Updated: Aug 4
Each year, as required by Canon Law and the Constitutions of our community, the priests and brothers of the Canons Regular observe an annual retreat, a time to focus on the most important thing: “The first and foremost duty of all religious is the contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer. (Canon 663)”.
This year, in thanksgiving for 25 years as a religious community, vowed members will travel to Kraków to visit the tomb of St. John Cantius and to the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa. We will render thanks to Almighty God, and seek His blessing and protection on our community as well as the intercession and patronage of the Virgin Mary and our heavenly patron, St. John Cantius.
From the very beginning, Canons Regular have visited the tomb of their patron saint in Kraków to thank him for his unfailing protection and graces that have helped sustain the community. We pray that this brief time away from our parishes, relieved of obligations and studies, will provide a time of prayer and reflection; strengthening the bonds of community, focusing on the Canon’s charism of ‘Restoration of the Sacred’ and setting a course for the future.
Our pilgrimage will be for nine days: from Monday, July 31st to August 8th. We are grateful to a generous benefactor that has allowed us to make the travel arrangements and to the Archbishop of Chicago for his blessing in making this historic pilgrimage.
We ask all our parishioners, lay associates and friends to make this pilgrimage with us spiritually by keeping us close in prayer. Specifically we ask that you join us in praying a novena to St. John Cantius—from Monday, July 31 to Tuesday, August 8. The novena can be found on our website.
During the time that the priests and brothers are away from our parishes in Chicago, Volo, and Springfield, members of the Order of Prémontré or the Norbertines from St. Michael’s Abbey in California will tend to the weekday and Sunday Masses, as well as other sacramental needs at our parishes. The Norbertines are similar to us in that they also are Canons Regular, living in community according to the rule of St. Augustine. We are most grateful to them and their Abbot Eugene Hayes for the assistance.
We look forward to sharing moments and photos from this historic pilgrimage and we are grateful for your prayers for us as we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary this coming August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Members of the Canons Regular arrived safely in Warsaw on the first day of the pilgrimage.
Here they are preparing for their Mass in the sacristy of Saint Anne Church.
The Canons Regular celebrated Masses at the tomb of St. John Cantius at St. Anne's Church in Krakow. The vestment used for Mass was also used by Pope St. John Paul II on his visit to the tomb of St. John Cantius. A relic from the forearm of St. John Cantius was available for veneration.
On Thursday, the Canons Regular visited the parish church and the home of St. John Cantius in the town of Kęty. Fr. John of Kęty also served in this parish as a priest for nine years. The parish and the town of Kęty are preparing for the 550th anniversary of the death of St. John Cantius in 1473.
The parish priests welcomed the Canons Regular to celebrate Mass and had a special dinner where the pastor of the parish, Father Zbigniew Jurasz, received a special medallion of the Canon's Regular which he will place on the restored altar near the painting of St. John Cantius.
On Friday, the priests and brothers had ample time in the church of St. Anne Krakow for prayer, as the priests had private Masses at the tomb of St John Cantius, remembering our community and our parish back home at the altar.
The day also included a visit to the shrine of the Divine Mercy and the relics of Saint Faustina. There was also an opportunity to visit the shrine of Pope St. John Paul II, and see the relic of his white cassock reflecting the attempt made on his life.
This time away from the parishes also is an opportunity to enjoy a renewed sense of community for the brothers. Please keep them in your prayers.