Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

EWTN to Air Call-In Show on Life, Works and Message of Father Walter Ciszek

The life, works and message of Father Walter Ciszek will be discussed on the television show “EWTN Live” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 14.

The host, Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ, will be joined by John DeJak, who was co-editor of Father Ciszek’s book, With God in America.

Father Ciszek was born in 1904, in Shenandoah, Diocese of Allentown. His Cause for Canonization (Sainthood) is current being reviewed by the Vatican. Father Eugene Ritz, diocesan Chancellor, is Co-postulator of the Cause.

Ordained in 1937 as the first American Jesuit in the Byzantine Catholic Rite, Father Ciszek secretly entered the Soviet Union in 1939 as a missionary priest and was arrested in 1941 as an alleged Vatican spy. He was imprisoned, accused of espionage, trapped in a Moscow prison during World War II, and sentenced to 15 years of forced labor in the prison camps of Siberia.

After 23 years as a prisoner, he was released and returned to the United States in 1963 after being exchanged for two Russian spies.

Father Ciszek died Dec. 8, 1984, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. He is buried at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville.

You can watch the program live on EWTN, or on the EWTN website at There will be a live call-in segment of the show. To ask questions, dial 1-800-221-9460.