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Cenacle of Divine Mercy

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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.

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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:

Patrick, M'Love,

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.

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

Maria P.- Ottawa,Can - Oct 3, 2008

Dear Patrick, your story brought tears to my eyes and heart as it reminds me of my mother who passed away on the feast of the Epiphany 2007. My family and I were constantly around my mother the last two weeks reciting the beautiful and powerful Chaplet. It touched many family members as they never really heard it before. Because of God's love and mercy,my mother's last words were "Maria, I embrace everything God sends me". Words of wisdom I could never forget. Praying that at my death, I could say those same words. God bless you and all your family. Dr. Thatcher, we are so thankful to God and to you for starting the ministry of cenacles. It is evident that it is for the great love for God and for His children. The members here are feeling spiritually enriched by this incredible support of faith with one another. Praying for all of you.

Mairzie...Sept. 28, 2008 - Sep 28, 2008

Patrick's offer to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for my Mother in 2004 led me embrace this beautiful prayer as well. It was a great source of strength and peace as my Mom's call from this world drew near. I shared the Chaplet with my brother who also prayed it at Mom's bedside. Thank you, Patrick, for answering the call to promote the the Divine Mercy message - you have touched the lives of many.

Tom Kearney - Sep 26, 2008

Hi Everyone! I live here in Shannon Town, in the County of Clare, in Southern Ireland. In our parish of Shannon we have Eucharistic Adoration Monday to Friday, 10am to 9pm daily throughout the year and approx.180 people who have pledged one Hour each week(ongoing)to visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. A Co-ordinating Group of 5 people oversee this apostolate, each of whom is responsible for a particular day in the week. I am the chairman of this group myself. I need your help please to advise me as to how best to go about 'tapping' into this great reservoir of daily prayer to assist the souls of the dying,hence my contacting your goodselves. Are their special guidlines for example, that you would recommend ? God bless you all. Looking forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Matt: Cedar Rapids, IA. - Sep 15, 2008

I am inspired by the formation of EADM and the cenacle. I was touched to read about those gathering to pray the DM chaplet on behalf of the dying. I only wish I knew about it before my father passed away. God grant me the strength and courage to begin a chapter here in my parish if that is your will.

mary - Sep 8, 2008

I save this article and spread it to my friend so that they will read it, so touching.God bless.

Dr. Bryan Thatcher, EADM - Sep 5, 2008

This article touched me down to my inner core. Rose Massari used her final few years going to the bedside of the dying and praying the Chaplet. The rays of Merciful love passed through her and out to others, especially to her son Patrick. He is now carrying the torch and the fire of God's love is being spread to others. May all of us take up our torches and crosses and spread God's mercy and love as well! What an honor to know these people! Thanks Patrick for all you do!