Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Greetings from Uganda!
On May 18, I left Virginia for Rome to attend the new John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family founded by some of the original members of the Pontifical Academy for Life which has been hijacked by new leaders who have abandoned the pro-life principles on which the original Academy was founded. The Austrian philosopher Dr. Josef Seifert, one of the founders of the new Academy, was one of the original lifetime founding members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, but this lifetime member was forced to leave the Academy for Life because of his refusal to compromise on pro-life issues! When he invited me to become a member of the new Academy, I welcomed the opportunity to help Catholic pro-life leaders from all over the world to understand that the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation is the only firm foundation for a culture of life - just as molecules-to-man evolution is the foundation of the anti-culture of death. To my surprise, I was given the opportunity to speak on this theme at the first general assembly of the new Academy, and I was delighted to see how many of the assembled pro-life leaders recognized the importance of this theme, in some cases for the first time.
From Rome I flew to Dubai, where I was able to meet with some members of St. Mary's Catholic Church, a parish with a million members drawn from the huge population of Catholic guest workers from India, the Philippines, Korea and other parts of the world. After a meeting with two of the priests who serve the Catholic community, one of them expressed his intention to speak with the pastor of St. Mary's, the largest parish in the world, about hosting a Kolbe talk or seminar in the near future. Please keep this intention in your prayers.
From Dubai I flew to Uganda where I met Dr. Thomas Seiler and our good friend Fr. Jonathan Opio, the head of Human Life Uganda, who had arranged for us to give a Kolbe seminar in Kampala to a large gathering of lay leaders from various parts of the country under the auspices of the Uganda Episcopal Conference. The Bishop in charge of lay formation for the Uganda Episcopal Conference attended much of the seminar and expressed his eagerness for us to give the same training to lay leaders in other parts of the country. From Kampala we traveled to a Catholic community called the Emmaus Community in a neighboring diocese where we were able to give a two-day Kolbe seminar to 100 seminarians from a number of dioceses. From there, we traveled to a parish in the Nebbi Diocese where we gave a seminar to the pastor, religious and lay leaders of the parish, after which the Bishop of the diocese asked us to give the same training to all of the priests, religious, and lay leaders of the four dioceses in the region as soon as possible. The Bishop recognized that the words of the prophet could be repeated in Uganda: "My people perish for want of knowledge." By teaching the true Catholic doctrine of creation as the foundation for a culture of life and by providing sound teaching on essential pro-life and family issues, this good bishop believes that the vast majority of the faithful will embrace this truth and will be able to hold fast to the teaching of the Church.
We are now back in Kampala where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are converging on the Ugandan Martyrs Shrine for the Feast of the Ugandan Martyrs on Sunday, June 3. We have had several opportunities to interact with various groups of pilgrims, some of whom have walked from points as distant as Mombasa, Kenya, hundreds of miles away. Please continue to pray that the Church in Uganda will fully embrace the true Catholic doctrine of creation as the only firm foundation of a culture of life and that the young Catholics of this beautiful country will become some of the Apostles of the Latter Days, who will help to carry out the greatest evangelization the world has ever seen during the era of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima.
I will return to the United States on June 5 for our annual leadership retreat at Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri. On Sunday, June 17, I will give a Kolbe talk at the Institute of Christ the King's St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, Missouri. If you have friends or family in the area who might be interested in attending, please let them know about it. If there is any friend of the Kolbe Center who would be willing to give me hospitality in St. Louis on the night of June 16, please me know. The presentation will be given after the 10 a.m. High Mass on Sunday morning.
Please keep the Kolbe Center in your prayers.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata,