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Marian Helper
Inspiration and news from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception
www.marian.org

Summer 2008 • $2.25

MERCY CONGRESS RESOURCES

Commemorate the Mercy Congress with this leather-bound gift edition of the book that sparked The Divine Mercy movement in the Church.
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska DELUXE LEATHER-BOUND EDITION
Measures 7 1⁄8" x 4 3⁄8" 768 pages with gilded edges and a ribbon marker.

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Share The Divine Mercy message with Diary editions in a range of prices to fit your budget.
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska Hardcover B-NBFDC $20.00 Paperback B-NBFD $14.00 Paperback: Spanish B-BFDS $15.00 Compact Edition A smaller edition that’s more convenient to carry. Paperback B-DNBF $7.95 Paperback: Spanish B-SDNB $7.95

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All prices are in US funds. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of phone or online orders. To order by mail, please see “Order Info” on page 3.

Inside
Vol. 63, No. 2

Summer 2008

FEATURES
World Apostolic Congress on Mercy coverage
BY FELIX CARROLL AND DAN VALENTI

DEPARTMENTS
4 5 7 18 22 27 28 30 32
Father Joseph Writes
To you from the Director of the Association of Marian Helpers.

8 10 12 14 16 21 24

Day One
Opening of World ‘Divine Mercy’ Congress First Conference: Divine Mercy as a way of life

Father Joseph’s Mailbox
Your letters to the Director/Publisher.

Day Two
Love at its deepest level St. Faustina’s ‘remarkable contribution’

Ask a Marian
Your questions for Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC.

Day Three
Divine Mercy in the Church’s public worship Mission of Mercy: Taking it to the streets

In the News
Philippines mission announced; Congress follow-up planned.

Day Four
‘Keep the spark of God’s mercy alive’ An ecumenical moment

Shrine News
Divine Mercy Sunday 2008; summer and fall highlights. BY DAN VALENTI

Day Five
The closing Mass and the Regina Caeli What’s next?: Meeting sets agenda

Father Joseph’s Bookshelf
Recommended reading.

Signs of Mercy
On the road with Mother of Mercy Messengers, Divine Mercy comes into view. BY FELIX CARROLL

Graces Received
Thanksgiving for prayers answered through Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski.

A sacred place for hearts to heal
Remember a deceased child at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. BY DAVID CAME

Outstanding Helpers
Profiles of Helpers who support the Marians in special ways. BY MARY KATHRYN VOLPONE

Between Us
Sharing on a topic of mutual interest. BY A HELPER AND A MARIAN

M ARIAN H ELPER
AMH DIRECTOR/PUBLISHER Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC “Father Joseph, MIC” EXECUTIVE EDITOR David Came SENIOR EDITOR/WRITER Dan Valenti SR. DESIGNER/ASSOC. EDITOR Mary Flannery WRITER/PHOTOGRAPHER Felix Carroll DESIGNER Catherine M. LeVesque AMH GENERAL PROMOTER Br. Andrew R. Màczyƒski, MIC
Agreement Number 40033427

On the cover: Pope Benedict XVI presides over the opening Mass of the first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy. Photo by Felix Carroll.

MISSION STATEMENT
MARIAN HELPER is intended to serve members of the Association of Marian Helpers (AMH), a spiritual benefit society of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. 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 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. It is sent free of charge to active members of the Association. Printed in the USA with ecclesiastical approval. Copyright © 2008 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. All rights reserved. Send all correspondence to: Association of Marian Helpers, Editorial Dept., Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263. e-mail: editorial@marian.org website: marian.org

NC DC
THE

WHO

WE ARE

SERVICES

&

MINISTRIES

Marian Helpers Center
Headquarters and publishing center for the Association of Marian Helpers. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 online: marian.org Marian Helper magazine While the cover price is $2.25, this publication is sent free of charge to members in North America and to Marian supporters who have made a gift to or a purchase from the Marians in the last 12 months. Free sample magazine (code B-MHIP). Fuente de Misericordia magazine Published for Spanish-speaking members of the Association and friends. No subscription fee; donations appreciated. Free sample magazine (code B-FHIP). e-mail: fuente@marian.org online: marianos.net toll free: 1-800-462-7426, ext. 3 Roze Maryi magazine Published quarterly for Polish-speaking members of the Association and friends. No subscription fee; donations appreciated. Free sample magazine (code B-RHIP). e-mail: international@marian.org online: marian.org toll free: 1-800-462-7426, ext. 4 Thirteenth of the Month (membership with newsletter) Join Marian Helpers who share the Marians’ love of Mary and pray the Rosary. Free sample newsletter (code B-TMCI). Friends of Mercy (membership with newsletter) Join with Marian Helpers who pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet and perform works of mercy. Free sample newsletter (code B-FMCI). Circle of Light (membership with calendar) A votive candle is lit every month for each club member’s intention. Other spiritual benefits. Free sample packet (code B-CLCI).

PRO

C H R IS T O E T E C C L E S I

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Marians of the Immaculate Conception
The Marians are a Congregation of more than 500 priests and brothers in 17 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.

Enrollments in the Association
Enroll yourself or others, both living and deceased. Call to have enrollment cards sent to you free of charge to keep on hand. Offering requested after use. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 online: marian.org

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy
Shrine Office Open weekdays 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Inquire about making a day of renewal or a self-guided retreat. Ask for our “Spiritual Renewal Opportunities” brochure. phone: (413) 298-3931 Holy Masses Weekdays 7:15 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m., 2 p.m. Sundays 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation Daily 1–2 p.m., 3:30–4:15 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet & Novena / Benediction Daily at 3 p.m. Pilgrimages to the Shrine Bus groups should pre-register with Pilgrimage Office. phone: (413) 298-1118 e-mail: pilgrims@marian.org mail: National Shrine of The Divine Mercy Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01262 Shrine Gift Shop Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed during Sunday Masses. Call for holiday hours. toll free: 1-888-484-1112 online: divinemercygiftshop.org

Association of Marian Helpers (AMH)
The Association is a spiritual benefit society that prayerfully and financially supports Marian priests and brothers. More than 2 million members share in the spiritual benefits of the Holy Masses, prayers, and good works of the Marians. Through Marian Helper magazine and other printed materials, members receive information about the Marian family and are encouraged to strive for personal holiness.

Membership List
Our membership list is generally kept private. We do not share e-mail addresses. We sometimes offer only names and addresses of inactive members to reputable charitable organizations whose materials or services we think might be of interest. If you prefer that we not share your name, please tell us: e-mail: service@marian.org toll free: 1-800-462-7426 For more details, go online to marian.org/contacts/ps.html

John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy
The Institute on Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA, works with Church leaders around the world to spread The Divine Mercy message and devotion through research, formation, teaching, and evangelization. It offers programs and materials for clergy, religious, and lay leaders. phone: (413) 298-1184 online: thedivinemercy.org/JPII

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MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM)

YOU CAN HELP

HOW

EADM’s cenacle members in parishes around the world pray and study, promote reciting The Divine Mercy Chaplet during Eucharistic Adoration for the sick and dying, and perform works of mercy locally. toll free: 1-877-380-0727 online: thedivinemercy.org/EADM

We depend on Marian Helpers like you
Through your offerings for enrollments, novenas, or special gifts — you support seminarians, missions, and our apostolates for publishing and Divine Mercy. Special gift planning may include gifts of: • Cash • Appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual funds • Life insurance • Memorial or tribute gifts • Charitable gift annuities • Wills • Living trusts • Charitable remainder trusts • Retirement plans • Named scholarships and endowments

Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM)
Dave and Joan Maroney deliver a multimedia program to parishes and schools that includes images of Jesus and Mary, a focus on the Sacraments, and the basics of The Divine Mercy message. phone: (830) 634-7765 online: thedivinemercy.org/MOMM

Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy
This apostolate offers nurses, physicians, and allied health workers a unique program of professional formation that integrates the spirituality and devotional elements of The Divine Mercy message into patient care. Its formation program includes a nurse’s handbook, a spiritual care plan for patients, conferences with CEU’s, retreats, and cenacles. e-mail: HealthcareforDivineMercy@marian.org online: thedivinemercy.org/healthcare toll free: 1-877-380-0727

Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Ministry
Prayer intentions may be mailed, phoned, or e-mailed. Each intention is prayed for individually by an intercessor and remembered in weekday Masses at Our Lady of Mercy Oratory and in 3 o’clock prayers on Eden Hill. toll free: 1-800-804-3823 e-mail: prayerline@marian.org

Marian Pilgrimages
Contact us for itineraries of upcoming pilgrimages overseas. A Marian priest serves as spiritual director on each pilgrimage. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 online: marian.org/pilgrimages e-mail: pilgrimages@marian.org

When making your will …
A sample form of bequest to the Marians is: I give and bequeath to the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., Stockbridge, MA 01262, ____% of my adjusted gross estate (or $_______, or a specific asset) to be used for its religious and educational purposes.

Website

Meet the Marians. Tour the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Read Marian Helper magazine. Send online greetings. Shop online. online: marian.org thedivinemercy.org en español: marianos.net ladivinamisericordia.org po polsku: marian.org/popolsku

Catalogue
Call or write for our free catalogue. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 mail: Marian Helpers Center Eden Hill Stockbridge, MA 01263

Free information on gift planning
Please contact: Ellen Miller, Fr. Joseph’s Director of Special Gifts Association of Marian Helpers Stockbridge, MA 01263 1-800-462-7426 helpers@marian.org

Order Info
Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of phone or online orders; 2-4 weeks for mail orders. Operators are available (Eastern Time): Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 shop online: marian.org mail: Order Department Association of Marian Helpers Stockbridge, MA 01263 checks payable to: Marian Helpers postage/handling: $.01-$15.00 . . . .$4.95 p/h $15.01-$35.00 . . . .$5.95 p/h $35.01-$75.00 . . . .$6.95 p/h $75.01- $125.00 . . . .$7.95 p/h over $125.00 . . . .7% of total order

MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

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Father Joseph

Wr i t e s

Live the Gospel of Mercy
t the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome April 2-6 and then in his pastoral visit to our own country April 15-20, Pope Benedict XVI joined St. Faustina and John Paul II of beloved memory on the world stage as a great apostle of Divine Mercy. In our coverage of the World Mercy Congress in this issue, see especially what this great apostle of Divine Mercy said when he inaugurated the Congress by celebrating Mass on April 2 to mark the third anniversary of the death of of John Paul II, the Great Mercy Pope (pages 8-9). Also, see his words to Congress delegates after the concluding Mass, giving them “a mandate” to “go forth and be witnesses of God’s mercy” (page 17). In fact, before the Congress — on Divine Mercy Sunday, March 30 — the Holy Father said some amazing things. One might even say that he set the table for the Congress. As reported in our Congress coverage, Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz of the Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, spoke of Pope Benedict’s “intervention” for Divine Mercy in his Regina Caeli message on March 30 (see page 9). In that message, the Holy Father not only honored The Divine Mercy legacy of John Paul II but also emphasized the centrality of Divine Mercy to the Gospel. “Indeed, mercy is the central nucleus of the Gospel message,” he said. “It is the very name of God, the face with which He revealed Himself in the Old Covenant and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redeeming Love. May this merciful love also shine on the face of the Church and show itself through the sacraments.” Now, let me share two highlights from the Pope’s pastoral visit to the U.S. that show him calling the Church to live this Gospel of Mercy.

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First, the Holy Father sought to bring healing to the Catholic Church in America, which is still wounded in the aftermath of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. He didn’t just talk about it. No, he met privately on April 17 while in Washington, DC, with a small group of men and women who were sexually abused as minors by clergy. He listened to each of the victims and prayed with them. “My hope is restored today,” one survivor of abuse said after the meeting. In his April 16 meeting with U.S. Catholic Bishops, the Pope spoke of the “deep shame” caused by the scandal, relating how many of the Bishops had spoken to him of the “enormous pain” their communities had suffered. He told the Bishops, “As you strive to eliminate this evil wherever it occurs, you may be assured of the prayerful support of God’s people throughout the world. … It is your Godgiven responsibility as pastors to bind up the wounds caused by every breach of trust, to foster healing, to promote reconciliation, and to reach out with loving concern to those so seriously wronged.” Then, on April 20, the Holy Father prayed at ground zero in New York City, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. After arriving there, the Pope knelt in private prayer. Then he rose to light a memorial candle and recited a prayer aloud in which he remembered the victims: “O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain. Give eternal light and peace to all who died here.” The Holy Father remembered the firstresponders, firefighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, as well as “all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy.” We see, then, Pope Benedict seeking to bring peace and healing to the Church in America and to our troubled world. Truly, he is calling all of us to live the Gospel of Mercy!

“Father Joseph, MIC,” is the honorary title of the Director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current Director is Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC.

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MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

Father Joseph’s

Mailbox

Thrilled by Congress I received my Marian Helper magazine yesterday. I am so thrilled to read about the World Mercy Congress in Rome. I say, “Thank You, Jesus.” We need the mercy of God to be spread everywhere. At my church, we say the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy every Tuesday at 3 p.m. Two other churches in our area also say it on Wednesday and Saturday. Not one of them, however, celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. Only one does in the next town. These churches direct everyone to Providence, RI. After reading the article on the Congress, my heart soared, because it looks like Mercy Sunday will finally be recognized. — RB, Bristol, RI

singing with them. I had never even heard of St. Faustina. A short while after, on retreat, I was in the chapel and handed a Chaplet of The Divine Mercy brochure. I learned the story behind The Divine Mercy Image and Chaplet as they were given to St. Faustina. As the music began to play, I realized what I had heard and sung in church on Good Friday. I also realized the magnitude and benevolence of what Christ had done for me that day. — DG, Austin, TX The Divine Mercy Chaplet is truly a powerful prayer. I would recommend a beautiful sung version of it that we recorded live at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Eden Hill. It can be ordered on DVD by calling 1-800-462-7426. Ask for product code B-DMSDVD. — Fr. Joseph, MIC

Chaplet assists recovery Please accept this small offering in thanksgiving for God’s mercy. My daughter Anne has suffered from ovarian cancer for the past 10 years and has had four major surgeries. I started to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for her recovery, and this week, after performing several tests, her doctor confirmed Anne is now cancer-free. Thank You, Jesus. I believe God answered my prayers through The Divine Mercy. — FR, Bristol, RI
I thank our Merciful Savior for helping your daughter. I encourage all of our readers to pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intention of those who are seriously ill or dying. — Fr. Joseph, MIC

You’ll be delighted to read our coverage of the World Mercy Congress in this issue. Thank you for your dedication to spreading the message of Divine Mercy. — Fr. Joseph, MIC

‘Most beautiful music’ The “Chaplet of The Divine Mercy in Song” is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard. I first heard it several months ago, on Good Friday, at a time when I was agonizing spiritually, actually curled up in a ball in a local church. A group of people entered the church just before 3 p.m. and began singing the Chaplet. It was so beautiful that I began

Thanks for Cenacle on EWTN I am writing from the Midwest. Greetings to all of you doing the Lord’s work on Eden Hill. I really enjoy Marian Helper magazine and the “Cenacle of The Divine Mercy, Series I,” as seen on EWTN TV. Thank you for these! — DS, Evansville, IN
We are grateful for your kind words. The Cenacle Series II began airing in March. Look for the DVD set and the companion guide to Series II in our fall issue. — Fr. Joseph, MIC

Father Joseph would be happy to find a letter from you in his mailbox. Your letter may be edited for clarity and space. Send it to: Father Joseph’s Mailbox, Editorial, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or mailbox@marian.org

MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

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The Divine Mercy Image on canvas
Bless your church and home with this inspiring image of our Merciful Savior. Painted under the direction of St. Faustina from January through June 1934, the image has been restored to its original beauty. It is reproduced on canvas and can be ordered framed in an elegant gold inlay and black border. UNFRAMED: B-CDM8 B-CDM10 B-CDM20 B-CDM27 B-CDM34 B-CDM42 FRAMED: B-CDM8F B-CDM10F B-CDM20F 8” X 10” 10” X 18” 20” X 36” 27” X 48” 34” X 60” 42” X 75” 8” X 10” 10” X 18” 20” X 36” $35.00 $65.00 $200.00 $360.00 $575.00 $875.00 $80.00 $200.00 $430.00

Divine Mercy
A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI
Learn of God’s mercy throughout salvation history. Robert A. Stackpole, STD 260 pages

B-AGGB

$14.95

Divine Mercy Prayercard
Give this laminated, wallet-size prayercard to your family and friends. Includes the Chaplet on back. 2.125” x 3.375” Minimum order: 5

B-VDMWP 5 cards $2.00 10 cards $3.00 50 cards $9.00 100 cards $12.00 1000 cards $100.00

Call for our free catalogue:

The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion
Get an overview of the message and devotion from our most popular pocket-size booklet. By Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, with Vinny Flynn and Robert A. Stackpole. 88 pages

1-800-462-7426
Shop online at our gift shop: thedivinemercy.org/giftshop
$4.00

B-M17

All prices are in US funds. To order by mail, please see “Order Info” on page 3.

Marian
with Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC

Ask a

Where is Divine Mercy spreading?

Q.
A.

In which countries has The Divine Mercy message spread the most in recent years? Why in those countries and not in others?

How can we help them return to the Sacrament? Some people don’t like to have their picture taken, because they are afraid of the image that will come out. Preparing for and going to confession is like taking a spiritual snapshot of our souls. Some fear acknowledging their sins, others fear facing the priest, still others fear facing the Lord Himself. Another problem is that in the midst of our busy lives, finding the time to receive this Sacrament is not a high priority. Recognizing the need for the graces that come from the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance is something that can be lacking for some people. Many dioceses have begun programs, especially during Lent, in which the Sacrament is preached about more often. Understanding what constitutes a sin and realizing this Sacrament’s role in helping us overcome patterns of sin in our lives are both very important. Yet many Catholics completed their education in the faith long ago. Thus, finding ways to learn more about our faith through spiritual reading, classes, retreats, and workshops can be a real boost. When I was a seminarian, I offered a retreat to a group of people entering the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. They shared their faith, speaking about gifts they had received from the Lord and their need to be more faithful to Him. When the priest came to hear their confessions, they were well prepared to receive God’s mercy in the Sacrament. The reality is that if we will go to confession with genuine repentance for our sins, the Lord will bring us the healing and peace we desire. So, let’s humbly open our hearts to Him in “the Tribunal of Mercy” (see Diary, 1448, 113).

I cannot give the definitive answer to this question, but I can report that the message is spreading rapidly throughout the world. Our reporting on the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy gives evidence of that, as visitors from every continent in the world came to Rome to learn more about God’s mercy. From my own experience, I’ve been awed by the work of the Lord in spreading this message. That includes speaking about Divine Mercy in many countries and witnessing the faith of the people, visiting churches in the Old City of Warsaw in Poland and seeing an image of The Divine Mercy prominently displayed in almost every one of them, and looking through a picture book about how widespread the message is in the Philippines. Our Director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, Dr. Bryan Thatcher, MD, has received reports of Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations in Nigeria, Western Samoa, Sudan, Eritrea, Ghana, and New Zealand, among other places. After a tour of a number of countries in the Far East in 2002, Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, reported that the Divine Mercy is especially flourishing in poor, Third World countries where the faith is strong. God’s mercy is open to everyone, but it is up to each of us to accept it. In the Gospels, there are many examples of people who were open to Christ’s message of love and mercy, but other examples of those who rejected it and sought to kill Him. As we faithfully do our part to spread this great message, we can be inspired by these words, “In spite of Satan’s anger, The Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshiped by all souls”(Diary of St. Faustina, 1789).

A.

Q.

Why do you think so many Catholics don’t go to confession regularly anymore?

Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, welcomes your questions. Send them to: Ask a Marian, Editorial, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263, ask@marian.org

MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

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As coordinator for the Marians’ Congress pilgrimage, Fr. Michael Callea, MIC, right, joins more than 40,000 people at the papal Mass on April 2.

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Opening of World ‘Divine Mercy’ Congress
by Felix Carroll

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Pope convenes Congress on third anniversary of John Paul II’s death.

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f there was any confusion at all about the focus of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, Pope Benedict XVI quickly dispelled it during the opening Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday morning, April 2.

‘Divine Mercy’ is focus The first-ever Congress on Mercy would focus not on mercy in general but Divine Mercy specifically. The Holy Father himself referred to the Congress as the “World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy.” It’s not just a matter of semantics. Divine Mercy accents God’s mercy toward us as revealed in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. In our day, it also refers to a message, given to St. Faustina in the 1930s, that calls us to trust in Jesus, to receive His mercy, and share that mercy with the world. Pope John Paul II embraced both these understandings of Divine Mercy. In his homily, delivered before more than 40,000 people, Pope Benedict XVI set the stage 8
MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

for the five-day World Congress, tying it in with the pontificate of John Paul II. Known as the “Great Mercy Pope,” John Paul tirelessly promoted the message of God’s mercy and canonized St. Faustina, whose revelations have sparked the modern Divine Mercy movement. “In fact, only Divine Mercy is able to impose limitations on evil; only the almighty love of God can defeat the tyranny of the wicked and the destructive power of selfishness and hate,” the Holy Father said in his homily.

John Paul II’s rich legacy The opening Mass was celebrated for the soul of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, on the third anniversary of the Polish Pontiff ’s death. Pope John Paul II spoke of Divine Mercy as his special calling as Pope. “I address a special thought to the participants of the First World Congress on Divine Mercy, which is opening this very day and which intends to deepen his rich magisterium on the subject,” Pope Benedict said. “God's mercy, as he himself said, is a privi-

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leged key to the interpretation of his pontificate. He wanted the message of God's merciful love to be made known to all and urged the faithful to witness to it (see Homily at KrakowLagiewniki, Aug. 17, 2002). This is why he desired to raise to the honor of the altars Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a humble sister who, through a mysterious divine plan, became a prophetic messenger of Divine Mercy. “The Servant of God John Paul II had known and personally experienced the terrible tragedies of the 20th century,” Benedict continued, “and for a long time wondered what could stem the tide of evil. The answer could only be found in God's love.” Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who served as vice-postulator for St. Faustina’s canonization cause, called the opening Mass “astounding” — not only because it echoed Pope John Paul II’s exhortation that Divine Mercy is the message for our times, but because so many people in the square were clearly drawn by their love for the message and devotion of The Divine Mercy.

In his talk for the first conference of the Congress, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria said that Divine Mercy "expresses the particular nature of God. Mercy is the light that God has given to us through Baptism. We should never let this light be put out."

FIRST CONFERENCE:

DIVINE MERCY,
A WAY OF LIFE
by Dan Valenti

Faithful respond Indeed, many carried Divine Mercy images and pictures of St. Faustina. And when the words in Italian for “Divine Mercy” were spoken in the Holy Father’s homily, the crowd cheered. “It shows how universal the acceptance of this message is,” said Fr. Seraphim. Susan Wilson, a member of a Divine Mercy cenacle in Salem, OR, was drawn to the Congress after she experienced a conversion in 2000, on the day of St. Faustina’s canonization. “I believe this Congress is the second most important event in human history, second to the paschal mystery of Christ,” she said. “This Congress launches this message into a world event.” “It’s such an important event,” said Ellen Jonah of Ghana, who was wearing a dress that had the face of St. Faustina and The Divine Mercy image printed upon it. “There is so much pain in the world. We’ve come here to learn more about Divine Mercy, so that we can bring the message back to our communities.” In his homily, the Holy Father asked John Paul II “to continue to intercede from heaven for each one of us, especially for me whom Providence called to take up his priceless spiritual legacy. “The Church,” he said, “following his teaching and example, faithfully continues without compromise in her evangelizing mission and never ceases to spread Christ's merciful love, a source of true peace for the whole world.” M H MH

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nside the cavernous St. John Lateran Basilica, the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, Cardinals Christoph Schönborn, Camillo Ruini, and Stanislaus Dziwisz greeted some 8,000 attendees with words of encouragement and wisdom at the first conference. “Love is something that builds” Cardinal Schönborn of Austria said. “The mystery of Divine Mercy is merciful love, which seeks intervention in our lives.” Time and again, Cardinal Schönborn came back to the point that Divine Mercy is a way of life first, a message second, and a devotion third. “I truly hope the World Congress on Divine Mercy, which is defined as being apostolic, may stimulate a new missionary front in the name of God and the name of mercy,” he said. Italy’s Cardinal Ruini, noting the 200 delegations from every corner of the globe convening for the Congress, highlighted Pope Benedict XVI’s fervent endorsement of the idea of a congress on mercy. He directed the collective vision of attendees ahead. “At the end of this [World Congress], God willing, we will follow up with National and Continental Congresses in order to spread the precious message of Divine Mercy.” Cardinal Dziwisz of Poland made news when he added a third to the “two great apostles of Divine Mercy for our times, St. Faustina and our beloved Pope John Paul II.” The third person would be none other than Pope Benedict XVI. “[Benedict] has gathered us here around this mystery to help us all discover The Divine Mercy. We cannot forget his intervention, his Regina Caeli [March 30], and his beautiful homily today.”

MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

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Love at its deepest level
Cardinal Barbarin addresses the urgency of interreligious dialogue.
by Dan Valenti Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of France opens up the testimonies on April 3 on interreligious dialogue drawn by The Divine Mercy.

ince the first strategic planning session of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy began, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue have loomed large on the agenda. On Day Two of the Congress, April 3, one of the Church’s most passionate advocates of interreligious dialogue, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of France, acknowledged the immense difficulties but held out hope of a breakthrough. If it is to come, the thrust forward will be provided by a reliance on mercy as common ground. In an exclusive interview conducted after his talk to a packed St. John Lateran Basilica, Cardinal Barbarin said that mercy is “the next step CONGR IC ES OL S ST forward in interreliO gious dialogue. Mercy is [something] all people share. This is God’s greatest gift to us, and it provides a IL realistic hope that we IT 2– E, 6, 2008 • ROM can begin to work more closely together. But it won’t be easy. There are significant differences that can’t be ignored. Speaking for the Church, we must work harder to reduce our ignorance of other faiths.” When asked how religious leaders can come together to move forward and avoid an impasse or even a step backward, Cardinal Barbarin said, “We must realize that in mercy, we can converse in a common language. Mercy is spirituality’s ‘universal translator.’” In his formal remarks to the Congress, Cardinal Barbarin talked about a journey he made in February 2007 with his Muslim counterparts to the Monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria to visit the site where seven Catholic monks were martyred in 1996 by radical
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Muslims. Their severed heads were put in plastic bags and hung from trees. The Cardinal accepted the invitation from the Islamic community to participate in a healing service 10 years after the grisly event. He said, “We went not to seek mercy for the dead, for they were with God. We wanted to invoke mercy for the killers, who were all still alive.” Cardinal Barbarin said that “after we returned from that trip, I found that I was praying in a different way. Why? I think it was because I had experienced the deeper truth of God.” Cardinal Barbarin noted that in his country, France, people often seem afraid to use the word “mercy.” “That word is avoided,” he said. “It is not employed. [My country] uses the word ‘love.’ The Jewish people and Islam, on the other hand, speak freely of God’s mercy. Muslims center on Allah’s great mercy. In fact, a Muslim invokes God’s mercy 17 times in daily prayer.” Cardinal Barbarin said he is committed to keeping strong lines of communication open to other faiths and said that in his visit to the Monastery of Tibhirine, “We started a dialogue, which we consciously based in God’s mercy.” That dialogue with other faiths will continue, he promised, regardless of what twists and turns politics and world events might throw in the way. “We often have feelings which disturb us,” the Cardinal said of the challenge to dialogue, “because we are not doing what God has asked of us. This happens to people of all faiths. Today, God is asking us to come together as brothers and sisters in love. It is not enough to tolerate the present situation.” To move forward in this “courageous” undertaking, Cardinal Barbarin said, “is to engage in love at its deepest level. We cannot be afraid of life. We cannot be afraid to love.” M H MH

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Saint Faustina’s ‘remarkable contribution’
What happens when Divine Mercy and psychotherapy meet?
by Felix Carroll Speaker Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, explained on April 3 that Divine Mercy is necessary to our health and well-being.

magine this: What if Divine Mercy and the field of psychotherapy became partners in healing the world? This isn’t a pipe dream, This is actually happening. Today. Right now. Take it from a friar, who’s also a psychologist, who’s also a member of the American Psychological Association. On April 3, Day Two of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, dropped a proverbial bomb, in a talk titled “Brokenness and the Human Person and the Healing Power of God’s Mercy,” to a packed audience at Our Lady of the Angels Church in Rome. He declared that a “simple peasant girl” from Poland named Helen Kowalska, now known to the world as St. Faustina (1905-38), made “a remarkable contribution to the new solution” to the problems that plague humanity. He traced the arc of the field of psychotherapy in the 20th century and spoke of the “astounding ... almost miraculous” changes now afoot, changes which “fit in with Divine Mercy.” Father Groeschel explained that in the 1980s, the first great crop of psychologists and psychiatrists began retiring. These were the men and women who spent careers treating depression, anxiety, self-hate, guilt, fear, and other problems. One of them, a Jewish psychologist named Dr. Allen Beck, asked the question, “Did we do anything? Did anyone get better?” “The question contained the answer,” said Fr. Groeschel, “and the answer was, ‘We didn’t do very much.’ “I was aware of this when I was studying psychology at Columbia,” said Fr. Groeschel. “I

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said to myself, the purpose [of psychotherapy] seems to be to bring people from misery to mere unhappiness.” So, Dr. Beck asked, “Why don’t we straighten out our thinking?” After that, said Fr. Groeschel, another prominent psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman, got an incredible realization. One morning, Seligman’s young daughter spilled a glass of orange juice. And as the story goes, Seligman yelled at her, “Why don’t you be careful!” His daughIC CONGRE OL SS ST O ter responded, “Why don’t you be nice?” Her response startled him. Seligman thought, “Be kind. Be nice.” IL IT From that event 2– E, 6, 2008 • ROM sprung a whole new reform of modern psychotherapy called “Positive Psychology,” the psychology of virtue. “The theory was that people, in order to get better, need to practice certain virtues that are lacking in their lives,” Fr. Groeschel said. These include virtues such as forgiveness that are emphasized in St. Faustina’s Diary. “Can you see how Divine Mercy will come together in all this?” Fr. Groeschel asked. “Saint Faustina’s revelations dovetail with the new Positive Psychology of Dr. Seligman, and Seligman would not deny this,” the friar said, “I’ve been in correspondence with him.” It could be summed up as St. Faustina’s remarkable contribution to a breakthrough in MH psychotherapy. MH
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Divine Mercy in the Church’s public worship
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Cardinal explores link between God’s mercy and the liturgy.
by Dan Valenti

ivine Mercy in the Sacred Liturgy took center stage and shared the spotlight at the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy on Friday, April 4, as Nigeria’s Cardinal Francis Arinze, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, presented reflections to delegates in St. John Lateran Basilica. “The consoling and deep mystery of God’s mercy permeates the public worship of the Church,” the Vatican’s liturgist-in-chief said. “The Sacred Liturgy sings on page after page the wonders of the divine love [that] shows itself especially as mercy.”

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special way through the Sacred Liturgy, Cardinal Arinze said. “Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God’s saving and merciful love for all humanity, did the work of our redemption,” the Cardinal said. “He gave perfect glory to God. He instituted His Church and entrusted to her the preaching of His Gospel and the celebration of His saving mysteries. Jesus thus sent His Church to exercise the work of salvation by means of sacrifice and Sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves.”

Mercy, greater than sin Cardinal Arinze traced the manifestation of Divine Mercy back to original sin. After man had lost God’s friendship through disobedience, God nonetheless “continuously helped all men to seek and find Him.” Again and again, the Father offered a covenant to man, whom He “did not abandon to the power of death.” Divine Mercy continues this care of God for His children to us today, reaching people in a 12

Sacraments of Mercy Cardinal Arinze then commented on the Sacraments as unique “channels” of God’s merciful love for us: Baptism, Cardinal Arinze said, “plunges people into the paschal mystery of Christ.” The Sacrament confers our spiritual adoption as children of God. Confirmation is the Sacrament of “completion,” the Cardinal said. Those confirmed in the faith “become more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched by a special strength of the Holy Spirit.”

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The Eucharist provides the “fount and apex of the whole Christian life,” Cardinal Arinze said. “That Jesus feeds us with His Body and Blood and remains with us in the tabernacle, these are wonderful manifestations of His mercy and love.” The Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance is the medium that delivers “the pardon of God for offences committed against Him. Sinners are at the same time reconciled with the Church, which they have wounded by their sins,” said the Cardinal, emphasizing how Jesus showed mercy toward sinners. In the Anointing of the Sick, the Cardinal said, “The Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord Jesus and exhorts them to be associated with the passion and death of Christ.” This is mercy. Holy Orders is for those who, by vocation, are in a literal way appointed as ministers of God’s love and mercy, the Cardinal said. They do this, he noted, “by Word and Sacrament.” Through Matrimony, “Christian spouses,” Cardinal Arinze said, “receive grace to help each other attain to holiness.” He said there could be no higher example of friendship and merciful love, since the heart of marriage is to care more about the other than about oneself.

Taking it to the streets! The Congress on Friday afternoon headed out into the streets of Rome. Above, Charles Yezak, of Tampa, FL, invites passersby to attend Eucharistic Adoration in Our Lady of the Angels Church. He and Mary Travis, far right, of St. Petersburg, FL, team up.

MISSION OF MERCY:

TAKING IT TO THE
STREETS
by Felix Carroll To touch a soul. Even just one. That’s Charles Yezak’s goal. It’s Friday afternoon, Day Three of the first-ever World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome. The schedule calls for a “Mission of Mercy.” Congress organizers had set the ground rules. Go two-by-two out into the streets. Talk to strangers about the mercy of God. Invite them to pray inside Our Lady of the Angels Church in the heart of the city, where there are opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration and confession. This next item on the schedule seems a bit, well, gimmicky to Charles and his mission accomplice, Mary Travis. But they agree they will be good sports about it. “What should we say?” Charles wonders aloud. “It’s kind of like one of those moments in Scripture with the Apostles,” says Mary. “You know, when they haven’t a clue what to say, but they open their hearts to the Spirit of God. Then, when they open their mouths, the words just come out, and God does all the work.” Having said that, she appoints herself the silent prayer warrior, stationed off in the periphery. Outside Our Lady of the Angels, Charles approaches a mother and her two daughters. He offers them a prayercard. He talks to them about Eucharistic Adoration. He tells them about Christ and His Church. He points to the door. They walk inside. He turns around and smiles. Just one soul. But maybe three.

Divine Mercy Sunday Cardinal Arinze spent part of his talk devoting special attention to the liturgy of Divine Mercy Sunday. “Theologically, it is significant that this Sunday is the conclusion of the Octave of Easter,” Cardinal Arinze said. “Thus is shown the strict link between the paschal mystery of Redemption and the Feast of Divine Mercy. The novena in preparation for Mercy Sunday begins on Good Friday. This is eloquent. We are adoring the merciful God, who sent His Son to save us through the cross.” He noted that Pope John Paul II, in declaring on April 30, 2000, that the Second Sunday of Easter would bear the name of “Divine Mercy Sunday,” did not create new liturgical texts. “Providentially, the reform of the texts of the 1962 Missal, following on the Second Vatican Council, had already supplied us with prayers and readings that speak of the mystery of God’s mercy,” he said. “There is no doubt,” the Cardinal concluded, “that the Sacred Liturgy sings of God’s love, which is mercy. May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain for us the grace to sing of love and live the riches of Divine Mercy as reflected in the public worship of the Church.” MH MH

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‘Keep the spark of God’s mercy alive’
Day Four highlights: Interreligious harmony, witness to forgiveness, and call to keep the spark of mercy alive.
by Dan Valenti

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he final plenary session on April 5 brought Congress delegates to their senses and to their feet at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. At the end, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria called upon delegates to return home to keep the flame of mercy alive.

Senses touched The senses were stimulated in a wide-ranging talk by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka — Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — on the difficulty of interreligious harmony. Archbishop Ranjith, formerly Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia and East Timor, said increasing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka prompted the organization of an interreligious conference in an attempt to foster lasting peace. Leaders of Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other faiths met in August 2007. CONGR LIC “It was a very difficult ES O S ST O problem to solve,” Archbishop Ranjith said, because of the selfishness and fear caused by ethnic hostility. “The shared IL IT 2– virtues of goodness and E, 6, 2008 • ROM mercy were therefore very important in helping us,”
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On their feet In a moving personal testimony, Immaculee Ilibagiza spoke of her harrowing months hiding from killers during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Hiding in the 3-foot-by-4-foot second bathroom of a house with eight other women, Immaculee said she was close to losing her mind with terror and blind hatred. She found the will to survive by daily reciting the Rosary and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. When the horror ended, she learned that the killers, some of whom she had known as friends and playmates prior to the genocide, had murdered most of her family. Despite her grievous personal loss, Immaculee said she was able to forgive and let go of the poison of hatred. She attributed this solely to the intervention of Divine Mercy. Following her address, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
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Rejecting fundamentalism The enemy of mercy is “the anger of selfishness and the rejection of human dignity,” Archbishop Ranjith said. This is not just an economic or political problem, but also a spiritual problem. The problem is that, often, religion becomes poisoned by fundamentalism, which perverts “true religion in the way it links the concept of religion to power,” he observed. The Archbishop called upon all faiths to reject fundamentalism and the literal interpretation of sacred texts, because such rigid and judgmental approaches “allow no reason for the mercy of God to enter the heart.” The senses had been touched. 14

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Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, a chaplain for the Marians’ Congress pilgrimage, greets speaker Immaculee Ilibagiza on April 5.

Keep the spark alive Then, in his closing remarks, Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz of Poland urged the delegates, “We need to keep the spark of God’s mercy alive, and I think that we have lit that spark here in this basilica.” In response, Cardinal Schönborn ended the last plenary session with a provocative question: “But who is going to [light] the match?” So, Holy Spirit, keep the fire burning. M H MH

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An ecumenical moment
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn speaks with Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev on April 4 after the Bishop’s Congress testimony. That presentation set up the Cardinal’s ecumenical moment on April 5.

Cardinal Schönborn responds to difference on the afterlife with Russian Orthodox Bishop.
by Dan Valenti

people will find themselves in the Kingdom of heaven, and only a few sinners will go to Gehenna [hell], and even they only for a period of time which is necessary for their repentance and remission of sins.” Bishop Hilarion presented a fine point in ecumenical dialogue.

uring his opening remarks for Day Four, April 5, of plenary sessions for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome, Congress President Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria referred to the testimony the previous day (Friday, April 4) of Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Austria, which had stirred much interest and comment.

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Fine point presents opportunity In his talk, Bishop Hilarion said Divine Mercy is so great it even places a limit on the punishment due to sin of those in hell. According to Bishop Hilarion, the Orthodox understanding of the afterlife is more ambiguous than the Roman Catholic teaching. While the Orthodox speak of a “process of sanctification” for some souls who would otherwise be damned, Roman Catholics refer to purgatory as a “time of purification,” involving the cleansing of the punishment due to sin, Referring to St. Isaac the Syrian, a 7th-century holy man and hermit revered in Russian Orthodoxy, Bishop Hilarion said in his talk that Divine Mercy shows us God’s full love. He said St. Isaac was convinced “the majority of

Cardinal Schönborn IC CONGRE OL SS ST O responds Cardinal Schönborn said, “The witness [of Bishop Hilarion] has caused a few doubts in some of us.” He said he IL IT 2– holds Bishop Hilarion E, 6, 2008 • ROM “in great esteem. What he said about [ambiguity on the transitory nature of hell for some souls] is not a doctrine of the [Catholic] Church. We should follow what great saints of all time have said. [We should] pray that no one should be lost. God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.”
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A real-life example The matter offered a real-life example of ecumenism. Here we had leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church confronting a different understanding of the afterlife with mutual respect. Cardinal Schönborn had met the moment live on the world stage, in front of the international press — an ecumenical moment for mercy. M H MH 15

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The closing Mass and the Regina Caeli
The mandate: ‘Triumph of living mercy,’ ‘witnesses of God’s mercy’ to the world.
by Felix Carroll and Dan Valenti

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ince the first-ever World Apostolic Congress on Mercy did nothing short of inflame the hearts of thousands, it could do nothing less than conclude with a mandate. That mandate was delivered Sunday by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, President of the Congress and celebrant of its closing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

good, and where humanity is often stripped of its dignity. Only hearts transformed by Christ can transform the world, he said. “There are today many disillusioned people,” he said. Such disillusionment prompts people to ask: “Is God watching? Is justice impotent? Why all the suffering?” he said. Congress participants filed in for the morning Mass under Michelangelo’s silver-blue dome. An awe-inspiring week ended at an aweinspiring location, and with a Gospel reading that proved to be, in Cardinal Schönborn’s words, “a beautiful coincidence.”

‘On the road’ “We are now departing after the blessed days of this Congress,” he said in his homily, “and we are putting ourselves on the road with burning hearts to be everywhere and always with the Lord as witnesses of His immeasurable mercy.” He alluded to the societies to which many of the pilgrims return, societies where corruption, poverty, and injustice run rampant, where economic interests trump the public 16

Opening our hearts It was from Luke 24:13-35, the story of two disciples on the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem on the third day after Christ’s death. The two disciples, too, are feeling disillusioned and dejected, until they meet Christ on the road. It’s the journey of every Christian. The two don’t yet know He is the Lord God. Seeing that they are disheartened, Christ uses the Scriptures to explain that the Messiah had to suffer and die to enter into His glory. He begins to reignite their faith. They see He is in need of food and shelter. Through breaking bread with Him, they come to see He is the Risen Lord and

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make haste to proclaim the Good News. Cardinal Schönborn said that, similarly, we can encounter Christ by opening our hearts to receive Him in Word and Sacrament and in showing hospitality to the many in need. “What an example for us, to prepare for our encounter with Christ through our hospitality,” said Cardinal Schönborn, who presided over the previous four days of talks, prayer, and celebration. “‘Be merciful as Your Father is merciful.’ How many times in living and performing simple works of mercy we have been able to experience the closeness of the Lord. “The history of the success of Christianity is not a story of military triumphs or political triumphs,” he continued. “It is rather the triumph of living mercy. Only in this way can you become convinced. The words can be beautiful, but in the end they are only words. But the acts of mercy, instead, are indisputable.”

U.S. Mercy Congress organizers Fr. Matthew Mauriello, right, of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, and Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, left, listen during a post-Congress meeting of planners on April 6.

WHAT’S NEXT?:

MEETING
SETS AGENDA
by Dan Valenti

‘Witnesses of God’s mercy’ After the closing Mass by Cardinal Schönborn, Pope Benedict XVI in his Regina Caeli message at St. Peter’s complemented the Cardinal’s mandate by encouraging Congress participants to “go forth and be witnesses of God’s mercy.” Here is what the Holy Father said regarding the World Mercy Congress:
Yes, dear friends, the first World Congress on Divine Mercy ended this morning with the Eucharistic Celebration in St. Peter's Basilica. I thank the organizers, especially the Vicariate of Rome, and to all the participants I address my cordial greeting which now becomes a mandate: go forth and be witnesses of God's mercy, a source of hope for every person and for the whole world. May the Risen Lord be with you always!

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After his address, Pope Benedict lunched with Cardinal Schönborn. Speaking to congressional planners later in the wrap-up strategic session, the Cardinal said, “The Pope wanted to know all about the Congress.” The Cardinal said he told the Pope that the week had been a great success, citing the presence of thousands of people from throughout the world who traveled to Rome despite great difficulties. The Cardinal quoted the Pope as saying, “It is impressive to see Divine Mercy spreading throughout the world.” He said Pope Benedict asked him to convey his personal thanks and blessings to all who were involved. So, with their hearts transformed by Christ to live mercifully, the delegates were called to return to their own countries as ”witnesses of God’s mercy.” MH MH

n the wake of a successful World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, what’s next? Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria, President of the Church’s first-ever World Mercy Congress, offered his thoughts and made five key recommendations. “We don’t have a formal Church structure [dedicated to the Congress],” the Cardinal told about 200 planners and strategists at a postcongressional organizational meeting Sunday (April 6) in Holy Spirit Church near St. Peter’s Square. Nonetheless, Cardinal Schönborn said, this historic week in Rome taught everyone a great deal, enough to begin mapping plans for the future. He then proposed the following: 1. There would be a second World Mercy Congress. 2. Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, would likely preside. 3. The likely location would be Krakow. 4. Father Patrice Chocholski of Lyon, France, would continue as General Secretary. 5. Vilnius, Lithuania would have the inside track as site of the third World Mercy Congress. He urged international planners to stay in touch with each other, to work closely together, and to share strategies. “National and regional [follow-up] Mercy Congresses are already being discussed,” he said. “We ask you to be open and, with great simplicity, seek His will. We want to make known The Divine Mercy through His presence and His merciful Heart, [which is] close to all of us.”

Visit worldmercycongress.org for more stories and photos.

In the News:

Marians around the world

Philippines mission announced “The Marians are starting a wonderful, new enterprise in thanksgiving for the beatification of our Founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski. We’re going to work in the Philippines, where Divine Mercy is already spreading like crazy,” announced Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, during EWTN’s Mercy Sunday telecast on March 30 from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA.
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Oceania, which will offer conferences and workshops for Divine Mercy leaders. On the Island of Mindanao, they will help build and run a shrine called Divine Mercy Hills, with the centerpiece being a 50-foot statue of The Divine Mercy that is currently under construction. For more information on the Marian mission to the Philippines, call 1-800-671-2020 or visit marian.org/philippines. Congress follow-up planned With the World Mercy Congress in Rome now history, follow-up work begins making history of its own as organizers plan new initiatives on several continents. The national and regional follow-up will begin later this year and continue through 2009 and 2010. Though dates and locations have yet to be determined, the Marians — who played a vital role in mapping On a fact-finding trip in January to the Philippines, Fr. Joe Roesch, the direction of the World Congress MIC, second from left, and Marian Superior General Very Rev. Fr. — plan to host regional mercy gathJohn Rokosz, MIC, second from right, meet with Divine Mercy erings throughout the United States, leaders on the Island of Mindanao. starting later this year. These will “I had the opportunity to go there in precede the U.S. Mercy Congress, which is January with our Superior General, [Very planned for fall of 2009. They will focus on Rev.] Fr. John Roskosz, MIC, and we received a education and workshops for those interested in warm welcome,” said Fr. Joe, who was serving spreading The Divine Mercy message or who as host of the EWTN telecast and is Second want to intensify their knowledge of it. “The regional efforts will be important as General Councilor in Rome. The Philippines is a heavily Catholic country we begin to translate the work of the World with a population of some 89 million situated Congress on the national level,” says Fr. on 7,107 islands in Southeast Asia. The mes- Matthew Mauriello, President of the U.S. sage of Divine Mercy is so popular there that Mercy Congress and a pastor in Bridgeport, shoppers in malls typically pause for prayer at CT. “We want to bring the flame of mercy that was ignited in Rome to our own country.” 3 p.m., the Hour of Great Mercy. Initial plans call for the Marians hosting Current plans call for the Marians to establish their mission in two locations: on four regional gatherings later this year: in the Guimaras Island in the middle region of the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast. Father country and on the Island of Mindanao in the Matt says the regional workshops and the south. Three Marian priests will arrive in June, National Congress will be part of an overall while another is scheduled to arrive in 2009 and strategy that will include smaller gatherings at the diocesan and parish levels. then another in 2010. Read more about these unfolding developOn Guimaras Island, the Marians will assist in operating The Divine Mercy Center of ments in the Fall 2008 issue of Marian Helper Formation and Spirituality for Asia and or visit mercycongress.org.

In the News:

Marians’ Divine Mercy Apostolates
Director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM); and four fellow EADM cenacle members from across the country. Show themes include love, humility, spiritual poverty, Divine Mercy as a way of life; St. Faustina and the Holy Spirit; and the spirituality of St. Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, emcees the 3rd Faustina, St. Therese, and Annual Divine Mercy Conference Feb. 9 in Blessed Mother Teresa. the Bronx. “The discussions durAs emcee, Dr. Stackpole ing the taping were spiritually provided transitions from one rich, and I think many people speaker to the next, themati- will benefit from this new cally weaving them together series,” says Fr. Joe. by the thread of God’s mercy. Dr. Thatcher says EWTN provides an ideal medium. DVDs and guide to “It’s exciting to realize that “Cenacle Series II” The 13-part “Cenacle of the discussions we taped after The Divine Mercy, Series II,” Divine Mercy Sunday last began airing in spring on year on Eden Hill are now EWTN’s global Catholic net- being seen all over the world, work. A set of four DVDs with helping to spread knowledge all 13 shows, as well as a of the wonderful spirituality companion book to guide of Divine Mercy.” viewers through each show, Fall Heathcare will be offered in the fall issue retreat planned of this magazine. Healthcare Professionals The companion guide for Divine Mercy will hold its reviews the theme of each annual retreat for doctors, show and includes a discussion nurses, and other healthcare starter and questions for groups. workers Oct. 24-26 at Cape For “Cenacle of The Divine Cod, MA. The three-day retreat Mercy, Series II,” the cast will provide private spiritual includes moderator Fr. Joe direction, daily Mass, confession, Roesch, MIC; Br. Jason Lewis, and talks on Divine Mercy. MIC; Dr. Bryan Thatcher, Nurse Marie Romagnano, RN, Founder and Director of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, says that Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, will serve as retreat master and be one of the main speakers. Father Kaz is the Marians’ Director of Evangelization and Development and a Divine Mercy authority. For more information or to register, call 413-298-1307 Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, moderates a show on EWTN for “Cenacle of The or e-mail healthcarefordivineDivine Mercy, Series II.” mercy@marian.org.
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Institute Director emcees conference From his roles as Director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, professor of theology at Redeemer Pacific College, and author, Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, knows the meaning of the word “multitasking.” Yet another example of his versatility came Feb. 9 as he emceed the 3rd Annual Divine Mercy Conference at Cardinal Spellman High School in Bronx, NY, with the theme “Healing and Forgiveness through God’s Mercy.” About 850 people attended. In opening the conference, Dr. Stackpole promised the audience real solutions for real problems, telling them they would not be getting “plastic-smile Christianity — the cheery and shallow form of the faith that you sometimes get on TV.” He continued, “Our speakers today are not going to pretend everything is OK. You guys live in the real world. Things don’t always work out ‘peachy.’ The truth is we are all in one way or another broken, wounded people — wounded by our own sins and wounded by the sins of others.” Speakers included James White, Chief Operating Officer of Covenant House-New York, a child welfare agency that provides shelter and services to homeless and runaway youth; Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV, National Director of Priests for Life; Immaculee Ilibagiza, survivor of the Rwandan genocide; Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal; and Msgr. James Lisante, Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Hempstead, NY.

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‘My gift annuity helps me to take care of my future, and the future of the Marians.’
When you establish a gift annuity to support the Marians’ work for Christ and His Church, you will receive fixed payments for your lifetime. The minimum gift is $1,000. The older you are, the higher your fixed payment rate. For example, at age 70 – 6.5%, at 80 – 8%, at 90 – 11.3%.

PRO

C H R IS T O E T E C C L E S I

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For a personalized illustration of all of the benefits of a gift annuity and to find out if we offer gift annuities in your state, contact Ellen Miller at 1-800-671-2020 or helpers@marian.org.

Join the Friends of Mercy Today and Take Part in History!
Now is the time to become a Friend of Mercy and be prepared to respond to the tidal wave of new interest in The Divine Mercy brought about by the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy. Join the Marians in bringing God's healing message of mercy to families, parishes, communities, and countries throughout the world!

There has never been a better time to join the Friends of Mercy!
Call 1-800-671-2020 Join online at thedivinemercy.org/friends
I want to join the Friends of Mercy
IF PAYING MONTHLY Enclosed is my first monthly pledge of $5 $10 $ ______ IF PAYING YEARLY Enclosed is my yearly pledge of $60 $120 $ ______ To join using a credit card, or to arrange an automatic debit each month from a credit card or bank account, call 1-800-671-2020.
NAME ________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS ____________________________________________________________ CITY __________________________________ STATE ____________ ZIP __________ PHONE ____________________________ E-MAIL __________________________

Mail this form with your gift to: Friends of Mercy, P.O. Box 716, Stockbridge, MA 01262

FELIX CARROLL

On the road with Mother of Mercy Messengers, Divine Mercy comes into view.
by Felix Carroll

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n a warm and windy south Texas morning in February, with palm fronds waving like bobble-head dolls, Dave Maroney steps out from a motel room, stretches, and takes a deep breath. In his line of sight, rising like a rampart beside Highway 83, stands a billboard from a retina-consulting firm that declares “Blindness is Preventable.” When you’re on the frontline of popular evangelism, when you’ve traveled more than 250,000 miles in nine years bringing Divine Mercy to the people of God, some signs can begin to sound prophetic. Dave and his wife, Joan, who call themselves Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, have experienced firsthand that blindness is preventable — spiritual blindness, anyway. By RV, they travel. And by a singular code of the road, they conduct themselves: the need to help people see that Christ is the means for finding hope, healing, and renewal. They do so through their dramatic presentations to schools, parishes, and prisons throughout the United States and abroad and through their series of popular DVDs. “There are so many people in the world who feel separated from God,” says Dave. “But we know, through the message of Divine

Mercy, that no matter what we have done, He is there to love us. That’s a big message for the world today — that the greatest sinner has the greatest right to His mercy.” (See Diary of St. Faustina, 423.) Dave and Joan are packing up the RV. MOMM’s next stop is St. Paul’s Church in nearby Mission, TX. It will be a typical stop for them. That is to say, it will be extraordinary. With a mix of readings from the Diary of St. Faustina, visual effects, meditative music, and frank talk about heaven and hell, MOMM will help the parishioners not only to understand the message of Divine Mercy but also to experience Divine Mercy. For the nearly 500 attendees at this parish presentation of Tell All Souls About My Mercy, the Diary comes to life. Many realize that Jesus and the Blessed Mother are speaking directly to them. No one is in a rush to leave afterward. Parishioner Alicia Corona wipes the tears from her eyes. “It was so beautiful,” she says. “You could feel it in your heart that Jesus was present with us.” As is typical with a MOMM presentation, Eucharistic Adoration and opportunities for confession follow. The confessionals fill. “People were definitely moved,” St. Paul’s pastor, the Rev. Gregory Kuczmanski, says later. Continued on page 26

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In the News:

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday 2008: A call to ‘trust and confidence’
by Dan Valenti
PHOTOS

n March 30, Divine Mercy Sunday dawned on Eden Hill not with the storm clouds of last year’s near Nor’easter but with the pleasant appearance of sunlight. And as the sun rose in the Berkshires, God’s gift was announced in the heavens — an ideal setting for North America’s largest Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. In that setting, more than 12,000 pilgrims from around the world, served by nearly 600 volunteers, gathered to celebrate God’s mercy. They included many Latinos, Filipinos, and Haitian Creoles. Adding another welcome change to this year’s feast, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception celebrated Holy Mass at the new Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine. Though not yet finished, the outdoor shrine enhanced the liturgy with its emphatic visual presence, a magnification that matched the spiritual energy of a cardinal as celebrant, some 20 concelebrants and servers, and 30 members of two choirs along with musicians. This year’s celebrant, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC, reminded pilgrims of the importance of mercy. “Trust and confidence: That has been the mark of The Divine Mercy,” he said in his homily. The Cardinal shared how the Apostle Thomas in the Resurrection account of the day’s Gospel (Jn 20:19-31) was called to have trust and confidence in the Merciful Savior. Cardinal McCarrick said, “[Thomas] doesn’t know if the Lord is going to be angry with him because he has said, ‘I’m not going to believe unless I put my finger into His hands and my hand into His side.’” The Cardinal continued, “But the Lord says, ‘Come, Thomas. Come. Put your finger into My hand and your hand into My side. Come, Thomas, I need you to be a believer.’” Many Marian priests and visiting clergy

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BY

FELIX CARROLL

A sea of pilgrims gathers before the new Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday 2008 for Mass celebrated by Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC. In his homily, the Cardinal encouraged the pilgrims to show trust and confidence in the Merciful Savior.

concelebrated Mass with Cardinal McCarrick, including principal concelebrant the Most Rev. Timothy McDonnell, Bishop of Springfield, MA. Following Mass, Cardinal McCarrick led pilgrims in praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena, and Benediction. The festivities were once again televised live by EWTN’s global Catholic network, with commentary by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, and Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, who is Director of the Marians’ John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy. On the day, pilgrims shared their experience of mercy as a way of life. “I’m here to give thanks and to witness to mercy in my life,” said Rita Mazza of Scranton, PA. “I don’t want to keep my experience of mercy to myself.” “For me, mercy is trust, like it says at the bottom of the image [of The Divine Mercy],” said Stanley Bowman of Rutland, VT. Divine Mercy Sunday, March 30, signaled a fresh start for these and many other pilgrims who came to Eden Hill to receive God’s mercy with trust. May we, along with them, “move deeply into the very Heart of Christ,” to employ the phrase that Cardinal McCarrick MH used to end his homily. MH

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nce again, four popular events will highlight the summer and fall calendar at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

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Marian Week set Kicking off the quartet is the annual observance of Marian Week on Eden Hill, which honors the Blessed Marian Week, to be held from Aug. 15-22, includes daily Mass, Rosary, Virgin Mary. The week begins processions, and talks. Here, then Shrine Vice Rector Fr. Anthony Gramlich, on Aug. 15 with the MIC, prays during the crowning ceremony on Aug. 22, 2006. Solemnity of the Assumption of The Divine Mercy, and ven- Heritage Day on Saturday, and ends with a crowning eration of a large traveling Oct. 18, at the National ceremony on Aug. 22, the image of Our Lady of Shrine. Long a favorite day of Feast of the Queenship of the Guadalupe. Festivities will pilgrims to Eden Hill, it looks Blessed Virgin. include fun and games for at the life and influence of the Pilgrims are welcome to children, music, and personal Great Mercy Pope on the attend every day or in a way witness. Refreshments will be Church and the world. that fits their schedules. Mass The day combines a celeavailable. will be celebrated every day of bration of one of the most Marian Week. Daily activities Day of the Saint Although St. Faustina’s influential persons of the also will include a Rosary for 20th century with an opporLife, processions, special talks, feast day is on Oct. 5, pilgrims tunity to enjoy the fall foliage confession, the Chaplet of The are invited to observe a day in season in the Berkshire Hills. Divine Mercy, and informal her honor on Saturday, Oct. 4, at the National Shrine. This While plans are not finalized, gatherings. year, the day will take on spe- the day will likely include a Fourth annual cial significance, marking the talk and a showing of a filmed Encuentro Latino 70th anniversary of the biography of Pope John Paul Encuentro Latino 2008 is saint’s death (actually, Oct. 5, II in Memorial Hall. At 1:30 planned for Saturday, Aug. p.m., pilgrims will pray a 1938, at 10:45 p.m.). 23, at the new Mother of The day will include pre- Rosary for Life, followed by Mercy Outdoor Shrine. Each sentations on the great Holy Mass at 2 p.m., year, this exuberant festival Apostle of Divine Mercy in the Benediction, and The Divine grows in number and in morning, a Rosary for Life at Mercy Chaplet and Novena at enthusiasm. Last year, more 1:30 p.m., Mass at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. Confession will be than 3,000 pilgrims made the confessions before and after offered before and after Mass. trip to Eden Hill to celebrate Busses for these and other Mass, Benediction, and prayDivine Mercy, devotion to Mary, events must register with the ing The Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Hispanic culture. Shrine Pilgrimage Office at and Novena at 3 p.m. Father Diego Maximino, 413-298-1118 or by e-mail MIC, a Marian priest serving Shrine to honor at pilgrims@marian.org. You in Plano, IL, will celebrate the Great Mercy Pope can also get the latest inforCompleting the quartet of mation on upcoming summer Vigil Mass at 4 p.m. In addition, Encuentro Latino will feature a events is the observance of and fall events by going to Rosary procession, the Chaplet Pope John Paul II/Polish thedivinemercy.org/shrine.

Shown here on March 29 during the Vigil Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine will include the Shrine of the Holy Innocents on its lower level. See the artist’s rendering on the facing page.

A sacred place for hearts to heal
Remember a deceased child at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents.
by David Came

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f you are a Marian Helper, you value the way the Marians of the Immaculate Conception are committed to remembering your deceased loved ones in prayer. Now there’s an opportunity for a special remembrance for the most innocent among the departed. The Marians are providing a beautiful, sacred place where you can memorialize a child lost in the womb, at birth, or at a young age. “We are going to dedicate the lower level of the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine to all deceased children. It will be called the Shrine of the Holy Innocents,” announced Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, Rector of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, during EWTN’s Mercy Sunday telecast on March 30 from Eden Hill in Stockbridge, MA.

The need for healing “I have worked with many mothers and fathers who have experienced the loss of their child,” said Fr. Anthony. “Here, at the National Shrine, we’re all about healing. We want to provide the opportunity for those who are hurting after losing a child to receive healing 24

through The Divine Mercy.” Father Joseph, MIC, and his staff report that they received several moving phone calls and e-mails shortly after the telecast. A Marian Helper wanted to preserve the memory of her twin daughters who were stillborn. “It’s something that I wanted to do for them and for my husband and me,” she said. Another Marian Helper said she wanted a memorial for a daughter with Down Syndrome. “She lived to be nearly 40 years old, but she approached her whole life with the innocence of a five-year-old.” Immediately after seeing the presentation of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents on EWTN, one viewer called to say, “I didn’t even know the Marians, but getting the memorial for my little boy was something that I knew I had to do.” Grandparents, too, feel the loss of a grandchild. “My daughter carried her son for eight months. But she had late complications and the baby died,” said one Marian Helper. “Six years later, we still talk about him and how he would be starting the first grade by now. I’d

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FELIX CARROLL

like to get a memorial for him. I think getting it would be good for my daughter as well.”

A pro-life focus Father Anthony said, “Part of the impetus for the Shrine of the Holy Innocents is the prolife nature of the miracle for the beatification of our Marian Founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski.” Blessed Stanislaus was beatified on Sept. 16, and the miracle involved a baby returning to life in the womb. “This is how the Lord is leading us. The miracle is a gift,” said Fr. Anthony. Construction on the new shrine is scheduled to start in 2009. As depicted in the artist’s rendering on this page, the central work of art in the shrine will be a life-size bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is Patroness of the Unborn. Images of Jesus and Mary with children will flank the statue. Further, relevant passages from Scripture and the message of Our Lady of Gudalupe will adorn the entryways and walls, highlighting the Divine Mercy and pro-life themes. These will include the Gospel passage in which Jesus says, “Let the little children come to Me and do not prevent them” (Mt 19:14). Plans call for the main wall with the statue and images to be constructed of glass tiles on which the names of deceased children can be etched. Adjoining rooms off the main area will contain memorial candle racks, since one aspect of ministry at the shrine will be a “Candle for Life” program. The ambience of the shrine will be conducive to prayer and reflection for family members as a place of healing. Along with the art and sacred texts, it will be enhanced by the use of lighting, water (Fountains of Life), and background music. Remembrances and memorials All deceased children memorialized at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents will be remembered by the Marians in the following ways:

• The perpetual Novena to The Divine Mercy offered daily at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. • The Rosary for Life prayed daily at the National Shrine. • A special remembrance at Masses celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12, and the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Dec. 28. Memorial opportunities for deceased children at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents include the following: • For a gift of $100, a candle holder with a name inscribed on one centrally located plaque. • For a gift of $200, a name etched on a 3 x 5 inch glass tile. • For a gift of $400, a name and another name or a brief message etched on a 6 x 5 inch glass tile. In memorializing a deceased child, benefactors can choose to remain anonymous. Families are encouraged to name their children in the case of miscarriages, stillbirths, and abortions. According to Fr. Anthony, naming the child and entrusting him or her to the Lord is an important part of the healing process for families. If you are interested in any of these memorials, see the envelope found at the center of this magazine or visit marian.org/give/memorials. To inquire about special gift opportunities, such as the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, call 1-800-671-2020. As you prayerfully consider this new memorial opportunity, may these words of Fr. Anthony inspire you: “Divine Mercy provides healing for people. It’s more than a devotion. It’s about transforming lives. It’s about caring for and treasuring every human life from the moment of conception until natural death. This is one facet of the diamond of mercy.” M H MH

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What does it take to make a Marian?

Signs of Mercy
Continued from page 21 A similar thing happens the following evening when MOMM gives a presentation to around 350 people, mostly high school students, at St. Paul’s. The youngsters sit in the pews, mesmerized. Many go to confession, including Melissa Salazar’s 16-year-old son. “He came out and he hugged me,” she says. “He had a real powerful experience.” A MOMM presentation doesn’t just help support pastors in the education of their flocks. It doesn’t just take what the pastor is preaching from the pulpit and present it in a dramatic fashion. Clearly, something more is afoot.

A History of Tradition, Love of Mary, Devotion to The Divine Mercy

+
x

“[The presentation] was so beautiful. You could feel it in your heart that Jesus was present with us.”
Your Prayers and Gifts
— Alicia Corona

A Richness of New Vocations

=

The Future of the Church

Please support our seminarians. Call 1-800-671-2020. marian.org/seminarians

“It disposes the soul to receive what God offers,” says Fr. Michael Callea, MIC, Coordinator of the Marians’ Divine Mercy Apostolates, who was on the road with MOMM. “Dave and Joan Maroney are generous people,” Fr. Michael adds, “Rather than simply relish the Good News that they have experienced, they have a heart to bring it to other aching souls.” “Our goal is not only for the people who come to be touched and to have this intimate and profound experience with Jesus,” Joan says, “but that they then go out and reflect that — they go out and live the message by deed, word, and prayer.” She’s talking now in the RV. Dave is driving. It’s late. It’s dark. On the frontline of evangelism, they’re following more signs pointing to Mercy — signs that lead to their next stop. Schedule a MOMM program at your parish by calling 830-634-7765. Or purchase any of their DVDs, including Tell All Souls About My Mercy (code: B-TASDVD, $19.95) or Divine Mercy for Young Hearts (code : B-YHDVD, $15.95). Simply call 1-800462-7426 or go to marian.org/giftshop. M H MH

Online at marian.org/giftshop or call 1-800-462-7426.

10 THINGS POPE BENEDICT XVI WANTS YOU TO KNOW
BY JOHN L. ALLEN, JR LIGUORI PUBLICATIONS, 45 PRODUCT CODE B-PBTT
PP., BOOKLET,

$2.95

ur Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently visited our country. Among other things, he forcefully addressed the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in America and prayed at ground zero in New York City. (See my column on page 4.) In light of the papal visit, I highly recommend the booklet 10 Things Pope Benedict XVI Wants You to Know by John Allen, Jr. As a well-known Vatican insider, Allen draws from the writings and speeches of the Holy Father to share the 10 most important things that the Pope wants all Catholics to know. He does so in a popular style that makes Pope Benedict’s message accessible to Catholics in the pew. What I appreciate most about this booklet is that Allen steps aside and lets the Holy Father speak for himself. As he writes in the Introduction, “I don’t intend this short overview to be John Allen’s version of Pope Benedict. As much as possible, we’ll stick to Benedict’s own thoughts and words, so that it is the real pontiff who speaks to us.” In the Introduction, Allen also gives us a masterful summary of the main thrust of Benedict’s pontificate, “Benedict’s top priority is to reintroduce the fundamentals of the Christian gospel and of Catholic tradition to the modern world.” And: “He wants to lead contemporary men and women to see those teachings with fresh eyes.” To whet your appetite for what follows, let me share the very first thing Pope Benedict wants you to know: “God is love.” In fact, this is the title of his first encyclical in which he describes God as “a lover with all the passion of a true love.” Observes Allen, “Strip everything else away, and the core of the Christian message is that God is love.”

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THE MIRACLE OF ME
FROM CONCEPTION TO BIRTH WRITTEN BY AMY B. PEDERSEN, DESIGNED BY BETTY HOOD MARIAN PRESS, 44 PP., OVERSIZE BOOK WITH 17 PHOTOS, $11.95 PRODUCT CODE B-MIME
n the Winter 2007-8 issue of Marian Helper magazine, we covered the beatification of our Marian Founder, Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski. One of the most thrilling aspects of our coverage was our exclusive interview with Zbigniew Chojnowski, who sought Fr. Stanislaus’s intercession for a baby who had died in his goddaughter’s womb. As we reported, Blessed Stanislaus heard Zbigniew’s plea for help. The baby is now a healthy six-year-old boy named Sebastian, and his return to life in his mother’s womb was approved as the miracle for the beatification. In thanksgiving for this miracle involving our Founder, we are pleased to publish The Miracle of Me: From Conception to Birth. Author Amy Pedersen uses simple language and poetry to teach about a baby’s development each week. Real in-utero photography is used along with rulers and scales to visually mark the baby’s progress. What was the author’s inspiration for her book? “When our daughter was just 15 months old, [my husband] and I learned that she was going to be a big sister. Since she was so young, I struggled with how to explain to her about the baby growing in my belly,” says Amy. “It was then that I was inspired, no doubt by the Holy Spirit, to start my little project.” The spectacular photography and medically accurate, yet easy-to-read, text make this book simple enough for children while also a great resource for expectant mothers and their families. The Miracle of Me is endorsed by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, as well as by the Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Gerry Sotomayor, who vouches for its accuracy in presenting human development from conception to birth. MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

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Received
‘I prayed all week to Blessed Stanislaus’
Car wrecked, but two unhurt About three weeks ago, I prayed all week to Blessed Stanislaus to protect my three children. My oldest son, 28, was riding with his friend when another vehicle collided with them. The car was totaled, but both my son and his friend walked out of the car without a scratch. I truly believe Fr. Stanislaus protected the two young men. I thank Blessed Stanislaus for protecting my family. — GV, Ontario, CA Granddaughter finds work My granddaughter graduated from college with honors. However, she couldn’t find employment in her field. That is when I sent for the prayercard honoring Blessed Stanislaus. I prayed twice a day, went to confession, and persistently kept at it. Not long after, my granddaughter called me to say she found an office position in a hospital where she lives. She’s happy with this. I believe in prayer, and I will pray for Blessed Stanislaus’s canonization. — EK, Bronson, MI

Graces

Legal assistance given I would like to thank Husband ‘lands Blessed Stanislaus for his help. Last fall, I requested a better-paying job’ (1631-1701) prayercard and began to ask I recently read about for his intercession in a requests granted through legal matter. I am unemployed and unable to the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus pay for legal assistance. Thanks to his help, my Papczynski in Marian Helper magazine. What prayers have been answered. A lawyer took my struck me was the speed in which the writers’ case pro bono. prayers were often answered. Today I have once again turned to Fr. I sent for a prayercard and began praying Stanislaus for help in obtaining a new job. for my husband, who recently lost his job due With all my heart, I believe he will once again to the sale of his employer’s company. He come through. enjoyed this job for more than 17 years, and it — TR, East Windsor, CT provided an excellent salary and yearly bonuses. My husband has a few health issues, causing ‘Healthy baby son delivered’ I read about Blessed Stanislaus in Marian some restrictions in finding a new job. Nonetheless, I prayed diligently, asking that Helper. I have been praying to him for my he find a decent paying job, close to home, soon. daughter. She had a miscarriage, and then a week later she got pregnant. The doctor found At a time and in a location where good jobs are she had fibroids in her uterus, a dangerous scarce, within three months my husband landed condition with the baby growing inside her. a better-paying job only eight miles from our Then the tests showed she might have a Down house! May God bless Blessed Stanislaus. — DD, Paoli, PA syndrome baby. Her pregnancy was difficult. In October, she delivered a healthy baby For a Blessed Stanislaus prayercard (B-CPPC), call toll free son. He has a three-year-old brother, and I’m 1-800-462-7426. If you have received graces through his praying that Our Lady chooses one or both of intercession, please write: Br. Andrew Màczyƒski, MIC, Vice Postulator of the Marian Causes of Canonization, Stockbridge, them for the priesthood. — LR, El Paso, TX MA 01263. E-mail: graces@marian.org 28
MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

Acknowledgements of graces received through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, Founder of the Marians.

“W

e are delighted to have a shrine on Eden Hill that is dedicated to the Holy Family,” says Father Joseph, MIC, of the Holy Family Memorial Shrine. “At this shrine, we honor families as the very foundation of society.” Father Joseph adds, “It’s a special place where our Marian Helpers and pilgrims to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy can entrust their deceased family members into the loving arms of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and St. Joseph.” This memorial opportunity means a great deal to Jerome Arcaro of Lake Mary, FL. “My mother was so dedicated to the Holy Family, and my father, who is still living, is, too,” says Jerome. “My mother passed away last October. It means that I can honor her memory in a way that she would like.” Like Jerome, you can create a lasting remembrance for your

family or family member at the memorial shrine. It is located in a lovely rose garden near a reflecting pool, a favorite place of quiet prayer for pilgrims. At the center of the memorial shrine is a marble statue of St. Joseph, head of the Holy Family. When you make an offering of $100: • Your family name or an individual family member’s name will be etched on a line of a stainedglass window at the shrine. • Those you honor in the memorial shrine will be remembered by the Marians in Holy Mass and during the Hour of Great Mercy at the National Shrine. • Your name will appear on this page in a future issue of Marian Helper. To learn more about these and other opportunities, please contact one of Fr. Joseph’s Special Gifts Assistants toll free at 1-800671-2020.

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE MADE RECENT GIFTS FOR A MEMORIAL OR TRIBUTE ON EDEN HILL. DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF SUCH GIFTS, WE ARE UNABLE TO LIST THE NAMES OF ALL RECENT BENEFACTORS. IF YOUR NAME IS NOT LISTED HERE, LOOK FOR IT IN THE SUMMER 2008 ISSUE OF OUR HELPING NEWSLETTER OR IN A FUTURE ISSUE OF MARIAN HELPER.
Barbara Patchan The Pawlak Family Mr. & Mrs. Tony Petosa Ms. Mary K. Phelan-Hammel Edelyne Marie Pierre Mr. & Mrs. Alex Pirozzoli Mrs. Dorothy Podlas Miss Mary Jane Price Mr. & Mrs. Salvatore Proietti Miss Florence L. Prokopiak Victoria J. Punsalan Beatrice M. Quesada Mr. & Mrs. James Quillard Mr. & Mrs. Tony Quinto Donna Ramirez Ms. Araceli Ramirez Miss Julie Ramiza Mrs. Lena Rampoldi Mr. Clarence Rank Mrs. Norma Reid Mr. & Mrs. Roland Reinecke Mrs. Elizabeth Ressa Laureta E. Robina Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Robinson, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. William B. Roesch Mrs. Estella Rosete Mr. Joseph Ryczak Mr. & Mrs. Emil F. Saul Mr. & Mrs. Eduardo Sepulveda Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Serginia Francis J. Simpson Ann Slota Mrs. Glenn Sninski Mr. & Mrs. Vito Sollecito Mrs. Sophia M. Sparks Ms. Doreen Spin St. James Parish Mr. Gary Starnes Joann Stefanovic Mrs. Felicia Stoj Dr. Sonia M. Tagle Mrs. Amparo Tan Mr. Donald Tappe Mr. & Mrs. Paul A. Tatar Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Tesori The King’s Nutrition Center Mrs. Jeanette D. Thomas Noreen Tran Mr. & Mrs. Viktor Trason Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Turenne Ms. Peggy Urwin Mr. & Mrs. John A. Vantine Mr. & Mrs. Edward Walsh Ms. Maggy Walto Mrs. Jacob Warnken Mr. David Weigman Mrs. Rita Wesgan Mrs. Petronella Wielgus Mrs. Eloisa L. Worrell Mr. & Mrs. Walter Yaros Mrs. Theresann Yashian Ms. Rita Yatowt Mary Zagrobelny Mrs. Emily K. Ziemba

Helpers
by Mary Kathryn Volpone

Outstanding

‘Suddenly, I felt someone was praying for me’

I

n the late 1970s, Judy heard of Divine date on the letter — it was the exact date she Mercy from a neighbor in Duluth, MN. had felt someone praying for her! The next two years were an emotional time. Though she was impressed with the message, she didn’t begin to learn the importance Judy’s doctor monitored her condition, and she continued to pray before of trust in Jesus until, in the image. She was over1980, her doctor discovered whelmed by the many graces an abnormal growth of she received from God. cells in her uterus and told “When I prayed the Chaplet, her it could lead to cancer. I felt the strong presence of Judy, her husband, Gary, The Divine Mercy calling me and their two sons, ages to trust in Him,” she said. seven and 11, were moving to After almost two years, Elizabethtown, IL, in three her doctor informed her that days. This meant she would the abnormal cells had dishave to find a new physiappeared! She knew that cian in a strange place. trusting in God’s mercy gave In her struggles, she her strength and peace, turned to Jesus — The especially as she learned Divine Mercy. With tears more about Divine Mercy. filling her eyes, she Coping with a threat to her health and “My spiritual director told explained, “Suddenly, I felt the stress of moving her family, Judy me to read the Diary of St. someone was praying for immediately hung an image of The Divine Mercy in her new home. Also, Faustina every day, so I told me. It was like there was a she soon learned that Fr. Joseph, MIC, him I already did,” she said. special grace around me.” was praying for her. When I asked her why When the couple arrived at their new home, Judy immediately hung she supports Marian vocations, she responded The Divine Mercy image she had received from with a litany of praises. “I’m not an educated the Marians of the Immaculate woman about my faith, so I don’t want to be led Conception. “The boxes remained astray,” she admitted. “There are many people unpacked for weeks, but I in our Church preaching strange teachings. needed to be reminded of The Marians follow God’s plan. They are faithGod’s mercy. The only prayer I ful to the Holy Father and Church teachings.” Judy and Gary have decided not to travel could say for a long time was ‘Jesus, I trust in You,’” she anymore, so they can save more to give to worthy charitable causes. “We want to use our explained. When their forwarded resources to help others,” Judy said, “and what mail arrived, a letter from better way than to support vocations to the Fr. Joseph, MIC, was priesthood and spread the message of Divine enclosed. He thanked Judy Mercy.” They have faithfully supported the and Gary for their contin- Marian Seminarian Campaign since 1996. Inspired by Judy and Gary, if you would like ued support and reminded them he would be praying to support our Marian seminarians, who will for them and their inten- be the Divine Mercy priests of tomorrow, tions. She looked at the please contact me.
Mary Kathryn Volpone works in the Marians’ Evangelization and Development Office. You can contact her at: Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263; 1-800-671-2020; helpers@marian.org

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ords to Live by:

WORLD M ERCY C ONGRESS
In honor of the first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, we present these quotations from the Congress by Pope Benedict XVI and some other prelates who participated.
Only Divine Mercy is able to impose limitations on evil; only the almighty love of God can defeat the tyranny of the wicked and the destructive power of selfishness and hate. For this reason, during his last visit to Poland, [Pope John Paul II] said ... “Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind.”
— Pope Benedict XVI, homily on April 2

Because we believe God is infinitely merciful, we do not need to hide our sins. We don’t have to be innocent because we know God is merciful. This is the only way we can understand, for example, how the saints could also think of themselves as great sinners. They could only do that because they had experienced Divine Mercy.
— Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria

FELIX CARROLL

Mercy is spirituality’s “universal translator.” Who does not want to be loved or forgiven? This is common to all people, because we all experience our brokenness in life. Sooner or later, we realize our helplessness without God. So those of us who are serious about reaching accord with our brothers and sisters of other faiths must proceed from there.
— Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France

A Triduum (three consecutive days of Holy Masses) in honor of Our Lady’s Assumption into Heaven will be celebrated from August 13th – 15th at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
We will send you up to five cards free of charge. A donation is requested only after use. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of phone and online requests.

Call 1-800-462-7426 to request cards or sign up online at marian.org/giftshop. B-OA08 Share this beautiful, exclusive Assumption card with loved ones. Designed and printed by Marian Press.

Between

Us

by a Helper and a Marian

My experience of the Congress
hrough the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, my life has grown immeasurably. I found inspiration in friends, presentations, and especially Mass and prayers. As the Psalms put it, “I sought the Lord, who answered me, [and] delivered me from all my fears” (Ps 34:4). Catherine I felt a change working Marian Helper in me as the Congress unfolded. I have come closer to Jesus through the many special people who shared this week with me. I have also gained so much more interior strength to face life back home. I pray for patience and mercy. I feel that being here in Rome has started a new chapter in my quest to become a saint. If I had to sum up the fruits of this Congress on a personal level, it would be “discovery and growth.” Discovery — I experienced this mainly through the gift of coming to know the merciful Lord better and more fully. This is so important, because I need Him and love Him. Growth — The Congress has greatly expanded my understanding of the need to be merciful to others, as Jesus is. We need to bring Jesus’ message of mercy to the world by our actions, assistance, compassion, and prayer for souls — those still on earth and those who have gone before us, especially the forgotten, loneliest souls. Jesus, grant me peace, a merciful heart, and love for all souls. And thank You, Lord, for all You have given me.
Catherine Dolfi, a wife and mother from Steelton, PA, works in the health care industry as an insurance adviser. She continues to grow spiritually as a Friend of Mercy.

T

“Being here in Rome has started a new chapter in my quest to become a saint.”

he World Apostolic Congress on Mercy represented the fulfillment of my dreams. Our Lord requested in His revelations to St. Faustina that the message of Divine Mercy be spread throughout the world. I feel that this Congress summaFr. Kaz rized beautifully the Marian first phase of this call. I have been praying for the Church to participate more fully in spreading this message. Our late Holy Father John Paul II introduced Divine Mercy to the Church with his writings, preaching, and his very life. He wanted people to receive this gift with joy, but it seems like many haven’t appreciated or understood it until now. We can view the thousands of delegates who attended as the “next generation” of what Pope John Paul II began. With Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and all the Church leaders who were there — especially with Pope Benedict XVI’s involvement — they form the new generation of mercy bearers. As we leave the Congress, we now begin the next phase of our call. We need to take this message with us into every walk of life. I see how the people who came to this Congress want to spread mercy in a big way. They no longer want to do it as a little community of the faithful. They want to do it as “the universal Church.”

T

“The people who came to this Congress want to spread mercy in a big way.”

Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, who is the Marians’ Director of Evangelization and Development, lives in Stockbridge, MA. He is National Vice President of the upcoming U.S. Mercy Congress.

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MARIAN HELPER • Summer 2008 • www.marian.org

D

ivine Mercy Sunday is my favorite day of the year. On that day, Jesus promises to open the floodgates of His mercy over suffering humanity.

The Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, is quite an event. No matter the weather — sun, sleet, and even snow — more than 10,000 pilgrims come each year. But it is only possible, because of the labors of a small army of Marian priests and brothers and Marian Helpers. At this year’s Divine Mercy celebration, I was given the task of carrying the banner of the Marian Congregation in the opening procession for Mass. I carried that banner with pride. For, indeed, the Marians and Marian Helpers have been such a faithful force in promoting the message of Divine Mercy. It’s a great privilege to be numbered among them in spreading the message of God’s mercy under the banner of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. — Br. Michael Gaitley, MIC

I am thinking about a Religious Vocation as a Marian!
Yes, please send me free info about life as a Marian Priest or Brother. Also, please send me info on “Vocation Retreats.”
Write: Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Vocation Director Marians of the Immaculate Conception 515 Belleview Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952 E-mail: vocations@marian.org Call toll free: 1-877-261-8806 Website: marian.org/vocations

Fr. Donald invites you to attend a “VOCATION RETREAT” at the Marian House of Studies in Steubenville, Ohio.
The next retreats will be on:

Name ________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________ City______________________________ State ____ Zip ____________ Phone ( _____________ )________________________________________ Grade/Education ____________________________ Age ____________

Sept. 5-7, Oct. 17-19, Nov. 14-16, and Dec. 5-7

A S S O C I AT I O N

OF

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Members of the Association of Marian Helpers share in the benefits of all the daily Masses, prayers, and good works of Marian Priests and Brothers all over the world.
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Enroll friends or family members, either living or deceased, in the Association of Marian Helpers. When you enroll a living person, he or she is usually the recipient of the Folder. When you enroll a deceased person, their family or a close friend usually receives the Folder. Request these Enrollment Folders to keep on hand for when an occasion arises. Contact us, by phone or online, to have one sent to you free of charge. A donation is requested only after the Folder is used.

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