Framing the Gospel through Divine Mercy

In the midst of a difficult loss, the Lord led Virginia resident Susan Pawlukiewicz to realize a new calling in life - spreading devotion to Divine Mercy.

After Susan's mother, whom she described as her best friend, passed away in 2013, she decided to take a trip to visit family in Poland. "While I was there, it seemed that God led me to places that weren't on my agenda," she said. At the suggestion of a Polish priest living in the United States, she visited the Shrine of Divine Mercy in ?agiewniki, Poland, on the grounds of the convent where St. Faustina lived and died.

"When I visited the gift shop, I found they were selling these really large Divine Mercy Images. The Holy Spirit put it in my heart to buy them and give them to churches all over," she said.

She purchased about 100 prints, all of them in different sizes. She rolled them up, put them in a duffle bag, and had them shipped back to the United States.

When she came back home, she refurbished old frames for them and crafted some herself. Since starting this ministry, she has given away more than 60 framed Divine Mercy Images, which now hang in prominent places in various Catholic churches and chapels.

In some cases, parishes have asked her to speak on the life of St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion. She also teaches people how to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet in English and Polish.

Then about 1 year ago, she expanded her ministry to Africa, having been invited to help "The Mercy Project," which runs a school called, "Our Lady Mother of Mercy Secondary School."

"I helped raise funds for this school because, right now, all 420 girls sleep in the classrooms," she said.

She intended to teach science to these girls, but when she arrived with her Divine Mercy Images, the school asked her to teach about Divine Mercy instead.

"The girls at Mother of Mercy Secondary School say the Rosary every day at 5:30, but only a couple times per year do they receive Communion. Since the village is so isolated, it's rare for priests to be able to come," she said.

"So when I taught them, they were just hungry to learn more about Divine Mercy and the Catholic Church. I taught 12 or 13 classes to a total of 400-something girls.

"These girls didn't know about the saints. They just didn't even really know what saints were. They didn't know they could be saints. They had never been taught about Heaven, Purgatory, and hell. So, a lot of the time, I had to deviate and explain to them why the grace of Divine Mercy Sunday was so enormous," she said.

While she taught the basics of Catholicism through the Divine Mercy devotion at the school, she continued giving away Divine Mercy Images to as many nearby Catholic churches as she could. She found a local carpenter to make frames for her images. She acquired the help of a man named Simon, a worker at the school, who took her to make deliveries on the back of his motorcycle.

"When he drove me, Simon would be sitting in the front [of the motorcycle] and the frame would be between the two of us. I'm sitting in the back. And I'd be hugging the framed image and reaching around it to hold on to Simon's jacket with my fingertips. The roads really had deep potholes and hilly, rocky streets. It was rather exciting, if you can imagine," she said. Some trips took as long as 45 minutes.

"I just loved the Kenyan people and my mission to teach and provide these images. I can't describe to you how meaningful it was to me," she said.

If you are interested in contacting Susan, you can email her at [email protected].

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