During the first seminar of the year at the Research Centre for Armenian culture in Poland (RCACP) Hanna Kopczyńska-Kłos of the Foundation for the Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians in Warsaw shared her reflections on genealogical searches connected with the history of Polish Armenians. The Foundation for the Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians has been carrying out research projects in this area for many years as part of its work. In setting out the aims and assumptions of these projects she paid particular attention to the plan to produce a very extensive genealogical tree showing the connections between Armenian families who came to Poland in the eighteenth century and nineteenth century during the wave of migration from the Dunabian Principalities.
On 5 January 2022 as part of the ninth annual awards round for the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education signed a decision regarding financing for the ‘National Heritage’ module (from 2019). The successful projects include a bilingual, Polish-English Encyclopaedia of the Polish Armenians. The beneficiary of the grant is the Foundation for the Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians in Warsaw. The team carrying out the project will be led by Professor Andrzej A. Zięba and will be made up mostly of employees of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland. They will be assisted by the above foundation in Warsaw and by the Piramowicz Institute in Wrocław.
Wednesday 5 January 2022 saw the visit of Fr Józef Naumowicz of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, who is a member of the Council of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland. He was accompanied by three students of theology: Jakub Szyszko of Yerevan, and Aharon Samvelyan and Emmanuel Muradyan of Warsaw. Before visiting the Centre, Fr Naumowicz, who has the cure of souls in the Armenian-Catholic parish of Saint Gregory of Narek in Warsaw, said Holy Mass according to the Armenian-Catholic liturgy at Saint Nicholas Church in Kraków for the recently deceased Dr Janusz Kamocki, a supporter of research into Armenian culture in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s.
Fr Mirosław Cichoń, a prefect of the Kraków Archdiocesan Seminary, was the guest of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland at the seminar it held on 17 December 2021. Fr Cichoń spoke of the homiletic legacy attributed to Saint Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia, which he has studied in Rome and Ejmiatsin and which is the subject of his doctoral thesis.
Specifically, Fr Cichoń is analysing a collection of sermons entitled Yačaxapatum (Hachachapatum). The first manuscript copies come from the seventh century – from the time of Catholicos Komitas. The first part of the collection contains seven theological sermons concerning The Holy Trinity, the creation of humankind and its destiny, and the relationship between the nature of faith and grace.
In the latest instalment of our seminar series, which was held on 19 November 2021, Professor Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Jagiellonian University, who is a member of the Council of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland, gave a lecture there on the Kipchak language of the Polish Armenians and on Professor Edward Tryjarski’s achievements in this field of research. In addition to the Centre’s employees, Andrzej Pisowicz, Professor Krzysztof Stopka, Fr Marek Miławicki, Dr Andrzej Gliński, Mieczysław Prószyński, Monika Agopsowicz, Agnieszka Karbowska, and Jakub Łukasik also attended the seminar, which was held as a combined in-person and online session.
The Archive of The Foundation for the Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians contains a collection of documents from the final twenty-five years of the eighteenth century and from the first half of the nineteenth century that amounts to almost 350 folios. It comes from Podole when that region formed a part of the Russian partition; the collections of Feliks Barczewski, a border judge and landowner, are its most likely provenance. It is already known that the collection includes correspondence, materials concerning estates, such as those at Raszków, Łopatyńce, and Olszanka Wołoska (including an inventory of that village from 1801), extracts from the records of castle courts in the Bracław voivodship, court documents from, for example, Winnica and Kamieniec Podolski, and records of matters concerning the chapter and churches in the latter place.
Dr Janusz Kamocki, who had died in Kraków on 22 October 2021, was laid to rest in Sandomierz six days later. A descendant of a landed family from the Podgaje estate near Sandomierz, he was a distinguished Polish patriot who resisted the Germans as an underground soldier during World War II (National Military Organization, Home Army, National Military Union) and was later imprisoned by the communist regime (1962-63). He graduated in ethnography at the Jagiellonian University under the tutelage of Professor Kazimierz Moszyński and served for many years as curator of the Kraków Ethnographic Museum. He taught at universities in Lublin, Wilno, and Katowice.