The Activities of the Polish Catholic Caritas in Great Britain, Italy and Denmark 1956–1962

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Roman Nir


In 1945, Fr. Rafał Gogoliński-Elston made contact between the Archbishop of Kraków, Adam Stefan Sapieha, and the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) in order to provide charity assistance by the NCWC to Poles in the country, through Caritas in Poland.  
In 1946–1948, medicine, clothing, food for $ 80,000 was sent to Poland from the NCWC warehouses in Great Britain. Six trucks for Caritas were sent to Poland, children’s homes were sent blankets, bed linen, kitchen appliances, stationary such as paper, pencils, ink and typewriters.
In 1950–1951, 80 boxes containing medicine and medical equipment worth over $ 10,000 were sent to Poland. In 1952 Fr. Rafał Gogoliński-Elston founded the Polish Catholic Caritas Branch in Great Britain. Polish Caritas in Great Britain in the years 1952–1957 sent to Poland: 4,000 food parceles, CARE for a total amount of $ 40,000; 6,000 food packages, from the US Department of Agriculture, worth $ 30,000.
In the years 1950–1960, Poland Caritas sent Christmas parcels for Polish priests who where in difficult financial conditions. Every year, over 100 parcels were sent during Christmas. In total over $ 4,000. Caritas helped children and youth in Polish Catholic schools in Great Britain. Granted scholarship to students. In financed 106 summer camps for 2,650 children.
In November 1956, Fr. Rafał Gogoliński-Elston founded the Branches of the Polish Catholic Caritas in Denmark and Sweden, having abtained funds for these Departments Denmark received finances for: 2 Polish schools for Polish children; 3 Polish community centers; 6 mobile Polish libraries; for youth theater and the activity of a Polish priest, $ 4,780. Sweden has received finances for: 11 Polish Saturday schools, 6 mobile Polish libraries, 1 youth club, all for a total of $ 3.890.

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Archives Catholic University of America. Department of Archives, Manuscript and Museum Collection: National Catholic Welfare Conference/United States Catholic Conference Collection Descript 1919–1995 [ACUA]. Signature: 501–505.