LEAVES Website for the Nov-Dec 2018 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       November is a month to remember the departed. We pray for family and friends who have finished their earthly pilgrimages. Nov. 1 is All Saints Day. The Church has a wealth of beloved saints and holy ones who inspire us by their lives and who continue to assist us now that they have reached their heavenly reward. Their intercession on our behalf is just a prayer away.

Did your parents give you a first or middle name of a saint? If so, pray to that saint, especially on Nov. 1, asking that he or she watch over you, guide you and bless you. If you have no saint namesake, use the saint you choose for your Confirmation or simply choose another one for yourself.

Pope St. John Paul II was often called the Saint-Making Pope because of the large number of faithful he declared to be saints. There are saints who were married, single, religious, lay, young, old and every ethnicity. Mothers, fathers and children have all been named saints.

The gifts of the saints vary. It is said that St. Padre Pio could see into a person’s soul during confession. Many saints healed the sick in mind and body. Others like St. Faustina conveyed messages from the Lord. One attribute they all have in common is their profound love for the Lord. This was true even for those like St. Teresa of Calcutta who experienced long periods of the Dark Night of the Soul. She did not need to hear the Lord speak to her in order to completely devote herself to Him and His work for His poor ones. Her love was constant and her faith was unwavering.

On Nov. 2 we celebrate All Souls’ Day. As much as we would like to believe our dearly departed loved ones achieved sainthood here on earth and are now enjoying the rewards of heaven in the presence of the Lord, we cannot be certain. Therefore, it is appropriate to pray and sacrifice on behalf of the holy souls in purgatory.

We must keep in mind that while the holy souls are not able to help themselves while they are in purgatory, they are able to assist us. So as we pray for their release into heaven, we can also bring our petitions to them and ask for their help. We simply have to request their aid.

While it is easy to pray to and for our departed loved ones, we should also pray for those most in need of God’s mercy. There are those who may have lived terrible lives, but who at the last moment of life repented and begged God’s forgiveness. Even though they have much to atone for, they must be filled with the joy of knowing of their eventual redemption.

People may remember to pray for deceased parents and grandparents, but may not think to pray for the lonely neighbor who died seemingly without friends or family. If we do not know for whom to pray, we can always ask the Lord to direct our prayers to wherever the need is greatest. We cannot go wrong if we go with God’s choices!

Let our prayers for the departed ring out throughout the entire month of November. To our mealtime grace of “Bless us, O Lord, …” let us add, “May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”


       The season of Advent begins on Dec. 2. Unfortunately the hectic panic of Christmas preparations can sometimes ride roughshod over Advent. Do not let this beautiful season of preparation go unnoticed.

Before we go on a trip or vacation, we spend a lot of time figuring out the details in order to enjoy the time away as best as possible. The birth of Our Savior deserves at least as much consideration, does it not? Advent gives us the tools, and the time, we need.

Perhaps during Advent we might spend a few moments in reflection on the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel. You can find the Sunday readings in the missalettes or online. Reviewing beforehand sometimes makes the Scripture clearer when you hear it proclaimed at Mass.

Look at the feast days for December that are listed on page 2. Investigate them and learn why we celebrate them. What lessons do they hold for us? How can we incorporate these teachings into our lives during Advent and beyond?

On Dec. 8 we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation. This feast celebrates that our Lady was free from Original Sin from her very conception - appropriate for the one who was to bear the Son of God. Perhaps our lesson on this day is work diligently towards becoming free from the entanglements of sin ourselves.

The Immaculate Conception is the patron of the U.S. Let us petition our Lady to intercede for this country that the Lord will guide all those who hold positions of power within the government.

       At Christmas we make special efforts to spend time with dear ones. For us at LEAVES you, precious readers, are our dear ones. While we may not be with you in person, be assured that you are in our hearts and in our prayers.

Christmas brings out the best in us with the love and care that we share. Let us keep the spirit of peace and good will alive the year round.

May the birth of our dear Lord be a time of overflowing blessings for our LEAVES family and may God grant you and your families abundant blessings throughout the New Year! - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

To the LEAVES Family at
Christmas 2018

My dear LEAVES reader,

One of names of God most often given in the Bible is “the Almighty.” We know how manifest in the universe are His majesty and His power. Yes, God is indeed the God of Wonders. A pity that so many deny it! At Christmas we recognize this greatness of God as we join the choirs of angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest … and peace to people of good will,” that is, to those who acknowledge God’s greatness.

At the same time, Christmas reminds us of the humbleness of God as He became man, just like us, as if He would have been a sinner. But it is in order to save us from our sinfulness that God became man - in Jesus - in a humble dwelling, be it a stable or a cave in the hills used as a shelter by the shepherds.

We know our hesitation to approach the mighty, the rich, the powers that be. But we gladly go to a child because of its simplicity and grace. Therefore God reveals His power in weakness and the power of His love conquers our human heart.

We depend on the love of God and we depend equally on the love of one another. No one lives on an island. By helping one another, we manage what seems impossible to do alone. And this applies to our witnessing and proclaiming God’s love for humanity in Jesus Himself, the Emmanuel. At Christmas we remember and celebrate this love.

For all these past many years of Mariannhill’s presence in the U.S. and Canada, it is by supporting one another that we tried and, I would say managed, to be witnesses of God’s love.  We pray for one another and we share with the less privileged from the little that we may have.  Receiving in one hand, we give with the other. And this we do, each one in his own way, because Christ, God’s incarnate love, dwells in our hearts.

As usual, at Christmas we the Missionaries of Mariannhill wish to express our gratitude for your generosity towards us and our missionaries abroad. And we pray that our frail and powerful God, born among us, be with you during this festive season and throughout the New Year. Our mission together continues always in the One who is LOVE.

I wish to offer you this thought from Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec: “If we do not have Christ in our hearts, we will never find Him at the foot of the Christmas tree.”

May God bless you all!

Fr. Robert Deshaies, C.M.M.

Provincial Superior, American-Canadian Province
     The Mariannhill Mission Society

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

The Miracle of No Cancer

On Monday, Oct. 1, 2001, my family and I went to 8:00 a.m. Mass to gain strength and to pray as a family. On Sept. 28 I had a lump removed from my breast that was identified as being cancerous, and we were to meet with the surgeon on Monday to obtain the results of the biopsy and discuss treatment.

I had not known St. Therese before this time, but a nun had given me a holy card of the saint. It happened that the doctor’s appointment was on her feast day. As I knelt, I prayed from the heart that I would not have cancer. I am not positive about what my family was praying, but I am sure it was the same prayer. I left Mass a stronger person. What happened next was a miracle.

The doctor said that he usually has to call down for lab results, but that day the lab came running to him. Then they asked to speak to my doctor and my mom outside in the hall. My mom and my doctor returned without the other doctors. They looked shocked.

My doctor explained to me that all the other lumps had vanished overnight. They would still have to take out the one remaining lump and test it. That was done the next day and when the biopsy results came back, we found out that there was no cancer and no Hodgkin ’s disease.

My prayers were answered! St. Therese has been by my side ever since, sharing my happy times and my struggles. I wonder every day what my life and faith would have been like had that sister not presented me with that holy card! Years later I found out that the saint my nana prayed to was the Little Flower and that made me feel even closer to nana years after her death - Name Withheld.

LEAVES Inspires

When I sat down to read the newly arrived Mar-Apr 2017 issue of LEAVES, I discovered the Jan-Feb 2017 issue that I had put aside to dry out after it had been lost in the snow, so I read both. They reminded me that I had promised myself to send a donation for the hungry children of Zimbabwe, so I kept that promise and sent the donation.

The issues of LEAVES also reminded me of all the beautiful blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family over the years. St. Anthony recently recovered a lost necklace of mine, and just this morning found my house keys, so a huge “Thank you” for him.

The LEAVES family is remembered in my daily prayers. The magazine has been an inspiration and affirmation of Faith for more than 50 years for me. Thank you and God bless you all - Mrs. Ruth R.

Car Hits Couch

For Christmas my family had to provide transportation for my parents. My dad was in the hospital. On the long drive home back to our state, I was the driver and I was exhausted. I had spent 18 hours at the hospital and had had little sleep.

On our way home we prayed a family Rosary. During the last two hours of the drive everything seemed to be going great. It was dark and after 10:00 p.m. I had my second wind and was looking forward to my turnpike exit.

We were in the center lane and there was a car farther back in the right lane and near us was a tractor-trailer in the left lane. Suddenly, Whoop! Boom! I hit a wall of black and white! I said to my husband, “I just hit a couch!” He thought it was a deer; our daughter had no idea.

I was able to continue driving, but I heard Thump, Thump and another weird noise. We were able to continue driving slowly to the exit. We reported the incident to the toll collector and asked for needed assistance. The car was inspected and a state trooper confirmed that we indeed had hit a couch.

There was minimal damage to the body of the car. Later our mechanic found that the major damage was a tear in the underskirt protecting the radiator, but there was no loss of protection. We were able to make it safely but slowly home.

May miracles happen for all those who ask for them and may all feel God’s comfort and peace - Theresa C.

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 recently had a sudden medical problem that I knew would hospitalize me if it was not quickly resolved. At age 82, with mobility problems, I did not want to face this. I prayed very hard to the Blessed Mother to please intercede with her Son for me and be my mother also. I also asked prayers of Fr. Engelmar, St. Jude, St. Therese and Bl. Miriam Teresa.

I promised I would write to LEAVES and acknowledge any help I received. Within an hour the symptoms were gone and the situation resolved itself. I did not need to go to the hospital. Never, ever underestimate the power of prayer. I am so grateful to the good God for answering my prayers and the prayers of those I asked to pray for me - Ruth B. 

+     +     +

Thanks for prayers answered that I requested for two expected great-grandchildren. On May 17 Isla Rose was born to one grandson and on June 3 Isaac was born to another grandson. All are doing well. I am very devoted to Fr. Engelmar, along with other saints who have been very good to me. Fr. Engelmar can’t become a saint quickly enough for me. I am 98 and in a very nice assisted-living place. An elderly priest celebrates Mass daily. I am lucky. It was difficult leaving my home, but I couldn’t stay alone. I have received LEAVES for many years and like it very much. People have many crosses to bear. Thanks again, and please remember us in your prayers - Anne T.

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.

Novena to St. Lucy

O St. Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out instead of denying the faith and defiling your soul; and God, through an extraordinary miracle, replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes to reward your virtue and faith, appointing you as the protector against eye diseases.

O St. Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes so that I may see the beauties of creation, the glow of the sun, the color of the flowers and the smile of children.

Preserve also the eyes of my soul - the Faith - through which I can know God, understand His teachings, recognize His love for me and never miss the road that leads me to where you can be found in the company of the angels and saints.

St. Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my Faith. Amen.
(3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys, 3 Glory Bes)

Prayer for Guidance
By St. Teresa of Avila

Lord, grant I may always allow myself to be guided by You, always follow Your plans, and perfectly accomplish Your holy will. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever You require of me. Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your grace so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honor. May Your will be done in time and in eternity - by me, in me and through me. Amen.

Deep in the Cave
By Rose Marie MacPhee

Why did the angels sing?
Why did the great star appear?
Why did the wise men journey?
Why did Herod fear?

There lies the answer,
Deep in the cave;
There lies the answer,
Tiny and brave.

A new-born infant has come,
Child of the family of David,
The one this world has longed for
The one to bless and to save it.

Welcome! Baby Jesus,
Enter into time.
Hail thee! Baby Jesus,
Welcome, Child divine.