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Sending relief to Ukraine
Lay outreach ships 31st container of emergency supplies.

From their small office in Tampa, FL, Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM) have brought mercy into yet another country. Their latest stop is in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, where they recently shipped a 40-foot container filled with items for the poor -- everything from medical supplies and clothes to sewing machines and computers. This is the 31st container that they have shipped in the last four years. Dr. Bryan Thatcher, MD, founder of the ministry, estimates that in the first six months of 2001 alone, donations to the poor have totaled more than $750,000.

EADM's growth from five members to an international movement is a story that amazes and inspires. From the first EADM cenacle, which met to pray and study Church teachings, EADM has established cenacles in more than 200 U.S. cities and in over 15 countries. And all this in only six years. It is now a lay outreach of our province of the Marians.

Perhaps no one is more amazed and inspired than Fr. Wladyslaw Wanags, MIC, the Ukrainian priest who is the latest recipient of EADM's donations. He found himself overcome with emotion during the five-hour long unpacking process in Gorodok, Ukraine. Tears of joy welled up in his eyes at the sight of so many desperately needed materials. Even the most rundown items seemed like treasures. "They had begged us to send them anything at all," said Bryan, "even old bedsheets.

"When I toured a hospital there, I saw a humidifier for children that looked like it belonged in a museum," he said, after his recent visit. "I felt as if I had traveled back in time 60-75 years. People were out in the fields with their wooden rakes and horse-drawn carts. They were milking cows by hand into the metal milk cans that one finds only in antique shops in the U.S. There were no stores, few cars, and rarely were there telephones."

Such is the condition of this country where the average salary is $800 per year. "The doctor at the hospital told me he can't make ends meet on his salary," said Bryan. "And he is one of the fortunate. Besides the basic medical supplies and clothing, they also asked for sewing machines and computers. The youth get computer classes in school but, since there are no computers in the classroom, they don't really learn anything."

In addition to the medical supplies, clothes, and machines, the shipping crate also included rosaries -- many, many rosaries. These were among the most important items donated, for prayer is the heart of EADM's mission, and prayer is the first reason they have grown so fast. "Everything comes from prayer," said Diane Brubaker, ministry administrative assistant.

"A vital aspect is our promotion of recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet during Eucharistic Adoration for the sick and dying," said Lee Bowers, ministry facilitator. As Jesus told St. Faustina: "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you. When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" ("Diary," 1541).

Kathy Wabick from the cenacle in Orchard Park, NY, explains how this focus on the Chaplet for the dying has inspired her group. "A small group from our church prays the Divine Mercy Chaplet at the bedside of the sick and dying," she said. "We sometimes travel a great distance, going wherever we are called."

This dedication to exercising mercy is the second reason for EADM's amazing growth. Their prayer and study of Divine Mercy finds its necessary end in merciful living. Each cenacle chooses some work of mercy to bring God's love to this hurting world -- either by small projects like monthly visits to the sick or by massive ones like shipping tons of vital goods to poor countries. "Many people want to learn more about Divine Mercy and how to live the message," said Gretchen Robens, cenacle coordinator. "They just need some direction. I feel our ministry does that."

By reaching out to others, the apostolate is constantly drawing new members who want to share in this mission. Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy are truly seeking to bring Divine Mercy to the whole world. You are warmly invited to join them.

If you would like more information on the work of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, their publications, and the formation of prayer cenacles, call toll free 1-877-380-0727, or visit their website:

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