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With an Eye on My Ancestors

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Thank you to Holy Souls Sodality member Anadele Roulain of Kerrville, Texas, who sent in the following testimony:

Although I was raised as a Protestant, I have always had a sensitivity to those who have passed from this life. I came along later in my parents' life, so the kinfolk were already getting up in age by the time I came along. There were many deaths in the family in my early years. I came to understand that the souls of the deceased were present and that the vail between life and death is thin.

The story now picks up in 2015. I was worried about the state of the world and prayed that God would raise up leaders for the people. Then Pope Francis came to visit the United States. I'm a tax preparer, so this was my offseason. I happened to be watching TV when coverage of Pope Francis' trip came on. I listened to what he had to say, and something touched my heart. I said to myself, "Well, there he is." He asked for our prayers. I went down to the local grocery store and bought a Pope Francis candle and burned it for him.

January is when the tax season becomes full-on. So there had been enough time for me to read about Pope Francis and learn his devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots. I didn't have a Rosary and didn't know how to pray the Rosary, but I knew I could pray the prayers each day for nine days. Then situations in my life began changing for the better. So, I went back to work in January 2016 all excited about this. I told both of my bosses, a husband and wife who are devout Catholics. Another tax preparer there is Catholic, as well. She brought to work something she thought I would be interested in, called the Marian Helper magazine. I ordered a Mary, Untier of Knots, magnet for the refrigerator, and that's how the connection was made to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

After tax season, Louise took me to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Comfort, Texas. It was a phenomenal experience. My interest grew. Then we spoke of going through RCIA. She offered to be my sponsor. It was still 2016. That summer, tracing my ancestry became very important to me. I spent a massive amount of time doing this. It was in January 2017 that I joined the Holy Souls Sodality. Because of the experiences in my younger years, this seemed the place to start because I wanted to learn. And learn I did through the Sodality and the other information I received from the Marian Fathers. I completed RCIA on March 31, 2018.

When the Holy Souls Sodality declared 2019 the Year of St. Joseph, I learned about this great saint. But another concern arose. I read the book by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, After Suicide: There's Hope for Them and for You. I didn't know of any suicides in my family. Still, I was drawn to the topic. Then, I remembered a high school classmate who had committed suicide, so I prayed for the soul of this classmate. I appreciated the concept from the book — that God is not confined by time and space and that our prayers for the deceased are not for naught, even after so much time has passed. I can't say I fully understood this, but it rang true. So, I thought, "What can it hurt to pray?"

About that time there was a daily reading that listed the 14 generations that led to the birth of Jesus. Then it hit me: I should pray for the souls of my deceased relatives. I did the same for my husband's family. I prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Then, I lit a Divine Mercy seven-day candle and let it burn. This gave me a lot of peace. I believe I was able to help souls in Purgatory who I believe had been crying for help.

Then, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, published his book Consecration to St. Joseph. As I read the book, it occurred to me that if I could consecrate myself to St. Joseph, then why not pray to St. Joseph every day to bless my ancestors?

I believe that certain situations — "knots," if you will — began to untangle. This was no coincidence. Same thing with the newest book by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, 33 Days to Greater Glory. I read that, and an awful lot of peace has come about as a result — peace having to do with ancestors. I continue to pray for them.

This all started because of the For Heaven's Sake newsletter.

Thanks so much.

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Cheyenne - Sep 23, 2020

This is a beautiful article. I too feel the same feelings. I pray the Pieta Prayer Book daily, I started saying The 15 St. Bridget Prayers, my Parents also prayed them when they were living. It started with that and has now grown to saying the entire book , just about, daily give or take a few of them. I carry it with me everywhere! I have told many people I know about the book and have given many away, when I have some to give. Thank you all, and I pray for each and everyone of you.

Cheyenne - Sep 23, 2020

I am a Marian Helper, joined last Month.
I faithfully watch your Daily Morning Mass, I purchased St. Faustina’s Diary many months prior to learning about The Marian Fathers. I also love the teachings on Saturday’s by Father Chris Alar, super informative, I absolutely look forward to them each week! Thank you Marian Fathers for all you do, all of you are in my prayers.