LEAVES Website for the January-February 2018 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

A new year - a new beginning. This is a perfect time for self-examination. Are there things happening in our lives that could benefit from a change in direction? Did over-zealous spending during the holidays result in a compromised financial situation afterwards? Did an awkward conversation during a family get-together cause hurtful feelings? Did a busy shopping and party schedule prevent faithful attendance at church?

How about gratitude? Did we neglect to offer sincere thanks for those who remembered us with gifts over the holidays? A hand-written note of thanks sent on a small card or even regards sent through email to acknowledge someone’s thoughtfulness is always appreciated. This is a gesture that we would do well to instill in our children and grandchildren. It will serve them well throughout their lives.

There are so many entities vying for our attention: social media, email, video games, texting, television, movies and news outlets. Perhaps this is a good time to make a deliberate effort to look at the amount of time devoted to these endeavors. Is the time well spent or a frivolous waste of a precious commodity that can never be regained?

With only so many hours in a day, let us ensure that, whenever possible, we use them to become what God intended us to be. Spending time at the gym can enable us to be healthy. Reading good literature or watching uplifting programs at the movies or on Netflix can serve to inspire us to live more wholesome lives. Devoting more time to prayer brings us closer to the Lord.

Evaluate how much time and effort you devote to making a living, raising a family, contributing to your community, and then compare that with anything you do that is faith-related. Those who live out in the world are certainly not expected to spend every waking hour in prayer; however, after examination of our current status, might we be able to increase our time with the Lord just a little?

Can we arrive five minutes early to church on Sundays and review the readings for Mass in the missalette? That would certainly enhance our appreciation of the Word of God as it is proclaimed by the priest. Some churches provide an opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession prior to Mass. To attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass in a state of grace should be a goal for everyone. Reconciliation provides that.

As the dear LEAVES family knows quite well, extending an offer of prayer is a gift beyond measure. We know the efficacy of prayer and we are generous in offering this powerful gift to those in need. Let us open our eyes and our hearts to those who are suffering in any way. Telling someone you are praying for her may give her the strength to endure and continue. A quick Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for someone may make a tremendous difference.

Ash Wednesday is on Feb. 14. Remember that Lent is to be a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We should also perform works of penance and acts of charity. Be sure to commit to a worthy celebration of Lent.

Let us all make the year 2018 a year of proper balance. Cut back on whatever is not a positive in our lives and does not further us in becoming the best we can possibly be. We need not make drastic changes. Small, sincere efforts build over time, and before we know it, we have become great blessings to all those we encounter.

As we begin another year, all of us at LEAVES wish all our dear LEAVES family a most happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

Prayer Sustains

I lay on the tile floor for two days (no food, water or medication) and dragged myself around to try to get help with no success until I told myself “one last ditch effort,” and I got to my phone under the sofa. I had slipped out of bed in the bedroom.

My sister in California calls me at the same time every week, so this time she called the police for me. Since I have all steel doors, the emergency personnel went to my other sister who lived a few blocks over from me. She then came over with a key to my place. After they got me up, my sister helped clean me up.

For two days I did virtually nothing other than pray, and I promised God that I would donate to LEAVES if I lived. God is so caring that, as I lay there, I had found a cat’s blanket for a pillow. Thank you for LEAVES magazine that I have been reading since I was 15. I am 69 years old now. God bless you and all that you do! - Mrs. A.

Saints Intercede

A heartfelt letter of thanksgiving to Fr. Engelmar yet again for two massive favors received since saying the novena. First, my husband who is self-employed and is also on a “Job Seeker’s Allowance” is allowed to work as its “mean’s tested,” but he was called up for review from the social welfare inspector. It was the most worrying and difficult time, not knowing what the outcome would be, so I prayed earnestly to Fr. Engelmar, St. Jude, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to our Blessed Lady that my husband would not be penalized.

Thank God, he will only have to have his “means” reduced, a reduced payment of his joblessness allowance, and he will still be able to work.

My second favor was in relation to my elderly mother who was hospitalized from the nursing home. She had dehydration, confusion, chest infection, kidney infection and low sodium and blood counts that were all over the place.

I prayed the Fr. Engelmar novena again, along with prayers to St. Jude, Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Memorare of our Blessed Lady and other saints for their healing powers to intercede for my mother. During her hospital stay she took a turn for the worse and the doctor told me to be prepared, as they would have to put her on a ventilation machine and that was all they could do for her.

That evening I called to see her and I could not believe the big improvement from that afternoon when I had gotten the call from the doctor. Five days later I got a call that the doctors had discharged my mother from the hospital and she was going back to the nursing home. If that is not a miracle, I don’t know what is!

I am grateful for all the favors I have received and continue to pray the Fr. Engelmar novena. Please pray for me and my husband and for our families to keep us safe and healthy - Martina - Ireland.

St. Anthony to the Rescue

       I have grown to love St. Anthony because of the picture of him holding the Baby Jesus. That lovely Infant would not be in his arms were St. Anthony not pure and free of sin, filled with love.

For most of my life I did not ask St. Anthony to find things, thinking it was superstition. A friend who had much faith urged me to call on him when I lost my expensive hearing aid. While driving, I had removed it and put in on my lap to remind myself to replace its battery, but I forgot, got out of the car and it fell somewhere unbeknownst to me. When I arrived home, I discovered it was gone, and after searching, I recalled that I had removed it in the car.

We had been in a busy parking lot in front of a beach hotel where many visitors come and go. My friend had hoped we would find it and we went back to that place. By this time hours had passed. We searched there and, ready to give up, I had to be coaxed again to search one more time. After our prayer to St. Anthony, I was standing on the white line separating parking spaces and I looked down. There it was, my hearing aid! Thank you, St. Anthony - Carol Klein.

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.

I have been very, very sick. One aspect of my illness was very bad and I asked Fr. Engelmar to help me with this one thing. Within three days of saying the novena, I had help and he continues to bless me. I absolutely know that he helped me because I had prayed the novena before with no answer and this time it was swift. I am so grateful - L.Z.N.

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Enclosed is my donation for prayers answered by our heavenly Father and through a novena to Fr. Engelmar. I am truly blessed that all my heart tests came back, and I have no illness or problems with my heart. Praise God for a clean bill of health! Love in Christ - Carol Bond.

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I was so happy to read about Fr. Engelmar. I hope he will become a saint. He has answered so many of my petitions. I pray to others, but I pray especially to him. I am expecting two great-grandchildren. I am 95 and hope the Lord will see fit for me to be here to see these new relatives. I have received LEAVES a long time and pray for all. The Lord has blessed me in many ways. Please pray for my deceased son John - Anne T.

Novena in 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.

Sinners and Savior
By Leslie Jean Anderson

Sinners and Savior on the mount,
O Jesus, let us recount
With tenderness deep
How You died, our souls to keep.

The Most Beautiful Poem
By Brian Roberts

I am Thine, O Lord;
I have heard of Thy love for me.
I long to spread my wings and soar
And be closer to Thee.

Draw me nearer, precious Lord;
On the cross for me Thou died.
Send for me, blessed Lord,
To join Thee at Thy bleeding side.

The Road of Life
By Nina Maria Incollingo

Traveling on the road through life,
There are many trenches along the way.
On many avenues and bridges
Our lives embark each day.

Happiness and sorrow quietly hide
Around the bend,
Waiting patiently, synonymous of
How our day will end.

Challenges lurk on crossroads
That one cannot see,
Yet all pathways I can travel,
For Jesus walks with me.

Prayer for Peace

Merciful Father, / We are together on earth, alone in the universe. / Look at us and help us to love one another. / Teach us to understand each other, just as You understand us. / Make our souls as fresh as the morning. / Make our hearts as innocent as the Lamb. / May we forgive each other, and forget the past, / and may we have peace inside - and in our world. / Today and forever. Amen.

Prayer to the Saints for Help

Defend us, we ask, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body, and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Your Apostles Peter and Paul and blessed N. (mention the name of your patron saint), and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace and that Your Church may serve You in safety and freedom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.