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What that means is that those who take him up on

his suggestion will proclaim their intentions to fight

discouragement; be merciful in deed, word, and prayer;

keep before their eyes their own weakness and sin, trust-

ing that contrite hearts please the Lord; and declare their

belief that the Lord can transform them into saints.

The tool with which to do so is the

33 Days to Merciful Love retreat program w

ritten b

y Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC,

which incorporates the spirituality of St.

Thérèse of Lisieux.

“There’s hope. You can make a difference in your

family, your communities, your country, the world,”

says Fr. Gaitley, the priest in the video. “How? By becom-

ing saints, and it’s not so difficult.”

Not so difficult? As day turned to night on Tuesday,

Oct. 11, Fr. Slezak welcomed his parishioners into the

since-shuttered school of Holy Trinity Parish in the city

of Cohoes to find out.

Not so crazy

Alice Benamati left work early to be here. An hour’s

pay forfeited. She’ll do so each Tuesday for the next

four weeks until she stands in Albany’s Cathedral of the

Immaculate Conception with hundreds from around the

diocese, including Bishop Scharfenberger, to recite the

prayer of consecration from

33 Days .

Self-effacing and clearly relishing the fact she success-

fully goaded her husband, David, into joining her, Alice

shrugs, saying, “This is not one crazy church lady with

the idea to get people to pray. This is coming from the





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In the most ‘post-Christian’ region

a diocese gets down to business