LEAVES Website for the January-February 2016 Issue
Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:
If you listen to Pope Francis, as he speaks to various groups of people, he very often has a special request
of his audience - he asks for their prayers. We all would do well to remember to do this. LEAVES family
members have learned this lesson well, as can be noted by the many requests for prayers that appear in this
little magazine, along with the thanksgivings for answered prayers.
When someone trusts us enough to ask for our prayers, it is indeed an honor. For many of us it is easier to
offer to pray for someone else than to request prayers for our own benefit. We must remember, however, that
the mere act of someone praying for us also brings that person closer to our Lord. That is certainly beneficial
for their soul.
Do not be timid in asking for the prayers of your family and friends. By being bold, you are proclaiming
your belief in the power of the Lord. When you need prayer, don’t forget your friends - the saints. Beg them for
prayerful assistance. They are close to the Lord. The Lord hears their pleas.
Be generous in offering to pray for others in need. A burden shared is a burden lightened. Knowing that you
are praying for them will assure others that they are not alone in their suffering. Our prayers can provide more
comfort than any other assistance we can give our family and friends.
Ask for prayers and offer prayers. The LEAVES family does this beautifully, but we all can do just a little
more. Just imagine what great blessings will result from these added efforts.
St. Teresa of Avila said, “From sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.” As Christians, we are called to be
holy and also joyful. If we would only realize just how much the Lord loves us, how could we allow ourselves to
Pope Francis enjoined us to “keep smiling and help bring joy to everyone you meet. It isn’t always easy.
Every home has its problems, difficult situation, sickness, but never stop dreaming so you can be happy.” He
reminded us that Jesus is present wherever there is joy, “because Jesus is joy, and He wants to help us to feel
that joy every day of our lives.”
A fine New Year’s resolution would be to resolve daily to find joy in our own hearts and in turn to share
that joy with others. Sometimes we may need to transport ourselves out of the current circumstances of pain
and anxiety we find ourselves in by dreaming of better times from the past or a better time expected in the
future. Sometimes we can help others by reminding them of blessings they might have received, but have
forgotten. Or we might offer a suggestion of a possible unexpected future blessing that might resolve a current
Joy does not make challenges disappear. It does, however, allow us to rise above the difficult situation and
not let it define us. Rather we should let Jesus define us, because there we will find the happiness for which we
are destined. He is love and we are his. Joy resides in this love.
The Year of Mercy continues. Do not let this special time of blessing go by without celebrating it in
distinct ways. The darkness of winter can sometimes bring on sadness and depression. Vow to look beyond that
and let the joy of our faith propel you to a joy-filled light in your heart.
Lent begins this year on Feb. 10, Ash Wednesday. Before then, take some time to determine how best to
celebrate the Season of Lent. Are there new prayers and devotions that we can add to our daily routines? Our
almsgiving might include donating clothing or other things that might be culled from our pantries, linen or
bedroom closets. Are there things that we are too attached to? Perhaps we should consider giving away
favorites, not just leftover or unused items.
Of course, fast and abstinence are always a part of Lent. On Ash Wednesday and on Fridays we abstain
from meat. That doesn’t mean that we should substitute expensive lobster for steak for dinner. A simple meal
would be much more appropriate.
We might think about adding a mid-week day of fasting to our Lenten observance. Wednesday might be a
day of skipping breakfast or lunch and eating only a light meal in the evening. Of course, fasting from treats
and desserts is always good during Lent. Let us accompany our fasting with prayers for the poor who do not have
enough food to sustain them.
To all of our dear LEAVES family, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year. May God shower you with
abundant blessings in 2016 and always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.
Food for the Hungry Children
In September a 40-foot container of food from the USA was received by the Missionary Sisters of the
Precious Blood (CPS) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It was your donations that helped pay for this food to feed
hungry children and their families, especially those at St. Francis Tshitshi School. Sr. Clareta Antonetta, CPS,
at the school wrote of the first recipients of this food as follows.
"The school invited two families from Bambanani Village who had requested food assistance. Generally there
was no way one could deny that these families were in an advanced stage of indigence. All but one member of
each family was barefoot and clad in the remains of clothes. It was indeed a sorry sight.
“Josephine Ncube, the bread winner of one family, shed tears as she narrated her miserable life. She is in
charge of four orphans who are all attending school. Unfortunately she cannot manage to do any physical work
because she is very old (78 years), and in 2013 she had a stroke. ‘I am very poor! I don’t have either donkey,
cow or goats,’ she remarked, wiping tears.
“To worsen her plight, her only hut was struck by lightning a year ago and caught fire. It was indeed a
great catastrophe because she lost practically all her meager property. As if on a cue, all her children went to
South Africa, never came back or have been heard of; they are believed to be dead.
“Another story was of Khethani Moyo. She gave an even more sorrowful account. She and her family of five
children also come from Bambanani village. A couple of months ago she lost one of her children, probably due to
starvation-related sicknesses. She too is very ill and cannot manage to perform any hard labor. To add fuel to
the fire, all her children but one attend primary school.
“As a result of abject poverty, they have only one meager meal a day, enough just to keep them alive. Some
merciful primary school teachers extend a helping hand and provide the kids with a few basics - food stuffs and
“In response, the school donated two cartons of MannaPack Rice meals to the families. Our school kitchen
staff demonstrated to the families the ways in which the food is prepared. It was indeed a heart-warming
situation to see smiles illuminating their faces as they received the gifts. It is our hope that the food provided
will go a long way in assisting the families to fight starvation.”
You can continue to support this feeding program in Africa with your prayers and monetary gifts. The
children and families there will appreciate them very much. Please mark your donation “Hungry Children” and
mail it to us at: Leaves, PO Box 87, Dearborn MI 48121-0087. May God reward you for your generosity - The
Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:
Yellow Rosebuds Abound
I love reading LEAVES and enjoy each issue.
I wish to share a St. Therese “Rose Story.” For years now I have been taking an anti-depressant medication
and am currently working with my family doctor to cease it. I prayed to St. Therese that I could safely reduce
the daily dose and after a month or so, go to zero medication.
I asked for a sign of a yellow rose bud and I got the sign - a yellow rosebud’s photo on my Facebook page,
and then one day I opened the pantry door and immediately noticed a box of glasses on a shelf. On the side of
the box were pictures of yellow rosebuds! So I received plenty of yellow rosebuds!
Also I had a very severe head and neck injury back in 1986 which has left me with a nasty, chronic pain
problem. I recently took a trip for three weeks. I prayed to St. Therese that I could be as pain-free as
possible during the trip and that the pain medication I take would be effective. My prayers were answered and
I was quite pain-free during the entire trip - Kathryn W.
Prayers Help Son
I want to thank Ss. Therese the Little Flower, Anne and Jude, the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Perpetual
Help, Infant Jesus of Prague, our Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Fr. Engelmar for hearing my prayers.
Through their intercession my favor was granted. I prayed and asked for help for my son who was going through
a difficult time. My daughter-in-law left him and since then has been giving him a hard time.
Just one week before Christmas she decided she wanted the house put up for sale. My son called me and
asked if I could go down to help him, which I did, and that is when I started making my novenas.
I prayed and asked all the saints to help my son have his house sold by the end of January and for him to
find one he could afford to buy so he could make a loving and happy home for his two daughters. His house was
sold Jan. 10. My son found a house three days later that he could afford. He made an offer and it was accepted.
Now he can begin a new life with his two girls, my granddaughters.
Special thanks to St. Therese for letting me know my prayers would be answered before my novena was
halfway through. I had to replace my tissue boxes in three rooms of my house. Every box I picked up was
covered with beautiful red roses. Thank you, St. Therese, and many thanks to all of God’s heavenly saints for
seeing me through my son’s difficult time. Thank you, Jesus and our holy Father, for being here for me always -
Trust Tested with Favors
Again and again St. Therese has come to my rescue, but always with the test of trusting. I began a novena
to her in January of 2015. I repeated the novena every day until the end of May and I did not receive one
picture of a rose, a live rose or even a scent. The intention was for full-time employment for someone in the
family. Then I received two deep gold roses. The person who gave them to me did not know that I was saying the
I stopped saying the novena for that intention and started a new intention. June came and went and no
work, but beginning in July he got a position through August and was able to make enough money that with
management can last through the year, and received a promise to be rehired in the spring. As I said, St. Therese
has been testing my ability to trust.
Secondly, I started another novena with the intention that our children, their spouses and small
grandchildren grow in their Faith and go to confession. They all go to church and the grandchildren go to a good
Catholic grade school. It seems that they are like most: go to church on Sunday, but confession is something else.
The parents need to set an example for their children.
Well, out of the blue I received four beautiful roses, one pure white and three golden roses. How will I
know if they grow in the Faith or go to confession? There were more people than four being prayed for. Should
I continue to pray until I get that full number of roses? I will trust that it was for all and that success will
only show over time, and until then, only heaven will know.
St. Therese has never answered me in just five days but only after praying the Five-Day Novena for
months, so don’t give up praying. Persistence could mean a trial of sincerity. So again and again, St. Therese has
come through with the roses. I used to get cards with roses on them, but I always wondered if she sent them.
Now receiving the real roses, the real thing, how can I doubt? As I mentioned before, she does test me on my
trust. Hard as it is, I am learning - Name Withheld.
Excerpted from Father Engelmar Testimonies:
A Life of
There is now available a booklet of the life of Father Engelmar Unzeitig, C.M.M. You may receive a free
copy of it by sending a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box
87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.
In thanksgiving for many favors received through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar. The latest was a job
promotion for my son - E.A.D.
+ + +
My granddaughter had not been married for long and had a baby girl when her husband said he wanted “out
of the marriage,” that he wasn’t really ready for marriage. She was four months pregnant when they got married.
She was 21 and he was 23. At that time, the baby was six months old.
My granddaughter was working full-time, taking nurses training three evenings a week and bringing up a
baby all at the same time. She had to keep the baby at a daycare center during the day, of course. Her husband
loved the baby and paid toward her support, and only two years later did he get married again and would have
their little girl at his house three days a week.
My granddaughter lives 2,500 miles away, and one evening the phone rang and my son, her dad, said “Mom,
you have a lot of faith in prayers, so you better say some extra ones.” He told me my granddaughter was taking
her boards test to be a registered nurse and two of her closest friends had flunked, so she was pretty nervous.
He put her on the phone, and first I told her that just before she took the test to say, “Dear Jesus, I trust in
you,” (Divine Mercy prayer) and that the next day I would be attending a 6:00 a.m. Mass for Pro-Life
Since we don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, there was a three-hour difference in time zones. Mass would
start at 6:00 a.m. here and she was to take her test at 9:00 a.m., the same time, given the time changes. At Mass
the priest asked if anyone had any petitions and I said, “Please pray for my granddaughter who is taking a very
important test this morning.” I had phoned a few friends the evening before and asked for their individual
That night the phone rang and it was my hardworking, precious granddaughter calling me to say that she
passed! Thanks be to God and Fr. Engelmar - Mrs. Margaret B.
+ + +
Please use my donation for your greatest need. This offering is in honor of and in thanksgiving to Fr.
Engelmar - Betty F.
Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner
Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 107 years ago its monks became the
Congregation of Missionaries of Mariannhill. He was not only a great missionary, but also a holy man. The
cause for his beatification has begun. We have available a novena in his honor and will send you a free copy
of it when you send a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box
87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.
Reverence for Life Prayer
Almighty God, giver of all that is good, we thank You for the precious gift of human life:
For life in the womb, coming from your creative power,
For the life of children, making us glad with their freshness and promise,
For the life of young people, hoping for a better world,
For the life of people who are disabled, teaching us that every life has value,
For the life of the elderly, witnessing to the ageless values of patience and wisdom.
Like Blessed Mary, may we always say YES to Your gift.
May we defend it and promote it from conception to its natural end.
And bring us at last, our Father, to the fullness of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(From St. Mary’s, Vancouver. Use this prayer anytime, but particularly for the success of the Jan. 22 March for Life in Washington,
DC and on Mar. 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of our
By Gen Gallagher
Oh, contemplate the miracle:
The change of bread and wine
Into the Body and the Blood
Of Jesus Christ Divine.
Holy, holy, holy,
The saints and angels praise,
As upon the Sacred Host
Lovingly they gaze.
More than manna from the sky,
He is the living Bread
Who nourishes our hungry souls
Still waiting to be fed.
Not gold or frankincense or myrrh
The gift of priceless worth;
The King of Heaven leaves His throne
To live in us on earth.
The lowly Bread, the cup of Wine,
His poor, humble disguise;
All radiant and glorious He
Hidden from our eyes!
Invited to the banquet clothed
In grace’s garment white,
Of the Lord’s goodness taste and see,
In Him to take delight.
She cradled the God who cradled her.
At her Son’s birth she accepted myrrh
That foretold His death for us, for her.
O Mary, Mary, Queen of hearts, yes,
We love that too, but still we confess
(Since you indeed bore Him, our Brother)
You are more than Queen; you are our Mother.
By Linda Donohoo Monday
Shake It Off
By Cindy J. Evans
Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no harm (cf. Acts 28:5)
Lord, sometimes people steal my joy
by what they say or do,
but, Lord, please let my confidence
solely come from You.
May their words not build me up,
may their words not tear me down,
but in You may my security
and my worth be found.
Let me not be so affected by others
but to keep on keeping on,
for You are the One who lasts
long after these times are gone.
The Window of My Soul
By Marcia K. Leaser
My earthly eyes can only view what lies in front of me.
I cannot look beyond my sight to what my soul believes.
But when I call upon my God and His spirit intercedes,
my tunnel, carnal vision takes in eternity.
His word has true conviction when He opens up the door,
and my narrow scope of vision includes forever and much more.
So with His intervention my awareness is refined,
and through His grace and mercy I am no longer blind.