The following are dispatches from Fr. Leszek Czelusniak, MIC.
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Challenges for the Extraordinary Jubilee of the Year of Mercy:
Organizing three workshops sessions for the confessors. The main themes of the meetings, facilitated by experts in each field, will include matters of morality, Canon law, psychology, and spirituality.
Providing spiritual direction for persons with disabilities and the handicapped, as well as offering them accommodations to facilitate for them getting spiritual assistance at our Centre of Cana and praying at Kibeho.
We trust that these two works of mercy will bring good fruit in the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
‘Woe to me, if I do not preach the Gospel.’ Saint Paul, 1 Cor 9:16
2014 marks the 10th year anniversary of the Marian Fathers presence in Kibeho. And for this reason, we want to take this opportunity to thank God and the people for this common mission.
Over the past 10 years, through the blessing of Merciful Jesus, we have been able to build the Cana Formation Center, which has been home to thousands of pilgrims and visitors from the whole world. This past year, we have hosted many priests, the first Conference of Bishops and hundreds of pilgrims from the United States.
We have also built a beautiful bakery through the generosity of Seven Loaves Project in Green Bay, WI, which was supported by The Green Bay Packers. Today, we can’t imagine our lives without this project. Each day we are making thousands of rolls and different breads. We are now able to feed the students of Blessed Stanislaus School, the pilgrim visitors and many local people.
With great help from the kids from the United States, through All Day FORE Africa, we have completed the primary school for 700 students. In this past year, a much-needed Medical Center was built by the funds raised by ADFA and it now serves 20-25 patients per day. This past summer we had a wonderful group of 40 ADFA Missionaries visit us to establish the Prayer Partner Program with our students. It was a time of great love and joy! The projects continue as we are now building a teachers dormitory and kitchen. Because of this, the children of Kibeho have new hope.
All of these projects are a blessing from God and made possible through your generosity. And we are so grateful for each gift. And so this Thanksgiving, we thank God for you and your families. May this blessing continue to be upon you. With Our Lady of Kibeho, we continue our evangelization and we keep you in our prayers.
On behalf of our community of Marian Fathers in Kibeho, with our 2 newly ordained priests, we wish a very blessed Thanksgiving to all your families.
Fr. Leszek MIC
The Marian Fathers are celebrating 30 years in Rwanda and the 10th anniversary of CANA – Marian Formation Center in Kibeho.
On November 13, 2004, the Marian Fathers installed the monumental statue of The Divine Mercy on the “Hill of God” in Kibeho, which is just 2 km from the site where the Mother of the Word appeared to the school girls. This statue is the cornerstone of CANA. We celebrated our first Mass on the Feast of Christ the King, November 21, 2004, and the Bishop of the diocese of Gikongoro blessed CANA on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2004.
We thank God for all His blessings, including our outstanding benefactors and partners. He has also blessed us with vocations. We have four native Rwandan Marian priests, and 9 seminarians and 8 men who are discerning a vocation to religious life and the priesthood in our community.
As we celebrate these anniversaries, we think about our plans for the future. In the next ten years, we plan to build an evangelization center. Following the model Marian International Evangelization in Nazareth, we will build a theater and facilities for pilgrims and create multi-media programs, which help us live more deeply the Gospel and learn more about Marian apparitions around the world.
Let me share with you a prayer that I prepared for the missionaries on the 20th anniversary of our work in Rwanda:
Lord God, the Marian missionary community in Rwanda gives You thanks for the gift of sending us to the African continent.
On our coming to the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of the Word in Kibeho, we want to perform the act of entrusting ourselves and to express our deep gratitude: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; The Mighty One has done great things for me (Luke 1:46-49)
In a special way we thank You for protection and a sign of Divine Providence during the difficult time of the fratricidal wars, for the Light of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling of our missionary service, and for strength in our daily toils. We thank You for the work of our confreres who began this service for the Congregation in Africa, and for the first native vocations.
Lord God, through the intercession of the Mother of the Word, we who continue their work now, ask You for the graces that we need. Shower us with new and holy vocations and grant that the charism of our Congregation, marked by the special love for Mary Immaculate, takes roots on the African continent.
Merciful Lord, standing with the Sorrowful Lady at the foot of the Cross, we ask You to forgive our shortcomings in loving our neighbor, our lack of trust in difficult times, and our little faith.
God the Father, having our eyes on the Handmaid of the Lord in imitation of our Founder, Fr. Stanislaus, and our Renovator, Fr. George, we entrust to You our entire future. We entrust each one of us into undivided possession of the Mother of the Word. May the One Who gave the Savior to the world make us a continuous gift to the Church in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations. Amen.
Kibeho, Rwanda, December 8, 2004-2014
Fr. Leszek Czelusniak, MIC
On Oct. 16, 2012 in our Cana Center in Nyarushishi-Kibeho in Rwanda, we installed a relic of Blessed John Paul II. It is a first-class relic — a drop of his blood. The relic is a blessing for our center and for the pilgrims who visit here.
The relic was solemnly installed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Butare, His Excellency Philippe Rukamba. The installation was done in the presence of priests who were ordained by Blessed John Paul II during the Holy Father’s visit in Rwanda in 1990.