Throughout the fall semester of 2019, Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy have visited campus to offer a series of conferences at once theologically and historically rich and eminently practical. In these conferences, Fr. Gaitley has developed further the themes he took up in the retreat he offered for the college at the beginning of the fall semester.
The conferences have emphasized the importance of personal prayer, including a daily examination of conscience, and a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. Fr. Gaitley has also offered insights about the history of the Church in the modern world and about what it means to take up the new evangelization initiated by the college’s co-patron, Pope Saint John Paul II.
The conferences have proved to be a very spiritually enriching time for students. “I think it is tremendous to see so many of the students come together to learn about Divine Mercy and Mary’s role and impact in the life of the Church,” said Thomas Hogan, ‘22. Dr. Harne, the college’s president, also observed, “It has been enlightening to learn about the historical context in which the devotions to Our Lady and Divine Mercy have developed in recent centuries. Learning their history and broader theological context has been of great value and helps us place these devotions in the greater landscape and unfolding drama of Church history.”
These conferences are part of Magdalen College’s partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy. The partnership offers students the opportunity to participate in conferences such as these, retreats, and service trips to assist those in material need in Boston. It has also given students the opportunity learn more about the spirituality of such saints as John Paul II, Thérèse of Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska, Maximilian Kolbe and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
– Contributed by John Milliken ’22