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Dzwierszno Wielke (Pila) - History of the Church and Parish

by the Rev. Kajetan Rybacki as published in the PGSA 1986 Winter Bulletin

The date of construction of the first church and the founding of the parish in Dzwierszno Wielkie, as with the majority of churches in the Krajna region (an area in northern Poland) is not definitely known. It is given traditionally, however, as the 13th or 14 century.

Dzwierszno was at that time an old settlement on the site of a prehistoric castle (whose site can still be identified). It was certainly a population center of some size in as much as it acquired a city charter. Unfortunately, this document no longer exists. The first historical mention of Dzwierszno comes from 1380, and refers to the owners of Dzwierszno - Janko and Andrzej.

It is possible to assume that the first church in Dzwierszno was built by the owners of the town, or that it was initiated by the Cistercians of Lubiaz who in 1225 received the area between Zlotow, Lobienica and Wiecbork for colonization. This area had become badly depopulated in those days due to the constant fighting over inheritances. As the result of German immigration into this area, by 1250 it had changed to one of fertile grounds and flowering settlements. The documents of the founding were lost well before 1766, when a canonical inspection of the parish took place. These documents probably burned in a fire at the chancellery of the Archdiaconate in Cerekwica, where the Archdeacon Rev. Lewaldt Jezierski moved in 1711, during a plague.

The first mention of the church and parish is from 1426, and states that the pastor was Rev. Jakub, and in 1483 Rev. Stanislaw. The church was built of wood. Derengowski's canonical inspection in 1617 speaks of a church built with parish means. By 1729 that church was already so dilapidated that the current pastor, Rev. Jan Piotr Chwaliszewski, undertook building a new one, which was constructed in 1741, with magnificent Baroque fittings. The main altar was endowed by the brothers Jakub and Jozef Ulatowski, the altar of the Blessed Mother by Ignacy Wiesiolowski, and the altar of St. Lawrence by the pastor, Rev. Chwaliszewski. The altars were made in Chelmno and are still being used today. The church built by Rev. Chwaliszewski, however, lasted until 1868. Rev. Piotr Szatkowski, in his inspection accounts of the state of the parish in 1930, indicates that the church burned down in 1868. However, this does not agree with local information. It seems that the church was in need of considerable repair and the patron of the church at the time, Betmann Holwej, the inheritor of Runowo, did not want to carry out the work. After a threat of a suit against him before the royal Prussian court, he had his estate's craftsmen build a new one rather than renovate the old building. The present church built in 1869 was constructed of brick.

From its founding as a parish until 1512, it belonged to the Naklo diaconate and the Gniezno diocese. After that year it belonged to the newly-created archdiaconate in Kamien (Krajenski). After the division of the archdiaconate in 1617 and the creation of new diaconates, Dzwierszno Wielkie was attached to the newly-created Lobzenica diaconate. It has remained in this diaconate until today, with the exception of the years 1821-1920, during the German occupation, when the Lobzenica diaconate was attached to the Bydgoszcz diaconate.

The parish boundaries have not changed over the ages. It embraced in its boundaries, as it does today, the villages of Dzwierszno (Dzwierzszano), Wielka Wies, Mala Wies (today called Dzwierszno Wielkie and Male), Dziegciarnia (Dziektarnia), Izdebki, Jozefinowo, Gurowatki (Guzowatki), Topala z Zawada, Stebionek (Smolane), Witrogoszcz (Jutrogoszcz), Biegodzin (Bezdziedzin). Parishes in the vicinity were Lobzenica, Luchowo, Sypniewo, Runowo, and Debno.

The priests who served the parish of Dzwierszno throughout its history were the Reverends:

Jakub (circa 1426)
Stanislaw (circa 1483)
Wojciech Idzkowski (circa 1654)
Wawrzyniec Gorski (circa 1664)
Plotr Chwaliszewski (1729-1775?)
Pawel Lesniewicz (circa 1780)
Dyszynski (circa 1797)
Piotr Gotz (circa 1810)
Kazimlerz Slesinski (circa 1817)
Jan Florian Thielmann (1820 - 1843)
Jakub Kuczynski (1843-1847)
Antoni Grabowski (circa 1843)
Jan Muller (1849-1852)
Kazimierz Pydynkowski (1852-1855)
Franciszek Legowski (1855-1875)
Wiktor Mojzykiewicz (circa 1880)
Smigielski (circa 1880)
Walenty Zietak (1886-1916)
Rafal Szalkowski (1916-1936)
Leon Kijewski (1937-1939)
Piotr Bukwicki (1945-1952)
Tadeusz Semrau (1952-1979)
Kajetan Rybacki (1975-present)
 
   
 
 

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