Do you live or work in a situation in which it is difficult to express your faith openly, what can you do quietly to be a witness to Christ? You and your family should get to know about Walter Cisek.
Fr. Walter Ciseck is known for his clandestine missionary work in the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1963. This American-born Jesuit priest was sent to minister to the faithful in Poland in the late 1930. When the Soviet Army overran Eastern Poland, Fr. Ciszek fled with other Polish refugees into the Soviet Union, hoping to serve them (in disguise) as a priest. In June 1941, he was arrested by the Soviet secret police as a suspected spy. He spent five years in Moscow's infamous Lubianka prison and then 15 years in Siberia. In addition to his forced labor, he served as priest to his fellow prisoners, risking his life to offer counseling, hear confessions, and celebrating Mass. He was finally freed in a prisoner exchange and returned home to Pennsylvania, where he wrote two books about his experiences before his death in 1984. Fr. Cisek said that he learned to trust God’s will: “No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him.” His cause for canonization is proceeding.
• Fr. Cisek risked his life to bring the sacraments to his fellow prisoners. What do the sacraments mean to you? Reflect on the gift you have to receive the sacraments freely.
• If you live or work in a situation in which it is difficult to express your faith openly, what can you do quietly to be a witness to Christ?
• Fr. Cisek discovered that every circumstance and event in his life – both positive and negative -- revealed God’s will for him. What is God showing you in your own state in life and present situation?