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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Back to mobility | Rev. Prof. Damian Bednarski

14.05.2021 - 12:19 update 21.01.2022 - 15:38
Editors: MK
Tags: badania, Inicjatywa Doskonałości Badawczej, mobilność, research, Research Excellence Initiative



“Back to mobility” series
consists in accounts on research expeditions
of the “Staff mobility” winners

Rev. Prof. Damian Bednarski | theologian

Cappuccino, cornetto and… secrets of the Vatican Archive

The research I conduct (Poland-Vatican relations, history of the emigration Pastoral ministry) is closely related to travelling abroad. Thanks to the university’s “Staff mobility” project, I was able to spend three and a half months in Rome during autumn 2018. I was taken under the wings of the Faculty of the History of the Church and Cultural Heritage of the Church of the Pontifical Gregorian University run by the Jesuits.

Grupa ludzi przy stole

Among the international community, in the middle of the picture Rev. Prof. Damian Bednarski, Associate Professor | Photo from the archive of Prof. Damian Bednarski

Reaching the Vatican Secret Archive (currently: the Vatican Apostolic Archive) and the Archive of the Secretariat of State (the Section for Relations with States) was a fascinating experience. I have discovered numerous precious documents reflecting the intricate history of the Catholic Church in Upper Silesia during the 20th century, as well as interesting histories about our countrymen on emigration.

Thanks to the participation in the project, I have had a golden opportunity for research self-development and exploring the system of operation of a special – and at the same time – the richest in sources institution for researchers of the history of the Catholic Church. After establishing the relation with the researchers of the Pontifical Gregorian University, I was asked to participate in the project Storia della Chiesa in Europa Centro-Orientale led by this university.

Na zdjęciu wejście do tajnego archiwum w Watykanie Kawa i rogalik w ogródku kawiarnianym w Rzymie
The entry to the Vatican Secret Archive
Photo by Rev. Prof. D. Bednarski
Cappuccino and cornetto
Photo by Rev. Prof. D. Bednarski

During the scientific internship period, I was living at the international college, which has greatly benefited my Italian and has become a platform for establishing new professional contacts and strengthening my cooperation skills in an international environment.

During my spare time, I was unveiling the mysteries of the Eternal City and travelling across Italy. Of course, during a morning walk towards the Archive, I was stopping by for a cappuccino and cornetto; there was also time for an afternoon espresso or evening meetings with friends at trattoria… I have no doubts that during abroad scientific internships, although the most important part is carrying out the target research, equally important is to establish relationships with scientists from other countries and get to know the culture of the residing place.

Bazylika św. Piotra w Rzymie – zdjęcie budynku

Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome | Photo by Rev. Prof. D. Bednarski


Zdjęcie zamku św. Anioła w Rzymie

Castle of the Holy Angel | Photo by Rev. Prof. D. Bednarski


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