Where’s Deanna This Week?
That’s where I was Tuesday evening when I boarded a tour bus, with other writers to go on a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Maximillion Kolbe in the care of Conventual Franciscans of Marytown, Illinois.
The Shrine includes a rosary garden, a chapel, gift shop, the friary, and a beautiful church. We visited all the facilities, attended Mass, and were served dinner. The Franciscans celebrate Mass twice daily, hear daily confession, and hold Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 24-7. There are always people present. When we arrived, there was already a line awaiting confession!
Saint Maximillion Kolbe of Poland is a 20th century saint canonized in 1982, by Pope John Paul II. He was arrested by Nazis in 1939, along with 50 other religious, after sheltering some 2,000 Jews in his friary. After his release, he was again arrested by the Gestapo in 1941, and sent to Auschwitz as a political prisoner who had a printing press and used it for resistance activities. When a prisoner escaped, the punishment from the kommandant was selecting ten men,randomly, to be placed naked in the starvation cell. Fr. Kolbe wasn’t selected, but he volunteered to take the place of a Polish Army Sgt., who had a wife and two children. He comforted the others and gave them comfort and sacraments. Still alive after two weeks, he was injected with a lethal poison. He died on August 14, 1941. The museum tells the story of his relics and his proven miracles as well as his life lived in service to God and others.
Arriving back to the hotel in time to get into bed before falling asleep, we were ready for the morning, which comes very early in this time zone. We started the morning with Mass at 7:30, and the day was filled working at our booth, sharing the books of the Guild, and attending classes.
So many books, so many writers, so many interesting and beautiful booths. So where’s Waldo-Deanna this week? I’m at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel in Chicago attending the Catholic Marketing Network tradeshow and Catholic
Writer's Guild Conference. It’s one of my favorite annual trips.