|Janice E. Major (on the right) w/ great-grandson Liem(?)|
Blessed Roman Lysko didn't need to be told that. An alumnus of Lviv Theological Academy, he was ordained in 1941 -- a swell time to be in Eastern Europe. (Come to think of it, has there ever been a good time to be in Eastern Europe?) He was a pastor in Lviv, perhaps through the war years. Not much is written about him between 1941 and 1949, but on September 9, he was arrested by the Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del, the People's Commissariat for Internal Security, or NKVD, which eventually re-branded itself as the KGB, the secret police of the USSR.
|Blessed Father Roman Lysko|
They took Father Roman to the Prison at Lontskoho Street, a notorious place that has housed political prisoners for Poland, Germany, and the USSR. It is currently a museum honoring those who were killed within its walls. If you're in Lviv for a beer festival, be sure to stay sober long enough to visit the museum on Lontshoko Street.
Father Roman didn't last long in the prison. He entered on September 9 and died on October 14. Starvation and torture can do that to you. But even as he lay in his cell, bloody and broken, he continued to sing Psalms. The guards were sure he had lost his mind, but he knew something they did not. No matter how bad life gets, you can make it a little better if you "keep the music playing; hum along, whistle and dance if you can." If you don't believe me, you can ask my mom.