April 26, 2012
Lithuania, Marijampole: 14th International Conference of the Association of Marian Helpers and Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception
On April 24-26, 2012, the 14th International Conference of leaders of the Association of Marian Helpers and Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception took place in Marijampole, Lithuania. This year conference topic was: A Pastor and a Guide – the 25th Anniversary of the beatification of Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz.
The conference was attended by representatives of the AMH and Confraternity branches from Poland, the U.S., the U.K., Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, and Argentina. This year, the Superior General of the Congregation was represented by his delegate, Fr. Wojciech Jasiński, MIC, the 4th General Councilor and General Treasurer. On behalf of the General Superior, Fr. Wojciech greeted the conference participants at the opening and summed up its proceedings at the closing. The introductory word was delivered by Brother Andrew Mączyński, MIC, the General Promoter of the AMH and the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception at the Congregation of Marian Fathers and the conference organizer.
Three talks were delivered during the first day of proceedings. The keynote speakers were Fr. Janusz Kumala, MIC, from Licheń, who spoke of “Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz as a Servant of the Church” and “Ecclesial Significance of the Cult of the Saints and the Blesseds – Inspirations for the Venerators of Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz,” and Fr. Paweł Chudzik, MIC, from Vilnius, who talked about “Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz – a gift for the Lithuanian Church and Nation.”
The conference was hosted by the AMH branch in Lithuania. At the conclusion, its Director, Fr. Vytautas Brilius, MIC, invited participants to make a bus trip–pilgrimage to the places of Our Lady apparitions in Lithuania: the Marian Shrine in Šiluva and the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai. During the conference, Bishop Rimantas Norvila, the Ordinary of the Vilkaviškis Diocese, greeted the conference participants. One of the daily liturgies was presided over by Bishop Juozas Žemaitis, MIC, Ordinary Emeritus of the Vilkaviškis Diocese.
To close, it worth mentioning that the conference participants had an opportunity to visit the newly opened museum dedicated to the Blessed Founder of the Marians. The Lithuanian Marians organized this museum in the rooms of the Marijampole monastery, thanks to the funds granted by the European Union.