Memories & Testimonials

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.


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Date posted: July 22, 2011 - 01:23 am
Name: Suzanne Wickersham
E-mail: Private
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!

Date posted: April 18, 2011 - 04:25 am
Name: Gary Smith
E-mail: Private
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.

Date posted: April 05, 2011 - 03:57 am
Name: Tom Lynn
E-mail: Private
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.

Date posted: 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.

Date posted: 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.

Date posted: November 27, 2010 - 10:58 pm
Name: Nicole Prescott-Ingra, OCDS
Message: My Spiritual Director (a Jesuit) knew Fr. Ciszek and told me to pray to "Uncle Wally", through the years Uncle Wally has helped me constantly when it comes to mechanical/electronic items. It seems so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, however, mechanical/electronic items is what Fr. Ciszek was known for while making a living in the Soviet Union. Of course he has spiritually assisted me through the years and I know he is helping me in my spiritual journey as a Discalced Carmelite Tertiary.

Date posted: October 25, 2010 - 01:50 am
Name: Pam Hasker
E-mail: Private
Message: Some years ago, I was having trouble in my spiritual life - God seemed far away; I don't think I actually lost faith, but I felt unsure that any of my prayers were heard. One day, not long after I'd read Fr. Ciszek's books (it was shortly after Fr. Ciszek died), I decided to ask his help. I don't remember all the words I prayed, but it began with, "Fr. Walter, if you're in heaven..." and went on from there when suddenly, a small statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on a table beside me began to rock violently. It should have toppled over, so vigorous was the rocking. It was as if someone had knocked the table, hard, but so exactly, that the statue didn't fall. As I looked at the statue, I also noted an open book on the same table, with its pages ruffled in the air. Not a page moved. Nothing moved, except the statue. I looked at it for quite a few seconds - maybe half a minute - and noticed something odd. I felt nothing. No surprise, no fear, no excitement. Nothing at all. I wondered what it meant. And eventually, it came to me. The statue moved, even though I felt nothing. It didn't change the reality, that I FELT nothing. Reality continued, whether I felt anything as a consequence, or not. And I took that as an answer, to persevere in my prayers, EVEN THOUGH I felt nothing.

Date posted: May 19, 2010 - 09:38 pm
Name: sharon
E-mail: Private
Message: I just read the book "With God in Russia" and I am getting ready to read the book, " He leadeth Me." I have been so touched my this story I find myself speechless.

I am praying for his canonization too.

Date posted: December 21, 2009 - 11:24 pm
Name: Donald J. Martin
Message: Father Ciszek changed my life. As a 3rd grade project at Saint John of the Cross School in Western Springs, IL in about 1967, we were asked to write as a class to Father Ciszek. Within a few short years, I was the only one in my class that continued to write Father Ciszek. I wrote to Father Ciszek for many years up to the 1980's when he died, he sent me many hand written letters on index cards and he always told me that he prayed for me. In the early 1970's when he had business with the Jesuits in Chicago he flew out from NY and stayed with my family and said mass at our Church. I still have a couple of pictures with him and I together when I was a young boy and a couple of the letters he wrote me. I had many letters, but they were destroyed in a flood in about 1987.

Somewhere back in my Grammar school days, Father Ciszek was seemingly so impressed by my writing to him he gave me a Cross gold pen and pencil set which I still have to this day. It has a small dent or two in the pen from being used in many letters to him, but I will always have that in part as a rememberance of the many discussions we had.

Throughout my life in high school, college, the Marine Corps., raising a family I have felt Father Ciszek's presence. I have had multiple times I felt I escaped serious injury or death, but felt that he was there. Since, he died I continue to feel his presence, perhaps as my Guardian Angel if you will. It may sound corny to many, but I believe it is him with the hand of God watching over me and protecting me and my family.

When I was in High School, College and the Marine Corps. I had many discussions with him by mail and some theological in nature. His faith is unwavering. I have always told people, my two favorite books. 1) The Holy Bible and 2) With God in Russia.

To this day, other than the motivation of a 3rd grade teacher over 40 years ago, I do not know why I continued to write Father so many years. I have to believe that God was the reason. As things go with age, I am able to realize now more than ever, how lucky I was to be chosen to have a relationship with such a wonderful man.

Father Ciszek will always be a Saint to me, if the church recognizes it even better. I know God does and in the final analysis that will be what matters. His impact on the lives of people during his life time and since is immeasurable.

Date posted: December 10, 2009 - 11:21 pm
Name: Dennis J Lynch
Message: I was taught Russian history by Fr Ciszek at Fordham from January to June, 1965.

I can still see him walking along Edwards parade ground, the univrsity quad. At that time, he was a very solitary person. In retrospect, he was still probsably getting used to being free again.

I, too, have read his two books and have been influenced by them. The sections on Faith and Humility in He Leadeth Me were particularly profound.

I will be praying to him to intercede for a couple of very special people that have cancer and ALS diseases.

Date posted: November 24, 2009 - 04:57 pm
Name: Joseph Barinas
Message: My name is Joseph Barinas. I am the nephew of Fr. Walter. He was my mother Margaret Ciszek Barinas' brother. I met with Fr Walter on numerous occasions. He Baptized both our children and gave them their first holy communion.

Altough we lived in western NJ Fr walter, as busy as he has always found time to attend family religious functions. He got here even though he didn't drive and our home is in a rural area.

The one incident that sticks out most in my mind happened on a Christmas Eve. I don't remember the date but it was just a few years before Fr Walter passed away.

My wife Mary got a phone call from her cousin Ivy. She was very upset and wanted Mary to come and get her. She was at a catholic Church in North Bergen, NJ. The weather was snowy and over an hour away but Mary weny and got her.

When she got here she was in a dilusional state of mind and made references to space aliens reading her thoughts. She felt that our house was a safe haven and they wouldn't find her here.

The next morning we were awakend by Ivy standing at the foot of our bed with a butcher knife in her hand saying the space aliens had found her and our home was no longer safe.She started talking about religious subjects which didn't make sense.It was then that because religion came up that Fr Walter might be of help and Ivy refused to go to the hospital for help. I called Fr Walter at his Pope John 23rd Center ay Fordham. I told him what was going on and he asked to speak with Ivy. Even though he never met Ivy before they spoke for a long time on the phone. When thy were through a great calm came over Ivy and she asked to go to the hospital. We drove her to Warren hospital in Phillipsburg, NJ to their Psychiatric wing where she was admitted. After a few days her family came and got her.

Since that time Ivy has never had ant mental health problems. I have to believe it was Fr Walter's Christmas gift to Ivy.

Date posted: November 15, 2009 - 09:18 am
Name: Marie A Milia
Message: Several years ago I was told that I had stage 3 of stage 4 cancer and was not going to live. This was found to be true on x-rays and CT scans. My parents came home from Florida to be with me. I said my prayers to Father Ciszek and lo and behold when they operated on me the cancer was gone. This was maybe seven years ago and there is no cancer there today. Prayers to father Ciszek do work. Thanks be to God.

Date posted: October 26, 2009 - 06:16 am
Name: Michael J Theobald
Message: I regret that I never met Fr. Ciszek, yet he continues to touch my life profoundly through his writing. As a second-year aspirant to the permanent diaconate in the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese, He Leadeth Me is required reading and reflection. His testimony is a remarkable lesson in learning to discern and live within God's will, the nature of true humility required to do so and the freedom and peace that comes from fidelity. I thank God in His perfect will, that he blessed a such a saintly priest to provide an example for the less perfect in his flock to emulate.

Date posted: October 10, 2009 - 11:50 pm
Name: Rhoda Lemke Stevens
Message: In the 1960's in Connecticut my parents and I went to a book signing where we purchased With God In Russia and Fr Ciszek signed it to Dolores and Robert.

I have the article written by John Alquist about Fr Ciszek that was titled, Soviets Find Religion Hard To Obilterate

Date posted: November 25, 2008 - 09:13 pm
Name: Jennifer English
Message: Fr.Ciszek baptized my brother in 1980.

I am 40 years old now, but I remember when I was 13 going to the Bronx where Fr.lived and him making my family dinner. He was so cute and he would say we will have a little salad,see... a little bread,see.
I have a hand written note from him graciously declining an invitation to my First Holy Communion. I also have the book With God In Russia with his personal autograph.
There was a distinct scent I recall as a child when around Fr.
About a year ago my husband had a bad knee injury and there was talk of him having to be out of work. I was very upset and while saying my prayers cried out to Fr.Ciszek to help everything be well and all of a sudden that smell of him was all around me and lasted only a few moments. I knew right away that was the scent I remember when seeing Fr. Needless to say everything worked out great!
I continue to pray to him on a daily basis.

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