This set of four DVD's provides you with a 13-week program for prayer and study that covers key mercy topics. Join Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, Dr. Bryan Thatcher, and Cenacle members from... Read more
From left, starting at the top, cenacle members Fr. Lawrence Adamczyk, Patrick Massari, Joyce Whitlow, Hak Sun McLean, Margie Clark, Lee Hoke, Margaret Coleman, Bridget Hurley, and Camillia Howell.
By Patrick J. Massari
My mom, Rose Teresa McDevitt Massari, first sent me a copy of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy in a March 1995 note, while I was experiencing a particularly difficult period in my life.
I still have the note:
This Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is a powerful prayer. You pray it on your Rosary beads. How about starting it on St. Patrick's Day? I'll be praying it with you.
Love and Prayers,
And so it was. I have a feeling my mom continues to pray the Chaplet with my family and me, even now, safe in the loving embrace of The Divine Mercy Himself.
My devotion to The Divine Mercy eventually lead my wife, Mary Beth, my daughter, Chelsea, and me to name St. Faustina the patron saint of our family. I also became a member of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. I was moved to do so after EADM's founder, Dr. Bryan Thatcher, came to my parents' home (along with about 20 others, mostly from Christ the King Parish in Tampa, Fla.) to pray the Chaplet and the Holy Rosary at my mother's bedside some months before her death.
I prayed using the rosary beads my mom had given to me, which she had in turn received from Pope John Paul II, when attending St. Faustina's canonization Mass on April 30, 2000 in Rome.
My mother also bequeathed to me a first-class relic of St. Faustina, which I now take with me when I visit the sick, the elderly, and the dying. Bryan was gracious and kind in arranging for Mom to obtain this relic. Shortly before her death, in yet another lesson of Divine Mercy, she gave it to me, having resigned herself to the death the Good God had planned. Somehow, as only mothers can, she knew then a calling to promote the Divine Mercy message awaited me from the Lord.
My devotion to the Divine Mercy began in May 2000, shortly before my re-conversion to the true faith. Inspired by EADM's work in promoting the message of mercy as a way of life, I formed a Divine Mercy cenacle in May 2007 at Our Lady's Center, in Ellicott City, Md. Our Lady's Center is a Marian shrine and chapel that celebrates daily Mass and provides daily opportunity for confession.
On first Saturdays after Mass and Holy Hour, we hold the cenacle at noon for about three hours. It is a wonderful mix of folks, all of whom love The Divine Mercy and the Mother of Mercy, Mary Immaculate. Our spiritual director, the Rev. Lawrence Adamczyk, comes to virtually every meeting and is a great source of spiritual wisdom and grace. Father Adamczyk is associate pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Ellicott City. Our favorite lessons from EADM's Cenacle Formation Manual (which is indispensable in our studies) is Mary, Mother of Mercy and Mother of the Eucharist, as well as the lessons on spiritual dryness/despair/temptations/distractions. Also, St. Faustina's repeated admonitions from Jesus on obedience and humility as having pride of place amongst all virtues.
Many graces have come to Our Lady's Center since our cenacle began. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has also been richly blessed. Holy Rosary Parish in Baltimore, you may remember, was where Fr. Ron Pytel experienced a miracle of healing that lead to the canonization of St. Faustina. I attend the wonderful devotions at Holy Rosary on Divine Mercy Sunday each year, which is a great gift from God.
My prayer is that more parishes in the archdiocese will begin to understand the need for living the message of Divine Mercy, here and now. To that end, I began a prison ministry on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday this year. We were able to distribute a number of copies of the Diary of St. Faustina, rosaries, and Divine Mercy prayercards. We continue to bring the hope and joy of The Divine Mercy to our brothers and sisters in prison, all of which is a result of the cenacle's mandate to spread Christ's mercy to all people.
One last note: Shortly before noon on Dec. 31, 2002, I, along with my father, our family and friends, and Fr. Joseph Doyle, S.J., was able to give my loving mother a gift in return for all she had given to me. I led the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for Mom. Some 20 minutes later, she died. I miss her very much, and I think of her often — her great faith, her Irish ways, her wisdom, her suffering. May Christ and Mary Immaculate continue to shower graces upon EADM and upon all who pray for mercy and peace in this troubled world!
Learn how to start a cenacle in your area.
Patrick J. Massari is a civil rights and mediation attorney in Washington, D.C. He serves on the board of directors for Our Lady's Center, Inc., a non-profit Catholic chapel and bookstore in Ellicott City, Md., and The Gabriel Network, a non-profit national pro-life organization that provides support to women in crisis pregnancies. He and his family are parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City, where he serves as catechist for middle school and elementary religious education as well as confirmation instruction, membership in the Legion of Mary, and prison ministry.