Blessings Past, Blessings To Come
The Marian Fathers and the Association of Marian Helpers have received so many blessings during 2014!
* In 2014, we were blessed with many pilgrims who traveled to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, for our many events throughout the year, including Divine Mercy Sunday and Encuentro Latino. On Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend alone, we welcomed over 20,000 pilgrims.
* The Marian Fathers brought the spiritual prescription Mercycardin to the U.S. after Pope Francis recommended a "spiritual medicine" called Misericordina in November 2013.
* In Lent, we released St. Faustina's Way of the Cross, with vivid images of the bronze life-sized stations at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. This program has been shown worldwide on EWTN.
* Pope Francis canonized Popes John Paul II and John XXIII before a worldwide audience on April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday. Because of Pope John XXIII, promotion of the Divine Mercy message and devotion was restricted only for a time, rather than permanently, while John Paul II has been called The Great Mercy Pope for his extensive role in the spread of the Divine Mercy message and devotion.
* Marian Press released several major books in the spring, including Marian Gems: Daily Wisdom on Our Lady by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC; Meet Your Mother by Dr. Mark Miravalle; and You Did It to Me: A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.
* Hearts Afire: Parish-based Programs from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (HAPP) launched Stage Two: Wisdom and Works of Mercy (to learn more, visit the webpage for Stage Two).
* This spring marked the acquisition of the historic Merrell Inn as the home for the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy and the launch of their cross-country tour, with Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, as the Missionaries' head formator.
* A few months after the priestly ordination of Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, he became the new "Fr. Joseph, MIC", the Director of the Marian Helpers Center on Eden Hill, while Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, gave his full attention to the role of director of the Evangelization and Development Office. Around the same time, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, became the new Shrine Rector of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy on Eden Hill.
* Our first ever Pray4USA Campaign asked our Marian Helpers to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the nine days leading up to July 4, specifically imploring God's mercy on our country. Also, the Mother of Mercy Messengers' Divine Mercy for America campaign celebrated its third anniversary on Oct. 5, the feast of St. Faustina Kowalska.
* For five days in August, Divine Mercy devotees from around the world gathered in Bogota, Colombia, for WACOM III. Representatives of all four of the Marian Fathers' apostolates were present, as well as Marian Fathers and Marian Helpers from around the world.
* In September, the Marians celebrated the close of the anniversary of 100 years of their ministry in the United States. During the weekend celebration, six seminarians professed their perpetual vows and two were ordained to the transitional diaconate. We now have 28 men in formation.
* Two highly anticipated books were released this fall: the St. Faustina biography Faustina: The Mystic and Her Message, as well as the ebook version of the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Both of these releases will help reach more souls about the message and the devotion of The Divine Mercy.
* The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, we held our second #GivingTuesday/ to help raise funds for our printing apostolate so that we can continue to produce pamphlets on devotions such as the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, important truths of the faith such as the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and so much more.
Whew. That's quite a list, and it's not comprehensive! We have so much to be thankful for, both to God and to all the Marians and Marian Helpers who have made these good works possible.
Looking forward to 2015, we have many more blessings on the way.
* Brother Allen Alexander, MIC, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on Jan. 3 at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
* We'll be launching Marian Helper Plus, an online tool to help Marian Helpers better pray for one another, get exclusive offers, view their donation history, or check on the status of an order.
* We are also very excited to be hosting St. Luke Productions and their show Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy during Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend 2015.
* The North American Congress on Mercy (NACOM) will occur in the spring of 2015. This congress will feature many wonderful speakers and an opportunity to maximize our efforts to spread the message and devotion of Divine Mercy by coordinating our efforts with some of the most active apostles of Divine Mercy in the country.
So keep checking back with us here and in our print publications to learn more about the blessings God keeps sending to the Marian Fathers and all those who help them with their missions of Divine Mercy, devotion to Mary Immaculate, offering prayers and assistance to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and aid to the Church where the need is greatest.