Monday, February 9, 2015

To be continued....

This blog was first published a few years ago, when we did not have a website. Today, we believe that you will best be served via our new and improved site. Therefore, for the time being, we are halting this publication in order to focus on improved articles and content on our site. We'll see you there, where you can read, listen to, and see what we are doing in the world, find meditations, videos, resources, audio files, and so much more!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now, That's Humbling

Life passes in a flurry of activity.

I've learned to appreciate the liturgical year. It gives rhythm to life, focuses prayer when I might otherwise not know where to turn my mind, and allows me to "feel" with the Church.

The liturgy of the hours, for example, puts psalms of sorrow and whoa on my lips. I know that I am praying for the persecuted throughout the world, for those whose hearts are crying out, ". I might not have sentiments of sorrow, but with the psalms I can pray for those much closer to Christ in his moment of agony, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?"

This morning, the Church prayed, "O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting." I recalled the many, many souls who are dying of thirst while trying to quench it with toxins. I think of those who have already tasted the sweetness of Christ, and now long to be totally immersed in this goodness. My own soul longs for God. Thanks to the Church, I prayed for all of these this morning, and so much more.

The liturgy is a humbling thing because it makes you an instrument for the prayer of the Church and simultaneously draws you more intimately into the Church, that is, Christ.

That's nothing new. Being humbled I mean. Today, I also thought of my vocation. As a Father Kolbe Missionary of the Immaculata, totally consecrated to God, my vocation is to consistently turn to God to satiate my thirst. My vocation is to bring others to this same everlasting source of water. My vocation is to pray without ceasing so that I can be a presence of Christ and Mary for thirsting souls.

Now, that's humbling.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Not worthy? Think Again!

more pictures at
One week ago, more or less, we participated at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ advent retreat for women in the consecrated life. We gathered, prayed, reflected and learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe, discussed, ate a very simple meal (brown bag casual), and then completed the evening with adoration. It was nothing spectacular, and yet the very fact that it was just a part of who we are, made it marvelous.

Each congregation or community present lives out their vocation according to a unique charism. Some are teachers, social workers, nurses, and any combination of the three. There were those running colleges, hospitals, and homes for the elderly. There were those in formation, those professed 40 years, and everyone in between. Our backgrounds were incredibly diverse and our collective or personal spiritualities even more so. Just as to the married life, the Lord calls from every walk of life and every neighborhood. In return, he calls us to live and be his presence to people in every walk of life and neighborhood.

That’s it: the basic qualification to following Christ in the consecrated life – follow him everywhere. 

It is not a question of worth – he makes us worthy by grace.

The somewhat common “rationale” behind not entering the consecrated life (or priesthood) that amounts to “I’m not worthy,” may be a cop out. Since when are we worthy by our own design? Since when do we believe that the omnipotent God cannot transform our hearts? It is not a question of qualifications – he qualifies the called.  It is his grace, his very life in us, that makes us worthy - because he is worthy. Love is so much more than a mere matter of sentiment – love lies in the will. Looking around the room, aware of our weaknesses and strengths, our crosses and our victories, I was reminded to pray for vocations. I prayed that young men and women do not sell God short by assuming he would never call them. God is bigger than that. Much bigger. So big, in fact, that our surrendered littleness MAGNIFIES the Lord.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Advent of the Consecrated Life

It’s advent: the season of waiting. 
There may be no time in the liturgical season that more powerfully stirs my heart (and the hearts of many consecrated persons) to yearn for the Lord. We are thrust into the awareness that, yes, the Son of God became Man for our salvation, but we have not yet fully entered into the Kingdom. 

We are living in the permanent awareness that God is with us and coming for us. At times, we may be waiting in the dark, but we have the light of hope illuminating our vigil. There is nothing on this earth that can replace the joyful anticipation of the coming of the Christ. Besides, we do not wait alone. We wait together, with the Church, with our communities, and with the laity – who offer us a particular glimpse into the loving relationship of the Holy Trinity.

In this Advent of the consecrated life, healthy (though imperfect) families, are like the decorations and lights. They remind us that Christ so loved the world that he entered into a family, lived its dynamic, and then surrendered it all for the salvation of many. The family is the complement of the consecrated life, a visible, tangible sign of Christ among us. The family is a great gift of God that we are happy to surrender for the sake of waiting diligently for the coming of Christ.

It would be dishonest to imply that this patient waiting is never tiresome. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical on the Dignity and Vocation of Women, reminded us that  the surrender of the family is particularly courageous for some women. We can be tempted by the “grass is always greener” mentality, but we may also ache for the authentic goodness that is the family. In healthy relationships, the spouse alleviates some of the loneliness of this earthly pilgrimage, and the child fills the heart with a clear purpose. Both make room in the heart for a love that is indescribable. Who would not desire these things?

The consecrated replies: “Who would not desire God?” “Who would not be willing to offer them for the good of others?” “Who would not be willing to wait in the dark, lamps lit, for the coming of the Groom?” Yes, there is REAL JOY in the waiting. We are the virgins of the Gospel. Hearts afire with the love of God, bearing the light of Hope, as we wait joyfully – together – for the coming of our Love, our Groom, our Everything. 

Discerning your vocation? Contact us:
See our vocation and young adult webpage:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Remembering the Goodness of God

The Fr. Kolbe Missionary community in West Covina, California wishes you all a very blessed Thanksgiving:

I am thankful to God for being a missionary, and for living day after day this marvelous adventure of spreading God's Word among the indigenous persons of Baja California and the many others I meet and serve day to day. I am thankful to God for being a member of an Institute guided by the spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe; I know that it will never grow old because of its capacity to adapt to the needs of every age. This is not an easy thing, but the heroic charity of Saint Maximilian makes it possible.- Maria del Rosario

My calling to consecrate myself to God is a total Gift, a mystery of his love. I will never fully understand it here. I thank him for this Gift which forms and challenges me each day to be more and more like Him.Ann

Thanksgiving day finds me truly grateful for all the many blessings that fill my daily life, and for the people and situations that help me see these blessings, especially when they come in "disguise." The celebration of my 25th anniversary of consecrated life took me back in time. I revisited the amazing circumstances that providentially led me to say "Yes" to God's love and invitation to be His for life and eternity. Thank you to all whom I have prayed, walked, and worked with in any place I have been: you have made my heart and my horizons so much wider! – Ada

O Lord, my God, how great you are! You have called me from my nothingness into something so beautiful that by myself I would never have found. Thank you, Lord for giving me such a gift of love ------ to be yours forever! May I be always aware and open to follow your lead and may others be so blessed as to find You and your gift of vocation!! - Rumela

I give special thanks to God for his fidelity, manifest in the many good missionaries, married couples, priests, and religious I’ve come to know in my life. This eternal fidelity of God gives me great hope, and allows me to give a resounding “Yes” to the invitation to follow him forever in the consecrated life as a Father Kolbe Missionary! – Jillian

This Thanksgiving I feel overwhelmed with a sense of elated joy and satisfaction because of the abundant love of God I have received from .my sisters in community, and from our friends, benefactors, and collaborators. It is such a gift and privilege, as well as a life-giving challenge to live this missionary vocation. Thank you to all of you for your prayers, loving encouragement, and collaboration in our mission! Wishing you and your family a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving celebration!Julie

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Call

Many of us have heard that the word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means to call. I don’t know about you, but this idea of being “called” has often seemed strange to me. Is it just doing his will? Then, does taking out the trash become a vocation? Is it hearing and responding to a specific task? Then, isn’t every good work a vocation? Can I have two vocations then? Like being a mom and a nurse or a teacher and a priest?

The fact that there are “vocational schools” confuses the matter. I am easily confused.
I simply don’t get things unless I tear them down to their (sometimes stark) fundamental reality. 

What does it mean to be called?

To be called means to be destined. What God “says” comes to be. In the beginning, God created the world through the Word. I, therefore, find it beautiful that we are not “told” by God what to do (as so many of us wish we would be). If he told us, it would be “poof” you’re a spouse, “poof” you’re a missionary. In his great mercy and goodness, he does not force this upon us. Instead, he calls – which means that we must answer – or it remains only a voice expanding throughout the atmosphere.

Second thing, if he calls us, it means that he has created us to be sanctified (made whole and happy) in a particular way. The Lord does not do things arbitrarily. Outside of time and space his love moves the universe toward the good for all creation. Therefore, no matter how thoroughly astounded someone might be that he is calling them to the priesthood or consecrated life, it is for not only their good, but the good of the whole world. We must trust that God wills our good.

Finally, if his word is creative, and his will is all good, then he will give us the necessary grace to live and flourish wherever he calls us. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she was afraid. She did not understand the ins and outs of how it would happen and work out. She undoubtedly knew she was made worthy only by his grace. She trusted in the call of the Lord to transform and support, create and sanctify her entire person. Mary knew that a response was necessary. She also understood that this response was to grant the all-merciful God permission to fulfill his Word, his call in her.

“Let it be done unto me, according to your Word.”

At a certain point in your life, God will call.  You may be tempted by 10,000 “what-ifs” that flood your mind, a million butterflies in your stomach, and the thumping of your heart. However, rest assured that this call is an infinitely powerful call, capable of transforming you into that very person you long to be and to which you are beckoned. It is the sound of a sweet challenge, a promised victory, and a guide for how to spend the rest of your life becoming the person you were destined to be from the moment love created you.

Don’t run away. Don’t close your ears. Just listen. Respond, and let the Divine dialogue begin.

For more information about the Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata: We have a great page for youth and vocations.

For more information on vocations and taking the first step email us: 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

We Are Family.

On Sunday evening, history was made. If you had been a fly on the wall, it wouldn’t have seemed like much. But, in the hearts of those of us present, a song of hope and promise was sung. For the first time, Father Kolbe Missionary priests celebrated Mass in our chapel in West Covina, California. For the first time, Father Kolbe Missionary men and women and Father Kolbe Volunteers united in the heart of our home, the chapel. The family was together.

Four young priests, three newly ordained, celebrated Mass. Father Eduardo is from a large, Brazilian favela.  Father Alex is from a small town that cultivates sugar cane. Father Ryan is from Dana Point, California, a small suburb of Orange County. Father Maximiliano is from a small (larger than Fr. Alex’s), traditional town also in Brazil.

Not quite everyone....
(Left to Right: Fr. Maximiliano, Fr. Ryan,
Fr. Alex, and Fr. Eduardo)
Joining our prayers with theirs, on this historic evening, was the local Fr. Kolbe Missionary and Volunteer family. We are widows, separated, married couples, consecrated women, clerics, laity, and single. We work nights to support the family, are retired, live on two-incomes, give of our excess, and struggle to make ends meet. We have no children and ten children, old and young. We are immigrants from Colombia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Philippines, as well as fourth and fifth generation citizens. Still, there is no mistaking the family resemblance. 

There was a higher level of palpable joy (than usual!) on Sunday night as the children and the grandparents alike realized that our big family was all together. The challenge to never be afraid of God’s call, given by Father Ryan, piqued the interest of a 19-year-old. At the same time, a teenage boy felt free to talk about his many troubles to the young priest who witnessed first-hand the heavy-hand of violence. The young girls were excited to learn a Brazilian song, perhaps equally as thrilled to play a game of “futbol” with the missionary men and women.

As one Fr. Kolbe Volunteer stated, 
“We have nothing – and everything – in common. They have the same mission, the same dream, as I do. They love the same things I love. They love the Immaculata like I do, or the way that I want to!”
Another person noted, 
“Some of us don’t even speak the same language… but we understand each other. We understand, because we know what we want out of life and how to get it. We want heaven, to glorify God, and the Immaculata is our way.”

We are a family: The Father Kolbe Missionaries and Volunteers of the Immaculata.

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