LEAVES Website for the July-August 2017 Issue
Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:
The Holy Father’s Apostleship of Prayer intention for July is for Lapsed Christians: “That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the Faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.” There are very few families that have not had someone leave the Church. Sometimes they go to other denominations and sometimes they simply drift away from any religious practice.
People return to the Church for various reasons. Some stop attending church when they leave for college. They may come back when it is time to get married. Even then the return may be short-lived and another drifting-away time may happen until a new baby is born and they come back for the Baptism. A busy household with a new little one may find it difficult to attend church, so the next point of return may be when it is time for First Confession and First Holy Communion preparation. This back-and-forth may continue until Confirmation. Sadly Confirmation can sometimes be the final sacrament until the person comes back for his or her wedding.
There are those who are only drawn back to the Faith when faced with terrible injury or sickness. For those people the Sacrament of the Sick can provide comfort and peace. The Lord keeps the suffering close to His own heart.
Eucharist is such an important sacrament for us all. Attending Mass at least once a week strengthens our sense of community within the Church. Receiving Holy Communion gives us the graces necessary to go out in the world and live as the Lord calls us to live - to live a holy life. As Pope Francis says, we should help others see the “beauty of the Christian life.”
A faith-filled life is a happy life, a life of knowing we are loved beyond measure. The depth of our Lord’s love is unfathomable and far exceeds any other love. How can we not feel profound joy with this life, no matter in what circumstances we find ourselves?
Remind those who have strayed that there are no bounds to God’s mercy. Encourage them to partake of the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation. The Lord is always waiting for us, arms wide open, to welcome us back. Peace reigns in the hearts of those who receive absolution in Confession.
As you can see, the sacraments provide distinct moments of grace. Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Confession, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Sacrament of the Sick mark us as Christians and assist us in living Christian lives. We are all called to share this “Good News.”
Living a life of faith provides the best witness to those who have strayed. In addition to providing a positive example, we must remember to pray for those who no longer practice their faith. Pray for your own family members and for all lapsed Christians. Pray too for the fallen-away family members of our LEAVES family.
Offer prayers on behalf of family members who regularly attend the sacraments and also those families you see in church at Mass. Pray that their Faith remains strong and unwavering and that their example will encourage others in their own families to come back home to the Church.
Pray for those you know who are not in church on Sunday, whether they are family or just neighbors. For some people a gentle invitation to join you at Mass may be all the encouragement needed for them to return to the Faith. Let us take time out this summer to especially pray for all those who are lapsed that they will return to the Church. May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.
Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:
Rosary Novena Never Fails
I am writing to publicly acknowledge a most impossible and urgently needed petition being answered by the Blessed Mother through the Rosary Novena.
I was being sued by a person I had helped to get a legal judgment against an abusive former spouse who had forced this person to sign an agreement waiving all interest in their marital property. Pursuant to their marital agreement she was to receive only the right to live in one of their properties that was in desperate need of home repair. The spouse was to get all real estate and cash holdings.
I represented the woman in getting one half of their assets. I received no compensation, but when the judgment on paper didn’t turn out to be the exact amount in actual receivables, I was blamed and then sued.
Many colleagues expressed their sincere disbelief and offered to assist me in my legal defense, but I was still being sued. My reputation was tarnished and my own personal assets were being threatened. I was dismayed and depressed. I kept remembering the old cliché: “No good deed goes unpunished.” Prayer was my only alternative.
I remember my dear late mother telling me over my lifetime that the Rosary Novena does not fail. The Rosary is prayed for 54 days: 27 (three petitions each nine days) in petitions and 27 (three petitions each nine days) in thanksgiving.
I kept praying and I kept being scared as this person’s legal counsel kept sending my legal counsel demands for settlement. Since I began the novena, I have not heard from the other lawyer and I have been free of the harassment. While the case has not been officially dismissed, I believe the Blessed Mother, through her intercession to our Lord Jesus, has favorably resolved this matter for me. I am so very grateful.
My offering is in thanksgiving for this favor. I promised to spread devotion to the Rosary Novena - G.E.
Another Tribute to the Good Work of St. Anthony
Recently I purchased a new aerator for my kitchen faucet and, upon replacing the old with the new, I threw the old into the trash. Fortunately my son had decided to do a load of dirty dishes the next day. I heard: “Mom, this isn’t going to work!” Not work? Why?
Turns out that the portable dishwasher is old and the aerators have changed in style/size, allowing them to fit into the faucet, but not onto the dishwasher hose. I couldn’t believe it! I had visions of needing a new dishwasher just because of that “little” problem with a connector!
I dashed to the trash in hopes that I could find the old one, and by the grace of God and St. Anthony, I found it, almost at the bottom of the bag! Going through trash is not a pleasant way to spend one’s time, but little did I realize that it wouldn’t be the last time.
Several days later my daughter went shopping for me and handed me the receipts so I could pay her later. Absentmindedly I crumpled them up and threw them away once I saw the amount, not thinking about her needing them for her records.
Again by the grace of God and St. Anthony the day was saved. When Karen asked me that night where the receipts were, I drew a blank. Thinking back to the aerator, I thought, “Uh, oh, better check,” and sure enough, again near the bottom of a messy trash bag I found both receipts, a tad damp but intact! In both cases the trash was due to be picked up the next day.
It is beyond description what St. Anthony is capable of finding. After only one voicing of “Tony, Tony, look around. Something’s lost and must be found,” he came through. Here is the donation I promised him, especially for saving me the cost of a brand-new dishwasher, just because of a non-match of an aerator - Frances T.
Excerpted from Blessed 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.
This donation is in honor of Bl. Engelmar and St. Joseph for helping me sell my parents’ home in a month’s time. The home was built in 1955 and I thought it would take a long time to sell. It was put on the internet on a Monday and by the next day I had an offer. It passed all the inspections and the appraisal came in as we needed. Also this donation honors St. Anthony who is always finding items that I have misplaced, sometimes in places where I have already looked. He never fails me. Thank you to all my intercessors with our Lord - Gloria Q.
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I am writing in thanksgiving for favors received yet again after making a novena to Fr. Engelmar. My husband recently suffered with severe headaches. He felt as if his head was ready to explode when he would stoop or when he would sneeze or cough, and he also had a blurriness and fog in his left eye. He went to his doctor who referred him to the hospital for numerous tests which came back all clear, thank God, but he was still suffering from soreness in the head and had a problem with his eye. In earnest I started a novena to Fr. Engelmar and to my astonishment my husband is healed and cured from the soreness in his head and the eye complaint. I know in my heart that it is all due to the intercession of Fr. Engelmar, St. Lucy for eye complaints, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Lady, Ss. Anthony, Christopher and Jude. A sincere thank you! - M.M.
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My grateful appreciation to Fr. Engelmar for successful results of a bone marrow test on my son-in-law. I prayed the novena in honor of Fr. Engelmar and received the good news on the third day of the third time I said the novena. My son-in-law has lymphoma, but for now no treatment is needed. I was so concerned that the bone marrow test results be normal, and Fr. Engelmar interceded with our dear Lord for me. I promised to send a donation in Fr. Engelmar’s honor if the test was favorable. My son-in-law had a doctor’s appointment today and got the good news. My appreciation to Fr. Engelmar - Bev L.
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.
The Miracle of the Rosary
By Fr. Urs Fischer, C.M.M.
My very good friend, Fr. Konrad Gietzinger, C.M.M. (1912-1987), was from Salzburg, Austria. He was ordained priest in 1939, and six weeks later he was drafted into the medical corps as an orderly. Konrad had often told me about his life as a soldier from 1939 to 1945, but there was one thing he never told me. I first heard about it after his death from another priest in Germany, Fr. Herbert Kessel. He wrote to me the following:
“We soldiers had a rough time in the Ukraine. We were withdrawing, and we had 20 badly wounded soldiers with us. With all these wounded it was impossible to withdraw quickly. The company commander (himself a doctor) stood before a hard decision: either take the wounded along with us - which meant the certain end of the company - or leave the wounded behind in order to save the company.
“Time was running out. The commander called the soldiers together and told them that he had decided to leave the wounded behind. If one of the orderlies wanted to remain with them, he would give him permission.
“Absolute silence! Then Fr. Konrad from Salzburg volunteered to stay behind. Quickly all the wounded were brought to a house on the main street of the village, and the company left.
“During the night the Russians came and occupied all the houses in the village. But one house they overlooked. In it lay 20 soldiers in pain and in mortal fear, but Fr. Konrad prayed the Rosary with them and begged Mary for help and hope. Once in a while he looked out the window; the Russians were coming and going.
“Morning came and the Russians were everywhere. All the other houses were occupied by them, but the unbelievable happened: no enemy entered this house! Only the house full of the wounded remained free and undisturbed.
“After a successful counterattack by the Germans on the next day, the wounded could be saved. That was a miracle of the Rosary: it made the house invisible to the enemy!”
Act of Consecration to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus
By St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
O Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, I give myself and consecrate my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify Your Sacred Heart. This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all Yours and to do all things for the love of You, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to You.
I therefore take You, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death. Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger.
O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in You, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from Your goodness and bounty. Remove from me all that can displease You or resist Your holy will; let Your pure love imprint Your image so deeply upon my heart that I shall never be able to forget You or to be separated from You. May I obtain from all Your loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Your Heart, for in You I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to You. Amen.
Heavenly Father, have mercy on all victims of cancer. Be their consolation. Help them in their agony. Give them courage and strength, perhaps a miracle. Jesus, Mary and all the saints weep, as we do, over these poor souls. And if it is Your will, please send humanity a cure for this dreadful disease. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
Sweet Lord Jesus
By Elias Tabar
Sweet Lord Jesus hung on a tree, /
sweetest God, to set us free. / Sweet Lord Jesus, lover of my soul, / only with Thee I can reach that shore.
By Josephine Mastrangelo Mosera
Dearest Mother, keep me safe
In the garden of your heart,
That place wherein I may rest
And softly speak to God.
I am so burdened as I enter it
With daily crosses from this world of sin.
You kiss away my tears of sorrow,
You give me strength for tomorrow.
You draw Jesus to me,
His arms open wide.
Within the cleft
I’m deep inside.
Children of your Rosary,
Do this secret tell:
In the garden of your heart
Does Blessed Trinity dwell!
With Faith We
Do Not Stop Trusting
By Donald G. Harmande
Did you ever look deeply into a newborn’s eyes / And know at a glance contentment within? / Not a trace of disharmony, fear or concern, / Only purity with freedom from sin.
Insatiably the eyes, seeking new vistas, / With a twinkle of awe and wonder / Could ever tire of new ventures / Nor scatter these marvels asunder.
The Bible reads, We cannot enter / The Kingdom of God / Unless we are as children. / Through this knowledge / We trust in our hearts / With devotion and belief in Him.
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By Margaret Peterson
Did you smile at someone a little bit lonely? / It’s measured in heaven above. / Those sweet little carings that cost nothing at all / Rank high in God’s kingdom of love.
What about deeply forgiving another? / Leave vengeance to God alone. / Remember that only the one without sin / Can cast the very first stone!
More than your money, although it’s important, / Is how you live in your day. / And you will be rich in heaven’s time / For trying to walk God’s way.