Miquel Bordas, Spain
Margherita Perchinelli, Italy
Norma Sanchez, Mexico
John Galten, USA
Tomasz Tegoski, Poland
General Minister Delegate for the MI
fr. Raffaele Di Muro
Angela Morais is the new MI International President
Fr. Gilson Miguel Nunes is the New Assistant and Director of the MI in Sao Bernardo do Campo, São Pa
Fr. Gilson Miguel Nunes is nomited as New Assistant and Director of the Association Militia of the Immaculata, in Sao Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo - Brazil
Fr. Gilson Miguel Nunes is now Assistant and Director of the Association Militia of the Immaculata (MI), in Sao Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. The choice was made during the second part of the Provincial Chapter (Province São Francisco de Assis do Brasil, OFM Conv.) which is in progress since January 08, in Campo Largo, Parana State, and comes to an end this Friday.
After being designated, Fr. Gilson welcomes with joy the blessings and challenges of this new ministry. "I receive from the Lord, by Immaculata’s hands this new Mission of Assistant and Director of MI, with fear and trembling, trusting in His Mercy who knows how to use our weaknesses and smallness". The first part of this Provincial Chapter happened last year, on sptember, when the Provincial and his council were elected. This second turno f the Chapter is focused on the program for the next four years. Thus, the friars write a document named Quadrennial Provincial Project. Right after this, friars are chosen to be in charge of the activities. The Provincial Chapter ends this Friday (01/12/2018).
Visit of the International President M.I. in Japan
The MI International President, Raffaele Di Muro, was in Japan on November 21-23, and visited the MI national center, MUGENZAI NO SONO (Marytown). On November 21st, he visited the Kolbian Museum, particularly the cell where saint Maximilian Kolbe lived. He also had the opportunity to exchange ideas with the national assistant, fra’ GIOVANNI BATTISTA YAMAGUCHI and to visit the seat of the journal SEIBO NO KISHI. On November 22nd, he met all the friars of the Japanese Province and explain them the history and current situation of MI. On November 23rd, the visit ended with the solemn celebration of the Mass The visit was very important because there was the possibility to program the future of MI in Japan.
SECRETARIAT OF STATE First Section – General Affairs From the Vatican, October 26, 2017
On the occasion of the General Audience of October 18, 2017, on behalf of the Association, you wished to express closeness and reverence to the Holy Father Pope Francis, assuring him of constant prayers for his ministry as Successor of the Apostle Peter and offering a relic of the Founder, St. Maximilian Kolbe, two volumes and two magazines as a sign of filial homage. His Holiness, who deeply appreciated the gifts and the expressions of devotion and spiritual affection that accompanied them, exhorts all to welcome the precious life teaching of the Franciscan Saint, Martyr of Charity and Apostle of the Immaculata. Furthermore, as he asks perseverance in praying for his universal ministry, the Holy Father, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, imparts wholeheartedly his Apostolic Blessing to you, the whole Militia of the Immaculata, and all those who benefit from its daily apostolate. With profound esteem I remain yours in the Lord, Msgr. Paolo Borgia Assessor
__________________ Reverend Father Raffaele Di Muro MI International Via San Teodoro, 42 00185 Rome
During my visit to MI Brazil, I remember Raffaella Aguzzoni, beautiful international president M.I. and friend. Your presence continues to be very strong in us. Thank you for your love and because you continue to be with us. It’s impossible forget you, but your love is in everyone's heart. Thank you, Raffa! You are always with us!
BRASILIA: Congress of the delegates of M.I.
On November 3-4, the delegates of the M.I. from Brasilia and St. Bernard do Campo (São Paulo) met at the theological institute of Brasilia. The goal of this conference was the preparation of the first national electoral assembly, which will give a government to the M.I. Brazil. The meeting, chaired by the International M.I. President, fr. Raffaele Di Muro, was characterized by the fraternal confrontation between the M.I. members, that prepared the next assembly elective. The assembly will be in Brasilia on 1-3 June 2018, when M.I. Brazil will have its only governmental and organizational structure. Two commissions will be working to ensure that the event is well prepared in a spiritual and practical way. The unity of our association in Brazil will give even more strength to the dynamic kolbean movement in this nation.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Militia of the Immaculata, (1917-2017), also the MI International Council experienced renewal through new appointments in view of future projects. Angela Morais, from the MI Brazil, is the new MI International Vice-President. Angela has been very active in the MI in Brazil and will assist especially the reality of MI Youth that is growing with great enthusiasm in every country. Following Fr. Patrick Greenough’s resignation from the MI International Council due to new pastoral assignments, MI member Miquel Bordas Prószynsk, from Spain, has been designated Council member. Adele Cerreta, MI International Secretary, has been appointed Vice-Editor in Chief of the Miles magazine, the publication of Marian and Kolbean formation published by the MI International Center. Best wishes to everyone for a fruitful work according to the Immaculata’s plans and will.
Kolbean Congress of the Friars Minor Conventual
The International Kolbean Congress on “St. Maximilian Kolbe: the Manner of Life of a Friar Minor Conventual in the Light of the New Evangelization,” was held on October 19-20, 2017, at the Seraphicum in Rome. During the 100th anniversary of the Militia of the Immaculata, the friars wanted to approach their holy confrere in order to give a more evangelical and missionary thrust to their manner of life, also in view of the upcoming revision of their Constitutions. The participants, in addition to the Minister General, friar MARCO TASCA, the General Definitory and the MI International Council, were delegates (provincials, formators, guardians and Franciscan scholars), invited specifically for this important congress. On Thursday, October 19, friars Paulin Sotowski, James McCurry, Raffaele Di Muro and Gregorio Bartosik presented crucial topics for the Franciscan life, such as: fraternal life, “minoritas,” mission and the vows. In each of the above dimensions of consecrated life, St. Maximilian offered his authentic witness and also prophetic innovations, which may constitute a powerful inspiration for the present of our religious family. Fr. Kolbe had an immense ability to listen and to surrender that allowed him to embrace God’s plans and to immerse himself in a journey of discipleship, always open to the newness of the Holy Spirit. During the second part of the congress, on October 20, friars Gregory Owsianko, Gilson Nunes, Francois Bustillo and Fabrizio Bordin presented new Kolbean missionary experiences, while friar TOMASZ SZYMCZAK served as moderator: the school of evangelization for young people in Poland, the MI pastoral activities through the media in Brazil, the work among the poor in Portugal and the Expo Kolbe in France. Afterwards, the participants met in discussion groups, sharing precious suggestions for the future of the Order. The congress offered theological and experiential contents and was characterized by a serene family atmosphere as we drew inspiration from St. Maximilian’s example in order to look to the future with confidence and availability.
Pope Francis, General Audience, Rome, October 18, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters: this morning I wish to reflect on Christian hope and the reality of death, a reality which our modern world so often leaves us unprepared to face. Past civilizations had the courage to face death, and older generations taught the younger to see that inescapable event as a call to live for something enduring, greater than themselves. For our days, no matter how many they are, pass like a breath. It is Jesus, however, that ultimately helps us to confront this mystery. He shows us that it is natural to mourn the loss of a loved one. For he too wept at Lazarus’ death. But he did not only mourn; he also prayed to the Father and called
Soon in the morning we went to St. Peter´s Square to attend the papal audience of Wednesday. Father Raffaele, the MI International President, together with the General Minister, fr. Marco Tasca and Giovanna Venturi, General Directress of Fr. Kolbe Missionaries, had a beautiful opportunity to attend from the basilica´s church square, and then delivered to the Pope the relics of Saint Massimiliano, Kolbe’s writings in Spanish and the magazine Miles Immaculatae. We truly lived moments of great joy and communion! And so we came to the end of these days of sharing and feast. At 5.30 pm in the Sant´Andrea della Valle’s Basilica, which has hosted us in these days many times, we celebrated the final mass of our anniversary. Fr Raffaele at the end of the celebration summed up the work of the commission composed of delegates from various parts of the world who, during these days, studied together the possible guidelines for the next years of MI’s life and activity. And here we are at the beginning ...of the second centenary! Best wishes to all of us and thank you for all the beauty we shared!
The morning of October 17 is very intense at the International MI Center, there are many groups that come: from Italian regions of Marche, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, from Croatia and some individual pilgrims. Everyone is visiting the cell of the MI foundation and the Expo Kolbe, accompanied by the host team. In the afternoon, as the groups are free to visit the city of Rome, the friars at Casa Kolbe propose a representation about Father Kolbe's life, starting with the testimonies of him, by Roberto Abbiati and Luca Salata, two actors of Lombardy Region. The day ends with the beautiful concert made of Alessandro Pellicciaro’s kolbian songs from the album "Concedimi di lodarti".
The central day of our celebrations continues with the passage of many groups of different languages and origins. We realize that the nations represent the MI in Rome in these days are 15! We welcome with pleasure at Casa Kolbe Polish-speaking pilgrims, Italian groups, Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil. Also the cofriars of Saint Maximilian from Asia visit the exhibition of their great missionary predecessor. In the afternoon, we meet at 4:00 pm at St. Andrea delle Fratte’s Basilica, the site of Massimiliano's first Mass, for the Eucharistic celebration. In the basilica, crowded with pilgrims, there is a feast climate. Fr. Marco Tasca OFMConv., The Minister General of the Minor Conventual Friars presides the Mass. In the evening we’re in prayer one more time. We live together Kolbian vigil prayer entitled Steps of gratitude, in 5 languages, giving thanks for the gift of our marian and missionary vocation and with the intention of following our kolbian adventure in joy and fidelity.
The welcoming of the MI groups for the centenary began on October 15th. The reception team, gathered at Casa Kolbe to be available to the Knights and to all visitors from the morning. Starting from the early afternoon we had the joy to accompany many people in the Kolbian spaces of Casa Kolbe, international Franciscan college, where 100 years ago young Massimiliano Kolbe began the Marian and Missionary Movement of the Militia of the Immaculata. The members of the movement and other people are now flowing towards Rome, from several parts of the world, to celebrate the centenary together. They came to see us: Stefania and Giuliana of Palermo, a group of North Americans from various states of the USA, and a numerous group of the MI from Bologna, with fr. Mario Peruzzo OFMConv, their assistant. In the coming days we still expect many groups and people who will want to know more about Kolbe´s life and his life in Rome, and share the celebrations of this important anniversary.
A group of South African pilgrims visit EXPO KOLBE
The MI International announces that the Centennial liturgical celebrations scheduled at the XII Apostles Basilica in Rome, will be held instead at the Sant’Andrea della Valle Basilica (where St. Maximilian was ordained a priest). The decision was made in conjunction with the Rome Police Headquarters for safety reasons, because in the past few months a large number of people have been doing a sit-in at the entrance of the XII Apostles Basilica. We are sorry for any inconvenience. This decision, however, was necessary for everyone’s safety. Locations of all other events remain unchanged.
These are the celebrations to be held now at the Sant’Andrea della Valle Basilica:
On September 26, 2017, an important Kolbean event took place in the Cardinal Deskur Hall of Palazzo San Carlo at the Vatican: the Europe premier of Two Crowns, a new movie about St. Maximilian Kolbe. The movie was shown to a special audience, in the presence of the movie director, Michał Kondrat, the main actor, Adam Woronowicz, and the producers. Fr. Emil Kumka and Fr. Raffaele Di Muro represented the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty and the Militia of the Immaculata International. The film presents the life of the Martyr of Charity through a harmonious sequence of scenes about his life and interviews with Kolbe experts and scholars. The production is truly a masterpiece. The figure of Father Kolbe is well portrayed in the brilliant performance of all the actors and accurately from the historical point of view. With prolonged applause the audience expressed their appreciate for the quality of the production. This was certainly a splendid initiative on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the MI and we hope that the film may soon be available worldwide.
On September 16-17, 2017, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the MI, the province of the Friars Minor Conventual, the MI National Center and other institutions active in Croatia, organized a symposium on the pressing subject of Freemasonry. The meeting was held in the auditorium of the St. Francis friary in Zagreb. The delicate subject was treated from various perspectives (juridical, spiritual, social, historical and political), thanks to the contributions offered by many illustrious scholars. As we know, the founding of the MI in 1917 was triggered by the attacks of Masonic organizations against the Church at the time. St. Maximilian established the Militia of the Immaculata both to counteract the activities of the lodges and for the conversion of Freemasons. The symposium addressed in a special way this missionary objective of the Marian-Kolbean movement, which continues to be very relevant today. St. Maximilian’s pastoral impetus led him to extend his apostolic activity to the Freemasons who, therefore, are not excluded from the evangelical mission promoted by the Saint. These topics were developed by informative presentations by well-known scholars such as Zdravko Tuba (MI National Assistant for Croatia), Zbigniew Suchecki (from the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty, Rome), Milan Gelo, Bernardin Filinić, Ivan Mužić, Ivan Karlić and many others. Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, the MI International President, was invited to present a conference on the new evangelization according to the principles suggested by St. Maximilian Kolbe. A large number of people, even from neighboring countries, attended the symposium, which was enriched by times of intense prayer. The tireless organizer of the symposium was the Croatian Provincial Minister, Fr. Josip Blažević, who also announced the publication of the Writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Croatian. This Kolbean event was truly a fitting way to celebrate the MI Centenary in Croatia.
The International President, fra’Raffaele Di Muro visited the M.I, Croatia (on september 18th) ed spoke with theNational Assitent, fra’ Zdravko Tuba, about the celebrations of the centenaryin Rome and in Zagreb. The M.I. Croatia does a very interesting apostolate bythe Mariafest e a Kolbian choir: the future of our association in this nation‘ll be very interesting. The International President visited also the office of“Veritas”, a catholic journal of Croatia, and was availble for an interview forVatican Radio Croatia.
La M.I. of Côte d'Ivoire celebrated the centenary of our association solemnly on July 22, 2017. The relics of St. Maxmilian Kolbe were brought to Marian center of Abidjan. People welcomed the relics with great love and long prayers. The people who participated in this event were numerous and there was great enthusiasm. La M.I. Côte d'Ivoire is very dynamic and is famous for the many initiatives organized to give the charism of St. Maximilian and to remind the importance of the centenary of our Marian movement.
MI International celebrates the 76th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Massimiliano Kolbe. His example and his intercession are precious for the humanity: the love and peace always reign in the world The MI members and others inspired by St. Maximilian's testimony are invited to live the evangelical program: only love creates. We wish all members of the MI and the brothers and sisters that love Kolbe's spirituality a day of reflection and contemplation.
The MI in Poland gathers in prayer remembering Kolbe's charity
On July 29-30, 2017, members of the MI in Poland gathered in Niepokalanów for a large and well- attended commemoration, recalling St. Maximilian's entrance into the cell of his martyrdom. During those two days, there took place celebrations, theatrical representations and theological seminars, with the presence of the highest authorities of the Church and of the Polish State. Numerous was the attendance of the faithful, who participated with enthusiasm and joy. The event was also attended by the MI International President, Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, representing the worldwide movement. July 29-30 are the days in which, most likely, the Saint was taken to the starvation bunker, where prisoners where condemned to die of hunger and thirst. Ideally, the many faithful "accompanied" St. Maximilian in his path of martyrdom. The wonderful event organized by the MI-Poland is part of the Association's centennial celebrations. On Polish soil, the movement counts about two million members and is particularly active. With this and other initiatives, Polish MI members are offering a valuable contribution to the 100th anniversary of the Kolbean association, which occupies an important place among the ecclesial movements in the country. Fr. Raffaele Di Muro
Visit to the Cell of St. Maximilian’s martyrdom with the Fr. Kolbe Volunteers of the Immaculata
A very intense event for all
participants took place during the international meeting of the FKVI, held in
Harmeze, near the museum of Auschwitz, July 13-18, 2017: the visit to the sites
of St. Maximilian’s martyrdom. Once again, I had the joy to accompany these
brothers through those terrible places where, however, love triuphumed thanks
to St. Maximilian’s witness. It was very moving to pause in prayer while the
Volunteers offered a flower in the cell of block 11, where Fr. Kolbe gave his
life. Only silence could help to experience that highy contemplative moment. Only
deep emotion could express the suffering that Kolbe and his companions
experienced in that place. The prayerful
visit to the death wall and the roll call square completed this powerful experience
for the Volunteers. They grasped how love could win even in the midst of the
atrocities that man is capable of and in places where hatred and despair seemed
to prevail. Once again St. Maximilian taught by his life. Once again sorrow
gave way to the certainty that if we strive to live in the charity of the Lord
and the Immaculata every place and time may be transformed by love.
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE MI INTERNATIONAL WEBSITE NOW LIVE
The MI International is happy to announce that the English version of its official website is now live. You may find it at the following address: www.mi-international.org/en or by clicking on the EN flag (top right) of the Italian website.
Through the English version of its website the MI International aims to reach many more visitors around the world, given the widespread popularity of the English language. As St. Maximilian Kolbe teaches us, we must have no limits in our love and desire to communicate.
We extend a special "Thank You" to the MI-USA for sponsoring and supporting the realization of this project and to our experts, Graziano Meneguzzo and Laura Magni, who made this wonderful development technically possible.