Friday, May 30, 2014

My Pilgrimage to Poland - Claude Newman

I got a magazine in Poland called Love One another.

It has the most beautiful story of a man whose name was Claude Newman.

I scanned the pages below. I highly recommend you read it.

My pilgrimage to Poland - Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe was an amazing man.
"Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, O.F.M. Conv., (Polish: Maksymilian Maria Kolbe [maksɨˌmiljan ˌmarja ˈkɔlbɛ]; 8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941) was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II."
His "Immaculata friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques in publishing catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Kolbe also used radio to spread his Catholic faith and to speak out against the atrocities of the Nazi regime. He is the only canonized saint to have held an amateur radio license, with the call sign SP3RN.
He also had a volunteer fire department made up of his friars which exists to this day. Maximilian used the press for his works. I think I will adopt him as my patron saint.

Pictures from his museum. He built the chapel below.

My pilgrimage to Poland - Wszystkich Swietych

Maureen's video of our trip into Krakow All Saints old town square.

On Sunday afternoon we had some free time so Maureen, Anna-Marie and I took the bus into Krakow to do a bit of shopping in the square there. Stan brought us to the bus stop and spoke to some people for us on where we should get off the bus.

I was supposed to ask for Wszystkich Swietych (All Saints old town square). Will someone please tell me how one is supposed to pronounce words that have eight consonants and two vowels? Because I have no idea. I thought if I tried pronouncing it phonetically, maybe that would help. So Stan, our fellow Polish pilgrim and superb guide, told me to say Fshistkich Shventi. When I tried pronouncing it Stan laughed his head off. I wonder why?

We had perogies and beer. Definitely the best beer in my entire life IT WAS SO GOOD.

There was also a marathon coming in that day.

Anyway we had an angel on the bus tell us where to get off coming into town, and on the way back we had another angel tell us when to get off on the way back.

Miraculous really.

My pilgrimage to Poland - wise words from our pastors

Below are three of the homilies we recorded while on pilgrimage. (We may post more later.)

The first below is Deacon Bryan who spoke on our last day, as we headed home.

The second is from Father Lawrence who spoke about the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.

Finally Father Simon speaks on our first day about the meaning of pilgrimage.

Many thanks to Maureen for her diligent work downloading all the videos, fighting with youtube when it crashed her computer, and when her computer wouldn't save her files, etc.

She transcribed the main parts of Deacon Bryan's homily below. After that homily are two more links, one to a homily from Father Simon, and one from Father Lawrence. 

We have transcribed parts of the homilies below, but you'll just have to listen to them all since each and every homily we heard was beautiful and full of wisdom.

Here is what Deacon Bryan spoke of on the last day:
"...we will bring back with us our experiences – Our primary mission is back home – We have spent a week and a half being immersed in God –At the Transfiguration the apostles have caught a glimpse of the Glory of God and and so have we – We can share what we have experienced here We need to pray for opportunities to share what we have received here."
He raised three main points:
"And we will bring back with us our experiences, a new understanding of the Lord’s Mercy and many things to share with family and friends, that may just open the door of their hearts for the first time or encourage them to go deeper into their faith. But we do have to go. We have to go because our primary mission is back home. Being here is a bit of a time warp isn’t it? For one thing the comments I have heard time and again is the Catholic Faith here, the Catholicity of this beautiful country: such a witness to us. it is easy to be drawn to holy things here, to have a desire to pray. 
We have taken the time to come here to grow in our faith. To go deeper. We have spent about a week and a half being immersed in God and it would be difficult to go back to our own busy lives.

First the apostles were impacted by the transfiguration. It changed them. They caught a glimpse of the Glory. So have we, so have we. And we bring that back with us. We can meditate on our experiences here... Heaven is being immersed in God’s love.

Second... we have to realize that our pursuit of holiness though we may get a shot in the arm when having an experience like this, living the spirituality of Nazareth, doing those little acts of love with great love, done out of love for God and for our neighbor.


Father Lawrence tells us about the history of our Lady, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.
"The Icon was painted by St. Luke on a table top...the message is that Mary can save the world. Through her intercession with her Son Jesus...the first miracle of Jesus happened through Mary's intercession...Jesus will never refuse our prayers if we offer them through the intercession of Mary..."
"We are pilgrims on a pilgrimage. What is a pilgrimage. A pilgrim is a traveler who is in relationship with God. A person who knows God and who is yearning through this journey, to get closer to God....what is our purpose for being here?...the first reason is to give thanks to God, maybe for a particular grace...the second would be as an act of penance...because we are carrying a particular request, as I endure this pilgrimage I carry with me Lord these things that I ask of you"

My Pilgrimage to Poland - short snippets

Maureen captured a couple of beautiful and sometimes funny moments with the pilgrims.

You can just click on the playlist and it will run through them all.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Being Jesuit

Three new videos from the Jesuits. 

The first one is from Father Hasina who has been my spiritual director since 2008. What a blessing Father Hasina has been for me.

Hasina Rakotoarisoa

Greg Kennedy

Chris Farrell

I am currently reading the book "Saint among the Hurons". It is the story of St. Jean se Brebeuf. It is a fascinating book about de Brebeuf and what he endured in the new world in Canada and his amazing devotion to the Hurons.

Saint Jean de Brébeuf 
"(March 25, 1593 – March 16, 1649) was a French Jesuit missionary who traveled to New France (or Canada) in 1625. There he worked primarily with the Huron for the rest of his life, except for a short time back in France in 1629-1630. He learned their language and culture. 
In 1649 Brébeuf and several other missionaries were captured when an Iroquois raid took over a Huron village. Together with Huron captives, the missionaries were ritually tortured and eight were killed, martyred on March 16, 1649. Brébeuf was beatified in 1925 and canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 1930."

My pilgrimage to Poland - Birthplace of Saint John Paul II and the Weeping Madonna

It rained a lot that day. Appropriate for the weeping Madonna I thought.

And I'm pretty sure that's the day I got some of us lost. I thought I was following Stan and when I realized I couldn't see him anymore, the six people I was with were also lost. As we retraced our steps we found Anna-Marie who had stopped in to the St. Anne Church. So she was happy we found her, and we were happy too. She seemed to know how to lead us lost sheep back to the flock.

Because I got lost I didn't take a lot of pictures that day. But I did get a picture of the Weeping Madonna. It's in Maureen's video above.

The Lord is good.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My pilgrimage to Poland - The miracle of the rainbow

My sister Maureen loves rainbows. She always tells me to make sure whenever I see one, I am to take a picture of it.

So one beautiful evening on our pilgrimage in Poland, Maureen started saying to me, "when you see the rainbow, make sure you take pictures."

Being the ever obedient younger sister, I said "yes Maureen I will do that. If there is a rainbow, I promise to take pictures".

She repeated this a couple of times and I told her that "I always do what I am told Moe."

Anyway, that evening we had decided to walk to the top of the tower at the Cathedral. It is quite a high tower (see picture below).

We both started walking up the tower. She went ahead of me, and I was getting kind of woozy because I'm afraid of heights. At a certain point I decided I'd had enough of this height thing and needed to turn back. I yelled up to Maureen to tell her, but she couldn't hear me.

Well I headed back down, and went outside of the tower. And what did I see? A rainbow had started to appear in the sky. And it kept growing and growing. Soon it was covering the whole sky and in fact there was a second rainbow above the first. I couldn't believe it. How did Maureen know it would appear?

Naturally I dutifully began taking pictures. At one point I saw Jen and David and they told me that Maureen was looking for me.

I shouted at them and said, "well I'm taking pictures like she told me to so she'll just have to find me".

Later I found out that when Maureen got to the top of the tower, she couldn’t stay because all of a sudden, she need desperately to powder her nose if you know what I mean. So she hurried down again, and ran to her hotel room.

When she returned to the field she saw the rainbow and of course she started to videotape the rainbow.

We finally met up and she said "did you take pictures?" And I said "of course I did, don't I always do what you tell me to do Moe?"

She was so excited she danced with joy and fell to her knees and kissed the ground (you will see my picture of her doing this in her rainbow video below).

And that is the Miracle of the rainbow at the Divine Mercy Centre. Where God loves us. And if we trust in him, whatever we ask of him, if it his will, he will give it to us.

The miracle of the rainbow

Monday, May 26, 2014

My pilgrimage to Poland - Zakopane

See Maureen's video of our trip to Zakopane. This trip was on May 20, two days before we came home.

Video of all of us (updated May 27)

And another video of us in the village (Updated May 27)

In a perfect world I would be doing entries in chronological order. Alas this isn't a perfect world.

Our tour guide explains everything about this lovely part of Southern Poland that shares a border with Slovakia. The people speak their own dialect and make their own cheese. There is a beautiful mountain range with snow. We went up in a gondola and were able to see the range.

My pilgrimage to Poland (the series)

I will update this regularly with posts of the trip.

Please note that the posts are not necessarily in chronological order. That's life I guess.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monday May 26, 2014
Journey into the Mercy of God - my pilgrimage to Poland

Monday May 26, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - Zakopane

Wednesday May 28, 2014
The Miracle of the rainbow

Thursday, May 29, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - Birthplace of Saint John Paul II and the Weeping Madonna

Friday, May 30, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - short snippets

Friday, May 30, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - wise words from our pastors

Friday, May 30, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - Wszystkich Swietych

Friday, May 30, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Friday, May 30, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - Claude Newman

Saturday, May 31, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - some of God's creation

Sunday, June 1, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - crosses

Monday, June 2, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - devotion to Mary

Thursday, June 5, 2014
My pilgrimage to Poland - slideshow of the pilgrims

Saturday, June 7, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - St. Faustina

Monday, June 16, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - random pictures

Monday, June 16, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - the Pilgrims

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - in honour of the deceased

Thursday, June 19, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - Tribute to John Paul II

Saturday, June 21, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - the Feast of Corpus Christi

Monday, June 30, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - Poles will disappear from the world

Friday, July 11, 2014
My Pilgrimage to Poland - Good bye Poland