Priest who worked on first editions of St. Faustina's diary shares insight on love and mercy

by Jerry Circelli

North Texas Catholic

In her diaries, Sister Faustina explained the inspiration for the Image of Divine Mercy shown here. (Courtesy Kondrat-Media)In her diaries, Sister Faustina explained the inspiration for the Image of Divine Mercy shown here. (Courtesy Kondrat-Media)
In her diaries, Sister Faustina explained the inspiration for the Image of Divine Mercy shown here. (Courtesy Kondrat-Media)

FORT WORTH — Since 1941, just three years after the death of St. Faustina, the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) have actively promoted the Divine Mercy message and devotion.

Father Kazimierz Chwalek — Provincial Superior for the Mary, Mother of Mercy Province of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception — appears in “Love and Mercy: Faustina.” He took time recently to talk with the North Texas Catholic about the new docudrama.

The priest said one of the most powerful takeaways from the new film is the realization that the real image of God is one of love and mercy. 

“This movie is so important because it actually leads us to a deeper knowledge of and communion with God.…,” Fr. Chwalek said. “The true image of God is mercy and love.”

A member of the Marian Fathers since 1980, and a priest since 1987, Fr. Chwalek worked on the first Polish edition of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and assisted with its English publication.

Fr. Chwalek’s first involvement with St. Faustina’s Diary actually precedes the time he joined the Marians. In 1979, as a young student, he was tasked with proofreading an early publication of St. Faustina’s Diary for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Mass. Had he not been asked to proof the writings, Fr. Chwalek said he likely would not have read the words written by St. Faustina.

His interest in her writing quickly changed once his editorial work began and progressed.

“I have to tell you,” Fr. Chwalek said, “when I was reading the diaries, and I can still go back and remember, it was such an incredible source of spiritual literature that it just drew my heart to God.”

Describing St. Faustina and her writing, Fr. Chwalek said, “Her prayers, her reflections, and the Word of Jesus just really touched me so deeply and profoundly that my life has not been the same. I spend most of my life right now doing this work.”

Sharing his 40 years of joy helping others to experience Christ’s love and mercy, Fr. Chwalek continued, “The message that the diary offers is a way of summarizing Scriptural knowledge. It leads us right into the Gospels. It leads us right back into Scripture and allows us to appreciate again, and come to understand more deeply, the revelation the Lord has offered through the New Testament.”

“What has moved me the most,” Fr. Chwalek said, “is that our Lord Jesus is so close to us and that He always wants us to be in communion with Him. He has offered everything to us that we need for our salvation and happiness. He will always be there for us, leading and guiding us. We don’t ever have to be afraid that we are alone.”

The priest continued, “This message of Divine Mercy is actually a source of renewal for our Church today, leading us closer to God, to Jesus and to the sacraments.

“Precisely, this message is for our times and, as Jesus further says, it is not just for our times but as a way of preparing for the second coming, so that we can come to know Him.”

The Marian Fathers and the National Shrine of Divine Mercy

Discover more about the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and their work to promote St. Faustina and the Message of Divine Mercy, as well as the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. Visit www.marian.org.

FORT WORTH — Since 1941, just three years after the death of St. Faustina, the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) have actively promoted the Divine Mercy message and devotion.

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