Sustaining Life and Faith: The Priests of Dachau

Presentor:  Eileen Lyon, PhD

                   Professor of History, State University at Fredonia

Over 2,500 Roman Catholic Priests, religious brothers, and seminarians from twenty different nations were imprisoned in the Dachau Concentration Camp during the Nazi period.  Over 65% of these prisoners were Polish. The Polish clerics suffered a significantly higher death rate than most other prisoner groups in the camp.  This presentation will focus on some of the way they sustained their spiritual life – something that they saw as a key to their survival.  The priests organized clandestine Masses, communal prayer, spiritual direction, the education of seminarians and the pastoral care of other prisoners.  Memoirs of the priests provide compelling view of the fruits of their experience in terms of new understandings of the meaning of priesthood and the role of the baptized, the adaptation of the apostolate to modern life, ecumenical understanding and appreciation for the unity and transnational character of the Church.

Social Hour and Refreshments will follow the program.  More information text or call: Tom Zawadzki at (716) 472-8199 or

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst, NY beginning at 7 PM