The Marians Inspired to Carry on Legacy of Fr. Founder
by Very Reverend Fr. Mark Garrow, MIC
To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the death of Bl. Stanislaus Papczyński, the Founder of the Marians, a convocation for young Marians from throughout the world was held from September 20-23 at the Marian Shrine in Lichen, Poland.
Approximately 120 young Marians gathered for the convocation, including young priests and brothers, seminarians, novices, and postulants. The General Council, along with several Provincials and other Superiors, also participated in the event. The actual anniversary of Fr. Stanislaus's death was September 17.
Reflecting on Marian theology
The convocation was organized at my initiative and that of the General Council to gather our young Marians and celebrate the memory of our Founder. We did that by reflecting on our Marian vocation, charism, and role in the Church.
Entitled "Life and Charism the Marians Yesterday and Today," the event included a number of presentations on various aspects of that theme and provided the opportunity for some prominent Marians to share their vocation story with their younger confreres.
The convocation was organized by students from the International Marian Seminary of Lublin, Poland.
Bringing the past to life
Among the speakers were:
- • The Marian Associate, Most Rev. Roman Andrzejewski, Auxiliary Bishop of the Wloclawek Diocese ("How to love the Church")
- • Myself as Superior General ("What does it mean to be a Marian today?")
- • Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Pakula, MIC, Provincial of Poland ("What did it mean to be a Marian in 1669?")
- • Very Rev. Fr. Vytautas Brilius, MIC, Provincial of Lithuania ("What did it mean to be a Marian in 1910?")
- • Very Rev. Fr. Donald Petraitis, MIC, Provincial of the St. Casimir Province (USA) in absentia ("The New Areopagus of Evangelization")
- • Very Rev. Fr. Walter Dziordz, MIC, of the SSK Province (USA) in absentia ("One Spirit and One Heart: Fraternal Life in the Marian Community")
Living the vocation today
Prominent Marians who shared their vocation stories included:
- • Fr. Wolfgang Rauch, MIC, Local Superior (Germany)
- • Very Rev. Fr. Paul Ostrovskiy, MIC, Superior (Vicariate of Ukraine)
- • Very Rev. Fr. Mark Szczepaniak, MIC, Provincial of Brazil
- • Fr. Jonas E. Gomes da Costa e Silva, MIC (Brazil)
- • Former Superior General, Fr. Adam Boniecki, MIC (Poland)
The celebration concluded at the tomb of our Founder in Gora Kalwaria. I presided at the Mass with a large number of Marian priests. Approximately 150 Marians were present. Several hundred lay people also attended. Especially honored were Marians celebrating their 50th and 25th Anniversaries of Vows.
Note: The speakers in absentia noted above from the USA, as well as young Marians from that country, were unable to attend the celebration in Poland because of restrictions on air travel following the September 11 tragedy.