Fr. Mark Baron, MIC

Director of the Association of Marian Helpers ("Fr. Joseph, MIC")
at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

One of the most inspiring moments in my life as a Marian of the Immaculate Conception took place during a pilgrimage to Poland and the tomb of the Founder of the Congregation, St. Stanislaus Papczynski.

Participating in Holy Mass and praying at the tomb of Fr. Papczynski was a thrill. When I was at his tomb, I asked his intercession for everything — especially for graces to be a faithful Marian. I ask for a greater devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and zeal to pray for the souls in Purgatory.

I was in Europe for a two-week pilgrimage to Europe during the summer of 1999 for the beatification of two Marian martyrs and the Holy Father's blessing of the Congregation's Shrine of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland.

Standing only a few feet from the Holy Father during our audience with him in Lichen was more than a little inspiring. I have such esteem for the Holy Father because through the Vicar of Christ, God leads us to all truth. I was also able to pray at the tomb of Marian Renovator, Blessed George Matulaitis in Lithuania.

I really love the "dust cloth" mentality of Blessed George. He wrote that he just wanted to be a dust cloth in the hands of Our Lord, sweeping up the cobwebs in the corners of His House. That's central to being a Marian. I really believe that in order to be happy and fulfilled in life, you have to have that dust cloth mentality. God can't work through you without this kind of humility.

Father Mark Baron, MIC, began his service as "Father Joseph, MIC" on January 15, 2024.