From September 23-26, San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Parish will host Father Peter Prusakiewicz, CSMA. Father Peter will preach this year’s parish mission. He will speak on The Power and Love of St. Michael — the Archangel of Divine Mercy and will celebrate Masses, hear confessions, and lead a Eucharistic holy hour, featuring the chaplet of St. Michael, a healing service, and veneration of a first class relic of St. Faustina.
Fr. Prusakiewicz was born in Torun, Poland in 1963, entered the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel in 1982, and was ordained to the priesthood in May 23, 1990. From 1990-1996 he served as a parish assistant and as chaplain to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw, where St. Faustina began her religious life. In 1996 he was named vice-rector of the major seminary in Krakow, where he remained until 1999.
His expertise in unfolding the depths of meaning in the Divine Mercy devotion and the devotion to St Michael the Archangel and the Holy Angels has made him a sought-after speaker and preacher in counties all over the world. He serves as senior editor of the quarterly Catholic magazine The Angels: Messengers of a Loving God. Issues of The Angels through March 2021 are free to download here.
In a 2020 Issue of The Angels Father Prusakiewicz said “Thomas Aquinas wrote that angels had such a great wish to help people that we cannot even imagine. St Michael wants to help us for free, for nothing, but he acts like a gentleman, he respects our free will. Only when we call on him, does he act with exceptional power and wisdom….Why do we need St Michael? First of all, for a spiritual battle. We are at war. We don’t sail on a cruiser but on a battleship. We’re not tourists, we are pilgrims. We came from God and go home, to heaven, to God.
“Angels are to protect us on our way home because we have an enemy. It is Satan and the other fallen angels. … Hell is not a place you can lock. Satan wants as many people as possible to join him in hell. We need to be aware of that fact. He attacks people usually in their weakest points. And he does not act alone. Christ says he takes seven more demons and they all attack a soul. That is why when he tempts us it is worth calling St Michael.
“We can do it by the prayer of Pope Leo XIII, written after one of the visions he had in a chapel in St Peter’s Basilica. We’re not sure what exactly Pope Leo XIII saw but we have his prayer that is well-known and said in various languages all over the world.”
Fr. Pruskawiecz’s visit is the second consecutive parish mission at Star of the Sea specifically on the angels. In December 2021, Father Wolfgang Seitz preached an Advent Mission on the angels, which included consecrating 50 Star of the Sea parishioners, each of whom had gone through a year-long formation, to their Guardian Angels. I asked Father Joseph Illo, Star’s pastor, why the focus on Angels?
“First, the faithful of my last two parishes requested classes and retreats on the angels. Following their inspiration, I took the one-year and two-year courses through Opus Angelorum (an institute dedicated to promoting the work of the angels). I consecrated myself to my Guardian Angel 12 years ago and to all the Angels two years ago. Then I provided the same course for my parishioners, who have responded with great energy.
Second, in studying the angels, I have come to realize that the great spiritual battles of our time in history are with the ‘powers of the air’ more than previously. Demonic influence has increased, I think, because of the widespread use of drugs and immoral sex, both portals for the demonic. We are living in arguably the most atheistic time in human history, with an unprecedented percentage of the world’s population living without reference to God, even if they claim some sort of religious faith. In this historical moment, we need to understand the nature of angelic warfare to defend the Kingdom of God from the increasing attacks of the bad angels (demons). God’s final victory is certain, but we must make alliances with the good angels to acquit ourselves well in the contests we will need to engage in at this moment in history.”
For a full schedule of Fr. Prusakiewicz’s mission at Star of the Sea, go here.
Written by Gibbons Cooney.