Marian Helper Fall 2022

MarianHelper Prayerline as lifeline l Ukraine update l Do pets go to Heaven? Fall 2022 AFTER ‘ROE’ What’s next for the pro-life movement? Inspiration and news from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception

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AMH Director/Publisher: Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC — “Father Joseph, MIC” Executive Editor: Dr. Joe McAleer Designer: Andrew Leeco Writer, assistant editor: Chris Sparks AMH General Promoter: Br. Andrew R. Maczynski, MIC Vol. 79, No. 3 Fall 2022 After ‘Roe’ 12 Page Mission Statement Marian Helper is intended to serve members of the Association of Marian Helpers (AMH), a spiritual benefit society of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The magazine seeks to provide spiritual nourishment, education about the Catholic faith, and information about the mission and good works of the Marians. It also provides information about Association services and presents opportunities to support the mission and good works of the Congregation. Marian Helper is published quarterly by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. It is sent free of charge to active members of the Association. Printed in the USA with ecclesiastical approval. Copyright © 2022 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. All rights reserved. Send all correspondence to: Association of Marian Helpers, Editorial Dept., Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263. email: [email protected] website: Do pets go to Heaven? 26 Nearly 50 years of prayers and consistent witness paid off when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. But the battle against abortion is far from over. What’s next? 12 Renewing a Culture of Life!; 14 What would Mother say?; 16 June 24: The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Roe v. Wade; 18 Post-abortive healing can save a soul. 3 Father Joseph Writes 4 Marian Helpers in Action 6 Father Joseph’s Picks 7 Notes from Rome 10 Answers to Questions 11 On Eden Hill 31 Outstanding Helpers 33 Graces Received 36 From the Vaults Departments The Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayerline receives more than 10,000 calls every month, and Br. Stephen J., MIC, and staff are committed to pray for each caller individually. The Prayerline is a lifeline 22 Update on Ukraine 8 An extraordinary effort continues to send funds and humanitarian aid to our Marian priests and those in their care in the war zone. It’s one of the most common questions people have about the Catholic faith. Chris Sparks discovers the true answer is, we really don’t know. In her new memoir from Marian Press, pioneering journalist Peggy Stanton recalls an encounter with Julie Andrews on the set of “The Sound of Music.” When the hills were ‘alive’ 24 Vatican II at 60 20 The Second Vatican Council opened on Oct. 11, 1962. Dr. Robert Stackpole looks to “Council saints” like John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II to understand its goals and achievements. Getting to know the Founder 32 A new spiritual treasury offers the majority of the works of the Founder of the Marians, St. Stanislaus Papczynski, in English translation. American pilgrimage 28 There’s a rich history of the Catholic Church to discover right here in the United States, as Fr. Angelo Casimiro, MIC, learns on a journey to New Mexico.

Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception The Marian Fathers are a Congregation of nearly 500 priests and brothers in 20 countries around the world. We support the Holy Father and embrace the official teachings of the Catholic Church in our special calling to: ● Spread devotion to Mary as the Immaculate Conception. ● Offer our lives for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially the victims of war and disease. ● Operate publishing apostolates and assist where the need is greatest in parishes, shrines, and missions. ● Promote the Divine Mercy message and devotion. ● Organize people of good will to work with and through us to bring Christ everywhere. Association of Marian Helpers — Join us! Established in 1944, the Association of Marian Helpers is a spiritual benefit society that prayerfully and financially supports the priests and brothers of the Congregation of Marian Fathers. Your enrollment means that, by a decree of the Holy See, you will now share in these graces: ● A daily Mass offered for all Marian Helpers. ● A share in the prayers, good works, and merits of the Marian priests and brothers around the world. ● A special Mass offered on feast days of our Savior and His Blessed Mother. ● A monthly Mass on each First Friday and each First Saturday. ● A Mass offered for deceased members on All Souls’ Day. ● The perpetual Novena to the Divine Mercy. Sign-up is easy: visit l Deepen your commitment of prayer and support by joining one of our three spiritually nourishing prayer clubs: l Support a particular ministry: l Create a memorial or tribute: l Arrange a special gift of stock, a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA, a grant from your donor-advised fund, a gift through your will or trust, or a charitable gift annuity: Call 1-800-671-2020 to make a gift by phone or for assistance. When making your will ... A sample form of bequest to the Marians is: I give and bequeath to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. (Tax ID #20-8599030), Stockbridge, MA 01262, ____% of my adjusted gross estate (or $_______, or a specific asset) to be used for its religious and educational purposes. Marian Helpers Center Stockbridge, Massachusetts Headquarters and publishing center for the Association of Marian Helpers. 1-800-462-7426 National Shrine of The Divine Mercy (413) 298-3931 For pilgrimages: (413) 298-1119 Mercy Apostolates Learn about our lay ministries. 1-866-895-3236 Evangelization Team Invite the Marians to speak at your parish. (413) 298-1349 [email protected] Hearts Afire: Parish-based Programs (HAPP ) 1-844-551-3755 Intercessory Prayerline Send us your prayer intentions. 1-800-804-3823 Websites Who We Are Other ways to support God’s mission through us R Thank you for your support Visit 2 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 •

Father Joseph Writes Could it really be true — after 49 years, Roe v. Wade has been overturned? As we look back on this historic day, we owe thanks to every man, woman, and child who, over the past 49 years, advocated for life and prayed unceasingly to reach this tremendous victory. As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, it is the fruit of these labors that has brought about this momentous legal decision to uphold the natural law. We should praise the six Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe for their courage in upholding the dignity of human life. Thanks to their ruling, the beating hearts of many more unborn babies will now have a chance to survive. It is a cause for rejoicing, giving all thanksgiving and praise to God for His providential care over our nation and the lives of those entrusted to us. But it is also an occasion for renewed prayer and action because this announcement is not an end to abortion in our country. In many ways, the battle has just begun. In this edition of Marian Helper, we consider practical next steps for the pro-life movement. The matter has now returned to the states, which is where it should have been from the beginning. It puts the issue back in the hands of voters, for them to decide. We trust in the process. Therefore, we must redouble our prayers that voters across the country will stand up for life, imitating the courage shown by our Supreme Court Justices and demanded by God. Abortion is not a political issue. It is a pre-eminent moral issue based in natural law that states that only God, not man, is the author of life and death. Thus, this can be seen as an act of God’s mercy, as His justice could have easily sent further chastisement of our nation for the killing of tens of millions of innocent lives. Instead, God has given us the chance to start anew. Let us not reject this grace. Lastly, we call on our government officials to condemn swiftly and unequivocally any violence that may result from the June 24th announcement, just as our government condemns other forms of violence, because all life is sacred. The words of the Great Mercy Pope and defender of life, St. John Paul II, come to mind. In his homily during Mass in Washington, D.C., in 1979, he said: We will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life. When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family. To which we can add a resounding “Amen!” Where were you on June 24, 2022? It was the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and I was in France, leading a pilgrimage to Marian shrines including La Salette and Lourdes. But news traveled at lightning speed across the Atlantic when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. THE BATTLE CONTINUES “Father Joseph, MIC,” is the honorary title of the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current director is the Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC. On July 29, 2022, Fr. Chris was also named the new interim Provincial Superior of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province in the United States and Argentina, which is headquartered at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 3

She could see the lilacs. It was May, and they were in full bloom. She had seen the couch first, because it was beside the couch that she had knelt to say her prayer. Now, Leslie Beck gazed in astonishment through the picture window in her family’s living room. There was her front lawn. There were the lilac bushes. They looked as they had when she had last seen them, before she had lost her sight, two years earlier when she was 8 years old. Now, Leslie found herself staring out the window and speaking the words, “Oh, my gosh, I can see!” Leslie Beck, now 65, grew up in a farming community outside Spokane, Washington. The area is a housing development now, but when Leslie was a child, it was countryside where she lived on a farm with her mother, father, older brother, and older sister. In 1964, a tainted batch of MMR vaccines caused a variety of health problems in many children of the community. Leslie contracted encephalitis, which affected the lining of her brain and the retinas of her eyes. She was hospitalized for a year. Leslie remembers having her hands tied to keep her from clawing at her eyes. “The pain was so terrible,” she says. Never lost hope Doctors told Leslie’s parents that there was no hope of her regaining her sight. They recommended putting her in a special facility for blind children. Leslie’s parents did not take this suggestion, and so, unable to go back to her former school, Leslie was allowed to, as she says, “run wild on the farm.” Until the day she knelt beside that couch to pray. Leslie’s family was not religious. Her father was a non-practicing Catholic, her mother an atheist. Still, Leslie says, she always “had a strong faith in Jesus” and believed He was present in her life. On that spring day in 1966, Leslie approached her mother and asked if Jesus might restore her sight if she asked Him. Her mother quipped laughingly, “Well, you can try.” Leslie decided she would, indeed, try. She walked into the living room, felt for the couch, and knelt beside it. “If ‘Master, I want to see’ By Marian Friedrichs Photo by Farrinni on Unsplash Marian Helpers in Action As a 10-year-old, Leslie Beck beseeched Jesus to restore her sight – and the first thing she sawwere lilacs in bloom outside her window. 4 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • Despite the doctors’ grim report and her parents’ lack of faith, Leslie turned to Jesus with trust, and her eyes were opened.

it’s Your will, Jesus,” she prayed, “would you restore my sight?” Amoment later, she says, “It was like I was in a dark room and someone turned the light on.” Leslie, then age 10, does not recall her parents’ reaction to her healing, although she knows they were very happy. She does remember the subsequent visit to the doctor. He examined her eyes and found the same atrophy of the optic nerves, the same scarring on the retinas that had caused her blindness. And yet it was undeniable that Leslie — suddenly and inexplicably — could see. She returned to school. “Things were normal again,” she recalls. Searching for God For Leslie, normal life included a quest for God. “I was always searching,” she says. “I read the Bible, but I didn’t understand about the one true Church.” Leslie attended many different churches during her young adulthood. In her 20s, she was introduced to the Rosary and “prayed it on and off ” for years. “I really fell in love with Mama Mary,” she says. But before Leslie finally made her way home to the Catholic Church, she had to pass through another terrible time of darkness. At the end of 2004, Leslie’s son committed suicide. Yet even amidst profound grief, Leslie “felt such a comfort and closeness to the Lord.” Responding to God’s invitation to draw still closer to Him, Leslie started praying the Rosary and reading the Bible more regularly. One day she realized, “I want to be Catholic. I think that’s my home.” Leslie entered the Rite of Christian Initiation program and was baptized in 2006 at the age of 50. Very soon after she became Catholic, Leslie bought a copy of Divine Mercy in My Soul. Her heart responded immediately to the Divine Mercy message, and the Chaplet became part of her daily prayers. Today, Leslie is not sure how many times she has read the Bible, and she is currently reading St. Faustina’s Diary for the third time. “I’m trying to understand my faith,” she says. As soon as Marians Fr. Chris Alar and Br. Jason Lewis’ book, After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You was published, Leslie read it. The book offered her consolation and hope, not only for her son’s soul, but for that of her grandfather as well, who took his own life when Leslie’s mother was a teenager. Jesus’ message of trust in God’s mercy encourages Leslie to be “confident they are both in Heaven.” Eyes opened When the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, became aware that Jesus was passing by, he called out, “Jesus, son of David, take pity on me!” The crowds tried to hush him, but he repeated his plea until Jesus sent for him and asked what he wanted. To the blind man’s simple request — “Master, I want to see” — Jesus gave an equally simple reply: “Go in peace; your faith has saved you” (Mk 10:47, 51-52). Despite the doctors’ grim report and her parents’ lack of faith, Leslie turned to Jesus with trust, and her eyes were opened. After decades of searching and the anguish of a mother’s loss, she submitted to Christ’s loving guidance and entered His Church. Leslie’s journey shows just how much Jesus will do for a soul who has enough faith in His power and goodness simply to ask for His pity and trust that He will grant sight and salvation. Leslie’s faith in the merciful God saved her. And she has peace. On July 29, 2022, the Most Rev. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC, Superior General of the worldwide Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, announced a change in leadership of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province of the United States and Argentina, which is headquartered at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC, is the new interim Provincial Superior, succeeding Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, who has held the position since 2011. Father Kaz had expressed a desire to be dispensed from the administrative burdens of the position and return to pastoral ministry. On Aug. 3, the Feast of the Angels, Fr. Chris was formally sworn-in (left) as Provincial Superior at the National Shrine in the presence of Marian Fathers and Brothers. Father Anthony Gramlich, MIC, rector of the National Shrine, kneels beside Fr. Chris. Please keep Fr. Chris and Fr. Kaz in your prayers, and know that they are praying for all our Marian Helpers throughout the world. Welcome new Provincial Superior!

Visit or call 1-800-462-7426. Father Joseph’s Picks The Patroness of the Marian Fathers — Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception — is also the Patroness of the United States of America. This pamphlet tells the story of how she became our nation’s patroness and gives the history of one of the most iconic parts of the Marian heritage: a holy image depicting “Our Lady, Immaculately Conceived” that’s been around as long as the U.S.A. B55-IMLT OUR LADY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: PATRONESS OF THE USA SINCE 1847 (Pamphlet) by Peggy Stanton P eggy Stanton served ABC-TV as the first female news correspondent in Washington, DC, in the 1960s. Opening up the journals she kept for decades, From theWhite House to theWhite Cross offers an entertaining and revealing glimpse into a storied world of glitz and glamor. Her perspective — and life — change unexpectedly during a visit to Medjugorje, where, in her words, “the Master attempts to chisel a poor piece of clay into what He intended her to be.” Paperback, 280 pages and 16 pages of photos. $14.95. B55-WHWC FROMTHEWHITE HOUSE TOTHEWHITE CROSS CONFESSIONS OF A TV NEWS CORRESPONDENT What’s the deal with the consecration of Russia by the Holy See? Why have we not seen the full, final Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the launching of the era of peace, promised by Our Lady at Fatima? This pamphlet explains the truth — Pope St. John Paul II completed the task in 1984 — and much more. B55-CORT by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, and Br. Jason Lewis, MIC Addressing the hard issue of suicide simply and pastorally, Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, and Br. Jason Lewis, MIC, draw from the teaching of the Church, the message of Divine Mercy, and their own experience of losing a loved one to offer readers two key forms of hope: hope for the salvation of those who’ve died by their own hand, and hope for the healing of those left behind. This book is a must-read for all those trying to make sense out of such a difficult subject. Remarkably, the spiritual principles of healing and redemption apply not only to a loss from suicide, but by any means of death. Paperback,195 pages. $14.95. B55-ASTH $14.95 Spanish: B55-HSPA AFTER SUICIDE: THERE’S HOPE FOR THEM AND FOR YOU As we approach the season of new school years, reaping what we have sown, and counting our blessings, help prepare your heart and mind with some of these excellent resources on our faith and the difference it makes in our lives. HOLY SEE: THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA HAS BEEN MADE (Pamphlet) Pamphlets: 10 for $1.60 • 100 for $14.00 • 1,000 for $100.00 NEW! NEW! NEW! 6 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • e

Notes from Rome By Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC Can you tell us a little about your background? When were you ordained? My name is Fr. Emmanuel Habumuremyi, MIC. I was born in 1986 in Rwanda. I studied in the minor seminary because I felt a desire to be a priest because of the good example of a priest whom I had seen when I was 6 years old. In 2008, I began my formation in our Congregation. The charisms connected with the desires of my heart, in particular, the devotion to Mary and praying for the souls in Purgatory. After philosophical studies in Rwanda and theological studies in Cameroon, I was ordained a priest in 2016. What kind of work have you done as a priest so far? After my ordination, I was appointed vicar of the parish of Nyakinama and chaplain of the youth. I was responsible for vocations in our vicariate in Rwanda. I traveled to parishes in various dioceses speaking to Christian youth about the call of God and our Congregation. My joy was full during an unforgettable vocational gathering in which 650 young people and 120 religious from 38 congregations participated. I was then appointed pastor of the parish of Ruyenzi, in the diocese of Kabgayi. Caring for the souls of the parish was not an easy task for me, but God’s graces in each moment were always with me. You came to Rome one year ago. Can you tell us about your experiences? After arriving in Rome, I studied Italian for three months. Last October, I started studying spiritual theology at the Salesian Pontifical University, specializing in the formation of formators and vocational animators. Before training others, you must first be trained. The future of the Church on the missionary level requires a strong preparation of the workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Human and Christian values are visibly threatened. These studies will allow me to give my contribution in the formation of future Marian Fathers capable of accomplishing the mission of the Church in all places and in all circumstances. I never thought I would arrive in this city, which I consider to be the Little Heavenly Jerusalem. Setting foot on the ground which witnessed the martyrdom of the great Apostles Peter and Paul gives a special feeling. Seeing the Holy Father in person and visiting the Roman basilicas and the shrines in Italy dedicated to saints like Francis, Clare, and Benedict have left a deep impression on me. What will you write your final thesis on? An analysis of the experience of the Marian Fathers in Rwanda doing religious formation at the service of the local Church. Formation prepares disciples and apostles of Christ to become like Him in every age and place. Please pray for Fr. Emmanuel and all of our student priests here in Rome! A PILGRIM’S PROGRESS Located in our Roman House is the International Marian College to which our Marian priests come for further studies after ordination. This year, there will be six young Marian priests studying here. Let’s hear from one: Father Emmanuel Habumuremyi, MIC Father Joe Roesch, MIC, is the vicar general of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He lives in Rome. Listen to his new podcast, reading and reflecting on “The Imitation of Christ,” on Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 7 Meet Fr. Emmanuel and get an update.

8 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • The daily news headlines may be few and far between, but the war continues in Ukraine (as we go to press, in its seventh month), as does the need for humanitarian and medical aid. The Marian Fathers and Marian Helpers also continue in our service to those in need, suffering as a result of Russia’s unjust, illegal invasion of an independent, sovereign nation, home to the largest Eastern Catholic Rite (the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church [UGCC]) in the world. Project C.U.R.E. The indefatigable work of Nurse Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN, founder and head of the Marian Fathers’ Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy apostolate, and Dr. Bryan Thatcher, founder and head of the Marian Fathers’ Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy apostolate, has produced remarkable fruits. Their collaboration with Project C.U.R.E. has allowed a steady stream of medical and humanitarian aid to reach the Marian Fathers in Eastern Europe, which has then reached the Ukrainian people both in and outside the country. “To date, we’ve shipped 81 pallets of goods to the Marians in Poland/Ukraine, with a Gift-In-Kind value of nearly $1.5 million ($1,499,537),” said Kristin Robinson, Kansas City executive director of Project C.U.R.E., in a July 12 email. “There are 11 additional pallets in the queue for shipment, and then two containers that are in the planning process set to sail in the coming weeks.” “Three-hundred emergency beds from Project C.U.R.E. were provided to the Marians’ Mercy House in Ukraine,” stated Dr. Thatcher, “allowing those patients — even the wheelchair bound — to get off the concrete floor and into a bed. We need everyone’s help to continue this work. In addition to medical aid, we are facing a humanitarian crisis of insufficient food and water.” Nurse Marie noted that the Oliver-Hoffman Foundation has also provided significant monetary assistance An update from Ukraine By Chris Sparks A priest ministers to a resident in the Marian Fathers’ Mercy House in Gorodok, western Ukraine.

Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 9 and 15 pallets of desperately-needed medical supplies. “Both Bryan and I are deeply grateful to them and the Marian Helpers who are so generous,” she said. “Each day that goes by, we are working on shipments and procuring medical and humanitarian supplies. We are determined to continue with this corporal work of mercy, no matter how difficult.” The response to our update on the situation in Ukraine in the last Marian Helper has been outstanding, said the Very Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joe” Roesch, MIC, vicar general for the Congregation of Marian Fathers. “I would like to thank all of the Marian Helpers who have done so much to help our Marian priests and their parishioners who have been living under the constant threat of death, especially in Kharkiv, where they have been under almost continuous attack,” said Fr. Joe. “I encourage you to continue to pray for them and support them in any way you can since this terrible war marches on unabated.” Need remains “I would like to thank you for your financial support and your prayers for the end of the war, peace, and reconciliation,” added Fr. Wojciech “Wojtek” Jasinski, MIC, general treasurer of the Congregation. “The innocent Ukrainian people suffer death, injuries, homelessness, despair. Ukraine still needs our support. “We Marian Fathers around the world are doing whatever is possible to sustain hope among our Marian brethren in Ukraine who have stayed there to help those in great need,” Fr. Wojtek continued. “My brothers provide shelter, medicine, food. They provide hope and strongly believe that soon peace and victory come. “We are able to continue our ministry in Ukraine because of you, our wonderful benefactors,” Fr. Wojtek concluded. “May our Merciful Lord pour upon you His blessings of love and mercy. May Our Mother, Immaculately Conceived Blessed Virgin Mary, intercede for you always and protect you.” Please visit to make a donation for Ukraine relief. One hundred percent of donations are used to help cover the cost of humanitarian and medical assistance for Ukraine and refugees in Poland. In the midst of the terrible Russian attacks against his own country, the chief Catholic prelate in Ukraine offered an extraordinary teaching on loving one’s enemy. “Ukraine is standing, Ukraine is fighting, Ukraine is praying and learning to overcome,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the UGCC, in a July 14 message from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. “These days, there were many questions about how to overcome the hatred of the enemy who kills us, how not to be angry when you see all the crimes that are taking place on our land. “Today I want to invite everyone to pray for us to be able to turn our anger into the virtue of courage through our meekness and long-suffering.” Archbishop Shevchuk continued. “Let us pray today for our army, our defenders, the girls and boys who defend our Ukrainian land with their bodies. Let us protect our hearts from anger and hatred, let us be filled with the virtue of long-suffering, so we can resist evil for a long time, and the enemy does not first fill our hearts through the demon of anger.” All of the Major Archbishop’s daily messages can be found at along with other news from our Catholic brethren of the UGCC.

10 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • “How can you still be Catholic when the music at Mass is so awful?” I was once asked a very similar question by an exCatholic. He wanted to know if I thought the Mass was boring. After all, it’s the same thing every week, the routine doesn’t vary much, the music is bad, and honestly, wouldn’t it be much better to worship God in a more freeflowing, changeable sort of way? I said, “Boredom is a really bad reason not to worship God.” Solitary conceit That said, yes, sometimes I don’t like the music at Mass. But in this, Catholics do not suffer alone. C.S. Lewis of Narnia fame had a similar opinion of the hymns at Anglican services: I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the great merit of it. I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off. I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit. Not to say that all objections to Mass music involve “solitary conceit,” of course. There are standards for sacred music that Catholic musicians playing at Mass should adhere to. Sixty years ago, Vatican II dedicated an entire chapter of Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) to the question of sacred music. The Council Fathers clearly placed a high importance on the music traditionally used in the Liturgy of the Church, saying, “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (112). We are all supposed to sing at Mass, not just the choir. (Singing is praying twice, St. Augustine allegedly said.) We are meant join our voices to the endless praise and thanksgiving offered to God in the heavenly worship. And what does the Church recommend we sing? The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as especially suited to the |Roman Liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action. There’s an artistic standard — the music should be beautiful and appropriate for use at Mass — but there is also a lot of room for people to write new music and for traditional styles of music from all over the world to be incorporated into use in the Liturgy. Not the point I leave it to the liturgists and musicians to discuss whether what’s current practice throughout America is the most faithful implementation of the letter and spirit of Vatican II. But even if the music at a particular parish is awful, remember that the point of the Mass is not the music. The point of the Mass is Jesus Christ, present inWord and Sacrament to the Mystical Body of Christ. We are to seek to present a more beautiful Liturgy, yes — because it’s appropriate that we offer our very best efforts to God when we gather to worship Him. But that growth in beauty should remain faithful to the norms and teaching of the Church. So bad music is a problem where it exists, and it should be corrected if possible. But it’s certainly not worth ceasing to be Catholic because of bad music. Adapted from How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question by Chris Sparks (Marian Press; Product code B55-BCBB) BEAUTIFUL MUSIC – SOMETIMES Answers to Questions By Chris Sparks Photo by John Moeses Bauab on Unsplash

Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 11 ¡Encuentro! The August heat wave did not deter more than 50 buses with thousands of pilgrims from journeying to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Aug. 6 for “Encuentro Latino 2022,” a day of celebration dedicated to the Latino community. What made the event even more special was its joyous return after a hiatus of two years due to the pandemic. Father José Siesquen Flores (below) was the principal celebrant of Mass at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine. The day included music, dancing, a Rosary procession, catechetical talks, opportunity for Confession, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as well as time for food and fellowship, and sharing the healing message of Divine Mercy. “I come here with a lot of things on my heart,” said one pilgrim from New Jersey, “but God is here and is telling me it’s going to be okay.” On Eden Hill

12 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • Renewing a Culture of Life! Iwas taking part in a lovely Irish dancing festival in the Catskills when I heard a message that would change my life forever. A priest who hailed from the Emerald Isle had been invited to celebrate Mass for the festivalgoers. During the homily, he recounted his shock and horror over a politician’s refusal to sign legislation protecting preborn babies from the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion, in which a baby is partly delivered, then killed. At the homily’s conclusion, he sang an Irish ballad that spoke to a mother’s sacrifice for her child. I began to weep, and I knew that the time for dancing had passed. I felt a calling to become more actively engaged in helping pregnant women and their babies amidst what Pope St. John Paul II referred to as the “Culture of Death.” I would eventually leave my career in secular journalism behind to work full-time in the pro-life movement. My goal was to work for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. By Maria V. Gallagher After ‘Roe’ Photo by Monica Elizabeth/Wikipedia

Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 13 Like Anna in the Temple I was in Atlanta for the National Right to Life Convention on June 24 this year when I heard the news that Roe had been overturned. I was overcome with emotion in the moment — I felt a little like Anna in the Temple, having finally laid eyes on the Savior after years of praying for His arrival. I had prayed so long and so hard for the demise of Roe, I could scarce believe that I had been granted the privilege of seeing the end of the Roe era in my lifetime. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization returns the issue of abortion policy to the individual states. As of this writing, some states have taken life-saving action to protect preborn babies at the earliest stages of development. Others have laws in place that permit abortion throughout pregnancy. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where I live, we are working to pass an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution which declares that there is no constitutional “right” to taxpayer funding of abortion. The amendment would also ensure that the people, through their duly elected representatives, decide abortion policy, rather than the courts. Much work to do Whether you live in a state where the law largely protects preborn babies, or in a state that does not, there is much work to do to renew the “Culture of Life” that Pope St. John Paul II spoke about. After all, an estimated 63 million unborn babies have died from legal abortion since 1973. Countless mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers have been left to grieve children lost to abortion. We are in the rebuilding phase of our society, trying to pick up the pieces after the devastation caused by the Roe regime. It is a daunting task, but we need to be committed to undertake it, for the sake of our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and students. Our young people have grown up in an abortion culture. It will take a concerted effort to introduce them to the beauty and truth which a Culture of Life has to offer. People have been asking me, “Post-Roe, what happens now, and what should I do next?” Organizations such as National Right to Life and its state affiliates offer timely information about both pro-life and anti-life legislation. (Visit for details.) While the Supreme Court wisely determined there is no federal constitutional right to abortion, advocates for abortion continue to try to pass legislation in Congress to not only uphold abortion, but to expand it. The situation means that we must be vigilant in our lobbying efforts on both the state and federal level. We must be willing to take the time to call, email, write, and visit our legislators, and let them know that human life should be protected from its earliest stages. Listen, then talk Sadly, many of our families are deeply divided when it comes to the issue of abortion. In such cases, it is wise to talk to God about your family member before you try to broach the subject. In fact, I have found over the years that when I am engaged in one-on-one conversations about abortion, it is best to listenmore than I talk. When I do talk, I ammore inclined to ask questions than to make pronouncements. I have discovered that so many people are misinformed when it comes to abortion and other issues involving the sanctity of human life. By clearing up misconceptions, I can plant a seed that perhaps can blossom in the future. I recall that when I was a secular journalist, a representative from a right-to-life organization wrote me a note, thanking me for an interview I had conducted with her. I kept that little pink note in my desk drawer for years. It was instrumental in helping me to re-evaluate the issue of abortion and ultimately become a pro-life advocate. So you never knowwhere even modest efforts at pro-life persuasion might lead. People will also be drawn to the cause by your pro-life example. As St. Teresa of Calcutta noted, we can do small things with great love. Whether it’s taking part in a diaper drive at church, sorting baby clothes at a pregnancy resource center, or volunteering to baby-sit the children of a couple in your parish, you can make great strides in rebuilding a culture of life in your own community. Finally, the late Fr. John Hardon, SJ, a holy and gifted priest, used to say that there is no stopping abortion without the Eucharist. Please consider making a monthly or weekly Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament for the cause of the protection of human life. Offer your reception of Holy Communion for a pregnant woman facing challenging circumstances. With God’s help, we can create a culture that honors life as the irreplaceable gift that it is! A journalist and mother, Maria V. Gallagher works on education and legislation for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the state affiliate of National Right to Life. She is the author of Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary (Marian Press; Product code B55-JYMY). People will also be drawn to the cause by your pro-life example. As St. Teresa of Calcutta noted, we can do small things with great love.

14 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • What would Mother say? Etched upon my memory is the first conversation I ever had with Mother Teresa, the “Saint of the Gutters,” who died 25 years ago. It was a hot summer day filled with holy surprises. My family and I had participated at a private Mass at a Missionaries of Charity convent. We had no idea when invited that Mother Teresa would be with us. We didn’t know we would be very blessed to also have a private audience with her afterwards. After Mass, in the convent’s foyer, I tried to digest the amazing blessings of being so close to a saint, while holding onto my toddler daughter Jessica so that she couldn’t run around the convent! That’s when Mother Teresa approached and asked an unexpected question. “Is this the baby who was singing at Mass?” How lovely! She referred to a somewhat noisy child as a singing baby! The petite nun placed her worn, wrinkled hand on Jessica, nestled in my arms, my children Justin and Chaldea nearby. Mother declared, “Your children are very lucky to have a family.” The Albanian-Indian nun, dressed in a simple cotton sari, was accustomed to seeing children in other sorts of situations. Many families to whom she ministered were broken and miserable in some way, or severely impoverished — their lives dangling on worn spindly threads. The blessing of family Mother Teresa could not have known that I had been an abandoned single mother for many years or that I had lost three babies to miscarriage. By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle After ‘Roe’ Mother Teresa was delighted to meet Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s son Joseph in March 1989 during a visit to a Missionaries of Charity convent in New Jersey.

Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 15 I quickly responded. “I am so blessed to have them in my life!” Mother Teresa took time with us. A beautiful conversation unfolded. Each word she uttered pierced my heart. I was struck by Mother’s great love for human life which seemed to exude her pores. I deeply experienced her love for us, too — feeling extremely comfortable with her, as if she was my grandmother; someone I had known all my life. Reflecting now, I realize it was Jesus in her Who comforted and blessed me. Nothing could possibly top that day — or so I thought. As my life would unfold, Mother Teresa became my friend, spiritual director, and sweet mother as we kept in touch over the next 10 years. In God’s amazing Providence, I would be with my saintly friend on 12 more occasions, have a phone conversation with her between Calcutta and the United States, and be blessed to receive 22 letters from her. Mother prayed me through two precarious pregnancies, which included heart conditions and a profuse uterine hemorrhage. Though 35 years ago, I’m still unpacking it and trying to share the blessings. When asked, Mother Teresa gave speeches, but for the most part, she didn’t jump up on the nearest table to preach the Gospel to the masses. She was all about meeting each person where they were and evangelizing with God’s love and mercy—one on one. She truly lived Jesus’ instructions: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). Recognizing Jesus in everyone, she served Him there. She called the unfortunate, “Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor.” It was so important to Mother Teresa, great saint of mercy, to tell the world about the intrinsic beauty and sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death by preaching against abortion and through rescuing orphan babies and placing them in families after personally caring for them. She encouraged love within the family. Mother often ministered to the dying, sometimes reaching them in their last moments, lifting them up out of gutters, showering them with dignity, comfort, and love. And they smiled at her and closed their eyes to enter their eternal reward. Life is intrinsically valuable and lovely at every moment. At Mother Teresa’s canonization in 2016, a reporter asked me what advice she would give. I said she would tell us to lift our eyes off our devices and pay attention to the person standing before us. We miss out on life and opportunities to serve others (even with a kind smile) by spending too much time on technology and latest status updates. God expects us to be present to the people He gives us to love and serve. Indeed, we are living in times of great change and extensive division. How are we to react, give example, create change, and protect human life? The question of abortion has now gone from the national level down to the state level, to the local communities. How would Mother Teresa guide our pro-life witness? Pro-life witness Now, more than ever, we should become educated about issues surrounding abortion and the sanctity of human life. We need facts from trusted sources. We should be prepared to give a holy and helpful witness when called upon, and know where to send people for necessary help. Mother Teresa, a model of the works of mercy, has illustrated the way forward as Catholics and therefore as pro-life citizens of the United States. Praying, being attentive to needs surrounding us, and taking time to listen and be present helps us discover the silent cries of “Jesus in the distressing disguise” from those who might initially appear all put together. We can offer our prayerful help, time, and resources. Opportunities abound, beginning in the family, setting foundational examples and broadening our reach to help and educate when out and about in our neighborhoods, parishes, communities, and workplaces. Let’s not fear the evil one’s tactics that aim to silence the truth about the intrinsic beauty and sanctity of every human life. Instead, we earnestly and prayerfully arm ourselves with the knowledge and truth of God’s love and mercy and courageously move forward with His grace to impart it to others. As Mother Teresa once told me, “Do everything for the glory of God and the good of His people.” Let’s do that, changing the world one on one — one by one. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is a Catholic wife, mother, and grandmother. She is an EWTN TV host and author of more than 35 books, including 52Weeks with Saint Faustina (Marian Press, Product code B55-WEEKS) and Divine Mercy in a Woman’s Life (B55-DMFW). Now, more than ever, we should become educated about issues surrounding abortion and the sanctity of human life. We need facts from trusted sources. We should be prepared to give a holy and helpful witness when called upon, and know where to send people for necessary help.

By Br. Eliott, MIC Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash June 24 After ‘Roe’ 16 Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Roe v. Wade

On the liturgical Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 24, 2022), the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade was overturned. Coincidence? Or divinely inspired? It certainly comes as no surprise, when you consider the history of papal invocations of the power of the Sacred Heart to change the world. A little less than a century before Roe v. Wade, Pope Leo XIII noted that there was “a sort of wall being raised between the Church and civil society.” What did the Vicar of Christ do? Leo XIII asked for the whole human race to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “Such an act of consecration, since it can establish or draw tighter the bonds which naturally connect public affairs with God, gives to States a hope of better things,” the Holy Father predicted in his 1899 encyclical letter Annum Sacrum. “The whole human race is most truly under the power of Jesus Christ.” Does this mean that after this consecration all evil in society was eradicated? The short answer is, of course, no. In fact, Pope Pius XI sought reparation (or restitution) to the Sacred Heart in his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor. “Since in the last century, and in this present century, things have come to such a pass, that by the machinations of wicked men the sovereignty of Christ Our Lord has been denied and war is publicly waged against the Church, by passing laws and promoting plebiscites repugnant to Divine and natural law,” Pius XI observed. “Even now, in a wondrous yet true manner, we can and ought to console that Most Sacred Heart which is continually wounded by the sins of thankless men.” Good fruit So, was the consecration to the Sacred Heart useless if it didn’t seem to do much? Again, the short answer is no. Even though the early- and mid-20th century was wracked by war and assorted evils, the consecration to Christ’s divine and Sacred Heart did bear good fruit. We know this because a third pope, the successor of Pius XI (Ven. Pius XII), also wrote about the Sacred Heart. In his 1956 encyclical Haurietis Aquas, Pius XII wrote, “The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has triumphed, so to speak, over the errors and the neglect of men.” When so many evils meet Our gaze — such as cause sharp conflict among individuals, families, nations and the whole world, particularly today more than at any other time —where are We to seek a remedy, venerable brethren? Can a form of devotion surpassing that to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be found, which corresponds better to the essential character of the Catholic faith, which is more capable of assisting the presentday needs of the Church and the human race? Certainly not. Pius XII cited two benefits of devotion and reparation to the Sacred Heart that have inspired the pro-life movement: Mary’s spiritual motherhood and Divine Mercy. Spiritual motherhood “Mary the beloved Mother of God and the most loving Mother of us all,” Pius XII wrote, “She who gave birth to our Savior according to the flesh and was associated with Him in recalling the children of Eve to the life of divine grace has deservedly been hailed as the spiritual Mother of the whole human race.” Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has fostered a spirituality and devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, a mainstay of the pro-life movement. Women have a role model for authentic femininity and motherhood as they look to Mary and learn that they, too, are beloved daughters of the Father. Mothers look to howMary cared for Jesus when He was an infant in the womb. “The adorable Heart of Jesus Christ began to beat with a love at once human and divine after the Virgin Mary generously pronounced Her ‘Fiat,’” Pius XII wrote. Divine Mercy A second benefit that stems from devotion/reparation to the Sacred Heart is Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy affects pro-life work inasmuch as we show merciful love to the most vulnerable, those in the womb. “Christ Our Lord, exposing His Sacred Heart, wished in a quite extraordinary way to invite the minds of men to a contemplation of, and a devotion to, the mystery of God’s merciful love for the human race,” Pius XII wrote. He echoed the words of Pope Leo XIII, who wrote, “[T]here is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ whichmoves us to love one another.” The defeat of Roe v. Wade on this year’s feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was no coincidence. May we continue to show gratitude and reparation to Christ’s most Sacred Heart, and continue to have the courage and fortitude to turn to the Sacred Heart in our upcoming campaigns for the sanctity of life at all stages. A century before Roe v. Wade, Pope Leo XIII asked for the whole human race to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Marian Helper • Fall 2022 • 17