The MOMM Report

Spring 2009, Joan and I were as busy as ever. Here are just a few of the highpoints of our ministry activities:

New Messenger of Mercy Training Workshops a Huge Success
We kicked off the year with the newest addition to our repertoire of support for Divine Mercy devotees with two highly productive "Messenger of Mercy Training Workshops" in Texas.

The first was for a standing-room-only crowd in our home diocese of San Antonio. This gathering offered an opportunity for all to share the activities in their parishes and Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM) cenacles in evangelizing on Divine Mercy. Much was discussed on how to prepare for and celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, and products and materials were available so that attendees could walk out the door ready to go to work during Lent 2009. We then headed further south for an expanded workshop on St. Valentine's Day in McAllen, Texas. Blessed to be joined by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and Dr. Bryan Thatcher, director of EADM, nearly 400 attendees came from all over the state to learn a variety of practical ways and means to spread the message and devotion to The Divine Mercy and to pick up the materials to help them do so.

MOMM looks forward to planning future workshops and increasing support for all of you in the trenches!

Presentation Schedule Indicates the Grace of God at Work
As we were heading down the highway on April 4, 2009, Joan looked up from her calendar and announced that we had given 26 live presentations during the previous 33 days.

We were amazed especially when we continued to consider that they were given from the southern tip of Texas to the Dallas area, then all the way up to northwest Iowa, across to southeast Iowa, down through central Louisiana, and then back down to the southern tip of Texas. It is clear that so much was accomplished only with the grace of God and the blessing of His Mother. But the tour was not over. Before April 25, we had 11 more engagements, celebrated Easter, and then celebrated a most important birthday party for our 2-year-old granddaughter Emily. Whew! Truly a Pauline year!

Our thanks go out to all of you who pray for our health and our strength to be on the road. Please keep those prayers coming!

International Celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy - Highlights include a Concert of Prayer and a Larger-than-Life Image of The Divine Mercy
On Divine Mercy Sunday 2009, we participated in the International Celebration of Divine Mercy sponsored by the Cofradia (Confraternity) of The Divine Mercy at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas.

San Juan is located adjacent to the Mexican border in the southern tip of Texas, close to where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The theme of this year's celebration was to pray for an end to the violence along the border, as well as for the victims of that violence.

A special "Concert of Prayer" took place on Friday evening in the massive shrine, the eighth day of the Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Candles covered the altar. They flickered and danced below our Lord solemnly exposed in a beautiful monstrance. Well-known Catholic singer and songwriter David Kaufman serenaded us with a song or two, which Joan and I followed with short readings from the Diary of St. Faustina. Two hours passed as if it had been two minutes. We concluded with the Novena prayers and the singing of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.

"Blessed." "Moving." "Mystical." "Every song and every word from the Diary seemed to be put in place by God." This is what people were saying at the end of the unforgettable night.

Although we had not met David prior to that day, we were vaguely familiar with each other's work, and we did not rehearse. We let the Holy Spirit move us and offered it all to our Lord on the altar in the home of Our Lady for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. What a night! What a blessing for us all.

Saturday was filled with talks and activities, including insights and inspirations from Dr. Bryan Thatcher of EADM and Dr. Marisela Dominguez, the Spanish voice of MOMM. All of these talks were literally backed by The Divine Mercy in a big way as we spoke standing before a 40-foot-tall Vilnius image of The Divine Mercy that hung on the outside of the basilica. The image could be seen by all who pass by on busy State Highway 83, which runs directly beside the basilica. What an awesome sight it was!

On Saturday evening, the day came to a close as we sang Trish Short's rendition of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy kneeling below this gigantic (no other word comes to mind) image. I must tell you, it was one of the most incredible experiences I have been blessed to be a part of. I told Jesus many years ago that I was His, completely, and that He did not have to show me signs and apparitions. In spite of this, I must admit that I have seen many wonderful things through the years. But kneeling before that huge image illuminated in the night, softly swaying back and forth in the gentle breeze, was as close as I've ever come to an apparition of a heavenly presence.

Divine Mercy - Bigger than Life. Bigger than Death!
The benefit of such an enormous image is that the details come into view. We could see that Jesus has a beautiful smile on His face, a big smile - one you can't really see on a holy card or even a life-sized image. Jesus looked happy to see us, really happy! His right hand seemed to be waving, saying, "Hello. I'm here. I'm alive!" The swaying of the banner back and forth in the breeze that evening gave the impression that Jesus was really opening His gown. He was opening His heart to us to let the rays of mercy flow. He looked as though He was truly walking, walking right towards us.

He was bigger than life. Bigger than death! As we all sang the chaplet to
the music coming over the sound system, a woman some distance behind
us began to wail uncontrollably. She continued to cry loudly for a good
portion of the prayer. Undoubtedly, she was feeling the cleansing healing of
our Lord. It seemed everyone there felt it. It was as if great buckets of grace were
falling out of the heavens and landing all around us. When the prayer was
over, no one moved for some time.

Taking the Message to the Youth - a Powerful Testimony
We also want to continue to encourage you all to reach out as much as you can to the youth in your families, parishes, and communities with The Divine Mercy message and devotion. One can never know how the Lord is going to touch these young hearts.

We want to thank Roy and Telley, a husband-and-wife team from south Texas, for sharing the following testimonies with us about how our presentation helped them reach out and the effect it had on a young girl and boy.

Telley works with the confirmation candidates at her parish. Her first plan was to show our video "Tell All Souls About My Mercy" to the class on Divine Mercy Sunday. However, after thinking about it some, she decided to show it before Divine Mercy Sunday, so that the students would be prepared to take advantage of the great graces Jesus offers on this day.

Roy had some experience with projecting videos and sound systems. Through the Knights of Columbus, he had access to a projector, a screen, and a sound system. Telley and Roy arranged to show the video during the regular meeting time for the class. They were amazed at how attentive the students were and said that it was obvious they were listening and taking in the message.

After the presentation, they noticed a girl was crying. She was obviously undergoing a trial in her life. When they asked what was wrong, the girl said that she was in trouble and had been thinking about "doing something" but that now she had changed her mind. We can only guess at the trouble this girl was facing and at the decision she made after watching the video, but Telley said it was clear that the message conveyed in our program gave her light, strength, and hope. Thank You, Jesus!

Telley said that some time after the showing, the mother of one of the students contacted them. She said that she had been in the hospital due to an illness. One night, she woke up to find her teenage son kneeling at her bedside with a rosary in his hands. She was very surprised at his behavior as this was not at all like her son in the past. The mother asked her son what he was doing. He said that he had learned about praying the chaplet at the bedside of the sick from a video he saw in his confirmation class. He told his mother that he loved her very much and that he was praying for her to get well. Praise God!

These are just a couple of stories about the grace of God working through these videos. Think of all the stories we don't hear, of all the hearts that Jesus is touching. I think we can all agree on the importance of getting this message to the youth of today, and by God's grace, He apparently has given us some very important tools to do this through the use of these videos. We encourage all who work with the youth to take the opportunity and present the message of God's love to them with our products.

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