A Newsletter of Encouragement!
"Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today..." Heb 3:13
High marks for this year's Bible Institute... Many feel it was "The best ever"!
Sr Alicia Buddan attends the 2011 Bible Institute
Sr. Alicia Buddan took the time to collect comments from thirty-seven readers of One Bread, One Body in Belize where the book is reprinted in English. Here is a sampling of what they wrote.
Thirza writes: "I try to remember or repeat in my mind a scripture in the One Bread, One Body and see how I can apply the scripture in my day. Or I see if I have been living the scripture... Sometimes it highlights what I am going through and helps to increase my faith. I can easily carry the book in my purse and re-read while I am waiting in line for service. It's a constant reminder of how to live a life that brings God's joy."
Nelida remarks: "The One Bread, One Body majority of the time speaks to me. I marvel at how [many times] it is talking about what I am experiencing or what is happening in the community. I try to remember it throughout the day, to keep me in check. I like the 'Prayers', the 'Praises', and the 'Promises'."
"I like the One Bread, One Body," says Alberta, "because after reflecting on it, it is easier to understand the Gospel. Especially when it gives examples of our own life style and the way we do different things. ...At times I fit myself into these readings. It makes me realize who I am or where I am with the Lord."
Noemi adds this: "The One Bread, One Body ... keeps me focused on the topic (e.g. faith, sin, Confession). The 'Praise' at the end uplifts me very much...This book is very helpful in the sense that it keeps me ...in union with the Church teachings."
"To begin with," states Sonia, "the One Bread, One Body acts as a guide to show me what scriptures to read for the day...Many times it speaks to me of things that I should not be doing, or to comfort me when I am going through difficulties. It always has a word that speaks to my heart every day. I am blessed to have a guide that assists me in keeping in touch with God's word."
"I read my scriptures first, then I challenge myself," notes Edita. "With God's help, I see what I really understand from the day's reading. .. Next, I go to the One Bread, One Body. It has really helped the scriptures to be more meaningful. I love always the 'Prayer' for the day, and the book on a whole. If it wasn't for the One Bread, One Body I would not know what scriptures to read for the day! Much less where to start. Amen!"
"I notice that my life is changed completely." Hermelinda says briefly, but emphatically.
Bernadine lists several ways the book has helped. "I stay focused on Scripture and see how it applies to life. It gives me additional scripture verses to read so as to get into the Word. It connects me with the Saint of the day; and gives me the desire to read about the lives of the saints. It is a tool for helping others I use it to share with family and friends, encouraging others to use it. I don't have to be searching for readings, as these are the ones used by the whole Church."
Claudia reveals: "...What I like best is that it helps me when I take the Eucharist to the sick and shut- ins. Sometimes I do Eucharistic Service at church so it helps when I do a reflection on readings."
Submitted by Fran Tucker
WYD Pilgrims endure both heat & stormy weather in Madrid, Spain.
Imagine traveling thousands of miles to join hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world _ all to be "Planted and rooted in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (Col 2:7).
That was the theme of the 26th World Youth Day which brought together a host of young people to Madrid, Spain, August 16th _ 21st, to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The official World Youth Day website said that this is " a great worldwide encounter with the Pope which is celebrated every three years in a different country."
Researching the culture of Spain and the WYD patron saints helped the Bettner Family ready themselves. They along with twelve other young people and adults involved in Presentation Ministries had prepared long in advance for their World Youth Day pilgrimage. Fasting and prayer helped mold their hearts and minds for this spiritual journey as they responded to Pope Benedict XVI's invitation to young people: "The quality of our meeting will depend above all on our spiritual preparation, our prayer, our common hearing of the word of God and our mutual support."
This diligent preparation began over a year ago as eight to ten pilgrims met on the First Friday each month at 3pm to pray for the funds for the trip. Less than half way into the year, daily Mass and Confession transformed their prayer focus from "success in gathering enough funds" to "prayers of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus." This prayerful change occurred well before Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would consecrate the young pilgrims to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Before arriving in Madrid, these particular Presentation Ministries pilgrims had planned to visit Assisi, Rome, Lourdes and Fatima. A special opportunity awaited them in Lourdes: namely, a Mass said in the crypt at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Feast of the Assumption. This moment would be made extra special as several pilgrims consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother at the culmination of their Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.
They had packed more than just traveling supplies. Prayers and special religious articles from friends, family and Presentation Ministries' members traveled with them, to be blessed and placed in holy places.
Submitted by Nancy Fahringer
Eleven girls from Presentation Ministries' St. John Bosco Youth Group attended the High School Youth Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville on the weekend of June 17-19. They engaged in praise and worship, powerful adoration, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The captivating speakers conveyed the critical message of how to stay "rooted" in the faith in the midst of the pull and tug of today's worldly allurements.
One speaker referred to St. John Bosco, mentioning what a tremendous intercessor he is for our Youth. Needless to say, that greatly confirmed for them the fact that he is named their patron saint!
Nancy Fahringer remembers Fr. Al Lauer speaking out a word of knowledge at one of the Indiana Deanery events. The topic for the day was evangelization. "Big things are going to happen here, and they will start at St. Nicholas." His words have come true through the priestly ministry of Fr. Bramlage, a young diocesan priest who was assigned to St Nicholas Parish in Sunman, Indiana. Since he has come, there has been an explosion of ministry and wondrous spiritual influence. There have been many healing services, healing prayer ministry, all-day conferences with popular speakers, young people attending events at Steubenville University, buses going to the Pro-Life march in Washington, DC, as well as other mission trips by the youth.
Nancy Fahringer and others from her Home-Based Community (HBC), Holy Family, have had ample opportunity to jump on board as a healing ministry and other apostolates have been initiated and developed by Fr Bramlage at St Nicholas. In fact, Paul Weckenbrock, a member of the HBC recently accompanied Fr Bramlage on a mission trip to Guatemala.
Nancy and others received training to help support the healing prayer center established at St Nicholas. People come from far and wide to visit the center and to receive prayer. "It is a gift to let the Lord use us. It is very transforming," remarks Nancy. "We are different people. It is humbling to watch how the Lord works through you in His healing process."
Submitted by Taylor Harbison
(From left to right) Mrs. Mellon, Fr. Beiting, Mrs. Egan, Julian Hein, Rick Cappel, Brittney Hein, Mr. Hein, John Paul Hennessy, Maria Schroeder, Maria Willig, Nathanael Egan, Sarah Rogers, Taylor Harbison, David Harbison, and Vince Murphy
A mission-minded group of teens headed to Louisa, Kentucky June 5th through June 9th. On this trip we worked with Fr. Beiting and the missions that he established, tackling an assortment of tasks while there. Some built handicap ramps and hung dry wall, others organized a food pantry, while still others cleaned out thrift stores, and did gardening.
Speaking for myself, the first day I worked inside a place that had AC. And although it was rather nice I didn't feel like I was much of a help. Back at headquarters that night I prayed about it and the next day the Lord stationed me in the storage room (a garage) of the food pantry. Shelves were at the breaking point so we had to form an assembly line to remove tons and tons of boxes of all types. All the while, Fr. Beiting was close at hand, making sure we were conducting the work according to his plan. He attempted to do the physical lifting alongside us, but on account of his failing back, hearing and eye sight, we convinced him to just sit and watch. Day 2 saw the completion of organizing the food pantry. Surprisingly, we had discovered a large hand dug well that no one knew was there, it was hidden under three layers of carpeting. Needless to say, Day 3 was spent filling in this huge hole with dirt. By the time we left to return home after four days of labor, the food pantry looked great, new flowers were planted, the hole was filled in, and everything was organized.
Singing for Fr. Beiting's "street preaching" (From left to right) Mrs. Egan, Sarah Rogers, Taylor Harbison, Mr.Hein, Fr. Beiting, John Paul Hennessy, Nathanael Egan, Julian Hein, Jim, Fr. Jesu, and Mrs. Mellon
During the evenings Fr. Beiting spent time with us recounting the projects he had completed in the area, and sharing his vision of things he still wished to accomplish. One night we were greatly blessed to go street preaching with him. He set up microphones and five speakers in front of a grocery store and preached about God's love. He asked us to sing before and after he spoke. All of us were shocked that someone could just set up and preach publicly. Even when it looked like no one was listeningthey were. Immediately after he finished speaking two people approached him in tears, saying that he changed their lives! It was amazing! Not only did we grow as a group, but as the Catholic Church. I know I pray for Fr. Beiting and his mission everyday as I'm sure everyone else who went on the trip does too.
Teresa Willig takes a medical mission trip to Ecuador, educating many people and dispensing treatments in makeshift clinics.
It is insightful to keep abreast of news from the young adults connected with Presentation Ministries. The Lord seems to be using many of them in powerful and many-varied ways. We are proud to watch them take up the Lord's work.
Let's listen in on an email sent from Teresa Willig to her family, and shared with us not too long ago. Teresa grew up in Our Lady of Guadalupe HBC in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I am quite overdue in sending you an email about my medical mission trip to Ecuador. It was a huge success and an amazing experience! We were able to treat many, many people at our makeshift clinics, bringing them supplies ranging from toothbrushes to life-saving antibiotics. We educated each village on water purification techniques as well as oral rehydration solutions they can make for infants who become dehydrated. This education was desperately needed in many of the communities we visited and the people were thankful for our assistance. We celebrated Mass in most of the villages, and that is a rare occurrence in those rural jungle communities. I believe the priest in that area was assigned to more than 70 villages! The priest and religious brothers in our mission group taught the village children about God and His mother Mary and taught them how to pray the Our Father and Hail Mary prayers.
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience. I was enlightened to the world of rural village hospitality, jungle meals, field medicine, and the awe of celebrating the Eucharist in the middle of the Amazon! What a combination, right? As we were celebrating Mass in a village one day, with the monkeys chattering loudly nearby and the parrots chirping overhead, I thought of my favorite quote from Uncle Jim "It doesn't get any better than this!!!"
[Editor's note: "Uncle Jim" is the late Fr. Jim Willig, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.]
Thank you for all your support and donations. And thank you very much for your prayers! I stayed healthy, safe, and sound, and the trip was awesome! I can't wait to tell you all more about it at the Easter party. I will have pictures! Have a blessed Holy Week!
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"Ps 119:105
Submitted by Mary Kay Berning, Member of Gone Fishing (Luke 5:4) Home-based Community and a student in Guadalupe Bible College
Mary Kay had her webcam take this photo from her house in Finneytown....even though I was sitting in my house in Lebanon!
Weekly Guadalupe Bible College (GBC) classes have always been open to anyone wishing to attend. Nancy Kenny has offered GBC classes at her home in Lebanon, Ohio, for the past 4 ½ years, and previously for many years at her prior residence. We gather around her dining room table to praise and glorify God for bringing us together. Next we pray for all the intentions we care to mention. Calling upon the name of Jesus, we take authority to bind Satan from interfering, and ask the Holy Spirit to take complete charge of this study. Then we are ready to "feast" upon the Word of God. "Interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be attentive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully 'understood except by the Spirit's action' " (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 137).
Because I live in Finneytown, Ohio, a significant distance away from Lebanon, I attended these weekly Bible studies only on a sporadic basis. If I happened to miss, I told Nancy, I would still pray for the group. This summer, she felt called to study the Book of Isaiah. I had studied Old and New Testament Prophecy at last year's Bible Institute, and so felt a strong desire to attend Nancy's class. The question was: How was I going to manage the 45-minute drive back and forth to Nancy's house after the price of gas had risen so dramatically? Additionally, a friend also expressed a desire to join the Isaiah study, but neither could she commit to driving this distance each week.
The Holy Spirit inspires! Would Nancy be willing to try a study with us on Skype? Skype is internet communication software that can be downloaded for free at http://www.skype.com. Millions of people all over the world use Skype regularly to have virtual meetings and conversations. Amazingly, you can not only hear, but can also see the video image of people with whom you are interacting all free of charge, connecting your computer to theirs!
Nancy was thrilled at the prospect of using modern technology to spread the Gospel across the land, as Pope John Paul II challenged us in his teachings, "go out into the deep" (Luke 5:4). Nancy's husband, Jeff, offered to set up the Skype account on their laptop computer, which has a built in camera [webcam] and microphone. Having used SKYPE to converse with a daughter who lived in South Korea for a year, my system was already setup. (What a blessing to be able to see her on our computer screen when she was so very far from home!) I thought, "If we can connect Finneytown and South Korea across the globe, we certainly can connect Finneytown and Lebanon!"
Guadalupe Bible College (GBC) Graduation During the Bible Institute
Newly graduated from GBC, Jean Marie Smith, from Lakewood, OH is pictured (center) with Ed Lamparyk (right) and Shelley Meade (left). Three others graduated who could not be present. Tricia Henneman of Waupaca, WI, Iris Leuthardt of Cincinnati, OH, and Patricia Valencic of South Russell, OH.
On Thursday, July 7, 2011, Nancy held her first Skype Bible Study! The reception was clear we could see them and they could see us via the webcam. We interacted as if we were all sitting together around one table. Everyone heard and participated equally in the discussions. The entire two hours went by without a glitch! Everyone was thrilled, and we now look forward to upcoming sessions. During the study, Nancy held up several of the resources close to the webcam (web camera), so we, Finneytown-ers, could see the materials about which she was referring. As her two daughters entered the room to greet everyone, they waved to us also as they passed by the webcam. The virtual Bible study was complete with ordinary interruptions as well!
Hello, fellow Co-Workers! Its Kevin and Connie Co-Worker here to discuss another Co-Worker responsibility ."go to confession monthly"
What is the point of that, you may ask. Well, from personal and communal experience we know that whenever someone in the body of Christ becomes more active in the mission of the Church or is doing more to spread the word of God the evil one steps up his attacks on our weaknesses. For example if I'm prone to stress headaches, the evil one may badger me, and throw up road blocks to stress me out, which causes headaches and discourages me from staying involved in whatever spiritual endeavor I may have started.
Frequent confession (monthly or more often) gives me the graces to recognize these attacks and to prayerfully reject the evil one.
Frequent confession keeps me humble as I examine my conscience and confess my sins and admit my weaknesses.
Frequent confession is an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and be fortified to "fight the good fight" for the sake of the Kingdom.
If you have difficulty fitting confession into your schedule, look at it as a date with the Lord and celebrate by getting yourself a new devotional or inspirational book. Some of us celebrate with a confession party ice cream!
Maybe some of our readers can offer their experiences to help all of us grow in faithfulness. Contact Connie and Kevin Co-Worker at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know.
May God bless you on this journey and keep you in His loving care.
Your sister and brother in Christ,
Kevin and Connie
Submitted by Vivian Jansen
Bob Celia (pictured center) leads the building project at the Paul Jansen Discipleship & Retreat Center in the 1990s
In the late 1990's Bob Celia arrived from Florida to attend the 40 Day Summer Discipleship Retreats. At that time Fr. Al Lauer and the Presentation Ministries (PM) Directors were planning to build the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel and dorms at the Paul Jansen Discipleship & Retreat Center in Adams County.
When Fr. Al realized that Bob, a retired US Marine, was experienced in heavy construction and road building, he invited Bob to pray about taking on the leadership of the building project. After discerning the call, Bob accepted this challenging ministry and volunteered his skills. He ably supervised the massive project, raising up many other skilled and unskilled workers to lay the giant foundation, raise walls, put up "sky high" trusses and get the entire building under roof.
Through the prayers and efforts of PM Communities and Coworkers many donated professional time and materials. Bob recruited the Donovans, a family of builders who donated hundreds of hours of heavy duty equipment and skilled labor to do tasks which required professional expertise. He was instrumental in encouraging many others to donate labor, lumber, bricks, siding, shingles, doors, windows hardware, electrical, and plumbing supplies. As a result of Bob's "yes" to leadership, the Lord inspired many generous donors to donate hundreds and even thousands of dollars for the project.
When Bob's health no longer permitted strenuous physical activity he served at the Bible Institute. Bob struggled with physical and psychological injuries from his military service, but he always focused on the message of Divine Mercy given in the private revelations of St. Faustina. God gave Bob a beautiful gift when He took Bob to eternal life on Divine Mercy Sunday (Bob's favorite feast) celebrated this year on May 1st, during the great Easter Season! Alleluia!
Kay Schmidl, entered into eternal life on June 28, 2011
Since 1985, Kay Schmidl served Presentation Ministries (PM) with her husband, George, who has been a PM Director for almost thirty years. She accompanied him through the seminary training in preparation for his ordination into the Diaconate.
Kay's smile revealed her spiritual gifts of generosity and hospitality. "Kaydl" (the loving nick name some of her children gave her), looked forward to family celebrations. All year long, she made cross-stitched quilts, baby blankets, Christmas stockings and other gifts for her five children, their spouses and twenty beautiful grandchildren.
She and George became acquainted with Father Al Lauer's ministries through the Bible Teachers Program. They participated in his weekly Sunday Bible Study. Their desire to form their family in the Scriptures and spiritual growth led them to present the first PM Life in the Spirit seminar for teens which developed into the original PM youth group and Home Based Community (HBC). This group met in the Schmidl's home for twelve years where they enjoyed Kay's warm hospitality. Her hospitality was also extended to many out-of-town guests when she welcomed weekend visitors to the Schmidl home for various PM retreats.
Kay brought her gifts of administration and perseverance to PM through the Bible Institute when she worked with the Program Planning Committee which meets through the entire year. She also served as a moderator, teacher, and coordinator for the daily Mass liturgies for the Bible Institute. She worked with Father Al on implementing a "HBC twinning" program whereby in-town HBCs could connect with out-of-town HBCs to develop a closer connection to Presentation Ministries. These are only a few of the many ways Kay served the Lord in Presentation Ministries. She was also active in parish life.
Email submitted by a listener, Mary Ann
I download Daily Bread podcasts on my smartphone and cannot thank you enough for the insight and preparation that you provide. It fortifies my commitment to attend daily Mass.
What started out as a Lenten commitment of 40 days to attend daily Mass has become more of a necessity for my daily routine! Your podcast is truly a wonderful ministry. It blessed this past Lenten Season so much more by helping me to focus my groggy early morning thoughts on the day ahead and ensured that I attended daily Mass.
I look forward to more insight and inspiration as the Church Year unfolds! I pray for your ministry and hope my donation will help in any way you need. Thank you for the work that you do!
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Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com