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.
The first meeting of our Community in 2012 took place in Toronto at St. Teresa's Parish on Jan. 16th. Fr. Jan Burczyk, CSMA and Fr. Jozef Morawski, CSMA who are providing pastoral ministry in this parish were the hosts. As always our discussions about the Community matters, current situations and plans for the future had filled the afternoon. With the sun setting down we left Toronto with the sense of new enthusiasm and courage for this 2012.
When all students returned to their schools after Christmas and New Year's break, St. Peter's Seminary in London was joined by Fr. Jacek Kokosa, CSMA who for the next few months will stay there to learn and study the English language. It became almost a tradition that the Seminary is the place for our "newly acquired additions" to stay, pray, learn and practice the English language. As always Seminary staff and students graciously accepted our "addition". Fr. Jacek we wish you great interactions and quick comprehension in this challenge to study English.