Fr. Ciszek Museum Upgraded

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SHENANDOAH -- A church in Schuylkill County is preparing to honor the late Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J. this weekend. He was a priest from Shenandoah who is being considered for sainthood.

So much has changed at the Fr. Walter Ciszek Prayer League Center in Shenandoah. It's a museum that details the life of Fr. Ciszek.

He was a Jesuit missionary to the Soviet Union, accused of being a spy for the Vatican and held prisoner until he was returned to the United States in 1963.

He died in 1984 at the age of 80.

"We feel Fr. Ciszek can be a very good role model for the future and even now, Many tell stories how he spiritually directed them and helped them become a better person," said prayer league board member Elaine Cusat.

The center used to be located in a building next to St. Casimir's Roman Catholic Church, the church Fr. Ciszek attended as a child.

Two years ago, it was torn down because it was found to be structurally unsafe.

"People were fearing for their safety. That was a horrible time but we're glad everybody was safe and then a lot of the artifacts went to storage for a couple of months," said prayer league board member Kimberly Kringe.

The museum's new home is now on West Cherry Street.

Over the summer, the prayer league revamped the museum adding new photos and artifacts.

"Fr. Ciszek day will be held on Sunday. Mass will be at 2 p.m. at st. Casimir Church, but before that, the prayer league wants people to learn about his life at the prayer league center.

"We just invite people to come and learn about his life and be inspired by his life. He was a very humble, hardworking man who had lots of struggles and overcame them with God's grace and help," Kringe said.

The prayer league center will open to the public at noon on Sunday and will close before the mass at 1:30 p.m.


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