During May 2-5, 2022, the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, and the Assistant General for the Conventual Franciscan Federation (CFF), Friar Jude WINKLER, visited the friars in Montreal, belonging to the Provincial Custody of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Canada.
The Custody belongs to the Mother Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk). The Custody has two friaries and one filial house in Montreal. It also has three friaries located in the United States. Friar Józef BŁASZAK is the Custos of the Custody and the Pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa, in Montreal.
The Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa is famous for its magnificent artwork, much of which is painted on leather. Friar Carlos concelebrated a Mass there in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. He visited Holy Trinity Church which serves mostly Polish immigrants, but is also open to serving local French and English speaking people. Friar Carlos also visited Pope St. John Paul II Church (a union of the English speaking Resurrection Church and the Polish speaking St. Maximilian Kolbe/St. Wojciech Church).
On May 4, the friars met with the Minister General to discuss the current status of the friars and their ministries. While the Custody was founded to serve the Polish immigrants in Montreal, the influx of new immigrants has diminished in recent years and the communities are growing older. One possible response to the situation would be to reach out to other ethnic communities in the future, for example, Spanish speakers.
On May 5, the visit concluded with a visit to the campgrounds run by the friars, northwest of Montreal, called Kaszuby.
Friar Jude WINKLER, Assistant General for the CFF Federation