Tag Archives: Catholic laity

Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

Blessed Edmund BojanowskiBlessed Edmund Bojanowski (1814-1871) is a rather unique person of faith: he died before entered seminary education complete and he founded 4 congregations of women religious. Blessed Edmund is a stellar example of being a holy layman building up the Kingdom of God, the Mystical Body of Christ.

Edmund Bojanowski was from a wealthy Polish family; he studied literature at a time when literature and music were well regarded at universities in Breslau (modern Wroclaw, Poland) and Berlin, Germany. His intellect work included translating works from Serbia to Polish, wrote his own poetry, and a history of Serbia.

Bojanowski was known for his love of God and Our Lady above all else. In many ways he is a great model of what Pope Francis teaches about being protagonists in the work of mercy. While another blessed of the Church has the title of “Man of the Beatitudes”, a case can be made for Blessed Edmund having the same.

His Christian formation, in part, was as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Poland. Another aspect of his formation is devotion to Lectio Divina (meditated daily on Sacred Scripture), went to Confession weekly, and made his annual retreats making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. As a consequence of meeting Jesus Christ, Edmund dedicated his whole life to the service of abandoned children, the sick, the poor, and those in greatest need.He dedicated his life to the service of abandoned children, the sick, and poor, teaching and spending his fortune in the service of the needy.

He founded reading rooms and libraries to provide books and education to the poor, and started the first day-care centers in the country. He funded assistance for the sick, supported orphanages, and worked in both himself.

Founded the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Sisters Handmaids of the Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, and the Sisters Handmaids of the Mother of God, Virgin Immaculate Conception; together their 3,300 sisters continue the work around the world. Two years before his death Edmund entered he entered the seminary in Gniezno, but did not survive long enough to graduate or be ordained.

The last will of Edmund Bojanowski to his Sisters was the recommendation of the blessing of simplicity and communal love. John Paul II declared him Blessed in Warsaw on June 13, 1999. At this time the Pope said he

is remembered as a good man with a big heart, who for love of God and neighbor was able to bring different sectors together, effectively rallying them around a common good. In his many-faceted activity, he anticipated much of what the Second Vatican Council said about the apostolate of the laity. His was an exceptional example of generous and industrious work for man, the homeland and the church.

The lay person’s true calling

“The Christian should be a credible witness… He should work to make the culture one in which he can comfortably live and express his faith. And the person best placed to do this is not the cleric or the religious but the layperson.”

Francis Cardinal Arinze
The Layperson’s Distinctive Role

Order from Ignatius Press

Adé Béthune: 7th anniversary


Adé Béthune.jpg

Today is the 7th
anniversary of death of Adé Béthune, a renowned artist and liturgical scholar
of Newport, Rhode Island. Much of her influence was known through the Saint Leo League –an organization to assist the laity and the clergy to live the sacred Liturgy more fully. Out of the Saint Leo League came the publication, Sacred Signs, which published a quarterly review of articles on the liturgical arts (iconography, book reviews, articles, parish helps, museum notes; Sacred Signs is timely now as it was when still in print. She had a passion for liturgical art and sacred
music, especially Gregorian Chant.

Adé was an Oblate of Saint Benedict of the
Abbey of Saint Gregory the Great – Portsmouth, where she is buried in the abbey
cemetery. When I was at the abbey recently I made a special point in visiting her grave to offer a prayer for her.

The collection of her artist work and intellectual work is held at The College of Saint Catherine (St. Paul, MN).

You can read the Catholic Worker obit for Adé and the Time Magazine piece on Adé’s work in 1962.

May she rest in
peace.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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