESS IN 1918-1939
The overwhelming majority of Cracow residents in the interwar period were Roman Catholics. Traditionally the Church exercised control over its congregations by what could be termed regular live public oratory (Sunday homilies, Lent meditations, etc.). Increasingly, however, this customary pattern of communication was complemented by the printed word, especially a broad spectrum of popular periodic publications inspired by the Church. Cracow had scores of them between 1918 and 1939, most of them produced by members of the clergy and religious bodies as well as by people and organizations acting under the patronage of Catholic Church. Most important among them were magazines published by some religious orders. The Jesuits ran 'Wydawnictwo Apostolstwa Modlitwy', a publishing house which successfully launched a wide range of magazines from the popular 'Poslaniec Serca Jezusowego' to the high-brow 'Przeglad Powszechny'. Quite successful, though on a smaller scale, were the publishing ventures of the Carmelites, the Franciscans, the Ursulines, and the Vincentians. The overwhelming majority of those publications were devotional, although there were highly politicized titles like 'Choragiew Maryi' edited by the Redemptorists. The weekly 'Dzwon niedzielny', which enjoyed the patronage of Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha, was the stable leader among the magazines produced by the secular clergy. Its remarkably high circulation enabled the Catholic press to reach a broad public; it was very cheap and on many occasions distributed completely free (as an element of evangelizing campaigns).
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