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'Will You Help Me?'

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By Pat Webster

Fifteen years ago, I happened upon a booklet in a local Catholic bookstore. Jesus was on the cover and the text read, "Will you help me?"

This little treasure of a booklet explained briefly the need for Divine Mercy in the world and our Lord's request to promote this devotion worldwide.

It also introduced my husband and me to St. Faustina Kowalska and outlined the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We felt unable to do all the works of mercy, but perhaps, we thought, we could choose one that would work for us in our state in life.

My husband and I have a small manufacturing company on our property where we produce sewn rehab products for hospitals and nursing homes. We thought, "Why couldn't we use our industrial sewing machines to do some good for others?" Thus, it began.

Our parish priest at the time "persuaded" us to host a spiritual renewal program called "Renew" at our home. When the course was finished, we asked everyone if they wanted to join us to produce sewn products for the poor and for soup kitchens. Everyone jumped on board immediately, and after familiarizing ourselves with the little booklet I had found, we decided to call ourselves "The Servants of Divine Mercy."

For 13 years, we all joyfully set about our task each Tuesday evening for two hours at our little factory and made hats, shawls, and scarves. Afterwards, we would come into the house to have dessert and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Before we knew it, people had heard about us and the Chaplet and began asking for our prayers for their intentions. One of our members suggested that we have a specific box in which we could put peoples' intentions. After the box was filled, we would burn the contents and offer these intentions to Divine Mercy. We called it the "God Box."

Through the years, we expected to be of some help to others, but we, too, received untold spiritual benefits, along with a bond between us that is still alive today. We have shipped over 35,000 pieces all over the world: to Romania for the children who lived in the sewers; Lithuania for orphans; Alaska for the homeless; the Sisters of the Poor in Scranton, Pennsylvania; various Indian reservations throughout the country; and numerous other soup kitchens and missions.

We are getting older now. My husband Bill has had a bout with cancer; the rest of us have had one thing or another. Six months ago, Betty Boginski passed away. She was the first of our group to do so. The one and only thing she requested for her funeral was that we, as a group, pray the Chaplet beside her casket (which, of course, we did).

Instead of flowers for her funeral, we decided to have her name engraved on the Memorial Wall at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She will now receive the benefits of all the prayers and Masses of the Marians perpetually. We can't encourage you enough to do the same for your loved ones. Flowers fade, but the prayers of the Marians will serve as a permanent remembrance and benefit to those we love.

Thank you God for such a wonderful experience and for our precious friends — all because of Divine Mercy and that little booklet.

Visit MemorialsOnEdenHill.org or call (413) 298-1382 to create a memorial for your loved one.

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