From the Pastor – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A – August 13, 2017

From the Pastor


19th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – A


August 13, 2017



Some say the atrocities faced centuries ago by Christians are overly exaggerated. But as Saint Maximilian Kolbe shows: evil is still evil. For the barbarous crimes committed by Nazi Germany and modern day radical Islam are just as, if not more, repulsively heinous.


Born January 8, 1894 and baptized Raymund in Poland, then occupied by the Russians who hanged his father, Julius, in 1914 as a traitor; his mother, Marianne, later became a nun. Like his father he joined the Polish militia, but in 1910 entered the Franciscans and was given the name Maximilian Kolbe. Ordained a Priest in 1918, he earned a doctorate in philosophy and one in theology. Skilled in printing and promoting pamphlets and periodicals, he spread the Faith and devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, combatting the evil forces of his time. Arrested and imprisoned for doing so, he was released; but after resuming his anti-Nazi publications and hiding 2,000 Jews at his monastery, his publishing house and monastery were shut down. In 1941 he was sent to Auschwitz and was martyred on August 14, 1941, at the age of 47. Here are his orations.


Collect – Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr


O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr

Saint Maximilian Kolbe with a burning love

for the Immaculate Virgin Mary

and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor,

graciously grant, through his intercession,

that, striving for your glory

by eagerly serving others, we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.


As a boy, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary who offered him two crowns with which he is often depicted: the white one symbolized purity, and the red one, martyrdom – and he promised to accept both. Providentially, he was cremated the day after his death: on Mary’s Assumption. His love of neighbor, which his Collect extols, led to his execution.


Depicted in Nazi prison garb with his prisoner #16670, he holds a Jewish prayer shawl with prisoner #5659: Francis Gajowniczek, a married man with young children, chosen to die with nine others as punishment and a deterrent after another prisoner escaped. When he begged for his life to care for his family, Father Maximilian
volunteered to take his place. After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, Maximilian Kolbe was the last of the group to remain alive, so he was given a lethal injection. Saint Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of political prisoners and all inmates, drug addicts, families, and the pro-life movement.


Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Maximilian Kolbe


We present our oblations to you, O Lord,

humbly praying that we may learn

from the example of Saint Maximilian

to offer our very lives to you.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Few are called to offer the ultimate sacrifice of their life for others, but all are called to imitate Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s example of doing all we can to spread the Faith, despite opposition. Even the man whose place he took, who attended his canonization in 1982 and who died in 1995 at age 94, promoted the Faith – after being criticized by fellow inmates for causing them to lose their beloved Priest.


Prayer after Communion – Saint Maximilian Kolbe


We pray, O Lord, that, renewed

by the Body and Blood of your Son,

we may be inflamed with the same

fire of charity that Saint Maximilian

received from this holy banquet.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Even in prison, despite danger and difficulty, with smuggled bread and wine, Saint Maximilian Kolbe
offered Mass for his fellow prisoners. How sad that so many have a cavalier attitude about fulfilling the weekly Mass obligation and excuse themselves for the lamest reasons. May this Saint help us take our Faith and the holy Mass obligation more seriously. Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS