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Marians serve youth in Ukraine · New author on Mary · Why pray for souls in purgatory?

Fall 2005 · $2.25

Inspiration and news from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception









Our all-new assortment!

Religious Christmas Cards from the Marians

May the Angels' song touch

your spirit with the glow of genuine worship this holy season, as you greet anew the coming of our ever­newborn Savior.

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you the inner peace that is the true gift of Christmas.


May your heart be

lifted in joy at the true meaning of this wondrous season! BXC053 BXC052

Running to Christ in the flesh as to a shepherd, the shepherds saw Him as a spotless Lamb grazing at Mary's breast. With them let us exclaim: "Hail, O Mother of Lamb and Shepherd!"

Merry Christmas!


With the angels let us hail the Celebrate anew with joy the miracle of our

Lord's birth during these most holy days. newborn Prince of Peace.

May His abundant love

enfold you this holy season and always.

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!


May the Love that is

The Most Holy Trinity, reflected in the love of the Holy Family in Bethlehem, be experienced more deeply by your family this holy season and forever.

Scriptural verse inside of each card. All cards are 4" x 6 1/4". See closer view at our website.

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Merry Christmas!


May God's never-failing love be experienced by you more intensely this Holy season, and keep on increasing in you throughout the coming year.

Merry Christmas!


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Allow 1-2 weeks for delivery of phone or online orders. For mail orders, see "Order Info" on p. 2.


Vol. 60, No. 3 Fall 2005



In the News: Feature

New Marian leaders look to Christ as they foster vocations, support missions. BY FELIX CARROLL


3 4


Father Joseph Writes

To you from the Director of the Association of Marian Helpers.

10 Discovering Faustina

Father Joseph's Mailbox

Your letters to the Director/Publisher.

An interview with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, a leading expert on St. Faustina. BY FELIX CARROLL Our prayers -- like St. Faustina's -- can help the souls in purgatory satisfy their longing for God alone. BY SUSAN TASSONE WITH DAVID CAME

5 8 9 23

Ask a Marian

Your questions for Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC.

14 Blessed release

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

News and events at the Shrine.

Divine Mercy Ministries

News from outreach ministries.

17 Revival of faith among

Ukrainian youth

Help Marians renew the faith of college students in the intellectual heart of Ukraine. BY PATRICK NOVECOSKY

Father Joseph's Bookshelf




24 26

Graces Received

Thanksgiving for prayers answered by holy Marians.

20 Booked solid

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, is working on a new series of authoritative books on Our Lady. BY THERESA PELOQUIN

Outstanding Helpers

Profiles of Helpers who support the Marians in special ways. BY ELLEN VOLKMAN

22 An extraordinary Marian

Marians and family remember Fr. Joseph Sielski, MIC. BY DAVID CAME AND FELIX CARROLL



Between Us

Sharing on a topic of mutual interest. BY A HELPER AND A MARIAN



Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC "Father Joseph, MIC"

On the cover: Marian Archives photos of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, her confessor Venerable Servant of God Fr. Michael Sopocko, and Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC ("Father Joseph, MIC"), who was Vice Postulator for North America for the Canonization Cause of St. Faustina.


David Came



Theresa Peloquin


Felix Carroll




Catherine M. LeVesque William Sosa


Br. Andrew R. Màczyski, MIC

Agreement Number 40033427

MARIAN HELPER is intended to serve members of the Association of Marian Helpers (AMH), a spiritual benefit society of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. The magazine seeks to provide spiritual nourishment, education about the Catholic faith, and information about the mission and good works of the Marians. It also provides information about Association services and presents opportunities to support the mission and good works of the Congregation. MARIAN HELPER is published quarterly by the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. It is sent free of charge to active members of the Association. Printed in the USA with ecclesiastical approval. Copyright © 2005 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. All rights reserved. Send all correspondence to: Association of Marian Helpers, Editorial Dept., Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263. e-mail: [email protected] website:






John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy

The Institute on Eden Hill works with Church leaders around the world to spread The Divine Mercy message and devotion through research, formation, teaching, and evangelization. It offers programs and materials for clergy, religious, and lay leaders. toll free: (866) 895-3236 e-mail: [email protected]

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Marians of the Immaculate Conception

The Marians are a Congregation of some 600 priests and brothers in 17 countries around the world. We support the Holy Father and embrace the official teachings of the Catholic Church in our special calling to: · Spread devotion to Mary as the Immaculate Conception; · Offer our lives for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially the victims of war and disease; · Operate publishing apostolates and assist where the need is greatest in parishes, hospitals, shrines, and missions.

Headquarters and publishing center for the Association of Marian Helpers. Marian Helper Magazine While the cover price is $2.25, this publication is sent free of charge to North American Association members and Marian supporters who have made a gift to or a purchase from the Marians in the last 12 months. 13th of the Month (club w/ newsletter) Monthly news and inspiration on Mary, member stories, and spiritual benefits. Sample newsletter (BTHPN). Friends of Mercy (club w/ newsletter) Monthly news and inspiration on Mercy, graces received, and spiritual benefits. Sample newsletter (BFOMP). Circle of Light (club w/ calendar) A votive candle is lit every month for each club member's intention. Other spiritual benefits. Sample packet (BCLCI). Catalog Call to receive our free catalog. toll free: 1-800-462-7426 mail: Marian Helpers Center Eden Hill Stockbridge, MA 01263

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The Association is a spiritual benefit society that prayerfully and financially supports Marian priests and brothers. More than 1.5 million members share in the spiritual benefits of the Holy Masses, prayers, and good works of the Marians. Through Marian Helper magazine and other printed materials, members receive information about the Marian family and are encouraged to strive for personal holiness. The Association's active membership list is kept private. For more information, visit our website:

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

Shrine Office Open weekdays 9 a.m.­5 p.m. Inquire about making a day of renewal or a self-guided retreat. Ask for our "Spiritual Renewal Opportunities" brochure. phone: (413) 298-3931 Holy Masses Weekdays 7:15 a.m. & 2 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sundays 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation Daily 1­2 p.m., 3:30­4:15 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet & Novena / Benediction Daily at 3 p.m. Pilgrimages to the Shrine Bus groups should pre-register with Pilgrimage Office. phone: (413) 298-1118 e-mail: [email protected] mail: National Shrine of The Divine Mercy Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01262 Shrine Gift Shop Open daily 9­5 p.m. Closed during Sunday Masses. Call for holiday hours. toll free: 1-888-484-1112 online:

Prayer intentions may be mailed, phoned, or e-mailed. Each intention is prayed for individually before the Blessed Sacrament in Our Lady of Mercy Oratory and remembered in weekday Masses there and in 3 o'clock prayers. toll free: 1-800-804-3823 e-mail: [email protected]


Meet the Marians. Tour the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Read Marian Helper magazine. Send online greetings. Shop online. online: en español:

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MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

Father Joseph




Lord, ignite the fire!


ugust 25 th marked the centennial of the birth of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, and now we are preparing to celebrate her feast day on Oct. 5th. In this issue, we commemorate these joyous occasions by honoring the life of St. Faustina -- the simple Polish nun whom Pope John Paul II of blessed memory hailed as "the great Apostle of Divine Mercy in our time." I can think of no better way to honor this great saint than by encouraging all of us to redouble our efforts to be apostles of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, in our own time. When I say "our," I am thinking of my fellow Marians and each of you as Marian Helpers. In this way, we are fulfilling the often repeated call of John Paul II to everyone: "Be apostles of The Divine Mercy." The call is really quite simple. By our Baptism and Confirmation, you and I have been "sent" by Jesus to make the Father's mercy known, so that all may receive mercy. By receiving that mercy, all are called, in turn, to be merciful as the Father in heaven is merciful. So, Divine Mercy begins to spread throughout the whole world like a fire. This call was brought home forcefully to me at an international Divine Mercy retreat for clergy and their co-workers held in July at The Divine Mercy Basilica in Poland that stands near the original burial place of St. Faustina. The rallying cry for the retreat was the very words of John Paul II when he consecrated this Basilica in 2002: "From here there must go forth `the spark which will prepare the world for [Jesus']

final coming' (Diary of St. Faustina, 1732). This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This fire needs to be passed on to the world." The July retreat itself was a remarkable sign of hope for "this fire" of mercy to spark a rebirth of the Catholic faith in Europe, where it has been powerfully suppressed by secularism. Led by Cardinals Christopher Schonborn of Vienna, Austria, and Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, the retreat drew more than 300 priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated religious, and lay leaders from various Divine Mercy groups. Six other Marians and a candidate for our novitiate attended along with me. Further, this retreat for clergy was a powerful reminder for all of us to pray for our parish priests to discover Divine Mercy as a source of hope and comfort in their ministry. This is not surprising since Jesus told St. Faustina on several occasions to tell priests about His mercy, so they can receive mercy and then proclaim it to sinners (see Diary, 177 and 1521). "The weight on priests' shoulders seems to be heavier and heavier," said the retreat organizers. "Their pastoral work is becoming increasingly difficult. Divine Mercy is, however, a source of life and strength, a genuine support." Following in St. Faustina's footsteps, ask the Lord how He wants you to share The Divine Mercy message with your family members, your neighbors, and your co-workers. Ask Him how you can share the message with your parish priest in a respectful, supportive, and loving way. May these words of Jesus to St. Faustina inspire you to ask the Lord to ignite a fire in your own heart: "Do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack" (Diary, 1074).

We depend on Marian Helpers like you

Through your offerings for enrollments, novenas, or special gifts -- you support seminarians, missions, and our apostolates for publishing and Divine Mercy. Special gift planning may include gifts of: · Cash · Appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual funds · Life insurance · Memorial or tribute gifts · Charitable gift annuities · Wills · Living trusts · Charitable remainder trusts · Retirement plans · Named scholarships and endowments

When making your will ...

A sample form of bequest to the Marians is: I give and bequeath to the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., Stockbridge, MA 01262, ____% of my adjusted gross estate (or $_______, or a specific asset) to be used for its religious and educational purposes.

Free information on gift planning

Please contact: Ellen Volkman, Fr. Joseph's Assistant for Special Gifts Association of Marian Helpers Stockbridge, MA 01263 1-800-462-7426 [email protected]

"Father Joseph, MIC," is the honorary title of the Director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current Director is Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC. MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


Father Joseph's


`Excellent coverage' on Pope

I read your Summer 2005 issue, and I want to commend you on your excellent coverage of the death of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and the great connection between this Pope of Mercy and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. It has truly been Heaven's plan that Pope John Paul II the Great and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception would work hand in hand in spreading the message and devotion of Divine Mercy around the world. Jesus told St. Faustina, "Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy," and it was the Marians, together with John Paul, who brought a lot of light and mercy into this world. Thank you for such a wonderful issue of Marian Helper. It is something I will treasure forever. -- OID, Chicago, IL

Mercy. May the Lord continue to bless our mutual efforts to spread this message. -- Fr. Joseph, MIC

Enjoyed our pilgrimage

My sister and I were very pleased to meet you when we visited Eden Hill back in May for a pilgrimage. You made our visit extra special. We also enjoyed meeting other members of your staff and were greatly impressed by the printing presses and all the work being done there in the name of our Lord. We were particularly interested in the work being done for the publication of Marian Helper magazine, as we appreciate receiving it. -- DG, Newington, CT We all delighted in your visit. We welcome everyone to pay us a visit here on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, MA, home of the Marian Helpers Center and the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. -- Fr. Joseph, MIC

on earth." I immediately thought, "No, the happiest celebration on earth is the Holy Eucharist! Not just this year, but every year until the end of time!" I saw the cover of the Spring 2005 issue of Marian Helper and thought, "That's it!" The cover photo had a priest holding the Host, and the Host even says "Jesus" on it. Thanks for spreading the happy news and the Year of the Eucharist! -- JM, Orange County, CA

Shares magazine with others

I became acquainted long ago in the 1960s with your magazine. I spread devotion to The Divine Mercy, and I really appreciate the articles you write. I always pass my copy on to others when I am finished. -- Sr. AM, Brandon, MB, Canada That's great to hear. We encourage all readers to share their copies of Marian Helper with family and friends as a way to spread the message of Divine Mercy. -- Fr. Joseph, MIC

Thanks for the advice

I liked the answers by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, in his "Ask a Marian" column in your Summer issue. In talking about why St. Faustina is called the great Apostle of Divine Mercy, I appreciated Fr. Joe using the scriptural example of another woman, St. Mary Magdalene, who became known as the "Apostle to the Apostles." Then, in his answer to whether it is all right to work on Sundays, it was good to read what the Code of Canon Law states about obeying the Third Commandment. Along with this quote, I found Fr. Joe's suggestions helpful on keeping Sunday as the Lord's Day. -- FP, South Burlington, VT

Wants to contact Chaplet group

The Summer 2005 issue of Marian Helper included a letter about a group that prays the Chaplet around the clock for promotion of the message of The Divine Mercy, for the sick and dying, and for those who are about to commit mortal sin. How can I get in touch with this group to see if I could join? Thanks for your help, Father. Please keep me in your prayers. -- KM, Gallup, NM We will certainly keep you in our prayers. The Chaplet group's organizer, Jay Hastings, can be e-mailed at [email protected] -- Fr. Joseph, MIC

Father Joseph would be happy to find a letter from you in his mailbox. Your letter may be edited for clarity and space. Send it to: Father Joseph's Mailbox, Editorial, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or [email protected]

`Classic issue' on papal legacy

The Summer 2005 Marian Helper is a classic issue, and it serves as a challenge to us all to be holy and saintly now! As the issue shows, Divine Mercy is the great legacy of Pope John Paul the Great! It has been a privilege to work with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in their promotion of The Divine Mercy message and devotion since the early 1940s and to read their personal witnesses of Divine Mercy. Congratulations! -- Father George W. Kosicki, CSB, Paradise, MI Dear Fr. George, thank you for your strong words of encouragement. It has been a great pleasure for us Marians to work with you over the years to spread Divine

The `happiest celebration' of all

I live near Disneyland, which is celebrating its 50th year with various celebrations. On a recent evening, during a showing of "Bambi," an ad came on announcing that Disneyland was having the "happiest celebration


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


with Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC

Ask a

How can John Paul II be declared a saint?

What needs to happen for Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint? Normally, after a holy person dies, there is a five-year waiting period for the cause to begin. Then the process of beatification starts on the diocesan level with the interviewing of people who knew the candidate for the honors of the altar. The candidate's writings are investigated to make certain that he or she wrote nothing contrary to the faith. If it is clear that the person lived the virtuous life to an heroic degree, the candidate is declared a venerable servant of God. Then a miracle is needed through the venerable servant of God's intercession to verify his or her sanctity. After the beatification, another miracle must be certified before the person

Q. A.

can be canonized. In the case of Pope John Paul II, because of the acclamation of the people at his funeral with many crying out, "Santo subito!" ("Make him a saint immediately!"), Pope Benedict XVI has waived the normal five-year waiting period. (This waiting period was also waived in the case of Mother Teresa.) So, the beatification process has begun and his writings are currently being investigated. Interestingly, because there was an assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981, some are even asking if he could be declared a martyr. If he were declared a martyr, a miracle would not be needed to verify his holiness before he could be beatified. However, a miracle would still need to be certified after the beatification before he could be declared a saint.

Q. A.

What's the basis of the scapular devotion? Why are there so many scapulars?

What is the benefit of receiving the Anointing of the Sick shortly before death?


A. The former name for this beautiful Sacrament was Extreme Unction,

which is Latin for last anointing. Unfortunately, this old title caused people to panic when a priest visited the sick because they thought that the presence of the priest signaled that the end was near. In the revised Rite of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church allows the anointing of people of different ages who are seriously ill. Now, if there is the beginning of the danger of death, one should receive the Sacrament. The benefits include God's comfort, healing, strength, peace, and reconciliation. The Church reserves this Sacrament to priests so that the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be associated with it whenever possible. Holy Communion, as Viaticum ("food for the journey"), can also be given. In the Book of James, we read of this Sacrament: "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (5:14-15). Through the anointing by the priest, God may bring the person back to health or give the ultimate healing, which is eternal life! The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. If a loved one is seriously ill, in the hospital, or extremely elderly, we shouldn't hesitate to call for a priest to anoint the person. (For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499-1532.)

There are many different types of scapulars because there are many different religious communities. Actually, the word scapular comes from the Latin word for shoulder. The scapular of a religious habit is a piece of cloth that hangs over both shoulders and almost to the floor in the front and back. Over time, it became an important part of a vow ceremony, symbolizing the yoke and the shield of Christ. Monks and nuns had to wear the scapular day and night. Eventually, confraternities formed so that lay people and diocesan clergy could wear a smaller scapular and share in the indulgences and benefits of a particular religious order. The color of the small scapulars depends on the color of the monastic habit that they represent. Any priest may now invest someone in the Brown Scapular, which is often done when one receives First Holy Communion. The scapular is blessed when one is first invested in it, and there are often special promises attached to the wearing of a particular scapular. We Marians have promoted the Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception for centuries. It symbolizes Our Lady's mantle of protection over her spiritual children.

Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, welcomes your questions. Send them to: Ask a Marian, Editorial, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or [email protected] MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


In the News:

Rome, Italy

Pope John Paul II called the Marians to "an ardent love for the Eucharist" at their General Chaper in Rome. Seated at front center is the new Superior General, the Very Rev. Fr. John Rokosz, MIC, and to his left, Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC -- a familiar face to our readers.




New Marian leaders look to Christ as they foster vocations, support missions.

by Felix Carroll


ewly stationed in Rome, Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, was reading an account of the Corpus Christi procession that Pope Benedict XVI led through the streets of Rome in May. In the account, when someone called out the Pope's name, the Holy Father turned and smiled. Then the Pope gently pointed toward the Holy Eucharist in the monstrance. For Fr. Joe, that moment summed up why he was called to Rome, indeed, why he joined the Marians in the first place. "Like our Holy Father, I am being called to direct my heart and my attention on Jesus," says Fr. Joe, who had just been transferred from the Marian House in Washington, DC, to Rome. "By doing this, I will help others to point themselves in the right direction." He'll also be brushing up on his Italian. Father Joe, whom many readers recognize from the "Ask a Marian" column in Marian Helper magazine and from Divine Mercy Sunday broadcasts on

EWTN, is not the only Marian undergoing challenging life changes these days.


At their General Chapter meeting in Rome last winter, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception elected a new Superior General, the Very Rev. Fr. John Rokosz, MIC, from Poland. Father Joe is one of four Marians -- though the only one from the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province, based in Stockbridge, MA -- elected to serve on Fr. John's General Council. Father Joe is serving as Second Councilor. The new leadership will serve for six years. As he looks ahead, Fr. John says his top priority is to work with his Marian brothers worldwide "to deepen our spirituality and to resemble Christ more closely, so we can become a witness to His love in the world. "I believe that the Lord, who has been guiding the Marian Congregation in an almost miraculous way for more than 300


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

years, has plans for us today," says Fr. John, who replaces Fr. Mark Garrow, MIC, in the Superior General post. Those plans may well have been summed up in what became the parting directive given to the Marians by Pope John Paul II before his death on April 2. To mark the occasion of the Marians' General Chapter, Pope John Paul II sent a message on March 10, telling the Marians that their apostolic work would become more spiritual and effective "if there will burn in your heart an ardent love for the Eucharist and for Our Lady." Furthermore, the Pope said: "Be for everyone apostles and witnesses of Divine Mercy." To those ends, Fr. John says he views the Superior General post not as a position of power, but one of service.

Kostka Province, which has generously supported Marian missions around the world for many years," Fr. John continues. "To a great measure, this help has provided us with the opportunity of opening a Marian novitiate in Rwanda, where candidates from Rwanda, the Congo, and Cameroon are now being prepared for the religious life." While the tasks ahead are formidable, Fr. John says the Marians have much to draw from, including their apostolic zeal, creativity, enthusiasm, faithfulness to the Holy Father, and the fraternal support and solidarity within the Congregation itself.


At some point during his term, Fr. John expects one particularly joyous celebration to take place: the beatification of the Marian Founder, the Venerable Servant of God, Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski. The Marians also look forward to the 100th anniversary, in 2009, of the renovation of the Congregation by Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz. Busy times are ahead, says Fr. Joe. In addition to advising the Superior General on matters concerning the Congregation, Fr. Joe serves as Rector of the Marian College in Rome and as General Promoter of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy. (He will continue his column with Marian Helper magazine as well.) Through it all, says Fr. Joe, the Eucharist and the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle remain the center of his life and the lives of all Marians. "So, all of us, no matter where we are, can be like Mary and the Holy Father," he says, "bringing the presence of Jesus into our world and spending time in His presence so MH MH that we can be transformed."


Fostering vocations and providing material support for the Marian missions in Africa and Eastern Europe are among the biggest challenges the Congregation faces, Fr. John says. "John Paul II said that the ministry of vocations should be considered one of the priorities in the modern Church," he says. "Wherever the vocational ministry is well run, there are new vocations. As an example, I name here our St. Stanislaus Kostka Province. While much of the United States is suffering a vocations crisis, our province there has had eight candidates in the past year!" Still, Fr. John says the Marians have critical needs. Particularly, they lack sufficient funds to fulfill their missions in Rwanda, Cameroon, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. "This fact makes us put more confidence in Divine Providence," he says, "but it does not absolve our richer communities from giving solidarity and help to the poorer ones. "Here, our thanks and gratitude go to the St. Stanislaus


In the News:

Pope to close Year of the Eucharist

ope Benedict XVI will bring to a close the Year of the Eucharist this October with a synod of the world's bishops and a meeting with children who have made their First Holy Communion. Pope John Paul II had convoked the Year of the Eucharist "to reawaken ever more, in the consciences of believers, wonder toward this great Sacrament," says Benedict XVI. The Synod of Bishops, scheduled to be held in the Vatican from Oct. 2-23, will have as its theme: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church." A working document, issued July 7 by the Holy See, will serve as a starting point for the synod. Among other things, the working

document notes "that too many faithful receive Communion without having sufficiently reflected upon the morality of their lives." It also laments the loss of a sense of the sacred and a lack of understanding of the Eucharist as Christ's Sacrifice on the altar. The document calls for better instruction to ensure that Communion remains sacred. "In this educational endeavor, a particularly significant stage is First Communion, a real celebration for the parish community, which receives for the first time its smallest children at the Lord's Table," said the Holy Father in a weekly address on June 12. The Pope said that "next Oct. 15, God willing, I will have in the Vatican a special meeting of catechesis for children, in par-

ticular of Rome and Latium, who during the year have received their First Communion." For the Holy Father, this initiative will be "an opportune and beautiful circumstance to confirm the essential role that the Sacrament of the Eucharist has in the formation and spiritual growth of children." The Pope entrusted the upcoming meeting with the children to the Virgin Mary, so that "she may teach us to love Jesus ever more, in constant meditation of His Word and adoration of His Eucharistic presence, and help us to make young generations discover the `precious pearl' of the Eucharist, which gives true and full meaning to life."

Based on stories from Zenit and the Vatican Information Service.

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


In the News:

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy








Group Pilgrimages: Pilgrims are welcome throughout the year. Groups are strongly encouraged to make a reservation by contacting the Pilgrimage Office at 413298-1118 or [email protected] Daily Hours: Open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. See page 2 for complete daily schedule.





9/11 Memorial: Daylong observance on Sun., Sept. 11, starting with Mass at 10:30 a.m. The daily 2 p.m. Mass also will be for this intention. First Annual Founder's Day: Schedule TBD. Planned for Sat., Sept. 17, to mark the anniversary of the death of the Founder of the Marians, the Ven. Servant of God Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski. St. Faustina Day: Celebrated this year on Sat., Oct. 8. Holy Mass, confession, and a presentation on St. Faustina. See article on this page. A Tribute to the Legacy of Pope John Paul II: On Sat., Oct. 15. Holy Mass, confession, and a talk on Pope John Paul II. See article on this page.

Valley, NY, makes it resentations on The a point to come to Divine Mercy. St. Faustina Day each Prayers. Confessions. year. "I love coming up Holy Mass. The National and spending time with Shrine of The Divine the Marians," she says. Mercy in Stockbridge, "And a day devoted to MA, is planning a full day St. Faustina -- it always of events to honor its helps me feel closer to patron. the Lord!" The annual St. Faustina The day will begin Day will be held on Saturwith a presentation on day, Oct. 8. St. Faustina at 11 a.m. "It's a great day to Holy Mass will take honor the Lord's mercy, place on the Shrine's especially through His south lawn at 2 p.m. apostle, St. Faustina," says Pilgrims are also invited the Rector of the Shrine, to participate in the Fr. David Lord, MIC. Shrine's daily schedule, "This Polish nun was including: a Holy Hour chosen by Jesus to be His at 1 p.m.; confessions messenger of Divine Mercy. Fr. David Lord, MIC, will be the main So this is an important day celebrant for the Mass on St. Faustina Day. from 1-1:50 p.m.; and Exposition of the for us here at the National crowd," Fr. David continues. Most Blessed Sacrament, the Shrine, which is dedicated to "It's a festive, spirit-filled day." Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Jesus, The Divine Mercy. Josephine Moser, of Pleasant Benediction from 3-3:30 p.m. "We usually have a big








Festival of Praise: First Fridays at 7 p.m. An evening of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with upbeat worship music, spirited preaching by a Marian priest, and Benediction. Fellowship follows. Presentation on the Eucharist: The fourth Thursday in September and October at 1 p.m. To mark the Year of the Eucharist, a Marian priest speaks on some aspect of the Most Holy Eucharist. Healing Mass: The Mother of Divine Mercy Prayer Group hosts a Healing Mass on the last Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. Fr. Rector's Choice of the Month: Selections posted online at and displayed at the National Shrine Gift Shop. Current information is online at Contact us at [email protected] or at (413) 298-3931.

illed both with grief for his death and gratitude for his life, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception will hold a day-long "Tribute to the Legacy of Pope John Paul II" on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the National Shrine. Mass, confessions, and talks will highlight the day honoring the Polish Pope who died in April after serving in the See of Peter for more than 26 years. "If you just look at the walls in my office," says the Rector of the Shrine, Fr. David Lord, MIC, "you'll see papal blessings signed by Pope John Paul II and various aspects of The Divine Mercy message that he did so much to promote. He was an enormous influence on me in my formation as a man and as a priest, and I know so many of my Marian brothers feel the same way. "This tribute, I think, will help with the grieving process," says Fr. David. "He was our father for so long -- half of my life. He left a powerful legacy, and Michael Ona and his son Mitchell of Teaneck, NJ, I'm sure he'll be canonized soon." were among the many pilgrims who paid their respects The tribute will take the place of the before the Shrine's statue of John Paul II last April. Shrine's annual Pope Day, a celebration of the Holy Father and the Marians' strong connection to the teaching authority of the Church. The Marians plan to resume Pope Day next year to celebrate the pontificate of the new Pope, Benedict XVI. The "Tribute to the Legacy of Pope John Paul II" will begin with a presentation at 11 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. As with the St. Faustina Day celebration, pilgrims are also invited to participate in the Shrine's daily schedule. Pilgrims are encouraged to dress appropriately for cool fall weather.


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

In the News:

Divine Mercy Ministries

newest member of its everexpanding family: Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy of South Australia. Though EADM of South Australia has been in existence since 2001, their link to the Florida-based EADM has just now become official. In addition to Mercy Sunday celebrations, EADM of South Australia has successfully formed prayer cenacle groups, celebrated Masses on the Feast of St. Faustina, and organized a Divine Mercy retreat. "All of our members have been deeply affected by the Diary of St. Faustina and have grown much deeper in their faith by studying Sacred Scripture and the Catechism," says Chris Slagter, the lay facilitator for EADM South Australia. based Institute will hold a Divine Mercy Seminar celebrating the 100th birthday of St. Faustina. The seminar, open to all, will be held at La Purisima Retreat Center in Hereford, AZ, from Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2. Presenters will be Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, Director of the John Paul II Institute, and the Rev. George Kosicki, CSB, an author who has worked with the Marians for years to spread Divine Mercy. The topics discussed will include St. Faustina and her relationship to the Eucharist, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to suffering, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In addition, Fr. Kosicki will speak on the prospect of St. Faustina being named a Doctor of the Church; St. Faustina and the late Pope John Paul II; and St. Therese of Lisieux and St. John of the Cross, as they relate to The Divine Mercy. The Institute will also hold Divine Mercy conferences in the Indianapolis area this fall. The first, on Nov. 11, will be for area clergy. The second, on Nov. 12, will be for the laity. The locations are to be decided. For more information, call 1-866-895-3236. Also, coming soon: a new book from the John Paul II Institute, Divine Mercy in the Bible, by Fr. Hyacinth Woroniecki, OP. This is a revised and edited version of Fr. Woroniecki's classic work on the subject. "It will serve as a valuable tool for clergy preparing homilies for Mercy Sunday, for clergy and lay leaders running Bible studies, and for Catholics who want to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of The Divine Mercy message of the whole of Scripture," says Dr. Stackpole. Look for an announcement of the release of this book in a future issue of Marian Helper.


A 13-part series, "Divine Mercy as a Way of Life," is airing on EWTN this fall. It follows the prayer cenacle group format of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy. "I believe the series will show how the prayer cenacles can be a powerful tool of evangelization through the mercy of God," says Dr. Bryan Thatcher, director of EADM. "The goal of the series is to increase the awareness that the message of mercy is one that needs to be lived daily," continues Dr. Thatcher. "Through our prayer cenacles, God is calling us to be Christlike and forgive our neighbor, trust more in Him, be merciful to others, and accept our trials and daily crosses." Dr. Thatcher hosts the series along with Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, a veteran of Mercy Sunday telecasts on EWTN. Check EWTN's listings in September for airing times of the programs. In other news, EADM is pleased to introduce the


Marian Events

Meet the Marians and associates at special events held across the country.

Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Se pt

Presenters Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, of John Paul II Institute Fr. George Kosicki, CSB

St. Faustina's 100th Birthday Seminar La Purisima Retreat Center Hereford, AZ

Oct. 1


John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy is planning a busy fall. The Stockbridge, MA-

Dave and Joan Maroney of MOMM Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC


other of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), which has been teaching about Divine Mercy and the power of prayer to churches and schools since 1999, will now reach an even larger audience, thanks to a newly released DVD. Entitled Divine Mercy for Young Hearts (BYHDVD $19.95), the DVD was filmed last spring at MOMM's youth MOMM with students program before an audience of from St. Adalbert's school children who packed St. Church in Enfield, CT. Adalbert's Church in Enfield, CT. The DVD is intended to reach youth at all grade levels, emphasizing the Sacraments and works of mercy. "This DVD will help us reach churches and schools that we can't get to right away," says Joan Maroney, who runs MOMM with her husband, Dave. "Teachers and parents will now have a very useful and convenient tool to teach the fundamental aspects of our faith." To order the DVD, call the Marian Helpers Center toll free at 1-800-462-7426.


Divine Mercy Conference Archdiocesan Divine Mercy Shrine, Holy Rosary Parish Baltimore, MD


Dr. Bryan Thatcher of EADM

Oc t


Divine Mercy & Mary Presentation Location TBD New Orleans, LA

Oct. 8

Nov. 12

Divine Mercy Conf. for Laity Location TBD Indianapolis, IN

Divine Mercy & Mary Presentation Notre Dame Catholic Church Kerrville, TX


Dave and Joan Maroney of MOMM

No v


Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, of John Paul II Institute

Nov. 16

ME! 1-866-895-3236

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·




A leading expert on St. Faustina shares insights into her humble beginnings and her extraordinary call.

An interview with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC by Felix Carroll



MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·



ate one evening, in 1924, with one dress to her name, Helen Kowalska hopped a train headed for Warsaw, Poland, and eventually was admitted to a convent there. Then, in the 1930s, the Lord chose this young, humble, unheralded Polish nun -- Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament -- to share with the world a message about His unfathomable Divine Mercy. August 25 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Faustina, who was raised to the honors of the altar in 2000 as the first saint of the Great Jubilee Year. Through her Diary, the message of Divine Mercy has now touched hundreds of thousands, even millions, of lives. Through 20 years of work as VicePostulator for her cause for canonization, Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, has come to discover the woman behind the saint. Saint Faustina, born Helen Kowalska, came from humble beginnings. But, even in her early childhood, weren't there clear signs she was someone special? Yes, and these aren't just "legends" or nice, pious stories that have no basis to them. We know, for example, that her mother had very difficult pregnancies with her first two children. So, when the third child, Helen, was coming, her mother was really worried. But Helen's grandmother said, "Don't worry. I had a Mass offered for your intentions that you would have a safe birth." Sure enough, Helen was born without any complications. In fact, after her, there were seven more births, and her mother had no problems with them. When people asked her mother about it, she said, "Helen sanctified my womb." She called her "blessed child, the most beloved daughter." From the time she was a young girl until her death in 1938, St. Faustina was in constant discourse with our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, the saints, and the angels. When did such dialogues begin? When she was 5, she was telling people that she dreamt of the Blessed Mother, and they were walking hand in hand in a beautiful garden with lovely flowers. Then at 7, she heard a voice in her soul calling her to lead a

more perfect life. At that point, she gave her whole life to the Lord. She'd also wake up at night and her mother would find her kneeling in bed. Her mother would say, "What are you doing?" She would say, "I'm praying." These kinds of manifestations were there right from the start. Could you describe St. Faustina's religious upbringing? We know she was drawn to the religious life at an early age. Before she and her brothers and sisters went for instruction in preparation for First Holy Communion, they got all their instruction at home. The kids all grew up in an atmosphere of devotion. Her father opened his day before sunrise praising God, singing at the top of his lungs. And her mother would say, "Hush! The children need to sleep," but he paid no attention. Saint Faustina would later recall the stories her father read about hermits and monks. So, it was hearing from what her father read that she became immediately attracted to the idea of the religious life. Why weren't her parents supportive of her decision to join the convent? We know why. She was the most obedient child, the most helpful. And her parents were hoping that of all the kids, she would be around when they got old to take care of them. When she had these ideas to go into the convent, they said "no." So she turned away from entering the convent. She was 18. She was trying the secular life. But, one day while she was at a dance with one of her sisters, she began feeling deep torment. The Lord appeared to her and said, "... how long will you keep putting Me off?" (Diary of St. Faustina, 9). The Lord told her to go to Warsaw and enter a convent there, so she left that evening. Did she make amends with her parents? Later, her parents did come for her perpetual vows. They did finally become reconciled to her decision when Faustina said, "Look, Dad," and showed him the ring that she received at her perpetual vows. She said, "Jesus is my spouse, so He's your son-in-law" [Father Seraphim laughs.] So, on the

way back home, her father says to her mother, "She's so happy there. It's better that she stays." In your work as Vice-Postulator, you met Sr. Maria Beata Piekut, ZMBM, who also served as a Vice-Postulator for Sr. Faustina's cause. As a member of the congregation that Sr. Faustina belonged to, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, what did she remember about Sr. Faustina? She provided me with a lot of information that otherwise I wouldn't have had. She recalled how Faustina's eyes shined with radiance and great happiness. That's what many people recall. But she also recalled how the other nuns called her "our theologian'' because during recreation time in the convent Faustina particularly liked to direct the other nuns toward speaking of godly matters. From the things Faustina writes in the Diary that the Lord directed her to keep and the witnesses we have, she was not like the other nuns. She was strict in keeping the rules. She was always smiling. Of course, she also was accused by others of faking illness, so that was difficult. And nobody knew that she had tuberculosis. Her illness aside, as St. Faustina's dialogues with our Lord continued, life in the convent was not always easy. When she was preparing for her perpetual vows, she and another nun were put together to do the laundry, the sewing, the mending, and other stuff. You have to understand that in Polish to speak with deference to someone you have to speak in the third person, such as, "Does Sister know this?" When speaking of the Lord, you say, "The Lord Jesus.'' But here, when they were discussing something about our Lord, Faustina would say, "He said ... .'' That didn't go over well. This nun said, "How dare you speak of Jesus in a familiar tone!'' That nun went to the Mother Superior who was in charge of perpetual vows and told her what was going on, and the Superior called Sr. Faustina in and started yelling at her, saying, "You think God speaks to sinners like you?" Years later, when the sisters were asked what they remembered of Faustina, this nun said

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


she was so ashamed that she treated a saint in this way. In those early years in the convent, who was the first to recognize St. Faustina's unique holiness? They were girls off the street who wanted to rehabilitate their lives. Sister Faustina's congregation helped take care of them. While the other nuns thought Sr. Faustina was one of those good-for-nothing sisters from the second choir (the worker sisters, as opposed to the nuns who served as teachers), these girls off the street

recognized her holiness. In depositions taken years later for Faustina's cause of canonization, one after the other said there was no nun like Sr. Faustina. They wanted to be near her. They worked with her in the garden and the kitchen. When Sr. Faustina was supposed to go back to another convent, all the girls wanted to go with her. They were all packing up. That's how it was. There was a revolt. Isn't it extraordinary to think St. Faustina was born only 100 years ago and here she is now the "Saint

of the New Millennium"? Yes. Very few people hitherto were canonized as soon as she was. As a matter of fact, St. Faustina is the first native-born Polish woman to have been canonized in the 1,000-year history of Christianity in her country. This is astounding! Why was she canonized so soon? You can see that the Lord was impatient about getting out the MH message of His mercy. MH To remember someone in the Novena for St. Faustina's feast day, please see ad on page 27.


The inside story:

The priest who believed St.Faustina

Her spiritual director, Fr. Michael Sopocko, advances a step toward sainthood.

by Felix Carroll

e was the man on the other side of the confessional window. An energetic, intensely spiritual priest who was happy in his pastoral duties. But little did Fr. Michael Sopocko realize that in 1933, when he was appointed to be confessor to the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Vilnius, Poland, his whole world would soon be turned upside down. It was there, in the confessional, where he met Sr. Maria Faustina, a humble nun with a tremendous weight upon her. The Lord had begun revealing to her His message of Divine Mercy. But who would believe her? At first, no one. Not her superiors in the convent and not her previous confessors. Sister Faustina had prayed a very long time for a spiritual director, someone to help guide her, someone who understood that what she was experiencing was real. Father Sopocko was the answer to her prayers, and eventually he became the main promoter of her revelations. Now we can call him a Venerable Servant of God. Last Dec. 20, the Vatican Congregation for Sainthood Causes published a decree recognizing the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Rev. Michael Sopocko. A miracle attributed to his intercession and then recognized by the Vatican is needed for his beatification. Father Sopocko "is the visible help for

you on earth," Jesus told Sr. Faustina. "He will help you to carry out My will on earth" (Diary of Saint Faustina, 53). Indeed, he did just that. It was Fr. Sopocko who first instructed Sr. Faustina to keep her Diary. When she told Fr. Sopocko of her visions of Jesus and His request for a new image to be painted and spread throughout the world, it was he who found the artist, E. Kazimirowski, who would paint the first Divine Mercy image. He didn't stop there. In actions that marked the beginning of the spread of The Divine Mercy devotion, Fr. Sopocko requested that The Divine Mercy image be displayed on the Sunday after Easter 1935 near the famous Dawn Gate to the city of Vilnius, and he preached the message of mercy there. Father Sopocko eventually suffered ridicule for spreading the devotion. But, during the 19-year ban of the devotion (1959-1978, due to faulty translations of the Diary), he took comfort in Sr. Faustina's prophecy that "God will act with great power, which [would] give evidence of [the message's] authenticity" (see Diary, 378). He died in 1975, before his zeal for Divine Mercy was vindicated by the lifting of the ban. Now, as Fr. Sopocko's cause of beatification advances, we are learning more about the great priest who believed St. Faustina.



MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

St. Faustina Centennial


August 25th marked 100 years since her birth. Commemorate the centennial with exclusive products from the Marians.

Divine Mercy ­ No Escape DVD

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The Young Life of Saint Maria Faustina

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Ordering Info Call the Association of Marian Helpers toll free at 1-800-462-7426 to place an order on your Visa, MasterCard, Amex, or Discover. Or visit us at Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery of phone or online orders. To order by mail, please see "Order Info" on page 2.

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Blessed release

Our prayers -- like St. Faustina's -- can help the souls in purgatory satisfy their longing for God alone.

by Susan Tassone with David Came ne night, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska was visited by the soul of a fellow religious sister who had recently passed away. In her Diary, she described the poor soul as being "in a terrible condition ... with her face painfully distorted." In response, Sr. Faustina redoubled her prayers for the Sister's soul. The soul visited her the next night "in an even more horrible state," which astonished Sr. Faustina. In a conversation with the soul, she learned that her prayers seem not to have helped the poor Sister. Undeterred, Sr. Faustina kept on praying for the soul. Some time later, the soul of the Sister again visited Sr. Faustina during the night. Her face was now "radiant, her eyes beaming with joy." She said that Sr. Faustina "had a true love for [her] neighbor and that many souls had profited from [her] prayers." The radiant soul informed Sr. Faustina that she will not remain in purgatory much longer. Before the soul left, she urged Sr. Faustina "not to cease praying for the souls in purgatory" (Diary of St. Faustina, 58). This is but one moving example of St. Faustina's great love for the Holy Souls in Purgatory who yearn to be united with God in heaven.


Souls in great need

Why do the Holy Souls need our help? First, we need to realize that these souls cannot help themselves. Once the


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

soul leaves the body, the time of merit is ended in which one can satisfy with penance and good works the punishment due to one's sins. As Jesus tells St. Faustina of this reality, "My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it" (Diary, 20). Second, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (1030). In a vision, St. Faustina describes purgatory as a "great crowd of suffering souls" undergoing this purification. Further, she says that the souls are "praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid" (Diary, 20).

To remember your

departed loved ones this November, see the attached envelope.

poorly done. Indulgences arise from the mercy of Jesus. With them, we can satisfy our debts to God. Christ has given His Church a treasury of indulgences that we, the faithful, can draw from for the Holy Souls. These include litanies, short aspirations, and reading the Bible. The Holy Mass is our most efficacious means to helping the Holy Souls. Whom do you miss among your departed loved ones and friends? Whom do you wish you could have done more for? Who hurt you? Have Masses offered for their souls.

they begin to radiate the Lord's joy. Sister Faustina perceived this reality as she prayed for particular souls. One time, a deceased sister who had already appeared to Sr. Faustina a few times, came to see her again. This time, "[The Sister] was radiant with happiness" and in heaven (Diary, 594).

Blessings for us

An intense longing for God

We may wonder what exactly the souls suffer as they are purified of their sins. In the vision of purgatory, Sr. Faustina asks the Holy Souls what their "greatest suffering" is. In one voice, they answer that it is their "longing for God" (Diary, 20). Jesus gave Sr. Faustina an intense yearning for Him in Holy Communion to help her understand "what the longing of the souls in purgatory" is like. On July 10, 1937, Sr. Faustina attended Holy Mass and experienced "such intense hunger for God" that she seemed "to be dying of the desire to become united with [Jesus]." She explains in her Diary that only the night before she had been fasting and offering all of her spiritual exercises for one of the deceased sisters (Diary, 1185-86). This great yearning of the Holy Souls is due to their loss of God's presence. The greatest loss most of us experience in this life is the death of a loved one. Our hearts are broken, and we are torn apart with grief. The Holy Souls' greatest pang is the loss of the sight of God. They met Jesus at their particular judgment. Now they long to behold His face forever. They feel an inexpressible love for God alone. As these souls draw closer to heaven,

Our prayers for the Holy Souls

Whenever possible, Sr. Faustina would pray for the release of the Holy Souls from purgatory. During her annual retreat on Jan. 10, 1934, she records Jesus' desire that she use her time in saying "short indulgenced prayers for the souls in purgatory" (Diary, 274). Then, Sr. Faustina records that right before Midnight Mass in 1934, "I offered the indulgences for the souls in purgatory" (Diary, 346). Further, on the occasion of her perpetual vows as a religious on May 1, 1933, Sr. Faustina begged Jesus "to free all souls from purgatory" (Diary, 240). Also, Jesus Himself asked her to devote the eighth day of The Divine Mercy Novena to praying for the release of the souls in purgatory. (See Diary, 1226.) Inspired by St. Faustina, we can remember the Holy Souls through indulgenced prayers, The Divine Mercy Novena, and most especially at Holy Mass. Remembering these souls when in Eucharistic Adoration and when praying the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary are also powerful means to aiding them. In the case of indulgences, they make up for penances omitted or

Sister Faustina knew firsthand of the blessings that come when our prayers help release a soul from purgatory. She writes of one deceased Sister for whom she had prayed faithfully, "As a sign that [the Sister] only now was in heaven, God would bless our [religious] house." Then she goes on to explain how this experience gave her a deeper understanding of the Communion of Saints, which includes the faithful on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven (Diary, 594). Sister Faustina learned that, in return for our prayers, the Holy Souls can bring us countless blessings even in this life. Most importantly, once they are in heaven, these souls will faithfully pray for us until we, too, are home with God. United with St. Faustina in heaven, let us ask the Father of Mercies to release the souls in purgatory. Let us pray as we do during the eighth day of The Divine Mercy Novena, "Eternal Father ... look upon [the souls in purgatory] in no other way than through the wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and MH compassion" (Diary, 1227). MH

Susan Tassone is the founder of the Holy Souls Mass Apostolate and the author of several best-selling books, including The Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls. She lives in Chicago, IL. David Came is Executive Editor of Marian Helper magazine.

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


The Gift of Enrollments

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Healing Enrollment

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`When I came to study in Kharkiv, I suffered a faith crisis'

by Natalia Gongalo hen I came to study in Kharkiv, I felt very lonely. I did not have relatives and acquaintances here. I suffered a faith crisis. Then, one day, I learned that the Marian Fathers, along with the Sisters of the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist, were organizing a new Catholic parish in the student's borough of Kharkiv. It was a true gift from God. I went there at once. We still cannot use the church building at Holy Family Parish. So, Holy Mass is celebrated in a small house, while students' meetings take place in a converted garage. Thanks to my attending Holy Mass and catechism lessons, as well as receiving counseling, my faith has grown stronger. All of this has helped me to discover the true meaning of life, while I pursue my studies at college. I give thanks to God because many other students in Kharkiv are also discovering the truth about God through our new Catholic parish. It's so great that the Catholic Church has not forgotten us poor Ukrainians. Natalia Gongalo is in her junior year of college at the Kharkiv Academy of Physical Education. The 22-year-old is majoring in management.


After Holy Mass in Kharkiv, Ukraine, students talk with Fr. Anthony Rudoi, MIC. They anticipate the building of a new church and student center.

Revival of faith among Ukrainian youth

Help Marians renew the faith of college students in the intellectual heart of Ukraine.

by Patrick Novecosky


ive years ago, the Very Rev. Fr. John Rokosz, MIC, celebrated Mass in a tiny chapel with the dream of something bigger in his heart. Today, that chapel is still there. But, a few blocks away, a new church and student center are under construction in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. By the end of 2006, he hopes that the new facility will serve thousands of the nearly 200,000 students from across Ukraine who attend Kharkiv's six universities. These thousands of students have never had a Catholic parish or student center of their own because of persecution of the Church under communism. Now that is changing.

Pope's visit sparked revival

Since the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine's independence in 1991, there has been renewed interest in the Catholic

faith among Ukrainians, according to Fr. John, Superior General of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Pope John Paul II's visit to Ukraine four years ago helped fuel that revival, he said. "Many people with Catholic roots and their families, who became atheists during the Soviet era, are now trying to rediscover their faith," Fr. John explained. "There is great interest in the faith now, especially among average people. "There's also growing interest on the part of students, professors, and intellectuals," Fr. John said. "They ask us in Kharkiv to give lectures to Orthodox professors and students, to give lectures about Catholic social teaching, about Catholic moral teaching." At the urging of Pope John Paul II, the Marians began their re-evangelization efforts in Ukraine even before the country

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


Christmas is coming.

Slow down.

7 Ways to Get Ready for Jesus' Birthday

Adults and children can follow these traditions and daily observances to help prepare for a truly joyful Christmas.

Hthe worldyou conquer celebrate ow can the rush of before you

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See the Christ Child through the eyes of St. Faustina -- who was granted visions of the Holy Family and Child Jesus. You'll learn lessons in childlike trust in God's love for you. Renew your desire to make a place for the Christ Child in your heart this Christmas.


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declared its indepento the Marians, who offer dence in 1991. Since that the only Catholic pastoral time, Marian priests and care to students. brothers have reclaimed "If these students get and rebuilt churches, to know God today, they founded a home for will return tomorrow to seniors, trained seminaritheir towns and villages all ans, and established a over Ukraine as Catholic treatment center for doctors, lawyers, busialcoholics in a country nessmen, and teachers," ravaged by alcoholism. Fr. John explained. "They The Marians' efforts will share their faith in haven't gone unnoticed. Christ and create new With the assistance of Christian communities." many Marian Helpers, About 14 percent of the Congregation opened Ukraine's 49 million peoKharkiv's first Catholic Walls have been erected for the new parish in Kharkiv, but ple are Catholic. Western parish shortly after the funds are still needed for roofing and furnishings. Ukraine is predominantly fall of the Soviet Union. Roman Catholic and That parish's success attracted the Forming tomorrow's leaders Greek Catholic. Although Eastern attention of the Holy See, which Before long, Bishop Padewski Ukraine is mainly populated by erected a new diocese in Kharkiv and asked the Marians to build a new Orthodox Christians, students from appointed its first bishop in 2002. parish and student center, where they across the country study in Kharkiv. The Marians were directed by the could minister to young scholars. The Today, two Marian priests minister Holy See to give their parish to Marians began their college ministry to hundreds of students who flock to Bishop Stanislaw Padewski, OFM, to students in 2000, when they purtheir small chapel for Mass. They hold Cap, so it could be used as the diocechased a small house and erected a meetings after hours with the students san cathedral. chapel. Students immediately flocked in a converted garage because it's the


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


only space available. When the parish church and student center are completed next year, the Marians expect to minister to more than 2,000 students in the modern facility.

To help the Marians

Building for the future

The $550,000 project is nearly half finished. The exterior walls of the church have been erected, and workmen are finishing the roof. The Marians are urgently trying to raise another $200,000 to complete the interior of the church, meeting rooms, and office space. The center will have a soup kitchen for the poor, Internet access for poor students, and a small library. The Marians also will offer spiritual direction to students. Although the Marians have been able to raise a modest amount of money in Ukraine, they're dependent upon donors in Europe and North America for the bulk of the funds, said Fr. John. The average Ukrainian worker earns a little more than $100 per month. In Eastern Ukraine, most

serve college students in Kharkiv, see the blue box on the envelope at center. To make a special gift, call Ellen Volkman toll free at 1-800-462-7426.

weekly parish collections amount to only $25, and in the west, about $100. If enough funds are raised in 2005, the Marians plan to complete construction by the end of 2006.

Your help is vital

Marian Helpers are encouraged to assist with their prayers and financial support. Father John said that, on a recent trip to Ukraine, an older man reminded him of how millions of Catholics had been deprived of their

faith under communism. "After so many years of atheistic propaganda, what we need most in Kharkiv now is the Church," the man said. "Living in poverty and physical hunger is a big tragedy. Yet, it cannot be compared to the suffering caused by living without God." "These are our brothers and sisters," said Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC, a former Director of the Association of Marian Helpers. "They were persecuted for such a long time. The fact that somebody cares for them, especially their spiritual well-being, is very important for victims of totalitarian regimes." "Our Marian Helpers have responded so much to the needs of others overseas," continued Fr. Kaz. "We have members with a global love for the Church. They have expressed this for many years. They have never MH disappointed us." MH

Patrick Novecosky, a former assistant editor of this magazine, is editor of Legatus magazine in Naples, FL.

What are you looking for in the priests of tomorrow?

Zeal for proclaiming the Gospel Love of Mary Immaculate Faithfulness to the Pope and Church teaching Love of the Holy Eucharist

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These are the top reasons why men pursuing a priestly vocation are attracted to the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Please support the education of these future priests. Nearly 200 Marian seminarians are counting on your gift.

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Booked solid

Fr. Donald is working on a new series of authoritative books on Our Lady.

by Theresa Peloquin

Publish at least one book a year with solid

Catholic teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary. That's the goal of Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, who was ordained a Marian priest in May 2003 and is just completing his STL in Mariology. In June, Fr. Donald finished editing a book that is a collection of essays on a "revolutionary" theme. This latest book from Marian Press is


called The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body.

four Marian dogmas.* his is going to be the envy of a lot of Catholic The book has been endorsed by theology professors presses," predicts Fr. Donald. "There are tons of Scott Hahn (Franciscan University of Steubenville) and commentaries on the Theology of the Body. But, very little Mary Shivanandan, S.T.D. (John Paul II Institute for has been done to include the Marian dimension." Studies on Marriage and Family). The Theology of the Body is the name given to the Despite this book's obvious academic applications, collective Wednesday audiences given by Fr. Donald hopes it still will have a Pope John Paul II. Papal biographer George broader appeal. "I just want to promote Weigel called these teachings a "theologithe teachings of the Church on Our cal timebomb" ready to go off in the Third Lady, and do it in a way that's very clear Millennium. and very loving," he says. The teachings address the reasons for God creating us as human beings with bodies and Awesome writers gender. "Weigel said this thing is so revoluFather Donald is still in awe of the tionary in its theological approach," quotes list of contributors to this book. They Fr. Donald, "that it's going to be really big. include world renowned scholars from I totally agree with him." Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Canada, and Because of his studies in Mariology, the United States. One sister studied in Fr. Donald thought to combine the Theology Germany under Cardinal Ratzinger of the Body and teachings on the Virgin Mary (now Pope Benedict XVI). into a book. "I thought if I don't do this, "The names here are very well known somebody else will. And so I got permission in theological circles," he emphasizes. to do this book." "They've all written books. They've all Ten writers, including Fr. Donald, got doctorates -- except me! Here I am contributed essays to this collection. All 10 BTVM this dinky guy and all these big people writers are deeply grounded in Catholic 285 pages / $14.95 orthodoxy, and they reflect a variety of * The four Marian dogmas are Mary is Mother call 1-800-462-7426 theological fields. The essay by Fr. Donald of God, the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption. or see ordering information, p. 2. relates the Theology of the Body to the



MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

are doing the work." How did this young priest assemble such a group? "I read a lot," he says, "and I thought, `Wouldn't it be really good to get an article from that person and that Father!' " So he looked up the scholars' information online and contacted each of them last fall about the book idea. The book is almost 300 pages, and Fr. Donald is pleased by its thoroughness. "It's a very academic book," he says. "And I mean academic. One of the articles has almost 200 footnotes. It's really good."

Lined up for next year is a book completely by Fr. Donald. "It's basically my licentiate thesis on St. Faustina and the Virgin Mary. It's about 170 pages. It will have to be edited because it's way too technical." At the same time, Fr. Donald also has been asked to write a few smaller, strictly devotional books. "I've got so many topics," he says, "I could probably do this for the next 30 years."

`Don't you get it?' It's almost like with one hand she's unveiling Jesus, inviting you to enter into this mystery of what it means to have a body."

Booked solid

When Fr. Donald started this whole process of book production, he saw what an undertaking it was. Add to that his responsibilities of House Superior, Vocation Director, and Postulant Director. "And I defended my thesis over the summer," he adds. "But I don't mind," he says. "It sounds like a lot -- and it is, trust me! But not too much. When you pray, and when you know that you only have one life to live, you realize that if you're going to have sleepless nights, why not do it for God? And why not just go all out?" Remembering his own conversion, Fr. Donald pointed out that there are many foolish things that a person will stay up late for. "With the passion that I once pursued the things of the world, now that's going to be used for good: for God and for Our Lady." MH MH

Closely involved

For almost five weeks, Fr. Donald left his post in Steubenville, OH, to be on Eden Hill to help finalize his latest book. He and staff members proofed the book several times. Closely involved in the book's production, Fr. Donald says he was "very particular" about the image for the cover. "This Madonna and Child painting is very apropos to the theme," he says. "We see the Incarnation of Christ and the Virgin Mary, who's the perfect human person, together." He pointed to the gaze of Mary. "Mary's just looking right at you like,

More from Marian Press

Last year, Fr. Donald edited his first book, The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church (BICL $12.95 + p/h). This collection of essays came from a symposium on the Immaculate Conception for the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma. Another book now in the works will recount Fr. Donald's personal story of conversion after reading a book about Our Lady.

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An Extraordinary Marian

Marians and family remember Fr. Joseph Sielski, MIC.

by David Came and Felix Carroll

ongtime Marian Helpers may remember Fr. Joseph Sielski, MIC, as the Marian who, in 1983, succeeded Fr. Walter Pelczynski, MIC, as Director of the Association of Marian Helpers. He served from 1983-84 and from 1986-88. While he was Director, the Marians published the English edition of the Diary of Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska. The Marians of the Immaculate Conception remember Fr. Sielski as an extraordinary leader of the Congregation and as a faithful religious. His distinguished life of service included two terms in Rome as Superior General and two terms as Superior of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province headquartered in Stockbridge, MA. Further, he had the distinction of being the first Polish-American to persevere in becoming a member of the Congregation. This giant among men died on June 9 at Villa Rosa, a nursing home in Mitchellville, MD. He was 91. In his eulogy at the June 14 funeral Mass for Fr. Sielski in Stockbridge, Superior General, the Very Rev. Fr. John Rokosz, MIC, said that Fr. Sielski's strong leadership of the Congregation encouraged him in his own vocation. "When I first entered the Marians in the late 1970s, Fr. Sielski was the Superior General," said Fr. John. "He made a very strong impression on me when I was a seminarian at our seminary in Lublin, Poland. "When he came to Lublin during his visitation, I felt that he was the very definition of a Superior," Fr. John continued. "His personal example encouraged me in my vocation, to persevere in my calling as a Marian." Father Sielski was remembered by family, friends, and fellow Marians from around the world during the funeral at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, where his body now rests in the Marian cemetery. A man of endearing and indomitable contrasts -- gruff and benevolent, solemn and good-natured, a gifted homilist and a quiet man of prayer -- Fr. Sielski will be remembered mostly as a priest who exemplified Marian spirituality. In her eulogy, Mary Ernest, a niece of Fr. Sielski, shared stories of the man she called "Father Uncle Joe" or "Uncle Father Joe." "He always remembered us with little gifts," she said. "He enjoyed his family. But we all knew his life belonged to God." Born in Jersey City, NJ, on Feb. 18, 1914, son of Michael and Thecla Sielski, he was orphaned at an early age. The Felician Sisters of Lodi, NJ, cared for him during his childhood until he joined the Marians in 1929. As a seminarian, he earned his BA and his licentiate degree in theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He made his first vows in the Congregation in 1934 and was ordained a priest in 1941. Father Sielski then sacrificed his doctoral studies when community commitments and leadership roles called him. In his closing remarks about this extraordinary Marian, Fr. John said, "Father Joseph, in the name of all the Marians around the world, I thank you for your life and ministry ... . We will miss you. Be our intercessor and beg God for the grace of sanctity and the development of the MH MH Congregation in the whole world."


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

Order online at or call 1-800-462-7426.

Father Joseph's Bookshelf





The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

n Memory and Identity, the late Pope John Paul II has given us his unique perspective on modern times. Beginning with the 20th century horrors of nazism and communism, he addresses some of history's most perplexing subjects and questions. John Paul reflects on the meaning of human freedom and the limits of evil, shares his views on democracy, and warns of the dangers of atheism, consumerism, and materialism. What will particularly interest Divine Mercy devotees are Pope John Paul II's fascinating insights on why it is significant that St. Faustina received "her revelations, focused on the mystery of Divine Mercy," before the outbreak of World War II. In fact, John Paul says that, in response to the enormous evils of the 20th century, "it was as if Christ had wanted to say through [Sister Faustina], `Evil does not have the last word!' " John Paul sums up that "the limit imposed upon evil ... is ultimately Divine Mercy." Further, in the epilogue, John Paul shares personally about the attempt on his life on May 13, 1981. He talks in detail about what he suffered, reflects on its significance, and points to how Mary's motherly protection "turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet." I encourage you to read Memory and Identity, John Paul's last book. You will treasure what he says about The Divine Mercy, Our Blessed Mother, and St. Faustina.


C atalogue

· Christmas


Fall/Winter 2005

· Inspirational


· Enrollment cards

and folders

· Divine Mercy materials · Religious gifts


Actual size 3" x 51/2"



fter the long and significant reign of Pope John Paul II, the election of Pope Benedict XVI proved a momentous time of transition for us as Catholics, leaving us with many questions. What made Pope Benedict the man he is today? Have the secular media given us an accurate portrait of him? What lies ahead for the Church under the new Pope? The value of We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI is that papal expert Matthew Bunson provides an introduction to our new Pope's life in the broader context of Pope John Paul II's death and legacy, the conclave that elected Benedict XVI, and the first weeks of Benedict's reign. We get a clear picture of Pope Benedict beyond his longtime service as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II. In addition to covering this transition in the papacy, Bunson explores Pope Benedict's roots in Bavaria, his years as a prominent German theologian, and then his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising. The last chapter of the book is devoted to assessing the challenges, crises, and opportunities confronting our new Holy Father, with an eye to forecasting what he might do in dealing with them. If you want to get a better sense of our new Pope and his vision for the future of our Church, I strongly recommend that you read We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI.


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MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·



`Fr. Stanislaus helped us get our son back'

My son comes home

Acknowledgements of graces received Several years ago, my son, through the intercession of: once a healthy and happy young The Venerable Servant of God, boy, became seriously ill. Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski, He was despondent, angry, founder of the Marians. depressed, suicidal, and he (1631-1701) turned his back on everyone who loved him, especially God. At 15, after visiting several doctors and therapists, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He took his medication to try to feel better, the stories of help. You provide rays but nothing seemed to help. For five of hope for many who despair. years he suffered, and our family was -- DMG, Springfield, VA nearly torn apart. He continued to spiral downward until last year when Medical healing granted he hit bottom. I had a problem with my colon. I Despite all our efforts to help him, prayed to Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski to he took to the streets. We didn't intercede for me, and God healed know where he was. I was in such a me! Thanks, Fr. Stanislaus! state of despair. I came across an -- MA, New York, NY issue of Marian Helper and read of the help that Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski A new member of the family has given to many who have prayed Thank you for the prayercard. My for his intercession. It was a last drop prayers to Fr. Stanislaus have been heard. of hope. I closed my eyes, asked for I now have a beautiful, healthy his help, and then I let it go. I put it grandson. He is our wonderful miracle in the Lord's hands. from God. I offered Fr. Stanislaus my Within a week, my son called from prayers, and God sent His love! a phone booth. He said, "Mom, I -- AZF, Howard Beach, NY want to come home. I need a shower. And I need to find a job and get back Prayers for job answered into school." I cannot describe what I I am pleased to let you know that heard in my son's voice. He sounded the intercession received from the Vendifferent, like the person I'd known erable Servant of God Fr. Stanislaus when he was a child. I hadn't heard resulted in my prayers for employhis true voice in so many years, but I ment being answered. recognized it in that phone call. -- RT, St. Louis, MO It was one year ago that this miracle occurred. In that time, my son has Daughter has a healthy baby completed studies for his Associate My daughter lost her first child Degree. He works a full-time job, (Allison lived only 24 hours) and had and he has not had any recurring trouble conceiving a second child. I symptoms of the destructive disorder said many novenas to Fr. Stanislaus. that afflicted him for so many years. Last March 12, we were blessed with I don't even know how to begin baby Lauren. thanking Fr. Stanislaus for helping us I have thanked Fr. Stanislaus, and get our son back, but I need to espeI am continuing to ask for his help. cially thank the Marians for publishing -- JB, Altamonte Springs, FL


A bill of health

In February 2003, I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, and my PSA test was very high, indicative of cancer. Daily, I prayed to the Lord to heal me through the intercession of Fr. Stanislaus. Afterwards, amazingly, the biopsy was negative. Later, my urologist found out that the enlargement of my prostate was already gone. I believe God answered my prayers because of Fr. Stanislaus's intercession. I will continue to pray for his beatification. -- EBA, Dayton, NJ

A home we can afford

We were recently looking for a home in a suburb of Chicago and weren't having any luck finding one we could afford. Before we went back to look again, I prayed to Fr. Stanislaus and my prayer was answered! The first home we looked at was the one for us. How quickly I received a response to my prayer! -- CW, Knoxville, TN

Calm through surgery

I promised Fr. Stanislaus if my oral surgery was successful (I was told that there could be some permanent damage) and he would keep me calm through it all, I would send a "thankyou" note. All went well, thanks to his intercession. -- PB, Round Lake, IL

For a Fr. Stanislaus prayercard (BSPP), call toll free 1-800-462-7426. If you have received graces through his intercession, please write: Br. Andrew R. Màczyski, MIC, Vice Postulator of the Marian Causes of Canonization, Stockbridge, MA 01263. E-mail: [email protected]


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


`Fr. Stanislaus helped us get our son back'

My son comes home

Acknowledgements of graces received Several years ago, my son, through the intercession of: once a healthy and happy young The Venerable Servant of God, boy, became seriously ill. Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski, He was despondent, angry, founder of the Marians. depressed, suicidal, and he (1631-1701) turned his back on everyone who loved him, especially God. At 15, after visiting several doctors and therapists, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He took his medication to try to feel better, the stories of help. You provide rays but nothing seemed to help. For five of hope for many who despair. years he suffered, and our family was -- DMG, Springfield, VA nearly torn apart. He continued to spiral downward until last year when Medical healing granted he hit bottom. I had a problem with my colon. I Despite all our efforts to help him, prayed to Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski to he took to the streets. We didn't intercede for me, and God healed know where he was. I was in such a me! Thanks, Fr. Stanislaus! state of despair. I came across an -- MA, New York, NY issue of Marian Helper and read of the help that Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski A new member of the family has given to many who have prayed Thank you for the prayercard. My for his intercession. It was a last drop prayers to Fr. Stanislaus have been heard. of hope. I closed my eyes, asked for I now have a beautiful, healthy his help, and then I let it go. I put it grandson. He is our wonderful miracle in the Lord's hands. from God. I offered Fr. Stanislaus my Within a week, my son called from prayers, and God sent His love! a phone booth. He said, "Mom, I -- AZF, Howard Beach, NY want to come home. I need a shower. And I need to find a job and get back Prayers for job answered into school." I cannot describe what I I am pleased to let you know that heard in my son's voice. He sounded the intercession received from the Vendifferent, like the person I'd known erable Servant of God Fr. Stanislaus when he was a child. I hadn't heard resulted in my prayers for employhis true voice in so many years, but I ment being answered. recognized it in that phone call. -- RT, St. Louis, MO It was one year ago that this miracle occurred. In that time, my son has Daughter has a healthy baby completed studies for his Associate My daughter lost her first child Degree. He works a full-time job, (Allison lived only 24 hours) and had and he has not had any recurring trouble conceiving a second child. I symptoms of the destructive disorder said many novenas to Fr. Stanislaus. that afflicted him for so many years. Last March 12, we were blessed with I don't even know how to begin baby Lauren. thanking Fr. Stanislaus for helping us I have thanked Fr. Stanislaus, and get our son back, but I need to espeI am continuing to ask for his help. cially thank the Marians for publishing -- JB, Altamonte Springs, FL


A bill of health

In February 2003, I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, and my PSA test was very high, indicative of cancer. Daily, I prayed to the Lord to heal me through the intercession of Fr. Stanislaus. Afterwards, amazingly, the biopsy was negative. Later, my urologist found out that the enlargement of my prostate was already gone. I believe God answered my prayers because of Fr. Stanislaus's intercession. I will continue to pray for his beatification. -- EBA, Dayton, NJ

A home we can afford

We were recently looking for a home in a suburb of Chicago and weren't having any luck finding one we could afford. Before we went back to look again, I prayed to Fr. Stanislaus and my prayer was answered! The first home we looked at was the one for us. How quickly I received a response to my prayer! -- CW, Knoxville, TN

Calm through surgery

I promised Fr. Stanislaus if my oral surgery was successful (I was told that there could be some permanent damage) and he would keep me calm through it all, I would send a "thankyou" note. All went well, thanks to his intercession. -- PB, Round Lake, IL

For a Fr. Stanislaus prayercard (BSPP), call toll free 1-800-462-7426. If you have received graces through his intercession, please write: Br. Andrew R. Màczyski, MIC, Vice Postulator of the Marian Causes of Canonization, Stockbridge, MA 01263. E-mail: [email protected]


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·

















Our thanks to all who have made gifts for a memorial, tribute, "Pillars of the Shrine," or "Light of Remembrance." If your name does not appear below, please look for it in a future issue. Mrs. Mary R. Bager Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Bond Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Brown Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Brucks Mrs. Pina Carchidi Ms. Evelyn Chouinard Mr. Robert Cuppetilli Yolanda A. DelMonte Bob and Maureen Digan Barbara A. Englander Mrs. Margaret R. Frigerio Mr. Matthew S. Galligan Mrs. Annette Gencola Ms. Kathleen A. Godek Mrs. Marie Gurevitch Mr. John Hart and Family Theresa and Melvin Levine and Family Mrs. Mary Sinchak Ms. Catherine Lorenzo Mr. Gary Starnes W. W. Stein Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Swiderski Jacinto Tiamsic Mrs. Lupe Valencia Arcelia Valenti Mr. Ray Vetrini Mrs. Yvonne Vincent Mrs. Patricia Vissichelli Mrs. Mary Ellen Walker Mr. and Mrs. Greg Ward Jane Kordana Wesolowski Mrs. Irene Woods

Remembered on Eden Hill

Mr. Michael "Mickey" Hart and Family Mr. Leonard Michaels Tony and Tracy Hartwig Elaine O. Hermsen Suad Husaynu Mrs. Linda Izzo-Heinrich Mrs. Mary Jambora Virginia Kaylor Lisa Rondeau King Marie A. Kolesnik Mr. John E. Kroll Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lalli Mrs. Michelle Leither Ms. Barbara Moresky Ms. Maria Petrykowski Ms. Arlene M. Polak Mrs. Eleanor Quinn Mrs. Margaret Ree Maryanne and Tom Rhoad Mrs. Elaine M. Rondeau Mrs. Kay Rust Rose Hugh Sam Marie Seifring Ms. Berangere Selepec

MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·




by Ellen Volkman

St. Faustina and the Marians inspire Helper's devotion


pilgrims. Celebrating the inny has been attendEucharist in churches where ing Mass daily since St. Faustina had worshiped 1977, and she knows a was a gift from God. The lot about her Catholic faith. beatification in Rome was like She is also proud of her Polish being in heaven." heritage and very grateful to Seven years later, she attended her family for the love of God St. Faustina's canonization, they instilled in her. "So, which was on April 30, 2000 -- when my friend Irene told me the Second Sunday of Easter. about The Divine Mercy She remembers what a gloriChaplet in the 1980s," she ous day it was in St. Peter's admits, "I was surprised that I Square and the surprise and joy had never heard about it." she and the other pilgrims in The Chaplet immediately attendance felt when the Pope became an important part of announced that the Sunday Ginny's prayer life. Each day, after Easter would be known at 3:00 in the afternoon -- the as Divine Mercy Sunday. Hour of Great Mercy -- she "Finally!" she enthused, and Irene would find a quiet "Divine Mercy Sunday is getplace at work where they could ting the attention it deserves." pray the Chaplet together for It is the Marians' committhe whole world. Their coment to spreading the message workers knew that this was a St. Faustina was given that special time for them. Seen here visiting Nevada, Ginny enjoys travel. She inspires Ginny to support Shortly after the two began traveled with the Marians to Rome for St. Faustina's this practice, Irene and her beatification, which she says was "like being in heaven." them. "I am so grateful to the Marians," she says, "If it husband took Ginny on her weren't for them, I wouldn't know about the importance first pilgrimage to the National Shrine of The Divine of praying, `Jesus, I trust in You!' Everyone can say this Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. Since then, she has returned to the Shrine often. "I can prayer. No matter how difficult life is, we can always count never get enough of it," she says. "It feeds on Jesus." Ginny is a member of the three spiritual clubs for Marian my soul. When you're there, you feel Helpers -- the 13th of the Month Club, the Friends of Mercy Jesus pouring out His graces on you." She also describes the joy she has Club, and the Circle of Light. "My involvement with the experienced on special pilgrimages to Marians brings me peace," she says. "It makes me happy to know that by helping the Marians, they can promote the honor St. Faustina, emphasizing how message of Divine Mercy. It is for the glory of God." the saint has inspired her own devoGinny has also included a gift to the Marians in her will. tion to Jesus, The Divine Mercy. "I feel so close to them in my heart," she says. "I want to In 1993, she traveled with the be part of their work for our Lord." Marians to Poland, Lithuania, and Rome for the beatification of Sister If you would like to learn about becoming a club member or Faustina. "We visited all the imporabout arranging a gift through your will or other estate plans, tant places where she lived and worked," Ginny recalls. "We were a please feel free to contact me. I pray that your association with the Marians will help you in your own journey of faith. large and very prayerful group of

Ellen Volkman is Fr. Joseph's Assistant for Special Gifts. You may write her at Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or call her toll free at 1-800-462-7426. E-mail: [email protected]


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·


ords to Live by:


In honor of the centennial of the birth of St. Faustina, Aug. 25th, all quotations are from her Diary.

Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you will go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God; give, then, generously to others. They should take leave of you with their hearts filled with joy, even if they have no more than touched the hem of your garment. -- Spiritual counsel a confessor gave to St. Faustina, Diary, 55 It is my greatest desire that souls should recognize You as their eternal happiness, that they should come to believe in Your goodness and glorify Your infinite mercy. -- Diary, 305 A humble soul does not trust itself, but places all its confidence in God. God defends the humble soul and lets Himself into its secrets, and the soul abides in unsurpassable happiness which no one can comprehend. -- Diary, 593

My goal is God ... and my happiness is in accomplishing His will, and nothing in the world can disturb this happiness for me: no power, no force of any kind. -- Diary, 775 O my Jesus, although I will go to You, and You will fill me with Yourself, and that will make my happiness complete, I will nevertheless not forget about humanity. I desire to draw aside the veils of heaven, so that the earth would have no doubts about The Divine Mercy. -- Diary, 930 Oh, if only the suffering soul knew how it is loved by God, it would die of joy and excess of happiness! -- Diary, 963 I feel a certain need to share myself with others. I have discovered a fountain of happiness in my soul, and it is God. -- Diary, 887

"My Heart

watches over you.

-- Jesus to St. Faustina


As a member of the Association of Marian Helpers, you will be remembered

in the Novena of Holy Masses in honor of St. Faustina from Sept. 26th to Oct. 4th, as well as at a special Mass at the tomb of St. Faustina in Poland on Oct. 5th, her feast day. Send this card to someone special so they, too, will be remembered in both the Novena of Masses and the Mass on her feast day at her tomb. To request cards: · 1-800-462-7426 · · sign up for the novena online

There is no charge for requesting novena cards. An offering is suggested after you use the card(s).


Remember someone in the St. Faustina Novena

Sept. 26th to Oct. 4th



by a Helper and a Marian

My devotion to St. Faustina

In 1992, my friend

Maria introduced me to the Diary of St. Faustina. Thirteen years and three worn out Diaries later, I cannot put this book to rest. Saint Faustina comes alive for me through her Diary. I feel her joy, her pain, her sorrow, her trust, her humiliations, and especially her love for Jesus. I sense her intense desire to help Jesus save souls. She accompanies me to daily Mass. She writes that the loss of souls plunges our Lord into Marian "mortal sadness" (Diary of St. Marian Helper Faustina, 1397). She has inspired me to pray for souls in mortal danger. In 1998, I met a lady named Ann. She asked me to pray for her dying husband, Art, who had fallen away from the Church. I asked if I could pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet at his bedside. Ann agreed. Upon entering Art's room, I asked the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and Little Faustina to intercede for his soul. I sprinkled him with holy water, which St. Faustina writes is indeed a great help to the dying (see Diary, 601), and prayed the Chaplet. Then, after blessing him with a relic of St. Faustina, I left. While driving home, I thought of a passage in the Diary: "God's mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so" (1698). I thought of how blessed I've been over these past years to pray this powerful chaplet at the bedside of my own dying parents, relatives, and friends. Then, two weeks later, I saw Ann. She told me that Art had passed away in her arms as I walked out the door. I immediately thanked Little Faustina for sending me to his bedside. As we celebrate St. Faustina's feast day, may she continue to live in our hearts and help us bring souls to Jesus through His Divine Mercy.

I was introduced to

Sr. Faustina through The Divine Mercy devotion in 1994. At that time, I was working a regular job and attending St. George's Parish in Tinely Park, IL. This was the first church that I had attended which had a strong devotion to The Divine Mercy. So I decided to read up on this "new" manifestation of God's love. As I read the Diary of St. Faustina, I learned about the humble Polish nun to whom God had revealed His Br. Keith merciful plan. I began to pray The Marian Divine Mercy Chaplet daily. Yet it wasn't until I joined the Marians in 2001 that I began to see Sr. Faustina as a great spiritual helper -- and a true sister in religion. In fact, over the past two years, my devotion to her has really deepened. She has been my "instructor of Divine Mercy," showing me the necessity of spreading Divine Mercy to the world now while Jesus is opening His merciful Heart to all who seek Him. Though Sr. Faustina is now St. Faustina, I really do consider her my sister in religion. Jesus tells her that His mercy is "meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1142). And more to the point, Divine Mercy is for the whole world, especially for sinners (see Diary, 1146). I find these passages jump off the page for me. In my ministry at a nursing home in Steubenville, I speak to the elderly residents of God's wonderful mercy, and of Sr. Faustina. I describe to them the sacrifices she made for poor souls in purgatory and for sinners in the world. I encourage them to offer up their daily sufferings and trials to Jesus for such souls. In all that I do, I have taken this saint dedicated to God's mercy as my own spiritual sister. I pray for her intercession each day. I feel closest to her when I read the Diary. My sister is truly an inspiration for me to know God' mercy.

"Saint Faustina comes alive for me through her Diary. I feel her joy, her pain, her trust."

"Though Sr. Faustina is now St. Faustina, I really do consider her my sister in religion."

Marian Doljac lives with her husband, Nick, in Wickliffe, OH. She loves promoting Divine Mercy and feels every household should have a copy of the Diary of St. Faustina.

Br. Keith Andre, MIC, is studying for a master's degree in counseling at Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH. Saint Faustina has inspired him to spread Divine Mercy.


MARIAN HELPER · Fall 2005 ·










`This is where I belong' I


was ordained a priest on June 25 at my home parish, St. Thomas The Apostle Church, outside Philadelphia, PA. The following day, there I was, at the very same altar, celebrating my first Mass before family members, friends, and fellow Marians. The Lord had called me years before to follow Him and trust in His mercy. And then here I was lifting up the consecrated bread and wine for the first time, showing Christ's gift of His Body and Blood for all to see. Every moment of my life had led me to this point. I knew this is where I belong. That first Mass was, of course, just the beginning for me in my life as a priest. The Sacrifice of the Mass will only reach its completion for me when I persevere till the end, with the grace of God, helping people find salvation. I have joined a Congregation that will help me in achieving those ends. It's a community that spreads The Divine Mercy message and is devoted to Our Lady. It's a community where we look out for each other and help each other to become as holy as possible. No matter where I go, no matter what my ministries may be, I know that I have my fellow Marians and Our Mother, Mary. -- Fr. Matthew Lamoureux, MIC







I am thinking about a Religious Vocation as a Marian!

Yes, please send me free info about life as a Marian priest or brother. Also, please send me info on "Come and See Weekends."

Write: Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Vocation Director Marians of the Immaculate Conception E-mail: [email protected] Call toll free: 1-877-261-8806 Website:


515 Belleview Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952 Name

Fr. Donald invites you to an upcoming "VOCATION RETREAT" Oct. 28-30 at the Marian House of Studies in Steubenville, Ohio.

Please call for later dates.

Address City Phone ( Grade/Education ) Age State Zip

Read the book that ignited the Divine Mercy movement

A new compact edition of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska for only $7.95. At this affordable price, buy copies for your family and friends. + P/H BDNBF


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$7 95



St. Faustina Pin ­ This soft enamel pin of the

Mercy Saint is plated in 14kt. gold and features double tack-style clasps. (Pin shown in actual size.) BSTFP $ 50 + P/H

FREE postage

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with the purchase of both the Diary and St. Faustina pin.


For P/H chart and order information, refer to page 2.

Marians of the Immaculate Conception







Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Marians of the Immaculate Conception



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