Grzegorz GLABAS, OMI

Grzegorz GLABAS OMI, Rector of the Shrine of Mary Immaculate in Aosta, recently participated in the 57th General Assembly of National Sanctuaries and the 2nd International Meeting of Rectors and Operators of Sanctuaries, which took place at the Vatican.  

From November 8th to November 11th, 2023, Rome hosted two meetings for representatives and rectors of Italian and global sanctuaries. This included the 57th General Assembly of National Sanctuaries and the 2nd International Meeting of Rectors and Operators of Sanctuaries, both with the theme “The Sanctuary: A House of Prayer. On the Path to Jubilee 2025.” With participants from 43 countries, approximately 600 people attended from around the world.

Grzegorz GLABAS with Mgr Rino Fisichella

The first meeting, organized by the “Collegamento Nazionale Santuari” (CNS) and led by Monsignor Domenico SORRENTINO and Fr. Mario Magro, focused on the rectors of Italian sanctuaries. The second meeting meant as a preparation for the Holy Year of 2025, was organized by the Dicastery of Evangelization in the World and its Prefect Monsignor Rino Fisichella. Grzegorz GLABAS and numerous regional delegates and sanctuary rectors represented the Northwest region of Italy, including Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, and Aosta Valley.

Guest speakers at the meetings included Fr. Ermanno Barucco, OCD (Professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty “Teresianum”); Cardinal Angelo Comastri (Emeritus Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican); Fr. Paul Brendan Murray, OP (Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas); Monsignor Marco Frisina (Composer and Rector of the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere); David López Ribes; Daniel Cuesta Gómez, SJ; and Professor Giustina Aceto.

The conference concluded on November 11th, 2023, with a speech by Monsignor Rino Fisichella, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery of Evangelization, “The Sanctuary towards the Jubilee of Hope.” An audience with the Holy Father followed it.

In his address, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of sanctuaries as “special places, truly privileged places of prayer” that attract millions of people annually. He provided recommendations focusing on celebrating the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Pope stressed the need for abundant expressions of God’s mercy in the sanctuaries. He also highlighted the significance of Adoration and the need to restore the sense of worship. The Pope called for providing pilgrims with the experience of contemplative silence and guiding them to focus on the essential aspects of faith.

During the audience with Pope Francis

Additionally, the Pope emphasized the importance of Consolation, making God’s mercy tangible, and the Warm Welcome of pilgrims in sanctuaries.

As we approach 2024, Pope Francis desires it to be dedicated entirely to prayer. Meanwhile, sanctuaries, priests, collaborators, and the entire Church eagerly await the Bull that announces the Jubilee. This document, as always, will be issued in the previous year, coinciding with the Feast of the Ascension. For the Jubilee of 2025, we expect its publication on May 9th, 2024.

At an interregional level, the next stage of the journey in our Northwestern region of Italy will involve regional delegates to engage as many sanctuaries as possible within our territories.