A Newsletter of Encouragement!
"Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today..." Heb 3:13
View of the new chapel at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center, still under construction.
A collaborative story by Marianne Lander, and Fred & Ginny del Guidice
Imagine a clock radio with "a mind of its own" a gift from dear Aunt Ruth impacting a married couple in such a way that they are drawn back into the Catholic Church. The Protestant Christian programs he customarily woke to, didn't seem to dial up on this new radio. Fred del Guidice instead began to hear strong Catholic teaching from such radio personalities as Fr Corapi, Jesse "The Latin Lover of our Lord" Romero, among others.
The del Guidice family
Fred was impressed by these orthodox teachings. He soon realized devout Catholics existed who studied the Bible and exuded an enthusiasm compatible with early Church history and the Church Fathers. They were different from other circles of Catholics with whom he had become acquainted who did not seem to take their faith seriously. Keeping at bay for several years the Lord's direction to return to the Catholic Church, it now attracted him.
You may have noticed the marvelous cover Fred provided for the October issue of One Bread, One Body. Fifteen years ago, he discovered this book and remarked to himself how "gutsy" it was. It did not proffer flowery meditations, but rather, hit "between the eyes". Early in 2007 the Holy Spirit prompted him to offer his artistic services for this book. For unknown reasons, his initial emails to Presentation Ministries (PM) bounced back. Finally a connection was made, and just in time! The press was in immediate need of cover art. Fred, working well under pressure, was able to deliver exactly what was needed, both artistically and technically. Providing artwork for PM is among the numerous ways he has served the Lord with his talents.
He supports a family of seven through his art vocation. Because the sale of paintings is not predictable, branching out into a multitude of teaching opportunities fills in the gaps. Besides privately tutoring folks in his own home, a wide diversity of students learn from Fred including those at the University of Akron (Wayne College), and also residents attending the Wayne Community Center For The Arts. He semiannually works with the Enrichment Academy for the Tri-county School District. His teaching benefits every strata of society even the mentally handicapped and also drug addicted youth. "It makes me happy to use God's gifts; I just want to bring glory to His name through my work," says Fred.
He has developed art and music presentations entitled "Thou Art Worthy" which is a family ministry that witnesses about their personal relationship with Jesus and the spiritual road he and the family has traveled.
He supports a family of seven through his art vocation...They can testify to many a miraculous provision from God the Father...
Alongside Fred stands his wife, Ginny, who also made the journey back into the Catholic Church, both of them bringing their children, Hannah, 15, Rachel, 13, Naomi, 11, Fred, 9, and Gabriel, 7. In addition to these five, they are the parents of four more children who already have passed into eternal life. Together, Fred and Ginny home-school their children. [It must be mentioned that daughter, Rachel, publishes her own magazine encouraging young ladies in their faith.] Ginny is very supportive of Fred's artistic career. They have learned to live simply having faith in God's providence. They can testify to many a miraculous provision from God the Father, even in dire medical needs.
Through reading One Bread, One Body, Ginny has long felt the pull of the Bible Institute. The teachings about home-based communities (HBC) caught her attention this year enticing the whole family to travel to Cincinnati to experience their first Bible Institute. It was a blessed four days and three nights. Since returning home to Shreve, Ohio, they have found much support from the Cleveland area HBCs who have reached out to them and welcomed them to participate in their regional gathering, (mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter). Newly learning about home-based communities coincides with their pastor's delving into this same venture.
God bless the del Guidice family and give them the desires of their hearts. Anyone wishing to view Fred's work can go on-line to www.sunartist.com/delguidice.htm. Fred's artwork, used on the front of the penance service program, is shown on the back page of this newsletter.
by Betty Orlando
Inside view of the chapel used in its unfinished state.
Well for instance, Our Lady's Holy Mountain Community will be bursting at the seams if all goes as planed. Betty Orlando, the leader, Carl Fox, Ray Fox, Doris Keller, and Tommy Nichols are current residents and covenanted members. Three others have committed to join us as soon as they can sell or make arrangements for their houses. By next spring there will be six or seven members in residence and three others who have joined our community as nonresidential members: Sylvia Hardewig, John Dunn and Patty Sommer.
To fulfill the vision given to Fr. Al Lauer in earlier days and to build a civilization of love, he developed retreats, the "40-Day Discipleship Program" to minister healing to people and provide formation as disciples of Jesus in the context of Christian Community. This is how the first disciples were formed. So you can see the immediate need for Christian community. This is how we grow and how we learn to live out our baptisms in our daily lives. But of course there is the need for workers to do the administrative tasks, maintenance, cleaning, cooking, public relations, and so on. The work corresponds with the gifts each one brings to the community.
We are in the midst of a huge building project that has been stalled since Fr. Al died in 2002. The project includes a chapel and 40 dorm rooms. We have been praying that this project will be completed by October 13, 2008, the sixth anniversary of Fr. Al's death. Now is the time to move ahead with this project in order to prepare for the flood of souls the Lord will be sending to us to disciple and, in turn, be sent forth to the nations. The Holy Spirit has been telling us to get ready and be prepared. Now we must act.
"...the directors were pleased to accept a $5000.00 donation ... earmarked for the final construction of the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center... even more money ($20,000.00) could be available if they could raise matching donations."
The project is well over half finished, but it will probably take almost a million dollars to complete it if we have to pay for all the labor and materials. We need someone to head up this project who has a heart for Presentation Ministries and the knowledge to carry it through to the end.
Fr. Al also established the Guadalupe Bible College to help people grow further in their faith. He desired the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center to be it's primary campus and the retreats part of the curriculum, along with the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Church and Papal documents.
Can you see how important community will be administration-wise and maintenance-wise when the building project is completed?
Fr. Al always said "let your needs be known and trust in the Lord to meet those needs." During the Bible Institute, the directors were pleased to accept a $5000.00 donation from an individual (who wishes to remain anonymous) earmarked for the final construction of the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center. This person told the directors that even more money ($20,000.00) could be available if they could raise matching donations. With that donation, we have about $70,000.00 for the completion of the project. We need approximately another $900,000.00. We trust that God will provide! We need your prayers, your gifts, and your treasure as the Lord leads you!
[In July, a follow-up email came from the Fults family whose story appeared in the Summer, 2007 Newsletter. Wendy Fults is a member of St Pio Home Based Community, in Madison, Ohio (near Cleveland).]
This is an update on our life since April 4, 2007...
You never realize how much one second can change your life.
When the truck came through my living room wall, not only did the Good Lord spare my life, He protected my children also, especially my youngest. Though in the direct path of the crushing debris, she survived without a scratch!
After three months, the physical injuries I sustained are still healing. Pain continues in the deeply cut toes, and doctors seek diagnosis for what troubles the front of my leg. None of these problems have kept me from performing my usual tasks after the first month had passed.
The Holy Spirit is now guiding our family to schedule, on a daily basis, family prayer, the Saint of the Day, the Rosary, and the Angelus.
Mentally and spiritually, it has been a roller coaster ride. But God never ceases to teach me and I am learning to trust in His wisdom, even in the hardest of times. I struggled with forgiving the man who did this, particularly for his not taking responsibility. After overcoming that, it was a matter of picking up the pieces of my life that had slipped due to my being consumed by this occurrence for a long, long two months.
In June, God cleared the cloudy sky and let the Son shine on us. The house came almost completely back to normal. In fact, He poured His blessings on us and additional household improvements evolved which were not related to the accident.
In my prayers, I have reviewed my life as mother, wife, and child of God, and realized that God is calling me to put both feet forward and leave all of my former self behind. I had neglected much of my role as mother & wife. The Holy Spirit is now guiding our family to schedule, on a daily basis, family prayer, the Saint of the Day, the Rosary, and the Angelus. I am hoping also to include one weekday Mass. Even though a challenge, I know that the sacrifice will bear fruit.
Since choosing to live my life for the Lord, it has been an ongoing process, as, I am sure, it is for everyone. I look at the last two years of our family life and noticed that God faithfully provided for and protected my family through every tough time. More than that, He used each situation to teach us and help us grow. I can now praise Him for allowing these hardships because it increased our reliance on Him.
Our Blessed Mother is calling me. As a convert, I struggle to grow in my devotion to her. I do believe the teachings of the Church and I do believe that she protected my little girl. I trust that if I persevere in asking for her intercession, the time will come, whenever the Lord wills, that I will feel her close to me in my life.
Surely, the prayers of the Community have lifted and carried us through. My family and I are forever thankful for all the prayers offered on our behalf and we are thankful that God provides this Community to share each others' burdens.
The scripture I like to refer to in hard times is "God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13 ).
I have also been praying Proverbs 31:10-31 and Ephesians 5 to help me grow in virtue as wife & mother.
Presentation Ministries helped change my life.
In His Love,
[Editor's note: I chose this article and set it in place on the date of September 11, and was struck by some of the similarities between what Wendy faced and those people who were on the scenes of the two attacks in New York and Washington, DC:
by Bonnie Bobrowski
There was time set aside for music and praise and healing prayers.
Sunday, August 26, 2007 was a very beautiful day for the four PM home-based communities in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The weather started out rainy, but by early afternoon the sun came out and the temperature was just right, warm and not humid.
The four communities:
all met at Immaculate Conception parish in Madison for a potluck picnic on the beautiful parish grounds. The communities were all well represented and got to know one another better.
After dinner, Fr. Sean Donnelly, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, had a Mass at the parish outdoor shrine. Deacon Ken Meade assisted Fr. Donnelly. Following Mass there was additional time for prayer and praise and prayers for healing for those who could stay longer. The communities of the Cleveland area would like to have more times together and to have an active branch of Presentation Ministries.
27 August 2007
Sunday, August 12th, saw an ambitious crew of eighteen students and young adults, and four adult chaperones leaving Cincinnati on a three and a half hour trek to Louisa, Kentucky. This small rural city, located in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky, ranks among the poorest in the nation. Our workers, many of whom are present and former members of St. John Bosco Youth Group, prepared to assist the "Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center." The services we performed encompassed a wide range. We loaded and unloaded trailers of donated goods arriving at and departing from the warehouse to all parts in the vicinity. Various ministry buildings received a new paint job through our hands, while some reorganized an entire consignment shop, and others prepared a food pantry to reopen. And then there was the inescapable chore known everywhere: cutting grass.
The whole group poses with Fr. Beiting.
Of these several endeavors, the largest task requiring a hefty amount of labor was the consignment shop reorganization. This shop provides Louisa residents with affordable furniture, household products, and clothing. At the onset, there were untold piles of women's, men's, and children's clothing strewn across the store. Under the direction of Pam Bettner, one of the adult chaperones, the shop transformed into a "department store" style, with separate sections for each type of clothing, a "house wares department," and even the furniture was gathered into its own space.
During the trip, we had the opportunity to listen to Fr. Beiting speak of his life and commitment to the people of Appalachian. He spoke of current projects of the mission center, one such being the establishment of the new drug rehabilitation center. Fr. Beiting deemed this to be the next necessary step in his ministry, as Appalachia is the most heavily addicted region, per capita, to the drug, crystal methamphetamine. Another sizable work underway is the construction of a larger warehouse for the storing of goods to help the community. Fr. Beiting currently rents a warehouse for this storage, but is fast outgrowing it.
How remarkable to see the fruits of a person who has dedicated his entire life to being a missionary to the poor. He is a real-life example of what it means to feed the hungry.
by Kay Vossler
Recently, I was in the midst of preparing a teaching for Guadalupe Bible College (GBC) in Cleveland, Ohio on the subject "How To Teach the Bible." I thought it would be helpful to revisit some of my homework papers dating back to when I was a GBC student. Fr. Al Lauer was then one of my teachers and my mentor. While perusing the letters he included with my returned homework, I felt his presence as if he were in the room with me, offering encouragement and correction (often necessary). This experience brought before me the whole circumstances of my becoming a student in GBC.
In 1996 I attended a seminar at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center in Peebles, Ohio where Fr. Al was the principal teacher. His clear, insightful teaching style and even the way he set his notes on the blackboard helped me understand the Scriptures. At some point he approached me as I was busily copying his notes and suggested to me that I might make a good student in GBC. He next had to explain what GBC was as I hadn't a clue. I determined to give the College a try.
When I commenced my courses many hurdles cropped up in my life to make prayer, study, and written work difficult. My mother came to live with us and needed a lot of my time and attention. This had an upside. Since I couldn't leave her for very long, I was home to do GBC work. Next, a serious car accident occurred leaving me wheelchair bound for some time and subsequently dependent on a walker for many months. But since I was home, I COULD DO my GBC homework. After that, I faced open heart surgery, and guess what, since I was home I COULD DO my GBC work. Actually, it was the reading, praying, and studying the Bible that pulled me through these trying times. Fr. Al was always there for me in prayers, letters and encouragement. He wrote at the bottom of one of his letters, "Thank God that you have accepted the grace to be a doer of God's word."
Being part of a teaching team with brothers and sisters of St Anthony Home-based Community, the Lord allows us to pass on the blessings of knowing Jesus through His Word just as Fr Al did with us. "Thank you, Fr. Al, and some day we will be with you in heaven and can thank you in person."
After sharing this wonderful experience in GBC, I can't pass up the opportunity to invite all who read this article to consider joining the Guadalupe Bible College where you will find the joy, mercy, and love that God has in store for you.
For information, contact:
Our Lady Of Guadalupe Bible College
P.O. Box 96, Madison, Ohio 44057
by Shelley Meade
The Guadalupe Bible College graduation was held this past July during the Presentation Ministries 2007 Bible Institute. This year's graduates were Marguerite Dombroski from Alum Bridge, WV, and Mary L. Hanley from Dorr, MI.
Following the awarding of the graduation certificate Fr. Marty Mannion, a 2006 graduate of the Bible College lead all those present in prayer and gave us his blessing.
In the fall of 1993 Fr. Al Lauer had a vision to bring together many of the catechetical programs within Presentation Ministries, develop them further and establish a Catholic Bible College.
Following the Catholic Church teaching, Guadalupe Bible College's (GBC) vision is to contribute to the church and society through in-depth study of Sacred Scripture, Church documents, and Church history. The goal of GBC is to equip the students to follow Jesus' command to make disciples who transform society and permeate the secular culture with the Gospel.
Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16 "all scripture is inspired of God and useful for teaching for reproof, correction, and training in holiness so that men of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work." Marguerite and Mary have given witness to their faith through a deep commitment to authentic Christian living.
Marguerite Dombroski has used what she has learned by being a catechist in her parish and in prison ministry. Mary Hanley was unable to attend this year's Bible Institute. David Hanley, Mary's husband is also a student in GBC.
We received this communication from a listener:
Dear Presentation Ministries Staff,
When I first started listening to the "Daily Bread" podcasts back in April of this year, I wasn't aware that Fr. Lauer had passed away. It wasn't until a month or so later after Father's daily teachings had started to make a profound impact on my spirituality, that I found out about his battle with cancer and his untimely death. I now feel as though he is speaking to me every day from heaven and helping to guide my life helping me to know the Lord better and better. As a result of his "Daily Bread" talks, I have made a commitment in my life to NOT be simply a passive listener of the program, but to put into action the call to bring others along in their relationship with Jesus through His Spirit.
This past Pentecost was extremely meaningful to me as a result of Father's insights into the Holy Spirit and the Feast of Pentecost. I feel as though the Holy Spirit has lit a fire inside of me. I have a hunger to know Him more and more everyday. Through Father's urging, I have made daily Mass and Communion a part of my life. Thank you, Fr. Lauer. You are truly a special saint in heaven to me. I can't wait to meet you someday when I join you with the Lord.
by Marianne Lander
PM Founder, Fr. Al Lauer
How should one observe October 13, 2007, the 5-year anniversary of the death of Fr. Al Lauer, founder of Presentation Ministries (PM)? It became clear that Fr. Al would have wanted us to keep concentrating on the Sacraments. The date coincided with the Annual Home Based Communities's (HBC) Retreat, so he may have wished, too, for those planning the weekend, to focus on families and also on the broader "family" the spiritual family.
The other sacrament to which we have access from day to day, besides the Mass, is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Therefore, the planners opted to open the weekend with a penance service, inviting all to participate, members and guests alike. The format chosen was Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours a sung version involving much music and praise. Following the vibrant service, individual confessions were heard.
The next morning, HBC members regathered at St. Antoninus, for the 8:00AM parish Mass. It must be noted that the Mass intention that day, unbeknownst to Mary Handermann (a PM leader), was for her deceased husband, Carl. Upon hearing that particular Mass intention spoken, the organist chose a closing song in honor of Carl, "Soon and Very Soon" his favorite. The celebrant, Fr. Larry Mick, also mentioned Fr. Al's 5-year anniversary during the Eucharistic prayer. This served to remind us that two beloved PM members were in our midst praying on our behalf. In addition to those two were surely a host of other PM members "who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith."
Stirring teachings were presented next by George Schmidl and Jerry Cappel. We strengthened our understanding of the mission of PM and revisited the "Pastoral Plan" developed in the Jubilee Year, 2000 by the leaders of Presentation Ministries.
Saturday morning was rounded off with a recitation of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. This date also marked the 90th anniversary of the last apparition of Mary at Fatima. Everyone then headed to Harvest Home Park and closed the retreat with a family picnic. The sunny weather made this a pleasant end to a memorable retreat.
Passing on to eternal life did not stop Jack Stiens, one of Presentation Ministries' (PM) best recruiters, from inspiring another volunteer to step forward. Soon after Jack's funeral Mike Spuzzillo, his grandson, contacted PM about doing a service project in order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In memory of his beloved grandfather who gave so much time for One Bread, One Body mailings, he wished to undertake a repair task at our Ministry Center.
Below, Mike Spuzzillo (right) and his cousin, Dominic Guiliano, prepare to paint the ceiling in the women's rest room. Midway through the lengthy project, they maintained a steady pace in their work.
After consultation with Ed and Loretta Nerswick, the Building Ministry Leaders, a much-needed job was decided upon. Mike would repair and renovate the men's and women's rest rooms in the basement of the Cincinnati Ministry Center. Anyone having seen the previous state of those two rest rooms can appreciate the magnitude of this generous gift.
Approximately twenty-five others teamed up with Mike to supply the needs and complete the work. Mr Reckers and Dr John Tholking provided significant on-going consultation, training, and tools. Others donated money for the materials. And during the hottest period of the summer, friends and family members labored many hours to finish within the specified time period.
Mike was amazed how many facets of the work there were to learn. Skills in raising funds, plumbing, electrical, painting, tiling, ceiling, and finishing all came into play. Even with a skill he thought he new plenty aboutpaintinghe still learned something new. One most satisfying aspect was to see how well the drop ceiling turned out. This was a section of the work on which he personally spent much time.
A test of his endurance arose toward the end when a leak was found in a fixture due to old, old screws that were found to be in shambles. This meant an unexpected setback and delay in completion, but was handled properly and with good grace.
Mike logged a total of 286 hours beginning in May with consultation and planning, and ending in August. There were then final entries to be made in the report he presented to the Boys' Scout Board which is essential to the whole project.
Mike is currently a senior at Milford High School while also working a part time job. He remembers coming to Presentation Ministries in his younger years along with his grandfather to help pack One Bread, One Body books for shipping. We know that Jack Stiens would be very proud of the labor of love initiated by his grandson during the summer of 2007. We wish to say: "Thank you, Mike Spuzzillo! And many blessings upon you!"
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Phone: (513) 662-5378
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com