Silent Marian retreat calls participants to God's mercy, Our Lady

Friday, Apr. 08, 2016
Silent Marian retreat calls participants to God's mercy, Our Lady + Enlarge
The two-volume set of ?The Writings Of Saint Maximilian Kolbe,? published by Marytown Press, was available at the Mission of the Immaculata retreat in West Haven on March 12. Courtesy photo
By Special to the Intermountain Catholic

By Donna Masek
Special to the Intermountain Catholic
WEST HAVEN — On March 12, approximately 40 people from various parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City gathered at St. Mary Catholic Church in West Haven for the Mission of the Immaculata’s fifth annual Silent Marian Lenten Retreat, titled “In Your Place: Kolbe, Martyr of Charity and Sign of God’s Mercy.” 
Beginning with the Liturgy of the Hours Morning Prayer, the group progressed to deepen their understanding of the mercy of God and the role of Our Lady in their spiritual lives through dynamic and engaging presentations, followed by reflective meditations. 
Robert Catlin, a lay ecclesial minister with the diocese, developed Saint Thomas Aquinas’ definition of mercy: “the compassion in our hearts for another person’s misery, a compassion which drives us to do what we can to help him” (Summa Theologiae II-II.30.1). 
Catlin also challenged participants to wear the liturgically colored green crown of martyrdom by offering simple gestures of mercy in their daily lives. 
This theme was further developed through the presentations of past MI Vice President John Galten, from the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Calif., who highlighted St. Maximilian Kolbe’s selfless gift of himself to others. His selflessness culminated in the heroic sacrifice of his life for another prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp on Aug. 14, 1941. 
Galten, too, challenged participants to live lives of holiness and charity in order to combat the evils of the modern day.
After a light Lenten meal, the faithful participated in Eucharistic adoration that included the recitation of the Mysteries of Mercy rosary, drawn from the reflections of Pope Francis, and the chanting of the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Additionally, as individuals deepened their understanding of the spirituality of total consecration to the Immaculata, a  complimentary small group discussion provided  ways to get in touch with personal sinfulness in order to  hear the voice of God and follow it. 
Marking the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe, participants wore T-shirts highlighting the words of St. John Paul II from the canonization of the saint, “He did not die, but he gave his life.”
The recently published two-volume critically acclaimed English edition of “The Writings Of Saint Maximilian Kolbe” was on display and made available for purchase. 
The day of reflection culminated with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and a Rite of Total Consecration to the Immaculata in the spirit of St. Maximilian Kolbe, led by Father Gustavo Vidal, pastor of St. Mary Parish. 
For information on the Mission of the Immaculata, visit

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