LEAVES Website for the March-April 2016 Issue
Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:
We are in the midst of the Lenten Season. During Lent in this special Year of Mercy, let us all
partake of the forgiveness and mercy to be obtained from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is an
unfortunate fact that people do not avail themselves of this beautiful sacrament as often as they
once did. We all have failings. The first part of overcoming them is to recognize and admit them.
When doing this within the sacrament, we reconcile ourselves back into the Lord’s embrace and also
back into communion with our brothers and sisters in faith.
When we examine our conscience before Reconciliation, we must review not only what we have
done that is displeasing to the Lord, but also what we have neglected to do. Have we lived the
Works of Mercy in our day-to-day living?
If we are to be forgiven, we must also be willing to forgive others. It is not always easy to be
patient with those who have treated us badly. Many times our first instinct is to lash out at them.
However, the Lord calls us to “bear patiently those who do us ill,” no matter how difficult this may
When we admonish sinners, we must do so with love. Even though we hate the sin, we must still
love the sinner. We can move the hearts of those who sin more easily by our example of
faithfulness, than by words of condemnation. Chastisements may fall on deaf ears, but the example
of a faith-filled life may provide the encouragement for an amendment to sinful choices.
Pope Francis explained the meaning of the “Holy Door” at St. Peter’s Basilica that opened the
Year of Faith on Dec. 8 last year by saying, “This great door is that of God’s mercy, which welcomes
our repentance and offers us the grace of forgiveness; a door which is opened generously but
whose threshold must be crossed with courage.” “With this spirit,” he concluded, “we approach the
Jubilee: there will be the Holy Door, but it is the door of God’s great mercy. There will also be the
door of our heart, to receive all God’s forgiveness and to give ours in turn, welcoming all those who
knock on our door.”
Therefore, as we ask for forgiveness, we must also be ready to offer forgiveness. Let us
search our hearts this Lent and review any relationships that suffer from ill will or
misunderstanding or anything else that might get in the way of peace between us and any others. As
our dear Holy Father mentioned, this can only happen with those who are courageous.
March 27 is Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord, the premier and most important
feast of the entire year. Let “Alleluias” ring out loudly as we praise our Risen Savior! Everything
changed on that first Easter morn. Death was defeated by Love.
Society goes overboard in its celebration of Christmas with advertising and television specials
airing long before the arrival of Thanksgiving. Such secularization and commercialization is not a
true celebration of the Birth of Christ, but we must keep in mind that Easter is still greater. So
important is Easter that Scripture tells us that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is
in vain and your faith is in vain” (Cor 15:14).
A week after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, which should be celebrated in a particularly
special way during this Year of Mercy. Of course, the actual Easter Season lasts for 50 days, so be
sure to make good use of this joy-filled time. Perhaps this beautiful season would be best spent
concentrating on mercy, both gaining and receiving mercy.
Traditionally the Easter Season is a time of mystagogy, which means “interpretation of
mystery,” for those who have come into the Church at the Easter Vigil. During this time the meanings
of the sacraments are explained in greater detail to our new brothers and sisters in the faith.
Let us celebrate Easter this year in a variety of ways. As we focus on mercy, let us also find
some moments each day to tease out joy and then share it with all those with whom we come in
contact. We should pray too for the newest members of our Church. Let their joyous enthusiasm
reflect in our own hearts, and let the Holy Spirit enlighten them with knowledge and inspiration of
From all of us at LEAVES to all our dear LEAVES family, we wish you God’s choicest blessings at
Easter and always. Our love and prayers are with you all - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.
Food for African Children
On Thursday afternoon, 15 October, St. Francis Secondary School pupils were provided with a
meal of rice that you donated in your poverty-alleviation scheme. The students enjoyed the food
very much, as it really assisted them to fight hunger, which is a constant threat to them in their
schooling. Some of the students come from very poor families, thus they come to school without
having any meal. This greatly affects their learning process, as they find it very hard to
concentrate in their studies due to hunger. The donated food will surely go a long way in assisting
the students’ souls.
I therefore, as the St. Francis Secondary School head, would like to bid our utmost gratitude
to you for the donation. We really appreciate it; thus we pray to God for your abundant
Report by Sr. Antonetta Ndebele, CPS
[This food was sent to Zimbabwe in September by your donations-the Editors.]
Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:
Prayer from One
Grandmother to Another
Recently I picked up a copy of LEAVES from work and found a letter in it about St. Anne. At
that time my grandson was sick with a chronic illness, and I decided to pray to St. Anne for him,
since she was a grandmother of a very important Grandson.
I prayed all that day, as we took care of this boy, and into the night. That night I had the dream
that is described in the poem that I wrote the next day. I can still see the two guardian angels on
either side of my grandson, and the beautiful look of love and caring on their faces. I wish I were a
painter so I could paint this picture. I will never forget it.
St. Anne answered my prayer the first time I prayed to her! She sent me a vision in a dream
that will be in my heart forever, as she will be.
Thank you for reminding me about her. I pray to her daily now and want to acknowledge St.
Anne and the power of prayer - Name Withheld.
Bell Rings for Prayers
The year was 2008 and here I was, sitting in my big ranch-style home all alone out on the vast
prairie of northeastern Montana. I was alone because my dear husband had passed away after
battling cancer for 19 years.
My attention was riveted on a book I had been loaned. Out of the blue I heard a bell, which was
very unusual, as I was alone in my home. Louie’s bell was still on his bedside desk. This was rung
whenever he needed me. A few minutes passed when the bell rang again.
I walked to my phone and telephoned Greg, my oldest of 10 children. After relating the bell-
ringing incident, Greg asked one question, “Mom, do you know what day this is?” I pondered on this
for a minute before responding, “Not really.” “Well,” he said, “It’s the last day of the Gregorian
Masses which we had said for Dad.”
Within a week the bell rang once again. Now I really wondered if my husband of 59 years was
sending me another message. Once again I told Greg over the phone about the strange bell ringing.
His explanation rather surprised me: “Mom, maybe Dad needs more prayers.” That could be
possible, so I requested Gregorian Masses once again for Louie ... and that ended the bell ringing! -
Divine Mercy with
A New Concentration
My devotion to the Divine Mercy has been most rewarding, with answers to some difficult
health problems and much more.
I would like to share how I pray with the Divine Mercy novena. I do the prayers requested and,
while doing that, I concentrate on the cross and the pain of Jesus in the areas of His head with
thorns, His hands and feet nailed to the cross and the lance that was driven into His chest. That’s
where the rays of mercy and love have poured out.
This concentration has netted me tremendous answers. I do pass around the Divine Mercy
pamphlets and share them with others (ordered from Marian Press). In Christ - Marilyn S.
Finding Mercy in Prison
I am writing to let everyone know that there is love, forgiveness and mercy, even for those of
us in prison. I have been in prison for 18 years, but my Lord has been merciful to me. I want to
thank Mother Mary, Ss. Rita, Jude, Therese of the Child Jesus, Philomena - all these saints, but
most importantly, the Lord my God, Jesus Christ.
I came to prison with a 35-year sentence, but I received a time cut. I had Hepatitis C and the
Lord cured me, so there is no sign of it now. The Lord watched over me in a maximum security unit
for 14 years and then brought me to a medium security unit for the remainder of my time, which
ends in two years. He delivered me from prison gangs and has kept me safe.
The courts tried to take away my parental rights, but with the Lord’s help and help from His
saints, we won. I say “we” because my children all stuck together as a family. They are now 18, 23
and 25 years old, all girls who have finished high school and have gone on to college. Two have
graduated and one, the baby, has started college this year.
Two of the girls are married and one has made me a grandfather of two beautiful children, an
eight-year-old boy, and a six-year-old girl. From birth all of my daughters were consecrated to the
Virgin Mary, so when I became a widower and they motherless through a tragic accident, I firmly
believe Mother Mary always looked out for them. Bear in mind that they were only eight years old,
six years old and two months old when my wife passed away, and so after all these years it is high
time to praise God publicly for all He’s done for one of the least, me, a sinner. Even in prison there
is forgiveness. Readers should know that nothing is impossible for God and no one is beyond
forgiveness. If you repent and return to the Lord with all your heart, He’s waiting for you right now.
All you have to do is ask. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Rev 3:20).
Thank you, my Lord and my God, for everything and thank you at LEAVES who for years have
lifted my spirits when I was down with all your wonderful testimonies. God bless - J.R.G.
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.
Peace be with you! I am writing to tell you that the novena of Fr. Engelmar was said for my son
in his pursuit of becoming an Army Ranger. It was a very difficult task; 394 started and only 96
graduated, and of those only 25 went straight through the program. Michael was one of those 25,
just nine percent. We credit Fr. Engelmar and our God in heaven with the grace Mike needed to
complete the school. He lost 30 pounds and was nearly delirious when finished.
Michael prayed every day for strength and courage. His faith has grown and he says he will
always “serve Him.” It makes my heart so happy. The novena booklet was given to me by my mother
Doretta who is a true disciple of Jesus! I want to share the Fr. Engelmar novena with my church
friends. God bless and thank you! - Susan A.
+ + +
Fr. Engelmar has interceded many times on my behalf. I wrote last year saying that two of my
sons had found wonderful Catholic girls whom they married. One of my sons has already given us a
granddaughter a year later. I now need prayers for our other son and his wife who would love to
have a baby too. I have been praying the novena and know my prayers will be answered in God’s
time. Also I credit Fr. Engelmar for the vacating of an alleyway and also for selling my daughter’s
house. Your prayers for my family are greatly appreciated - Ann.
+ + +
My donation is for prayers and petitions answered. Fr. Engelmar has responded, and my son
found a second part-time job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. His first job is delivering the
newspaper early in the a.m. If he can get his driver’s license reinstated, then he’ll have a vehicle to
perform jobs as well as to attend night school. I am still praying that he’ll keep track of his funds
and eventually get health insurance. I currently keep track of them, and it is mentally wearing me
out. Currently he is not a practicing Catholic, but he prays for me.
I continue with Masses, rosaries and St. Michael’s chaplet for him. Lastly, I ask Fr. Engelmar to
find me a St. Joseph-like man, if it is our Lord’s will. Sincerely - M.L.K.S.
+ + +
My donation is in thanksgiving for a very special favor granted on the eighth day of my novena
to Fr. Engelmar. I then prayed the novena again in thanksgiving and for his continued help. I am also
so grateful for the prayers of the LEAVES family, and I include them in my prayers as well.
Gratefully - Theresa U.
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.
I would like to publish my thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart for many favors I have received. “Dear
Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked for many favors. This time I ask for this special
one (mention petition). Take it, dear Heart of Jesus, and place it within your broken Heart where
your Father sees it. Then in His merciful Heart it becomes your favor, not mine. Amen.”
Who is This Man?
By Arlene Lila
I’m just a humble donkey’s colt.
None yet had ridden me
Until one day a Man approached
And said, “I’ve need of thee.”
A gentler voice I’d never heard;
He whispered in my ear.
At that very moment
He took away my fear.
Crowds called Him “Son of David.”
Whoever could He be?
The road ahead was covered
With palm branches from a tree.
I heard them shout “Hosanna!”
All in one accord.
He must be a King of Kings
Or maybe Lord of Lords.
I didn’t know ’till later
This Man was soon to die
For the sins of all mankind.
His name they’d magnify.
Of all the creatures in this world
There’s none more blessed than me.
I carried on my willing back
This Man from Galilee.
By Kristy Vaughn
Who could withstand?
Who could just STAND?
He came down as a man;
He said, “Yes, I am.”
This beating goes down in history;
We will never understand all the mystery.
The angels did weep,
The kingdom did cry,
For they did not know
The man who would die.
They did this to him,
They laughed and they mocked.
He did this for us:
He died on a cross.
Not just a man,
But the great I AM.
Go Tell My people
By Bernice Laux
I am the Savior
Of the Scriptures read.
Go tell My people
I’m the Word that’s read.
My life I gave for them
Because I love them so.
Go tell My people,
Many do not know.
Not for one alone I came
But all My children dear.
Go tell My people,
I want them all to hear.
The cross I died upon
Was meant for one and all.
Go tell My people,
Come, let us all rejoice!
May your troubles be less,
your blessings more, and
may nothing but happiness
come through your door.