LEAVES Website for the March-April 2018 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

      March 2 is the feast day of our dear confrere
Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig. The LEAVES family is
well aware of the powerful example of
faithfulness we have in Bl. Engelmar, in addition
to his effective intercession on behalf of those
who call upon him. He provided comfort to those
who were suffering the terrible consequences
of typhus that were compounded by the awful
conditions of the concentration camp of Dachau.
He continues with his blessed comfort to us even

Most of us are not called to put ourselves in harm’s way to celebrate our faith or when we give aid to our neighbors. We are indeed fortunate in that regard. However, there are many places around the world where good and innocent people live in constant fear. It may be the terror of politically or ethnically motivated violence or the worry about a lack of basic essentials like food and shelter.

Bl. Engelmar was not able to save those poor souls who were with him in the concentration camp, but he gave them the greatest gift he had - his love and care. Country of origin of his fellow detainees did not matter to him. A difference in language did not deter him. The Nazis could strip him of everything, but they could not take away his love for everyone. As he was known to have said: “Love doubles one’s strength.”

Let us all offer up some sacrifice in honor of Bl. Engelmar in celebration of his feast day. We need not do anything dramatic. Some small favor for another will suffice, as long as we do it with love. Bl. Engelmar, pray for us!

      Spring is a time of renewal. In places where the winter cold brings snowy conditions, a springtime melt can be a gray, slushy mess. While we welcome the warmer temperatures, they come with a price. Snowfalls are replaced by thunderstorms. Half-frozen ground gets saturated with rain and flooding results. It is pleasant one day, and we might be wind-whipped with an arctic blast the next.

We are grateful that after the long, dark nights of winter, each day now offers up more minutes of light. Bright greens begin to replace drab browns on the ground and splashes of color pop up in gardens and flower beds. We see the Lord’s touch when a tree that looked dead now sprouts new leaves. Even the air itself smells fresh and sweet.

There are times when we too require a renewal. And just as happens in spring, it can be a messy time for us. It may be difficult and may not be a smooth transition. However, the rewards will certainly follow.

Let us all look to renew and build upon our celebration of Faith. Adding another devotion to our routines may take some adjustment, but the resulting blessings will be all the sweeter. Memorizing a short Scripture passage or learning a new prayer is not too burdensome. Investigating a saint’s life and a moment in Church history can be inspiring and interesting. May this Spring be a time of reawakening of Faith.

April 1 is Easter Sunday this year. On Easter and always our dear LEAVES family is in our hearts and prayers. May God grant you and your loved ones abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Feeding the Hungry Children

With God’s blessing and your financial support, we have been able to continue to help feed hungry children in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa. A 40-foot container of 250,000 meals was shipped in May and it arrived there in August. In the Tshitshi (boarding) schools, 370 students have meals of this food three times a week. They testify they like it and would love to have it every day, but the school was saving the food to make it last until the end of the school term in December.

Because there are so many other malnourished children in the archdiocese besides those at the Tshitshi schools, run by the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, they agreed to share one half of this shipment with their Sikhethimpilo Centre. The feeding project of this center is new. It targets child-headed households of the Matobo district, an area prone to drought. It assists the orphaned and vulnerable children who do not have a bread winner in their home to help with providing food.

Some of the children live with their grandparents who are not able to work in the fields or are sick and need to be cared for by the children. Each child was carefully questioned. There was urgent need to assist these children, as most of them were suffering from malnutrition.

Selection of the children for the project was done by child protection committees and school authorities. The drought had affected the community to the extent that some children, so malnourished, were collapsing during school hours. This project is the right solution to save lives of children, especially those from child-headed households. 

By November, 62 households (282 children) were being fed. They are fed at school, not at home, so that they do not miss classes. Responses of community members, teachers and community leaders prove that this project has a positive impact on the children. It was noted that the children are joyful and healthy. 

The school authorities mentioned that school attendance had improved dramatically because of the food aid. They stated that the performance of the children improved both in class and in extracurricular activities. Fewer cases of abuse in the villages have been reported. The explanation for this is that these children are no longer begging for food, which made them vulnerable to abuse.

With your generosity we have sent a second 40-foot container of food in December to continue these feeding programs of hungry children and even expand them, if possible. Both of these programs have been financed by your donations, and we certainly thank you for them. They will continue, God willing, only with your help again.

You may send your donation to us at: LEAVES, PO Box 87, Dearborn MI 48121-0087, and mark it: For the hungry children. May God reward you for your generosity.

Rest in Peace
Brother Otto Waldmueller, C.M.M.

                                 Brother Otto Waldmueller, C.M.M., died on Nov. 2, All
                            Souls Day. Born in Germany in 1936, he was one of five
                            children, three boys and two girls. He made his religious
                            vows as a lay brother in Mariannhill at age 19. Beginning
                            in 1965, he spent 18 years of missionary work in South

                                Trained as a welder, he also made use of other skills
                            while in South Africa: tanning hides, constructing
                            churches and parish halls. He came to the U.S.A. in 1986 and remained here until death. He did the maintenance work of the buildings and property of the Mariannhill community here in Dearborn Heights, Mich. 

Brother Otto’s funeral Mass was celebrated in his community on Nov. 4 and his burial followed in St. Hedwig Cemetery nearby. He came from a mission-minded family - his brother, Fr. Pius also of Mariannhill, spent 24 years in South Africa and his sister, Sister Gundegard, spent 30 years in Brazil. He was a friendly person and was generous with his time and talent, always ready to help out. 

May God now reward Brother Otto with heaven for his 62 years of fidelity to his religious vows and for his admirable work for the good of Mariannhill and of the whole Church.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

St. Anthony Finds a Precious Keepsake

After Mass I found a gold chain with two medals and “Annie” written separately on the third. My, this was quite a find! I called the rectory and described it - what I almost stepped on - asking them to call me if anyone requested this precious keepsake. When I took it home, I asked St. Anthony to please find the owner. Three weeks went by and no one called.

After every Mass I gather up the bulletins left in the pews. Because of this, I am one of the last ones to leave church. As I approached the center aisle, a woman was there, seemingly a little confused. I asked if I could help her. She pulled at her rosary and chain around her neck. So I asked if she was looking for a gold chain with medals on it. She started to cry and hugged me.

She said, “I’ve been meaning to ask a priest, but I forgot. Now I was ready to go home and the inspiration came to go back into the church and ask someone about my medals. I’ve been praying a lot to St. Anthony and he heard my prayer. It’s a miracle because you are the first person I asked, and you have them! My mother gave them to me when I was 16 years old and now I am 58. Besides, this month I lost them three times.”

I told her that she was welcome to come to my house where the medals were. When she received them, she squeezed them and me as well. She was totally dedicated to our Lady, because of her father who instilled in her the importance of devotions and attending holy Mass. She cannot thank God enough for her father, for she knows that she wouldn’t be where she is without him - Andrea Remlin.

A Holy Teen

Let us pray for our youth enrolled in parish religious education. Many teens simply want to get done with it. Some are troubled teens who cannot make sense of much of it, not that it is their fault; life today is too confusing and overwhelming for them.

I taught one young lady who had several chips on her shoulder. No adult could reason with her. When she left my class, I hoped that the deacon who would be training her for Confirmation would be able to help her with major issues. I attended her Confirmation, but I could not understand how she made it there.

A year passed when she walked into my classroom as an aide! I greeted her with a smile, but inwardly I wondered how she would be able to listen to directives and then proceed reliably. After two classes I went up to her and said, “My, I am so pleased with you. You have changed so much!” She said, “Yes, I’m in high school now and love my Catholic Faith, so I want to help out.”

After prayer and sacrifices, teens do see Jesus’ holy light. The worst of them can become the very best. The miracle of conversion of the heart is silently working its way throughout our Church. Let us exceedingly rejoice! - Name Withheld.

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 want to inform you of a favor received from Fr. Engelmar. I came upon your magazine at Adoration one evening and for no special reason that I knew, but God knew, sent for the novena.

Not long after receiving the novena the impossible happened. In the middle of the night, Aug. 25, we received a call from one of our sons. He was in jail and wanted us to bail him out. His wife had called the police because of verbal abuse and threats. Everything spiraled downward in the next few days. He broke a court order of restraint, had an accident and was arrested again and bailed out again.

He had had a drinking problem since a teenager-an alcoholic-but maintained a good job and was probably a workaholic as well. He has always been a loving, good person and tried very hard to give up alcohol, but it had a serious grip on him (the devil’s work?).

Our son was released to our custody. He and I had a long talk one day soon after. He was, of course, very low. He knew he would lose his job and probably his family. Then I remembered the novena. He was in agreement that I begin it.

I began the novena Aug. 28. This is Dec. 12 and I am sure Fr. Engelmar’s prayers have obtained a miracle for us. Our son’s insurance paid for a month of intensive treatment. His wife and children took him back and they have received counseling. He couldn’t return to his job which requires security clearance, but his employers created a new position for him and have paid for his leave of absence until the first of the year. In three and a half months he has become a healthy, happy, relaxed and fun person again, and one who has always loved God.

I can see the hand of God in his recovery and thank Fr. Engelmar for his prayers. Our son who lives about one and a half hours away dropped in last week. He looks and feels great and volunteered that he is “happy to get his life back” - D.F.

+     +     +

My thanksgiving, along with a donation, in honor of Fr. Engelmar and St. Therese. Yes, St. Therese’s roses certainly do relieve stress and are soul-uplifting. Our son Andrew again flew from Australia to Quebec to help us celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with our extended family and friends. What a wonderful gift to have our four children present. Our son’s past history of thrombophlebitis in his leg from air travel makes me entrust his care to the above. I am happy to say that his long flights, coming and going, were without incident - Mrs. Maria Millen.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 109 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.

Prayer to St. Joseph
For Employment

Dear St. Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support myself (or my family). Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of anxiety will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for myself (or for those entrusted to my care). Help me to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that I may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched with even greater blessings from God. Amen.

Jesus Be with Me

Jesus, all beauty, all strength and all power!
Jesus, be with me each day and each hour.
Jesus, all beauty, all strength and all power!
Jesus, be with me in my dying hour. Amen.

The Samaritan Woman
By Kathleen Fessler

I am a Samaritan,
Despised by not a few. 
One day at the village well
There, sitting, was a Jew.  

He asked me for a drink.
My heart was beating fast.
What was I to think?
He spoke to an outcast!  

He spoke of living water
That he would offer me.
I said I wish I had some,
For it would set me free.  

He asked to see my husband.
I said, “I am unmarried.”
“Five husbands you have had,” he said.
He knew the shame I carried.   

I knew a prophet he must be,
But then he let me know
He was the true Messiah,
Promised long ago.

The Creator’s Hand
By Bernice Laux

In the beauty of this world,
be it sea or desert sand,
is the mystery and miracle
of God’s creative hand.

There is no other way
to prove that He exists,
for mother nature
always will  insist.

Arm in Arm
By Nina Maria Incollingo

Arm in arm with Jesus
I walk each and every day.
He listens to my problems;
I have a lot to say.

I tell Him about the world,
The sorry state it’s in.
He tells me not to worry
And to place my trust in Him.

We talk about the poor,
How jobs are difficult to find,
And that working for a living
Helps to ease one’s mind.

So many of us are fearful
In these desperate times of need,
Concerned about our homes
And all the mouths to feed.

Lord, help us; enlighten our hearts
And raise our spirits too.
You are our hope;
We can only turn to you.

Protect this universe;
Keep us from all harm.
And let us continue with our walks,
As always, arm in arm.