Next year — 2019 — will mark the 30th anniversary of communism’s collapse in Poland and Eastern Europe. It will also mark 35 years since the murder of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko. I was safe in California when the communist secret police killed my former vicar in Poland in October 1984. In May 1980, Father “Jurek” Popiełuszko was assigned to our parish, St. Stanislaus Kostka, where I was baptized. He was a physically frail servant of God with an indomitable spirit. To understand Father Jurek, we must shed some light on his personal background and the social and political context of his life.