Introduction to the New Guardian

Welcome from the Guardian of Marytown!

Dear friends and pilgrims –

Peace and all good!

Welcome to Marytown’s website. Whether you are a first-time “cyber-visitor” or frequent “digital pilgrim,” I hope our site encourages you to visit us in person. Consider a private retreat, pilgrimage, attend a Mass or maybe just come for a moment with Our Lord in the Chapel. Our Chapel is open to the public for prayer and Adoration, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round.

Marytown has so much to offer to help you in your spiritual journey. Our retreat center and Chapel are ideal places to remove yourself from the stresses, noise and busyness of everyday life and become spiritually renewed. As St. Pope John Paul II said “how many people have gone to a shrine and returned transformed!” I hope you will accept my personal invitation to become renewed and transformed in the sacred space of Marytown. As Guardian of Marytown and Our Lady of Fatima Friary, I endeavor to keep the welcoming presence of the Living God accessible to all who come to visit.

I also encourage visitors to our website to consider whether or not Franciscan life is for you? We have numerous opportunities for learning more about the Conventual Franciscans from volunteering here at the National Shrine to considering a vocation. Whether you can spare just a few hours or more each month or if you feel an even greater calling, the friars would be grateful for your consideration. See me about volunteer opportunities and Fr. Hans is available to discuss vocations.

Unique among Franciscan friaries in the United States, Marytown is the National Center of the Militia of the Immaculata (MI), a global evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe and canonically established as an international public association of the faithful by the Holy See. Marytown is the spiritual home for nearly 80,000 MI members throughout the United States and Canada.

The MI movement encourages the faithful to live out their consecration through a daily renewal of devotion to Our Lady and prayer as a means to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. To learn more about the MI, visit one of our monthly MI meetings, Young Adult gatherings, or contact us for more information.

Please visit our site often to learn of special events, days of recollection and retreats. I also invite you to sign up for email updates from the friars.
I hope you’ll visit soon. In the meantime, we’ll keep the lights on for you!

Yours in Christ and His Blessed Mother,

Brother Augustine Kelly, OFM Conv
Guardian of Marytown – the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe

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