Enter to WIN a FREE autographed copy of “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael”

 

This week I will be giving away (another) autographed copy of the book that inspired and serves as a basis of our comic book project, “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael.”

The rules are fairly simple. All you need to do is follow the instructions below to gain additional entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest starts TODAY and ends on FRIDAY.

At the end of the contest, there will be one winner randomly selected. This winner will receive a personalized copy of “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael” with a message from me!

*Note, this is a copy of the non-fiction book that is the same title as the upcoming comic book.

Check out the amazing reviews on Amazon to see what others thought about the book.

There you have it!

And please SHARE this with your friends! ​

Three Reasons Why John Paul II is Called “the Great”

Immediately after St. John Paul II’s death, priests, bishops and even the next pope, started to give the deceased pontiff the title of “John Paul the Great.” While there are no particular criteria written down as to why a saint is labeled “the Great,” there are three virtues he possessed which gave him an extraordinary ability to imitate the example and teaching of Jesus Christ.

At first glance, however, these three virtues do not have any resemblance to “greatness” as the world would see it.

Photo Shoot

Following the suggestions of Michael Hyatt, I asked my good friends Jessie and Adam at BTC Photography to update my “headshot.” While using this photo on my website and social media, I will also use this photo on the back cover of my book on John Paul II.

They did a great job and helped achieve my goal. We chose the exterior of Saint Peter’s church in Stevens Point for the setting, which was fitting since John Paul II visited Saint Peter’s while touring Central Wisconsin.

Check out their portfolio! They are great photographers!

 

John Paul II Was A Saint Before He Was Pope

Finishing our series investigating the visit of future Pope John Paul II to a rural Polish community in Central Wisconsin in 1976, we conclude with a reflection on the impact of Cardinal Wojtyla’s visit.

The first time the people of Central Wisconsin were elated to have met Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was in 1978. Upon his election to the Chair of Peter, the bells were literally ringing across Central Wisconsin. Not only in the city of Stevens Point, but even as far as Independence at the church of Saints Peter and Paul the church bells rung loudly for at least a half hour. It was a proud day to be Polish, and there was celebration throughout the countryside.

Simple Polish farmers in rural Wisconsin had a friend; he also happened to be the Pope.

Simplicity. Humility. Holiness.

One Body In Christ: Karol Wojtyla Celebrates Mass Before Departing

Continuing our series investigating the visit of future Pope John Paul II to a rural Polish community in Central Wisconsin in 1976, we pick-up the thread from our previous post and follow the Polish Cardinal as he celebrates Mass at a local high school as well as at St. Joseph’s Convent.

The Mass, originally scheduled to be celebrated on the grounds of the University, proved to be a highlight for many of the area Catholics. This was a rare chance to participate in a Mass with a “Prince of the Church” and so it brought together not only Catholics of Polish descent, but also any Catholics in the area who were free to attend. As a result, the high school gym was packed with seating both on the floor as well as in the bleachers. Undoubtedly this was the first Mass ever to be celebrated in the public school gym and assuredly was the last.After completing his academic lecture and speaking with the many attendees at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Cardinal Wojtyla was driven to the local public high school (Stevens Point Area Senior High) to celebrate a Mass at the end of a non-stop day of activity.

Catholic Learning in Poland: A Lecture by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla

Continuing our series investigating the visit of future Pope John Paul II to a rural Polish community in Central Wisconsin in 1976, we pick-up the thread from our previous post and follow the Polish Cardinal as he gives a lecture at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

After touring the beautiful countryside of Central Wisconsin and visiting with simple farmers, Karol Wojtyla was driven to the University Center for a banquet hosted by the Annual Lectures on Poland. It was there that he fulfilled the primary purpose of his visit and gave a lecture entitled “Catholic Learning in Poland.”

Collegium Novum in Kraków Source: Andrzej Barabasz

Collegium Novum in Kraków
Source: Andrzej Barabasz

Originally the lecture was to be called “The Situation of the Catholic Church in Poland,” and no doubt was meant to highlight the many struggles of the Catholic Church in the communist country. However, Cardinal Wojtyla did not want to put undue attention to the situation of the Church, but he did integrate some of the problems within his talk.An Academic Lecture

His lecture was composed of four parts: Introduction, A Historical Overview of Institutions and Structures, Some Fields of Catholic Learning in Poland, and Concluding Characteristics. The essence of his talk was a summary of Catholic education throughout the centuries, highlighting the many institutions that have been founded over the years.

Close To The Heart of Karol Wojtyla: The Felician Sisters

Continuing our series investigating the visit of future Pope John Paul II to a rural Polish community in Central Wisconsin in 1976, we pick-up the thread from our previous post and follow the Polish Cardinal as he visits the first foundation of Felician Sisters in North America.

Besides having a desire to breath the fresh air of rural Wisconsin, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla also came to Portage County to visit a beloved religious order: Zgromadzenie Sióstr św. Feliksa z Kantalicjo (Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, most commonly known as the “Felician Sisters”).

St. Felix of Cantalice


St. Felix of Cantalice

The Felician Sisters were founded by Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska in 1855 in Warsaw, Poland and soon after in 1869 were called to move their motherhouse to Krakow. Blessed Mary Angela had a special devotion to St. Felix of Cantalice, a Capuchin Franciscan who had a particular love and attention to children. St. Felix was a personal friend of St. Philip Neri and led an active-contemplative life teaching children in Rome. Thus, she named her congregation of sisters after St. Felix and began to devote her entire life not only to the forgotten children of Poland, but also the less fortunate and homeless of the city.

Quickly after the founding of the Felician Sisters, they were asked to minister to the needs of rural children throughout Poland. They did this very successfully and were well known for their good work. As a result, it was no surprise when the pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Polonia, Father Joseph Dabrowski, sent a letter to Krakow to invite the Sisters of St. Felix to come and send a few of their sisters from Poland to Central Wisconsin. The sisters accepted the challenge and in 1874 five of them made the arduous journey and became the first Polish religious sisters in the United States. As they left Krakow they were blessed by Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, who heartily approved the new mission.

The Sisters quickly got to work and started a Polish school that would attract families from all over Wisconsin and built an orphanage that served homeless children in the region. Thus, the Sisters in Polonia had a direct connection to Krakow and to Blessed Mary Angela.

Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska

Special Connection

Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, as Archbishop of Krakow, knew the Felician Sisters very well and would often visit with them in his home diocese. Not only that, but while in Rome he would ask the Felicians there to drive him to his various appointments whenever he was called to the city.

All of this would lead him to beatify Mary Angela Truszkowska in 1993 after he became Pope John Paul II.

As a result, coming to Central Wisconsin to visit with the first foundation of Felician Sisters in North America was something personal and further confirmed his appreciation of the Felician order. Not only that, but his own affection and love for children remained dear to his heart and the Felician Sisters gave a tangible expression of that in their apostolate.

After visiting with the Felician Sisters, Cardinal Wojtyla prepared himself to give a lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. More on this tomorrow.



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Sources: – Native Realm: The Polish-American Community of Portage County by Michael J. Goc
History of Felician Sisters in North America
Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska