In the Roman Catholic Church a parish is the smallest legal unit and it is the milieu for religious, social, and cultural activities for a group of people joined together in a geographical area. The purpose of this article is a sociological study examining the Catholic parish in Poland as a local community. Today a parish along with its community is exposed to social change and to myriad forces characteristic of the postmodern culture. In Poland two opposite forces characterize the life of a parish community: on the one side, secularization and individualization, and on the other side, socialization and evangelization. The subjective dimension of a local community, which is related to identification of people with a local parish, along with social bonds with the parish as a local community, are discussed in the first two sections of the article. In subsequent sections some issues related to common activities, membership in movements, religious communities, and Catholic associations within the parish will be presented. While the agency of people in the parish community is theoretically acknowledged, it is still not fully implemented. The discussion is based on the data obtained from major public opinion institutes in Poland.
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