Who We Are
Father Kolbe Missionaries and Volunteers
of the Immaculata
We are a Secular Institute made up of missionaries consecrated to God and associated laity, the Volunteers. Together, we form a true family. We are not united by blood or friendship only, but by a strong spiritual connection: the consecration to Mary. With her, following her example, we desire to place ourselves at the service of the world to witness to the love of God everywhere and at every moment.
We are a spiritual family: the encounter with Christ has changed history and the life of each person. We allow ourselves to be conquered by and drawn into the Word of God. We have set out to follow him, together, every day, in a mutual sharing of gifts and help.
Our Institute was founded in Bologna, Italy in 1954 by a conventual Franciscan named Father Luigi Faccenda. It was founded with the objective to live the Marian and missionary spirituality inherited by St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr of Auschwitz, in a stable form in the Church. St. Maximilian’s spiritual experience, based on the total consecration to the Immaculate Virgin, is the richness with which we desire to welcome, live, and communicate.
The consecration of our life to Mary, Mother of God, is the basis of our spirituality. We begin every day with this intention, renewing our consecration to the Immaculata. This is the expression of our charism, the special gift we received from God to share.
Before his death on the Cross, Jesus gave us his Mother and entrusted each one of us to her love and tenderness, as John recounts in his Gospel: “Woman, behold your son... Behold your mother” (John 19:26). It was the culmination of God’s love for the salvation of the world. Therefore, in receiving this Word, we have heard the call to live it in the depths of our being, in our style of life, through witness and service. The consecration to Mary, when welcomed within us, interiorly transforms us into Mary, in a constant and gradual way, as in the life of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. This is our greatest desire, our goal, our ideal: to be Mary.
The mission that Jesus gave to his first disciples continues to resound in our hearts today. This mandate pushes us to live a broad missionary dimension, turned toward the whole world, but at the same time giving particular attention to each person we meet.
Our duty to evangelize is a treasure from the witness and teaching of Father Luigi Faccenda, our founder. His gaze of faith and attention to each person, inspired by Saint Maximilian Kolbe, continues to be an important concern for all of us. Our Marian-missionary charism carries us towards others into diverse environments. Yet, we receive more than we give. Our charism is actualized in various ways, according to where we live and work.
We put ourselves at the service of the local and universal Church. As missionaries, we are available to cross the borders of our countries to go wherever the Lord sends us through obedience, aware that every particular person, place, and culture has its beauty and richness.