Polish Roman Catholic Union of America
Submitted by rjkoziel on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:57
The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA) was founded in 1873 by Reverend Wincenty Barzynski and Reverend Teodor Gieryk. It is the oldest Polish fraternal organization in the United States of America. The main goals of the early organization were "to build Polish churches and schools, to promote adherence to the Roman Catholic religion and the religious and cultural traditions of the Polish nation, and to give fraternal assistance to Poles."
In addition to providing fraternal benefits, in 1935 PRCUA founded the "first ethnic museum and archives in America", The Polish Museum of America, which is located in the same building as the PRCUA headquarters in Chicago. PRCUA was dominated by the Catholic clergy in its early years and thus the organization put significantly greater emphasis on the Roman Catholic traditions of the Polish nation than its secular rival, the Polish National Alliance (PNA). Furthermore, membership is to this day restricted only to Roman Catholics, unlike the PNA. PRCUA has over 70,000 members in 24 states. The organization's motto is "For God and Country."