Dear MI Member,
Maria! Greetings to you as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception during this MI Jubilee Year.
In my letter to you last March, I pledged that the National Center would keep our begging to a minimum. We do not intend to saturate you with “junk mail.” Instead—just twice a year—it is better and more appropriately spiritual to beg than to harass.
Additionally, I would like to use these letters to bring you up to date on all the activities of the National Center and MI groups around the country. It has been almost a year since the MI had to leave Marytown. In March I said that I thought, by this move, “Our Lady wants us to soar with wings outspread.” Indeed, that has proven true. She has transformed trials and difficulties into graces and blessings!
We have in fact been mightily blessed: MI-USA is on the verge of acquiring a new, permanent and most extraordinary home! The targeted date is January 8, St. Maximilian’s birthday, an exquisitely suitable date. The Bishop of Peoria has given his blessing to an MI National Center in his diocese. The prayers of so many MI members have been beautifully answered!
It comes complete with meeting rooms, offices, a library, sixteen bedrooms for MI retreatants, and a lovely chapel situated at the heart of the building.
The new center will cost $15,000 per year over a period of 15 years, far less than the market value of the property. Basic overhead—utilities, maintenance and the like—will be about $40,000 per year.
As we celebrate the MI Centennial, this time of rebirth for MI-USA and now of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we look forward with great anticipation to continued renewal in a true national center!
Much has been accomplished throughout this MI Centennial. Help from generous contributors and dedicated volunteers has been crucial. We found temporary office space at Santa Maria del Popolo Parish and MI volunteers made it attractive and efficient. A grant from Our Sunday Visitor Institute, secured by an MI volunteer, helped us to have Centennial celebrations around the country, and the MI pilgrimage to Italy for the international observances.
We launched the monthly e-newsletter, The Mission of the Immaculata, so communication with MI members has been vastly upgraded. Our redesigned website is the result of the collaboration of the MI office staff and members. I think it is a beautiful, informative tool. The donation of a pick-up truck enables us to get around to all the necessary locations for various operations—from the post office to the bank to MI events and a myriad of other things in between.
The National Council continues to work on restoring the MI Youth and Young Adult programs which, of course, will require both funding and volunteer assistance.
I am very pleased to announce that Fr. Thomas Czeck, OFM Conv., has graciously consented to be appointed as National Spiritual Assistant to MI-USA.
The ranks of MI-USA have grown impressively. We have just shy of 30,000 active members now—lay people, priests, deacons, consecrated persons and even bishops!
A most amazing thing happened over the weekend of October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary: Almost 700 people enrolled in the MI in a period of just 48 hours! Many of the new members also chose to enroll in the Knights at the Foot of the Cross, the MI’s apostolate of redemptive suffering.
MI “Villages” continue to grow. These prayer and apostolic groups are all across the country now. You can find them listed on the official MI website, MissionImmaculata.com, under the tab “MI Locations in the U.S.” If there isn’t one near you—start one!
The Movement was even blessed to be featured on two episodes of The Church Universal on EWTN, which was broadcast around the globe and streamed online through EWTN’s popular website. Many new MI members were introduced to the Movement as a result!
As you might guess, supporting all of these apostolic and spiritual initiatives cost money, hard as we try to be stingy. There are critical needs in the year to come, especially as we settle into the new center:
Won’t you please consider making the most generous, sacrificial gift to the MI National Center that you possibly can? Would you consider making a monthly pledge, as I have, to foster the Immaculata’s work through the MI?
In this 100th anniversary year of Fatima and of the founding of the MI movement, won’t you please help us to work for the fulfillment of Blessed Mother’s fervent plea for the consecration of every person to her Immaculate Heart?
We, the National Council and administrative team, thank you for your past generosity and beg you to continue to support the work initiated a century ago by our heavenly patron, St. Maximilian Kolbe—the prophet of the Civilization of Love.
Arise, let us be on our way!
John W. Galten
MI National President
P.S. As we prepare for the new MI National Center, we are seeking 12 “MI Apostles” to commit to $100 per month to cover the purchase payments. I realize that such a sizable donation is truly heroic—but it will greatly ease the financial burden of this necessary step in the life of MI-USA. Will you prayerfully consider making such a commitment in this critical time and be Our Lady’s instrument to achieve the greatest glory of God?