Our Beginnings

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection was founded in Rome in 1891 by a widow, Celine Borzecka, and her daughter, Hedwig. The formation of the Congregation was the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that a religious community of women was founded by a mother and a daughter.

Blessed Mother Celine Borzecka, C.R.
Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection

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The Venerable Servant of God
Mother Hedwig Borzecka, C.R.
Co-Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection

 

Celine, the daughter of a wealthy land owner, was born in Eastern Poland. From her early childhood she fervently desired to dedicate herself entirely to God. At the age of 20, in accord with the wishes of her parents, Celine married Joseph Borzecki. She continued to grow as a woman of prayer and sacrifice. Sixteen years following her marriage, her husband, Joseph, was stricken with paralysis. He died several years later, leaving Celine with their two small daughters, Celine and Hedwig.

In 1875, the young widow and her children came to Rome, seeking the Will of God in whatever way it would be manifested to them.

On January 6, 1891 God called Celine and Hedwig to begin the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection. Today the Church recognizes both as Venerable, or as persons who have lived lives of heroic virtue. Mother Celine and her daughter, Hedwig, lived lives that were permeated with the faith-vision and optimism so needed in our world today. They were confident that people needed a message of hope. They desired to help others discover the fact that Jesus lives and is with them always!

The years prior to the foundation of our Congregation were difficult and laden with many injustices and sufferings. They did not abandon the task which God had asked them to complete. Confident in God’s love and presence, they endured great difficulties so that birth could break forth and the Sisters of the Resurrection could be a reality. Today, we their daughters, continue to live with this vision of hope and confidence in God’s love and presence.
Though we live in a different age, the same message of hope is vital.

Celine Chludzinska was born on October 29, 1833 in Poland. In 1853 she married Joseph Borzecki. After his death in 1874 she left for Rome where, together with her daughter Hedwig, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection. Mother Celine died in Cracow on October 26, 1913, and is presently a candidate for canonization. The decree regarding her heroic virtues was proclaimed on February 11, 1982.  Her beatification took place on October 27, 2007.

Hedwig Borzecka was born on February 1, 1863 in Poland. After the death of her father she accompanied her mother Celine to Rome, where she cooperated with her in founding the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection. She died suddenly in Kety on September 27, 1906 at the age of forty-three. She is presently a candidate for canonization, together with her mother. The decree regarding her heroic virtues was proclaimed on December 17, 1982.

Today the Sisters of the Resurrection strive to live the spirit of their Foundresses.
The following are excerpts from their Decree of Heroic Virtues:

  • “The Servant of God, Celine Chludzinska Borzecka, is an admirable example, deserving the attention of all the faithful, since in every state of life: virgin, mother of a family, widow and religious, she always strove towards Christian perfection.”
  • “Hedwig Borzecka should be numbered among those religious who faithfully followed Christ: she witnessed to this by her actions and the obstacles she overcame; by the proof of the holiness of her life.
    She stood out by the integrity of her character, an unusual fervor in prayer, and a special devotion to the Resurrection of Christ.”

Beatification of Mother Celine Chludzinska Borzecka

Mother Celine was beatified on October 27, 2007 at Saint John Lateran Basilica, Rome, Italy.
The miracle which qualified Mother Celine for this Beatification was the cure of a life-threatening head trauma to her great, great, great grandson, Andrew Mecherzynski-Wiktor.  God performed the miracle, but Mother Celine is the one who interceded.  The miracle took place shortly after the whole Congregation prayed a Novena to her for a miracle for Andrew.

 

PRAYER FOR GRACES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF BLESSED CELINE BORZECKA:

Praise be to you, Lord Jesus, who have gifted blessed Celine with a special love for the paschal mystery and the desire to fulfill your holy will. Grant us, through her intercession, the grace... for which we beg you, trusting in your unlimited love for us. Lord, may your Church rejoice by numbering your servant, Celine, amount the saints for your greater glory and for our good. You are God, who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

(For graces received, please inform the Sisters of the Resurrection, 35 Boltwood Ave., Castleton-on-Hudson, New York 12033)


Photos from the Beatification Pilgrimage in Rome ~ October 2007:

 

Blessed Alice

Blessed Alice  was born in Warsaw on November 20, 1899 as the second of eight children.  She lived during the time of struggle for freedom in Poland, a time full of hope, that Poland would be finally free from the captivity of other nations.  God and Country - these were her two great loves throughout her entire life.

After the outbreak of the war in 1918 she became a member of the Organized Polish Army where she found occasions to give of herself for the good of her Country.  It was during that year that she began studies in medicine at the University of Warsaw.  As a Red Cross nurse, she used her knowledge to bring solace to the wounded soldiers during the invasion of the Bolsheviks in 1920.  For her dedication she was awarded a medal of “Poland Restored.”  

In 1922 before completing her medical studies, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection.  In her request for acceptance, she wrote:  “I desire to live and die for Christ, for He is the Greatest Love, Lord, God and my All.”

After professing her vows she was directed to work in the educational seminary conducted by the Congregation in Warsaw, while at the same time, she was to complete her philosophical studies in the area of chemistry.  Bound to God by her vows, she strove zealously to remain faithful to Him. Bound to the Congregation, she made heroic efforts to live its charism and to fulfill its apostolic goals.  She undertook work in teaching and education first in Warsaw and then as the Directress of the grammar school in Wejherowo.

How did she merit to be numbered among the martyrs?  One can most probably respond with:  her heroic fidelity to God and the Gospel as well as her total dedication to the service of people.  On October 24, 1939, two Gestapo soldiers came to the convent of the Sisters in Wejherowo with orders to arrest Sister Alice.  She had been warned a few days previously about the possibility of arrest.  She could have escaped but did not do so because she would not save herself at the cost of being an instrument of suffering for others.  She did not want to leave the Sisters in the local community of which she was the superior.  As soon as she was arrested, she knew that she had been betrayed by the school  custodian.  The last words which the Sisters heard at the time of her arrest, were the evangelical words of forgiveness:  I forgive Francis for everything.

 

 

PRAYER TO BLESSED ALICE

Risen Christ, who called Blessed Alice to religious life and endowed her with fidelity in fulfilling the commandment to love God and others, grant that her martyrdom would obtain for us the courage to bear all sufferings.

Grant us also through her intercession, the favor for which we ask . . . By granting our petition, may your glory on earth increase.  Amen.

Please inform the Sisters of the Resurrection of favors received:

Sisters of the Resurrection
35 Boltwood Avenue, Castleton-on-Hudson, NY  12033
7432 W. Talcott Avenue, Chicago, IL  60631