During this stop of the M.I. Initiative with Friar Jobe, when he reached Mother Cabrini Friary, Shamokin, PA, the friars there were anxious that he visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal at St. Catherine Labouré Parish, Harrisburg, PA. Indeed, the miraculous medal, so dear to St. Maximilian and precious to all M.I. members, was fashioned after the apparition of the Blessed Mother to the young Daughter of Charity, Catherine Labouré in Paris, France, 1830. In the apparition, as Our Lady sat in the confessor’s chair, Sister Catherine fell to her knees and placed her hands in Mary’s lap. The Blessed Mother commissioned Sister Catherine to make a medal of the apparition and promised God’s abundant blessings on all who wear the medal. After the canonization of St. Catherine Labouré in 1947, this parish became the first in the world to bear her name. In the church are one of the miraculous medals in St. Catherine’s possession at her death as well as a first class relic containing a bone fragment from her hand. Pictured at left, with Friar Jobe is Friar Tim Geiger, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar for all three parishes in the area), who accompanied him to the shrine. Between by Friar Jobe on the right, is the miraculous medal and on the left by Friar Tim is the first class relic.
Also while Friar Jobe was visiting with our friars in Shamokin, PA, on Monday November 22, 20211, our friars serving in the Shamokin area hosted an Interfaith Prayer Service marking the 80th Anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Maximillian Kolbe. A new statue of Kolbe (at right) in the church of Our Lady of Hope (Coal Township, PA) was dedicated during the service and Miraculous Medals were given to all who attended. Those from all faith traditions were taking many medals home for family and friends. The new Kolbe Shrine in the church will serve as a focus for the local faith community to help heal from the adverse effects of addictions (one of the biggest problems in our region). Friar Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv. served as a guest speaker and spoke of Kolbe, as the patron saint for those who suffer from drug addictions; a source of comfort for those in recovery, as well as family members and friends of those who suffer. Pastor Jean Eckrod (above 2nd from right) of the Salem United Church of Christ spoke of her ministry of support for family members of those who have addictions. Resources from the local Oasis Recovery Center were also made available to those who attended the service.
Please note that there are a small change in the schedule for the remainder of the M.I. Initiative tour. It has been decided to postpone the stop at Coal Township & Trevorton (Our Lady of Hope Parish and St. Patrick Parish) until next February.
The following are the last three stops; please make the change in the posted schedules:
After a long pandemic pause, Our Lady of the Angels Province is once again sponsoring a Franciscan Pilgrimage to a number of Marian Shrines in Europe, from August 13 -25, 2022. The highlight this coming year will be to attend the Passion Play at Oberammergau, Germany. The pilgrimage will include five countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. As is the past, Friar James McCurry, OFM Conv. will be the Spiritual Guide. The brochure containing all the information and details is linked: Franciscan European Marian Shrines Pilgrimage (August 13-25, 2022). The brochure is to be used to register. The reservation deadline is April 12, 2022, but great interest is expected so the limited space of 35 participants is bound to fill up quickly. Thank you for your cooperation in this provincial initiative.
Friar Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv. (Pilgrimage Director – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our Lady of the Angels Province – Delegate for the Marian Apostolate
On Tuesday, November 9th, the M.I. Initiative made its 31st stop at the Newman Student Center Parish (UNC Chapel Hill, NC). A beautifully-prepared, sung Vespers was celebrated with students and faithful from neighboring parishes. On hand were Our Lady of the Angels Province Friars ~ Fr. Tim Kulbicki, OFM Conv. (Pastor & Campus Minister) and Fr. Bill Robinson, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar & Associate Campus Minister) who minister to the student and parishioners. Some of those who responded to our call to become new members of the M.I. are pictured above with Friar Tim (fourth from right) and Friar Jobe.
In an October 21, 2021 letter from Rome, Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Provincial Delegate of our Province Delegation of St. Francis of Assisi (Canada), and Provincial Delegate to the M.I., the Very Reverend Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv. has been appointed National Assistant of the Militia of the Immaculata M.I. Canada, by the Minister General of our Order, the Most Reverend Fr. Carlos Trovarelli, OFM Conv.
Since May of 2019, Friar Jobe has been traveling throughout our province, promoting Personal Consecration to the Immaculate via our province’s M.I. Initiative Tour. On Saturday, April 30, 2022, he will lead our 1st Annual Franciscan Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
The M.I. Initiative made its 28th stop at St. Paul Catholic Parish (Kensington, CT), on the weekend of October 9-10, 2021. St. Paul Church is one of the largest Franciscan parishes of our province, with a Saturday evening Vigil Mass as well as four Sunday Masses. Together with the pastor ~ Friar Joe Benicewicz, OFM Conv. ~ Friar Michael Englert, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), Friar Peter Timko, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), and Friar Raymond Borkowski, OFM Conv. are all actively involved in the ministries there. During Friar Jobe’s visit, the parishioners were most open to the invitation to entrust themselves to Mary, the Immaculate Conception and many enrolled in the Militia of the Immaculate. Centered in the photo above, with Friar Jobe (left) and Friar Michael (right), who is also guardian of the St. Paul Friary, are many of the new M.I. members.
Be sure to mark your calendars
and check back as more information will follow about the
First Annual Franciscan Pilgrimage to the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
in Washington D.C.,
on Saturday, April 30, 2022
THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARTYRDOM OF ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
(1941 – August 14 – 2021)
Following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi over the last eight centuries, the Franciscans have promoted a constant devotion and veneration of Our Lady, especially under Her title of the Immaculate Conception. Indeed, that constant and filial promotion of Our Lady as the Immaculate Mother of God represents a golden thread that holds together and highlights our Franciscan tradition and charism.
In the line of great Franciscan saints, St. Maximilian Kolbe M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. would state that the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854 represented only a first victory for Our Lady. When St. Maximilian would form the Militia of the Immaculate (M.I.) in 1917, he would call upon Mary, the Immaculate Conception, to gain a lasting victory over evil in the world and to draw all souls, even those fallen away from the Church, to Christ and the source of all love, His Sacred Heart. When Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Maximilian in 1982, he declared St. Maximilian to be a “saint for a difficult century.” In the twenty-first century, more than ever, St. Maximilian’s entrustment to the Immaculate for the conversion of all serves as a key to a better world for all of us.
That is why, over the last three years, Our Lady of the Angels Province has sponsored an M.I. Initiative to promote consecration to the Immaculate Conception and membership in the Militia of the Immaculate. In the next few months, this Initiative will make its final and 36th stop at our Franciscan parish sites and we are very happy to report that the response of the faithful has been most gratifying as we will have enrolled close to 5,000 new M.I. members.
However, we can’t stop there and we believe that Our Lady and St. Maximilian are now asking us to do something else as a community of Franciscan Friars Conventual along with those with and for whom we minister. As a result, Our Lady of the Angels Province is sponsoring the 1st Annual Franciscan Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 30, 2022. The Program for the day is below and we invite all friars, M.I. members, and all the faithful to join us in celebrating our devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God. If you are already enrolled, you will be receiving a letter with more instruction on registration. If you are not, but are a member of one of our pastoral ministries, check with your parish office to see if how your parish is participating.
Friar Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv.
Our Lady of the Angels Province Delegate for the Marian Apostolate
FIRST ANNUAL FRANCISCAN PILGRIMAGE
TO THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
SPONSORED BY THE FRANCISCANS OF
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS PROVINCE, USA
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2022
- 11.00 a.m. – WORDS OF WELCOME from the Very Rev. James McCurry, OFM Conv., Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province and Rev. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., Provincial Assistant of the Militia of the Immaculate
- 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. – LUNCH TIME
- 12.30 p.m. – 1.00 p.m. – Seated Overview TOUR of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Upper Basilica)
- 1.00 p.m. – 1.30 p.m. – COMMUNAL PRAYER
- 1.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m. – EUCHARISTIC LITURGY and CLOSING
- 3.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. – FREE TIME (There is a scheduled Vigil Mass at 4.30 p.m. The Basilica closes at 6.00 p.m.)