Catholic Manly Reads – He Leadeth Me


When we think of the great Jesuit missionaries, we think of men such as St. Francis Xavier, St. Isaac Jogues and St. Paul Miki, who gave their lives toiling in foreign lands to preach the Gospel. Yet their stories seem to be from the distant past; where are the great missionaries today? He Leadeth Me, is the story of Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, an American priest who served as a missionary in Communist Russia. He wrote the book because he felt that he “had learned much during those years of hardship and suffering that could be of help to others in their lives.”
In 1929 Pope Pius XI called for priests from around the world to travel to Russia and serve a people whose clergy were decimated by the Communists. A Jesuit novice at the time, Ciszek’s heart was stirred by the Holy Spirit to serve these people. He was sent to Rome to study in the Russian college. After being ordained a priest, he travelled to Albertyn, Poland to serve in an Eastern Catholic Church, since priests could not directly travel into Russia.
While in Poland, the Soviets overran the countryside. The parish mission was closed in Albertyn.  Fr. Ciszek, along with another priest decided to accompany the Polish refugees travelling to Russia for work. They arrived in Russia and went to work at a lumber camp. To their dismay, there was no apparent apostolate in the camp. Most of the workers were afraid to talk about religion because of the numerous informers in the camp. Fr. Ciszek and his brother priest would sneak away from camp to say Mass.
After working there for a short time, the Soviets arrested Fr. Walter under the suspicion that he was a Vatican spy. He was held in captivity for many years and underwent very


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