Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo hosted the Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic of the Providence of St. Joseph, located in the Buffalo Diocese, for a Day of Recollection on Saturday, July 25.
The day started with a song to the Holy Spirit so the hearts and souls of those attending would be open to God's graces and healings. Approximately 35 of the members then joined in praying the Divine Office and morning prayer associated with the feast of St. James the Apostle.
Morning prayer was followed by a continental breakfast in the Kolbe Center. After this refreshing break, Father Michal Czyzewski, OSPPE, gave the first of his two talks. He spoke of images and symbolism found in the stained glass window of St. Hyacinth located in the rear of the church. Father Czyzewski explained how St. Hyacinth met St. Dominic during a visit to Rome and was one of the first to receive the habit of the Order of Friars Preachers from St. Dominic himself. St. Hyacinth was the first Dominican of Poland. The stained glass window shows him fleeing the Tartars, before they are able to sack his church. He has the ciborium in his left hand and a statue of Mary with Jesus in his right hand. The story is recorded that he heard a voice as he was exiting the Church with only the ciborium. "Hyacinth, my son, why dost thou leave me behind? Take me with thee and leave me not to mine enemies," it said. Father Czyzewski went on to explain how in any and all difficult times it is the Blessed Sacrament and the Mother of God who will get us safely through to the other side.
Following the first talk, confessions were heard, the rosary was prayed at the usual time of 11 a.m., followed by Saturday Mass of 11:30, with Father Jan Kolmaga, OSPPE, celebrating and Father Czyzewski concelebrating.
After a break for lunch and fellowship, the second talk began with Father Czyzewski handing out cards on which were a variety of questions concerning one's faith. Each person was to choose two questions and share their answers with their individual group. This led to members getting to know each other better, and getting to know himself or herself better. The day ended with praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It was a grace-filled day of spiritual refreshment for the Lay Dominicans.
"This was the first time I had attended a Dominican retreat for the Lay Fraternity," said Cathy Bergen from Lackawanna. "I believe my connection to St. Dominic is through my love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother and the praying of her rosary. When first asked by our president, one year ago, to attend a meeting, I felt blessed that God would invite me to be a part of the Dominican Family. St. Dominic was a saint of the 12th century. However, I can daily ask his help with my prayer life and with being more aware of the needs of those around me."
The Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic is open to men and women who have the desire to deepen their relationship with God by learning and engaging in the pillars of the Dominican life. Those being 18 year of age or older, study, attend chapter meetings on a regular basis, actively participate in chapter life and in the apostolate.
If anyone would like additional information in regard to becoming a Lay Dominican, please contact Corpus Christi Parish at 716-896-1050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.