Photo of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko by Tomasz Wesołowski
Judith Kelly’s book, Just Call Me Jerzy, is now in its second printing.
Kelly, an American of Polish heritage, is a longtime social-justice activist in the Washington, D.C. area. On her first visit to Poland in 1995, she learned of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, a martyred chaplain of the Polish freedom movement called Solidarność (Solidarity).
On October 19, 1984, Popiełuszko—just 37 years old—was kidnapped and murdered by the Polish secret police. Under martial law, he had led monthly Masses for the Country at St. Stanisław Kostka church in Warsaw, where he spoke the truth about the oppressive communist regime and offered hope to tens of thousands gathered in overflow crowds. Millions more listened to underground rebroadcasts or read reprints of his inspiring homilies. As a result of his appealing authenticity, he endured years of harassment and threats.
Jerzy’s grave at St. Stanisław Kostka church has become a pilgrimage site for millions. Many have received graces, including Kelly, who in 1996 found the link to her “lost” Polish family the day after praying there. In 2010, the Vatican recognized Jerzy’s faithful witness and martyrdom by beatifying him, the step before canonization and sainthood. Kelly attended the beatification ceremony in Warsaw and soon after began to document Jerzy’s little-known travels to the United States and Canada. Continue reading “Just Call Me Jerzy” second printing available