Director’s visit in Canada
From the 20th of November to the 30th of November 2019, the Father Director of M.I. visited the Knights of the Immaculate in several Canadian cities: Toronto, Winnipeg, Welwyn, Dryden, Nanaimo and Vancouver. The purpose of the visit was not only to encourage the Knights to be more zealous, to remind them of the ideal of the M.I. and to indicate the means for its implementation, but also to welcome new Knights. Here is a general list of the new 110 Knights in Canada:
- 59 Polish Knights in Toronto (for the English-speaking Knights the adoption took place on the 6th of December),
- 13 Polish Knights and 24 English-speaking Knights in Vancouver,
- 14 Knights in Nanaimo.
During his visit, Fr Karl Stehlin delivered several conferences on the spirituality of St. Maximilian and the ideal of the M.I. In many places, meetings with the local Polish community took place and Fr. Stehlin gave lectures in Polish and the reception of the new Knights took place in Polish.
In the chapel of Christ the King in Langley/Vancouver, Father Charles gave 6 conferences in 3 days. More than 100 people attended the conferences. At the end of the retreat, 13 Polish Knights and 24 English-speaking Knights attended the Knights' retreat, including Prior. This number can be said to be a "good result" because there are not many faithful in the chapel.
During all the conferences, M.I. publications were available in Polish and English. There were many people willing to buy them.
In Toronto's SSPX church of the Transfiguration, a three-day retreat took place under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Karl Stehlin. The main topic was: "Mary our Last Hope". The retreat gathered about 150 Polish speaking people and an extra 50 English speakers, not counting those present at Sunday's High Mass. The number of those present over the course of the three-day retreat varied daily as not everybody could stay for the full three days due to work or transportation issues. At the end, following a Sunday Mass celebrated with a Polish language sermon and Polish language hymns, about 60 people joined the Militia Immaculatae of which the majority were not from the Toronto parish.
The retreat covered the major subjects: “Mary's role in our spiritual life”, “We can only love God and our neighbours with Mary at our side", “Mary - the Last Salvation for the Church, our Families, our Nations and our World”. Three conferences were conducted in Polish, while the fourth conference in the English language featured as the homilies for the Saturday and Sunday High Masses.
Father Stehlin, with his beautiful “Marian language” full of zeal, power and joy, showed us WHO really Mary is for us in this world of virtual and Masonic reality, so easily pulling us away from eternal life. We are so used to thinking of ourselves highly, so ego-centric, so full of ourselves - that we almost fear nobody. We are bombarded with unrealistic visions of the world and us without pain, sacrifice and prayer; a world without hell and the devil. Satisfying the requirement to "love of our neighbour" by only sharing food during Christmas food-drives or by collecting money for shelters or clothes for the needy, we completely forget what we are really here for. God will be judging us as to how we loved our neighbour, did we want what is the best for them: their life in heaven? Sharing money or clothes or food is noble but we have to have a higher price in mind each one’s life everlasting. In Fatima, Mary gave us many suggestions as to how to do our job on earth in the best way possible if we really want to "love our neighbour". The Message from Fatima calls us to pray the Rosary every day. The three parts of the Rosary are connecting the lives of Mary and Jesus with our lives in the best possible way. They show us that, while on Earth we must expect constant challenges, pains, sacrifices; but that our will will never be satisfied. Our goal is to be worthy of Heaven and in this we must follow Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Mary knows, and she showed it in Fatima, how difficult our life as Catholics will be. We no longer have here on Earth anything strong enough to count on or rely on as all authorities are gone or almost gone. Mary knew that, and St. Maximilian foresaw that, and that is why we have the Militia Immaculate to gather all those who want to fight under Mary's banner, who want to help save the souls of our neighbours: whatever they be politicians, priests, family members, our enemies, or our loved ones. Mary as the "Woman clothed in Sun" is our General. With short prayers (ejaculations like: "O Mary conceived without the sin ....") we can offer each and every person to Mary, so that she can bring this person back to God. God, through Mary, needs our cooperation in saving souls. This is our main purpose in life and what better way to do it then through the Militia. It does not require a lot of time and effort, it is not even obligatory under the pain of sin - it is through our own free will. But remember that once you start working with Mary, she will change not only the people around you, but also your family and most of all you, your faith, and your life.
"The concrete words will certainly be erased by time, but I trust that the enlarged ranks of the Knights of Mary, supported by her graces, will imprint in our hearts a lasting mark of her apostolate. The determination with which Father Stehlin passed on to us the seriousness of Mary's mission in these final times will be the guiding force of the apostles who have just been called upon and who are already active in various corners of the world.
The participants of the conference felt the grandeur and dignity of the Immaculate Conception, and because we Poles felt especially called by the Mother of God who has been anxious about the fate of her children for a long time, we could not help but respond to her call.
May this knightly apostle spirit, which Fr. Stehlin instilled in us and with the help of the Immaculate Conception win and not weaken in us in our everyday lives.” - said one of the retreat participants at Langley.
Sermon in the Church of the Transfiguration
Knight with Fr. Stehlin in Toronto
Fr. Stehlin with Polish-speaking Knights in Langley