Blessing and Inauguration of the Renovated Buildings of the Friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the adjacent Kolbe Hotel Rome

Monday, 28 April 2008 16:49

Thursday, April 24, 2008 - Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin presided at the celebration of the solemn inauguration of the large chapel at San Teodoro (where, in 1917, Father Kolbe with some other Friars, founded the Militia of the Immaculate), recently restored within the Friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

Present were a number of Friars from the various communities in Rome along with other Religious, some friends, collaborators from the adjacent hotel, and the workers that had the particular responsibility for the restoration. The homily and various presentations were careful to underline, not only the beauty of the restoration, but also the importance of establishing the presence of an international community that will serve the various essential aspects of the Order such as Formation, Mission, the Secular Franciscan Order, Justice and Peace, the Militia of the Immaculate, and the Assistant to the Poor Clares. In the months to come the other areas dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe, and other Religious who have been part of this road to holiness, will be completed. The sacred places will, in fact, be barrier free making it easy to visit the cell where St. Maximilian and the other Friars lived. Now there is a chapel attached to the new Kolbian museum where the community prays daily.

Following the Mass, the Minister General, Friar Marco Tasca, presided over the Blessing of the buildings which also included the adjacent Kolbe Hotel Rome which has been restored with great care and precision. The management of the hotel offered the participants in this fraternal occasion, a nourishing buffet, and distributed an elegant brochure containing photos, antique sketches, and historical data that recalled the history of the whole complex up to this recent renovation, which has succeeded in making visible, once again, some of the ancient and original structures.