Throughout his life, Fr. Ciszek touched the lives of many, many people - family, friends and everyone he ministered to.
Some have experienced him in group settings, while others have had more personal encounters with this holy man.
We invite anyone who has met and been touched by Fr. Walter throughout his extraordinary life to share your stories and
memories by submitting them via the form below. Your reminiscences and testimonials will automatically be displayed directly below the form.
March 29, 2013 - 05:09 pm
Name: Mark P. Mathias
Message: I realize that your request is for stories of those who met or were touched by Fr. Walter during his life, but I notice that not all of the stories shared here fit that description, so I trust that sharing my story will be OK. I recently read "He Leadeth Me" because Patrick Coffin of Catholic Answers recommends this book as one of his Top 17 in his audio series, "Getting Started With Apologetics". I was deeply captivated, not just by his circumstances, but especially by his life lesson of humble abandonment to God's will, to actively striving to know and do His will daily. One day last month I traveled with men from my parish to a day-long men's conference held in our diocese. During the half-hour bus ride I enthusiastically shared about Fr. Ciszek with a friend. Upon arrival at the conference, I decided to go to confession early (to avoid long lines later). After having made my confession, but before absolution, the priest, whom I had never seen before, said, "Well, I'd like to share with your something that my spiritual director, Fr. Walter Ciszek, would say to me many years ago." I was astonished! This priest, Fr. Dennis Brown, had known Fr. Walter personally, and at this particular moment, it was as though Fr. Ciszek wanted me to hear these words as if he were himself speaking them! The Holy Spirit's inspiration and working is wonderful! "What did he say?" I asked. Fr. Dennis replied, "Well, he was a simple and deeply humble man, and one of his sayings was, 'Do your lousy best!', to which I would add, 'And give God the rest!'". The message to me was that even though I may often feel discouraged that my small efforts and many sins have little effect in bringing the Kingdom of Christ, I must humbly recognize that it is not my weakness and limitation that makes the difference, but it is the work of Jesus Christ that accomplishes God's will, and that God is pleased with my small contribution.
January 18, 2013 - 11:25 pm
Name: Ligia Kohnke
Message: Almost just finished reading the book "With God in Russia". I have been so touched about Fr. Ciszek life from the Soviet Labor Camp in Seberia.
Please let me know the status of his canonization. Iam praying for a successful process of his canonization.
January 03, 2013 - 03:08 am
Name: Teresa Miller, Pottsville, PA
Message: I was born September,1963, one month before Fr. Ciszek was freed from captivity and only became aware of Father I'd say within past 5 years. On November 11-12, 2010, I got to experience an overnight retreat at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA and visited Fr. Ciszek's graveside. All night long, I could hear the sound of the nearby trains which got me thinking about Father's long train ride to Siberia. Since then, when I hear a train, I pray "Should it be your will Lord that Father Ciszek become a SAINT". I actually live where a train runs aside of my home and work where a train runs one street over. So I often get to say that little prayer for that Godly man from Shenandoah, PA. So maybe you too can say that little prayer when you hear the sounds of that nearby train.
December 13, 2012 - 11:44 pm
Name: Mary Ann McKeown
Message: I don't have a personal memory of Fr. Ciszek but my grandparents lived in Shenadoah, PA and attended St. Casimir's Church. I often wonder if they knew Fr. Walter. I feel like I have a special connection to him.
August 07, 2012 - 12:55 am
Name: Sister Caroline Bachmann FDC
Message: I did not know Father Ciszek but at a very low time in my life... on the verge of losing my active apostolic works, I read the book HE LEADETH ME. I learned a whole new and deeper meaning to the religious obedience I tried to live for sixty years. The insight and grace and peace have endured. I know of several other people who were helped by the book as I passed it on to them.
August 03, 2012 - 03:14 am
Name: Arthur F. Galpin Jr.
Message: I first saw Fr. Ciszek in Brox NY. He was across the street from my Aunt Mary Zentkovich. He had no TV set, And my Aunt ask me to get one. As a TV repair man, I got one for Fr. Ciszek.
My wife and Aunt Mary would visit Sister Mary Evangeline in PA. Before Sister got alzheimer, I ask her to paint 4 picture. One for each season. I was very happy to receive them.
April 30, 2012 - 01:51 am
Name: Paul ONeill
Message: I was born in New York City, one of ten children. Outside of my father and mother, no other individual has had more influence on me than Father Walter Cizeck. He was the inspiration behind the old man in the bar in Trans-Siberain Orchestra's rock opera, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories," and the interrogation of Lt. Cozier by General Tran-Do from the "Night Castle" rock opera. I treasure his books (especially "With God in Russia") and letters and will one day pass them on to my daughter. It would be nice if he is formally recognized as the saint he was but even if he is not officially recognized he was and still is a Saint and a continual inspiration to humanity of, as Abraham Lincoln said, "our better Angels."
March 23, 2012 - 04:18 pm
Message: In the 1970's I was fortunate to meet Father who impressed me deeply. We became pen pals which lasted nearly until his death. MANY people do not know the story about Father C. actually dying twice! Yes, the first time Our Lord appeared to Father, speaking to him, entrusting him with several things to accomplish............ I did not save any of his letters but I can still recall his gentle voice.
God bless you.
March 23, 2012 - 05:42 am
Name: Edward Stoltz
Message: I was fortunate enough around 1980 to go to a day of recollection with Fr. Ciszek here in New London, Ct. His voice was a little faint. He was funny and spiritual and humble. You could see that he must have been one tough man. I was honored to be in the presence of a living martyr and even went to confession to him in which he gave me guidance which has lasted for years. He told us to read He Leadeth Me, which I quickly did, and indicated that that was the spiritual book, I think as opposed, to With God in Russia. In summary, I instantly loved and respected him.
March 22, 2012 - 01:18 am
Message: In November I will take life vows as a canonical hermit. Only this day I happened on this site, via Facebook, and realize I must learn all I can about this holy man.
Thank you for the insight into a life of true, living martyrdom.
July 22, 2011 - 01:23 am
Name: Suzanne Wickersham
Message: I had been extremely ill for nine years with chronic nerve pain, bladder disease and muscle dysfuntion throughout my body. I was taking 20 or more medications a day including narcotics. Also going for physical therapy for 8 years and having several different doctors for my problems. I had heard about Walter Ciszek and started praying to God through his intercession.
I had been praying about a month for a favor. I woke up one day and had no pain. I have just been released from my latest doctor. I was seeing 7 doctors who were treating me. I was just released from the last one. They all know the whole story about my prayer to God through Walter. Some have agreed it was a miracle and are very happy for me. I know now that God is going to use my miracle to witness to others and I am happy to do so. It is overwhelming to me and my husband that this wonderful blessing has been given to us and our family. Praise God!
April 18, 2011 - 04:25 am
Name: Gary Smith
Message: I read Fr. Walter's book several times and gave several away ,one day I bought a used copy in a St. Vincent De Paul store,it was signed by him with a note to the new owner who was two thousand miles away, I called the man and he could not believe how the book had arrived there.
April 05, 2011 - 03:57 am
Name: Tom Lynn
Message: I was attending a half-day retreat at the local minor seminary in Saint Paul, and was suffering from a recurring eye problem that has flared up for a few days several times per year. My eye had just started to feel dry and painful the night before, and by the start of the retreat in the morning the pain and discomfort was distracting me from prayer. I asked Fr. Ciszek to intervene to get me enough relief to experience the retreat, and within 20 minutes I was 90% better, able to participate, and better by the next day. Thank you, Father.
March 15, 2011 - 07:39 pm
Name: Lourdes Bernadette Pierantoni Camacho
Message: I firts came to read "With God in Russia" when my father sent me to Madonna Heights School for Girls, run by the Good Sheperd Sisters in Long Island New York. I was 14 and full of hate for my parents. My group sister Mother Paschal told me to read this book. I was not a reader and i really did not want to read a story about a priest. I opened the first page and i could not put down the book. I can not explain the feeling i got when i finished the book. I keep the book on my night stand and read it when i am sad or mad. I love ths book.
January 07, 2011 - 04:54 am
Name: D.T. Pietras
Message: Fr. Ciszek has been my spiritual companion and intercessor for many years. I recently experienced an immediate simultaneous healing of a serious flu and intense family stresses while reading Fr. Ciszeks "He Leadeth Me". I read Fr. Ciszek book "With God in Russia" many years ago and so had those images of Russia before me as we journeyed into Siberia to adopt our oldest son (I had my husband read the book on our flight there)... and I had those same images before me as I cared for my elderly Polish mother-in-law in her final years... she had lost most of her immediate family in the Russian slave camps and had barely it survived herself. Thank you Fr. Ciszek for your love, support, and wisdom all of these years for all of my family. Fr. Ciszek please pray for us.