The History of Congregation of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Pastor of St. Mark Parish is Fr. Andrew Lewandowski, CR, a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection (the Resurrectionists). The Congregation of the Resurrection is an international religious community of men within the Roman Catholic Church, ministering in more than twelve countries worldwide.

The Order began in Paris, France on Ash Wednesday February 17, 1836.  The founders were Bogdan Janski, Fr. Peter Semeneko, CR and Fr. Jerome Kajsiewicz, CR, although Janski is acknowledged as the leader. The Order was developed from the social milieu of the Great Polish Exodus following the November Uprising of 1830. Janski became the leading lay apostle of the Polish emigres in France at the time, and the Order was born to address their spiritual needs.

Bogdan Janski was born of Christian parents and educated in Catholic schools. He attended the University of Warsaw, where he received degrees in law and economics. As a student, he drifted away from his faith and was caught up in the various secular social movements of the day as he studied in France, England and Germany. In his disenchantment with these movements, he returned to his faith, and was convinced that truth and social justice was to be found only in the Gospels and in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

A brilliant and charismatic man, Janski worked tirelessly with the Polish exiles living in France. A convert himself, he was bent on converting others and assisting them with their material and spiritual needs. He was full of ideas for updating the Church and involving an enlightened laity in the work of the Church. His many plans and ideas are preserved in his diary, which now can be accessed online .

Janski was aware of the need for a well educated clergy to instruct and lead the people, especially in Poland, which had been severely weakened by Russian oppression. He sent two of his closest associates, Fr. Peter Semeneko, CR and Fr. Jerome Kajsiewicz, CR to Rome, where they established a relationship with the Holy See, and founded a Polish college to educate priests for Poland.

Janski died on July 2, 1840, never witnessing the blossoming of the community he had started. Fr. Semeneko, CR and Fr. Kajsiewicz, CR continued to develop Janski’s ideas, and on Easter morning, March 27, 1842, along with five other members of the community, they professed their vows at Mass in the Catacombs of St. Sebastian in Rome. As they emerged from Catacombs to the ringing of the church bells announcing the Easter celebration, the members of the new community were inspired to dedicate themselves to the risen Savior. They would become the Congregation of the Resurrection.

Fr. Semenenko, CR composed the Rule by which the Congregation was to live based on the thoughts of Bogdan Janski. In 1857, Fr. Semenenko, CR clarified the specific ministry of the Congregation, namely the care and administration of the parishes and the education of the youth.

Even today, the Congregation retains the guiding spirit of the Rule of 1850. In 1981, a Charism statement was added. It stands as a clear statement of the identity and call of the Order. It emphasizes that God’s love is merciful and unfailing and calls members of the Order to personal resurrection of the spirit in union with Jesus. Through the apostolates of parish work and teaching, the Resurrectionists seek to build Christian communities where all can experience the hope, joy and peace of Christ’s resurrection.

For additional information about the Congregation of the Resurrection or to read the diary of Bogdan Janski, please see the website of the Order which may be found at


The Founders of the Congregation of the Resurrection