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This Just In ... From the News Wires

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What's going on in the world of Divine Mercy? In the first in an occasional series, the following are just a few of the Divine Mercy-related stories we've pulled from the news wires.

Kevin Kelly of the Catholic Key in Kansas City reported Sept. 17 on the dedication of Divine Mercy Park in Kansas City. Here's an excerpt from his report:

... Jim O'Laughlin, owner of KEXS Catholic Radio in Excelsior Springs, won't tell the cost of the 25-foot, 8,000-pound stainless steel statue of Jesus, His heart pouring out the blood and water of The Divine Mercy.

He commissioned South Dakota sculptor Dale Lamphere to create it in 2006. It made its public debut on May 25, 2008, installed for the day at Gate A of Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, as thousands of Catholics gathered for the Global Living Rosary.

For a year or so, it also was visible along I-35, near Liberty, on property that O'Laughlin owned. Then for a year, it sat at its now permanent home on an 8-foot concrete pedestal as construction work on Divine Mercy Park, and an adjacent San Gabriel retirement townhome community, also developed by O'Laughlin, was finished.

And on Sept. 11 — a day of remembrance in which the Divine Mercy message rang loud and clear — Bishop Robert W. Finn assisted by Msgr. William J. Blacet, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel and the diocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy formally blessed and dedicated the new statue and park before a crowd of some 150 people. ...

The park, nestled by a pond, will also include Stations of the Cross as well as a "very special place of prayer and contemplation," said Bishop Finn.

... Bishop Finn said the park will remind people of Christ's saving mercy.

"It will encourage us to send word that the mercy of God through the loving heart of Jesus Christ is to be extended to all people," Bishop Finn said.

"It is a grace of blood and water that flows from the side of our Savior," he said. "We hope that The Divine Mercy will fulfill its work to turn hearts back to the Father. And on this day, Sept. 11, a day of violence and terrorism, we pray that this dedication will mark a time of blessing, and that we will be reconciled with other believers."

Msgr. Blacet told the Catholic Key that the message of the Divine Mercy, given to St. Faustina in 1931 by Jesus, is needed "now more than ever."
"Where would we be today without God's mercy?" said Msgr. Blacet, after he led the crowd in praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.

Msgr. Blacet said he could only stand in awe of the statue the first time he saw it at the Global Living Rosary.

"When I first set eyes on that statue, all I could say was, 'Mercy, Lord. Be merciful to me, a sinner,'" he said.

He said at his parish, the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, the chaplet is prayed daily after every Mass. "We pray it because it is the prayer that Jesus gave to (St.) Faustina," he said. "It has tremendous power for the conversion of sinners. ..."

Nila O. Argel of Philippine Information Agency filed a report Oct. 20 on how prayer and action are the weapons in times of natural calamities. Like no other country in the world, the Philippines has embraced the Divine Mercy message and devotion. Here's an excerpt from her report:

Vigan City, Ilocos Sur — In an interview with ABS-CBN this morning, Siegfred R. Duquing, Provincial Jail Officer 1, of the province of Ilocos Sur acknowledged the concerted efforts of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council headed by Provincial Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson to mitigate the effect of super-typhoon Juan before and after it hit the province.

Governor Singson ordered on Sunday morning the evacuation of residents in vulnerable areas to evacuation centers equipped with basic facilities and supplements. ...

The typhoon moved out to the South China Sea towards China by late evening of Oct. 19, and the Aquino government is elated how it helped prevent a disastrous effect on lives and properties. ...

"Do Your Best, God Will Do The Rest" is worth pondering. How God helped our country, the Philippines, in this natural calamity!

From the Internet, a prayer with the instruction, "Please pass to start a prayer brigade" circulated at the onset of the storm. [The prayer read:]

"ALMIGHTY AND LOVING FATHER, we fervently pray for Your Divine Mercy to spare the Philippines from another devastation. We implore You to embrace our country with Your Protective Mantle. Drive away typhoon Megi and prevent it from crossing any part of our country. Amen!"

Dina Marie Hale of the Catholic Sentinel, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland (Oregon), reported Oct. 14, on the Rosary Bowl at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, Ore. The story included a photo of the pulpit, which was adorned with a large image of The Divine Mercy. An exceprt of the story follows:

... Bishop [Kenneth] Steiner, who has participated each year in the Rosary Bowl, spoke about the importance of community prayer: "In our world of darkness, we need to turn to Mary, who gave us Jesus, the light of the world. In our culture of death, we need to turn to Mary, the first disciple to hear and proclaim the gospel of life. In our secularist society, we need to turn back to God. Mary, the mother of God, and our mother, will show us the way and lead us back to her son, our Lord. The nation, the world, who forgets the mother, is in danger of forgetting the Son, in danger of losing our way back to God."

Anand Holla wrote a story published Aug. 31 in the Mumbai Mirror about a man who claims that praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy prevented his car from being stolen. Here's an excerpt of the story:

... Just after his prayer, on a whim Fernandes checked on his car at the very moment it was being broken into. As he shouted for help, the car thieves fled the scene.

His love for the Scorpio SUV prompted Fernandes to purchase a silver model in May despite his identical Scorpio being stolen in March. ... Fernandes — a businessman and a Youth Congress office-bearer — parked his new SUV on Mahim's Gopi Tank Road, which runs adjacent to his apartment on the first floor of Shivam Building in Mahim.

But early Monday morning, he would have lost his precious vehicle for the second time, had it not been for what Fernandes calls divine intervention. His humble practice of waking up daily at 3 a.m. to offer his seven-minute-long Divine Mercy prayer, ended up saving his SUV from a gang of car thieves.

Fernandes said, "I finished my prayer at 3:10 a.m. and it was pouring outside. Call it my sixth sense or God's intervention, I instinctively went to the balcony to take a look at my SUV as I had parked it outside my building for the first time and felt somewhat uncomfortable about it as the Scorpio is known to be a favorite with thieves." ...

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