LEAVES Website for the November-December 2017 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

November is the month to pray for our departed family and friends. Take a moment each day during the month to offer up a quick prayer for your own departed loved ones and also for all the holy souls in purgatory. Praying “May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen” periodically throughout the day would bless our dear ones.

In addition to prayer, be sure to make some small sacrifices on behalf of the souls of the departed. Instead of complaining about it, silently offering up pain for the souls can greatly benefit them. Foregoing some small treat can help them as well. Even just drinking coffee black without sweetener or creamer can be beneficial to the holy souls when we do so for them.

Abstaining for the holy souls would assist them. Refraining from eating meat one or two days a week would aid them and likely benefit us, as well. Limiting time spent playing games or using social media can sometimes be difficult, so that would all the more profit the departed.

Remembering the holy souls does not require grand gestures. A whispered prayer, a quick visit to the cemetery, turning the television off an hour early can all be occasions of grace for departed souls, and for us. Do not allow the month of November to pass by without some remembrance of the holy souls.

Earlier this year Pope Francis approved a new path to sainthood. In his Apostolic Letter “On the Offer of Life,” dated July 11, 2017, he reminded us that: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

The Holy Father noted that promotion of this new Cause for Canonization is because: “Worthy of special consideration and honor are those Christians who, following more than closely the footsteps and teachings of the Lord Jesus, have voluntarily and freely offered their life for others and persevered with this determination unto death.”

The Causes of those who have offered up the “supreme act of charity,” even unto consenting to their own deaths for the sake of others, will now be able to go forward under the new set of norms for consideration of sainthood. Perhaps our dear Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig’s Cause may advance even more quickly with this new pathway towards being declared a saint. In the concentration camp of Dachau he freely volunteered to succor those dying from Typhus, knowing it would most certainly lead to his own death.

Let us offer our prayers of thanksgiving for those chosen ones who have given up their lives on behalf of others. May their eternal reward be dwelling in the joy of God’s loving presence forever.

Know that all of us at LEAVES keep all of you, our dear LEAVES family members, in our prayers at Christmas and always. May you and your families be filled with love and joy during this holy season and throughout the New Year. May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

To the LEAVES Family at Christmas

Dear Friends, readers of LEAVES,
We are all ardently preparing for the great feast of Christmas, the Christian people’s feast of light. The words of prophet Isaiah resound in our minds: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is. 9:1).  This light is Jesus himself: “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12). Every moment in the life of Christ was an occasion of light and life. Following the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus will add, addressing Himself not only to the Twelve but to the whole crowd eager to listen to Him: “You are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14). 

Jesus was sending us out to be ourselves light to our world, and it belongs to us now to continue His mission in our times. At our baptism we received a lit candle as a reminder of who we are, bearers of the Light. This is a great mystery. Every morning of our life we must remind ourselves of our mission and then shine throughout the whole day.

The athletes, in the days preceding the Olympic Games, carry a lit torch from one end of the world to the city holding the games in that year. We on our part carry the light of our faith throughout the whole year, from one Christmas to the next. 

The great spiritual man that was Maurice Zundel tells us that, by being born among us, Christ was putting Himself in our hands. And so we have to make Him come to life in our times. It is how He dwells among us. Were not His last words to the Apostles on the day of His Ascension, “Go into all the world and make all nations my disciples” (Mt 28: 19)?

For more than a century now the Mariannhill Missionaries have tried being faithful to this mission of bringing Christ, the Light of the world, to the nations: first to the Zulus in South Africa, but always expanding their mission field to the end of the world, then going to Papua New Guinea and now to Colombia in South America, faithful to the words of our founder Abbot Francis Pfanner, “The Kingdom of God has no boundaries.”

A new generation of Mariannhill Missionaries has taken over from the pioneers. Just like the latter were well supported by friends and benefactors in their task, in the same way we wish to support our younger confreres who have taken up the torch of faith. That is why, especially at Christmas time, we pray two novenas: one for the deceased benefactors and one for the living benefactors. It is our simple way of saying “Thank you” to you. 

Christmas is really the opportune moment to do just that, to show our gratitude, as it is the time of giving and receiving, imitating God who gives us His Son. He whom we receive must be given in return. We receive your help and we give you our most sincere thanks through our prayers for your intentions.

We are the light of the world. As St. Mother Teresa said: “Eyes full of love can light a whole village.” May your hearts be filled with love so that your eyes might be burning torches! These are our Christmas and New Year wishes to each one of you!

Yours in our loving Jesus Christ,
Fr. Robert Deshaies, C.M.M.
Provincial Superior, Mariannhill Mission Society

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

Passport Switch

If one was a fly on the wall, one would hear, “St. Anthony, please find my passport. It is somewhere in this house! I’ve been searching for a month. I have my old one. My, I look so young in this passport picture, but it will not get me on any plane.”

St. Anthony has been almost a daily constant finder for fifty-plus years. He has never shied away from his duty. I told him that I trusted him, but I had to go beyond the trust and have pictures taken. Next steps were to fill out the papers and go to the post office.

At the post office the man at the window asked, “Do you have an old passport?” “Yes, sir. I’ll be back in 15 minutes!” Rushing home, grabbing the old passport which has been on the corkboard for years, and returning to the gentleman at the post office, with money in hand and a birth certificate ready to be approved, the man said, “This is not an old passport, for it expires in seven years.”

As I gazed in amazement at the not-so-young picture on the passport and checked the expiration date, I began to realize that St. Anthony did his work after all. Where did he find the new passport? How did he place it where the old passport was and where did he hide the pretty picture passport? Mysteries, for sure. Amazing St. Anthony, most definitely! -
Andrea R.

Thankful for
Court Settlement

I wish to thank the merciful God for a court settlement between my daughter and the father of her 11-year-old son Matthew just before the trial on custody and visitation. The judge assigned was a very bad one, and it looked like the father would be pushing for full custody to avoid having to make support payments. His household is a very unhealthy one.

I was going to have to testify and I was terrified that I would say something that could be turned against my daughter. I thank my tender and merciful Father for having pity on all of us, and I thank my “cloud of witnesses,” the angels and saints, including the Blessed Mother, Ss. Joseph, Rita (on whose feast day the trial was set), Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Paul II, and Eugene de Mazenod, our guardian angels and St. Michael, Fr. Solanus Casey and Catherine de Hueck Doherty -

Misplaced Card Located

My donation is in thanksgiving to St. Anthony. I no longer drive and have another kind of identification card instead of a driver’s license. I misplaced the card after a recent medical appointment. I really needed to find it for an upcoming MRI.

I looked in all my bags and purses to no avail. At first I forgot St. Anthony, but was suddenly inspired to ask his help, and I promised to acknowledge his help in LEAVES.

For some reason I thought to look in an envelope in which I kept medical notes and old appointment cards I kept to keep track of phone numbers of doctors and medical facilities. The envelope was by my chair, and when I looked in it, there was my identification card!

I am so grateful to God for listening to St. Anthony’s prayers for me. I have many medical issues and ask for prayer. Thank you -
Ruth B.

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.

Fr. Engelmar helped me find a job suitable for me and lifted me out of a terrible depression I was in. In appreciation I sent a donation to Mariannhill Missionaries. Fr. Engelmar has helped me countless times over the years. I pray his novena every day and hope he becomes a saint soon. He always seems to hear my prayers for big and small favors. I will keep praying to him - Lorraine.

+     +     +

I would like to report my answer to prayers through Fr. Engelmar’s intercession. I feel it was a miracle. In January an MRI showed I had spots on my pancreas which could be cancer if they were growing. I prayed the novena to Fr. Engelmar for three months when I was told to go back for another MRI. There had been no change in the size of the spots, so it was doubtful that they were cancer.

If they had been found to be cancer, there was nothing that could be done except for very major surgery resulting in removal of part of my stomach, pancreas and other organs. At my age, 83, I knew I could not go through such surgery. In fact, it was through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar and other saints that I don’t have cancer - Name Withheld.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 108 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.

By Brian Roberts

Strength He provides to the weary,
Power increased to the weak.

Even the young grow tired;
At times we all stumble and fall.

But those who trust in God
Will never be forgotten.

And Thou Angels Sing

And thou angels sing, as do I,
Glory to our newborn King.

Wrapped in rapture Babe divine,
Star of Bethlehem was their sign.

All who beheld were in awe
The Virgin Mother, whom they saw.

Sheltered with her holy Child
Was St. Joseph so tender, so mild.

Once again thou angels sing,
Glory to our newborn King!
     By Rita Ann Prell

I pray and I hear a bird’s evensong;
I am content,
Knowing God hears both,
The singing of the robin
And my supplications.
     By D.T.C.

Jesus, My Son

Long before His Son was born,
God planned how He would be,
Strong and tall with graceful walk,
Pure masculinity!

He planned the color of His eyes
And color of His hair;
His mouth and nose, His chin and smile,
All these God planned with care.

He chose a mother fine and sweet
To make His Son feel glad,
Then hoped she’d say when He was born,
“He looks just like His Dad.”

Finding Healing and
Hope Within
Physical Infirmities

We ask God in prayer for healing. In some of us a physical healing takes place to the greater glory of God. Others are granted a well-disguised blessing: the physical affliction remains. When afflicted, we have an opportunity through our suffering to become more compassionate to the suffering of others.
Jesus too wanted desperately to be freed from His suffering. He was human; He could sweat and bleed and die. But He wanted always to do God’s will. His prayer led Him to accept His suffering and give it meaning. Our prayers can help us seek physical healing. But they also can bring us to accept whatever God wills, a peace that is no less miraculous than the lame walking or the blind seeing.


Lord, I pray that I might be made whole again. I pray for health so I can walk freely upon Your earth, so I can breathe deeply the air that sustains me, so I can see clearly the beauty of all creation.
I pray for the soothing of my pains, less for my own comfort than for Your glory, that I  might accomplish good work in Your name. Yet if the suffering will not pass, grant me the courage to make peace with my afflictions, that I might seek always to serve You.