LEAVES Website for the May-June 2018 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       Kindness should be a daily part of every Christian’s life. As Pope Francis reminds us: “A Christian brings peace to others. Not only peace, but also love, kindness, faithfulness and joy.” Being kind need not involve any major expenditure of time or money.

A smile to a stranger walking by on the sidewalk or a sincere compliment to someone waiting in line at the grocery store can be enough to lift the spirit of someone who might be in the midst of a crisis. The intense sadness of those who have just suffered a devastating loss is not often evident by the way they look, so treat everyone you meet with gentle kindness.

A person who has just come home from the hospital after having surgery may be well enough to leave the hospital, but may not feel up to making dinner for him- or herself. A nutritious, home-cooked meal delivered with a bouquet of daisies would be hugely appreciated. An offer to run errands or to pick up something from the store would also be most welcome.

The Holy Father further instructs us: “Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us.” It is much easier to be kind to those we already love, and the Lord is pleased with that. Still, we are called to the more difficult task of loving the unlovable. Because this is harder to do, surely the Lord is all the more appreciative of our efforts.

Kindness can be anonymous. Praying for good health for an annoying neighbor can be done silently when you might prefer offering him or her an unkind look. Many parish bulletins have a list of fellow parishioners who have requested prayers. Pray that the Lord will give all according to their need. If you know someone listed, a little note or card might be sent.

Let us pray for the conversion of heart of those who regularly attack the Faith or make fun of its values. Where argument may not succeed, prayer can prove more powerful. Don’t just pray for them; pray for them with a loving heart.

Also our actions can speak louder than words. Holding a door open, secretly paying for someone’s  lunch or cup of coffee, or letting  a car cut in front of you in the church parking lot are simple acts. Donating a favorite shirt or jacket to charity helps us be less attached to material things and gives someone else something nice to wear that they might not have been able to afford.

The world may promote a “selfie,” selfish view of life. Our Faith promotes the importance of community, of loving others. It is not enough to say that we love; we must show it through the kindness that shows clearly in our every-day lives.

The LEAVES family is filled with those people who already are kind. It is one reason we are so grateful to be part of this loving group. But we know too that there is always room for improvement for all of us.

Let us make a commitment to consciously add at least one more act of kindness each day. The Lord will certainly shower His blessings in return.

       The Church celebrates Mary during May. Our LEAVES family has a great devotion to our dear Blessed Mother. To celebrate our love of Mary, let us add a daily Hail Mary during the month of May. June is a month we honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us offer a quick, “Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us” each day in June. May our Lady and Jesus be with you and bless you, and may God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Editor-in-Chief Celebrates 60th

I will celebrate the 60th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood on May 11, God willing. The fourth of nine children - four brothers and four sisters - I was born on Apr. 7, 1931, in Aberdeen, S. Dakota. I went to the minor seminary for high school and junior college, professed my first religious vows with the Mariannhill Fathers in 1953, completed my studies in philosophy and theology and was ordained a priest in 1958. 

As a priest, I began immediately teaching English and religion in Mariannhill’s seminary, meanwhile earning a Master’s Degree in English. Twelve years later I was appointed the provincial superior of the US/Canada province. For 11 years I was the novice master for the U.S. until 1990. 

The following year I was appointed the editor-in-chief of Leaves magazine and still hold this position. When I was a teacher, I was the faculty adviser of the seminary’s newspaper. As time has shown, it prepared me for my work with Leaves! I admire this magazine’s purpose - to promote devotion to God and His saints and be an organ of its readers’ spiritual experiences, petitions and thanksgivings - and I am honored to be on its staff. 

I thank God for giving me all these years in His priesthood. I thank Him for all you friends and benefactors of Leaves; you have been our precious spiritual, religious, psychological and financial support across many years. I pray for you daily and I will include you especially in my anniversary Mass. Please pray for me too - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M., Editor-in-Chief.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

From Panic to Peace

Every Friday I pick up Lois and bring her to Mass. Mass begins at 5:30, but the day seemed so hectic that it occurred to me that pushing too much was not favorable. So I called Lois to tell her that it was most prudent to cancel church. As the minutes became close to Mass time, I had a change of heart, for I knew Lois was so disappointed.

The local store had a great sale on eggs (99 cents a dozen!). Knowing that Saturday was bumper to bumper with commitments and that it was not quite 5:00, I rushed to the car and drove to the store for the eggs. Afterwards I was running through the parking lot to the car (praying all the way), found my way to the main street and finally to the side roads where I arrived at Lois’ apartment.

I stopped the car, turned off the ignition and proceeded out the door of the car and discovered that my car was rolling. I panicked! The car could have killed me, and besides this, the car was heading toward another parked car.

I dashed to the driver’s side where fortunately the car window was halfway down, but unfortunately not far enough down to reach the emergency brake or to put the car into “Park.” In my hustle I had left the car in “Drive.” I, being under 100 pounds and a senior, grabbed ahold of the window and kept the car stable by pushing backwards on the car.

It was hard to believe that a little pressure could stop the movement of the car. I truly feel that an angel was there to help. By now the car was a few inches from damaging the fender of the car in front of me. I constantly banged on the horn, hoping that Lois would come out to help. But Lois is deaf!

Since the holy water was in the front seat, I reached in and sprinkled it around while saying many prayers to our Lady and inwardly crying for help because my strength was almost gone and my car was about to bring damage.

There was hope, for I saw Lois look out the window. She then nonchalantly came toward the car. Since the passenger side window was opened a little, I tried to instruct her how to open the door. Poor Lois was all thumbs, but after several attempts she pushed the right button to get into the car. Next instruction was to place the gear shift into “Park.” It was quite a project, but in time, Lois became a hero and we were on time for Mass.

After all of this, a prayer of thanksgiving was heard by all of heaven. With faith, all turns out for the greater glory of God and victory is won - Andrea Remlin.

Lumps Disappear

St. Therese has been in my life for a long time. She has walked with me through some really hard times in my life. When I was 22, I was in the hospital for an operation to take out a lump in my neck. The doctors thought I had cancer.

I was in a Catholic hospital. My mother and I were walking the halls when one of the sisters stopped to speak to us. She wanted to know why we were there.  My mom explained the reason, and then the sister turned to me and pulled out a card. She asked if I ever prayed to the saints. I said that I had prayed to Bl. John Neumann as my mother prayed to him often when my father was ill. I lost my dad to heart disease when I was 15.

Well, I accepted the prayer card and went back to my room. I had never heard of St. Therese, but thought she was young when she died and was close to my age. She would know how I felt, I thought.

That night I prayed with all my heart to St. Therese, and the next day my best friend’s Mom brought me a single red rose. Later some specialists came to examine me with my regular doctor. All the lumps in the different parts of my body were gone! Just the one in my neck remained. The doctors just looked at each other without saying anything! - Name Withheld.

LEAVES Informs

I have been receiving LEAVES for many years. It is a great little book. It not only helps with religion, it is very informative, family-oriented and inexpensive. I enclose a donation to help with expenses.

I was coordinator for the RCIA program for 16 years and used articles from LEAVES, especially those on the saints, for discussion in our sessions. I retired two years ago when I turned 88 years old.

Most of my RCIA team decided to stay together and we now have a prayer group one night a week here in my house. Once again, I use LEAVES articles. Those in our group showed an interest and would like to begin receiving this beautiful, little magazine. Thank you - W.P.

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 am sending this donation in thanksgiving to Fr. Engelmar because of his intercession. My granddaughter Monica got a job she needed so much after being without a job for many months. Previously she had looked for a job with no success.

I am very grateful to Bl. Engelmar and my dear Sacred Heart of Jesus - Lydia G.

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Thank you for LEAVES magazine. I am sending a donation and would like you to please keep up your prayers, and also those of Fr. Engelmar, for us. May God bless all - Viola.

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I have a busy life and many things are vying for my attention. Whenever I call upon Fr. Engelmar for his assistance, he answers me. I could not get my work done without him! - Name Withheld.

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In thanksgiving for healing through prayers to the Divine Mercy, Our Lady of All Nations, Fr. Engelmar and St. Joseph - Name Withheld.

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 for the

Almighty Father, we give You thanks for the gift of Your Son, who saved us through the wood of the cross. We give you thanks for all the favors we received through Jesus Christ our Lord, the intercession of His Blessed Mother and all the saints.

We commend our family to Your fatherly protection. Heal the wounds of those who suffer, comfort the sick and those who are alone, and keep all of us in Your love and peace.

Lord Jesus, through Your cross help us carry ours.
Holy Mary, mother of grace and mercy, intercede for us.
St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, watch over us.
St. Therese, St. Jude and all the saints, pray for us. Amen.

Prayer to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus
By St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

O Heart of Love,
I put all my trust in you.
For I fear all things from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things from your goodness. Amen.

Like a Feather
By Sr. Marcella LaKoske, OP

If life is a burden,
Weighted down with many cares,
And you seem devoid of peacefulness,
Think of a feather in the air.

Floating on the breath of God,
It will lift your heart and soul
And give you a better way to live;
With love and trust you’ll reach your goal.

Busy people look for a lift -
The Divine Wind was promised to all.
You can be like a feather on the wind.
Just let go, He’ll not let you fall.

Jesus Delights in Me
(Zephaniah 3:17)
By Arlene Lila

Because of You I’m grateful, Lord;
I feel You close to me.
Your love for me is endless,
Deeper than the sea.

Because of You I’m peaceful, Lord;
Your love does quiet me.
You lift my many burdens,
From fear You set me free.

Because of You I’m happy, Lord;
You take delight in me,
Rejoicing over me with song,
Taking joy in what You see.

I want to make You glad, Lord;
You have inspired me.
I surrender all to You;
My “first love” You will be.

The Fire of Love
By Margaret Peterson

God doesn’t want to set the world on fire
But start a small flame in each heart
That steadily grows to a bonfire of love
That hints of the flames in His heart.