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Since January 2001, Dave and Joan Maroney, known as Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, have traveled more than 250,000 miles to give their multimedia presentations that go to the heart of The Divine Mercy message.
Where are they these days? Who have they met? Here's the first in a series of dispatches from the road, where MOMM visits a jail and reports on the transformation of a former inmate:
We traveled to Plain State Jail in Dayton Texas, for a presentation on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25. Close to 200 Catholic women who are being held in minimum security attended the presentation.
This was the third time we've visited the jail. First of all, the inmates are really grateful that we come to them. Second of all, they just love the program. This particular time there were two women in there who were sisters. As we usually do, we prayed the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy at the end of the program. We pray particularly for those who are dying, as Jesus requested. This was very important for these two sisters because their mother was dying. They got on their knees and prayed. They were crying. They knew they could pray for their mom.
Why do we bring our presentations inside jails and prisons? Because the inmates feel so helpless in there. The Divine Mercy message and devotion really empower them to do something for their own lives and for their family members. They pray and seek healing and hope through Jesus Christ, who yearns for all of us to turn to Him and give our lives to Him.
We're taking the message to those who need it the most. This message was designed for those who are overwhelmed by their sinfulness. They're in despair. They're suffering. They're wounded. They're hardened. It's taking it to those in greatest need. It's humbling for us.
I know that when I told them that they were all getting the image of Jesus that they knew they had Christ with them. The image speaks to them. It's really, really powerful. The message we stress is that He wants to help all of us overcome our sinfulness, our addictions, and that the greater the sinner the greater the right to His mercy.
From Dayton, we drove the next morning four and a half hours to a parish in San Antonio, Texas. The woman who arranged for our presentation there has quite a story. Her name is Maria. She had spent time in prison. For 26 years she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. But all the while, her mom never gave up praying for her. Her mom eventually bought Maria the Diary of St. Faustina. Maria said she didn't read it at first, but she looked at the pictures. Ten years ago, we gave a program at their parish, and Maria came. We gave her an image of The Divine Mercy. She told us that the program and the Diary tied it all together for her, and she started distributing images.
She said the days she wasn't on drugs she started giving out images. Finally, she lost her job. She hit rock bottom. She looked at that image of Jesus and said, "Please help me." She said she gave Jesus three weeks to help her. The deadline she set was Ash Wednesday that year. She said during that three weeks He did it, He cured her! All her addictions were over with. Ever since then, she's been promoting The Divine Mercy. She's been on fire for it because it's completely changed her life.
We had our program at her parish on Friday night, March 26. We had 300 people there. The following morning, Maria got up and flew to New York. She's joining Pax Christi Sisters in the Bronx. She will officially enter the convent on Aug. 15.
This just proves what we see all the time: We cannot give up on people. We can never give up on anyone. Never. Everyone can change.
To find out more information on Mother of Mercy Messengers, including booking a presentation in your area or purchasing a DVD of their presentations, visit their special homepage.