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It's Time: Be 'Alarmed'

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By Ellen Miller

Every day, I am blessed to speak with Marian Helpers from all across the country, and I'm inspired by how they incorporate their faith into their lives, sometimes without even realizing the impact those actions can have on others. Recently, I spoke with one Helper whose devotion to prayer has already spread to three generations in her family.

Marie White of Piedmont, South Carolina, has been a member of the Association for less than two years. She has already enrolled 55 friends and family members into the Association so that they and their intentions are remembered by the Marian Fathers in a Holy Mass every day here on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Her frequent requests for enrollments even inspired her husband, Nicholas, to donate to the Association through an IRA charitable rollover.

But Marie does more than request prayers. Indeed, if you happen to be in her presence as the clock strikes 3 o'clock, you'll probably hear church bells clanging from inside her purse. It's the alarm on her phone to remind her that the Hour of Great Mercy has arrived, the hour that recalls Christ's Death on the Cross. Time to pray!

"In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion," Jesus tells St. Faustina (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1320).

Daily, Marie prays the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the intercessory prayer given to St. Faustina from Jesus. What a simple and effective way to remember to pray! Recently, when I called Marie and Nicholas to thank them for a gift to the Marian Fathers, which helps us to spread Divine Mercy throughout the world, I could hear her church bells clang. It was precisely 3 o'clock. How perfect is that?

Marie first learned about St. Faustina and Divine Mercy from her parish priest, Fr. Dac Tran, when he returned from a vacation in Vietnam and brought back an Image of Divine Mercy. He soon began spreading devotion to Divine Mercy among his parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. He was so dedicated that, as he was preparing to leave the parish for a new assignment, "he made the new pastor promise to keep an Image of the Divine Mercy somewhere in the church," Marie said. The new pastor, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, "now has quite a devotion to Divine Mercy, himself," she said.

And now, in keeping with the request Pope Francis made that dioceses build a lasting memorial to God's mercy to mark the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Our Lady of the Rosary is doing its part by constructing a new church. The chapel on the lower level will be dedicated to Divine Mercy. It's all an answer to Marie's prayers.

Marie's daughter, Kristen — inspired by her mother — also has a great devotion to praying the chaplet. And whenever Kristen's 6-year-old son, Preston, hears those church bells clang, he knows the hour is at hand. "It's time to pray the Divine Mercy," he says excitedly.

The alarm has now resonated with three generations. It's an alarm that reminds the Whites to not be alarmed: Our Lord is with us.

To explore an IRA charitable rollover, contact Ellen Miller, director for Special Gifts, at: helpers@marian.org; (413) 298-1380; or Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263. Learn more.


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