A Newsletter of Encouragement!
"Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today..." Heb 3:13
Coworker, John Dunn, teaches at a large turn out for the annual January Coworker Retreat.
Home-Based Community News
by Darlene Davis
The Bible Telephone Line (BTL) has been in operation for 19 years. Begun by Fr. Al in 1991, it now continues with three teachers trained by him and by Presentation Ministries. In cities where local numbers have been established, the BTL provides callers with a short teaching on the readings for the daily Mass. It is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Callers may also leave a short prayer request which will be shared on the line with the other callers the next day.
BTL has changed providers, and ALL THE NUMBERS IN THE VARIOUS CITIES HAVE CHANGED. If you have called the BTL in the past, please check below for the new local number in your city.
New technology has made possible a much more simplified process for co-workers and other volunteers in various cities to make BTL available as a local call. Our previous system was quite cumbersome and required the workers in the various cities to perform a several step ministry each day. Now the ministry is reduced to simply advertising the local number in the area where the volunteer lives. We provide several advertising helps and suggestions to workers in the various cities. If your city is not listed below and you would like to make BTL available as a local call in your city, call or email Deacon Wayne or Darlene Davis, 317 462-5010, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert, from Lexington, KY, jumped in with both feet. He set into place two radio ads promoting the Bible Telephone Line, which will air on 1380-AM, Real Life Radio in Lexington and surrounding area.
He chose the Lexington Diocese "Cross Roads Publication" to insert an ad for the Bible Line (see below), and then developed a business card (see right) to be distributed around town. Interestingly enough, he did not mention "daily Mass readings" nor give PM's phone number in hopes that it may generate non-Catholic callers as well.
by Marianne Lander
Not too long ago, attending a parish event, I was thunderstruck by a verse from the song: "Take Up Your Cross" by Charles W. Everest in our Gather songbook (Copyright 1994 by GIA Publications, Inc). Singing merrily along it's a catchy tune I was unexpectedly caught short by the last verse admonishing me NOT to EVEN THINK about laying my cross down any time before my own death would release me to the after life.
On Sunday, October 3, this year we heard in the second reading of the Sunday Mass (2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14) about "stirring into flame" the gift of God given to us." We could consider ourselves (like St. Paul) "a prisoner for His sake"...bearing our "share of hardship for the gospel."
We just recently passed Fr. Al's anniversary of his death, October 13.
May Fr. Al's intercessory prayer, his
example, and his often quoted scripture "Duc In Altum" (Put out into the
deep) Luke 5:4 inspire us to go forward with greater courage, hope, and strength. Father Al, pray for us.
Leader Our Lady of Guadalupe HB
Members of Presentation Ministries (PM) again made their one year commitments to our Lay Association. Coworkers, Home-Based Community members, Ministry Leaders, Networkers, and Directors, who are in the Cincinnati area gathered on Friday, November 19 to celebrate a special Mass for this purpose.
Sometimes the Evil One applies pressure on us to give up, to drop out, to say to oneself: "I have done my share." "Enough." Taking seriously PM's yearly commitment can seem, in a particularly burdensome year, like we are being held "prisoner" for the sake of the Lord. In one sense, it is true. We are "harnessing" ourselves to a certain set of responsibilities and obligations that use up our time and energy when we would rather be doing other things, or just plain relaxing.
Bearing our share of hardship with power is possible because Jesus is yoked along with us into that harness. We volunteer as a "prisoner for His sake." Catholics can model themselves on two recent exemplary pontiffs. Through old age and poor health, Pope John Paul II strove to serve the Church until his death. At a time when he surely could not be faulted for choosing retirement, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the pontificate at the age of 78. Whatever responsibilities we are saddled with, due to our state in life and our call to ministry, we can be steadfast till death because God supplies the necessary "grace of state" (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2004).
by Mike Halm
The Statutes of Our Lady of Presentation Communities and Ministries only gives a brief description of how to become a lifelong member of Presentation Ministries. In article 4.4 it says: "Lifelong members must be receiving regular spiritual direction", "make a one-year commitment followed by three two-year commitments" and "submit a letter indicating this to the directors by September 8th ... accompanied by a letter of approval from his spiritual director. If the directors approve the request, the applicant will make the commitment on November 21."
This is similar to the kind of lifelong commitment described in "The Miracle-masterpiece of Marriage" in Who Am I in Christ, written by Fr Al Lauer. "Therefore, the prerequisites for marriage [or similarly, lifelong membership in Presentation Ministries] are that we fall in love with Christ, the Head, and His body, the Church, to such a degree as to desire to be His living, lifelong signs to the whole world." It is a witness to a world sorely lacking commitment. In the case of lifelong commitment, it takes the help of a spiritual director to discern someone's desire to be "His sign" as a lifelong member of Presentation Ministries (PM).
There are several members of Presentation Ministries who have been members since the beginning, who will likely stay members until death, but who have not taken that next step. In my own case, I was touched by the witness of the two widows, Mary Holtke and Vivian Jansen, who were the first to make lifelong commitments. I made the mistake however of telling the Lord, "There should be a man doing that too," and He said, "Yes, there should." The desire endured the seven-year formation period. An explanation of how we lived this out can be read in Fr Al Lauer's book, Unless the Lord Build the House. The covenant of the Promised Community (the lifelong members' home-based community), was put forth as a sample covenant. "We promise to live and encourage one another in a lifelong commitment to Presentation Ministries, celibate life for the Kingdom, and simple lifestyle." Living a simple lifestyle flowed from each of our previous commitments as Secular Franciscans, not a requirement of the lifelong commitment to PM, but certainly a great help.
In addition to the co-worker promise to read the Scriptures, we also promised to read the Pope's encyclicals and exhortations adding, "By a lifetime commitment to Presentation Ministries and Communities, we have promised to work for the spread of the Gospel." The lifelong commitment to PM means a lifelong commitment to growing in understanding and communicating the gospel message. This, however, is exactly our baptismal promise as Christians.
Finding a spiritual director and keeping one is certainly the hardest part of the lifelong commitment. I have been blessed to have a spiritual director continuously since making my lifelong commitment in 1992. I am now on my third one in seventeen years, meeting together for an hour every two months. It is not the same as going to a regular confessor, even though my spiritual directors have all been priests. It is not the same as just having a prayer partner with whom you pray for each others needs. Having someone who has made a lifelong vow to his or her calling certainly encourages me to remain faithful and stay on track. Often he simply asks me, "How's you prayer life?" On those occasions when I answer "Not so good," he says, "So what are you going to do about it?" He helps me discern God's will for me now and for the foreseeable future. We pray together for what is or should be going on in my life. He helps me find the direction I already have available from the Holy Spirit.
Those who have made one-year commitments to the co-workers or a home-based community many consecutive years have discovered that theirs was in fact a lifelong commitment after all. The difference is this: the lifelong member in Presentation Ministries is given the grace to proclaim outwardly the willingness to give all to Him Who gave all for us.
"Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message." Psalm 19:5
We receive emails regarding One Bread, One Body (OBOB), or the radio program "Daily Bread", or other features from our website or ministries.
An Archdiocesan Staff Person, USA:
Thank you and please continue and do not stop Fr. Lauer's ministry on the internet!!!! It is such a blessing and I am in awe to see the compilations that go so well with the daily readings. I did not know he had passed. I listen to him every day and have him also on my podcast. We are starting a youth group in my parish, and I am going to recommend your website to all youth and young adults. God bless your website! I will pray for your great labor and great job of this evangelization tool on the internet.! ~C. N.
PM on Facebook
A Presentation Ministries group on Facebook has been created. If you use Facebook search for Presentation Ministries and you can request to join.
Thanks for your work. Fr Lauer's talk of 4/21/08 on Trinitarian unity was beautiful and vital to deepen my understanding of the Eucharist. His weekday talks are part of my daily devotion. I never miss. May God Bless your work. ~Greg
These readings have such a huge impact on my life. I am 22 and I try to encourage more of my peers to read them! I have been reading them for years and only recently did I start to read the Bible passages that go along with it. Now I see why they are there...it is not the same without reading them. I wish I had done it the right way all along. Thank you so much for blessing me! ~Anna
From Gainesville, Florida:
I am so happy that there is an online version of OBOB. I also am grateful that our Church through PM is reaching out to many people who do not know about how available Jesus Christ is through the reading of daily scriptures. Oh God! I am so honored to be apart of the Catholic Church. Keep up the good work because it made such a difference in my life. Peace. ~Lorena
Hello! Just wanted to send you a thank you for the Daily Bread radio on 1560AM. I listen to it on my way to work in the morning. I find Father Lauer's talks encouraging! Again, thanks! ~Kevin
Dear editors of PRESENTATION-MINISTRIES-COM!
I am a catholic priest! For sure it is One Bread and One Body! I am very very happy to receive such great sp ritual Biblical presentations! Which is nourishing my life, my soul, my whole personality! God Bless you abundantly! I will follow daily all your presentations! Go ahead! Always Praise to His Holy Name! Amen! ~Fr. G.
From an Internet Reader:
Dear friend and brother in Christ (if I may call you that),
I am a born again Christian, and was looking on the internet for daily devotions. None seemed right, all seemed to portray flashing advertisements, appeals for money, and were very difficult to make sense of. Then the Lord popped into my mind "search for The Beatitudes," and I came across you site. Excellent, simple practical and sound teaching, centered on the Word.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Even though I am not Catholic, it doesn't matter. I pray that your work will continue to expand. ~an Internet reader
Thank you for renewing my faith with this. I was doubting it. I have had it sent to my email daily and I know have a renewed sense of faith. I hope again, I have a greater relationship with God. I want to share this with my Parents who have helped me through this rough time as well as you and God; plus a dear friend. Thank you again. Please do not ever stop this site it is a God-Send for the lost souls. ~JL
Even though "dated", this article describes a wonderful work of the Lord...
As home based communities of Presentation Ministries (PM) came together to share and grow in our faith. The communities of Totus Tuus and House of Loreto, along with the prayer group Anima Christi were blessed to spend a day with mentors, Dave and Janet Willig, and Mark and Mary Hennessey.
Meeting in Paulding, Ohio we began with a communion service, prayer and praise and then shared breakfast together. During the morning session we heard talks on "Call to Holiness" and "Life in Small Christian Community": using our spiritual gifts. After lunch we learned about "Community Networking for Power and Protection." A healing service and commissioning ended our day of spiritual teachings. A walk in the "Journey of Joy" Prayer Garden and the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet saw our community members headed safely back home.
Keeping In Touch
For technical reasons, we have not been able to publish our PM newsletter for almost two years. It is good to hear from each of the PM Home Based Communities (HBC), even though past dated, to learn about their activities and how they are living out their covenants, and working their various out-reach ministries. From these examples, we can glean ideas for our own HBCs. We build each other up in faithfulness and endurance. On this page are examples of what some of the HBCs have been doing since our previous newsletter.
As an outlying community, we had looked forward to this day with great anticipation. We sometimes feel that we are not connected enough to the core group of members in Cincinnati, especially when we hear all of the wonderful ministries and activities that happen there. We have built up a relationship with several members of PM through our phone calls and we always look forward to that time of sharing. To have the opportunity to meet together and spend time in prayer and sharing was very precious to us. The Willigs and Hennesseys are in love with Jesus and on fire for their faith and that fire sparked a flame in all of us. We could see God's love in them and how they live out their vocations as Catholics, spouses, parents and small Christian community members. They, along with all of us in Presentation Ministries, are doing our best to live out our call to holiness.
Together, what we became more aware of that day is that "different" is OK. God made each of us unique and in that uniqueness we each will walk a different path to holiness. Our Totus Tuus and House of Loreto Communities may not be in the center of the hub of PM activity, but we have our own ministries amidst our faith commitment and God is giving us our own opportunities to witness to those around us, to be His hands and His feet. Presentation Ministries is giving us the tools to do this and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which each of us has received, we pray to live out our call to holiness and to become the saints that we are called to be.
Each day I look at a little cross-stitch picture beside my bed that states, "Saints are sinners who keep on trying." So as Dave Willig tells us on our phone calls each month, "Keep on keeping on."
March 20, 2009, Kathy Marcum, a member of New Creations HBC, went home to be with the Lord. She passed away at about 11:30AM after suffering a heart attack. She was found in her apartment at West Park and transported to Mercy Hospital ICU. Blessedly, her family was with her when she died
Kathy served Presentation Ministries in several ways. She came faithfully to the ministry center to help with tapes and mailings. She also responded to PM emails for several years along with calling volunteers for book packing and other mailings. She helped at the Bible Institute for many years. She has had to battle several health issues in her lifetime and especially in recent years. She made the best of it , though, and tried to keep up with her volunteer work.
Lord, we thank you for Kathy and for her willingness to serve you. We ask that you perfect her quickly and be with her as she makes this transition to her new life. Be with her family giving them comfort and peace. We especially pray for her two sons, her daughter-in-law and grandson as well as the new grandbaby.
Our Lady of Guadalupe HBC held another "Prayer on the Square" on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 2008 at Noon on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
Our out-reach ministry is to promote and support Pro-Life/Pro-Family activities and events. The purpose of this annual public rosary prayer is to stop all violence including abortion in the City of Cincinnati.
In December 1531 in Mexico City our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to the humble, poor Indian, Juan Diego, and left her image on his tilma as a sign to the Bishop to build her a temple, "where I will give to the people all my love, compassion, aid, and protection." This tilma image of Our Lady of Guadalupe resulted in the conversion of 6 million pagan Aztec Indians to the Catholic Church and ended their practice of sacrificing millions of humans lives to their pagan gods. We encourage all to pray the rosary through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to stop all violence including abortion and to bring peace to our land.
Our St. Pio Community was requested to do a skit for our annual youth renewal on Feb. 13th. We came to our parish center, where 45 unsuspecting youths and many advisors had gathered. We were dressed as hippies, complete with wigs and shades. We did a pantomime as the "Living Stones" to a take-off song (in the Christian tradition) called "God's Mobile Home". It was a parody to a song done by Bob Dylan, except using with words about Christ, not the Rolling Stones. We had great fun doing this and then continued with a few more praise and worship songs, as the kids didn't want us to stop.
We have branched out in our outreach endeavors from nursing homes to youth groups now. As you can see by the pictures, there's no limit to our "talents" God has blessed us with.
May God continue to bless everyone in Cincinnati, and all of PM members with good health and joy.
Appropriately, the Co-Worker Retreat in January of the Year of St. Paul was on "evangelization". It began, as usual, with the Communites' Mass on Friday and continued with teachings and fellowship on Saturday.
Nancy Kenny launched the day with "The Key to Evangelization". The key is, she said, daily preoccupation with evangelization. She reminded the co-workers that, like wisdom, it begins with fear of the Lord. It grows out of our daily worship of the Lord. Worship is giving our self to God. It becomes natural to share with others that heightened life we find through worshipping Him. A most interesting part of her talk was presented by her children. They produced a skit about secondhand worship. We learned that there is no scriptural basis for having someone else worship for you. We must do it ourselves. We need to experience the effect of the Good News in our own life before we can share it with others, whether we do so by example or with words.
John Dunn continued the talks by defining evangelization as sharing what God has done for you personally. He gave examples of how it was done in Acts. Stephen's martyrdom witnessed to Saul, before Saul ever knew he was called. Phillip served before he answered the eunuch's questions. Like them, our continual conversion is what converts others.
Based on The Mission of Christ the Redeemer, Mary Cappel listed the obstacles to evangelizing as we are called to do. Some obstacles are external: the culture's pervasive atheism, consumerism, materialism, addictions, bad catechesis. Many, however, are internal: our own failure to listen to God. She quoted St. Ambrose that we will be held accountable for all our "sinful silences".
The key to evangelization, she said, is daily preoccupation with evangelization.
After lunch, Jerry Cappel elaborated on the conditions that need to take place before evangelization, what has traditionally been called "pre-evangelization". He shared that he has come to accept the nickname of the Discipleship Center as "The Farm". Referring to the parable of the seed, he gave different methods for different "soils". Presentation Ministries works primarily with the people pulled by the cares of the world (Gal. 6:14; 2 Cor. 12). We are also called to evangelize those who are fertile, fellow co-workers. We need, he said, to help move our brothers and sisters from thirty-fold and from sixty-fold to a hundred-fold. "Resist the devil, imitate Jesus and join the saints and angels in Heaven!"
We need, he said, to use every means possible: intercession, and bountiful sowing of God's Word (after spending much time in God's Word ourselves). Make use of prophesy and other gifts of the Spirit, like hospitality. Most importantly, we need to be persistent in watering, fertilizing, and cultivating the soil.
The retreat finished with Pam Bettner's overview of all that had gone before and relating it to the Year of St, Paul. She even encouraged co-workers in power evangelization, expecting signs and wonders. "The Word is effective," she encouraged us, "eventually."
Welcome to a new feature of the PM Newsletter. It's geared to those who are Co-Workers and anyone interested in growing in their faith and relationship with the Lord.
In this corner we hope to explain the benefits and commitments of a Co-Worker and call all to accountability.
All Presentation Ministries Co-Workers grow spiritually by committing to take on seven spiritual responsibilities.
The challenge is to take this commitment to the next level.
The commitment we will look at in this issue is the promise to attend Mass more often than on Sunday. This commitment is for the benefit of each Co-Worker and for PM. Every time we attend Mass we have the possibility to grow in grace and relationship with the Lord. As we frequent the Eucharistic Banquet we then become receptacles of the love of God and become capable of bringing His love into the world. We have the potential to fill the world with love. You benefit, the world benefits, and by keeping Presentation Ministries in your intentions, the ministry benefits. By being part of the growing number of frequent (or daily) Mass movement attendees you are tapping into the most perfect means of grace.
The challenge is to take this commitment to the next level. If you are not attending more frequently than Sundays, add attending one extra Mass a week to your schedule. If you are attending more than Sundays now, strive to make it a daily communion with the Lord. For all of us no matter the frequency, the challenge is to prepare yourself through prayers and readings to grow in your understanding of the potential power the Mass has to offer us and the world. Reading and reflecting on the daily Mass scripture readings ahead of time will prepare us to meet the Lord in the Mass. Reading the reflections on the Mass readings in our "One Bread One Body" booklet will aid you in putting into action the call of the Lord for the day.
We would like to hear from you. How are you living the Co-Worker promises, and what effect have you seen in your life?
by Jerry Cappel
Again many leaders of PM made a prolife pilgrimage to Washington DC. On our bus, we had Marianne Lander, Jerry Cappel, Mark & Barb Schuermann and family, Dave & Janet Willig and family as well as many other members of PM (Karen and Zack Auchiello, Ray/Sue Kohlmeier). They joined other Catholics to fill a bus that was organized through two local Western Hills (Cincinnati) parishes Our Lady of Lourdes and St Jude's parish. Each year, "The March for Life" takes place on January 22nd because it is the anniversary of the two famous Supreme Court decisions (Roe vs. Wade & Doe vs. Bolton) that allows abortion to be legal at any time of pregnancy all nine months. People from around the United States travel there to protest. It is hard for this writer to understand how this holocaust, where mothers are allowed to legally murder their infants, has been going on for 36 years now! It is estimated that about 50 million babies have been murdered since that law was enacted.
So what was different about this year?
1. Each year, the highlight of the trip is attending the vigil Mass at the "Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception". What seemed different to me this year was the heightened amount of Catholic leadership participating in this cause. Surely the Church has always been highly prolife and supportive of this march, but this year, there were five cardinals, about 40 archbishops and bishops, as well as over 350 priests and deacons who processed into church! Truly this issue is a big deal to our Church and to our society!
2. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities was the principle celebrant and homilist. This year, he talked about the FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) which is being promoted by our new President. If passed, FOCA will revoke all the state laws which were enacted to safeguard abortions (eliminating parental notification, any ban on partial birth abortion) and would force by law even Catholic Hospitals to provide abortion or close! Again, this is very serious and being fought by the Church.
3. Father Bowman, Pastor of St. Jude's (in Cincinnati, OH) was present. At the end of the pilgrimage, Fr. Bowman gave us perspective; that is: the march for this year is over, but the work is got to keep going EACH DAY. We have to keep praying, fasting, and working for the prolife cause. We need to double our efforts. We are the Church and as members of this mystical body, we need to persevere to bring an end to this holocaust.
What was the same as last year?
1. This trip was truly a pilgrimage! Those who participated prayed many rosaries, sacrificed their time, and witnessed to the hypocrisy of legalized abortion. Praise God for their prayers, their witness, their perseverance, and their desire to right the wrong that continues today!
2. It is very inspiring to see so many young adults and children in support of human life in the march. It appeared to me that the numbers of participants were about the same as last year. But, it is very hard to compare how large the crowd is when you are in the middle of it.
3. The prolife march was again ignored by the media. There was no coverage in Cincinnati that I am aware of and the coverage in DC was minimal.
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3230 McHenry Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com