Celebrating Franciscan Marian Charism

A great way to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations!

On Sunday, May 7, 2017, Our Lady of the Angel Province friar, Fr. Nick Rokitka, OFM Conv. was the guest Mass celebrant and speaker at the Annual Communion Breakfast, sponsored by the Blessed Virgin Sodality of Christ the King Catholic Church (Glen Burnie, MD), held in the parish hall at the Holy Trinity site. Over 60 parishioners and guests gathered in the hall after the usual Sunday, 8:30am Mass to enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by the Father McGivney Knights of Columbus, and served by one of the Confirmation Class Small Groups, before Friar Nick’s presentation on Franciscan Marian Charism. The morning was a wonderful example of community, faith, food and fellowship.
Friar Nick will celebrate his 1st Ordination Anniversary on June 25, 2017. He earned his BA at Hilbert College in Buffalo, NY and his M.Div and S.T.B. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. and he currently serves as a Theology and Business Instructor at our Archbishop Curley High School (Baltimore, MD) ministry. He spoke on Sunday of the great love of the Blessed Mother held by St. Francis of Assisi, on which he founded his Franciscan Order. He touched on the birthplace of the Order, whose patroness we share as a province; Our Lady of the Angels, also known as the Portiuncula or “Little Portion” in Assisi. This small chapel, now housed within the vast Papal Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Assisi, Italy) is where Jesus’ called to him: “Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.”
Friar Nick compared both Mary’s & Francis’s answer “Yes!” to our own need to answer “Yes!” to be a vessel for Jesus, so He can be better gifted in our world. He also shared a reflection on St. Francis’ prayer of praise to Mary, the Mother of Jesus:

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,
Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin.
You were chosen by the Most High Father in heaven,
consecrated by Him, with His most Holy Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
On you descended and still remains all the fullness of grace and every good.
Hail, His Palace.
Hail His Tabernacle.
Hail His Robe.
Hail His Handmaid.
Hail, His Mother.
and Hail, all holy Virtues, who, by grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are poured into the hearts of the faithful so that from their faithless state, they may be made faithful servants of God through you.

During his presentation, Friar Nick noticed Sodality’s statue, present at every meeting and function, and how it was a perfect reflection of “Hail His Robe,” from the prayer, as Mary’s robe is artistically depicted covering and sheltering her Son, Our Lord.