Magdalen College is pleased to announce that in the 2018-19 academic year, the college will entrust the spiritual formation of its students to the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy, with Fr. Michael Gaitley, a Marian Father of the Immaculate Conception, as the Director of Formation.
Through this partnership, students will have the opportunity to participate in retreats, courses, and service opportunities led by Fr. Gaitley and the Missionaries. During their four years at the college, students will be thoroughly immersed in the spirituality of such saints as John Paul II, Thérèse of Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Maximilian Kolbe.
As part of this exciting announcement, George Harne, president of Magdalen College, observed, “Through this new relationship between Magdalen College, Fr. Gaitley, and the Marian Missionaries, our students will have a unique opportunity to grow in their understanding and experience of key sources of the spirituality of our patron, Pope Saint John Paul II, particularly his emphasis upon Divine Mercy and Marian devotion. Under Fr. Gaitley’s guidance and the leadership of the Marian Missionaries, Magdalen College’s emphasis on personal conversion, sacramental discipleship, service, and community will enter a new and dynamic phase. With great joy, we welcome this partnership and look forward to the fruit it will bear on campus, in the larger Church, and in our nation. All of those who have benefited from Fr. Gaitley’s work will rejoice with us that it has found a collegiate home where it can lead young people to a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ.”
“What has most inspired me about Magdalen College,” says Fr. Gaitley, “is its dynamic and joyful students, faith-filled alumni, and great books curriculum. I’m excited to see where God will lead the college as it embraces an even more intentional spiritual focus on Mary Immaculate and Divine Mercy as the heart of the Gospel.”
For those who are not yet familiar with Marian Missionary spirituality, it centers on a daily encounter with Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy, an encounter that causes the “joy of the Gospel” (Evangelium Gaudium, 1-8). Missionaries then generously share this joy with others as they give testimony to the goodness, love, and mercy of God.
Regarding the complementarity of these new initiatives and the campus ministry already at the college, Dr. Harne observed, “The work of the Marian Missionaries will complement the formation and campus ministry of the college’s chaplain, Fr. Roger Boucher, supporting the sacramental and liturgical life as well as existing initiatives such as the Confraternity of St. Joseph, the Sodality of Mary, and the Orantes group. Father Boucher has served the college faithfully for over five years and has brought both the beauty of the liturgy and the chapel itself to new levels. His wisdom, good humor, and love for our students has shaped our community in ways both deep and long-lasting. We look forward to his continued service at the college.”
Father Boucher adds, “The Marian Missionaries and Fr. Gaitley have visited our campus and helped conduct the opening Mass for the college’s recent Marian Consecration and I thank Father Mike for his help in that regard. Our students responded positively to their charism of joy in the Gospel and the call to trust in God’s great mercy. I am impressed with the confidence they display in welcoming everyone to enter into a brotherhood and sisterhood of the Lord. It will be a great blessing for them to become a more intimate part of our college community.”
For more information, contact Magdalen College at [email protected] or 603-456-2656.