LEAVES Website for the September-October 2016

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       It is with great excitement that Mariannhill Missionaries will be celebrating one of our own, Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, on the occasion of his beatification on Sept. 24, 2016, by Cardinal Angelo Amato, representative of Pope Francis, in Wuerzburg, Germany. He will now be known as Blessed Engelmar.

Each issue of LEAVES includes testimonies of those who have petitioned Bl. Engelmar to intercede on their behalf and who have received answers to their requests. As our dear readers of LEAVES know, the intercessory assistance of Bl. Engelmar has run the gamut of the simple to the incredulous. One thing we know for certain - the Lord hears the pleas of His servant Engelmar.

Bl. Engelmar lived in a time of worldwide turmoil, World War II. When so many were silent or turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the Nazis, he courageously stood up and publicly preached the truth. He did so, knowing that those who opposed the Nazis received swift and terrible punishments.

The bravery of Bl. Engelmar did not end when he was sent to the concentration camp of Dachau. Even though performing his priestly duties would likely result in terrible reprisals by the prison authorities, Bl. Engelmar continued his pastoral work among the prisoners in secret. He even learned the Russian language in order to minister to the Russian prisoners.

Bl. Engelmar was known to be a beacon of hope in the appalling conditions of the concentration camp. In the face of such despair he would offer whatever he could, whether it be some small morsel of food, an encouraging word or a remembrance in prayer. He, along with the others in the camp, endured starvation, severe heat and cold, all while working 12 hours hard labor each day, under the watchful eye and violent prodding of the depraved SS guards.

His final act of bravery would end his life. Bl. Engelmar volunteered to serve in the barracks where people were dying of typhus, well aware that doing so would be accepting a death sentence. He and 19 other priests provided the sacraments of Confession, Communion, Anointing of the Sick and the Last Rites to those who were dying by the hundreds each day. He himself succumbed to the deadly disease on Mar. 2, 1945.

Bl. Engelmar gives us all a roadmap for living a life pleasing to the Lord. He saw injustice and spoke against it. He saw suffering and gave comfort. He saw hate and responded with love. He did all this with great humility.

We live in a “selfie” culture today. Through various social media avenues people record their every move - what they ate for breakfast, what clothes they chose for the day, what they did and where they went. Where is the humility in that?

Who are the people being highlighted in the news? If it is not some terrorist with a gun or a bomb, it is a sports or entertainment celebrity. Why are we not celebrating those who are making great accomplishments that have a positive impact on people? Scientists working to cure disease, philanthropists donating to programs helping those in need, engineers digging wells for villages that have no fresh water - are not these things more important than keeping track of some singer’s latest love interest?

Bl. Engelmar focused his life on what is pleasing to the Lord. As a result he poured out his very lifeblood for his fellow man. He was known to have a cheerful demeanor, even in deplorable conditions, in service to others. Would that we might do the same. His joy was real, based on his Faith, not on the frivolous material things of this world.

A priest less than six years, Bl. Engelmar made the best use possible of his time here on earth. As all our dear LEAVES readers are aware, the ministry of Bl. Engelmar continues on today with his powerful intercession on behalf of those who call upon him. Please prayerfully join with us Mariannhill Missionaries Sept. 24 as we pay tribute to one of our own. Blessed Engelmar, pray for us!

May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Who Was Father Engelmar?

Priests who were his fellow inmates in the Dachau concentration camp called Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig the personification of love, “the Angel of Dachau,” a martyr of charity, a saint.

Bl. Engelmar was born Hubert on Mar. 1, 1911, in Greifendorf, a small village in the Czech Republic. He entered the seminary at age 17, and on Aug. 6, 1939, he was ordained a priest as Fr. Engelmar of the Missionaries of Mariannhill. A year later he was appointed administrator of the parish in Gloeckelberg, a little village in his home country. It was already World War II.

Bl. Engelmar was not silenced by fear of the Nazis; instead, he courageously spoke out what faith and reason prompted him to say. Eventually what he preached in church and taught in school got back to the civil authorities, and on Apr. 21, 1941, they arrested him and carried him off to prison. Six weeks later they transferred him to the Dachau concentration camp. Some of their charges against him were that he insisted one must obey God more than man and that he defended the Jews.

In the camp, Bl. Engelmar busied himself looking after the needs, both temporal and spiritual, of the other prisoners, especially the Russians and Ukrainians. He begged food from the meager rations of the other priests and donated his own so that others would survive. Clandestinely he administered the sacraments of the Church. Through his influence many Russians returned to the practice of their religion.

When typhus entered the camp and there were no medicines and disinfectants to check it, when the SS guards kept clear of the quarantined barracks and thousands of prisoners died unattended, 20 priests - Bl. Engelmar one of them - volunteered in February of 1945 to enter the infected quarters and succor the dying. Eighteen of the priests quickly died, Bl. Engelmar on Mar. 2.

His ashes - he was cremated - were smuggled out of the camp and they now rest in the Mariannhill church in Wuerzburg, Germany. It was there that in July of 1991 the process of his beatification was formally opened.

He was declared Venerable on July 3, 2009, by Pope Benedict XVI, and he was beatified on Sept. 24, 2016, by Pope Francis.

“There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13).

Intercessory Prayer of
Blessed Engelmar

Jesus, with the help of Your Mother Mary, Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig’s faith grew stronger, his hope more sure and his love more ardent in the concentration camp of Dachau. He became an intercessor for his own country and for the entire world.

Hear our prayers and grant what we ask through Blessed Engelmar’s intercession, so that You may be glorified in Your martyrs and saints. We ask this in Your name and in the name of all the martyrs of the twentieth century.

Fr. Engelmar DVD

We have available a DVD of the life of Bl. Engelmar in English and in Spanish. The 48-minute-long DVD is entitled “Stronger than Death: Father Engelmar Unzeitig.” It is a fine exposition of his holy life, the life of a modern-day martyr. It is a program you may want to share with others, for instance, your prayer group, Bible study group, RCIA group, parish men’s club or ladies’ altar society, or even your garden club!

We will be glad to send a DVD to you. Please specify how many copies you would like in your preferred language and your name and shipping address. The suggested donation for the DVD is $3.00, including shipping and handling. Please send your request to us at LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087. Those who wish to make a donation through our website using Pay Pal may contact us at www.mariannhill.us/leaves.html with the previously mentioned information. Find the section entitled DVD available on the life of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, and follow the instructions given there.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

Grateful to Have
Tools of the Faith

I want to say thanks for all the articles in LEAVES. I think we all can relate to each other’s petitions and thanksgivings. I have been reading LEAVES cover to cover for as long as I can remember.

Now I want to publicly thank St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Joseph the Protector of the Holy Family, St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the other angels and saints for their intercession in my life and in the lives of friends and family members. I want to express my deep appreciation for all of the tools we have in the Catholic Church: the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Holy Rosary, the Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, the Holy Sacraments and the most important - the privilege of being able to go to daily Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist.

My youngest son was struggling as a new real estate agent until he discovered the miracle of the devotion to St. Joseph for intervention. He sold a house within a day of starting the prayers. My oldest son sold his house within a few days of doing the same thing.

Now my oldest son is in need of prayers that he may find a job in the town where his wife is working, so he may move there to be with her full-time. I will continue prayers for the intervention of St. Joseph, also Patron Saint of Workers.

I know that I am more blessed than many others and feel unworthy of all the good things in my life. As the Godspell song “All Good Gifts” says, all we have to give God is “our humble, thankful hearts.”

Thank you again for LEAVES magazine and allowing readers to share one another’s stories. It shows how much we are all alike and how we suffer the same hardships, but we also rejoice in the same victories - Judy F.

Dental Problems Could
Have Been Avoided

Twenty-two years ago I wrote and asked the Mariannhill Fathers and LEAVES readers to pray for me. A dentist had changed the position of my mouth through dental work he thought he could do, which resulted in acute pain that he didn’t know how to fix. I prayed to God, the Blessed Mother and all the saints. I prayed and prayed. Fortunately a friend told me of a specialist dentist who helped me. Several years ago this dentist left his practice to teach at the university, so he referred me to another dentist.

Last night while flossing, a piece of tooth broke off with part of the filling in a crucial back tooth. Again I stormed heaven for help - asking the Blessed Mother, Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, asking that they guide the dentist. I was able to see the dentist this morning. Since I did not have pain, he said we could take the conservative approach this time by just smoothing the rough edges and then waiting to see what happens. Please continue to pray for me because if this becomes an involved process, it would cost thousands of dollars and necessitate many visits to the dentist with much pain and suffering.

I should tell you that I am 80 years old. This situation today is because I would not obey my mother when I was in the sixth grade. I could have gone to a dental clinic without charge to have braces to correct my teeth. Because I was proud and would not obey my mother, all my life my teeth have bothered me. I do not have a nice smile and lots of money has been spent on dentists.
Thank you, Mariannhill Fathers, for living your lives serving God. Please pray for my husband and me and our children and grandchildren. I pray that God will just let me be able to stay with my teeth as they are until I die. Thank you for your prayers and for the inspiring LEAVES magazine. I have been receiving it for over 40 years - Jean E.

Roses May Be a Sign

My mother died this week. She was a very devout Catholic. I told my wife, if anyone can let me know there is something on the other side, Mom will. The very next day we had a rose bush that my wife said was not due to bloom for three more weeks. There was one pink rose on the entire bush.  My wife said, I think your mom is letting you know she is okay.

The same afternoon I went to the mailbox, and there was a sample copy of LEAVES magazine to see if I would like to receive it regularly. LEAVES was Mom’s favorite magazine. She received it for years and would often ask if I wanted to subscribe to it. I never asked for it - maybe she asked for me, I don’t know - but I think it’s a sign of her being okay.

Please send me this magazine. I love the sample copy - Name Withheld.

Excerpted from Father Engelmar Testimonies:

A Life of
Father Engelmar

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, MI 48121-0087.

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I am a person with mental illness. I think God is punishing me for not loving Him and my neighbors. Sometimes my punishments are worse than others. Please pray to Bl. Engelmar for me that he will get rid of my mental illness forever. I hope for a miracle from Bl. Engelmar. My husband and I feel powerless and hopeless. Thanks very much - Mrs. R.H.

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I am sending this donation in honor of and in thanksgiving for novenas said to God, the Blessed Mother and Bl. Engelmar.  I prayed to them for my grandson to pass two tests, which he did.  He also got high scores, which he didn’t expect. Oh, the power of prayer! - A.G.

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Please accept this donation in honor of and in thanksgiving to Bl. Engelmar for a favor received. Thank you - K.B.

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I just love your novena. I pray it every day for my family and especially for my grandson who is autistic. Please pray for him and his family. He gets himself into trouble in school. We all love him dearly. I have great faith in the Sacred Heart, Our Lady, Ss. Anne, Martin and Theresa.  Please pray for all of us. Thank you - Catherine, Co. Offaly, Ireland.

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 for Healing
After Abortion

Eternal Father, source of all mercy and love, out of love for us You sent Your Son and willed that blood and water flow from His side to cleanse us of sin and restore lost innocence. Hear the cry of each woman who mourns the loss of her child to abortion. Forgive her sin, restore her to Your grace and still the terror of her heart with a peace beyond all understanding. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of all tenderness and our mother, strengthen her faith in You. Give her the consolation to believe that her child is now living in the Lord. We ask this through Christ our Lord, who conquered sin and death and who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.(From Project Rachel)

Prayer to St. Jude

Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes you throughout the world as the patron of hopeless cases, of things despaired of.

Pray for me. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help is most despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and comfort of heaven in all my needs, tribulations and sufferings, particularly [here make your request] and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. Amen.

My Search

It wasn’t very easy
   To find my God and Lord.
I searched both day and night for Him,
   And ever I implored.

Oh, Lord, why are You distant?
   How can You hear my name
If prayers grow weak on rising?
   I know I’m not to blame!

Yet He was there but silent,
   For He too had a goal,
My loneliness grew deeper;
   It seeped into my soul.

Then one day it was solved:
   The problem had been me.
I flung the door of my heart wide
   And in walked Destiny!
By Margaret Peterson

The Eve of All Saints

On Hallowe’en we celebrate
the lives of all those great
Who dwelled on earth among us
And now we term as “saints.”

Most passed their lives unnoticed,
except to God alone,
But by blood or deed or virtue
their holiness was shown.

They wait on high to greet us
And today pray for all,
Knowing the Father’s pleasure
Is our “yes” to His call.

So thank them and celebrate!
They’ve shown us a way
to live among His people
’til we’re home to stay.
By Rose Marie MacPhee

The Links of a Chain

I am a link on a chain
To join one soul to another.
Whom today shall I meet?
The man in the store,
The woman on the street?

I will give them my smile …
And chat with them awhile.
I will join them to me,
As a bead on her Rosary.

I will tell them of my love
For our Mother above.
I will lead them to each other
As my sister and my brother.

Day after day
God will show me The Way,
Whom to seek,
With whom to pray.
By Josephine Mastrangelo Mosera

Good Morning, God

You are ushering in another day
Untouched and freshly new -
So here I come to ask you, God,
If you’ll renew me too.
Forgive the many errors
That I made yesterday -
And let me try again, dear God,
To walk closer in Your way.
But, Father, I am well aware
I can’t make it on my own -
So take my hand and hold it tight,
For I can’t walk alone.
          - Author unknown