Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Prayers for canonization continue at 32nd Father Walter Ciszek Day
Posted on 10/26/2016 4:39:29 PM PDT by Coleus
SHENANDOAH Nearly every pew at St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church was filled Sunday afternoon for the 32nd annual celebration of Father Walter Ciszek Day.
The annual Mass commemorates the life and death of Ciszek, whose cause for canonization is being investigated by the Catholic Church. St. Casimir is the worship center of Divine Mercy Roman Catholic Church. It is also where Ciszek was baptized, confirmed and received First Holy Communion.
Please continue to pray that Father Walter Ciszek be elevated to sainthood in our lifetime so that we may celebrate together, Monsigner Ronald C. Bocian said. He attributed the full church to the movement of the spirit. The Most Rev. Kurt Burnette, bishop of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Eparchy, Passaic, New Jersey, served as guest homilist.
In the first part of the 21st century, it seemed as though evil had triumphed like never before when Russia, one of the largest and most conservation countries on earth, threw everything out the window and embraced atheism and rejected all of Gods laws.
It seemed as though it was truly the era of Satan, Burnette said. In all of this, God sent a light into our midst. But this man did not know he was Gods light. At least not in the way that he imagined. When Father Walter Ciszek went to Russia to spread the word of Jesus Christ, it seemed like the most noble of sacrifices, but Father Ciszek said nothing worked out for him and it seemed like he wasted his time and life trying to do this.
But then God used his weakness and humility to shine light into his mind and one day he realized in a flash that everything that had happened to him was Gods plan. Only then did Father Ciszek come to realize his true worth and the worth of each one of us ... he finally came to understand it is God who is the master of our destinies and whatever happened to him was Gods plan.
Burnette said that everyone needs to keep Ciszek in mind as they look for purpose in life and trust in Gods plan. To quote him, Every moment of our life has a purpose, that every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding, he said.
Born Nov. 4, 1904, in Shenandoah, Ciszek was ordained in 1937 as the first American Jesuit in the Byzantine Catholic Rite and secretly entered the Soviet Union in 1939 as a missionary priest. He was arrested in 1941 as a Vatican spy and was accused of espionage and imprisoned in the Moscow prison of Lubianka during all of World War II.
He was sentenced to 15 years of forced labor in the prison camps of Siberia.
After 23 years as a prisoner in the Soviet Union, he was released with another prisoner and returned to the United States in 1963 after being exchanged for two Russian spies. The annual Father Walter Ciszek Day is held the closest Sunday to Oct. 12, which is the day he returned from the Soviet Union in 1963. He died Dec. 8, 1984.
His cause for canonization began in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic and was later transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown. His cause has reached the stage that it is currently being reviewed in the Vatican.
Before the Divine Liturgy at 2 p.m., the new Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League Center, 218 W. Cherry St., was opened to the public for the first time. The Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League is the official organization for the promotion of the cause of canonization of Ciszek. The center moved about a year ago.
People go to the center to learn about Father Walter Ciszek and deepen their conviction that the church promote his sainthood, Bocian said.
The Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League will be donating $5,000 to help defray the expenses associated with the promotion of the cause of canonization. The mailing address for the organization is 18 W. Oak St., Shenandoah.
Everyone that went to the church hall after Mass also received a plaque made from the floor board of Ciszeks home in the borough that was demolished many years ago. Co-editor of a book about Ciszek, With God in America, John M. DeJak was also there to sign books and answer questions.
At the rate things are going, it’s beginning to look like a prophecy of the fates of many of us.
Great book, as was “With God in Russia.”
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