Each year on the 17th of February our Congregation recalls its founding in Paris with its celebration of "Founders' Day" in the various local communities throughout the world.
This year the Polish Province commemorated the occasion with a scholarly symposium at our seminary in Cracow, organized in conjunction with the John Paul II Pontifical University. The following day our Seminarian Łukasz Pecyna CR received the ministry of acolyte at the hands of Father General Bernard Hylla. In Chicago, the entire student body of DePaul College Prep - Fr. Gordon Campus participated in a day of study on our Founder Bogdan Janski, our Community charism of hope and the message of the Year of Mercy. As part of the day a great number of students participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Bermuda, new Bishop Wiesław Śpiewak CR joined Fr. Julio Blazejewski CR and several friends of the Community for a simple celebration. And in our mission in Tanzania, Fr. Daniel Hinc joined Fr. Andrzej Duda and our novices for a celebration of the day at the Novitiate.
For this year's Founders' Day Father General shared some words with his confreres:
A Message from Father General on the Foundation Day of the Congregation of the Resurrection of the Lord
Each year we direct our grateful memory to the Lord God for his incredible initiative in bringing to life on February 17, 1836, a new religious community. Remembering the life and work of Bogdan Jański, Peter Semenenko and Jerome Kajsiewicz, we see how they were fascinated by the person of Jesus, allowed themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit and sought to touch the Father’s love. Yet God is not satisfied with the fact that we accept his gratuitous love. God does not limit himself to loving us, but wants to attract us to himself, to transform us in a way so profound and radical that we might be able to say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). Looking at the life of the Founders, we see a beautiful story of a friendship with the Lord which filled their entire life, enabling them to be interiorly reborn, manifesting hope and allowing God to work in them and through them.
On another anniversary of our founding we realize also that we are the ones continuing their work; that as Resurrectionists – a small community proclaiming the Good News in twelve languages on six continents – we are part of the great wealth of the Church, in its diversity of charisms and variety of vocations and ministries. This day is, therefore, a time for reflection and for asking questions: Are we – like our Founders – open to the action of the Holy Spirit? Are we unafraid to dirty our hands with everyday life, with people’s problems, bravely going out to the geographical and existential peripheries? Do we nurture in our heart amazement at the encounter with the Christ who calls us? Do we, as they, have in our heart a healthy restlessness because of the Lord as well as a living desire to bring Him to others? (cf. homily of Pope Francis, Feb. 2, 1916) These are questions that remind us that, as consecrated persons, we are called that God might live in us and guide us to love with Him, in Him, and just as He loves.
This thanksgiving for our vocation to the life of the Congregation will extend for the entire year of 2016, since it is the time for chapters in all three Provinces. Every chapter is primarily a salvific event, an ecclesial and in a sense a family event; it is a “paschal celebration” which brings to the Community’s life a reality containing the cross and hope, death and resurrection. Celebrated in an atmosphere of prayer and fraternal love, it awakens a feeling of freshness, gives a substantial portion of “paschal optimism” and becomes an impetus for revival both at the individual and at the community level. It is therefore a special moment of “ongoing” renewal of the life of this religious community whose primary means are: continuous conversion (personal and communal); revival of spiritual life (personal and communal); courageous commitment to service of one’s neighbor; improvement of fraternal relationships in community; increasing dynamism of apostolic activity; care for the quality of formation; and a bond with the universal Church. I desire for the Resurrectionists of the Ontario-Kentucky, USA and Polish Provinces a penetrating vision of faith that perceives the light radiating from the Risen Christ, as well as – in spite of very real difficulties and problems – a trusting look into the future: because we are, after all, messengers of the greatest hope, which is the Risen Lord.
May Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Our Lady of Mentorella, Mother of Graces, preserve in all of us a joyful gratitude for our vocation, and may he increase our desire for intimacy with Him and for generous service to our brothers, so that we may be able to meet the Father of mercy.
In Christo Redivivo
Bernard Hylla CR
Posted on Feb 2016,