On Sunday April 3, Mike H. and Kathleen O. joined the Saint Maximilian Kolbe American Fraternity.
The Saint Maximilian Kolbe Fraternities were born in 1997. They are a branch of the Heart’s Home’s spiritual family, whose members are lay people living the charism of Heart in the world. They recognize the charism as a path to holiness and wish to share Heart’s Home missionary spirit and culture of compassion . They live the adventure of being a consoling presence, as that of Mary’s, in their daily responsibilities to serve the Church and society.
This is how Mike puts into words what this commitment means to him :
"When I decided to be a missionary with Heart’s Home, I thought I was signing up for a year-long volunteer experience abroad, I thought I was going to have a South American adventure; what I ended up receiving was a life and a family. My year with Heart’s Home in Brazil gave me a whole way of seeing reality—a contemplative gaze that can recognize God’s generosity in every moment and Christ concretely in the other—that has radically transformed my life back in the States. Joining the Fraternity of Saint Maximilian Kolbe was, for me, acknowledging the way in which I owe who I am to Heart’s Home and entering more deeply into the charism in order to allow it to continue to form me.
In some respects, this commitment means very little: a daily rosary, a weekly apostolate, and a yearly retreat; yet the charism is more than the specific activity it generates: it is a particular way of relating to Christ out of which those actions flow, and it colors those actions through and through. My joining the Fraternity is my joining myself concretely to that charism and belonging concretely to a particular place within the Church. Even though the exteriors of my life will remain largely unchanged, this feels like an even more radical choice than was deciding to be a missionary for a year: for this commitment means taking up the whole of my time in Brazil and saying Yes to it, saying Yes to continuing down a way that has been full of suffering but full of beauty, saying Yes to remaining with Mary at the foot of the Cross and offering my own fiat inside of hers. The mystery to which I’m assenting is still infinitely more than I can understand, but I spent a year in Brazil penetrating it, and in saying Yes to the Fraternity, I’m consciously saying yes not just to a year or to an adventure, but to a spirit of lowliness and littleness with which I pray my whole life will be suffused."