LEAVES Website for the January-February 2017 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       Pope Francis has requested that people find out the date they were baptized so they can celebrate the day as “your second birthday.” Find your baptismal certificate and then mark your calendar so you can celebrate the day properly. Why not attend Mass on that day and offer thanksgiving for the great blessing of Faith received at Baptism? If attending an actual Mass is not possible, make a Spiritual Communion.

When you discover more about your Baptism, be sure to note where you were baptized. Most churches are named after saints, the Blessed Mother or the Lord. If your baptism was celebrated at Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, use these two saints as your special patrons on your baptism day and throughout the year.

Remember to pray in a special way for your godparents and your parents. Pray also for those who instructed you in the Faith throughout the years. Most catechists are not paid for their efforts. They simply have a love of the Faith that they want to share.

During this time of year there are many in the R.C.I.A (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program who are preparing to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil. If they have not already been baptized, they will be soon. Pray for all those in R.C.I.A. that their faith will be strong and true.

       March 1 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Ponder and pray about how best to celebrate the important Lenten season. We are called to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. During these days of fasting our meals should be small and humble. It is not much of a fast to forego the meat, but instead have lobster or some other expensive meal.

According to the U.S. Catholic Bishops: “During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally - not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents.”

So as we abstain from eating certain foods, we also should be looking at activities that we can abstain from. Can we give up an hour of television for Scripture or spiritual reading? In addition to donating financially to worthy charities, are there places that can use our particular talents?

Let us celebrate Lent with increased devotions. May 2017 find you healthy and happy and may God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

St. Anthony Helps
Find Lost Deeds

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I left a position that I loved and began a full-time job working for our diocese as a customer service representative. One day I received a phone call from Mr. P., a very distraught man, who was unable to locate his burial deed. I asked him if he had prayed to St. Anthony. He responded with, “Oh, you’re one of those!” I proceeded to tell him that St. Anthony always comes through for me. 

I told Mr. P. the prayer I say: “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, come around, come around.  Something’s lost and can’t be found.” About an hour later he called to tell me that he found his deed! I asked him if he prayed to St. Anthony and he said, “That’s why I’m calling. St. Anthony answered my prayer!”

On another day two sisters came to the office saying they couldn’t find their deed, and they said they had turned their house upset down with no luck. Well, once again I shared my St. Anthony prayer and, you guessed it, they called to let me know that after they recited the prayer, the deed was found BEHIND a bureau drawer! - Chris V-W.

Accelerated Novena
Proves Effective

I spent several days frantically looking for an envelope of cash that I had misplaced when I remembered St. Anthony! I like to begin my novenas on either the 1st, 11th or 25th day of any month, as that choice helps me to keep better track of my days prayed and days left to pray.

This time I looked at the calendar and it was the eighth of the month. I would have to wait three days until the 11th to begin the novena to St. Anthony. I didn’t want to wait three days, so I decided that I would speed up the novena and pray Days 1, 2 and 3 on the 8th day of the month; Days 4, 5 and 6 on the 9th day; and Days 7, 8 and 9 on the 10th day of the month. Then I would start the nine-day novena on the 11th day of the month.

I trust I will be believed when I say that I found the envelope with the cash in it on the second day of this novena after I had prayed Days 4, 5 and 6. I wasn’t even looking for the cash when I came upon it. Praise God and thanks to St. Anthony! - Helen L.

Trust in the Lord

I am sending a donation in thanksgiving for prayers answered. I asked St. Joseph, along with our Lord, the Blessed Mother, Ss. Jude, Rita, Anthony, Therese and all the saints and angels to help us sell our repaired “sinkhole” home in Florida. I said the St. Joseph novena prayer every day, along with burying the St. Joseph statue in the ground in front of our home next to the statue we had of the Blessed Mother.

We had our home up for sale by owner and, after showing our home to various people, a couple came by one night as we were eating supper and asked if they could see our home right then, as they were leaving the next day to go back up north. They were getting discouraged over not finding a home and decided to drive around the area we lived in, spotted our “For Sale by Owner” sign and pulled in the driveway and gave us a call.

I was hesitant about letting the couple in as we were eating and things weren’t as picked up as I would have liked, but we let them come in anyway. The minute they came in the entryway they loved it, but the amazing thing was, as I started to show them through the house, the gentleman spotted the picture I had of St. Joseph carrying the Child Jesus in his arms. He said that St. Joseph was his favorite saint and felt that this home was meant to be for them.

Everything in time did work out, all in the time frame that we asked for. There is no doubt in my mind that our Lord, St. Joseph, the Blessed Mother and the other angels and saints planned the sale of our home to this couple who were so pleased to have found our home to their liking. I promised to send a donation to the LEAVES magazine in thanksgiving and also an acknowledgment of the work of the St. Joseph statue and the novena for those who are anxious to sell their home.

I have learned to trust our Lord, leave things in His hands and in His timing (not our timing). Prayers will be answered. Patience, trust and perseverance in prayer, along with much needed faith, are key factors for waiting on our Lord. Many times throughout the months I felt like giving in, as my nerves have not been very good, but many times I heard my Lord whispering to me, “TRUST ME, CHILD.” He was working in our lives and we finished the race till the end with His help.

Prayers of friends and family members also kept us going and my husband and I are so thankful. Our Lord hears our prayers. He is always there holding us up in His tender, loving arms. Just trust, believe and keep going every day. He does answer prayers. His love, caring, forgiveness and mercy are overwhelming.

I hope this story will help those people who need to ask our Lord for help, guidance and wisdom in their trials and hardships. Trust me, He is always there for you. Just ask, pray and never give up - B.P.

Excerpted from Blessed Engelmar Testimonies:

A Life of
Blessed Engelmar

There is now available a booklet of the life of Blessed 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.

My thanksgiving for favors granted through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar. I have often read stories people from LEAVES send in after asking him to intercede for them. Our house had been for sale with no luck. I decided one night that the next morning I was going to start my own rosary novena to Fr. Engelmar. I prayed to him through the night. The next morning when I went to my computer, there was a message from our realtor. She had been up through the night and, being too early to call, she wanted us to know that we had a firm offer for the house. I am convinced that Fr. Engelmar heard my prayer. Now I pray for my daughter to sell her home. I have faith that Fr. Engelmar will help her. I ask LEAVES readers to pray for her as well - Nancy.

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This donation is in honor of Fr. Engelmar for new jobs for my niece and nephew, also for twin girls being born healthy in honor of St. Jude. Thank you - Lisa.

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My donation is in thanksgiving for prayers answered by Fr. Engelmar and all my saints I pray to, including the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Ss. Jude and Anthony. Thank you for your prayers - C.R.

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In August my daughter learned that she was going to be cut from her job. She had been trying to find a different job, had lots of interviews, but no luck. I started the novena in honor of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig for her, and on the last day of the novena she got an interview for a job she did receive - Mrs. Karen B.

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My donation is to Fr. Engelmar for a big favor he did for me in answering my prayer and helping my daughter - C.R.

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The fall of 2012, when I received my Novena in Honor of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig booklet, was a terrible time. My brother was so deep into the grip of insanity that our family was very close to having him committed for life into a mental institution. Shortly after I started the novena, my brother was discharged from the hospital after a five-day treatment. He has been well since. I attribute his stability to the intercession of Bl. Engelmar. I continue to pray the novena requesting God’s blessings for my brother through the loving intercession of Bl. Engelmar - Mrs. P.W.

Pope Francis at His Angelus Prayer on Sunday, September 25, 2016,
On the Beatification of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig:

Dear brothers and sisters,
yesterday, at Wuerzburg (Germany), Engelmar Unzeitig, priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, was proclaimed Blessed. Killed in hatred of the faith in the extermination camp of Dachau, he opposed hatred with love, and answered cruelty with meekness.  May his example help us to be witnesses of charity and hope even in the midst of tribulations.

Intercessory Prayer of
Blessed Engelmar

Jesus, with the help of Your Mother Mary, Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig’s faith grew stronger, his hope more sure and his love more ardent in the concentration camp of Dachau. He became an intercessor for his own country and for the entire world.
Hear our prayers and grant what we ask through Blessed Engelmar’s intercession, so that You may be glorified in Your martyrs and saints. We ask this in Your name and in the name of all the martyrs of the twentieth century.

Blessed Engelmar DVD

We have available a DVD of the life of Bl. Engelmar in English and Spanish. The 48-minute-long DVD is entitled “Stronger than Death: Father Engelmar Unzeitig.” It is a fine exposition of his holy life, the life of a modern-day martyr. It is a program you may want to share with others, for instance, your prayer group, Bible study group, RCIA group, parish men’s club or ladies’ altar society, or even your garden club!

We will be glad to send a DVD to you. Please specify how many copies you would like in your preferred language and your name and shipping address. The suggested donation for the DVD is $3.00, including shipping and handling. Please send your request to us at LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.

   Those who wish to make a donation through our website using Pay Pal may contact us at
www.mariannhill.us/leaves.html <http://www.mariannhill.us/leaves.html> with the previously mentioned information. Find the section entitled DVD available on the life of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, and follow the instructions given there.  If donating through Paypal, please include your mailing address by checking box that says, "Please share my mailing address with Mariannhill Mission Society".

Novenain Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 108 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.

The Day
By Margaret Peterson

Softly the day unfolds, as a flower,
Growing sweeter by the moment and hour.
Each day is the gift from God’s holy hands.
I hope that we use it just as He planned.

Sharing My Lunch
By Kathleen Fessler

“Be on your way,” my mother said.
I trotted down the path that day,
Held in my hands the fish and bread
To eat for lunch while I’m away.

The day was warm, and so I took
A short cut through the grassy field.
My friend would meet me by the brook
To see what fish the stream would yield.

But on the way I saw a crowd
Sitting on a sun-drenched hill,
And one man dressed in robes of white,
Holding baskets he would fill.

He asked me would I share my meal.
“I’d be happy to,” I said.
On his face my eyes were glued,
As I gave my fish and bread

As he prayed and blessed my food,
The fish and bread just multiplied.
All within the crowd were fed-
Jesus is the Living Bread!

The Wound in His Shoulder
By Virginia Schmidt

Your sufferings, O Lord, You accepted with grace
To open salvation to the whole human race.
You bore agonizing pain that no one did know,
Until one day You told St. Bernard of Clairveaux.

A wound on Your shoulder gave excruciating pain,
But God the Father assured it would not be in vain.
This wound tore Your flesh and laid bare Your bones.
Your crushing cross surely added to Your moans.

But You promised to grant special favors to those
Who would honor this wound and therefore comfort Your woes.
In thanksgiving for granting the favor I did request,
To spread this devotion I will do my very best.

By honoring this wound we show Jesus we care
About all the sufferings He had to bear.

Prayer of the Shoulder
Wound of Jesus

O loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I, a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy cross, which so tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy most blessed Body.

I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards heaven along the way of Thy cross. Amen.

(Saint Bernard asked the Divine Redeemer what was the most painful wound that He suffered and the most unknown by mankind. Jesus responded: “I had a very deep wound on my shoulder on which I carried my heavy cross. This wound was the most painful of all. Most men are unacquainted with it. Honor this wound and I will do everything you ask for.”)