• June 21, 2012
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The US St. Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity
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American St Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity

By Cheryl Marshall, who made her com­mit­ment into Heart’s Home’ St. Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity on May 27, together with Ted and Rachel Oberman and Timothy Hynes.

“It was a per­fect Heart’s Home Day. We began with an hour of Eucharistic Adoration fol­lowed by an uplifting talk on Pentecost by Matthew Sutton. We then had mass during which we made our vows, our com­mit­ment to the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe. A lovely picnic was enjoyed in per­fect weather at Fort Green Park. Our day ended with a recita­tion of the rosary and Evening Prayer. A per­fect Heart’s Home Day.

I should have seen it coming. A few weeks before, I was fired from my job. I spent the last 7 years teaching music at a Special Ed School for stu­dents ages 5-21 with emo­tional, psy­cho­log­ical and behav­ioral dis­abil­i­ties. What tor­mented me was the effect on the chil­dren I loved and gave my pas­sion to. It was the chil­dren I spent sleep­less nights over, wor­rying about the damage it would cause when music was pulled out from under them, the pro­gram and per­for­mances elim­i­nated, wor­rying about the chil­dren feeling left and let down without expla­na­tion.

I was told a com­mit­ment to the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe would be the next step on my spir­i­tual path, going deeper into the charism of com­pas­sion, deeper into the “aban­don­ment and low­li­ness” of this path which we pro­fessed during our ini­ti­a­tion. I was told we would be show­ered with Grace on this Holy Day of Pentecost. Yes, it was a per­fect Heart’s Home Day, but my expe­ri­ence on this day was one of kenosis, of being com­pletely emp­tied out, flushed clean, maybe not pure, but with new aware­ness.

Last week, after vis­iting the Women’s Homeless Shelter, I ran into one of my stu­dents on the street. This lance pierced my side. He wanted to know why I left. He said things were not the same. After he drove off, I burst into tears right there on the streets of Brooklyn. That kenosis again. More flushing, more puri­fying, most def­i­nitely deeper.

So on that “Per­fect Day” the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, did come upon us all. We were touched by his Divine Flame, and for me as a new member of the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe, I began the search for my next chapter on the path of “aban­don­ment and low­li­ness”, emp­tied of all attach­ments and self-will, self-image and ego. And there is that Grace I can depend on which comes with every moment at Heart’s Home, and that is what I’m counting on.”


Matthew Sutton's Conference Father Paul Anel and Father Fracois Charette (alumni from Argentina) Mnsg John Strynkowsky, rector of the Brooklyn Cathedral Ted and Rachel Oberman Tim Hynes and Cheryl Marshall Commitments Commitments 8. Blessed Icon from St Maximilien Kolbe Alumni and Frat Max Members Jonh and Ximena, Brooklyn Community Friends Fort Green Park Fort Green Park Frat Max kids!
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