MarianHelper Marian.org Responding to the war in Ukraine l Divine Mercy weekend on Eden Hill Inspiration and news from the Mari n Fathers of the Immaculate Conception Summer 2022 ‘OUR LADY’ RENEWED A Marian icon is restored to its former glory Marian Helper Bulletin Marian Helper 1947 2022
Enroll a loved one today! 1-800-462-7426 l Marian.org/enrollments By enrolling loved ones in the Association of Marian Helpers, they will share in the benefits of the Holy Masses, prayers, and good works of the Marian priests and brothers. GIVE A PROMISE OF PRAYER B54-MC2022 With Sympathy (Gold Foil) B54-BC22 Blessings on Your Birthday (Gold Foil) When a Cardinal is Near (Red Foil) B54-MC22 Fr. Joseph explains enrollments.
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. 79, No. 2 Summer 2022 ‘Our Lady,’ renewed 10 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 Equine Dreams 24 An icon commissioned by the Marian Fathers 240 years ago is restored to its pristine glory, ready to inspire a new generation of Marians and Marian Helpers. 3 Father Joseph Writes 7 Notes from Rome 8 Marian Helpers in Action 12 Father Joseph’s Picks 29 New from Marian Press 31 Outstanding Helpers 33 Graces Received 35 Answers to Questions 36 From the Vaults Departments As we anticipate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 24, Robert Stackpole, STD, introduces a new weekly online series on the devotion. ‘More brilliant than the sun’ 20 Saint Faustina and the Eucharist 16 A National Eucharistic Revival is under way, and it’s time for a refresher on the “source and summit of the Christian life.” Father Andy Davy, MIC, is catapulted into a world where man and beast are joined together in a hymn of praise, one filled with the healing rays of Christ. Three versions of the Divine Mercy Image are particularly outstanding in the history of the Divine Mercy message and devotion: Vilnius, Hyla, and Skemp. A tale of three Images 22 ‘A special sign of grace’ 18 She is perhaps the most popular representation of the Blessed Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast we celebrate on July 16. Helping the victims of war 4 The Marian Fathers, with the support and prayers of Marian Helpers, respond with prayer, ministering to victims, and persisting in living their religious vocations. Return to Eden Hill 13 After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, pilgrims were welcomed back for the public celebration of Divine Mercy Weekend in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The ‘Renovator’ of the Marians 26 Get to know Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz, 35 years since his beatification.
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 fund, 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 • Summer 2022 • Marian.org
Father Joseph Writes Here’s why. This is a time of testing, but I trust Our Lady. I know she’s trustworthy because God almighty entrusted her with His Son. That Son trusted her enough to be obedient to her (see Lk 2:51). God found Mary to be utterly trustworthy, utterly reliable, utterly committed to Him. In fact, apart from God Himself, you could call Our Lady the most trustworthy person ever to exist. So I trust her enough to have given my life to her service — I made vows in the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. I trust her enough to follow her, knowing she will always lead me to her Son. All that means I also trust her when she said at Fatima in 1917, 105 years ago: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” My Marian brother Fr. Anthony Gramlich, rector of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, laid out in his March 25, 2022 homily (which you can watch on YouTube) the Holy See’s position that, according to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, the requested consecration took place on March 25, 1984. Subsequently, in a series of events, the USSR collapsed. Soviet atheistic communism broke and went away, something no one would have believed possible before it happened. But as Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010 at Fatima, we still await the full Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. On March 25, 2022, the 38th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s consecration, Pope Francis led an explicit consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart, an act of trust and love of Our Lady in the face of a Russia still in the clutches of the same errors she’s been wrestling with for well over a century, including “caesaropapism” (the secular head of state claiming dominion over the church, as well). The consecration was a great act. Pope Francis trusts Our Lady. He’s shown that throughout his pontificate, especially by visiting the icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani (Protector of the Roman People), before and after each foreign trip he makes, asking her help and protection. But our trust in Our Lady should mean we answer all her requests. That’s why I and my Marian brethren have been leading First Friday and First Saturday devotions, livestreamed from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, for well over a year now. Our Lady made multiple requests at Fatima, after all. The consecration of Russia was one. The First Saturdays in reparation for the blasphemies and outrages against her Immaculate Heart was another, required in order for us to see the conversion of Russia, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, and the era of peace. The daily Rosary for peace in the world, another. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart alongside devotion to the Sacred Heart — well, that’s the heart of the whole of Fatima. Because we trust Our Lady, I and my Marian brethren continue to lead all you faithful folks to Our Lady. Hence the reason we’ve put Mary Immaculate on the front cover of this magazine, and dedicated funds to helping restore the classic image of “Our Lady, Immaculately Conceived.” You’ll read more about that and other good works of members of our Marian family in this issue of Marian Helper. In all things, trust in Our Lady, and let her bring you home to her Son. May God bless you. Recently, a man approached me with a direct question. “Father,” he said. “Are you hopeful for the future?” I responded without hesitation: “Yes, absolutely!” I TRUST OUR LADY “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 • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 3
T he illegal, unwarranted invasion by Russia of its peaceful neighbor, Ukraine, comes at a high cost, one that, sadly, the Marian Fathers and Marian Helpers are paying. “It’s hard to put into words the tragedy that has unfolded since the invasion began on Feb. 24,” said the Very Rev. Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, vicar general of the Marian Fathers. “Not just the loss of innocent lives, but the disruption and displacement of millions of people, the greatest forced migration since World War II.” And the Marian Fathers, with the support and prayers of Marian Helpers, are responding to this new challenge just as they always have: with prayer, gifts of aid and funds, ministering to victims, and persisting in living their religious vocations in spite of the best efforts of the world, the flesh, and the devil. “On behalf of the Marians in Ukraine, I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the support and prayers, for keeping interest in what is going on there, and for the help that we have received that is beyond imagination,” said Fr. Wojciech “Wojtek” Jasinski, MIC, general econome (treasurer) for the Congregation of Marian Fathers. “Our Marians in Ukraine feel the prayers of our donors and supporters. They are grateful for the financial support, and pray for all donors and the end of the war.” The Marians in Ukraine There are 17 Marian priests and one deacon in Ukraine in five parishes. Four of these parishes are in the western part of the country, closer to Poland and Moldova, and the Marians there continue to minister to the people by providing food and shelter. The Marian parish in Kharkiv, Ukraine, famously one of the hardest-hit cities in the country, has suffered most. The two Marian priests who had been assigned to the city before the war have remained, offering shelter to families, mostly to elderly people who were unable to escape. They’ve been celebrating Mass in the basement. “From the very beginning, they decided to stay to the end, and it looks like they are even ready to die,” said Fr. Wojtek. “They want to be with the people, with the parishioners, all the time. They didn’t even think about Helping the victims of war By Chris Sparks The Marians in Kharkiv, Ukraine, celebrating Mass in the basement. The Marian response in Ukraine, Poland, and the U.S. 4 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org Dr. Bryan Thatcher and Nurse Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN talk about relief efforts.
leaving.” In fact, they had a car, but they gave it to some religious sisters who needed to escape in order to avoid falling victim to Russian depredations. The Marians make do with a bike, which they use when they go and try to get food. So far, there’s been enough food to go around, but there have been shortages, especially of medical supplies for first aid and treating the wounds caused by the invaders. The Divine Mercy Nursing Home in Gorodok, Ukraine, has been at max capacity for some time. “We have a house for around 80 people,” explained Fr. Wojtek. “There are many elderly and disabled people brought by their children for safety.” Relief efforts In response, you, the Marian Helpers, have swung into action. So far, substantial funds have been raised for immediate needs as well as the long-term rebuilding of the Marian parishes and ministries in Ukraine, and fundraising efforts continue. Just ask Dr. Bryan Thatcher, founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), and Nurse Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN, founder of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. Both have medical training as well as years of experience practicing and promoting the Divine Mercy message and devotion under the guidance of Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC. Wasting no time, Dr. Thatcher and Nurse Marie both set to work from the earliest days of the conflict, making phone calls and trying to figure out how they could help. “Both of our ministries have many contacts in Poland. I have been to Ukraine and have friends there. This is a real humanitarian crisis,” Dr. Thatcher noted. “We need to move and act, all done in a spirit of Christian love, out of love of God.” For 25 years, he and EADM have been filling shipping containers with medical supplies and sending them to populations in need across the world. All that experience, along with partners like the charity Project C.U.R.E., has paved the way for a remarkably quick response to a world historic crisis. Also, Nurse Marie’s experience coordinating pilgrimages with major airlines has expedited the process. Coordinating daily with the Marian Helpers Center in Warsaw, Nurse Marie was able to utilize her experience in air logistics and treating catastrophic injuries to source the critical medical supplies needed. With Dr. Thatcher and Project C.U.R.E., she has been able to ship more than 30 pallets and 100 Stryker beds for the sick and injured. We still haven’t seen the final fulfillment of the promise of Our Lady in Fatima that, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” According to Sr. Lucia, St. John Paul II consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart on March 25, 1984. The USSR fell shortly afterwards. And yet there’s still not peace in the world. Why? Ask yourself: Have most of us been faithful to her requests, especially the First Saturdays of Reparation? What are the Five First Saturdays? First Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary include the following elements, performed with the intention of reparation for blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart, for at least five consecutive months: • Confession (shortly before or after the First Saturday — so long as the person receives Holy Communion in a state of grace); • Holy Communion received on the First Saturday of each month; • the Holy Rosary, five decades recited sometime during the day; and • meditating for 15 minutes on the Mysteries of the Rosary (one or more). Let’s make these devotions a part of our prayer life each month! You can join the livestream of the Marians in prayer every First Saturday at 11 a.m. EST on YouTube.com/DivineMercyOfficial Following Fatima: The First Saturdays
The Oliver-Hoffman Foundation and members from a Marian parish, St. Mary’s in Plano, Illinois, have also shipped more than eight pallets. The urgent need is ongoing. “We need donations to buy essential medical supplies, air cargo space, and humanitarian aid, but we also need everyone to pray,” Nurse Marie said. “I’ve tried to alternate one Chaplet, one Rosary for Ukraine, for Russia, for everyone impacted by the conflict.” Facing familiar challenges When the Russian army invaded Ukraine, the Marian Fathers were confronted with a very familiar set of challenges. This is the Congregation, after all, that was founded by St. Stanislaus Papczynski (1631-1701) just after the Deluge, a whole series of invasions of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth in the 17th century. Concurrent with that, plagues were sweeping the region repeatedly, all helping to contribute to St. Stanislaus’ deep concern for praying for the dead. More recently, the Congregation dwindled down to a single member as the result of repressive Russian imperial measures designed to eradicate Catholic religious orders in lands under control of the Czar. During the Cold War, the Congregation again faced existential challenges at the hands of the communist regime operating out of Moscow. The Ukrainian forces fighting for their country now see the spiritual context of the current struggle, one reminiscent of Russian invasions past, said Fr. Wojtek. “They consider the attack of the Russians as a diabolic one,” he explained, “especially in Mariupol, which is the ‘City of Mary.’ For them, it’s like the attack of Satan on the Blessed Virgin Mary.” If Ukrainian soldiers come to the Marian Fathers’ parishes or ministries, he went on, “of course they receive the help which we can provide — food, medicine — and also they are asking for Rosaries and pictures of the Merciful Jesus and St. Stanislaus Papczynski, whom they consider their patron. They ask for a blessing before they go to fight. So people see very clearly that there is also a very heavy spiritual battle which is going on in Ukraine right now.” The Congregation, with the support of the Marian Helpers and their Marian apostolates, will face this new set of challenges, lovingly minister to the victims of the conflict, and remain steadfast in service to Christ and His Church, all under the mantle of Mary Immaculate. Visit Marian.org/Ukraine 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 for refugees in Poland. 6 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org
Notes from Rome By Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC About 30 people flew to Italy from the United States, and I joined the group in Rome. There were many challenges: Two-thirds of the group arrived a day late because of a cancelled flight; we had snow and windy conditions on a couple of days; and of course there was the need for COVID testing and protocols along the way. Despite all the difficulties, it was a great blessing for all who participated, and we learned many lessons. We visited the four Major Basilicas in Rome and the Holy Stairs, among other places. We attended the General Audience with Pope Francis in which he called for prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday because of what was happening in Ukraine. He said, “I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.” We visited the Shrine of Padre Pio, the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, the Shrine of the Holy House of Loreto, and the sites in Assisi and Gubbio. Our drive to Assisi was difficult because of the weather conditions and we had to cancel a trip to La Verna where St. Francis had received the stigmata. However, when we arrived in Assisi after a very long day, almost all of the pilgrims attended a Vigil of Prayer for Peace in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels. There were many Franciscan friars, religious sisters, and laity in attendance, praying the Rosary for peace in the world. We walked in the footsteps of the saints and tried to learn from their example. Saint Francis was only about 5-foot-1-inch, but he was a powerhouse of prayer and of apostolic activity. The secret of the saints is their faith and trust in the Lord. We learned about all that Padre Pio had suffered during his lifetime. He had a sf where he often remained for 15 or 16 hours a day helping people to convert. Saint Clare gave up a life of comfort and luxury to follow the example of St. Francis in living a radical life in conformity with the Gospel. Francis teaches us the joy of discovering Christ in all things. He calls on all of creation to sing of the glory of God. We also visited the tomb in Assisi of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old who was beatified on Oct. 10, 2020. He taught us that a millennial, who knows his way around a computer and wears Nike sneakers, can reach the heights of holiness. The unfolding situation in Ukraine served to focus us during our pilgrimage experience. Our prayers and sacrifices for peace were offered up for those who are suffering. One of our priests in Ukraine wrote a letter of farewell to our Superior General in case anything happens to him because his city is being bombed. He was amazingly tranquil and accepting of the will of God in all things. Let’s continue to pray for peace! As Jesus said to St. Faustina, “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my mercy” (300). A PILGRIM’S PROGRESS Just before Lent, I had the privilege of serving as the spiritual leader on a 206 Tours Pilgrimage to the Shrines in Italy. A pilgrimage is a wonderful experience. You go to holy sites with a group of people that you don’t know and, by the end, God has formed you into a family. Father Joe Roesch, MIC, stands next to a life-size statue of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. 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 “The Imitation of Christ,” on TheDivineMercy.org. Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 7 Fr. Joe talks more about Padre Pio and the pilgrimage.
On Dec. 10, 2021, Kathy McEnaney and her family were in St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate a wedding. That Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner, but Kathy, her husband, Joe, and their 19-year-old daughter Kaylee were not in a festive frame of mind. At the hotel, the McEnaneys were engrossed by the TV news and the text messages Kathy was receiving regularly from her meteorologist nephew. A tornado was heading straight for their hometown of Princeton, Kentucky, and it was a big one. Seeking refuge The intensity of the wind and rain had grown frightening when Kathy’s friend and neighbor, Jill Giordano, called Kathy to ask if she and her family could take refuge in the McEnaneys’ house, as Jill’s did not have a basement. Kathy opened her garage door remotely through her phone, and Jill and several relatives, including her 2-year-old grandson, took cover in the McEnaneys’ basement. Not long after that, the power cut out in Princeton. An EF4 tornado ripped through the town as the McEnaneys, more than 200 miles away, prayed for their community. The next call they received was from Karsyn Parker, a close friend of Kaylee. “My house is gone!” she cried. Kathy called Jill, who assured her that she and her family were safe. Next, Kathy called Karsyn’s mother, Katie Parker, and told her that the Parkers should join Jill’s family in the basement. Shortly afterward, Princeton lost cellphone service. The Parkers made their way to the McEnaneys’ house and waited with Jill and her family for daylight. Stunning surprise The sun rose on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, to reveal a scene of devastating loss across western Kentucky. “The neighborhood across from my home was completely annihilated,” says Kathy. Like the Parkers’ house, Jill’s home and her mother’s had been destroyed. Jill’s sister’s house was still standing, but her detached garage was severely damaged. Waiting in St. Louis for word, Kathy recalls: “I expected my house to be severely damaged, but for [my friends] to be protected in the basement.” When she finally learned the truth, Kathy was stunned. Her large hilltop house had lost some roof shingles and a Christmas decoration. It bore no other sign of the tornado’s violent path through Princeton. Though surprised, Kathy had no trouble identifying the reason her home was spared. It was all thanks to a birthday present, some YouTube videos, a few special prayers, and a certain picture displayed prominently in the McEnaneys’ front window. For her birthday in July 2021, Kathy had received a book about Eucharistic miracles. The subject intrigued her, and she set out to learn more. An internet search led her to Marian Fr. Chris Alar’s “Explaining the Faith” ‘By the Grace of Almighty God’ By Marian Friedrichs Photos courtesy of Kathy McEnaney Marian Helpers in Action The Parkers’ home in Princeton, Kentucky, was destroyed by an EF4 tornado. Last fall, Kathy McEnaney placed a blessed Image of Divine Mercy in the windowby the front door. 8 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org
Father Chris Alar, MIC, journeyed to Boston to interview actor/producer Mark Wahlberg about his starring role in the film Father Stu, based on the true story of a lost soul who finds his purpose in a most unexpected place: the priesthood. Wahlberg, a Catholic, spoke about daily prayer, his devotion to Mary, and the impact that good priests have had upon his life. “I have met and encountered some of the most amazing people who have dedicated their lives to serving God and touched me in so many ways, and have done so many things without trying to take credit for it. It’s just what they’re supposed to be doing,” Wahlberg said. “Hopefully this movie will encourage more people to the vocation of priesthood.” Father Stu is rated “R” for strong language. “Although disturbing, the language falls away as Stu proceeds on his vocational journey, an indication of his transformation and self-improvement,” said Fr. Chris. “Despite the rating and language, I recommend the film for its inspiring portrayal of the Catholic priesthood.” Father Chris’ interview with Mark Wahlberg, part of our weekly “Living Divine Mercy” program on EWTN, is posted on our YouTube channel, Divine Mercy. series onYouTube. Although a copy of the Divine Mercy Image hangs in Kathy’s church, it had never been explained or mentioned from the pulpit, and neither Kathy nor Joe, both cradle Catholics, was familiar with the Divine Mercy message and devotion. “I truly believe I was led to Fr. Alar’s videos,” she says. Sealing the doorpost From Fr. Alar, Kathy learned about a devotion called “sealing the doorpost,” in which a blessed copy of the Divine Mercy Image is hung on a home’s front door, facing outward, as a sign of the inhabitants’ trust in the Lord’s care. That fall, Kathy ordered a copy of the Image from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, had it blessed by her pastor, and placed it in the window beside her front door. According to St. Faustina’s confessor, Blessed Michael Sopocko, Jesus promised, “Let everyone procure for their homes this Image …The time will come when all those who do so will give witness to the miraculous efficacy and to the special protection of mercy flowing from this Image.” Inspired by another of Fr. Alar’s videos, “Angels: The Forgotten Army,” Kathy also prayed for her families’ guardian angels to watch over their home. At Thanksgiving, she presented her grown children with their own blessed copies of the Divine Mercy Image and urged them to watch Fr. Alar’s videos themselves. God’s grace Today, when people express amazement that the McEnaneys’ house escaped the tornado unscathed, Kathy is quick to respond, “It was by the grace of Almighty God.” She is open about her belief that the Divine Mercy and the guardian angels preserved her house and the lives of her friends who found safety there. Those friends are now beginning to make plans for rebuilding their homes. Kathy has already presented Jill with a blessed Divine Mercy Image. “When you rebuild,” Kathy told her friend, “You are putting this up!” Kathy McEnaney’s hilltop house only lost some roof shingles and a Christmas decoration in the tornado. ‘Explaining the Faith’ Watch Fr. Chris Alar’s ‘Explaining the Faith’ talks from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Saturdays at 11 a.m. EST, livestreamed on: Facebook: Divine Mercy (Official) YouTube: DivineMercyOfficial All past talks are posted on our website, TheDivineMercy.org, and on our YouTube channel. Father Chris meets ‘Father Stu’
‘Our Lady,’ renewed Leaning against ancient Servian walls near the Arch of Gallienus in Rome sits the Church of St. Vito. Hanging within is a treasure familiar to the Marian Congregation and to Marian Helpers: a painting entitled “Our Lady, Immaculately Conceived.” For decades, the Marian Fathers have reproduced the lovely image on prayer cards and pamphlets. However, it turns out that the extreme golden hue of the painting was not original, but rather caused by centuries of age and neglect. Heartbreaking disrepair Seeing that this incredible artwork had fallen into heartbreaking disrepair, St. Vito’s pastor, Fr. Pasquale Magagnini, a diocesan priest, spearheaded the restoration of the painting, with the support of his parishioners and the Marian Fathers in the United States. It was completed earlier this year, and unveiled at a special dedication Mass celebrated by His Excellency, Daniele Libanori, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome. “The image is part of our rule of life,” says Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, vicar general. “It’s a visual expression of our Marian charism.” Saint Vito’s is uniquely connected to the Marian Fathers. In 1776, during the General Chapter meeting held in Marijampole, Lithuania, Marian Fathers Candide Spourny and John Niezabitowski were charged with finding a home for their Marian brethren in Rome. Arriving in 1777, they went house-hunting, purchasing St. Vito’s and its adjoining monastery, the sale of which was approved by Pope Pius IV in 1779. Only two decades later, they were forced to move out. During Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Rome in 1789, he extradited all foreigners from the Eternal City. What the Marians had hoped would be their permanent residence was lost and never restored to them. But there is one remaining vestige of the community’s presence in St. Vito: the painting they had commissioned of their patroness above the altarpiece. Polish artist The Marians turned to a Polish artist living in Rome, Francis Smuglewicz. He came from a long line of prominent painters and was even granted an annual scholarship from Poland’s King Stanislaus August Poniatowski towards his artistic education and work. As a favor to the Marian Fathers, Smuglewicz completed the masterpiece in 1782 for a modest salary. Smuglewicz painted using oil on a canvas that measures 49-by-67-inches, in a stucco frame covered in gold leaf. The golden background denotes Mary’s glory and holiness, juxtaposed with her royal blue robe. Clearly depicted as the Queen of Heaven, she steps victoriously on the serpent, Satan, whose influence she, through God’s grace, is free from in her immaculate nature. Above A Marian icon is finally ready for her close-up By Dr. Veronica Szczygiel ‘The image is part of our rule of life. It’s a visual expression of our Marian charism.’ 10 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org
Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 11 Mary is a canvas depicting a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit descending on her, showing she is truly blessed among women. School of spirituality “The images in the painting are an endless school of spirituality that we can reflect on,” says Fr. Roesch. “Mary has humble, downcast eyes and hands folded in prayer that can teach us to pray, too. We are also reminded of the Annunciation and the gift of the Incarnation when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary from on high.” In 1992, Fr. SeraphimMichalenko, MIC, commissioned a professionally Photoshopped photograph of the painting for use in media materials to promote awareness, such as in English and Polish language prayer books and publications. Fifteen years later, the General Chapter of Marians in Rome updated their by-laws to read, “The confrères use and cherish signs that express and enliven their Marian identity, such as … the image of Our Lady Immaculately Conceived (painted by Francis Smuglewicz in St. Vitus Church in Rome).” This renewed interest in restoring the precious artwork, and Fr. Magagnini started fundraising. All things new The restored painting is a revelation, far less yellow and more vibrant than the Photoshopped version. “The Lord wants to make all things new!” proclaims Fr. Roesch. “We are always in need of purification, restoration, and renewal. And now that this image is part of our Rule of Life, we hope that it spreads throughout the world and becomes a unifying symbol for us as Marian priests and brothers, and for all our Marian Helpers as well.” To order a copy of the restored image (Product code B54-WW10GW) or a prayer card (B54-IMMPC), visit ShopMercy.org/b54 or call 1-800-462-7426. Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, is the Patroness of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. But did you also know that Mary, under that title, has been the Patroness of the United States for 175 years? In 1846, a plenary council, attended by 23 of the country’s 26 bishops, declared unanimously that Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, would be the Patroness of the United States. “By the aid of her prayers,” they wrote, “we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry, and that you will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues, of which her life presents the most perfect example.” The request was sent to the Holy See, which issued its approval on July 2, 1847.
12 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org Visit ShopMercy.org/b54 or call 1-800-462-7426. Father Joseph’s Picks by Chris Sparks Why are we devoted to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart? And where do the Sacraments fit into all this? Based on a Thirteenth of the Month Club series, we offer you some answers to these and other questions. Designed for everyone from middle school on up, this booklet will give you a bird’s eye view of the spiritual life, how to live it in imitation of Our Lady, and why this spirituality of her Immaculate Heart, promoted especially at Fatima, is so important for our times. Paperback, 56 pages. $3.99. B54-IMMK SPIRITUALITY OF THE IMMACULATE HEART by Scott L. Smith, Jr., and Donald H. Calloway, MIC Entrust your family to St. Joseph! God entrusted the Holy Family to St. Joseph to keep them safe, and so should you. Drawing on the wealth of the Church’s living tradition, Scott L. Smith, Jr., and Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, call on us to turn to St. Joseph and entrust ourselves, our children and families, our Church, and our world to our Spiritual Father’s loving care. Watch for wonders when St. Joseph opens the floodgates of Heaven to pour out graces into your family’s lives. Paperback, 160 pages. $16.95. B54-CJHB CONSECRATIONTOST. JOSEPH FORCHILDRENAND FAMILIES What is the Miraculous Medal, and why is it so popular? Accessible, enlightening, this pamphlet will help you answer those questions and equip you to share with your fellow Catholics one of the greatest sacramentals in the treasury of the Church. The pious use of the Miraculous Medal has been connected to reported healings, conversions, and protection from evil and harm. Let this pamphlet encourage you to take up the Miraculous Medal, highly recommended by St. Maximilian Kolbe and other outstanding Catholic brethren! B54-MMLT by Maria Gallagher Amid life’s daily struggles, one can find true joy in encountering and loving the Blessed Mother and, in turn, encountering and loving her Son. We can relate to Mary as not only mother but friend, based on our mutual experiences with the mysteries of life. Joyful Encounters with Mary speaks of the power that can be unleashed when one surrenders to God’s sometimes mystifying plan. While facing various challenges — from birthing a baby to birthing a project —we can experience a peace that surpasses all understanding and leads to incomparable joy. Paperback, 164 pages. $12.95. B54-JYMY JOYFUL ENCOUNTERSWITH MARY Devotion to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph, her Most Chaste Spouse, and our Lord, the Divine Mercy Incarnate, is more important than ever. Let these resources help welcome the light of grace into your life, and contribute to changing the world for the better. THEMIRACULOUSMEDAL: A POWERFUL GIFT Pamphlets: 10 for $1.60 • 100 for $14.00 • 1,000 for $100.00 NEW! NEW! NEW! NEW!
Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 13 Return to Eden Hill Forty years ago, on April 18, 1982, the first public celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday was held at the Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. “There was hardly standing room at the Divine Mercy Shrine in our chapel,” Fr. Joseph wrote in Marian Helpers Bulletin. “All this is proof howmuch we all seek the mercy of Our Lord. We prayed particularly this year for God’s mercy upon our erring world and the thousands of individual intentions sent by the promoters of this devotion.” Fast forward four decades to April 23-24, 2022, and the celebration of Divine Mercy weekend at the nowNational Shrine of The Divine Mercy was just as prayerful and memorable, but for additional reasons. The weather, for one, was on our side: none of the rain, mud, and even snow of past Divine Mercy weekends. Eden Hill was bathed in glorious sunshine, and many pilgrims departed decidedly pinker than when they arrived. Excitement and thanksgiving were in the air. This was the first public celebration held at the National Shrine since 2019, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of public observances in 2020 and 2021. But there were differences. Months of careful planning with the local authorities were needed to ensure a safe environment for all those attending. The Shrine church, regrettably, was closed, and all Masses were celebrated outdoors. Crowd size was limited to 5,000 pre-registered pilgrims over three sessions, one on Saturday and two on Sunday. For an Eden Hill accustomed to as many as 20,000 visitors and a fleet of buses, it felt decidedly less crowded. Nonetheless, the Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, provincial superior, expressed the spirit of all present, some traveling from as far away as California. “It is a day of joy for all of you to be here,” he said in his Mass homily. “Let us welcome our Lord today with joy. Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Transformme. Let the graces that flow from the power of Your Presence truly heal every aspect of my heart. God wants to divinize us, to make us like His Son. That’s the gift He wants to bestow.” On the following pages, we share snapshots of a Divine Mercy weekend to remember. Divine Mercy weekend, back after a two-year absence The Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, leads the faithful in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the Blessed Sacrament on Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy celebration and Mass. Fr. Kaz’ s homily
14 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org FOLLOWINGMOM The Lazaro family from Ossining, New York, including parents Felipe and Erica, have been coming to the National Shrine for 20 years. “My mom is very devout,” says Erica. “I grew into the Divine Mercy devotion with her, and now I want my girls to follow that.” JESUS SAID SO “We said, ‘If Jesus wants us to be here, we will be here’ and so that’s what happened!” shared Maria Chapman (right) from Arlington, Texas, with her friend and fellow prayer warrior, Dahlmajane Rimando, of Grand Prairie. The two are part of the “Fatima Prayer Group,” started mid-pandemic and continuing to this day, praying together the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. HERE FOR A REASON “God has you here for a purpose. He has you here for a reason: Divine Mercy,” Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, said in his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday. “As Jesus told St. Faustina, Divine Mercy is mankind’s last hope of salvation. Jesus said, ‘If you do not adore My Mercy, you will perish forever’ [see Diary, 1317]. The very fact that you are here today, you are adoring God’s Mercy.” BESTSELLERS Leslie Boudreau and Mark Mankus served the crowds at the Divine Mercy Gift Shop. The bestsellers? “Anything with the Divine Mercy Image on it,” Leslie said. “And St. Faustina’s oil,” added Mark. Fr. Chris’ homily
Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 15 WEDDING GIFT Three generations of the McTiernan and Smith families from Massachusetts visited the Shrine for the first time. Kaylie McTiernan (second from left) is getting married this summer. “I thought it would be special to gather my grandmothers, my mother, and my sister to have this prayerful and meaningful weekend together before the big day,” she said. WELCOME BACK Rory traveled all the way from Chicago, Illinois, because she’s only recently come back to church. She heard about Divine Mercy Sunday from her brother and her sisters. “In my heart, I am with Jesus, so I’m going back to give myself to Him,” she shared. To her, Divine Mercy Sunday means “Divine Mercy is with me.” OUR LADY’S GAZE Brother Timothy Childers, MIC, and volunteer Michael Hermann stand ready to assist pilgrims at the replica of the Lourdes Grotto. DIVINE MERCY BINGO Bishop William Byrne of the Diocese of Springfield holds up his copy of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska while delivering the homily at Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at the National Shrine, broadcast on EWTN. “I call it Divine Mercy Bingo,” he explained. “It’s a little spiritual thing I do every once and a while where I take my Diary, and I just put my finger and see, ‘Okay, how about this one?’ And that’s what I’m going to read and meditate today.” A FLICKER OF GOODWILL “In the Diary, Jesus talks about just a flicker of good will, and Divine Mercy takes care of the rest ,” Fr. Gabriel Cillo, MIC, said in his homily for the Vigil Mass on Saturday. “Do you have the trust to believe that just a flicker of your good will is sufficient? Do you want the confidence of Jesus? Absolutely!” Bishop’s homily
16 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org By Dr. Robert Stackpole The Church, the Body of Christ, brings us Divine Mercy through the grace of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. As the Catechism teaches, “The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the Sacraments” (CCC, 1113). The Blessed Sacrament is, in fact, “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The Catechism tells us: The other Sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself (CCC, 1324). Layers of God’s Mercy Saint Faustina writes in her Diary, “Oh, what awesome mysteries take place during Mass!” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 914). Amazing layers of God’s mercy are hidden in the Mass, the sacrifice that brings us the Holy Eucharist. Saint Faustina continues: A great mystery is accomplished in the Holy Mass. With what great devotion should we listen to and take part in this death of Jesus. One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us. Only His divine love could permit that such a gift be provided for us (Diary, 914). Jesus yearns to give us His love and mercy in the Eucharist. As He tells 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). It is not just in the celebration of the Mass that Jesus is present for us physically and fully. Wherever the Eucharist is reserved in the tabernacle of a church, Christ is waiting for us and longing for us to come to Him. This is a great mystery of Divine Mercy. As Jesus tells St. Faustina: Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth — the tabernacle — and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue or guards. You can come to Saint Faustina and the Eucharist ‘Awesome!’
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is launching a three-year “National Eucharistic Revival” on June 16, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, leading to a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2024. The campaign anticipates “a time of healing for the entire Church as well as a movement of evangelization and a reawakening of understanding of the sacrament of the Eucharist for Catholics across the country.” Heaven meets earth Each diocese is planning its own observance of the campaign. Here in our home Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, Bishop William Byrne has announced a “Year of the Eucharist” with a dedicated website (YearOfTheEucharist.net) filled with informative articles and videos. “The Eucharist is the meeting of Heaven and Earth, where the Kingdom is come. The daily bread is the coming of the Kingdom,” Bishop Byrne says. “No human life can really be truly fulfilled without the experience of the Eucharist in their lives. The more that we can set a fire in the hearts of those who are currently receiving Communion, they will then be the Lord’s ambassadors to tell others about it.” Forty Hours’ Devotion Parishes across Western Massachusetts will be offering Forty Hours’ Devotion (Mass followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament over several days). “It gives people a chance to sign up to be a part of this; of being with our Lord, praying and praising and interceding on behalf of our world,” Bishop Byrne explains. The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is included in the schedule, and will be hosting Forty Hours’ Devotion June 30-July 3. All are welcome. Please visit ShrineOfDivineMercy.org for more information. National Eucharistic Revival Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 17 Me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace (Diary, 1485). Jesus tells St. Faustina that He longs for us to visit Him in the tabernacle, not for His sake but for ours. This longing is born of His love, as He yearns to pour the graces of His merciful Heart into the hearts of those who visit Him. He tells her: My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. … For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to me as often as possible and take those graces they do not want to accept. In this way you will console My Heart. Oh, how indifferent are souls to so much goodness, to so many proofs of love! My Heart drinks only of the ingratitude and forgetfulness of souls living in the world. They have time for everything, but they have no time to come to Me for graces (Diary, 367). How can we possibly stay away from our Merciful Lord and Savior in the Blessed Sacrament? United to Jesus The goal of an intense Eucharistic union with our Lord—nurtured by frequent reception of Communion, special times of Eucharistic Adoration, and the frequent practice of Spiritual Communion — is that we become more and more like Him. By spiritually and physically uniting ourselves with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we can be completely transformed into His likeness. We can become living channels of His grace and mercy ready and willing to be distributed by Him to needy people everywhere. Jesus Himself sums up for us the great mystery of God’s merciful love in the Mass when He tells St. Faustina, What you see is just a tiny part, and already your heart swoons with love. How amazed will your heart be when you see Me in all My glory. But I want to tell you that eternal life must begin already here on earth through Holy Communion. Each Holy Communion makes you more capable of communing with God throughout eternity (Diary, 1810-11). The mercy Jesus offers us in the Holy Eucharist is a foretaste of the love of Heaven. Dr. Robert Stackpole is director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy. Excerpted from “The Holy Eucharist: Mystery of Mercy,” published in the Divine Mercy Catholic Bible, available on ShopMercy.org (Product code B54-BIDM).
She is perhaps the most popular representation of the Blessed Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast we celebrate on July 16. From prayer cards to devotional statues, her appearance is well-known: Mary cradles the Christ Child; both often wear gold crowns and hold the familiar Brown Scapular. The Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which begins on July 7, is one of the loveliest, opening with: By Paul Fahey 18 Marian Helper • Spring 2022 • Marian.org Onorio_Marinari Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Brown Scapular ‘A special sign of grace’
O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! The historical origins of the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Carmelite Order are shrouded in pious legend. The order traces its spiritual heritage back to the prophet Elijah who, according to tradition, lived on Mount Carmel in Palestine, where he defeated the priests of Baal in the dramatic showdown told in the 18th chapter of 1 Kings. Historical records of a community of Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel started to appear around the 12th century. Then, in the 13th century, this community migrated to Western Europe. Under the leadership of their prior, St. Simon Stock, the Carmelites grew and spread throughout Europe as a mendicant order. Pious legend says that St. Simon Stock had a vision of Mary in England on July 16, 1251. Our Lady gave him the Brown Scapular, saying, “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant and of my special protection until the end of ages.” Confraternity enrollment Over the next few centuries, devotion to the Brown Scapular spread throughout Europe within the Catholic Church. Today, it is a revered pious practice in the Church worldwide. Catholics are able to participate by being enrolled in the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel and invested with the Brown Scapular. This is done with a short set of prayers and blessings that any priest can administer. The scapular is usually worn over the shoulder, so that one side hangs over the chest, and the other over the back. In her Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, the Church points to two mature and authentic graces that can be found in devotion to the Brown Scapular. The first is that the pious wearing of the scapular is an external sign of the faithful’s relationship with and devotion to the Blessed Mother. Wearing the scapular is one of the ways available for the faithful to live out their love for Mary and show their desire to imitate her holiness. Mary’s intimate and total union with God is the model of holiness for all Christians. This points to the second grace of the Brown Scapular that the Directory on Popular Piety states: “The Scapular is imposed by a special rite of the Church which describes it as ‘a reminder that in Baptismwe have been clothed in Christ’” (205). The Brown Scapular is an external reminder that, through Baptism, the wearer is a new creation, a divinized son or daughter of God the Father, another Christ (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2782). The scapular, therefore, aids the faithful to remember their identity as children who are relentlessly pursued by their Heavenly Father and incorporated into the life of the Holy Trinity. Papal devotion Pope St. John Paul II demonstrated his faithfulness to this devotion. He received a Brown Scapular the day of his First Communion, and he wore it from that day on through the rest of his life. In 1958, as an auxiliary bishop visiting a monastery inWadowice, Poland, the future saint said, “Amongst many devotions that captivated my child’s soul, I participated the most ardently in the novena before the feast of Our Lady of the Scapular.” In 2001, on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the bestowal of the Brown Scapular, the Holy Father said, “Over time this rich Marian heritage of Carmel has become, through the spread of the Holy Scapular devotion, a treasure for the whole Church.” Whether or not you already have a devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel or the Brown Scapular, the Church invites you to entrust your life to your Blessed Mother and pray for her intercession. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds so that we may more fully imitate her. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us! The Marians at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy will offer a Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel from July 7-15 with a Holy Mass on the feast day, July 16. We invite you to have your intentions remembered. Visit Marian.org/b54 Marian Helper • Summer 2022 • Marian.org 19