Home / Videos & Events

United in Blessed George

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

By Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC (Feb 27, 2019)
Our superior general recently asked me to fly to Lithuania from Rome to serve as his delegate for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Sisters' founder was none other than Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz (1871-1927), the Renovator of the Marian Fathers.



The Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the provincial superior of the Marian Fathers in the United States and Argentina, also attended the celebrations. On Saturday of the Jubilee weekend, Fr. Kaz and I addressed the Sisters by reflecting on the question, "What would the Holy Spirit and Blessed George say to you 100 years after your founding?"

We pondered the words of Blessed George on his deathbed, when he said, "Close ranks and sacrifice yourselves!" This is good advice, not only for the Sisters and for the Marian Fathers, but for the whole Church during these challenging times. We mustn't allow the evil one to outflank us. Rather, we must unite, help one another, make the difficult choices necessary to follow Christ, and offer the gift of ourselves as He did. We encouraged the Sisters to consider expanding their apostolic outreach. They currently work in Lithuania and in the United States (in Connecticut and Illinois).

We also speculated that perhaps the Holy Spirit is saying that now is the time for Blessed George's canonization, more than 30 years after his beatification. For that to happen, we need a Vatican-approved miracle through his intercession. So I say to you all: Pray for miracles through Blessed George. For instance, those who know of people in the hospital or who are suffering at home can pray for healing through his intercession. News about favors received can be emailed to [email protected] or sent to Br. Andrew Maczynski, MIC, Vice Postulator of the Marian Causes of Canonization, Stockbridge, MA 01263.

The Marians in Stockbridge can also send you a prayer card with an image of Blessed George. Just call 1-800-462-7426 and ask for product code B41-CBGP.

Brother Andrew recently published a new Blessed George biography that provides a wonderful introduction to this great man. It briefly tells the story of his life, and it includes some of his writings. The book is available at ShopMercy.org or by calling 1-800-462-7426 (Product code B41-BGLW.)

Wishing to re-acquaint myself with Blessed George's spirituality before speaking with the Sisters, I read the book. What an inspiring life! He was truly a Renaissance man. He not only rescued the Marian Fathers from the brink of extinction, but he also founded two communities of religious sisters. He was a seminary professor, an archbishop, and a gifted preacher.

He did much to improve the lot of downtrodden workers. At the end of his life, he helped form a concordat between his country and the Holy See. He loved the Church. I hope that more people come to know Blessed George.

A beautiful Jubilee Mass in the Marian Church in Mariampole — home to Blessed George's tomb — crowned the anniversary weekend. Eight bishops and archbishops concelebrated, along with a large number of priests. After the Mass, the Mariampole Cultural Center hosted a powerful celebration of his life and the history of the Sisters' community. A festive lunch followed.

Father Kaz presented the Sisters with a first-class relic of Blessed George, who endured many physical sufferings during his life. The relic was a piece of his shirt that had been bloodied during one of his struggles.

Let's ask Blessed George to intercede for our Church today, that we might find the unity that Christ so desires.

Father Joe Roesch, MIC, is the vicar general of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He lives in Rome.

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!