How tough is raising kids Catholic?

The Mercy Saint's secret

"Must-read" gems on Divine Mercy


Faith defies adversity

We are bound for glory

Teachable moments


Father Joseph Writes

Father Joseph's Mailbox

Ask A Marian

In the News: Feature

In the News: Briefs

In the News: Shrine

Graces Received

Remembered on Eden Hill

Outstanding Helpers

Words to live by

Between Us

Marian Vocations


Outstanding Helpers
"Getting creative with giving."

Ellen Volkman profiles Helpers who support the Marians in special ways.

As a second grade teacher, Alice had her students put on a Christmas pageant each year. They invited all the parents and, for admission, requested a donation of one can of food for Charlie's Pantry, a local food bank.

Alice shared with her students an enthusiasm for helping others. As a cheerful giver, she has also inspired her family and friends.

A few years ago, Alice read in the "Marian Helpers BULLETIN" about Fr. Stanislaus Chryc, MIC's work with poor families in Poland. She was inspired to help. As she thought about what she could do, she decided to get her family and friends involved. She invited them to send Christmas gifts for the children, instead of giving her gifts.

Alice reports a wonderful response: "They not only sent presents, they let me know how happy it made them feel. They are now inviting others to participate."

Assisting the Marians in Poland had become a priority for Alice. "So, when I read that the seminarians and retired priests in Gora Kalwaria, Poland, were living in a monastery that was falling down, I wanted to help," she explains.

The article also mentioned how the Marians were providing daycare, food, and medical attention for street children. "This touched my heart," she says. Because of her background, Alice could appreciate the situation. "I knew that Poland needed help to recover from the grip of communism," she says. "I also saw this as a wonderful opportunity to give tribute to my mother and my grandfather, who came from Poland. They were both very devout, and I thank them for instilling in me a strong faith."

Before she became a teacher, Alice worked in business. Her boss advised her to invest in the stock market. "My goal was to save for retirement," she explains. "I was amazed by how my investments grew. I accumulated more than I needed."

So, Alice called and we met to discuss ways to arrange a special gift. She was preparing to retire, and she had always been very thoughtful about providing for her future security. At the same time, she never forgot what she taught her second graders -- coming up with ways to share.

"It gave me great joy," she recalls, "to know that my investments would help the seminarians, retired priests, and neglected children in Poland. And I could save on taxes at the same time."

Alice even had the opportunity to visit the Marians and the monastery in Poland that she had helped to restore. She was overwhelmed by the welcome that she received. "It was good to see the young seminarians enjoying the comfort of beautiful rooms in an environment conducive to helping them reach their goal," she reports.

Like Alice, each of us has ways we can share. I would be delighted to speak with you about the creative ways you could arrange a gift to help the Marians in their work.

Mrs. 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.

©2001 Marians of the Immaculate Conception. All rights reserved.