In the process of consolidation and expansion of the Order, two years ago the Province of Poland undertook the commitment to find a new house in Belarus or Ukraine with the hope that one day the Provincial Vicariate for the two countries will be established.

Providence has taught us that Covid is not an obstacle to God’s plan and has surprised us with the kind invitation of the Archbishop of Lviv for the Latin rite to return to the ancient Piarist presence in the city of Zólochiv, Ukraine. After a very short period of preparation, on August 20 the first Piarist arrived in that city.

The college of Zólochiv (Polish: Złoczów) was founded by a son of the king of Poland, Jan III Sobieski, winner of the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The Sobieskis were masters of the district and Prince Jakub Ludwik invited the Piarists in 1731. The school enjoyed great fame because of its famous teachers and had 600 students. Its history was short because after the first partition of Poland, in 1784, the school was closed due to the laws of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II. Eleven years later the Piarist presence ended definitively with the destruction of the Province. The church became a warehouse, and the schools were converted into the offices of the famous Habsburg bureaucracy.

When in 1838 the government handed over the Latin parish church to the Catholics of the Byzantine rite, the former were allowed to celebrate in the Piarist church. Thus, after several years of construction, the parish of the Assumption was established in its present location. The parish followed all the vicissitudes of history writing glorious pages after the Second World War, when in Zólochiv remained Don Jan Cieński, a hero clandestinely ordained bishop, who exercised pastoral service until the fall of the Soviet empire.

In the life of the parish, great attention is paid to the education of children and youth through pre-school, parish catechesis, choir, and pastoral groups, as well as education in leisure time. Participating every year in the summer activities of Parafiada, the parish got to know the Piarists again and thus the idea of our return to Zólochiv after 237 years was born.

After a very short period of discernment and preparations, on August 20 the first Piarist of the new foundation arrived in the parish and two days later he assumed the office of pastor. Thus began the period of insertion and consolidation of this foundation that has as its horizon the project of a work of formal education.

P. Mateusz Pindelski Sch. P.