In his homily, Fr. Paweł Naumowicz, MIC, Superior of the Divine Providence Province, called four newly perpetually professed members to live by their religious consecration rooted in their baptismal consecration and to fill it up with the Marian spirit. Two religious brothers – Marcin Bartoszczyk, MIC, and Łukasz Mazurek, MIC, and two students of the Marian Seminary in Lublin – Zbigniew Słaboń, MIC, and Łukasz Wierzchowski, MIC, – made their perpetual profession of vows before the Superior General, Fr. Jan M. Rokosz, MIC.
The solemnity took place on a memorable date (Aug. 29) and place (Basilica of the Holy Cross, in Warsaw). Exactly 100 years ago, two professors of the Spiritual Academy in St. Petersburg – George Matulewicz and Francis Bučys – arrived there to begin the work of renewal of the Marian Order. By the earlier decisions of the Napoleonic authorities in Rome, civil authorities in Portugal, and occupation authorities on the Polish territory, the Order was brought to the brink of annihilation. With the permission of the Holy See, Fr. Matulewicz made his first vows without undergoing the novitiate, while Fr. Bučys was admitted to the novitiate. Bishop Kazimierz Ruszkiewicz, acting with the authorization of the Holy See, performed both acts in the presence of the last living Marian – Superior General, Fr. Vincent Sękowski. Everything was done in secret.
One hundred years from this important event, several dozen Marians joined in a communal prayer of thanksgiving inside the Warsaw shrine, in the vicinity of which used to be the Bishopric chapel. Bishop Marian Duś, the Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Warsaw – who presently continues Bishop Ruszkiewicz’s apostolic service – led in prayer. He emphasized the growth that the Congregation of Marian Fathers achieved during past 100 years as well as its availability for the service to the Universal Church.
At the closing of the solemnity, the hymn “Te Deum” was communally sung, after which the Bishop blessed the commemorative plate to be located on the wall of Our Lady of Częstochowa chapel at the Church of the Holy Cross.
It is worth mentioning that on this day our confreres in all Marian communities worldwide united in prayer of thanksgiving for the work of renewal and reform of the Congregation performed 100 years ago. August 29 marked the most important day of celebrations of the Jubilee Year among the Marians.