There is no shortage of interesting stories about Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Maybe you are familiar with his childhood visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who asked him to choose a crown for martyrdom or a crown for chastity: He chose both.
Or perhaps you have heard that he traveled to Japan and founded a monastery in Nagasaki on the backside of a mountain. The same monastery that later survived the blast of a nuclear bomb. His most widely known story and final act of selflessness came after he was imprisoned by the Nazis in Auschwitz, when he volunteered to trade his own life for the life of a stranger who was being sent to his execution.
Those who have dug deeper into his life are also aware of the vast radio and publishing operation that he created. The apostolate reached far and wide but still not far enough for a man intent on changing the world. Before his death at Auschwitz, Kolbe had plans to expand his apostolate and even start a movie studio.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe lived his life on the leading edge… an influencer before the term had ever been spoken, shrewdly leveraging technology to share the Good News and save souls. His integrated approach to capturing an audience was also well ahead of its time. Eighty years later, opportunities to share God’s Word have never been more abundant, crossing a staggering number of new digital platforms. The world needs that message now more than ever.
Inspired by his deeds and dreams, UST recently launched multiple digital ventures in the spirit of Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s apostolate. In 2018, the board of directors began the journey by approving the Maximilian Kolbe Innovation Network to develop new programs that would transform our business model and greatly expand mission reach. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Beena George was named as UST’s first chief innovation officer, charged with searching out even more pathways to bringing that mission into the future. It wasn’t long afterwards that the University celebrated the opening of a new campus in Montgomery County, the USTMAX Center (ustmax.com), to promote those new programs and celebrate our new spirit of innovation. This year, we proudly launched MAX Studios (ustmaxstudios.com), a digital media apostolate aimed at seeking out and connecting faithful influencers locally and globally, and shining a light on the beauty of UST’s Catholic mission. Although they are modest beginnings, they were born with great intention and are designed to create maximum engagement.
If you haven’t visited the MAX Studios website, or paid a visit in person to our new USTMAX Center in Conroe, please make sure to drop by and say hello. Our motto, Crescamus in Christo, calls us to grow in Christ together. We hope you will continue to stay involved, in person and digitally, as you play a central role in your University’s future.