Rome, September 20, 2003
To the Visitors of the Congregation of the Mission
My very dear Brothers,
May the grace and peace of God Our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
In the apparition of November 27, 1830, Catherine Labouré received a two-fold mission from the Virgin Mary: a medal was to be struck in her honor, and Catherine was to promote youth groups that would wear the medal and serve the poor. Recently, as I have spoken about the Miraculous Medal in many countries, I have been asking Vincentians, Daughters of Charity and lay leaders to work toward the spread of the Association and to focus in a renewed way on the young. The young are the Association's future; even more, they are the future of the Church. If we can help form young people to be attentive listeners to God's word, as was Mary the Mother of Jesus, and to put it into practice through concrete, effective works of charity, then we will be accomplishing an enormous service for the Church of the future.
Today I write to urge the establishment of the Association of the Miraculous Medal in those countries where it does not yet exist and also to encourage an enriched formation of its members in those countries where the Association does exist. I am attaching a list that we compiled at a recent meeting of the International Coordinating Council of the Association. On it, you will see the places where statutes have already been approved, other places where statutes are in the process of approval, and still others from which we have inquiries. If you have new names to add to this list, or corrections to suggest, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of the International Coordinating Council: Fr. Charles Shelby (International Coordinator), Sr. Marie-Yonide Midy (from Haiti, living in Paris), Fr. Janusz Zwolinski (from Poland, living in the Congo) and Señorita Martha Tapia (from Mexico). Their pictures, areas of responsibility, and e-mail addresses are on an attached sheet.
The new web site for the International Association of the Miraculous Medal will be available online by October 1. Its address is as follows:
Every three months the International Association will publish, online, a newsletter in three languages. If you have news items that you would like to share with others, please send them directly to one of the members of the Coordinating Council or to the International Coordinator, Fr. Charles Shelby. There will also be a calendar online, into which you can insert significant events related to the Association of the Miraculous Medal in your country.
Every month, online also, you will find the outline for a catechesis or lesson-plan, which we hope will be helpful in the formation of the members of the Association. Local leaders should feel completely free to adapt it to the culture and circumstances of the place.
I am delighted that the Association is expanding rapidly at present and that so many countries have been seeking approval for National Statutes, while creating a national structure for the Association. I ask the Lord to bless its millions of members and to help our national and local leaders to accompany the members in their formation. Devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, has a special place in the Vincentian tradition. St. Vincent pointed out that she, more than all other believers, penetrated the meaning of the gospel and lived out its teaching (SV XII, 129). I am eager that we might be able to assist the members of the Miraculous Medal Association throughout the world to ponder God's word as Mary did, turn it over in their hearts, and to put it into practice, like St. Vincent, in works of effective love.
Your brother in St. Vincent,
Robert P. Maloney, C.M.
Countries with approved National Statutes:
U.S.A. Puerto Rico
Countries with National Statutes in the process of approval:
Countries where the Association is beginning:
AMM INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL
Fr. Robert P. Maloney C.M.
Superior General Congregation of the Mission
International Director, living in Rome
Fr. Charles Shelby, C.M.
International Coordinator, living in the USA
Animator for English-speaking countries @: email@example.com
Sr. Marie-Yonide Midi, D.C.
From Haiti, living in Paris, Animator for Europe
Fr. Janusz Zwolinski C.M.
From Poland, living in the Congo, Animator for Africa
Miss Martha Tapia
From Mexico, Animator for Spanish-speaking countries