A Newsletter of Encouragement!
"Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today..." Heb 3:13
Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament, draws all — young and old — to Himself.
Seventh Annual 40 Hours Devotion Ejoys Near Perfect Weather
Four PM Ministries Deeply Impact One Canadian's Spiritual Journey
Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimages
Media Ministries News
St. John Bosco Youth Group News
Recent Prophecies for PM
by Herman & Laura Therapiawan
It was my first experience to attend the 40 hours devotion at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center in Peebles, Ohio. We were told to bring umbrellas or rain coats, since it always rained every time the 40 hours devotion had been held in the past. Also we were informed that this will be a great occasion for fellowship, within the family, and with other families from Presentation Ministries.
Children scramble to find a place on Carl Fox's ever-popular hay wagon ride.
Soon after we arrived, it started to rain. And as Jesus' disciples we believe in God's authority over nature, and that the wind (and storm) will obey His command. So we just claimed His power and ordered the wind to blow away the heavy clouds! Praise Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His words are true, Yes and Amen. We had bright days 'til the end of our devotion!
Volleyball action fills the morning hours.
The 40 hours devotion gave us opportunities to be in His presence all the time, through:
My children also enjoyed the weekend, the games and the teaching. They said that Michael Willig and Sam Hennessey are talented speakers. I realized this can also be a very good opportunity to develop our children's talents to share God's love, mercy and kindness. One important thing for our family is to let Jesus heal us and also let Him use us to become His healing instruments to others in this hurting and wounded world.
"Heavenly Father, help us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit lead me to know, to love and to serve You more. And may nothing hold us back from bringing Your love, care and healing to the world. Give us Your signs and wonders that we may show Your power and majesty to a sinful world."
For many of my 65 years my "life" verse was this:
"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NAB
Many times when things seemed to be falling apart, my marriage, my ability to support and raise two sons on my own, health issues, and more, I could hold onto this verse and survive. There was a period of time in the middle when I let go of it and those years I would rather forget.
Judy Ferguson, of North Bay, Ontario
But things were just fine until about a year ago, the beginning of the time I would realize, to my dismay, that "good" could mean my becoming a Catholic.
I was raised as an Anglican (Episcopalian), believing that we had corrected the errors (in our opinion) in the Catholic church and were the one Protestant denomination who had it right. Much time passed and many things happened and I later found myself in the PAOC (Canadian counterpart of the Assemblies of God). But still something wasn't sitting quite right.
A year ago I began purchasing our children's ministry supplies on eBay, and subsequently was invited to join a group called "Christian Sellers United." Through this I met Jerry Kohlbrand (owner of the press which prints PM's publications) and further learned that we also shared an interest in prison ministry (I was a teacher in a juvenile offender residence until I retired). I wished to obtain P2P (Prisoner to Prisoner) devotionals, which Jerry Kohlbrand also prints. Along with P2P, Jerry sent a few copies of One Bread, One Body (OBOB).
Not knowing any Catholics, I felt I should at least make an effort to place those books in good hands. At the Catholic bookstore of the Procathedral, I turned them over to the woman in charge explaining they were Catholic devotionals but that I wasn't Catholic. I then beat a hasty retreat.
In the meantime, Jerry and I were both part of the leadership of our eBay group which prayed daily for requests posted in the group. Occasionally, Jerry would send some quotes from OBOB which really spoke to me, and in spite of myself I started reading OBOB every day. Often it seemed to be addressed, "Dear Judy"! Jerry recounted Fr. Al's influence on his life and I started listening to Fr. Al's radio broadcasts on the website, then downloading some of his brochures. I found myself emailing Jerry with question after question. After more emails than I care to count and infinite patience on the part of Jerry, he suggested I read Scott Hahn's book, Rome Sweet Home. Good suggestion!
In it I saw myself again and again, so closed to Catholicism that I never checked out what Catholics really believed. Until I started reading OBOB, I erroneously thought that Catholics never read the Bible, but simply believed what the church hierarchy told them to believe.
At the same time, God was putting my marriage back together. My husband and I were separated for almost thirty years, yet we had never divorced. The fact that he was a Catholic had never affected me one way or the other.
I met the woman in the bookstore again, this time in tears, searching
for a catechism and a rosary, explaining how I believed God was drawing
me into the Catholic Church. In the meantime she had ordered enough
copies of OBOB for their Bible Study group. I inquired if she could
recommend a Catholic church and she invited me to St. Alphonsus Liguori in
where she (Alana) and her husband (Kas) attend. At the end of my first Mass, after not being able to receive Holy Communion, I felt I was missing the purpose for which God had drawn me there. I talked to Fr. Jim who, it turns out, would soon be leaving the parish for the assignment of military chaplain. I explained my situation. He began to quiz me with numerous questions about Catholicism. Because I had already been delving into reading and research, I was able to answer all of his questions. Since I had been baptized in the Anglican Church it was just a matter of Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. If I was sure of my decision, he would arrange to Confirm me on the last Sunday in May his final Sunday at the parish.
Before I even asked him, Jerry Kohlbrand said he would be my Confirmation sponsor and Alana accepted the role of being my church sponsor (Cincinnati is so very far from North Bay in northern Ontario!) So on May 28th, 2006 I became a Catholic and for the first time was able to take part in the Eucharist. There are no words to express how much that meant to me!
The parish held a reception following the Mass where I met other members in my new spiritual family. At the end Alana and Kas approached and said that God had told them to go to the Bible Institute in Cincinnati this summer, though they had never been there before. They learned about it through OBOB. The impression was so strong they registered right away and arranged for the accommodations. They told me they had room in their car if I wanted to go! I had already read about it on the website but thought there would be no way I could get there!
So, Lord willing, because of Presentation Ministries and OBOB and Jerry being the printer and connecting with me through eBay, I will find myself at Xavier University in July, and if anyone had told me a year ago, or maybe even six months ago, that I would be doing this, I would have thought, "No way!"
Thank you, Presentation Ministries, for OBOB and your website, and Fr. Al's radio broadcasts (I download the Podcasts). They have literally been life-changing!
by David Willig Leader, Our Lady of Guadalupe Home-Based Christian Community
Original Indian Chapel on the site of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
When Janet, my wife, asked me if I was interested in going on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe from 4/7/06 until 4/12/06. I responded, "This is our 25th wedding anniversary year, let's go for it!" We knew the Pilgrimage leader, Father Hampton Davis, a dynamic priest, who is a professor at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. We met Father Hampton, through our brother, the late Father Jim Willig, they were best of friends.
Our excitement for this pilgrimage led us to invite several friends from Presentation Ministries. Mark and Mary Hennessey, Ted and Leslie Bort, Jerry and Mary Cappel, Lynn Hammersmith, and Paul and Linda Weckenbrock were fortunately able to join on the pilgrimage. These individuals represent five leaders of home based Christian communities of Presentation Ministries. Other friends who were in the pilgrimage from Cincinnati were Don and Rose Lindeman, and Mike and Nancy Kern. We joined up with another lively group of Pilgrims from Lafayette, Louisiana which included Fr. Hampton's mother, Miss Beverley, a delightful vibrant lady, and Brother Francois St. Marie, a lively religious brother from Lourdes, France, who often led us in song and laughter.
Upon landing in Mexico City I was impressed to hear that it is the one of the largest cities in the world with a population of twenty million. I found the Mexican people to be openly warm and friendly to one another and to us pilgrim visitors. With apparently no government "welfare net" for the masses of poor, they are very industrious people selling food, clothing, or rendering personal assistance to make a living for themselves and their families.
On our Guadalupe Pilgrimage we had the great blessing of Father Hampton celebrating daily Mass and giving inspirational homilies. We visited many Catholic churches in Mexico City and the surrounding area. There are beautiful ornate churches that are well maintained and supported by the surrounding mostly poor neighborhoods.
Before Our Lady appeared at Guadalupe, the native Indians honored their sun and moon gods with thousands upon thousands of human sacrifices at the pyramids.
Before visiting the Basilica of Guadalupe we visited the pyramids of the Aztec Indians, where they honored their sun god and moon god with thousands upon thousands of human sacrifices. This was most often performed by cutting out the heart of the living victim and placing the heart on the altar of the sun god and moon god, because they believed the gods liked blood. We visited the Museum of History which further explained this demonic and cruel torture of sacrificing living victims as worship to the pagan gods. This ritual was most often preformed on enemy captors, but also family members were sometimes sacrificed.
So during this "Culture of Death" in the ancient city of Mexico City, Jesus sent his Mother "Our Lady of Guadalupe" to stop this massive slaughter of the innocents, and to bring peace and love to the beautiful native American people. In the year 1531, in December, Our Lady appeared to the humble and poor Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill and asked him to build her a temple there. "I greatly wish and desire that they build my temple for me here, where I will manifest, make known, and give to the people all my love, compassion, aid, and protection."
Our Lady asked Juan to go to the Bishop of Mexico
to express her desire to have a temple built in her
honor. Having been rejected several times by the Bishop,
Juan asked for a sign to give to the Bishop. Mary ordered
Juan Diego to gather flowers in his cape at the top of the
When Juan returned to Our Lady, she arranged the beautiful flowers in his cape, a common cactus material similar to burlap.
The image can be seen at any time, even while Mass is occurring — which happens consecutively all day long. The viewing takes place from a sublevel of the Basilica directly beneath the image. The design and architecture is such that neither event is interrupted by the other.
When Juan presented these beautiful Spanish flowers to the Bishop, there on his cloak was the precious image of the consummate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, just as it is seen today in her temple of Tepeyac, called Guadalupe. The Bishop immediately began to make plans to build a temple to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tepeyac Hill. This miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe resulted in the conversion of six million native Indians to the Catholic Church in only a few years, and it also brought about the end of human sacrifice.
When I entered the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica before the standing room only Palm Sunday Mass, I immediately looked at Mary's Tilma, Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was in tears. The 475 year old Tilma looks as if it were created today. It is a true portrait of Our Lady in brilliant colors that radiate a brightness of the sun's rays surrounding her and the moon at her feet. A true miracle in our midst, it is officially approved by the Catholic Church.
Outside in the huge Guadalupe Square were a very large gathering of many families together enjoying the music, dance, and the festive atmosphere. The simple expression of the Catholic faith of the Mexicans and their outward affection and love for Our Lady of Guadalupe were one of my most impressive experiences.
We pray to you our dear lovely, gentle Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, send down you reign of "Love, Compassion, Aid, and Protection" upon all the Americas, especially in North America. Stop once again the brutal human slaughter by abortion of millions upon millions of innocent unborn babies who are presently being sacrificed to the pagan gods of our evil age. We pray this in total confidence that our pray is being answered. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
"Three million people came, most of them walk 2-3-4 days with their back packs carrying crucifixes, pictures, and flowers for Our Lady. Some wear crowns of thorns on their heads. What faith they have! We were in the balcony for the Mass on the feast day. The sanctuary was filled with Cardinals, Bishops, and 150 Priests to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while the Aztec Indians, in full dress, beat drums in the background."
I would just like to thank you for continuing the "Daily Bread" Radio
series. It is comforting and uplifting to be able
to listen to these great talks at any time. God bless you and your ministry and may
Fr. Al Lauer rest in peace.
Thank you for keeping Fr. Al on the air.
Thank you for sending us One Bread, One Body here at The Chapel of Our Lady of Hope at the Women's Facility. Our Catholic inmates look forward to the daily devotions. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
I am impressed with your catalog of teaching videos. Would you be able to donate to us the three video series V10-A "Overview of the Bible"? Our teaching videos are viewed by 30-40 women every weekend.
Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.
May god bless you and keep you,
Sister Mary Anne
By Sue Weber
Fr.. Lauer's Bible teaching tapes continue to be in high demand. The most popular series is the 15-minute Bible teaching on the New Testament. It is forty audio tapes. It starts with the Gospel of Matthew which is four tapes, tape #700, 701, 702, and 703.
by Chris Jasek
We've added a search box to the PM website which allows visitors to search the almost 5,000 pages of our website. Most of the pages searched are OBOB teachings, but all of the publications, tapes, and other publications are also searched. This can be a great resource especially for Bible teachers. You can search by keyword (e.g., tongues) or even on a scripture verse (e.g., 1 Jn 5:5 or Mk 1).
Another new feature on the website is the "Similar Reflections" link from the OBOB page. This link will bring up other OBOB teachings based on the same readings of the teaching currently being viewed. This is also a good resource for teachers, priests, or those wanting to reflect more deeply on the readings.
Be sure to remember to share our website with others you know.
by Dean Weber
"89.1 Catholic Radio" has now added the 15-minute New Testament Bible teaching program. It airs at 11:45 AM Saturday and Sunday. They will air all the 200 teachings, in sequence, to help their listeners grow in love of the Bible through Fr. Lauer's inspired teachings.
"89.1 CATHOLIC RADIO" has a huge broadcasting area in the central western part of the state. It broadcasts from the towers near Greencastle, East to Indianapolis, North to above Crawfordsville, West to near Terre Haute, and South to near Bloomington.
We want to thank the management of "89.1 CATHOLIC RADIO" for starting a Catholic station and putting Fr. Lauer's program on the air.
Presentation Ministries St. John Bosco Youth Group are taking their annual summer break following a special Memorial Day party, May 29. A majority of the members chose to become involved in the Youth Play, Job, slated for this summer's Bible Institute. So friendships and gatherings won't be on hold all summer.
The group continued to blossom under Sue Seta's leadership this year with new members coming from within Presentation Ministries but also from the parish where they now meet, Our Lady of Lourdes. Others, too, learn of this youth ministry and are certainly welcomed.
The typical Monday night youth group meeting, held in the parish cafeteria, commenced with rosary recitation during the gathering period, starting a little before 7:30 PM. This allowed all to enter into a quietly prayerful atmospheresaving the boisterous socializing for later. Immediately afterwards, Jake Willig, with guitar, led musical praise, and worship. Nathanael Egan accompanied on base guitar, and Julian Hein also on guitar joined them. A teaching or activity followed. Youth members themselves, or guest speakers taught on a variety of subjects. It is enlightening to discover that the youth members hungered for good solid Catholic teaching, often preferring that to some of the lesser intensive activities.
Topics this year included an overview of vocations. Mr. & Mrs. Beckmeyer spoke about the vocation to married life and witnessed how prayer was a huge part of their journey leading up to their wedding and continuing today. Sally Koester spoke inspirationally about the single lay vocationnot always appreciated as an important vocation in the Church.
In the recent past, the youth group struggled with shrinking attendance just after a large number of members graduated from high school and moved on to colleges and jobs. But the Holy Spirit revived and refreshed the group and they are becoming strong in number once again drawing 40-45 youth each week as this particular season ends.
Lisa Cappel, involved for so many years, and more recently as a youth co-leader, has to say "good-bye" to St. John Bosco Youth Group. She plans to do a year of mission work in Latin America, perhaps leaving as early as August. Details were still being arranged as the newsletter went to press, but there exists a possibility of working with the Salesians. If this comes to pass, isn't it wonderful to see God's hand at work? St. John Bosco was the founder of the Salesians.
Belonging to St. John Bosco Youth Group was personally very worthwhile for Lisa. She would tell other youth or their parents: "From my own experience, I was blessed to find a youth group centered on faith, rather than young people merely socializing." As new person in the group several years ago, she gained tremendous blessing in being loved and befriended because of who she was in Christ, rather than finding young people tightly bunched into cliques, What a treasure to interact with peers who shared the same values, supporting and encouraging each other to make the Catholic faith their own. She grew both individually and communally. Without this she may not have developed the spiritual fortitude necessary to stand up for Jesus and Catholicism in various life situations, including the college arena.
We pray for Lisa, for safety in her mission endeavor. We lift up all our youth and ask for a blessed and safe summer.
March, 2006 Communities Mass
"Come, let us return to the Lord, for it is He
who has rent, but He will bind our wounds. He will
revive us after two days; on the third day He will raise us
up to live in His presence. Let us know, let us strive
to know the Lord; as certain as the dawn is His
coming and His judgement shines forth like the light of
day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain
that waters the earth....For it is love that I desire,
not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than
holocausts. Hosea 6: 1-3; 6
(Submitted by Word Gift Ministry)
April, 2006 Communities Mass
"If a person is without fault in speech he is a man in the fullest sense, because he can control his entire body...The tongue is a small member, yet it makes great pretensions.
If one of you is wise and understanding, let
him show this in practice through a humility filled
with good sense...Wisdom from above is first of all
innocent. It is also peaceable, lenient, docile, rich
in sympathy and the kindly deeds that are its
fruits, impartial and sincere. The harvest of justice is sown
in peace for those who cultivate peace." James 3: 2, 5, 13, 17-18
(Submitted by Debbie Cappel from Spain)
May, 2006 Communities Mass Steadfastness in Faith
"Conduct yourselves is a way worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see
you or am absent, I may hear news of you, that you
are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind
struggling together for the faith of the gospel, not intimidated
in any way by your opponents. This is proof to them
of destruction, but of your salvation. And this is
God's doing. For to you has been granted, for the sake
of Christ, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer
for Him. Yours is the same struggle as you saw in me
and now hear about me." Philippians 1:27-30
(Submitted by New Creations HBCC )
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Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com