Relic Tour ~ Closing Ceremonies

Hate destroys. Love alone creates.” This line uttered by Saint Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv. over 75 years ago is more appropriate now than ever! We live in a world where hatred seems to be the norm. There are times when we want to throw up our arms in defeat. The devil seems to be winning. Saint Maximilian gives us an example on how to defeat hatred and evil in our own times. Saint Maximilian faced hatred head on. He led a life of heroic charity that culminated in his martyrdom during World War II at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland. The patron saint of prisoners, journalists, the addicted, the pro-life movement and families, he voluntarily took the place of a fellow prisoner, a husband and father who was selected to die by starvation. After he survived for two weeks without food, St. Maximilian’s death was hastened by lethal injection August 14, 1941.
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The blessing of the St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. statue by Pope Saint John Paul II, on the occasion of the Martyr of Charity’s canonization, on October 10, 1982. Our friars were gifted the statue by the family of Msgr. Siedlecki, upon his passing, through a personal connection with our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. Msgr. Siedlecki attended the canonization with Fr. Burakowski (as did Fr. James) and purchased the statue through the help of Fr. Flavian Slominski, OFM Conv., the rector of the Penitenzeria at the Vatican and the personal confessor of Pope St. John Paul II. The statue is now housed in a small outdoor shrine on the property of our ministry of The Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City. (See picture above it.)

To commemorate his heroic death the Friars at the Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD)
celebrated alongside many pilgrims who participated in the Closing Ceremonies of our
Province 2016 Pilgrimage of the Relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Noon Mass
Veneration of relic until 5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. – Evening Prayer
Veneration of relic until 9:00pm
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Noon Mass
Healing Prayers and Veneration of Relic until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Noon Solemn Mass in Honor of Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Presider and Homilist Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv. (Savannah)
Procession to the Outdoor St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. Shrine and the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto with Litany to Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe,OFM Conv.
Courtyard Picnic
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Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. holds the reliquary of the 1st class relics of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. inside the outdoor shrine on the property of the Shrine of St. Anthony. This small structure houses the statue of St. Maximilian Kolbe that was blessed by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of our Martyr of Charity. Fr. James is joined by Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., a friar of our province and the the Provincial Assistant to the Militia Immaculata – an evangelization movement identifying with Mary that was established by St. Maximilian Kolbe (on his left) and the Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., a friar of our province who is the Bishop of Savannah (on right) and several other friars of our province.

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At the Mass, Bro. Joseph Cannon C.S.Sp. was welcomed by Fr. James and our friars on hand as a new Postulant for our Province. Please keep him and our other five Postulants who are already at the St. Bonaventure Friary Postulancy in Chicago, IL, for a year of discernment in the first stage of Formation as Franciscan Friars Conventual.