LEAVES Website for the May-June 2016 Issue
Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:
The Holy Father’s Apostleship of prayer intention for May of 2016 is “that in
every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their
essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.” We are fortunate here
in the U.S. and Canada that most women are able to fulfill whatever aspirations
they might have. Women are able to be stay-at-home moms or business executives
or work and parent at the same time.
Unfortunately there are many places around the world where women
experience terrible abuse and severely limited opportunities. Sadly that happens
even here in some families and some communities. It is hard to imagine that some
women find themselves in situations that make them feel hopeless, but that is the
reality for some.
What can we do to uplift women? First we can speak of the value of females
from their conception. This might be advocating against abortion of any kind and
for abortion for the selection of the sex of babies. There are places where the
births of only male babies are welcomed. Each and every baby is a gift from our
Heavenly Father and all should feel welcomed and loved.
Young women have a great burden on them to aspire to an ideal that is at times
unrealistic and other times unhealthy. Body image often takes precedent over
other attributes, such as intellect or having a kind and loving nature. While it is
important for us to encourage young ladies to be strong, we must also let them
know that being gentle is important as well.
Some mothers work in order to feel contented in life, and others work
because their income is critically needed just to afford the basics of food, clothing
and shelter for their families. Assisting these women with a helping hand with
occasional childcare or simply a word of encouragement can lift a heart that might
feel overwhelmed by so many responsibilities. The unexpected delivery of a batch
of homemade cookies or a bouquet of flowers from your garden could be luxuries
that might delight them and their families.
Statistically women live longer than men. As a result, there are many elderly
women who, in the frailty of old age, find themselves alone. While their strength
has waned, they possess a wealth of knowledge and experience from a long life
that can benefit others. However, many don’t have anyone to listen to their sage
advice or even anyone with whom to simply have a friendly chat. They feel
abandoned and forgotten. A visit or phone call to these dear ones can bring such
Whatever our own circumstances, let us live out the prayer intention of Pope
Francis to honor women. In May we celebrate Mother’s Day - what a perfect time
to deliberately seek out moments to show our mothers and all women that they are
cherished and respected. If our mothers or other significant women from our lives
have finished their earthly pilgrimage, we still can support them through our
prayers and sacrifices. Perhaps we all might pray an extra Hail Mary daily for all
women during the month of May.
Father’s Day is celebrated in June. Pope Francis has mentioned the importance
of fathers many times. In a general audience on Feb. 4, 2015, he advised “that a
father be present in the family. That he be close to his wife, to share everything,
joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And that he be close to his children as they
grow.” Close, however, does not mean that fathers should be controlling, as that
would inhibit their children’s development.
Using the example of God our Father (cf. Lk 15:11-32), Pope Francis tells us
of the importance of mercy. “Fathers must be patient. Often there is nothing else
to do but wait; pray and wait with patience, gentleness, magnanimity and mercy. …
A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his
heart.” A good father corrects his children with firmness, but not by humiliating
them. “He must punish, but he does it in a just way, and moves on.”
Lastly, the Holy Father says that “the Church, our mother, is committed to
supporting with all her strength the good and generous presence of fathers in
families, for they are the irreplaceable guardians and mediators of faith in
goodness, of faith in justice and in God’s protection, like St. Joseph.”
Let us all say an extra Our Father each day during the month of June for
fathers and for all men. May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr.
Thomas Heier, C.M.M.
Father Engelmar Unzeitig, Martyr
Most of us will remember the following scene: “Annuntio vobis gaudium
magnum” “I announce to you a great joy: We have a Pope” … and then after a little
pause: “and his name is…” when the election of a Pope is announced to the whole
I am aware that all comparisons fall short, but this is the way I feel today! I
am full of joy and need to announce it loud, make it heard by every member of our
Congregation, by the whole Church and by the world at large: Rejoice, for on the
21st of January 2016 Pope Francis has declared that Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, a
member of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, is a martyr!
Therefore, on Sept. 24, 2016, in Würzburg, Germany, we shall be able to
celebrate his beatification.
When Fr. Engelmar died in 1945 he was just 34 years old and a priest for six
years. Four of those six years he spent in the Concentration Camp of Dachau.
On Apr. 21, 1941, he was arrested by the Gestapo (Nazi secret police) and six
weeks later he was confined to the concentration camp. Soon after, on Jan. 11,
1942, he wrote in a letter: “I hope to be able to make here a little contribution in
bringing the world home into the Father’s house.” This, for me, is not merely an
expression of a burning missionary heart, but a manifestation of an intentional and
purposeful union with Jesus Christ who said about himself to Nicodemus: “For God
so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him
might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
Under the inhuman conditions of the concentration camp Fr. Engelmar went
about his daily chores with incredible equanimity, and at the same time constantly
looked out for any opportunity to help and support his fellow prisoners. He
secretly learned Russian to be there for Russian prisoners of war and shared
portions of his small food ration with others who needed it more… and so it was no
surprise to the others that he was one of the first ones to volunteer to move into
the infected barracks where hundreds died of untreated typhus and where also
Fr. Engelmar eventually died.
And now Pope Francis has officially stated that our confrere died as a martyr.
Cardinal Kurt Koch says: “Christian martyrdom is not only life from the mystery of
the Eucharist but also and above all a willingness to be existentially integrated into
the mystery itself, and from this sacrificial death arises new life.” And this, says
Koch, is the message of the martyrs who became totally part of the Eucharistic
Mystery (Cardinal Kurt Koch, Nov. 11, 2015, lecture on the persecution of
Christians, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany).
And I believe that this is also the message of Fr. Engelmar and his gift to us:
On the basis and on the strength of his perpetual vows he followed Jesus Christ
obediently and trustfully, becoming one with Christ and his mission, fulfilling in
everything and always the Father’s plan “who so loved the world that he gave His
only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have
eternal life.” In this way Fr. Engelmar lived his four years in the concentration
camp as a true missionary, a true son of Abbot Francis who knew no limits in his
burning desire to bring the whole world back into God’s house, into God’s Kingdom
that according to him knew no boundaries. But our confrere, Fr. Engelmar, adds a
new and profound element, the spirit of littleness we see in the life of St.
Therese, the patroness of the missions - the unassuming power of the little and
faithful YES, knowing and believing that all is grace, and that nothing and no place
is unimportant for God and His desire to save all.
Fr. Engelmar, dear and wonderful confrere, pray for and with us that we all
may have the courage to follow you and so live and work for the Kingdom of God,
fulfilling the Father’s plan together and in Jesus Christ!
Fr. Damian Weber, C.M.M., Superior General
Congregation of Mariannhill Missionaries, Rome
Jan. 22, 2016
Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:
Confidently Calling on
St. Joseph Brings Results
I was unemployable, forced to resign from my tenuous position. I went
through a staffing agency, but no one wanted to hire me. In debt, without reliable
transportation and at my wit’s end, my 75-year-old mother and I turned to St.
Joseph for help.
We, in the old tradition, wrote down our pleas and petitions and attached them
to our blessed statue of St. Joseph for help.
Words cannot express what this most powerful saint has accomplished for me.
Through St. Joseph’s intercession with the Father, I have been given the gift of
employment that will help me get out of debt, and St. Joseph has gotten my 23-
year-old car working and keeps it running from home to work and back again.
I encourage LEAVES readers to implore St. Joseph’s aid. St. Joseph loves you
and is waiting for you to call upon him with confidence and hope - C.B.
Pink Roses Indicate
Answers to Urgent Prayer
Because of four extra houseguests, unwanted guests for over seven months,
my sister and I are at our wits’ end. I went for a drive to be alone and pray to Ss.
Therese, Jude and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for peace in this family. I asked St.
Therese for a pink rose that would be prominently placed for me to see.
Suddenly my late mom was very present to me, God rest her soul. She was in
our old house, sitting in her favorite chair. I don’t think she spoke; she just gave
me strength to face these people. Many times I just sit in my room and cry. My
sister also sits upstairs a lot.
This morning’s mail more than told me that my months of prayers were heard by
my mom and Ss. Therese, Jude and also my Jesus. I received a St. Therese
prayer card with her holding a bouquet of pink roses. On the top it reads:
“Everything is grace.” A gold and black medal says, “St. Theresa, pray for us.” The
letter accompanying this card reads: “… because God’s grace is so evident at
times!” It describes grace and its connection to God. So I am certain that these
four houseguests will move out this week!
Thank you for LEAVES - R.W.
Lord’s Goodness Seen
Through Praying Novenas
I am writing about a favor received from the powerful novena of Childlike
Confidence to the Infant of Prague. For a year and a half my nine-year-old son had
been struggling with reading, receiving failure warnings. I was so stressed out
because last year in third grade he failed reading both semesters until the end
when he passed with the help of the Lord putting a soft heart into his teacher.
Well, this year starting off he has had the same problem, so I knew that I had to
try everything possible, so I prayed to the Infant of Prague, St. Michael, Our Lady
of Good Remedy and of course, the Lord.
Well, my prayers were answered. He passed reading and I am so grateful. Not
only is my son’s faith increased by using this novena, I told him that this is not a
magic spell, but a nine-day prayer that we ask for something over and over. He
believes and is so eager to look for other novenas that can help. I have always
been blessed and want my son to see how good the Lord is and His mercy - and he
does now. My thanks for this favor received - S.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,
My thanksgiving to Fr. Engelmar. I prayed to him while undergoing an MRI
and such a calmness came over me that I was able to relax and withstand the
procedure. The doctors thought I might be suffering from a pinched nerve in
my neck. It turned out I had a very bad case of vertigo. I have continued
praying to Fr. Engelmar for healing and complete recovery from dizzy spells. I
look forward to receiving LEAVES magazine. I find such comfort in it. God
bless all you dear Mariannhill Fathers in all your works. Gratefully in Christ -
Mrs. Irma R.
+ + +
I would like to thank Fr. Engelmar and Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos for their
intercession. My son’s marriage was being destroyed by an affair that he was
having with a co-worker and he was leaving his wife and two children. I couldn’t
bear to see this happen so I started a novena. I asked them to pray that he would
come back home to his family and that he would fall in love with his wife, just like
he did when they got married, and he did. They are going to Church. Their marriage
has been restored and they are very much in love. Praise be to God! Every time I
say these two novenas together, I always get my answer - G.C.
+ + +
I promised to send a donation to the LEAVES family. I prayed to Fr.
Engelmar, Blessed Mother, Ss. Therese, Jude and many more saints that my new
daughter-in-law would find a teaching job in our hometown. She did! It may not be
the job she would have liked to start her teaching career, but it is in our
hometown, in the middle school, and she is doing a great job. Two other times I
have prayed the Fr. Engelmar novena and both times he did not fail me. I believe in
the power of prayer! - Denise R.
+ + +
I am so grateful for the answer of my novena to Fr. Engelmar. God is so
good to us! - Kay C.
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.
Prayer to the
Blessed Virgin Mary
(never known to fail)
O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God, immaculate virgin, assist me in my necessity. O
Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my mother. O Holy Mary,
Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the
bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity (make your request). There are
none who can withstand your power.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (Repeat
three times.) O Mary, I place this cause in your hands. (Repeat three times.)
(Say this prayer for three consecutive days with a fervent heart, then share it
On Mother’s Day
By Norma Poblete
Who understands better
When we are in trouble?
No one but our mother,
Who dearly loves us all.
She shows care and concern,
Helping us when we fall,
Guiding and leading us
Until we stand tall.
What can we do for her
On her special day?
Shower her with pure love
While on earth she does stay!
Her maternal instinct
Is from Mother Mary.
We thank God for blessing
Mom’s every loving way!
By Sr. Marcella LaKoske, OP
Are you kicking yourselves
for your mistakes and sins?
Then it’s time you realize
that God forgives.
Don’t carry your baggage of guilt forever
while a loving God pursues you.
Just like an arrow, He’ll find all
who want to be made brand new.
He will meet your desire for restoration
and strengthen your spiritual life.
He wants to refresh us spiritually
to follow in quietness and lack of strife.
When we’re tired and sinful,
He calls us to come to Him.
Find a place of solitude for relaxation;
His tender mercy forgets your sin.
By Bernice Laux
Because of You, dear God, I live;
a soul and body You did give.
From tiny seed in mother’s womb
a little life began to bloom.
I feel the love of mother dear;
beneath her heart I am so near.
Somehow I hear a sound
like sweet music all around.
It’s mother’s voice I’m sure I hear.
How glad I am to know I’m here!
My mother’s face I long to see
with lovely eyes God gave to me.
When it’s time to come to earth,
mother’s love will give me birth.
In her arms I’ll sleep content;
from God she knows that I’ve been sent!
By Elias Tabar
I called on Harry -
he said, “Life is not fair.”
I called on Larry -
he wasn’t there.
I called on Linda -
she said, “I don’t care.”
I called on myself -
the pain was too much to bear.
I called on God -
He answered, “Son, I’m always there.”