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Another Reason Why Cenacles Matter

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By Stephanie McClain

About 18 months ago, we started a Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy (EADM) prayer cenacle at our parish, St. Stephen, in Valrico, Fla. Meeting weekly for prayer and discussion, we studied the messages Jesus gave St. Faustina, which she documented in her Diary. We also studied the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and EADM's first Cenacle Manual. As we started to learn more about the messages and Jesus' requests for deeds of mercy, we began performing various corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Our first effort towards this end was feeding the homeless in downtown Tampa. We partnered with THORN Ministries, which has been feeding the homeless for many years. With them, we travel to three different locations within the city. At each location, we set up tables with food and drink on the side of the road. Men and women line up and wait patiently for a meal. The food is blessed and the meal served. At the end of the table we offer prayercards with the image of The Divine Mercy for those who might want one. Almost all take a card and are appreciative of the meal and the kindness shared with them. Once each has had his or her fill, tables and food containers are packed away and we head to the next location. We've witnessed many special moments while serving our brothers and sisters living on the streets.

In fact, one particular Sunday we arrived at the first location and a homeless man approached us. He said, "It's been raining and it rained until you got here." He said it with a sense of wonder and amazement, almost as if it were a question. Had God truly stopped the rain when His servants arrived? What a witness this must have been to this man, as it was to us, because there was more to come. The clouds parted slightly and the sun shyly peeked through while each was being served. After all had eaten, we began packing up as a light rain returned. The rain gradually increased in intensity, and by the time we were driving to the next location it was pouring. Our Father had held the rain at bay so His children could enjoy a hot meal and eat until they had their fill.

Not long after feeding the homeless, we started a new work of mercy. We felt called to pray for our diocesan seminarians. We prayed the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for their intentions and for their journey. We asked the Lord to protect them as they prepare to shepherd Christ's Church in the coming years and to provide the necessary graces through their journeys. After praying, we wrote each man a letter, explaining who our group was and expressing our wish to support them through prayer. Included in the letter was a prayercard with the image of The Divine Mercy on the front.

To our surprise, a few weeks after mailing our letters, we began receiving letters and prayercards from the same seminarians we supported. They were very appreciative of our prayers and expressed a need for the faithful to support them through prayer as they continue on their journey. One seminarian wrote, "I couldn't do this without the Holy Spirit and the strength your prayers have given me." Another wrote, "Thank you for your very generous card and thank you for your prayers. I need those to sustain me on this journey. The chaplet has actually been one of my favorite devotions since college... " Another wrote, "We always need prayers, and I am thankful for yours. I am a witness to hope for the future of our church."

These examples are truly the tip of the iceberg, as we have experienced so much as a group. It's been a great year and a half, and the Lord has given us many opportunities to reach out to others. Know that since starting our Divine Mercy cenacle, the blessings have generously flowed through our group. Our Father has blessed each of us and blessed our families. We have witnessed relationships being healed and folks going back to confession after decades away from the sacrament. We have witnessed cenacle members growing in holiness and allowing God to work through them. We have witnessed the faith of the homeless, the hope of the seminarian, and the love of God.

Learn more about EADM.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Marki - Mar 17, 2011

Beautiful testament to God's Mercy and Grace!

Michelle - Mar 17, 2011

Your ministry is inspiring and so needed! Thank you!

Judy Moyle - Mar 19, 2011

I am so very glad to hear about your ministry. Thanks for posting the sharing on Fb. Looking forward to see more from your site. God bless.

Mary42 - Mar 20, 2011

What a splendid way to practice the Corporation Works of Mercy your Cenacle has embarked on. I will definitely mention it to our young Cenacle here in Nairobi, Kenya - East Africa. God bless you all and all the Eucharistic Divine Mercy Apostles in the world. Praise be Jesus Christ

Bryan Thatcher MD - Mar 20, 2011

Keep up the great work at St. Stephen's! I look forward to sharing with you on June 4th! May Our Lord and Our Lady continue to guide and strengthen you!

Lynn - Mar 21, 2011

Divine Mercy has been a blessing to our Church! Thank God for all of His unending love and mercy!!!

Kip - Mar 21, 2011

Your ministry is doing many good things by helping people in need improve their life.

Stephanie - Mar 21, 2011

Thank you, everyone! We've received a great response to this article. We are very appreciative of the support and prayers.

Mary42 - Know that we are offering up special prayers for your cenacle. May He bless you abundantly, as you bring love and mercy to His people in Nairobi.

Dr. Thatcher - Thanks so much for your help and inspiration. We are really looking forward to your visit on June 4th!

Karen - Mar 21, 2011

Thank you Stephanie for this beautiful article and thank you for introducing me to Chaplet of The Devine Mercy! I'm looking forward to June 4th!

Daniella - Mar 21, 2011

Thanks for sharing what a wonderful thing your ministry is doing, it is so inspiring and I am sure it is very gratifying for all of you.

Mary - Mar 22, 2011

Thank you for this inspiring article. It instantly inspired me to learn more about the Divine Mercy and about what you all do (and what I should be doing).

Lesley - Mar 22, 2011

This is truly an inspiring article of all your great works.

imma EADM ,Cebu Philippines - Mar 24, 2011

Ended the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy Cenacle(EADM) can touch people hearts...Here in Cebu, Philippines we are started growing and spreading the devotion and we are now reaching and teaching formation to different parishes. We are inspired by Dr. Bryan Thatcher when they came to Cebu 11 years ago. Though we met hardship along the way we manage to stand for The Divine Mercy and spread the Devotion faithfully..Please include us in our prayers we need more members to spread God's Mercy to every one.

Bryan Thatcher MD - Mar 24, 2011

Emma, has it been 11 years already? I may be returning to the Philippines in July. Perhaps we can do a conference. I'll let you know once I confirm travel. I hope to help build a small medical/dental clinic at the Shrine in El Salvador, Mindanao. I hope we can get togethet again!

Stephanie - Apr 3, 2011

Imma, we will pray for you and all the cenacles over the world. - May God bless His servants as they renew the world through His mercy.

imma EADM, Cebu, Philippines - Apr 26, 2011

Hi Dr. Bryan..i will tell Emma Dy of your plan visit and praying that you will come to Cebu...we love to hear your inspiring words again...@ stephanie thanks for the prayers...