LEAVES Website for Nov-Dec 2021 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

          There is still time to pay tribute to St. Joseph during this year that is celebrated to honor the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being solemnly declared patron of the Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX. The Year of St. Joseph officially ends Dec. 8, 2021.

During the month of November the Church especially remembers the faithful departed. We traditionally pray to St. Joseph for a “good” death, as we might assume that he himself died in the presence of Jesus and Mary. Our prayer is that we will die in a state of grace.

For those of us who have loved ones that have gone before us, let us place their souls into the loving arms of dear St. Joseph. May he bless and comfort all the holy souls in purgatory and provide consolation for those who are grieving the loss of those they loved.

To honor St. Joseph, consider making a pilgrimage to a nearby church or other sacred place that is named after him. Pray there and present your petitions to St. Joseph, asking that he intercede before the Lord on your behalf. Pray for your family and pray for the Church, as St. Joseph is named patron especially for these causes.

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Dec. 26 this year, is the Feast of the Holy Family. The Church pays tribute to St. Joseph as guardian of the Holy Family. Let us beg St. Joseph to watch over all those in our dear LEAVES family. St. Joseph, pray for us!

       Nov. 28 is the First Sunday of Advent. Let us make this Advent a time of increased prayer. We have so much for which to pray. There has been much sickness and death this past year, as well as natural disasters of floods, winds and fires. So many people have lost their jobs, and sometimes even their homes. There is instability, violence and unsafe conditions in far too many places around the world.

Perhaps each day in Advent we might offer a quick prayer that suffering will be alleviated and joy will enter into the hearts of all God’s children. As in all requests, we must remember to include, “God’s will be done.” If challenges remain, we can pray for a strength that sustains through the difficulties.

The Season of Advent should be a time of preparation and expectation. In addition to prayer we should partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, practice charity and consider fasting. The better we prepare, the greater will be our celebration of the birth of our Lord.

If the time before Christmas is focused only on buying gifts and attending parties, we miss the opportunity to engage in what matters most – spiritual pursuits. This does not mean that we cannot enjoy the weeks of Advent. Spending time with family and friends is certainly worthwhile. We simply need to balance that with spiritual endeavors that feed the soul.

As we go about our daily routines during Advent, we should try to remember those who are in most need of our attention. These could be those who are lonely, those who are anxious or depressed and those of limited financial means who have trouble obtaining the basics of food, shelter and clothing. How can we be of service to them?

Many times we may not know what is best for someone else. In that case we would be wise to ask them. If answers are not forthcoming, we could solicit advice from someone who regularly is involved in helping others. There also are many worthwhile charitable groups that are already established. Their experience is invaluable. Just take care that it is a reputable group before contributing to it.

Be sure to add partaking of the sacraments to your Advent preparations. Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation puts us in a state of grace that allows us to worthily receive the Eucharist and Eucharist unites us with Christ Himself.

If we set aside a day of fast and abstinence each week, the sweet treats that abound during this holiday season will be all the more enjoyed. We can also abstain from feeling annoyed at traffic delays and long lines at the store. The times of waiting would be spent more profitably with quick, silent prayers.

Do not let Advent go by without a proper celebration of the season. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

All of us at LEAVES magazine offer you, our dear LEAVES family, our most heartfelt thanks for all your support of our work on behalf of our Lord, especially your prayerful support. Know that we keep you in our hearts and in our prayers. At Christmas and throughout the New Year, may God grant you abundant blessings always – Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Christmas Letter from Mariannhill’s Provincial Superior

Dear friends, readers of LEAVES,

When Christmas draws near, we often say, “Oh, a whole year has already gone by!” It was nine years ago that I wrote my first Christmas message to you, dear friends and benefactors, readers of LEAVES, and my three terms as Provincial Superior of the USA/Canada Province of the Missionaries of Mariannhill will come to an end the middle of next year. But my word to you today is not a word of farewell as such, for I will remember you and continue thanking the Lord for your friendship and fidelity in accompanying us in our missionary work. And I already say now, May God in His infinite generosity be with you always and reward you as He alone knows best.

The years 2020-2021 have been very strange, to say the least. But thanks to the electronic means at our disposal, normal life has continued and fantastic things have taken place. Our planet has somehow become a small village. We remained connected with each other and also became more conscious of the fact that we all depend on each other. The expression, “no man is an island,” has come into its full meaning.

We have been astonished by all that science has allowed us to do in spite of adverse circumstances. There seems to be no end to what the human mind can achieve. As more human beings travel into space, some ask whether “beings” from other planets will visit us one day. In this line of thought, would an extra-terrestrial being have been better received than Jesus was? It is doubtful, because only the simple people, the poor, the humble and pure of heart, the peace-makers – all symbolized by the shepherds – knew how to recognize the Savior in this tiny Babe “wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger because there was no room for him at the inn” (Lk 2:7).

If I were to imagine Jesus coming to us as an extra-terrestrial being, I would be totally wrong in doing so, for in reality the earth is His domain; He was born in this world, He is a human being, a citizen of earth. We profess in the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe … in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” 

We are enveloped by the atmosphere of our materialistic world, and yet we fail to accept God living among us in human form in our brothers and sisters. However, when we do accept it, it is fascinating, it is life transforming. I repeat what I said in 2014: “May you make this great discovery!” Christmas will be like you have never known it before.

As we prepare to enter into a new year, I believe that the best wishes we can offer one another is that it be a healthy year, full of gratitude to God for bringing us so far in life and being able to continue witnessing His presence to others, starting with members of our own family, remembering the great influence of grandparents on their grandchildren. Their Gramma and Grampa are the best images of God to them.

May the blessing of Almighty God come down upon you all and remain with you throughout 2022!

Fr. Robert Deshaies, C.M.M.
Provincial Superior, American-Canadian Province
The Mariannhill Mission Society

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

St. Therese Challenged

One day I was angry and having a very bad time. I challenged St. Therese to send me an orange rose, a fresh one. At the time I did not believe one actually existed.

The next day I was driving to work, taking the same route as always, and I spotted a single, fresh orange rose, all alone on a bush in front of a house. I couldn’t believe it! I had to turn the car around and make sure that I really saw it!

During that summer, having never seen orange roses before right in the town where I live, I ran into huge bushes and bushes and bushes loaded with orange roses all summer long! I was truly “showered with roses”!

I love you, St. Therese – Josie.

Miracles Happen

I have been a reader of LEAVES for many years. I am 83 and must let you know that I do believe in miracles. In August of 2015 I fell down one step in my garage and was trapped under the step and my car. I was home alone.

I heard myself scream and I crawled out, inch by inch at a time. I checked my eyes and then called my son. A neighbor took me to the emergency room. I was sent by squad to a trauma center for several days.

I had three fractures in my neck. The neurosurgeon informed me that 99% of people with this injury do not make it. My guardian angel saved me because I take care of my granddaughter, who was 14 at the time. Her mother, my daughter, died of cancer in 2013.

My granddaughter is alone and has no other family. She feels like God did not listen to her when she prayed for her mother. Please pray for her! I do the rosary every day, especially for my granddaughter to be safe.

I wish to thank Jesus, Mary, Ss. Joseph, Anthony, Teresa, Jude, Pio, Dymphna, Monica and Anne. I pray to them every day. I pray for all the people of LEAVES, the missions and all priests. Please pray for my granddaughter, my son and his family, and for me – Marie 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.

My check is in thanksgiving for prayers answered by Bl. Engelmar. Please pray for good health for my daughter, her family and for me – S.B.

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My donation is to help in the publication of the LEAVES magazine.  I enjoy reading it and appreciate that it is being sent to me. My favorite parts are the stories of Bl. Engelmar. May God bless all of the Mariannhill Missionaries and the LEAVES family – Theresa V.

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This donation is for LEAVES magazine. Please pray for my children, especially my daughter who is possessed by horrible addictions. Bl. Engelmar has always answered my prayers. Thank you for the LEAVES magazine. In Christ’s love – Mary Joan M.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 112 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.

The Year of St. Joseph Prayer

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Prayer for the
Souls in Purgatory

O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in purgatory, have mercy on them, especially N.__N.__.

Be not severe in your judgments, but let some of your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames.

And, merciful Savior, send your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.

Our Father ... Hail Mary ... Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

By Sr. Marcella LaKoske, OP

They say that teachers touch eternity,
And I can readily see
With patience, love and wisdom
Eventually it comes to be.

For you will find it written
In the Book of Life to read
That those who teach many to justice
Will shine like stars for all eternity.

Searching for God
By Bernice Laux

I wanted to find and know God more / And to love Him as never before, / So I climbed up to a mountain top / Where I thought He just might stop.

Along the seashore I walked all over, / Oh, even searched in fields of clover. / Was I looking in wrong places? / I knew God had many faces.

I found Him in the eyes of a child / From where He looked at me and smiled. / I found Him in a tear-stained face / Where time and sorrow had etched a place.

In the crippled and blind He was there, / Giving of His love for all to share. / He lives in the humble and the poor, / All those who seek Him to adore.

In the hearts of His faithful ones / Lives the Father, Spirit and the Son. / I stopped my searching, for at last / My anxious looking now was past.

Let Us Bow
By Rose Marie MacPhee

Let us bow to the Infant
lain in the hay,
let us bow to the Infant
giv’n us today.

In awe and wonder
gaze on Him there,
tiny and frail
in Mary’s care.

Let us worship the Infant,
King of all time;
let us worship the Infant,
your Savior and mine.

Christmas Joy
By Margaret Peterson

Such sweetness filled the air one night
When Christ the Lord was born!
The angels sang the gladsome news;
It reached a place forlorn.

What seemed to be a wretched stable
Was suddenly “just right,”
For heaven to draw near to earth
In unseemly holy might!

The cattle watched in wonderment.
The shepherds came to see
The Son of God come down to earth
In baby majesty.

The peace He brought was meant for all;
It lingers here today
For all that know that He is God.
And He has come to stay!