The Polish Catholic Church and School in Salem
Courtesy of Linda Moustakis
National Park Service
Essex County Registry of Deeds
The Polish church on St. Peter Street continues to operate as a distinct ethnic parish in Salem, but the parish school closed its doors in 1977, in an era of declining enrollments throughout ethnic parochial school systems. Former students interviewed for this project spoke of the strict discipline, the memory of learning Polish words and phrases, and the way the school served multiple functions in the community. One woman said, “It was funny, when my mother was older, I would make her laugh, because I would talk to her in Polish! And all I remembered was some of the crazy things from the workbook, you know, so I’d say silly things like, ‘Evalina ma rybky,’ which means ‘Evaline has fish’!”
Back to Salem's Polish Community
For more information on this topic, see these pages in the report In the Heart of Polish Salem.