Signed, Sealed, Deliverance
By Felix Carroll (Jun 4, 2011)
Divine Mercy prayercards and pamphlets stacked in racks in the back of a church — there's simply no way to gauge their impact and every ripple effect they may produce. But we can do this: focus on one pamphlet and one man.
Printed by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Mass., the pamphlet explained the history and significance of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, an intercessory prayer given to the world by Christ through St. Faustina, and it included instructions for how to pray it.
It drew the attention of Ed Moore, a semi-retired widower from Akron, Ohio. He took it home, and it changed his life.
He has since spent a large portion of his financial savings and nearly all of his free time mailing parishes throughout several states offering to send them bulk quantities of Divine Mercy materials at no cost and with no questions asked.
"People should know about Divine Mercy," said Mr. Moore, 81. "It's done me a lot of good."
He Becomes Convinced
Throughout his adult life, Mr. Moore has given to charity. But around the time six years ago when he picked up that pamphlet, he was wanting "to get my teeth into something" that would have a positive impact on the world.
"I did a lot of praying to the Lord that He show me something that I could get into," Mr. Moore says. "So a funny thing happened. We had a condo in Florida. They have a table going out of the church there that had pamphlets. I saw one, upside down, and so I had to grab it. I looked at it and said to myself, 'What's a chaplet?' I put it in my pocket and brought it back to the condo. I read it and thought, 'This is a great thing.'"
He read of Christ's promises to those who pray the chaplet.
"I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy," Christ told St. Faustina (Diary of St. Faustina, 687).
"Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will," He also said (1731).
Mr. Moore's cleaning business was struggling at the time. Back in Ohio, he got out that chaplet pamphlet and decided to test the waters and to trust in Jesus. Amazing things happened.
"Two days later we got a call from Kent State University," he says. "They wanted us to come out and see about cleaning their concrete stadium. This was an immense job."
Hmm, he thought.
He had another problem he brought before the Lord through the chaplet. The economy had pinched his advertising budget. His local newspaper, with whom he had long advertised, refused his plea for a discount on his regular advertisement fee.
"I had been hounding them for six months," he said. "All the sudden, they came out with a contract for half-page ads, and it was unbelievable. I signed it, and we were able to run half-page ads again, and it picked business up. So I figured, 'Holy cow! There are two miracles that happened here.' It made a believer out of me."
A Ministry Takes Shape
Mr. Moore received permission from his pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Cayahoga Falls, Ohio, to put Divine Mercy pamphlets in the church.
"Then I decided, 'Well, it'd be nice to put them in all the churches."
When he says "all the churches," he hadn't defined the scope of "all." By means of mass mailings, he first contacted all the churches in the greater Akron area.
He named his ministry "The Propagation of Divine Mercy." His mailings include a letter of introduction and samples of the prayercards and pamphlets he offers. The parishes are invited to fill out an order form, including how many of each piece of Divine Mercy material they wish to receive.
A third of the parishes in the Akron area responded to his mailing and ordered Divine Mercy materials.
"I thought that was terrible," he says. "I was offering them for nothing. Finally, I decided to extend the radius out until I was covering the whole state of Ohio."
At the conclusion of his Ohio mailing blitz, he affirmed that it "seemed to go pretty well."
"So I thought, 'Gee whiz, Pennsylvania is right nearby.'"
You probably see where this is going.
He has so far sent his mailings to parishes throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
"When I finish Kentucky," he says, "I'll focus on the state of Illinois because there's a beaucoup number of Catholics in Illinois."
An Able Evangelizer
Mr. Moore's wife died two years ago. He has three daughters who live in the Akron area. Divine Mercy is now his primary focus.
He gathers parish addresses through the Internet. In the process, he's become a savvy evangelizer.
He insists on hand-addressing each envelope.
"If you want to get attention, hand address it," he says. "You stand a chance they might open it."
He's learned to maximize his investment.
"This gets expensive, and there's only so much money to go around," he says. "So a lot of times when you look up these parishes you can find out how many people are in them and how many families. A lot of them you can't, so the only thing I can go by is how many Masses they have Saturday and Sunday. One Mass, they don't get a mailing. Two Masses, I'll mail them."
In all, of the 3,000 parishes he's contacted, 340 parishes (and two prisons) have responded with requests for materials. Mr. Moore has mailed out 230,000 pieces of Divine Mercy literature in all and has spent nearly $50,000 of his own money.
"I think '340 parishes out of 3,000? That's a 10 percent return,'" he says. "I thought it was horrible."
The Marian Fathers, who have been official promoters of The Divine Mercy message and devotion since 1941, beg to differ.
"I've heard from them," he says, "and I'm learning to be thankful for the responses I'm receiving, and there's enough feedback to know that I want to keep it up."
Building Up the Kingdom of God
One success story is Queen of Heaven parish in Uniontown, Ohio. A Divine Mercy cenacle spawned from the materials Mr. Moore sent. That cenacle was featured in the cover story of the spring 2011 issue of Marian Helper magazine.
"I mailed them, and they called me," Mr. Moore recalls. "They were trying to build [Divine Mercy in their parish] but had no money for pamphlets. I said, 'Sure, that's what I'm here for.'"
His original goal was to send out a quarter of a million pamphlets and prayercards, but he's since upped the ante and hopes to get to 300,000 before he dies.
Why devote his remaining years to this ministry?
"You know why? Because [the Divine Mercy message] points out that if you do what you're supposed to do, there's an easy way to get to heaven," Mr. Moore says. "And this message teaches us that God's mercy is for everyone.
"I can't think of any way I can go about spreading Divine Mercy other than sending these pamphlets," he says. "Heck, I was 75-years old before I ever heard of Divine Mercy. I think the Lord answered my prayer. I wanted to get involved, and now I'm involved.
"I swear an angel came down and put that pamphlet there," Mr. Moore says.
Just one Divine Mercy pamphlet led to all this. Imagine what 300,000 pamphlets and prayercards are doing.
"I don't mind spending the money," he says, "because I know it saves souls."
That's a return on his investment all right — a return to God.