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The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel (C.S.M.A.)
Coat of Arms
The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel (C.S.M.A.), also known as the Michaelite Fathers, is a community of brothers and priests who choose Jesus Christ as the primary object of their love and the example to follow. The apostolic activity of the Congregation concentrates on the ethical and educational teaching of children and youths who are neglected both morally and materially.
We run several orphanages and oratories, which provide children with professional help in learning, assistance as they grow up and oftentimes, a simple meal. This help takes place at numerous summer and winter holiday camps and events and is supported by various groups and programs, which exist in our parishes.
We help by teaching religion, the gospel and by our priestly service. In our work we strive to bring God’s Word to people whose religious lives have been neglected and whose courage and self-denial need to be strengthened. We try to teach prudence, persistence and diligence in work. We do our best to show the value and the beauty of a life in which God is most important.
We also run a publishing house called “Wydawnictwo Michaelineum”. At present our Congregation has 330 members, comprised of 1 bishop, 266 priests, 17 brothers, 40 seminarians and 10 novices. Fourteen priests, nine seminarians, one brother and two novices come from other countries.
They work in 17 countries; Argentina, Austria, Australia Aruba, Belarus, Canada, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the USA. Running 2 orphanages, several oratories and youth centers, 5 schools and 101 parishes. (23 parishes in Poland, 5 in Belarus, 3 in Ukraine, 7 in Paraguay and Argentina, 16 in Italy and Switzerland, 1 in USA, 7 in Canada, 8 in Australia, 16 in Germany, 18 in the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curaçao and Puerto Rico.
Blessed Fr Bronislaw Markiewicz has been chosen as patron of over 30 elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges in different parts of Poland. The Congregation consists of 2 provinces, 3 vice-provinces and 1 delegacy.
Founder – Father Bronislaw Markiewicz
The Congregation was founded by Blessed, Father Bronisław Markiewicz. Born on 13th July 1842 in Pruchnik near Jarosław (south-eastern Poland), he was a priest of the Przemyśl Diocese, and was a revered churchman recognised for his spirit of sacrifice. He was also professor of the local Major Seminary. From the very beginning of his priestly life, he was particularly sensitive towards the religious, moral, and material negligence of children and youth and to the misery of simple people. He spoke strongly against the national vices of the Polish nation. In his opinion the solution of social problems depended upon the proper education of young people and on changing the moral climate of the whole society.
Following the divine voice, he went to Italy and became a follower of Saint John Bosco. After seven years, in 1892, he returned to Poland and was put in charge of the parish in Miejsce Piastowe (south-eastern Poland). In addition to his pastoral work, he provided a widespread educational system, which not only included academics but also dealt with the spiritual and physical growth of the children, in the houses established by him. He soon thought of founding a new religious congregation.
On 23rd September 1923, he petitioned the Bishop of Przemyśl and the Pope to allow him to found the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel. In spite of intensive efforts on his part, Father Markiewicz did not live to witness its approval and died on 29th January 1912. On 29th September 1921, Adam Stefan Sapieha, Bishop of Krakow, issued the Erecting Decree of the Congregation. On 15th June 1966, the Congregation w as affirmed under papal law. The beatification took place in Warsaw on June 19, 2005.
Epitaph of the Blessed Founder in St. Michael’s Church. Our founder also gave the beginning to the Michaelite Sisters.