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 more than 300 members. Fourteen priests, nine seminarians, one brother and two novices come from other countries.
The Congregation was founded by Blessed, Father Bronisław Markiewicz. Bronislao Markiewicz, the sixth of the eleven children of John Markiewicz, City Mayor, and Marianna Gryziecka, was born on the 13th of July 1842 in Pruchnik, Poland, in the present day Archdiocese of Przemyśl dei Latini. In his family home, he received a solid religious formation. Nonetheless, during his secondary studies in Przemyśl he experienced a certain wavering in the faith due, in large part, to the strong anti-religious atmosphere which dominated the school. However, he succeeded in overcoming this in a relatively short period, once again finding peace and serenity.
Feeling a call from God to the priesthood, the young Bronislao entered the major seminary of Przemyśl in 1863 after having received the Maturity diploma. Upon completion of the regular course of study he was ordained to the priesthood on September 15, 1867. Following six years of pastoral wok as a parochial vicar in the Parish of Harta and the Cathedral of Przemyśl, seeking to become better equipped to work with youth, he studied pedagogy, philosophy and history for two years in the Universities of Leopoli and Cracow. In 1875 he was named pastor at Gac and in 1877 pastor at Błażowa. In 1882 he was entrusted a teaching position in pastoral theology and the Major Seminary of Przemyśl
Hearing a call to the religious life, he left for Italy in the month of November 1885 and joined the Salesians where he had the joy of meeting Saint John Bosco before whom he professed religious vows on March 25, 1887.
As a Salesian he carried out the various tasks assigned to him by his superiors, which he sought to accomplish with dedication and zeal. Due to the austerity of the lifestyle and the change of climate, Fr. Bronislao fell gravely ill with consumption in 1889, to the point of having been considered close to death. Having recovered from his illness, he convalesced in Italy until March 23, 1892 when, with the permission of his Superiors, he returned to Poland where he assumed the assignment of Pastor at Miejsce Piastowe, in Przemyśl his native Diocese.
In addition to his ordinary pastoral activity, Father dedicated himself, in the Spirit of St John Bosco, to the formation of poor and orphaned youth. He opened an institute in which he offered his students both material and spiritual support preparing them for life with a professional formation in the schools around the institute itself. To carry on his work, he decided in 1897 to found two new religious congregations based on the spirituality of St. John Bosco, adapting his rules to reflect their own Charism. Once again received among the clergy of the Diocese of Przemyśl, Father Markiewicz continued his work as Pastor and Director of the Society (erected in 1898) which he named Temperance and Work, seeking to obtain its approbation as a religious institute. The approbation was granted a few years after his death: in 1921 for the male branch and in 1928 for the female branch.
With the approval and blessing of his bishop Saint Joseph Sebastian Pelczar, Fr. Bronislao continued his activity forming youth and abandoned and orphaned children. He was assisted by collaborators to whose preparation and formation he himself always contributed. Already at Miejce Piastowe he had offered a home and formation to hundreds of children giving of himself totally for them. Always desiring to do more for them, in the month of August of 1903, Fr. Markiewicz opened a new house in Pawlikowice, near Cracow, where over 400 orphans found a house and the possibility for spiritual and professional formation.
His total dedication to children, his heroic self-denial and the enormous work he accomplished, quickly exhausted the strength of Fr. Markiewicz,. undermining his health, which was already greatly compromised from his illness in Italy. All of this led rather rapidly to the end of his earthly pilgrimage which came on January 29, 1912.
Both before and after his death he was considered an extraordinary man. As the fame of the sanctity of Bronislao Markiewicz continued to constantly increase, the Superiors of both religious institutes of St Michael the Archangel, founded by him, asked the Bishop of Przemyśl to initiate the process of beatification of their founder, which began in 1958. Having completed the procedure for the Cause, on July 2, 1994 in the presence of his Holiness John Paul II, the decree of heroic virtue was promulgated and ten years later on Dec 20th 2004 the decree of the Miracle performed by God through the intercession of Fr. Bronislao was promulgated, thus opening the way for his beatification.
St. Michael the Archangel
The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" /Mi-cha-el/ Michael, God’s champion was the leader of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers. /Rv 12:7-12/ Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes, and defender of God’s people /Dn 10:12-21; 12:1/ and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honoured and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles.
Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim. St. Michael is the patron of paratroopers and police.