Consistent with our Franciscan charism and tradition of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our province is progressing in our efforts to more fully tap into this devotion from our Kolbean heritage, through the example of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., and the continued efforts of his Militia of the Immaculata’s (M.I.) unconditional consecration to the Immaculate. With a view to promoting consecration to the Immaculate among the faithful served through the ministries of our friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province, Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., who serves as our Province MI Assistant, has completed the sixth stop on our Province M.I Initiative Tour of our pastoral ministries. Over the next few years, Friar Jobe will preach at the Masses to encourage the faithful to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate and to enroll in the M.I.
On the weekend of August 24-25, 2019, Our Lady of the Angels Province friars ~ Fr. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv (Friary Guardian and Pastor), Fr. Nader Ata, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar), Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv. (Vocations Director) and Fr. Tomaz Ryba, OFM Conv. (Friar from Krakow serving as Parochial Vicar) welcomed Friar Jobe to our Most Holy Trinity Friary and Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary’s Parish (Brooklyn, NY) for the sixth stop on our M.I Initiative Tour of our pastoral ministries.
With the help of our friars serving at the parish, our message was well received in the parish’s three languages – Spanish, Polish and English. The weekend was made all the more special since that Monday, August 26th was the Feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa (see note below). Many of the parishioners who made their personal consecration to the Immaculate, after the 12.30 p.m. Mass, are pictured above, with Friar Raphael (center right in green vestments) and Friar Jobe (center left in dark grey habit).
Note taken from the parish’s August 27, 2019 bulletin: “The devotion to Our Lady of Częstochowa centers on the icon of our Blessed Mother. Painted on wood, the icon itself depicts Mary pointing with her right hand and holding the Infant Jesus in her left; technically, this depiction of the Blessed Mother is identified in iconography as Hodegetria. As in other icons, Jesus looks like a small man held by his Mother, an imagery that reminds the faithful that Jesus is fully mature in His divine nature. Over time, due to exposure to devotional candles, the image has darkened, and consequently, Our Lady of Częstochowa is also known as the “Black Madonna.” As to its origins, tradition holds that St. Luke painted the icon on a wooden table top made by St. Joseph, which Mary had kept when she moved to Ephesus and lived under the care of St. John the Apostle. Remember St. Luke included in his Gospel details of the annunciation, visitation, Christmas, the presentation in the Temple and the finding in the Temple, which were not included in the other Gospels and which he must have learned from Mary herself. St. Helena is credited with finding the icon.”