Marian Helper Spring 2022

Marian Helper marian.org Fasting andmercy l A passion for the Eucharist l St. Faustina’s garden ON THE PASCHAL PATH Journeying towards Easter with Jesus and Mary Inspiration and news from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception Spring 2022 Marian Helper Bulletin Marian Helper 1947 2022

Enroll a loved one today! 1-800-462-7426 l marian.org/b53/eg Your offering helps support the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. B53-AE22 All Year: Have your loved ones remembered in prayer from this Easter to the next. They will share in the spiritual benefits of the Holy Masses, prayers, and good works of the Marian priests and brothers. Send one of these cards to announce your gift. Three Masses on Easter: Send your loved ones these exclusive cards to announce that they will be remembered in the three Holy Masses on Easter at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. B53-EG223 (Pink Foiled) B53-EG222 (Spot Varnish) There is no charge for us to send you these cards. An offering is requested when you use the cards. B53-EG221 (Premium Cardstock) Share the Glorious Gift of Easter

AMH Director/Publisher: Fr. 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. 78, No. 1 Spring 2022 On the Paschal Path 8 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: marian.org Giving everything to the Lord, in song 28 As we journey together through the holy Lenten season, we reflect on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus — His Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Glorification — and rely ever more strongly on the Eucharist, the Source and Summit of our Catholic faith. 10: A riveting journey through the holy wounds of Jesus; 12: Fasting like the Founder; 14: What is your passion? 16: Spreading the Good News; 18: Go to Joseph! 3 Father Joseph Writes 4 Marian Helpers in Action 6 Father Joseph’s Picks 7 Notes from Rome 20 Answers to Questions 31 Outstanding Helpers 33 Graces Received 36 From the Vaults Departments On Dec. 27, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, the newest Marian priest, a U.S. Navy chaplain candidate, was ordained at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Father Matthew Tomeny, MIC, is ordained 24 Confessions — and conversion — of a ‘newbie’ 21 The new executive editor of Marian Helper has become one at last — and discovers that the benefits of membership in the Association are out of this world. As a child, Walter Burke played a starring role in his family singing troupe — until he was called to trust in the Lord and evangelize. The Vatican has called a “Synod on Synodality,” so it’s time to “put out into the deep,” as St. John Paul II would say, listen to our neighbors, and share our love of Divine Mercy. We’re invited to a family meeting 26 Two saints on caring for God’s creation 22 Mankind was created in a garden, and therefore given the task of tending it. Look to St. Faustina and St. John Paul II for advice on how to be good stewards of the planet.

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. l Deepen your commitment of prayer and support by joining one of our three spiritually nourishing prayer clubs: marian.org/clubs l Support a particular ministry: marian.org/give l Create a memorial or tribute: MemorialsOnEdenHill.org l Arrange a special gift of stock, a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA, a grant from your donor-advised funds, a gift through your will or trust, or a charitable gift annuity: marian.org/PlannedGiving 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 ShrineOfDivineMercy.org Mercy Apostolates Learn about our lay ministries. marian.org/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 ) AllHeartsAfire.org 1-844-551-3755 Intercessory Prayerline Send us your prayer intentions. 1-800-804-3823 marian.org/prayerline Websites marian.org TheDivineMercy.org ShopMercy.org Who We Are Other ways to support God’s mission through us R Thank you for your support Visit marian.org/social 2 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org

Father Joseph Writes Fast forward to today, and the Association is two million strong — and growing! Wouldn’t it be a great diamond anniversary gift to take up Fr. Joseph’s pledge and invite “at least one new member” to join the Association? As a Marian Helper, you know the benefits — the bullet pointed list is on the opposite page. Helping souls to grow in holiness and guiding souls to Heaven is what the Association is all about. God wants to empower you and me to serve the Church and spread the Good News of the Gospel. And He wants us to invite others to a better way of daily living in intimate union with Him, and with Mary Immaculate as our spiritual Mother — and guide — in Heaven. So let’s shoot for four million Marian Helpers! As members of a spiritual family, we walk together with Jesus and Mary on our daily journey towards Heaven. We are all “On the Paschal Path,” meaning we are on the road to the Cross, Resurrection, and glory. That is the theme for this year’s observance of the 350th Jubilee of the founding of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. During the holy season of Lent, the Paschal Path passes through Holy Thursday, the Last Supper, and the institution of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith. The Eucharist has been in the news lately, and that is welcome news. The U.S. bishops have announced plans for a three-year Eucharistic revival, with the stated mission “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” Many dioceses have launched a “Year of the Eucharist,” including our home diocese here in Massachusetts, the Diocese of Springfield. “Jesus does the work if we let Him,” Bishop William D. Byrne says. “We will have many media and in-parish opportunities for people to learn about Jesus’ Real Presence, but the real key is for us to offer Adoration so that Jesus can do the real work in people’s hearts.” Amen to that! Parishes throughout western Massachusetts will offer the Forty Hours’ Devotion throughout the year, and Bishop Byrne has invited the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy to participate. This penitential Lenten season, as you practice the traditional pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, spend time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, before the tabernacle, or in Eucharistic Adoration. Jesus told St. Faustina, “My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, My daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1385). These graces are ours for the asking. The God of mercy awaits our call. We will honor Him in a special way on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24. Rest assured of our blessings and remembrance for you and your loved ones. This year Marian Helper turns 75! Our very first issue appeared in January 1947, just three years after the Association of Marian Helpers was founded. “You are 2,000 strong now!” my predecessor as Fr. Joseph wrote in that first issue. “But let’s not sit on our laurels! The ‘harvest is indeed great, but the laborers are few.’ That means that, like Christ, we have to go out and look for laborers. Our goal for the coming year — to have every present member send in at least one new member!” 75 YEARS OF GOOD NEWS “Father Joseph, MIC,” is the honorary title of the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current director is Fr. Chris Alar, MIC. Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 3

John Sullivan of Watertown, Connecticut, prepares his soul for the two great feasts of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday just as his fellow Catholics do —with prayers and sacrifices — but adds an additional preparation. About halfway through Lent, John leaves his car at home a few times a week so he can walk to and from his workplace, 10 miles away. Commuting on foot is not John’s Lenten penance; it is training. On Friday of Easter Week, John will leave his house at around 4 in the morning to begin an even longer walk: to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, more than 50 miles from his door. It is a tradition John began 14 years ago to express his gratitude to God for three very special blessings. John and his wife, Robin, were married in 1993. The couple was always open to life, and after waiting two years to conceive, they sought medical counsel. A doctor examined Robin and declared nothing wrong with her. After two more years, John and Robin made their first pilgrimage to Eden Hill to pray for a baby. John’s sister, Sr. Veronica of the Divine Mercy, SV, had suggested the trip. John did not know much about the Divine Mercy message or St. Faustina, but in 1993, his sister and their parents had gone to the Shrine for the celebration of Sr. Faustina’s beatification. “They came home on fire,” John recalls. His sister gave him a copy of Divine Mercy in My Soul, and, when she later joined the Sisters of Life and had to give away her possessions, she presented John with a large copy of the Divine Mercy Image, which a friend had brought back from Poland. To Sr. Veronica, it was clear that John and Robin needed to bring their intention to the Shrine. Thrice blessed On a rainy Divine Mercy Sunday in 1998, John and Robin prayed at the Shrine for God to bless them with a baby. Six weeks later, Robin was pregnant. Their first child, GraceAnne, was baptized on Divine Mercy Sunday the following year. In 2000, John drove up to the Shrine by himself on the Feast of Mercy and prayed for another child. John and Robin’s son, Christopher, was born at the end of that Jubilee Year, on Dec. 30. The couple’s third child, Caitlyn, arrived in March 2004 and was also baptized on the Feast of Mercy. Over the next two years, the Sullivans made pilgrimages of thanksgiving to the Shrine: John alone in 2005, and the whole family in 2006. In 2007, John, who loves long-distance walking and has hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail, felt inspired to walk the route. He did, and even promised God that he would make the walk Walking with the Lord By Marian Friedrichs Courtesy of John Sullivan Marian Helpers in Action 4 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org

every year as long as he was able. In 14 years, John has only missed the walk once, due to work obligations. The journey takes him three days. On the first day, John walks about 35 miles, fromWaterbury to Canaan, Connecticut. His brother, James, who is a priest at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, meets him there. They have dinner together and stay at a bed and breakfast. On Saturday, John covers another 19miles and arrives at Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Sunday morning, John walks the final five miles to the Shrine, where his family meets him for Mass. Ancient pious tradition Walking pilgrimages have a long history in the life of the Church. They were very popular in the Middle Ages, and even today, hundreds of thousands of people follow covering hundreds of miles. While John is intrigued, for now he prefers his solitary walk through the New England countryside. Over the years, John has modified his route to avoid traffic, even though it means spending several hours in areas without cellphone service. Far from causing him anxiety, the isolation gives John a deep sense of peace. “I feel like I’m going into this zone where it’s just me and God,” he says. “It’s a feeling of freedom. This is my quiet time with God.” John has many significant memories of the days he has spent walking: his discovery of an old, ruined Protestant church in the woods where he stops every year to pray; the time he was caught in a rainstorm “out in the middle of nowhere, completely exposed.” (“Now I always bring a rain poncho,” he chuckles.) A conversation with Jesus At home, John sometimes opens St. Faustina’s Diary and focuses on the words in bold letters — those spoken by Christ. Reading those words is “like a conversation” with Jesus, he says. On his annual walk, John continues and deepens that conversation. He may listen to music and Scripture studies, but he always leaves quiet time for dialogue with the Lord. He reflects on his blessings, especially thanking God for answering his and Robin’s prayers all those years ago and giving them the gift of a family. John encourages other Catholics to consider this ancient, pious tradition and make a walking pilgrimage if they can. It will give them a precious opportunity, he says, to step away from ordinary life and connect with the God who loves them and waits for them. “God wants to pour an ocean of mercy if we will only accept it,” John says. “Just trust in God’s mercy, giving your life to Him. It’s really the secret to peace.” While most of us were busy shopping in the days before Christmas, Jean Marie Flanagan of Newburgh, New York, opted instead for spiritual enrichment on a four-day retreat at the National Shrine. “I spent every afternoon in prayer for my family and finances,” she said. “It’s a tangible way to thank the Lord for the great things He’s done in my life.” Jean Marie was married for 36 years, and remembers especially her late husband and one of her five children who has died. “Divine Mercy enables me to unite my sorrow with Jesus,” she said. “It’s very comforting. The Shrine is the place I always venture to maintain my spiritual foundation.” l l l On her discernment journey to become a Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco, Sr. Elfie Del Rosario, FMA (kneeling at left, with her fellow sisters at Corpus Christi Parish in Port Chester, New York), was introduced to the message of Divine Mercy by her spiritual director. “It was a revelation,” she said. “Because of Divine Mercy, I realized that Jesus calls me to Himself regardless of my shortcomings, that His mercy and love really complete me. It’s a very powerful devotion, and I love to share it with others, especially the Chaplet and St. Faustina’s Diary.” Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 5 Friends of Mercy

6 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org Visit ShopMercy.org/b53 or call 1-800-462-7426. Father Joseph’s Picks There are few better ways to spend Lent than reading the Word of God, and reading the Divine Mercy Bible will be uniquely helpful in preparing you to celebrate the entire Octave of Easter, culminating in Divine Mercy Sunday. Packed with much of the very best, easy-to-read teaching on Divine Mercy to complement the RSVCE2 translation of Sacred Scripture, this Bible is a tremendous resource for any faithful Catholic. $49.95. B53-BIDM DIVINE MERCY BIBLE In this powerful exploration of what happens to us after we die, Polish filmmaker Michal Kondrat (“Love and Mercy: Faustina”) interviews experts and shares stories from the lives of such saints as Faustina Kowalska, Padre Pio, and Stanislaus Papczynski to answer age-old questions about the afterlife. This moving film offers a sorely-needed corrective to the modern secular view of the end of life. Now with English voice-over. Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes. $14.95. B53-PDVD Available for streaming at ShopMercy.org PURGATORY DVD by Fr. Ken Dos Santos, MIC Taking on the hard questions and offering pearls of wisdom from the Church’s treasury of teaching, Fr. Ken dos Santos, MIC, has written a book for our time. Calling us to a full embrace of the wisdom of God and resisting the lure of the knowledge of the world, Hagia Sophia represents an important service to Christ and His Church. $10.95. B53-HIAS HAGIA SOPHIA: THE WISDOM OF GOD AS OFFERED TO THE MODERN WORLD As we continue our earthly pilgrimage into the Lenten season, it’s a good time to pick up some sound spiritual reading or viewing to help enrich your preparation for Easter, both the octave and the season. CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH – COMMEMORATIVE EDITION by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC The Year of St. Joseph drew to a close on Dec. 8, 2021, but the example and intercession of St. Joseph remain as powerful and as necessary as ever. Get your commemorative hardcover edition of Consecration to St. Joseph, the bestselling instant classic by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, and equip yourself to live like a faithful child of the man whom Jesus called “father.” This special edition includes a new foreword from Fr. Calloway, three ribbons for marking pages, papal additions to the Litany of St. Joseph, more quotes from saints and blesseds about St. Joseph, Fr. Calloway’s letter to the pope requesting a Year of St. Joseph, full-color artwork, and lots of other special new material. $39.95. B53-HCJO

Notes from Rome By Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC In 1776, during a General Chapter in Mariampole, Lithuania, the Marian Congregation decided to send two Marians to Rome to begin the beatification process of our Founder, St. Stanislaus Papczynski, and the Venerable Servant of God Casimir Wyszynski. In 1779, they were able to purchase the eight-century Church of St. Vito and the adjoining monastery from the Cistercian Order, which had been there for 100 years. The church stands next to an arch that dates back 2,000 years. It was a gateway in the city wall of Rome. The Marians began working in the Church of St. Vito and commissioned a Polish artist who was living in Rome at that time, Francis Smuglewicz, to do the above- mentioned painting. He created the painting in a classical style: one canvas depicting Our Lady Immaculately Conceived, and another smaller canvas above depicting the Holy Spirit and some cherubim, all enclosed in an ornate gold frame. It was placed above the main altar of the church in 1782. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Rome and ordered all foreigners, including the foreign religious communities, to leave the city. The Marians had to abandon the Church of St. Vito, and we never recovered it. We had worked there for about 20 years, and three Marians were buried in the crypt of the church. Today, it is the parish church of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Through the years, the church has undergone some renovations, while the canvas of the painting was badly damaged. It had been repaired, but poorly. In the 1990s the Marians took some pictures of the image and began promoting a Photoshopped restoration of the image (shown above). This year, Fr. Pasquale Magagnini, the pastor, found some donors within his parish who paid to have the painting and the frame restored. Father Pasquale came to our Marian Archives at the General House to do some research so he could publish the true history of the image and the church. I was privileged to attend the Mass there on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception during which Bishop Daniele Libanori, one of the auxiliary bishops of the Diocese of Rome, blessed the restored image. It was a very moving experience to participate in the Mass as a Marian. I thought of the Marians who had faithfully served in that Church more than 200 years before. As I looked at the beautiful painting of Our Lady, I thought of the Marians who had commissioned it and offered Mass under the watchful eye of Our Lady. No doubt they would not have wanted to abandon the church, but they had no choice because of the orders of Napoleon. During his homily that day, the Bishop contemplated the experiences of Joseph and Mary at the time of the Annunciation and the birth of Jesus. They were very probably both frightened and confused at the unfolding of events. They were called to respond to the plan of God with a profound faith. God did not explain everything to them in advance. They both opened themselves to God’s plan in heroic ways and, thus, participated in the work of our redemption. We are called to do the same! Look for the full story of the restoration of Our Lady Immaculately Conceived in the next edition of Marian Helper. ‘OUR LADY’ RESTORED There is an image in Rome of “Our Lady Immaculately Conceived,” which is especially near and dear to the hearts of all Marians. What is the story of this image? “Our Lady Immaculately Conceived.” Father Joe Roesch, MIC, is the vicar general of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He lives in Rome. Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 7 Fr. Joe talks explains the history of the image of Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception.

8 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org On the Paschal Path Casper Van Battum/ Unsplash

Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 9 Every year in Lent, we set out with the Church along the Paschal Path, along the road with Jesus to Calvary, and beyond — to Resurrection, to Ascension, to triumph. But the path to victory comes through the Cross. If we try to remain faithful to Jesus and Mary, there’s something unavoidable about the Paschal Path. Jesus said as much in the Scriptures. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 16:24-25). We are called as Christians to be like Jesus, to live and love as He did and does. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle explores what that looks like in her piece on sharing the wounds of Jesus. This embrace of penitential suffering (also called “mortification”) is true to the spirit and spirituality of the Marian Founder, St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski (16311701), as Br. Stephen, MIC, will explain. Welcome Jesus into our hearts All our lives here below are Lent, and so even as we carry the Cross, we will celebrate Sundays and solemnities, feasts and times where the triumph of grace and God is glimpsed through this present darkness. We will receive the Eucharistic Lord, welcoming Jesus into our hearts and our lives, loving the Bread that came down from Heaven, as Dr. Bryan Thatcher explains. But in order to receive the Eucharistic Lord well and with hearts open to being made new, we need to have prepared ourselves through sacramental Confession, prayer, and studying our faith. As Scripture tells us, “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). Dr. Veronica Szczygiel explores how the Marian Fathers are transmitting our faith through their podcasts, offering you some sources of Lenten spiritual listening. “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom 12:2). A great model for us This Lent, we also celebrate the March 19 Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Year of St. Joseph came to a close on Dec. 8, 2021, but our relationship with our spiritual father, the Universal Patron of the Church, will continue into eternity. We are told by Scripture that St. Joseph was a righteous (or just) man, meaning he’s a great model for us during Lent, just as he was a model for Jesus as the Son of God grew up, according to the ways of human nature. In the coming pages, we’ll learn more about devotion to St. Joseph from Dr. Joan Kelly. We’ll also celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25, one of the great Marian feast days of the year. Our Lady is constantly there for us, even during Lent, even in the times of desolation and trial, just as she was for her Son. Our Lady accompanied Jesus along His Paschal Path, as you can see in the cover image, a shot of the Fourth Station of the Cross from our life-size Stations of the Cross at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. She was there for Jesus, and she is there for you, now and at the hour of our death, Amen. May God bless you this Lent, and may these articles help make this season a fruitful, holy time in preparation for the glory of Easter and the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. We are all on pilgrimage through the valley of tears in this life, a journey with its joys and sorrows, lights and glories, but all of it in the shadow of the Cross, of the limits and weaknesses that mar our human nature since the fall. That makes Lent the Christian life in miniature. We must mortify our appetites, give up sinful habits, and ensure we are well-trained to share in the Passion, death, and Resurrection of our Lord. We prepare throughout this life, knowing that no matter how well we do, there still awaits the sorrow of death in the end. The Congregation of Marian Fathers has placed that Paschal Path at the heart of their jubilee celebrations this year.

10 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org On the Paschal Path A riveting journey through the holy wounds of Jesus One Lenten season, I had been deeply meditating upon Jesus’ sorrowful Passion when God’s Divine Providence sent me on a riveting holy journey. It began as Holy Week approached. With bated breath, I left my house “in haste” for a procedure scheduled by my doctor. The morning chill reminded me to grab my jacket from the hall closet, and I happily discovered my lost Rosary beads in the pocket. Off I went. On the way to meet up with my husband, I called my sister from my cellphone. A few tears trickled down my cheeks, as I shared my fears and concerns with Barbara. I didn’t want to die — not yet, anyway. I wanted to be around for my five children, and maybe future grandchildren — to help guide them. My sister promised her prayers. Upon arriving at the infusion center at the hospital, I met my nurse. Already extremely uneasy about the deadly bacteria that had invaded my body, I would now need to sign papers ensuring that I would not sue if my kidneys shut down or if I lost my hearing. These were common side effects of the intense medication that would be flowing through my veins for the next couple of hours. Lord, have mercy, please. By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle The season of Lent is the perfect time to retreat from the busyness of the world as much as possible and try our best to carve out special times of prayer, striving to get closer to our dear Lord. On occasion, as we wend our way, those prayer times might take on new meaning or a life of their own as they get rearranged by our Divine Physician.

Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 11 In the infusion chair, I extended my left arm as instructed, and my nurse injected a burning jab before she would insert the very long intravenous tube up my arm. It didn’t work. She jabbed again and the IV failed again. Another jab, and my arm was aflame with redhot pain. All the while, I clenched my newly recovered Rosary discreetly in my right hand. It felt like ‘The Twilight Zone’ “Jesus, this is for You,” I silently prayed. “You suffered intensely for me. I offer my pain, my fears, and my uncertainty for Your holy will. Please get me through this.” Suddenly, the realization of the profound timing of my dire situation pierced my brain. Wow, this is happening as Holy Week approaches. God is in control. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted. My nurse spoke up. “No offering it up here!” What? How could she know I was praying silently? I was absolutely stunned. She didn’t miss a beat. “It is not as if nails are being driven into the palms of your hands.” How uncanny! It felt like “The Twilight Zone”! I couldn’t remain silent. “Yes! I am offering it all up to God.” I needed to defend my position. Well, that sure broke the ice! The infusion finally commenced. I asked her if I would be able to travel in a week. She wanted to know the purpose of the trip. I told her I was a Catholic author and speaker and would be presenting at a women’s conference. “Oh! I am a Catholic. But not a very good one,” she answered. I felt compelled to ask if I could give a copy of one of my books to her. She said, “Yes!” It turned out that the infusion procedure was not a “one-shot deal.” It would be 11 days of therapy to kill the deadly bacteria. That meant my nurse and I were engrossed in many long chats. On the very last day, I understood more fully why our dear Lord had allowed me to go through that suffering. When it was time to bid goodbye to my nurse, she surprised me. Right in the middle of the infusion room, she hugged me tight and loudly exclaimed, “Donna-Marie, you came into my life just when I needed you most!” Wow. What a gift! I thanked God for the opportunity to offer suffering to please Him, and to help another soul as well as my own. Great graces are given Yes, our Lord calls us to meditate upon His sorrowful Passion and to offer our sufferings to Him. In my book 52Weeks with Saint Faustina: AYear of Grace and Mercy, I wrote: It might be difficult to meditate upon the bloody wounds and the other sorrows and sufferings of Christ. After all, the human heart tends to recoil from suffering. In addition, pondering what Jesus suffered for love of us can make us very sad. Sister Faustina deeply loved her Lord Jesus and often meditated upon His Passion. In fact, Jesus asked her to do so. During the forthcoming season of Lent, we can recall Jesus’ requests to St. Faustina. For instance, the young mystic wrote in her Diary, “Jesus told me that I please Him best by meditating on His sorrowful Passion, and by such meditation much light falls upon my soul” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 267). Jesus told her, “There are few souls who contemplate My Passion with true feeling; I give great graces to souls who meditate devoutly on My Passion” (Diary, 737). We too, can aspire to please Jesus and be one of those “few souls.” As I noted in 52Weeks with Saint Faustina: When sufferings unfold in our own lives, we might want to run from the Cross. Yet our Lord calls us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Him. He will help us through our afflictions: As our Divine Physician, He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Let us wholeheartedly trust God with our lives and pray for the most holy Lenten journey ever. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, TV host and international speaker, is a best-selling author of more than 35 books, including 52 Weeks with Saint Faustina (Product code: B53-WEEKS) and Divine Mercy in a Woman’s Life (B53-DMFW). Visit ShopMercy.org/b53 to order these books.

Fasting like the Founder An outcast. A runaway, arrested and imprisoned. Isolated, deathly ill, without medical treatment or access to the Sacraments. This was how St. Stanislaus began the year 1670, with a failed attempt to leave the Piarists and found a new congregation. On Dec. 11 of that year, however, he was permitted to retract his former religious vows. He made new vows to God in his oblatio, and thus began the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Three-and-a-half centuries later, as this Congregation inaugurated its Jubilee on the cusp of the year 2020, few could have predicted we’d all experience a similar isolation from medical and sacramental aids around the world. The virus now known as SARS-COV-2 was only observed in a few scattered places at that time. Nevertheless, our Father Founder, just canonized in 2016, would soon show how necessary was his intercession as the “Patron Saint of Those in Mortal Danger.” Saint Stanislaus can help us even in ordinary times, however: His life models the “Paschal Path,” living in a What does St. Stanislaus Papczyński, the Founder of the Marians, have to tell us today about fasting? By Br. Stephen, MIC On the Paschal Path 12 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org

manner conformed to the dying and rising of Jesus Christ. During Lent, when we contemplate Christ’s suffering and death, St. Stanislaus reminds us of His call to “take up your cross and follow Me” (Mt 16:24) through the three traditional pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Now, St. Stanislaus belonged to a different time and culture, and we may not find helpful the penances he asked of his early followers, such as wearing scratchy garments, bland two-course meals, sleeping on straw, or self- flagellation three or more times a week. However, we should heed his wisdom about the inner logic of mortification. Reparation and purification What is this “inner logic?” It is expressed in two words: reparation and purification. Simply put, true mortification evicts sin and invites grace. We fast and abstain on the days appointed by the Church to repair the damage of sin and to grow in purity of heart. Sin imposes chaos on the soul. This can be seen in ourselves, in the world around us, and in the suffering of the souls in Purgatory. By fasting and other mortifications, we deny ourselves disordered worldly attachments, and thus free our spirits to love God with all our hearts. Saint Stanislaus insists on the spiritual orientation of fasting in his Rule of Life (ch. 4), saying that it would be out of order to “hard press” the body and neglect the soul. Love and mercy The sufferings of the poor in this world further motivate our mortifications. Saint Stanislaus urges his followers not to ignore the poor as the rich man did Lazarus, but rather to show them great love and mercy. As Bl. George Matulaitis, MIC, the Renovator of the Marians, would later say in his Instructions, mortification should not hinder one’s apostolic work for others, but should be an integral part of it. Saint Stanislaus’ call to “take up your cross” grows most eloquent when speaking of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. In order to free these souls, he not only performed strenuous earthly penances like those listed above, but asked his confrères to do the same. These penances, harsh as they seem, are nothing compared to the torments souls suffer in their long path of purgation after death. The spiritual pains of Purgatory — longing for God, detachment, conformity to God’s Will — better remind us of our final goal: union with God. As St. Paul reminds the Colossians (and us): “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1). In light of this goal, we can better see howmortification fits into the plan of God’s Mercy. We deny ourselves to attack our sins, thus cooperating with Christ’s coming to redeem us. Our sacrifices and abstinence open us up to the graces of sanctification that God planned from all eternity to grant us. We are both reformed from sin and transformed by grace. Being Christ-like Christian holiness lies in being Christlike. This is the final end of all God’s graces and our efforts: union with God. Holy Communion in this life is a foretaste of that union, of the eternal banquet of the Lamb. During the season of Lent, we are conformed to Jesus specifically in His death, to “the Lamb who was slain” (Rev 5:12). Hence the word “mortification” (from the Latin words mors and facio, literally “to make dead”) gains a new Christian meaning. Death in itself is fearful, but to die with Christ is (paradoxically) joyful. As St. Paul says to the Romans: “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom 6:8). Death becomes life; mortification leads to resurrection. This is the inner logic of the one-hour fast before receiving Holy Communion: This “Bread of Angels” is no ordinary food! It is also the reason for the good old practice of “giving something up for Lent,” and meatless Fridays. This Lenten Season, choose carefully the mortification you will practice. Consider whether it will help you grow in virtue, in true detachment from the world and attachment to God. Weigh its value for your work and your witness to others of the joy of the Gospel. Finally, do something for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Without having to wear a hair shirt or sleep on straw, you will then be a true follower of St. Stanislaus’ teaching about mortification. We should heed St. Stanislaus’ wisdom: We fast and abstain to repair the damage of sin and to grow in purity of heart. Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org 13

What is Your PASSION? When a man has a passion, he concentrates and keeps his gaze on it. Without a passion, we lead an aimless existence and useless life. As Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), our passion is to tell a hurting world that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, and of His unfathomable love and mercy for all. Think of the man who wants to achieve an honorable and lofty position in life. He will keep his focus and work By Dr. Bryan Thatcher We all need a passion in life, something that motivates and drives us. This passion keeps us going even in the face of adversity. Our Lord wants to instill in us just such a passion and love for Him in the Eucharist. On the Paschal Path 14 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org

only for that; whether it takes him 10 or 20 years, it does not matter. “I will get there,” he says. It motivates his life. He dedicates everything to and keeps his focus on his desire. It gives him strength to keep pushing on, even in the face of adversity. In Scripture, we read, “For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14). Jesus said,“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:48-51). And yet we do not believe! We don’t have the passion and burning zeal for Him that we should. Our Lord wants us to love Him and visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Faustina knewWhom she was receiving when she went to Holy Communion, and wrote in her Diary, “I am going forward through life amidst rainbows and storms, but with my head held high with pride, for I am a royal child. I feel that the blood of Jesus is circulating inmy veins, and I have put my trust in the great mercy of the Lord” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 992). In fact, St. Faustina loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament so much that she took as her name in religious life, “Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament.” But we lack that passion! Our Lord told St. Faustina, “My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, my daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My Hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat me as a dead object” (Diary, 1385). On several occasions, St. Faustina saw the same rays coming from the monstrance that she saw in the Image. She wrote, “That same day, when I was in church waiting for confession, I saw the same rays issuing from the monstrance and spreading throughout the church. This lasted all through the service. After the Benediction, [the rays shone out] to both sides and returned again to the monstrance. Their appearance was bright and transparent like crystal. I asked Jesus that He deign to light the fire of His love in all souls that were cold: Beneath these rays a heart will grow warm even if it were like a block of ice; even if it were as hard as a rock, it will crumble into dust” (Diary, 370). This Lent and beyond, love Jesus in the Eucharist. Have a passion and fervor to receive Him and visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament as your station in life permits. Dedicate all your thoughts and labors to Him, for loving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the unchanging way to holiness. Bryan Thatcher, MD, is director of EADM, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers. Please visit TheDivineMercy.org/EADM to view his weekly “Mercy Unbound” video interviews with Divine Mercy experts. “Pearls of Divine Mercy,” Dr. Thatcher’s podcast of short teaching vignettes, is posted on TheDivineMercy.org/podcasts. If you would like a free packet on starting a Divine Mercy cenacle, or information on how to obtain a copy of the papal blessing from Pope St. John Paul II, contact EADM at 877380-0727 or email [email protected] Love Jesus in the Eucharist. Have a passion and fervor to receive Him and visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament as your station in life permits. Dedicate all your thoughts and labors to Him, for loving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the unchanging way to holiness.

16 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org Looking to supplement your Lenten spiritual preparation? Then please lend us your ears! Modern problems sometimes need modern solutions. In this age of audiobooks and podcasts, spiritual listening may fill the role spiritual reading has held for many Catholics across the centuries. Sometimes it’s hard to find time for God during busy, day-to-day life. When this happens, we can turn routine responsibilities into encounters with the Lord by turning on a podcast. In fact, 52 percent of podcast fans have reported listening to episodes while driving, and 59 percent while doing housework. As 155 million Americans listened to a podcast last year alone, that’s a lot of roving listeners — and clean houses. Millions of people are double-dipping with their time. Catholics can do the same. The Marian Fathers and Association of Marian Helpers produce six high-quality podcasts to tune into when tuning out the monotony in our lives. Like books in a library, you can pick and choose podcast episodes you find most interesting or timely for your life (unless binge listening Netflix-style appeals to you). Podcasts can also be used as teaching resources in catechism classes or parish discussion and prayer groups. The Marian podcasts share, explain, and expand upon the message of Divine Mercy as a path to holiness in listeners’ lives. The purpose of these podcasts is to help us understand God’s fathomless mercy, be inspired by it, and, of course, pray for mercy. To learn about Divine Mercy, listeners can dive into the Diary that dared to describe it. In his podcast, Saint Faustina’s Diary in aYear, the Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, vicar general for the worldwide Congregation, begins each daily episode by reading an excerpt from the saint’s Diary so that, after 365 days, listeners will have completed the entire book. In a booming, baritone narrative voice that is part Leonard Cohen and part divine, Fr. Roesch delivers short and sweet commentary on the takeaways of each day’s entry. Fragmenting the Diary into digestible chunks can help cultivate a disciplined prayer life, as listeners can follow along in the book, writing down reflections in its margins. Episodes are 5-8 minutes long. In Pearls of Divine Mercy, Dr. BryanThatcher, founder of the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers, uses quotations from St. Faustina’s Diary, Church teachings, and important Catholic thinkers to explain the nuances of Divine Mercy. Spreading the Good News, One Download at a Time By Dr. Veronica Szczygiel On the Paschal Path

This podcast is especially beneficial for listeners new to its message or who want to learn more about the core tenets quickly and thoroughly. “I hope listeners realize the message of Divine Mercy is much more than the beautiful Image, Feast day, or the powerful Chaplet, but rather a spirituality and way of life,” Dr. Thatcher says. Each episode of Pearls is like a glistening jewel beaded on a string: The more episodes you listen to, the more complete and beautiful the necklace becomes. Episodes are 5-9 minutes long. Mercy is a fulcrum of our Catholic faith, which Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, explores in Explaining the Faith. In this podcast, taken from his popular Saturday talks, he addresses a wide variety of topics that range from Heaven, Marian apparitions, Noah’s Ark, and forgiveness to Sept. 11, the Crusades, and so many more. Each TED Talk-style episode begins with an intriguing question answered comprehensively and accurately with evidence from Church teaching and the Scriptures. Passionate and engaging, Fr. Chris becomes the wise, entertaining professor you wish you had to keep you awake in your college lecture hall. To see the slides that Fr. Chris references, you can watch the talk on the official Divine Mercy Facebook page. Episodes are 40-90 minutes long. Similarly, you can pan for more podcast gold in the Homilies from the National Shrine, featuring daily and Sunday Masses sermons celebrated at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. These episodes work well as a supplement (not replacement!) for Sunday Mass. If you can’t get to weekday Mass, you can review the liturgical readings on your own and listen to the homily for a daily dose of wisdom from different Marian priests. Episodes are 5-25 minutes long. The Marian podcasts provide fuel for inspiration to live out the message of Divine Mercy. In Catholic Saints with Fr. Dan, Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, tells saint stories to give us, he explains, “reasons to hope as well as tips on how to become the saints we were called to be at Baptism.” To help us strive for holiness, he boils down the virtues unique to each saint that we can emulate while highlighting how human they were, too. When Fr. Dan speaks about his personal connections with these saints, the podcast sounds like you’re having a phone conversation with an old friend. Episodes are 3-8 minutes long. In Sparks of Mercy, conversations with writers, book editors, and readers offer real and down-to-earth wisdom for our spiritual journey. Marian Press senior books editor Chris Sparks asks his guests thought-provoking questions that not only delve into literary content but the lives of “just plain faithful folks.” He says the podcast shares “insights on how to live the love of God in the world, how it leads us to love of neighbor, and the practical, every day, ordinary ways to live that love in the world.” Each episode is meant to ignite a spark (pun intended) that will set your faith life aflame. Episodes are 40 minutes long. Every podcast episode is a prayer, inviting God’s Word into our ears and His presence into our hearts. So pop in your wireless earbuds or sport your 80s-style headphones and listen to these “prayercasts” while you run, shop, wash dishes, or drive. Or simply soak them in with a cup of coffee. Regardless of how or when we listen, let’s fill our lives, not just with tasks, but with the sounds of God’s grace and mercy. Lent is a great time to start. How to listen to the Marian podcasts Visit TheDivineMercy.org/podcasts to access all of the Marian podcasts mentioned in this article, free of charge. You can also search for them on your favorite listening platform, including: l Spotify l Apple Podcasts l Google Podcasts l Podcast Addict l Breaker l Player FM l Listen Notes l The Podcast Index l Overcast l Pocket Casts l Castro l Castbox l Amazon Music l And many more!

Not as much as we’d like. Joseph never speaks in Scripture. Mark never mentions Joseph. John refers to Jesus twice as the son of Joseph, and that’s it. Our information about St. Joseph comes primarily fromMatthew and Luke, the only two Gospels that tell the story of the Incarnation and aftermath. But once Jesus is found in the Temple by His parents, Joseph disappears. We don’t know how old he was when he died a “happy death,” only that it occurred before our Lord’s Passion, as Mary is alone at the foot of the Cross. And he has no tomb. Several “relics” purported to be Joseph’s are venerated in Italy, including his wedding ring (Perugia), staff (Camaldoli), and cloak (Rome). For centuries, artists depicted Joseph as a wizened old man, even though the Church has never made a definitive By Dr. Joan M. Kelly Devotion to St. Joseph is as old as the Catholic Church and has never been stronger, thanks in part to the recently-concluded year-long celebration of the foster father of Jesus. But howmuch do we know for certain about the husband of the VirginMary, patron of the Universal Church? 18 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • marian.org “The Death of St. Joseph,” fresco in St. Joseph Church in Shelton, Connecticut. On the Paschal Path Go to Joseph!

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