Fr. Stefan Starzynski’s book, Miracles: Healing for a Broken World (Our Sunday Visitor) is one of those faith-building books that every observant Catholic should read at least once. While this book is not quite a new release, I read it and thought, “How and why did I not hear about this book sooner?” The book offers a personal and experiential view of powerful Biblically-based charisms such as healing and prophecy; charisms that modern-day American Christians are sometimes unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with.
Fr. Stefan is active in Northern Virginia’s Charismatic Movement, so to an extent, his book was an introduction to the Catholic Charismatic Movement for me. Charismatics are focused on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Father’s book reads like a trail of divine coincidences and synchronicities. The action started on his ordination day.
When Fr. Stefan was ordained, he prayed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. After the ordination, he went out on his parents’ deck. He says, “…as if on cue, from out of nowhere, a white dove came out of the sky and landed right over my head.”
Shortly after the dove’s appearance, the healings began. Father was asked to anoint a deathly ill baby that day. At the hospital, he asked the mom and dad, “Do you believe that if I anoint your baby, that your baby will be healed?” They said, “Yes.” A few days later, he got news that the baby was miraculously healed. Father says he was not surprised, “Isn’t that what we expected?” Since then, he has been the instrument of healing for many sick babies, and also heads up a foundation to provide housing for unwed mothers.
His stories have a wow factor and so do the testimonies at the back of the book. People who have experienced miracles through Fr. Stefan’s prayers offer their stories to allay any doubts that are bound to pop up in your mind while reading this amazing book. Father has been dubbed as “the Healing Priest” because of the high number of miracles that occur through his prayers, but he is not too keen on the lofty nickname.
Aside from healings, Father also writes about speaking in tongues, demonic possession, ghosts, and his ability to foretell future events through his gift of prophesy. He uses his knowledge and gifts to conduct healing Masses. One of the most fascinating liturgies he does is a Mass for generational healing. Sins can run in families, just like diseases.
If this sounds weird to you, let me assure you that this book has the support of the bishop of Arlington Diocese! Further, I went to speak with Fr. Stefan in-person at his parish to thank him for writing his book. He is a normal, friendly neighborhood priest who you can follow via his website or on Twitter (@FatherStefan).
Fr. Stefan’s book affirms that miraculous healings and dramatic charisms were not just for Biblical times or legendary saints. We all have spiritual gifts. This book encourages us to thank the Holy Spirit for them and to use them for good.