A Newsletter of Encouragement!
"Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today..." Heb 3:13
A eucharistic procession begins the 40-hours devotion and family camp-out at the Jansen Discipleship Center in Peebles, Ohio.
From the Directors
Farewell to a Faithful "Life-Long" Member
40 Hours Devotion & Family Camp-Out, May 2003
Home-Based Communities' News
Indiana Communities Network
New Residential Community Takes a Name, and Begins to Take Shape
2003 Discipleship Retreats
Guadalupe Bible College News
Bible Telephone Line
Word Gifts Ministry - Prophecies
Pictures from the Annual Pentecost Picnic
Since Fr. Al Lauer went to his heavenly reward eight months ago, all the major ministries are still functioning as if he were still here. Nothing has changed — except that we have gone forward as befitting a living ministry.
We have come into a financial slump, if anything, but are not alone in that many charitable organizations are feeling the same thing. The good news is that we have not yet been inhibited in carrying out the work of any of the ministries. All bills are paid, the shipping and mailing continues, printing costs are met, and miscellaneous supplies are purchased in good time. With the grace of God and your sacrifices, the work of the Lord through Presentation Ministries is unflagging.
Besides the Word Gift Ministry which we introduced in our last issue, another ministry is newly beginning to develop: the Outreach Ministry. Up until his death, Fr. Al had been the main driver of that ministry, but now the Holy Spirit is inspiring certain members of PM to take up the challenge of carrying the teachings outward. Twelve people have met together and formulated a plan for offering Life-in-the-Spirit Seminars, How To Teach the Bible, and Seminars on Building Small Christian Communities. Already, they have conducted a Life-in-the-Spirit Seminar at Holy Family, a local parish. On another occasion, a day of teaching/reflection was given by a team at a parish in Bright, Indiana. They desire to form four teams so as not to put a heavy load of work onto any one person. They believe this sequence of teachings is important. With the power of the Holy Spirit stirred up in people's lives, and the strengthening that comes from the Word of God, many will be able to take that next big step of committing themselves to a home-based community in order to grow more deeply in the Christian life.
Another aspect of the plan is to limit the radius of outreach somewhat (100 miles of Cincinnati) with a view to raising up new teachers (and hopefully new PM members) who would eventually be equipped to minister to the next x-mile radius. A scripture which comes to mind is, "You are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
by Judy Grogan
Presentation Ministries, the Secular Franciscan Order, and St. Leo parish in Cincinnati lost a strong and faithful leader and worker when Mary Holtke, 80, died on May 31. Many of us lost a great friend, example, and companion. May 31 is the feast of the Visitation, a Marian feast, and the traditional Memorial Day.
Mary Holtke, recently deceased, was a lifelong member of Presentation Ministries.
Mary wrote the "Pray the News" section of My People newspaper. She lead the Promised home-based community and two PM ministries: intercessory and publication reprints. For many years, Mary accompanied Father Al Lauer on his mission trips and handled his correspondence. She generously donated her time, energy, resources, and car in the service of Presentation Ministries. Mary gave her "all" for Jesus. One way of expressing this was by making a commitment as a lifelong member of Presentation Ministries. Other ministries in PM in which she assisted were the Bible Institute, Discipleship retreats, and networking of home-based communities. Mary served as a Bible teacher, eucharistic minister, lector, and in the prison ministry for St. Leo parish.
Mary worked as an X-ray technician at St. Mary's Hospital, Cincinnati, and in the Secular Franciscan office for St. John the Baptist Province, Cincinnati. She was instrumental in establishing the Our Lady of Presentation fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order and was minister at the time of her death. For those of us who were fortunate to be her fellow secular Franciscans, Mary was a great example of following Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.
Pope John Paul II wrote in his apostolic exhortation, The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People: "The eyes of faith behold a wonderful scene: that of a countless number of lay people, both women and men, busy at work in their daily life and activity, oftentimes far from view and quite unacclaimed by the world, unknown to the world's great personages but nonetheless looked upon in love by the Father, untiring laborers who work in the Lord's vineyard. Confident and steadfast through the power of God's grace, these are the humble yet great builders of the Kingdom of God in history." These words have always greatly moved me and one of the people I think of as I read them is Mary.
I'll always remember Mary for her love of God, her steadfastness and faithfulness, her gentle strength, her ready wit and humor, her compassion, her discernment, and wisdom. Mary often worked quietly behind the scenes. She lost her beloved Bill early in her marriage and was an example of serving God as a widow. Mary was born on Valentines's Day. She brought the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to many people.
At the conclusion of 40 Hours Devotion, the Eucharist is returned to the little chapel under cover of umbrella.
by Charlene Rack
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE GATHERING
I was so excited about my family's first full immersion into the Forty Hours Devotion at the Discipleship & Retreat Center in Peebles, Ohio. (We had shown up warm and dry for just the Saturday portion of last year's retreat!) After arriving at the "farm" on Thursday afternoon, I watched and waited with anticipation as other families began to arrive, thinking about what lay ahead: wonderful fellowship with people from different home-based communities, many that I would be meeting for the first time; inspirational talks that would lead me further in my spiritual growth; and, most important, unlimited opportunity to spend time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. These were the opportunities that the Lord was offering to me, and I was eager to step forward for the challenge.
THE TWO SHOWERS
Okay, so we had been warned it always rains at Forty Hours. Next time I'll know to pack more shoes and socks! But a friend shared an insight with me when it rains, we spend more time in the chapel with Jesus. And she was right! I made it to all the scheduled prayers in the chapel that day. That night, I gave myself the special challenge of foregoing social time with my friends, and heading to bed early so I could do some middle-of-the-night adoration. It was tough for me, because I really wanted to sit and chat with everyone. I also hate getting up for anything in the middle of the night. But I did it, and what a blessing it was. It's amazing what God can do with a little mud and the encouragement of a friend.
Traditionally, the event ends with square dancing on Saturday evening.
Presentation Ministries is about building the Kingdom in preparation for the return of the one, true, King. Forty Hours helped me to further my understanding and to work on preparing my heart for that mission. We can only build the Kingdom when we know the King. At Forty Hours, we spent time with Him. In the miracle and blessing of His true presence in the Eucharist, we were brought closer to Him and closer to each other. We prayed, we ate, we sang, we danced, and we traveled together to wherever it is God wants each of us to be right now. And as my family and I headed home with renewed spirits and soggy belongings, I thanked God for leading us to our involvement in a home-based community of Presentation Ministries. I'll be back next year, come rain or (it'll never happen) shine!
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, still under construction.
Children ready to fly away as they express a concept on the new Mysteries of Light.
There is ample time to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
A good bonfire when it's not raining is a must for the 40 Hours family camp-out.
Jerry Cappel and Mark Hennessey pray over Mark Schuerman before he presents a teaching.
Traditional May Crowning of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother.
Sitting out, but observing a great volley ball game.
One or two of the meals are shared, potluck style.
George & Kay Schmidl (top center and right) join members of Eternal Life HBC for an outing at Tahquamenon Falls, during a networking visit.
Dave & Bernie (Bernadette) Shafto, leaders of Eternal Life HBC share a household with the family of Lenny & Mary Lynn Gottler, who also are members in the community. They, along with other members, Barb Giles-Lemmon, Robert & Francis Rye, and Ed & Shannon Wilbert, reach out to others in evangelization efforts. Some of the members minister worship and praise under the name of "Joyful Noise" at charismatic events, in their own parish, and in various other capacities. You may have seen them at past PM Bible Institutes and been blessed by their gifts and talents. They are scheduled at the Bible Institute again this summer. Another outreach they have offered for the past 1 1/2 years are weekend retreats given right in their own home. Invitations are extended to those they meet who are interested in spiritual growth.
George and Kay were glad to visit this HBC in Michigan, acknowledging the importance of maintaining solid contact with HBC members outside the Greater Cincinnati area. This encounter enabled them to pray together with members of Eternal Life and allowed much time for conversation concerning their lives, their parish, and the day-to-day concerns of the HBC. Additionally, George and Dave found ample time to discuss the state of the Michigan Network of home-based communities, which Dave Shafto also leads.
Their weekend was graced with a little recreation as they together toured the Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula — famous for being the second biggest falls East of the Mississippi River after the Niagara Falls.
Please pray for all of the four networks, and for each home-based community to remain strong, vibrant, and committed. We ask Fr. Al's intercession for faithfulness and endurance. George believes that if we all firmly hold on to the vision we will see fruit; namely, the branching off of hundreds of HBCs and additional networks as is stated in our PM pastoral plan.
Servants of Encouragement home based community (minus a few)
How To Teach the Bible in the Power of the Holy Spirit
This program will be presented again this Fall for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. This program will begin on Saturday, Sept 6 and continue for seven Saturdays. This was very well attended last year and was well supported by the Archdiocese.
"Servants of the Cross" is the name of the new Residential Lay Community at the Paul Jansen Discipleship and Retreat Center in Peebles, Ohio. Bob Olson, the leader, called the first meeting of the community on May 21. Attending were three prospective new members who are each planning to complete the 2003 40-day Discipleship formation. This will be part of their discernment process concerning this vocation. The three new prospects hail from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Evelyn Kozminski); Gary, Indiana (Joe Fron); and Batesville, Indiana (Janet Fernandez, along with Elizabeth, Mary, and Tony, her three children). A number of others are still discerning and some hope to come in the fall.
This is what Evelyn Kozminski has to say about her experience so far. "I am having so much fun here...it's really great...living community, praying and being in the presence of God 24 hours a day."
"I was sent here from Grand Rapids, Michigan, by Father James Bozung, who when setting up home based communities in his parish, worked closely with Father Al Lauer. One day in April, soon after arriving, I was sitting in the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Lord clearly spoke to me and said 'welcome home.' Following the community schedule, my day begins and ends in the chapel, reciting with the other residents parts of the Liturgy of the Hours at 6:00AM and again at 8:30PM. Much of the day is devoted to prayer, including daily Mass. Teaching, work, and recreation also fill the days with the 'joy of the Lord' as we do the work of serving His people. Under the teaching and leadership of Bob Olson, I have grown in a deeper love for Our Lord and Our Lady in a way I could never experience by living alone. I have found a joy here on 'the Mountain' as a little taste of heaven on earth."
Prayer grotto on the premises of the Jansen Discipleship & Retreat Center
Bob Olson says the new prospects are excited about "being in on the ground floor," building this community as a "School of Love" (Pope John Paul II, Fraternal Life in Community, 25) where they learn to love as God loves: personally, perfectly, eternally and unconditionally. They will live for Jesus 24 hours a day. St. John of the Cross, OCD, our patron saint said "we will be judged by our love." "So we have to learn to love." "And when we do, people will flock here." "Love is the answer." Father Al taught this vision for years and we look forward to living out these teachings in reality as "Servants of the Cross" Community. We want to welcome our guests as "Christ Himself," as St. Benedict taught.
For more information, call Bob Olson at 937-587-5464. Or e-mail Bobolson7@msn.com.
Summer Retreats 2003
June 28-29 Living in Reality
June 30— July 2 Life Style in the Spirit
July 2-4 Growing Through the Charisms of the Holy Spirit
July 4-5 Receiving and Proclaiming the Word of God
July 7-9 Touching the Living Christ in the Sacraments
July 9-11 The Life of Christian Prayer
July 11-12 Living Our Vocation to Love
July 14-16 Living As Sons and Daughters of God
July 16-18 Loving Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ
July 18-19 Living With Christ in Christian Communities
Fall Retreats 2003
Oct 2-3 The Life of Christian Prayer
Oct 3-4 Touching the Living Christ in the Sacraments
Nov 7-8 Proclaiming the Gospel of Life
Dec 5-6 Small Christian Communities To Change the World
Special Retreats/Events 2003
July 10-11 Co-Workers' Retreat
Sept 5-6 Retreat for the Divorced
Oct 18 Workfest
Oct 25 Mothers / Daughters Retreat
Nov 22 Men's Retreat
Dec 5-6 Retreat for Widows
Discipleship 2003 takes place at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center, in the Appalachian setting of rural Adams County, near Peebles, Ohio (75 miles east of Cincinnati, 100 miles south of Columbus). Eucharistic Liturgies, prayer, teaching and meals take place in the Discipleship Center which houses the little Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Other facilities include a farmhouse, rustic cabins for hardy campers, trailers with dormitories, and a limited number of RV hook-ups. Motels are located minutes away in nearby towns.
The new Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel is under construction and when completed it will include guest rooms and classroom facilities. THE COST FOR ALL RETREATS IS: AN OFFERING
By Tom Weigand
The Kenny Family: (L to R) Teressa, Jeff, Nancy, Stephen, and Marybeth. (Alan is not pictured.)
Nancy's children include Alan (21), Marybeth (17), Stephen (7) who is already proclaiming a vocation to the priesthood, Teressa (3) and a baby due in August. At the time, the children enthusiastically supported her Bible College enrollment and the older children voluntarily cared for the younger children while Nancy went to classes. Her husband, Jeff, accompanied her to many of the Bible classes and developed a special affection for the Catechism. Jeff says that their experience of the Bible College has been a great benefit to the whole family. Nancy gratefully says (as many people say) that no one has changed her life more than Fr. Al. Nancy plans to continue teaching GBC classes on Wednesdays at Debbie Burns' house. Little did Nancy realize when she attended her first Bible study at Holy Angels in Cleveland in 1996 that she would have the life changing experiences that led to her graduation in May of this year. She strongly encourages everyone to take advantage of all the Bible Study tapes recorded by Fr. Al Lauer which are available through GBC.
Geraldine (Geri) Finkel read about the Bible Institute in One Bread, One Body and decided to attend. A few months later she returned for a retreat at the Jansen Discipleship Retreat Center. There Rich Gosser, a GBC teacher, told her about the College. Geri enrolled mainly because she wanted to study the Bible for her own knowledge and growth. She also thought she could utilize this knowledge of the Bible in her own parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus, located in Hartwell, Georgia (about 80 miles north of Atlanta). She has already done so by teaching two Bible Study classes. She hopes to contribute more in the future. As a student of GBC, she completed most of her classes at home but was able to attend the Bible Institute for 25% of her courses. At the beginning, Geri disliked the Old Testament preferring the New Testament. Her love for the Old Testament grew as she began to understand the integral relationship between the Old and the New. By studying with GBC her faith is more grounded and her personal relationship with God is deeper. Her courses in the Catechism of the Catholic Church prompted her to do much research into the teachings of the Church and the Sacraments and to trace their biblical connection. Deeper insights into her faith resulted. She also credits her participation in the Bible College as her inspiration to involve herself as a lay director of "Christ Renews His Parish." Geri plans to attend the Bible Institute this year and bring a friend who will be coming for the first time. She and her husband, Mark, have five children and sixteen grandchildren. Her oldest daughter, Judi Law, is also a GBC student and Geri is her instructor. What a beautiful example of handing on the faith to the next generation.
Congratulations, Nancy and Geri!
Our Lady of Guadalupe Bible College is changing peoples' lives around the world as our enrollment continues to grow. GBC truly reflects the vision of its founder, Fr. Al Lauer, and the mission of Presentation Ministries to make disciples (who make more disciples) and build small home-based Christian communities linked with PM. Discipleship and Christian community are central themes of the Bible and they become the central theme of our lives as we study and grow in the Word of God. We invite everyone who shares this vision to prayerfully consider and explore the unique opportunity which GBC offers. The GBC information page is on the PM website. GBC online registration is now available. You can contact us at : Guadalupe Bible College, P.O. Box 96, Madison, OH, 44057. Phone: (440) 428-1016. Email: email@example.com. Also, you can attend our one-day seminar (see below).
This special one-day seminar will be presented at the Bible Institute on Friday, August 1 for everyone wanting to learn "everything you need to know" about becoming a student or teacher in either our home-study or classroom programs. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity.
A local call in the cities of Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Dayton, Cleveland, Evansville, Atlanta, and Ft. Lauderdale will connect callers with a message based on the readings of the Mass for that day. We would love to be able to provide this service for other cities. It is simple and easy to transfer the message from the main line to a local line for others to call. For information on how to get the Bible Telephone Line in your area, call Wayne or Darlene Davis at (317) 462-5010 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"They will fast on that day." — Mark 2:20
Jesus promised that He would give His disciples the command and privilege to fast after He ascended. Fasting A.D. is powerful because the Lord has decided to make it the only way He drives out certain demons (Mt 17:21, NAB). As Jesus fasted forty days and defeated Satan, so do we (see Mt 4:2ff).
Because fasting has an irreplaceable part in New Testament spiritual warfare, we should be very careful when we fast. First, we must be totally committed to the Lord Jesus. Only under His authority are we in authority over the devil. Next, we must be repentant of sin and be forgiving others' sins. Otherwise, we cut ourselves off from God and are sure to be defeated. In New Testament fasting, we should usually fast communally. One-man armies don't win wars. We need each other in the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:21ff). In A.D. fasting, we must have our houses in order (see Is 38:1). If there is anything wrong with our families, marriages, relationships, or life-styles, Satan will viciously exploit these weaknesses. In effect, we must carefully obey the Lord, for when our obedience is complete, we will bring down Satan's strongholds (2 Cor 10:4-6) and quickly crush him under our feet (Rm 16:20). Fast in Jesus. Clear out demons.
(The prophecy submitted by Bob Olson was the biblical quote from Isaiah 49: 1-10, one of the "suffering servant" passages.)
I call you to stretch beyond your comfort zones when it comes to hospitality. I call you to reach out to the imprisoned and the orphan; those imprisoned in a world of misplaced priorities and those who do not know their true identity as children of My Father. If you could only see things as they are! There are hordes of people who fill their time with "chasing bubbles over deadly snares" (Prov 21:6). Not only are they wasting their lives, but they are in danger of being destroyed. They occupy their time with foolish things, and their energy is spent on illusions. They laugh and smile in public, but in their hearts they are empty and aching. They desire My love, but they don't know where to find it, or even what they are looking for. Reach out to them and rescue them before it is too late. Reach out with a smile or a kind word (Prov 30:15). Give a sympathetic ear to listen to their complaint and their pain, and then tell them of My love for them. Share the treasure you have with them. Share the good news of My love for them and share My Word. My Word is Spirit and Life and they so desperately need both of these. Do not keep this treasure for yourself and give one tiny piece at a time to others. Rather, open your coffer and pour it out on an aching, empty, starving world.
Make today the day you begin a new outreach of My love in My name. If you are faithful in this, My message will spread through you to the ends of the earth. Know that I am with you always (Mt 28:20) and in all things.
(Submitted by Janet Willig 2/7/03)
Jerry Cappel, Paul Autenrieb, and Ron Rack enjoy Pentecost Sunday at the park. (Ron provided the photos from the 40-Hours Devotion and Family Camp-out. Thanks, Ron!)
The weather cooperated wonderfully on June 8 for the annual picnic on the Feast of Pentecost.
Prayers for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit have always been offered every year following Evening Prayer.
The cost of this publication is a donation. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit what amount He would have you contribute.
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Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com