A Letter from Fr Juan (LXXVII)

June 25th, 2024
Fr. Juan Solana L.C.
A Letter from Fr Juan (LXXVII)

Let us be men and women who radiate hope; our world cries out for people who testify to the hope that can only come from God.

Dear beloved family,  


As I write these lines, we are celebrating the Novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A celebration that reminds us and assures us that God loves us, that He never stops loving us, and that our lives are enveloped in the creator, savior, and sanctifying love of a God for every one of us. We could express this celebration of faith as follows: "God loves me."

Between April and May, I had the opportunity to embark on two physical pilgrimages with different groups: one was a Prayer Workshop in Magdala, and the other was a group of pilgrims who traced the footsteps of 3 great Polish saints of our time: Faustina, Maximilian Kolbe, and Karol Wojtyla.

Both pilgrimages were precious, splendid in God's grace, and experiences to treasure for the rest of my life. Although they were very different from each other, as they were to various countries with diverse groups and relatively diverse themes, something made them very similar: the examples of holiness, the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the joy of Christian charity, and a tremendous theological virtue: hope.

I will refer more specifically to the visit to Poland. Poland experienced one of the most tumultuous periods in its last century: invasions, wars, and ideologies. The sufferings of this great Catholic nation were immense. It was also the stage for the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism. Amid so much suffering and barbarism, three great saints flourished who would profoundly impact the destinies of the world: Faustina Kowalska, Maximilian Kolbe, and Karol Wojtyla. This visit with such enormous contrasts awakened my heart to the fundamental theme of our pilgrimage: Hope. "Joyful in hope," Saint Paul will say to his faithful at the dawn of Christianity when every conquest cost blood and lives when it seemed that transforming the world with a bit of yeast would be impossible. "Joyful in hope."

These days, we are shaping the preparation for our Youthfest Encounter Magdala 2024, which will take place in Puebla from 25 July to 28th. The theme will be "Lord, teach us to pray," as proposed by Pope Francis in preparation for the Holy Year 2025. And the theme of the Holy Year is also "Pilgrims of Hope." Let us be men and women who radiate hope; our world cries out for people who testify to the hope that can only come from God. I think of those islets battered by the waves of the sea and storms, which resist against all odds; that's how people who live in hope are "Joyful in hope."

But let's return to our "Encounter." "Encounter" means "Meeting." What does it mean in the context of Magdala: it means encountering God, Jesus, and ourselves. Encounter between brothers, in faith, in love, in the grace of God. And "youthfest" means "festival for young people"; as we said last year in Magdala, we want young people and young-at-heart people. ENCOUNTER WITH FAMILY

We will see each other in Puebla on 25 July.

I will have the pleasure of giving the welcome conferences on the first day, on prayer on the second day, about the Magdala family on the third day, and the conclusions on the fourth day. We will celebrate the Eucharist, sing, and share in an atmosphere of friendship, faith, and church.

Only a few days remain until you register for our early bird fee. Please take advantage of it. God also wants to meet you and your family. Don't miss it. It will be like a minor pilgrimage to the Holy Land—perhaps a preparation for the following year.

As always, we ask for your prayers for world peace.  

Greetings and blessings and see you soon in Puebla!

Fr. Juan María Solana L.C. and Magdala Team