LEAVES Website for July-August 2023 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

        This time of year is sometimes referred to as the “lazy days of summer.” People on vacation tend to have less frantic schedules than those balancing work and family activities. More “down time” allows for such things as evening strolls, bird-watching from the patio or reading a book in the backyard hammock.

Leisure activities are an important way for people to recharge and refresh. There is a distinct benefit from disengaging from the rat race. It allows us to return to our regular routines with renewed vigor.

Many take advantage of the extended daylight hours of summer by rising earlier. Watching the sunrise offers a magnificent glimpse into God’s glory. The light dispelling the darkness of the night can serve to remind us of the Lord opening the gates of heaven by conquering the darkness of death.

Consider taking a few moments to begin each day with a quick prayer as you greet the rising sun from your beach chair, porch, balcony or sunny window. Thank Jesus for His tremendous sacrifice that enabled us to enjoy a life eternal with the Lord. Reflect on what you need to do in your life now to ensure your everlasting place in the presence of God almighty.

Slow down enough to admire God’s handiwork of creation. Trees, plants, mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans are all gifts to be treasured. Take care when partaking of them. Use them with care and help fix them when you see signs of abuse.

If you live in a city you may have limited exposure to wildlife, but you likely enjoy watching birds flying overhead. The Gospel of Luke tells us: “
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows” (12:6-7).

Most cities have animal shelters or rescue centers. Perhaps there is a way in which you can support them. Many can use blankets, food or kitty litter, in addition to assistance in cleaning and grooming the animals and facilities. Sometimes sharing a social media post can help find a forever home for a pet.

A local park or recreation area probably is host to squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs, ducks or geese, and sometimes even deer or foxes. Be respectful of these creatures. Enjoy watching them, but be sure not to frighten or feed them.

Even if no wildlife is visible, you might be able to locate their tracks. It can be fun to try to identify the kind of animal that made them. There are apps available that can identify animal tracks, plants and trees, even the various stars and constellations.

We live in a wondrous world. Enjoy it, care for it and offer thanksgiving to the Lord for it.

       The International World Youth Day is being held Aug. 1-6, 2023. Youth, ages 16-35 years old, from around the world will gather in Lisbon, Portugal. The Holy Father chose the following theme for the international event: “Mary rose up and went with haste” (Lk 1:39) calling to mind the Blessed Mother’s rush to visit her cousin Elizabeth after the Archangel Gabriel’s annunciation of the coming birth of Christ.

The Holy Father said that
in these troubling times of pandemic and war “Mary shows to all of us, and especially you, young people like herself, the path of proximity and encounter.” He noted: “After a long period of social distancing and isolation, we will all rediscover in Lisbon – with God’s help – the joy of a fraternal embrace between peoples and generations, an embrace of reconciliation and peace, an embrace of new missionary fraternity!”

The Pope encouraged us to follow Mary’s example and: “arise and go in haste.”
Let us all support, encourage and pray for the success of this important gathering of our youth. Dioceses will offer special resources in support of the event (check www.usccb.org). Additional information can be found on www.lisboa2023.org . May blessings abound at World Youth Day activities.

May God grant you abundant blessings always – Fr.
Michael Sheehy, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

St. Anthony Helps
Locate Important Tickets

On a Friday night I had picked up some Mardi Gras ball tickets on my way to spend the weekend at a hotel downtown for another Mardi Gras event. I thought I put the tickets in my console, not wanting to bring the tickets in the hotel.

The next morning I thought about the tickets and went out to my car to get them, but they were not in the console. I was shocked. These were important tickets which could not be replaced.

I turned to St. Anthony, praying for his help. I went back to the console with no luck. I prayed again to St. Anthony and I then happened to find a gas receipt that I had not filed in my mileage book last week (for my taxes). 

I went outside again to file the receipt and when I opened my mileage book, there were the tickets! I had forgotten that I had put them there for safe keeping, instead of the console, in case someone else saw them there. St. Anthony had me find that receipt just in time. My donation is to acknowledge his greatness – Anita K.

An Honor to
Serve Children

Thank you for your wonderful LEAVES magazine.  I have received it for at least 30 years now.

Many, actually most, of my high school classmates have retired since in 2023 we will be holding our 50th class reunion. I am in good health so I decided to take a district librarian position on an Indian reservation in our state.

It has been a total culture shock working here. The tribe provides some teacher housing in trailer houses. Mine is new and beautiful, but most are not. Nothing is maintained here.

I am the first person to live in my trailer. There is a white tarp over one-eighth of the roof. When I asked the maintenance man if he could fix the roof he told me that the tarp was just for transport.

While I am constantly amazed at the children’s lack of skills, it is still an honor to love and serve these precious children. They constantly tell me, “I love your dress. Your necklace is pretty. I like your shoes.” Even the little boys tell me this!

I get numerous hugs every day, even though I am actually a very strict teacher. I have no trouble telling a misbehaving student, “You are stealing our learning time.”

My donation to LEAVES is in thanksgiving to God for giving me a job that I LOVE to do. I am thrilled to jump out of bed to go to work each day. All the best – Marilyn M.

Safe During Stroke

I am donating a charitable gift in thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ for watching over me and keeping me safe while I was driving and suffered a stroke. It was through the Lord’s intervention, along with the St. Christopher medal in my pocket, that I did not have an accident.

I made it home safely and it was only then upon returning home that my family noticed something wasn’t right. They took me to the emergency room where I was subsequently given an MRI and other tests and was diagnosed that I had suffered a stroke on the right side of my brain. I spent the next three days in the hospital, and had no ill effects, no loss of speech, no impairments, and able to talk and move normally.

I am now on blood thinners. I can still drive and am still working. It was only through God’s mercy and divine benevolence that I am still here, that I did not crash while driving or that I did not suffer any debilitating aftereffects. Thank you God – Tom.

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 donation is in gratitude for prayers answered. I had made novena prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Joseph and Bl. Engelmar on behalf of two grandchildren who were interviewing for internships needed to complete requirements for their college degrees. They were both offered placements. This is proof that our Lord, through the intercession of our beloved saints, will generously answer our prayers if we just ask. Thanks be to our Lord! – Nancy Mc.

+     +     +

Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig never fails to respond to my petitions. I always feel as though he sees me, understands me and answers me. This happens time after time, in matters large and small. His novena is one of the most beautiful I have ever prayed! I continue to pray that Bl. Engelmar soon will be recognized as a saint. Thank you, dear Bl. Engelmar! – J.B.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 100 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.

Blessing of Travelers

        All-powerful and ever-living God,
when Abraham left his own land
and departed from his own people,
you kept him safe all through his journey.

Protect us, who also are your servants:
walk by our side to help us;
be our companion and our strength on the road
and our refuge in every adversity.

Lead us, O Lord,
so that we will reach our destination in safety
and happily return to our homes.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
[From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers, USCCB.]

Christian Prayer in
Union with Creation

By Pope Francis

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.

Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.

  O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
  help us to protect all life,
  to prepare for a better future,
  for the coming of your Kingdom
  of justice, peace, love and beauty.
  Praise be to you!

Martha and Mary
By Kathleen Fessler

It started out a day so grand –
A guest for evening meal.
Needing now an extra hand,
For help I would appeal.
I’m working here all by myself,
So many chores to do.
I’d really need some extra help.
My sister, I need you!
My sister Mary was enthralled,
Sitting at Jesus’ feet,
Soaking up His every word.
I tried to be discreet.
I’m really needing help, I cried.
The food is still not ready.
I thought you would be at my side,
Faithful, true and steady.
Our guest Jesus turned and said,
“Oh, Martha, you’re distressed.
Mary chose the better part.
For this she will be blessed.”
I just didn’t understand
Why I was so upset.
Jesus was our honored guest.
My words now I regret.
Often now when life looks bleak
And seems all dark and grim,
I steal away, just sit in prayer,
And spend more time with Him.

Musical Notes
By Sr. Margaret Ann Kelly, SC

Music is a symphony
of dreams that all come true.
Notes blended in harmony,
with thoughts and words anew.

Talent from God built in,
for everyone to hear.
An echo of His joy to win,
His friendship is right here.

We compose a team of instruments,
patiently practicing the score.
Creating worthy implements
in hymns to praise the Lord.

Let’s sing His praise with love,
in the key of G for God.
Performing with the Spirit Dove,
under His conductor’s rod.

Kingdom of Heaven
By Sindy Williams
One day the moon will be embarrassed
and the sun will be ashamed,
because the Lord All-powerful
will come to rule again.

Change our hearts and lives;
the kingdom of heaven, it’s near.
Our Father who is in heaven,
Your name will be revered.

Here on earth as it is in heaven
may Your kingdom come.
The thing I want the most
is that Your will be done.

Anyone who begins to plow,
but keeps on looking back,
is no use in God’s kingdom.
There is no room for slack.

God’s kingdom – it has come!
Not that we’re able to see.
Because I am His child,
God’s kingdom is in me.