Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Slovak Catholic Sokol Story: Recalling a Century of Fraternal Progress

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Slovak Catholic Sokol Story: Recalling a Century of Fraternal Progress

Article excerpt

The Slovak Catholic Sokol Story: Recalling a Century of Fraternal Progress. Compiled and edited by Daniel F. Tanzone. (Passaic, New Jersey: Slovak Catholic Sokol. 2006. Pp. 181.)

In the late nineteenth century the Sokol movement arose among several ethnic minorities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Focusing on gymnastics and athletics in the Olympic model and utilizing the falcon (sokol) as a symbol, the movement sought to promote physical strength, moral integrity, and national consciousness in youth, preparing them to play a constructive role in society. As various Slavic peoples emigrated to the United States, the Sokol movement came with them. Catholic Slovaks, frustrated by the failure of the movement to incorporate, or even acknowledge, a religious component in its programs, organized the Slovak Roman and Greek Catholic Gymnastic Union Sokol in Passaic, New Jersey on July 4,1905.The group shortened its named to Slovak Catholic Sokol in 1933.

This book, issued to commemorate the centennial of the Slovak Catholic Sokol, is an effective chronicle and celebration of an ethnic fraternal group's century of existence. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 photographs, the volume faithfully reports, year by year, on the group's meetings, activities, dividends, contributions, prominent personalities, and connections to the wider Slovak world in America and Europe. …

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