On June 9th 2012, in London, we experienced the wonderful event: "I Believe" youth festival. It was created to mark the Golden Jubilee of Michaelites in Canada and 100 anniversary of Blessed Bronislaw Markiewicz's death.
"I Believe" is inspired by the legacy and soul-stirring success of Blessed Pope John Paul II's World Youth Days (WYD) which connect millions of youth all over the world. Having witnessed first-hand the transforming power of youth gatherings and youth prayer at WYD in both Toronto and Madrid, groups of young people from Our Lady of Czestochowa parish and St. Marys parish - run by the Michaelite Fathers - decided to bring that experience to London, Ontario.
The mission of I Believe was simple: to stir up, to shake up youths, to get looking up when something goes wrong, and to show some truth in this world of lies. The goal was to reconnect youths with faith and to show how to be beacons of light so that when the time comes, to be able to proudly say: I Believe. We believe we have accomplished that.
The event, that took place in Mother Teresa High School in London, featured world-famous guests: Fr. Stan Fortuna CFR, Robert Raisp, Chris Bray Band. Fr. Joe Dabrowski, pastor of St. Marys church was also our guest speaker. During the event, the sacrament of Reconciliation was offered for anyone to celebrate. The Eucharist gathered over 100 youth, many of the Michaelites and a few guest priests. Mass was presided by Fr. Andrew Kowalczyk and the homilist was Fr. Mateusz Sobierajski.
We hope to see you all next year.
By the end of May our house was visited by Fr. Jan Cydzik, CSSR and director of Radio Maryja in Canada. Fr. Jan met with seniors for some conversations and sampled some of our delicious cooking our chef Mrs. Lusia prepared for this occasion. We wish Fr. Jan many blessings as he and Radio Maryja spread the Good News via Radio, TV and internet.
On the beautiful sunny evening of May 6, the community gathered in Lucan, Ontario to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our Canadian delegation. Fr. Dariusz Lewandowski, CSMA, pastor at St. Patricks, invited the whole parish to join us in this thanksgiving celebration that folled with coffee and jubilee cake. Fr. Dariusz presided at the Mass, Fr. Andrew gave the homily and Fr. Wladyslaw Krukar, Fr. Ted Kowalczyk, Fr. Matthew Sobierajski, and Fr. Jacek Kokosa were the concelebrants. Br. Janusz Kolbusz assisted Fr. Wladyslaw in the sanctuary. This celebration coincided with Fr. Dariuszs birthday and the 8th anniversary of his ordination. As of now we have visited Sarnia, St. Thomas and now Lucan with our Jubilee celebrations. In September we will visit London and Toronto.
The month of May started on the working note. Some improvements needed to be done to our landscaping around the Retreat Centre and also to our well. Here are some photos from the hard work that our young contingent was engaged at.
From April 16 to 26, the Superior General and superiors of all our vice provinces and delegations gathered for the IV Plenary Conference in Aruba where Michaelites have ministered since 2003. Aruba, Curacao and Dominican Republic form the Caribbean Delegation of the Michaelite fathers comprised of 22 members. Fr. Andrew, superior delegate from Canada, represented our community. The last day of the gathering took place in Santo Domingo, capital of Dominican Republic, where papal Nuncio presided at Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of blessed Markiewczs death. The church, dedicated to the blessed founder of our Congregation was filled with parishioners and invited guests. During the Mass, the Superior General handed out three Benemerendi medals. With songs, laughter, prayer and a wonderful meal we closed our gathering. The next plenary will take place in Australia in 2014.
The weekend of March 17/18 was chosen by Fr. Adam Gabriel, CSMA pastor of Holy Angels parish, as the weekend when the Community of the Michaelite Fathers came to St. Thomas to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our presence in Canada and Diocese of London. Fr. Adam was the main celebrant and Fr. Andrew was the homilist. After each Sunday Mass, a jubilee coffee and cake was served in the parish hall. Members of the parish had the opportunity to learn about St. Michael from a display of 14 tablets depicting the patron saint of our Congregation in art.
In this Jubilee Year, that our Congregation is celebrating, the annual priestly retreat led by Fr. Robert Ryndak, CSMA, took place in our chapel on the last days of the month. Fr. Robert is the Vocation Director of our Congregation and comes from Poland. During the season of Lent he will also preach Lenten missions at: Our Lady Queen of Peace in Sarnia, Our Lady of Czestochowa in London, Holy Trinity in Windsor, St. Teresa in Toronto and Sacred Heart in Guelph. We wish him a happy and fruitful stay in Canada.
With ashes on our foreheads and change of the décor in our chapel we entered in to the faith filled season of Lent. Season of fasting, praying and doing the deeds of charity. Season of intense preparation for initiation sacraments. Season of assessing our baptismal relationship with God. Simply to grow in holiness of life. We pray that
Markiewicz as the one who knew how to read the signs of time, as the one who through his holy life inspired others to dedicate one's life to those who are poor, abandoned and neglected this holy man is a challenge for the Michaelites of today to read anew their chrism in the service for the Church said bishop Ronald. P. Fabbro, CSB, the bishop of London to those gathered at the chapel of the Michaelite House Retreat Centre.
Despite unpleasant weather conditions, Monday January 30th gathered over 40 priests and sisters for the 100th anniversary of the blessed Fr. Markiewicz's death. The Mass was presided by Bishop R. P. Fabbro, CSB of the Diocese of London, Bishop Emeritus Matthew Ustrzycki of Hamilton Diocese also joined us for the festivity. Several religious communities were present: Salesians Fathers with their superior Fr. John Puntino, SDB from Toronto; Oblate Fathers with their Provincial Fr. Marian Gil, OMI; Society of Christ Fathers with their vice-Provincial Fr. Jacek Walkiewicz, SCh; Resurrectionists Fathers; and Pallottines Fathers with their Superior Fr. Piotr Machnacki SAC. A number of diocesan priest also joined us for this joyous occasion, among them were; Fr. Steve Wlusek Rector of St. Peter's Seminary in London and Fr. John Sharp, vicar General of the Diocese of London. In addition two Ursulines' sisters from Windsor with their Mother Superior Sr. Pawla joined us for the celebration.
Our anniversary Mass started off at noon, at the exact time a special Mass was celebrated in our motherhouse in Miejsce Piastowe, Poland. It was a place where blessed Markiewicz lived, worked and died 100 years ago. At the end of the anniversary Mass celebrated in our chapel, all gathered there venerated the relic of the Blessed Fr. Markiewicz. Following the Mass, sisters, priests and bishops met for conversation, meal and relaxation in our religious house. The gathering had finished with bishop's blessings.
To mark this special anniversary we have prepared a unique exhibition dedicated to the blessed Founder in our Retreat Centre. Each parish run by the Michaelite prepared a special bulletin insert depicting Fr. Markiewicz or his legacy or Father gave a beautiful and inspiring homily.
May this anniversary and its celebration be for us an opportunity to remember the past and looking to the future with trust and hope in God's Providence.
Month of January brought us a new "addition" to our Canadian community. Br. Janusz Kolbusz, CSMA arrived on Jan. 25 from Poland. He is to assume the responsibility as curator of our Retreat House and support the religious work of our Congregation. Br. Janusz with great joy we welcome you and wish you many blessings on this beautiful Canadian soil.