On December 13, 1981, Communist Party Leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared war on his own country. The first weeks of martial law were dark days in Poland, and information was power. The authorities were rigidly censoring all reports of unrest, of resistance in the heavy industrial fortresses at the Gdansk shipyards, the Silesian mines and the massive steel mills in Warsaw and Katowice. Nine miners protesting martial law were shot dead at the Wujek mine. Many more anti martial law protesters were killed and injured all over the country. Father Popieluszko’s priestly duty was to mix with the injured and the unemployed. In doing so he met with Solidarity fugitives who were planning to move their opposition network completely “underground.” Those men on the run and their families that were left behind in a Communist police state needed material assistance. They had to change apartments every night, had to be clothed, fed, given access to supplies like printing machines, paper and safe phones. Father Popieluszko made his choice. He would try and make the Catholic Church a bridge between the underground and the daily life on the streets of Warsaw.His own church would be a meeting place of patriots: Poles who wanted to restore a sovereign, democratic nation. The pastor of St. Stanislaw Kostka church, Father Teofil Bogucki, had revived the tradition of the masses for the fatherland in October 1981, and his rough tongue and brassy phrasing had found an interested congregation. When Father Popieluszko took over the masses after the imposition of […]
Authoritarian, corrupt or rogue regimes, their leaders, and their beneficiaries often behave in similar ways in different countries. They fear their democratic opponents and rely on the secret police to keep themselves in power through monitoring, intimidating, jailing and sometimes killing those who may challenge their repressive rule. Although Poland of the 1980s and today’s Russia are not exactly alike, there may be enough similarities worth exploring between the 1984 murder of a Catholic priest in Poland and the assassination of Russian opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in Moscow last week.
Father Jerzy Popieluszko gave his life to serve the people of Poland. In doing so he started to change the world one sermon at a time. We will be chronicling the journey of Father Jerzy on this site. You will be taken on a journey over the next coming years that will revel in history. At the same time the content of the words Father Jerzy spoke over thirty years ago are still as relevant today.
We invite you to travel down his road to sainthood with us. There will be content not found anywhere else that will give you a living version of his life. There will be video footage of his sermons, pictures that will exemplify the life of this humble and willing servant. Occasionally we will have guest bloggers, first person experience interviews and more. This site will become the diary of blessed Father Jerzy as he continues his journey.
If you have a personal experience with Father Jerzy, or something you would like to share about how he impacted you. We invite you to contact us and we will do our part to help share your story. Unlike many other historical sites, this one is interactive. We welcome your comments, prayers and believe that it will add to the memory of Father Jerzy.
Many may not be aware of the story of Father Jerzy, and how in four short years he changed the world. By opening up the vaults and sharing his walk of faith, we believe he will continue to change the world after his death. He has been beatified by the Vatican and is on his way to becoming a saint. Over the next couple of years there will be some really exciting things happening regarding Father Jerzy. You will not want to miss out on the unique experience of walking the path alongside. He was a Beloved Priest, a Political Prophet, and a Martyr of Gospel Nonviolence. Father Jerzy’s Road to Sainthood will show you how and why.
(By:Paul Hensler) My web designer, Charles Johnston and I are working on a new look for our website that will allow all of our visitors to follow Blessed Father Jerzy through the last four years of his life. To do this we will be using the speeches and sermons he gave at the once-monthly Masses For The Fatherland, starting on February 28, 1982. In addition, using archival photographs, books video and eyewitness testimony we will try to establish the environment in Poland at the time of each mass and the circumstances of his position at the church as resident priest. The Following is the first installment of the heroic life of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko that led to his martyrdom four short years later: February 1982 was a month of great importance to Father Jerzy Popieluszko. His new goal was to try and make the church a bridge between the underground and the people in the pews. His own church would be a meeting place of patriots: Poles who wanted to restore a sovereign, democratic nation. His pastor at St. Stanislaw Kostka, Father Toefil Bogucki, had revived the tradition of masses for the fatherland in October 1981, and his rough tongue and brassy phrasing had found an interested congregation. Seeing that Father Jerzy was hungry to be more involved in the masses Father Bogucki asked him to speak at the next mass for the fatherland on Sunday, February 28, 1982. The little church was packed, with people spilling out it’s massive brass doors. […]