“(…) I Am a Parish Priest in a Gorge Remote From the World”. Approaches to the Portrait of a Parish Priest in Bodrogköz and the History of Hungarian Catholic Public Life in Slovakia

The author attempts to examine the Hungarian Catholic public life in Czechoslovakia between the two world wars by combining the tools of regional research and biography. The study examines the life of Béla Petrik, the former parish priest of the village of Rad, and guides the reader through the years following the change of sovereignty in various aspects. In addition to the social composition of the Bodrogköz (Medzibodrožie) as a region, Béla Petrik’s connections with the bishops of Košice (Ágoston Fischer-Colbrie, Jozef Čársky), the parish priests and spiritual leaders of the area, and prominent figures of Catholic associational life are described in separate subsections. The peripheral position of Rad in the Bodrogköz region (Košice county, Trebišov district, Slovakia) and the personality of Béla Petrik were considered by the author to be suitable for assessing the social impact of Hungarian Catholic public life in Slovakia.