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Meet an Evangelist Who's Not an 'Evangelist'
By Jo Holloway
In 2011, I received a calling to spread the message of Divine Mercy to seniors like myself, in care centers. I have been blessed to receive this message, especially knowing the hope and joy it brings. I knew I had to share it with others. I prayed on it, and that's the answer I received. Share it.
I'm not an "evangelist" in the way many think of the word, but in this Year of Faith, we can all spread God's word in our own way, in our own areas.
As a co-leader for our parish's New Life Group (one that helps widows and widowers adjust to life after losing their spouses), I was able to engage our spiritual leader, Fr. Michael Voithofer, to direct me in forming our Divine Mercy apostolate. Father Voithofer is pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha, Neb. He conducts a regular Holy Hour that includes the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary. He has been so receptive of our plans, and he has been encouraging us all the way. He is a holy priest.
After putting out the word that we were looking for help in this apostolate, we recruited 10 volunteers to assist in our work at care centers. There is so much need, and the volunteers, with many gifts, share in the desire to help others. I can't think of a better way than to spread Divine Mercy.
When we visit, we take time to talk to the seniors. Many are lonely, and they need human contact. Then, we invite anyone who wishes to join us in praying the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Most of the patients join in, and we can see the comfort and solace that praying brings. Many have questions about Divine Mercy, and we share our stories.
This year, we will begin our third year of this mercy apostolate. One of the things I enjoy doing is sharing the life of St. Faustina, reading from the Diary about how Jesus appeared to her, and giving details of the love of Divine Mercy by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. We have also begun showing parts of a film that contains both the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, along with Christ's Passion. The patients have enjoyed the video so much.
I am a widow of 14 years, with no immediate family. In 2006, I retired after a 50-year career as a nurse. I now feel this calling of spreading Divine Mercy to seniors is my vocation for the remainder of the time I have left on this earth. I feel so blessed to be asked to spread such a beautiful devotion.
Jo Holloway lives in Omaha, Neb.