Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:00

As every year September is a mont of St Michael the Archangel in Melrose as we celebrate the Feast of our Patron. This year we have invited our friends and parishioners for September 14th to join us in thanksgiving for our Protector on Earth. 

It is alway a great occasion to learn something new. This time we have invited Fr. Frank Kelly, SDB, from the Salesian Family we are part of. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. After ordination in 1971, Fr. Kelly was among the first DRAs at Salesian High School, New Rochelle, N.Y., and Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. Fr. Frank was assistant pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Elizabeth. He served on the Marian Shrine retreat team. He was director of Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen, N.Y., from 1983-1986. In 1986, Fr. Kelly brought his deep spirituality and hearty laugh to the Salesian community in Etobicoke, Ont. While in the Toronto area, Fr. Frank has served as director of the Salesian community and pastor of St. Benedict Parish. From 2000 to 2006, Fr. Kelly was vice provincial for the Canadian vice province. At present, Fr. Kelly lives with the Salesian community in Etobicoke, where he serves as a priest and spiritual guide.

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 16:55
In the summer time our communities in Canada visited the honourable Guests. From Poland came to us Father Robert Ryndak - responsible for the formation of candidates in our Congregation and Fathers Grzegorz Okarma and Jan Król from Puerto Rico. To our Guests we wish good time spend in Canada.
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 23:47
On Monday, June 3, 2013 Father Tadeusz Kowalczyk celebrated the 80th Anniversary of his Birth. This special day was an opportunity for us to thank Father Tadeusz for his example of religious life and all the good it brings to our community. Thank you sincerely for all guests who join us on this beautiful day.
Saturday, 11 May 2013 19:36
After a long Canadian winter, we can finally enjoy the spring sunshine. In our Retreat Center everything blooms. Animals come out of the woods to see what is going on. We have started spring cleaning: we cut the grass, planted new flowers and fixed everything that was broken during the long winter. Recently we had a big excitement because a squirrel got somehow into our fireplace. It was not easy to explain to her that this is not the best place to enjoy spring weather. After the long negotiations, we convinced her finally to go out. We have already behind us our first bonfire, we consider now the spring time officially open. People who visit us say that if there is a heaven on earth it is located in Melrose. We welcome You to join us!
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:14
In the constitutions of Michaelites, when we read about the essence of spirituality, we realize that the call of St. Michael “”Who is like God!” expresses this spirituality in the best way possible. It also proclaims a deep belief, hope and love; it expresses esteem, admiration for and the contemplation of The Holy Trinity. This is the road every worshipper of St. Michael should take: admiration, high regard and esteem for the Creator. And this leads to the act of contemplation, that is, to a deeper unity with and recognition of God. Contemplation – it seems to be a magical word. To talk about contemplation today, one has to have great courage. The reasons are manifold: because there is much anxiety in us today; because of the civilization which concentrates on action, efficiency and productivity; and because of ourselves who do not want to be suspected of parasitism. One of the psalms solemnly describes God’s works as magnificent. The ones that we get to know in our lives are only flickers. Contemplation has its origins in a great admiration for God and his works. After all, everything has been created by the Father of Light, as the Creator is described by St. Jacob. Contemplation is the light of the Father, the light which instructs one and fills one in – thanks to this light we can develop a taste for the profundity of Life. The beginning of contemplation is marked by the awakening for appreciation! This event signifies a huge transition in life, also in the spiritual life, because we discover the beauty and color of living creatures with great astonishment. It feels as if we stood in a grey, uninteresting room which suddenly bursts with thousands of colors showing the entire richness of its interior. Contemplation is a renewed ability to experience ecstasy again. When were you last genuinely surprised? What threw you into ecstasies? Were they changing seasons, life which returns all the time? The trees which almost die naked, and then become beautiful again in Spring? A child’s eyes, the majesty of the mountains, a dew-drop which almost reflects an entire universe….? There is so much beauty around you. What has recently surprised you? Contemplation can change everything into God’s works because it means looking out for God, searching high and low for him, it also means a lifestyle full of adoration and understanding for God’s beauty. The statement that our calling is to proclaim “Who is like God!” does not have to be an empty rhetoric. St. Michael, teach us loving attention and a new admiration for God and its works. Fr. Zbigniew Rodzinka
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:13
On the island of Symi, which belongs to Greece, in the monastery of the Greek order there is an icon of Saint Michael Archangel famous for its acts of grace. The icon has been found on the island according to a legend. The male figure in the painting combines paradoxical features: sensitivity and confidence, gentleness and strength, tenderness and decisiveness. It is not easy for a real life man to combine these features: usually men are either sensitive and helpless, or strong and insensitive. The contemplation of the icon may help to get out from this impasse of helplessness. Let us think about what are sensitivity and confidence. Is it possible to combine these seemingly contradictory features of character? Many men treat sensitivity as a weakness and try to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, sensitivity is a good quality and enriches the personality of a man. A sensitive man can have compassion for another person, he becomes empathetic. A properly formed sensitivity is this man’s characteristics which allow a man to overcome life’s difficulties. Men deprived of sensitivity hurt other people. Sensitivity is not emotional insecurity. It has nothing to do with giving way to moodiness, with oversensitivity, faintheartedness and the lack of trust. Sensitivity does not imply helplessness, taking on the role of a victim or of a hen packed husband. Confidence allows men to be on firm ground. He makes brave and responsible decisions while remaining in the state of internal freedom. Confidence consists in the authentic independence from the judgment of an entire world. A man convinced about his self-worth is not afraid of his self-assessment or of the assessment by the community, and, he makes contacts with others without fear. He is stable, standing strong, he is on a firm ground in reality and he can stand against others when unjustly attacked. He can also stand against others in the right fight to protect other people. Real confidence has nothing to do with the desire to make an impression on somebody, with self-assuredness or with boasting about one’s accomplishments like a peacock. Neither does it aim at constant domination over others. This painting is important for everybody and especially for a man because it constitutes a representation of manliness. Saint Michael, support us in our attempt to become real men – strong and sensitive at the same time. Fr. Dariusz Lewandowski
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:13
The name "Michael" means "Who is like God!" St. Michael the Archangel recognized the almighty God as his Creator and Lord. Standing in front of all the good angels, he proclaimed the glory of God and loyalty to Him in the fight against Lucifer and the rebellious angels (Rev 12,7-9). In the Old Testament he was a protector of Israel, therefore he was quickly recognized by Christians as the patron of the Church. The most famous European shrine in honour of the patron is in Italy at Monte Sant 'Angelo. From the beginning of fifth century Church honoured St. Michael on 29th of September. In 1921, Pope Benedict XV decided that this day will be a liturgical celebration commemorating the two other Archangels: Gabriel and Raphael. Blessed Fr. Bronislaw Markiewicz founded two congregations that bear the name of St. Michael (Michaelites Fathers and Michaelites Sisters), which commissioned the education of children and young people, especially the abandoned. Fr. Mateusz Sobierajski, CSMA
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:12
Saint Michael is a contented figure. What does this mean? It means he is always ready to serve, humbly recognizes God's greatness, and constantly fights for God's glory. The Archangel does not pretend to be recognized and praised for serving God faithfully and unceasingly. Lucifer's drama began when he disagreed with God's judgments. His rebellious: "non serviam" lead to contradicting his own vocation. Humanity closes its' heart because what it wants for itself is to be God and seeks its' own glory because in its' heart lies jealousy, constant anxiety, strife and envy. Saint Michael invites us wholeheartedly to accept our vocation, to be God's loving children. We will notice this is happening when we begin to serve God with joy, not expecting to be served, when we begin to admire God's great deeds instead of seeking constantly to be admired. Humility means to know and love many talents God has given us and begin to use them. Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish poet and Nobel Prize winner, in one of his poems wrote: "Wake up man, whenever you are and act in such a way that people looking at you be able to admire God." We can say that the greatest desire of our Patron is to awaken in us God's creation, that image which would reflect God's glory and glamour. Indeed our life can be either an epiphany or manifestation of God or it can be a poor spiritual festival, miserable movie production, more or less empty chattering. A Christian, in order to be an image of God's revelation, does not have to make loud celebrations for God. He/she does not even need to verbalize his/her Christianity with words. Something more convincing, of course, is day to day life and living out one's own vocation. Meister Eckhart said: "People should not reflect too much on what they need to do but rather who they need to be." If people were to improve on themselves even just a little, their deeds would speak for themselves. Perhaps a good lesson could be the following statement of a young man being honest with himself. He says: In my youth with my burning love for God I made a resolution to convert the entire world. However right away I realized my ambitions were too high. Therefore I decided to convert people from my home town. For the longest time, I tried and tried without luck. Again I realized that this goal was too ambitious so I began with those people with whom I lived at home. However, even so, I accomplished very little. Finally I realized I have to convert myself and serve God in spirit and truth. Fr. Joseph Dabrowski, CSMA
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:11
Many times I thought about my Patron Saint! His humility and dedication was amazing. He taught service and courage. You could feel very safe beside Him. Usually my imagination presented Him in military colors. Litanies called Him: Satan’s conqueror, terror of evil spirits, fearless in battle against evil, and prince of choirs of angels. I saw him with a glossy sword, with triumphant or hardy look- as artist’s brush allowed. I was amazed how He trampled Satan yowling in ablaze. Sometimes internal tension arose and I asked: how to come to terms with someone being so close to One who is called Love, while striking the enemy in the head at the same time? Can admiration be born on rubble of war even if it was victorious one? Yes it can. I think shortly after Lucifer in his "non serviam" became disobedient to God, a dialog took place between Creator and St. Michael the Archangel, similar to the one between Jesus and Peter after his betrayal: Do you love me more than he does? My Creator, my Father, You know that I love You! WHO IS LIKE GOD! St. Michael the Archangel was filled with love. He brings that love to us, love which Satan doesn’t know at all. We all know that fire is not always the fire of anger. Everlasting fire, hottest than one in Hell, is burning in Heaven - It is God himself. He is love. He is like an abyss of never-ending love. (That’s why angels standing closest to God Bible calls Seraphims, from Hebrew “those, in flames”). Everything has its beginning and end in love. When Lucifer screams in ablaze and hopeless grimace distorts his trap it is not due to tension from Prince of the Angels’ foot or because of fear at his spear hanging over his head. Flame burns his works; furthermore, everything what is left turns into worthlessness - despair and emptiness remains and continues to immerge in a deeper hate. Georges Bernanos in his book “Diary of a country priest” describes priest attempting desperately to change life of the countess, who is upset with God. He wants to win over obstinacy in her hart after loss of her child. After a while he convinced her with one quote: "Hell, my dear, means-impossible to love." To be the true follower of St. Michael means to mark your way of life with love”. Fr. Joseph Morawski, CSMA
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 01:09
In the morning prayer Michaelites pray to the Guardian Angel:"You constantly look in the face of the Heavenly Father, to read from it his holy will". How much more those words refer to the St. Michael the Archangel, who is the prince of the heavenly host, who is the most perfect of spiritual beings! Moreover, in the hymn in honour of St. Michael we sing: "Welcome St. Michael, You who closely contemplate the indescribable beauty and goodness of God…" Therefore, what we can learn from St. Michael is the way of the quiet adoration, a contemplation of the face of God. In our situation, it will refer specifically to the Eucharistic Adoration. Prayer of adoration is the most beautiful form of prayer, the most selfless and the most spiritually fruitful. This is a complete silence, wordless standing before the Lord. The world we live in is becoming louder and lauder and we need those moments and examples that teach us of the importance of being silent. In Europe, thousands of young people go every year to Taize gatherings that take place between Christmas and New Year. Once, a journalist asked Brother Mark: "What is the difference between the crowd of young people exiting from the train stations with large backpacks and the young people going to the rock concerts?" He heard the answer: "They came for the silence." The attitude of adoration that comes from silence and leads to silence is an attitude of worship towards the Creator. It is the first and fundamental act which occurs in almost all religions. Adoration very soon compels us to the act of faith - without faith it is impossible to remain in adoration for even 10 minutes. In adoration we must learn stillness, to let God look at me. A humble monk once confessed: "I usually do not do anything before the Blessed Sacrament, but I agree that he looks at me. Sometimes I even fall asleep for a while, but I do not feel guilty for that reason. Lord Jesus Christ knows I'm tired after work. His gaze renews my strength." Adoration is not a simple prayer. We need to remember the words of Jesus to Saint Sister Fustina: "During the weeks you neither saw me nor felt my presence I was more profoundly united to you than at any times when you experienced ecstasy." Fr. Waclaw Chudy, CSMA
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