Homily of Bishop Jacek Kicinski on the occasion of our Father Founder’s 200th birthday

Homily of Bishop Jacek Kicinski on the occasion of our Father Founder’s 200th birthday

Dear Brothers in priestly vocation,

Dear Sisters of Mary Immaculate, so close to my heart,

Brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord,

Today we thank you for the life, for your vocation and for this beautiful work of the servant of God John Schneider. Two centuries have passed since his birth, and yet this Work is very relevant today. We can say: this is the gift of the Holy Spirit, a breath that lasts to this day. When we look at the attitude and life of the Servant of God John Schneider, we can say that how closely it corresponds to today’s liturgy of the Word. But why? The answer is very simple. Because the Servant of God, Fr. John Schneider was a man of the Word of God. He lived the gospel and shared the gospel with others. And today, my dears, we are witnessing an important event in the life of John the Baptist and in the lives of his disciples. Let’s say that today we see John the Baptist standing with his disciples. He’s standing. One would like to say: he has reached a certain point where his mission ends. He fulfilled his task. This attitude of stopping is not something passive. He has stopped because he is waiting. He is waiting for Jesus Christ and the moment comes when Jesus passes by and then John the Baptist says: behold the Lamb of God, behold the One for whom I am waiting and for whom you are waiting. John stands waiting while Jesus moves on. John prepared the way for Jesus and on this path Jesus Christ continues to walk. This is the Lamb of God. This is the One! John the Baptist, as if he wanted to say to his disciples: I can give you no more. Follow Him. Keep going, because He will lead you, and the disciples followed Jesus, and so began the journey of vocation, the journey of faith for Andrew and the second disciple. We don’t know what his name was. And this path of faith is a path of vocation, because vocation is a path of faith. It has specific stages. The first stage is the desire to follow Jesus. They went because they saw Him, and then a dialogue begins. Jesus asks a question. What are you looking for? These two disciples answer this question from Jesus with their own question, the question of their heart. Where do you live? And Jesus says, come and see. The next stage of the path of vocation: They followed Him, saw where He lived, and stayed with Him. What was the effect of this encounter with Jesus? Testimony of faith. They go and say: We have found the Messiah. They say this to Peter, whom they brought to Jesus. And then Peter’s calling. Are you Simon, son of John? Your name will be Cephas, Peter. Beloved is a summary of the journey of faith and vocation of Andrew, the second disciple and Peter. Looking at today’s gospel, we can say that our task is, on the one hand, to be John the Baptist who prepares the way and points to Jesus. And he doesn’t hold on to himself. John says, he is the Messiah. This is the Lamb of God and this is the first task on the path of our faith and on the path of our vocation, but on the other hand we are constantly disciples of Jesus, like these two who followed him. The path with Jesus, as we said to ourselves: this is the path of faith today. Just as Jesus asked Andrew and the other disciple, Jesus asks us a question. A very important question. Concerning the meaning and essence of our faith. Jesus asks us: what are we looking for? That is, what are our desires? What are our expectations on the path of following Jesus? Do we want to get to know Jesus on this path? Do we want to see where Jesus lives? And do we want to enter His house? And do we want to be with Jesus in this house? Looking at today’s world and probably our lives, because each of us has our own expectations, we have our own plans, we have our own dreams. And today Jesus asks, what are you looking for? What do you want? It’s not only about our feelings, but also about our specific attitude to life. We will see that from what is external, Jesus wants to invite us to enter his house, to enter inside. What does it mean? [It means] that on the path of faith Jesus wants to enter into a personal relationship with each of us. Jesus invites us to his home. Dear brothers and sisters, who is invited to your home? You don’t invite a stranger into your home. You invite someone close to your home, someone you trust. That’s why in today’s gospel Jesus treats us as someone very close, he treats us as his family, he invites us to his home, and in this house Jesus has no secrets from us. Let’s see that these two disciples who followed Jesus and stayed in his house they had to experience something special , they had to experience something amazing in this house of Jesus. Because after this meeting in Jesus’ house, they went and testified about Jesus. They say to Peter: We have found the Messiah. This is God’s Anointed One. And they brought this Peter to Jesus.

Brothers and sisters,

Can we say today: we have found the Messiah? Are we leading others to Jesus today? In the world in which we live, following Jesus, there are different expectations, and Jesus invites us to his home. This home is the Church and this is the place where we meet Jesus Christ. Do we, in this Church, in this house of Jesus, want to respect what is His property? What is the property of Jesus’ house? Prayer, word and sacraments. And now let’s put in context what we have said so far. The life of the servant of God, Fr. John Schneider, fits into the context of today’s gospel. 200 years after his birth and looking at his life again we see, on the one hand, that his life was following the example of John the Baptist, who pointed to Jesus: this is the Lamb of God. This was his life. He never succumbed to the temptation of cheap popularity to keep himself. This is the Lamb of God. On the other hand, he was a constant disciple of Jesus until the end of his life, who got to know Jesus, lived in His house, which was the Church, and led others to this House. Born on January 11, 1824. Baptized on January 13. And let’s see that this is not a coincidence: today’s gospel, which talks about John the Baptist, because the spiritual guide of the servant of God, Father John Schneider, was John the Baptist and, on the other hand, being a disciple of Jesus in the year 1848. After graduating from university, he entered the seminary and that was the moment of mutual questions. On the one hand he saw Jesus and followed him, and Jesus asked him: What are you looking for? The servant of God asked [Jesus], where do you live? He went and lived with Jesus in the house of Jesus Christ. The Church in Wrocław became this home. On July 1, 1849, he was ordained a priest. The first primary Holy Mass [is celebrated] in our cathedral in Wrocław. And then further ministries, places of pointing to Jesus Christ. The Church of Our Lady of the Sands and finally this wonderful, beautiful temple dedicated to the Name of Jesus. We will see that in all these places of service in the Church of Jesus Christ, the voice of a zealous priest was heard saying: we have found the Messiah! This was his testimony of life. It was a showcase of his faith. We have found the Messiah! And whoever finds the Messiah does not keep Him for himself. He brought others to Jesus. What characterized the life, ministry of faith and vocation of the Servant of God John Schneider was, to put it in modern terms, or was just in the language of the Holy Father Francis. Pastoral ministry of presence. And when you are there, you see a lot. The Servant of God John Schneider noticed first of all poor people. And among these poor and needy people, women who found themselves in a tragic moral situation occupied a special place in his life. It wasn’t an easy time. Therefore, the young priest John Schneider had, first of all, an excellent understanding of the situation. Today we can learn from him how to discern the signs of the times and how to respond to them in the light of the Word of God. He saw very clearly these problems related to the situation of women and girls, who are often exploited. There were so many problems that he knew perfectly well that he couldn’t handle it alone. Therefore, responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he founded a beautiful work of helping those in need, which he dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and then the Religious Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate was founded. Well, you can do more. This is what a disciple of Jesus Christ is. He points and becomes a disciple. Disciple, missionary. And today, when we look after two hundred years at the work of his life, or at God’s work in which God used the servant of God, Father John Schneider, we see beauty, the path of faith. We see the journey of faith of a faithful priest, but also of a priest experienced with great suffering. A priest who was misunderstood by many, but above all we have the image of a priest who met Jesus and followed Him. He became a witness of His presence. The priest who gave priority to Jesus Christ, saying: Behold the Lamb of God, follow Him.

In view of the life and ministry of the Servant of God John Schneider, dear brothers and sisters, let us ask the Good God today, in this temple where he was a shepherd, that there will never be a shortage of people whose lives will follow the example of the Servant of God, Fr. John Schneider with a story about God’s Mercy, so that there will never be a shortage of faithful priests who point to Jesus Christ and follow Him. Amen.

Father Bishop Jacek Kiciński CMF

Wrocław, 04/01/2024

To Father

To Father

Letter to the Father

Father John, about the heart that reflects God himself.
A heart that is pure in intention and simple in love.
Intercede for us.

Father John, pure heart – foundation of the temple of the Triune God ,
A heart shaped by good deeds and a clear imagination
Intercede for us.

Father John, son of Mary Immaculate,
About a believing and trusting heart.
Intercede for us.

Father John, enterprising and motivated,
About a heart open and full of mercy.
Intercede for us.

Father John, rich in talents and charisms,
About a heart that knows how to share and does not set boundaries.
Intercede for us.

Father John, full of hope and goodness,
With a stable heart, filled with the fullness of God.
Intercede for us.

S .M. M. Małgorzata Cur SMI
December 8, 2023

Dispenser of God's Mysteries

Miraculous Medal

Miraculous Medal

Every year we are reminded in a special way that through the simple life of a nun, Mary revealed herself to people as an intercessor in a very special way.

We ourselves wear this miraculous medal and believe that Mary is at our side at all times and in all matters.

This year, let us take up the manifold concerns of all our employees who care for the well-being of the people entrusted to us in our facilities.

Give yourself to Jesus

Give yourself to Jesus

“He has chosen you in a mysterious but true way to be saved, with Him saved. Yes, Christ calls you, but He calls you in truth. His call is demanding, because He invites you to let yourself be completely “caught up” to Him, so that your whole life sees the Light. Let yourself be raptured by Jesus and try to live only for Him!”
St. John Paul II, Rome, Italy, October 13, 1993.

Let’s try to imagine surrendering everything to Him – the people who are important to us, the work we do, the things we surround ourselves with, the place where we live. Let’s try to imagine that we live only for Jesus, without being attached to persons, things, activities or place. To what extent do these imaginings agree with our lives?

I am the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16)

I am the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16)

epiphany

The Revelation of John is the last book in the New Testament. It is about the future of the world and therefore also about my future. The world will pass away, God will appear in his glory. In this context there are two wonderful metaphors about Jesus in the last chapter:

I am the root and the Origin of David, the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16). Both pictures fit well into the time of Advent. For our last monthly lecture, I chose the second image: the bright morning star.

The morning star in the liturgy

A Spiritual Exercise for Advent: Look for prayers, texts, and songs that feature the morning star. That shouldn’t be difficult in Advent.

Advent liturgy

O-Antiphon (Vespers from December 17): You morning star (December 22)

Morning Star Songs

The night has advanced (GL 220)

God holy creator of all stars (GL 230)

How beautifully the morning star shines on us (GL 357)

Morning star of the dark night (GL 372

 

 

Hymn of Lauds (Sunday 1st week)

 

O eternal creator of all the world,

reigns day and night,

you set the times their time

give change in the course of time.

 

The rooster, the herald of the day, calls,

the guardian in the dark.

His cry separates the night from the night,

a light to the wanderer at night.

 

Then the morning star rises

illuminates the black firmament,

then the crowd of dark powers gives way

shy away from the path of evil.

 

Then the skipper feels new strength,

the surf of the sea softens,

the rock of the church, Peter, weeps,

regrets the guilt at cockcrow.

 

 

So, get up quickly from sleep:

The rooster wakes up everyone who is still dreaming.

The rooster harasses the tardy,

the rooster accuses the deniers.

 

hope awakens at cockcrow,

and relief will flow to the sick.

The robber abandons his actions,

Fallen trust again.

 

Lord when we fall, look at us

and heal us through your gaze.

Your look erases error and sin,

our guilt dissolves in tears.

 

You light, penetrate our spirit,

drive sleep away from our hearts,

the first word is dedicated to you,

our morning praise praise you.

Amen.

 

 

 

More than a fixed star

When we talk about the morning star (or evening star), we like to look for a fixed star in the evening or morning sky. But the liturgical texts and songs mean more than a fixed star in the sky with the image of the morning star. It’s about experiencing the dawning day and the associated light after experiencing the darkness of the night.

 

orientation

Then the morning star rises, illuminates the black firmament…

Then the skipper feels new strength, the waves of the sea soften, …

I quickly become disoriented in the dark, I can’t find my way, I’m unsure. As soon as the light appears, I can find my way around, orient myself, security comes back.

Spiritual Exercise: How do I orientate myself in my life?

 

Hope

Hope awakens at the crowing of the cock, and relief streams to the sick.

The robber lets the fallen trust in his deeds anew.

Many are afraid of the dark. Children in front of the “black man” (whoever that might mean). Old people no longer dare to go out at night for fear of being mugged. And after a night of pain, the sick long for the new morning.

 

forgiveness

The liturgy knows another night: the night of sin and guilt.

The Advent song “The night has advanced” describes wonderfully how God deals with our guilt.

The night is already fading, make your way to the stable!

You shall find salvation there, the course of all times

Proclaimed from the beginning, since your sin happened.

Now you have an alliance, whom God himself has chosen.

This night is also mentioned in the ‘Exsultet’ of the Easter Vigil. But guilt has found a redeemer. It is no coincidence that the ‘Exsultet’ ends with a reference to the “morning star that does not set”, to Jesus Christ.

 

Prelate Dr. Stefan Dybowski

Novenna to the Immaculate Virgin

Novenna to the Immaculate Virgin

With a wonderful song of joy, Mary teaches us to praise the Lord. To her we acclaim:

Rejoice my Spirit in God my Saviour

Great things has the Lord done for us, Precious and almighty, holy is his name.

My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour

He looks upon the humility of his children, and his goodness extends to those who fear him.

My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour

Let us address our prayer of supplication to Mary. As children to our mother, to her we say

Mother of God, give me a simple heart.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, keep me a childlike heart, pure and transparent. Grant me a simple heart, which does not linger to savour the sadness of everyday life.

Mother of God, give me a simple heart.

A humble heart, that loves without demanding to be loved back, happy to open itself to other hearts, sacrificing itself before your divine Son.

Mother of God, give me a simple heart.

And may the God of hope fill us with profound joy. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.