As leaders in the MI Youth & Young Adults movement, members should maintain professional roles and be mindful of the profound dignity and sacred mission they are called to; that of drawing young souls to the heart of Christ through Mary.
The core ideals of MI Youth leadership are those of St. Maximilian Kolbe himself: Supernatural Life, Holy Obedience, Redemptive Suffering, and Heroic Charity.
“My dear little children, when it comes to the Immaculate, we do not think about ‘small parts’ or ‘fractions’ but we rather run a race all together and, by doing so, every increase in love for her in one of us will produce an even greater increase of love in the others… the unlimited-ness of love: that is our characteristic.”
–St. Maximilian Kolbe
Steeped in Prayer, Sacraments and Marian “atmosphere” of MI Consecration
“By praying both with our voices and our thoughts, we shall experience in ourselves how the Immaculate gradually takes possession of our souls, how we shall belong to her every day more in every aspect of our lives, how our sins shall disappear and our faults weaken, how smoothly and powerfully we shall always be drawn closer to God. Prayer is the best way to reestablish peace in our souls, to reach happiness, since it serves to draw us closer to God’s love. Our external activity is alright but, obviously, it is not as important as our spiritual life, our life of recollection, of prayer, of our personal love for God.” –St. Maximilian Kolbe (Stronger Than Hatred p. 75)
- Daily renew your MI Consecration.
- Cultivate a deep personal prayer life.
- Attend daily Mass when possible.
- Reflect on Kolbe’s writings, the Holy Father’s writings and Message to Youth, Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- Take time for a daily examination of conscience.
- Frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Faithful to the Church and MI Code of Conduct
“Holy obedience has been the Militia of the Immaculata’s motto ever since the beginning. And it could not have been otherwise since its essence is to belong to the Immaculate. By obedience Marytown arose, by obedience we set out for the missions and by obedience we shall fulfill even other plans of the Immaculata. The perfection of the virtue of obedience…is a practical knighthood of the Immaculata. This does not mean that one should lack initiative, on the contrary one can and must freely tell his superiors the thoughts and desires of his heart, provided he is ready with calm resignation of will (for nature at times can rebel) to accept the decision of obedience, whether it is according to, against or beyond our desire.” –St. Maximilian Kolbe
- Out of obedience, each Leader on a MI retreat has responded to Christ’s unique call: “Come follow Me.” Our hearts must first and always be turned to Christ. We must lead others to Him, not to ourselves.
- Adhere to all items on the MI Youth Code of Conduct and Policies.
- Leaders should be on time for prayers, meals, events and team activities.
- Leaders are expected to obediently embrace the instruction of the program Directors.
- Remember: Participate; Don’t anticipate.
- Be chaste in action, thought and speech; not placing ourselves in compromising situations; respecting healthy boundaries (no guys in girls’ areas and no girls in guys’ areas, no flirting, sending mixed signals, comments with double meanings, innuendos); dressing modestly and appropriately as representatives of the Church. No PDA. Be sensitive towards others’ personal boundaries and spiritual “space”, treating fellow team members as brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Never use or glorify alcohol or tobacco when engaged in ministering to minors.
- Never use, possess or be under the influence of illegal substances, including under-age consumption of alcohol [in the U.S. it is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21].
- Never provide drugs, alcohol or tobacco to a minor [this includes illegally providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21].
In-tune with the Power of Redemptive Suffering
“Love lives on, nourishes itself on sacrifice. Let us thank the Immaculate for interior peace, for the ecstasy of love. Still we should remember that even though these things are good and beautiful they are absolutely not the essence of love, and that love in fact perfect love, can exist even without them. The peak of love is the state in which Jesus found himself on the cross when cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matt 27:46) There is no love without sacrifice. And this includes sacrificing our senses, especially our eyes… our taste, our hearing and so on. But above all, sacrificing our reason and our will in holy obedience. In every divine work, nothing great can be generated without suffering. On the other hand, can any sacrifice be too much when it comes to the Immaculate?” –St. Maximilian Kolbe
- “There is no love without sacrifice.”
- Make acts of prayerful sacrifice for fellow team members.
- Be willing to put others first and consider the best interests of the teens and the team.
- Have a spirit of service, generosity and chivalry.
- Practice patience in difficult situations.
- When pushed to the limits, love without limits.
- Approach obstacles with a spirit of openness and determination.
- Accept shortcomings and failings with humility and confidence, knowing that Our Lady uses “rusty instruments” to bring about her plan of drawing all souls to Jesus.
- Never, ever, ever give up; trust in the Immaculate always.
Christ-like Love rooted in Truth
“He who has known the Immaculata, loved her, dedicated himself to her so completely that he left nothing for himself and did not make any reservations; he who strives to belong more and more to her under every aspect; he who in his solicitude for her kingdom in souls desires that others dedicate themselves to her and on his part does all he can toward this goal and strives not to omit any means, even if it cost him very much and even if it would come to sealing this ideal with blood—such a person is the perfect Knight of the Immaculata. He considers it the greatest happiness, the culminating point of his dreams to make a total sacrifice of his own life for the conquest of all souls for her. This includes all men wherever they are, to whatever nations or race they belong and wherever they live now or in the future—such is the perfect Knight of the Immaculata.” –St. Maximilian Kolbe
- "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (Jn.13:34)
- Love Christ in one another and be willing to see Christ in each other.
- No one team member is more important than another; each one is precious to the MI Family.
- Speak kindly and charitably to one another; avoid negative criticism, negative humor and put-downs.
- Avoid superficiality; be sincere; be authentic; be true to your dignity.
- Be willing to step outside of comfort zones; take the first step to reach out to teens and other team members.
- Foster and maintain charitable relationships with each leader and team member.
- Keep team unity a top priority.
- Address misunderstandings or disagreements with team leaders, team members and/or directors respectfully and outside the team and/or retreat context.
- Apologize when wrong; forgive readily.
- Be respectful of and accountable to each other. If fraternal correction is needed, do so in truth and charity.
- Be respectful and appreciative of retreat facility directors and facility rules and property.
- Be aware of your surroundings; be gracious and respectful toward the hospitality of volunteers, benefactors, host families, retreat centers, friaries, convents, etc…
- Leave a place cleaner than how you found it.
- Maintain a “small footprint” with luggage and personal belongings.
- Refrain from displaying a sense of “entitlement”, giddiness/idle chatter, hyperactivity, inappropriate conversations/gossip, negativity, moodiness, complaining, being self-absorbed or isolated, staying up too late, overeating or undue pickiness about meals.
- Have a true spirit of evangelization by recognizing that every moment is a God-moment; share the Miraculous Medal, a kind word or a smile with those you encounter.