December 8, 2009
Italy, Rome: Closing of the Jubilee Year
Today’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God is either a patronal or a titulary feast in many institutes of the consecrated life. This year’s festivities in the Congregation of Marian Fathers have a special character: they close the Jubilee Year of the 100th anniversary of rescue and reform of the Congregation. “Throughout the past year we took a closer look at our Congregation,” the Provincial Superior of the Polish Province said to the Radio Vatican. “What is it like today? What is it like after the beatification of our Founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczyński? Also, we wanted to examine what Blessed George Matulewicz created in continuation of our Founder’s work. A hundred years ago our Congregation was brought back from nearly the state of annihilation: only one Marian was still alive. Then Fr. Matulewicz made his first vows, and shortly after, this second Marian – a former Superior General – died. This was indeed a new beginning, a great change in the Congregation. We were taking a close look at the past events, as well as tried to see what lies before us,” continued Fr. Paweł Naumowicz, MIC.
On December 7th, Franc Cardinal Rodé, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, presided over the solemn Vespers at the Roman House. On December 8th, the Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Superior General of the Marians, Fr. Jan Mikołaj Rokosz. During the liturgy, Bishop Władysław Blin, the Ordinary of the Vitebsk Diocese, was admitted into the Congregation as an Associate Member (vir aggregatus). The Marian Fathers were the first religious community in the Universal Church that had in its title the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The Congregation was founded in Poland, in the 17th century, by Blessed Stanislaus Papczyński. The community currently embraces around 500 members.