On April 29, 2018, the 100th anniversary of St. Maximilian M. KOLBE’s priestly ordination was commemorated in Niepokalanów, Poland.

The centerpiece of the festivities was a Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Niepokalanów. The Most Reverend Jerzy MACULEWICZ, OFM Conv., Apostolic Administrator of Uzbekistan, presided. The Minister General, Friar Marco TASCA, gave the homily. The Ministers Provincial of all three Polish Provinces attended: Friars Marian GOŁĄB, Wiesław PYZIO and Jan MACIEJOWSKI. Also present were: the Assistant General for the Federatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO), Friar Jacek CIUPIŃSKI; the President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men’s Orders in Poland, Father Janusz SOK (Redemptorists); and around sixty friar priests who were celebrating their own jubilees and ordination anniversaries this year.
In his homily, the Minister General thanked the celebrating confreres for their faithful service to the Church and to the Order. At the same time, he encouraged them to take inspiration from St. Maximilian, whose exemplary character shone in Auschwitz, when he offered his life for a fellow prisoner. The German officer in charge asked who he was, and Maximillian answered courageously: “I am a Catholic priest”. This was the spring of Maximillian’s spiritual strength and the source of his love. Sacrificing his life was the culmination of his priestly vocation, following the example of Jesus Christ. In conclusion, Friar Marco TASCA urged the confreres to be fearless in accepting today’s great challenges and, like St. Maximilian, to be active in discovering new horizons.
The celebration was also an opportunity for all of the priests present to renew their priestly promises, the promises they made on their ordination day.
At the end of the Mass, Friar Maciej KRZYMOWSKI, speaking for all the celebrants, expressed his gratitude for the gift of the priestly vocation. He especially thanked the Superiors of the Order for their help in promoting a deeper appreciation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. He also mentioned how valuable the prayers of the confreres and the lay faithful are in supporting the intentions of priests. It is because of these prayers that priests are able to effectively implement their ministry.
After the celebration, all of the guests and the confreres of Niepokalanów headed into the refectory of the friary for a formal and fraternal lunch.

Friar Piotr ŻURKIEWICZ, Provincial Secretary
photo: Friar Mieczysław Wojtak