Evangelization and 'a Deeper Renewal'
By Dan Valenti (Nov 28, 2011)
In the following interview, the Marians' Provincial Superior the Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, shares plans for Marian outreach to parishes, plus other initiatives.
DAN VALENTI: The Marian Fathers are launching an exciting, new evangelization outreach to parishes. Can you give us the overall view?
FR. KAZIMIERZ CHWALEK, MIC: In our recent strategic planning meeting, the need to expand our evangelization efforts to parishes became a priority. Our goal is to make the message of Divine Mercy more known so that it may affect a deeper renewal. We see that wherever Divine Mercy is embraced, it produces greater love for the Lord, increased participation in the Sacraments, Eucharistic Adoration, adult faith-formation, and greater involvement in works of mercy. Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy and their cenacle adult formation has made great strides into parish life, but it needs an even greater presence. Other outreach ministries of our province such as Mother of Mercy Messengers, the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, as well as our Parish Mission Team, have excellent programs of formation that can revitalize parish faith life and devotion.
VALENTI: Is this related to the increased number of vocations the Marians have received in recent years?
FR. KAZ: Yes, very much so, and so another priority for the province is to form a bigger support base for our seminarians. Growing numbers of young men joining us have strained our resources. We are confident that God will provide, yet He also wants us to ask Him, so that He may inspire many to respond to our needs. As long as we seek first His kingdom, all other things will be granted to us. We are confident in the Lord, based on our trust in Him.
VALENTI: Can you look to the future on plans for Eden Hill and other aspects of the journey ahead?
FR. KAZ: We wish to create a better environment for pilgrims who come to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Through the generosity of benefactors, we have done several major improvements. These include the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine, the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, and now the life-sized outdoor Stations of the Cross. The donor hopes to complete the latter project within a year. Yet there are other projects that need support. These include a pilgrim welcoming center, general upkeep and repair, and more on Eden Hill. Lastly, there are important anniversaries approaching. In 2012, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of beatification for Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz. In 2013, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Marians in the United States. We will prepare for both great jubilees.