Feast of the Community of the Friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe

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The Community of the Friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Via San Teodoro, 42, in Rome, celebrated their traditional Community Feast on October 16, 2010.

This year was a very special event. Invited to this year’s celebration, besides the many friends and confreres from the area of Rome, were also the participants in the Extraordinary International Assembly of the M.I. of which there were Friars and members from 20 countries and 4 continents, who had come together to elect a new International Presidential Council for the M.I., and approve their goals for the activity of the Association for the next three years, until the Ordinary Assembly of 2013. They wanted to conclude their work on the anniversary, and in the place, where the M.I. was founded.

A significant moment of joy and spirituality was the inauguration of the permanent exhibit on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe.  It represents the Roman part of the Kolbean journey along with Lourdes, Niepokalanow, and Harmẹze, the other major places to reflect upon and remember. The exhibit, with the strongly evocative title of “A Light in the Darkness”, attempts to call us to reflect upon the person, the spirituality, and the human and Christian existence of St. Maximilian, stressing the Roman period of his life in particular, his path of religious and cultural formation, living in this Friary, and the foundation, on October 16, 1917, of the M.I., that is today a International Public Association of the Faithful.

The blessing of the exhibit with the traditional cutting of the ribbon was done by the Minister General of the Order, Friar Marco Tasca. Attending the ceremony, besides the participants from the International Assembly of the M.I., and a large number of Friars from the Order, there was also Friar Jerzy Norel, who was principally responsible for the global perspective of the Kolbean journey, Friar Simone Tenuti, the Architect, Johnny Sandonà, creator of the exhibit, and the artists Laura Magni and Giuliano Laurenti, who made it work. Each of them, from the basis of the role they had in realizing this exhibit, presented their significant cultural, spiritual and theological understanding of the exhibit.

The exhibit space, distributed among dark walls, illuminated by bands of light that display the general titles, construct a type of display board with objects and symbols that illustrate the concepts found in the Kolbean spirituality, along with a touch screen monitor that deepens the reflections on the illustrated themes. The object of the exhibit is to show the contemporary thinking of Kolbean thought, and elicit within the visitor a reflection articulated by the human and spiritual experience of St. Maximilian, and his evangelical-Marian message made manifest by his Religious-Priestly witness and his martyrdom.

The hall where the exhibit is located, also offers the possibility to organize meetings for formation, and deepen the spirituality of the M.I., being equipped with projection and amplification systems, and chairs to accommodate a group up to one hundred persons.

The day was crowned with the concelebration of the Eucharist, presided over by Friar Marco Tasca. Besides the Vicar General, Friar Jerzy Norel, and Friar Fermino Giacometti, Guardian of the Friary, who welcomed everyone in the name of the community, numerous confreres and a broad representation of friends and the Militia of the Immaculate, participated.
A reception, simple but visibly fraternal, concluded the festive encounter.

Friar Francisco Diaz Valdez