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presentation ministries newsletter, vol. 16, issue 1

November 1, 2014

Presentation Ministries Newsletter


Architectual drawing of the new Discipleship Center.

Huge Donation Spurs Completion of Building Project

"Greater Will Be the future Glory of This House..." —Haggai 2:9

Astonishment! That is what Mark Hennessey, PM's Construction Leader, felt after hearing the incredulous news of the astounding gift bestowed upon Presentation Ministries (PM). Theresa Vonderschmitt designated her significant donation to be used to complete the building project at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Retreat Center (PJDC) in Peebles, Ohio. As word of this remarkable contribution rippled out through PM leadership and membership, others certainly paused in their humdrum daily tasks to lift their minds and hearts and give due praise to our almighty Father God, our Provider.

Mark's next thought was "now the work really begins!" By that he referred not only to the physical plans for construction, but also the on-going work of operating the retreat center in a fuller capacity to "disciple Catholics more deeply for Christ." The center was conceived and established by PM's founder, Fr Al Lauer, who recognized the need to form disciples to imitate Jesus more closely in His character and ministry. Conducting Discipleship Retreats was to be the major activity and focus of the retreat center. Over the years other retreats, GBC courses, and family events such as the 40-Hours Devotion and Family Campout were included in the annual schedule.

Phase I Completed: The prospect of building new dorm rooms and a chapel has been in the works for quite some time. One long-time blockage to progress was the unavailability of water. Three years ago new access to county water replaced the use of cistern water and allowed PM to leap over that hurdle. The next year passed anticipating Ohio EPA approval for the septic system which was finally possible due to available water. Achieving "bite-sized" pieces of the project became PM's next strategy. Thanks to the many faithful donors throughout the years, work began in the spring of 2013, the plans emerged to finish a small number of guest rooms and a couple of shower/restrooms. Miraculously, partial permits were granted. Determined to keep the ball rolling, the Directors decided to allocate monies from the 2013-2014 Special Appeal for even more of the work to be finished. Before the astounding donation appeared, the first phase had been put into process. PM chose Yoder Construction, a local Amish company in Adams County, Ohio, for this phase of the job.

Phase II in Progress: The 2nd phase is currently under construction by the JDL Warm Construction, LLC. Decisions concerning how many guest rooms, shower/restrooms, and conference rooms have been made. Completion of the whole building project is scheduled for January or February, 2015. What a long-awaited event that will be!

Sketch of the proposed sanctuary in the new chapel.

Considering the fifteen years that had elapsed since laying the original slab of concrete and getting the structure "under roof" one could admit to any number of feelings as year after year no visible progress ensued. Embarrassment, frustration, regret, confusion, anger, helplessness, cynicism, or defeat might reflect some of the feelings and temptations of those both within Presentation Ministries and outside observers. What was God trying to tell us? Could PM have done things differently? Possibly. But "all glory to God" whatever the past difficulties and failures, we can now celebrate "unstopping the well." (See "Pentecost Picnic a Great Success" article, pg. 4) The biggest obstacles, lack of water and insufficient funds, have been overcome.

"By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies" (Is. 30:15).

Personally, the PJDC has meant much to Mark Hennessey and also his wife and children. Many memorable Men's and Women's Retreats through the years have helped to recharge spiritual batteries. Numerous 40-Hour Devotion and Family Campouts drew their family along in their faith walk, impressing good and holy experiences on young hearts and minds. An early adventure in the building project comes to Mark's mind. Several families traveled out to Peebles, OH on a cold winter day to grade the gravel in preparation for the later pouring of concrete. At end of day, accumulating snowfall drove two vehicles into ditches as they attempted to navigate winding, country roads. To the absolute delight of all the youth, the parents opted to leave their children and a couple of adults to bunk down at the Discipleship Center for two days until the roads became less treacherous. Thankfully, everyone else made it home to Cincinnati safely that evening.

Ever since their conception in the mid-1990s, the Discipleship Retreats have occurred with regularity, but these new rooms and chapel will serve to enhance numbers and accommodations. What a treasure the newly built retreat center will be to so many people in the coming years.

Did You Know???

"Nothing is impossible for God with God all things are possible."— Luke 1:37

It takes $70,000 every two months to print and ship between 125,000 - 131,000 copies of PM's One Bread, One Body (OBOB) publication. All the work of writing, editing, typing, accounting for subscriptions, labeling, packing and mailing, is done by volunteers. This has been accomplished only by the grace of God!

When the first issue of OBOB was published in 1985, trusting in God to provide the means to pay the bill, PM ordered 4,000 copies. Now the little book is sent throughout the world. (Because it became too expensive for PM to ship books abroad, several have asked to receive copy electronically to re-print, possibly translate, and then distribute in their homeland, making it possible for many more thousands to receive the book.) OBOB is also transmitted by email and on the PM website via internet, reaching to the "ends of the earth".

PM Bible Telephone Line Now Available in Three Ways

"...preach the Word, stay with this task whether convenient, inconvenient... constantly teaching..." Timothy 4:2

Now the PM Bible Telephone Line (BTL) is available in three different ways:

  1. As always you can call one of the local BTL numbers listed on our Bible Line page.
  2. You can receive the message by email if you send email info to . Be sure to include your first and last name. (Available Tues. Sat.).
  3. This is new!: You can now listen to the message on line at the PM website on the Bible Line page. And it is available as a podcast. (Available Tues. Sat.)

For those who are not familiar with the PM Bible Telephone Line it consists of a 3-4 minute teaching for one of the readings of the daily Mass. Teachers for the BTL are Deacon Wayne Davis, Darlene Davis and Jon Smith. Deacon Wayne is a deacon in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Darlene is a graduate of PM's Guadalupe Bible College, and she and Deacon Wayne are teachers in the college. All three have participated in PM's Bible Institute as students and now as teachers.

Shalom Ministry Videos Takes BI to India and Beyond!

"To all the earth their voice resounds and to the end of the world their message." —Psalm 19:5

What could an energetic and far-reaching media group from Calicut, Kerala, India have in connection with Presentation Ministries, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA? What plans could the Holy Spirit be devising to promote the good of these two ministries simultaneously?

Shalom Television is a flourishing ministry based in Kerala in India, whose vision is to produce high quality Catholic media, starting with three magazine publications in 1989 and continuing with video development, then broadcasting (1998), establishing an official television channel in 2005. Their website is www. Initially, they worked with Indian language media, but have since expanded to English programming, and reach extensively into the Asian continent, the UK, Europe, and USA.

A wonderful connection to Presentation Ministries (PM) occurred as a member of Family of the Father Home-Based Community in Miamisburg, Ohio, contacted Shalom to discover if they had an interest in recording visuals of our annual Summer Bible Institute (BI). After tentative inquiries from Shalom Media, USA in Edinburgh TX, and explanations from Presentation Ministries of its complex weekday schedule, it was decided Shalom would send at least two camera crews to record as many seminars as possible. In the final crunch, three men arrived, toting five cameras with corresponding paraphernalia, and successfully recorded five different seminars during the weekdays, and two full weekend programs. This endeavor kept them hopping! Unobtrusively and deftly, Jackson George, Jomon Jose, and Peter John slipped in and out of classrooms quietly managing their equipment, capturing the treasure of PM teachings on video.

According to Bible Institute Ministry Leader, Mark Mussman, PM's dream of visual copies of Bible Institute teachings, and Shalom's desire for programming for their English-speaking media wondrously dove-tailed. Since the completion of the Bible Institute in August, 2013, the content of all recordings have been sent to India to Shalom's production center location. Soon, PM expects to receive copy for each seminar which will be reviewed to ensure the whole of each teaching is intact. The concern is Shalom's need to squeeze 45-50 minute recordings into 30-minute program slots.

While here in Cincinnati, the camera crew were pleased with the hospitality they received. Normally, during other assignments they were confined to their own group, not invited to mingle with participants; but, at the BI they were pleasantly surprised by the hospitality given by the PM staff and BI participants. Instead of isolation, they enjoyed invitations and encouragement to participate in the Bible Institute as they could, and received housing, meals, and even a little recreation, i.e. volleyball, and fellowship.

In early stages of PM, no one envisioned the concept of so many teachings going world-wide visually in addition to audio teachings; or of developing our own website. All this lends a new excitement to the potential for global evangelization! These teachings will be made available for viewing by a whole new venue, apart from our limited range. It will be a full-blown "sister-ministry" hailing from the country of India.

During Father Al Lauer's 25th priestly anniversary Mass, this prophetic scripture passage was read after Communion:

"Now I, like a rivulet from her stream, channeling the waters into a garden, said to myself, 'I will water my plants, my flower bed I will drench'; and suddenly this rivulet of mine became a river, then this stream of mine, a sea. Thus do I send my teachings forth shining like the dawn, to become known afar off. Thus do I pour out instruction like prophecy and bestow it on generations to come." —Sirach 24: 28-31.

Help Wanted for Internet Ministry

The internet is a great place to evangelize. One click can reach thousands who can forward the message on to thousands more.

Pray about helping the PM evangelization efforts on Twitter and Google+ as we would like to have a person in charge of our accounts. It is not really that hard or time consuming. Chris Jasek (PM's Internet Leader) can train you in what to do.

On Twitter @presmin there are 800 followers and a few on G+ which is growing. G+ provides a good opportunity for PM to establish a strong Catholic presence there as one of the first ministries to use it.

Praise Reports: We are Grateful for God's Words and Works Through PM

"Do not stifle the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test everything; retain what is good." —1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

I want to say thank you for this publication One Bread, One Body (OBOB). In 2008 I picked up one of these as a Protestant. I did not know the love and respect Catholics have for the scriptures. Since then I have converted and the habits and thought patterns I picked up when I started using this publication are still the backbone of my Catholic prayer life! Thanks for being one of the first steps that brought me to the Catholic Church! —Vanessa (via Internet)

I really praise the Lord for this wonderful ministry and appreciate you for the sincere and committed service for the Lord's Kingdom through the media and internet. As a Catholic priest in the Evangelization Ministry, I draw inspiration from your work and equip myself at times for sharing and preaching. —Joseph, V.C. (via Internet)

OBOB brought her from a nominal Catholic to fervent Catholic. God called her at age 72 to lead a prayer group. Her life is full and wonderful and she is so close to Jesus! —Jeanette, New York (via phone message)

Faithful Volunteer Goes On to Her Eternal Reward

Laverna Stecher

LaVerne Stecher — After retiring from her work in the Archdiocesan Mission Office, LaVerne worked for PM. She worked untiringly responding to hundreds of telephone requests, keeping financial records for the various PM ministries, and overseeing the task of responding to the great volume of incoming mail at the ministry center in Cincinnati. LaVerne had a spiritual gift of organization which she generously used not only for PM, but also in leadership the Legion of Mary and teaching RCIA in her parish.

Coworkers' Corner: Challenging Opportunities for Spanish Outreach

"We are God's Coworkers." —1 Corinthians 3:9

Greetings to all of Presentation Ministries' Co-Workers and readers of this newsletter. We pray that you are being blessed through your involvement with PM. As a Co-Worker or a member of a home-based community (HBC) you are an integral part of this ministry. Every piece of mail received and sent, every book packed, every phone call answered, every donation received, recorded and deposited is done by volunteers like you. Our largest ministry One Bread One Body (OBOB) takes dozens of people hundreds of hours to produce. The distribution of the book is accomplished by the many hundreds of friends and Co-Workers of PM.

THANK YOU! BLESS YOU! You are a disciple of Christ, bringing the Good News to the ends of the world. There is a great need and an opportunity for you as Co-Workers to help in the fastest growing ministry at PM. It is the extension of OBOB in Spanish called Un Pan Un Cuerpo (UPUC). This ministry, begun in 2012, has grown exponentially and PM needs more workers for the harvest! The needs include volunteers to take phone calls in English (80%) and sometimes in Spanish (20%). For those 20% in Spanish they are forwarded to one of the translators to listen to, so no knowledge of Spanish is required. There is a need for helpers to format the documents received from the translatorsno Spanish needed, and other assorted needs that come up in any ministry. Please pray and consider helping out.

Volunteers do not need to live in the Cincinnati area they can be anywhere in the country. The head of this ministry is Jerry Cappel and he would love your offer to help him in this far reaching effort to evangelize. Please call him at 513-659-9270 or email him at with your offer to help.

Well, Co-Workers this is a wonderful way for you to fulfill your pledge to help PM. Until the next newsletter remember that you are in our prayers. Keep us in yours.

Your brother and sister in Christ,
Kevin and Karen Co-Worker

GBC Celebrates 20 Years With Seven New Graduates

"Go...and make disciples of all the nations." —Matthew 28:19

2014 GBC Grads: Sister Mary Alicia, Debbie Miller, Jon Smith, James Crawford, Anne Hall and Bernadette Nabity. Karen Nieto is shown below.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Guadalupe Bible College. Fr. Al Lauer established Guadalupe Bible College in 1994, as a ministry in Presentation Ministries. Fr. Al wanted to develop a program that would bring together the various teaching ministries to form a Catholic Bible College under the PM umbrella. The purpose of the College is to provide a Catholic understanding of God's revelation to equip the fait hful, and permeate the culture with the Gospel. Paul says, "all scripture is inspired of God and useful for teaching- for reproof, correction, and training in holiness so that men of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16).

The goal of the College is to equip the students to permeate the culture with the Gospel, making disciples of Christ who will disciple others. Students in the College receive individualized instruction which presents an organic, systematic, and comprehensive curriculum for a deeper understanding of the Church through the study of the Bible and Church teachings.

On Thursday, July 31, 2014 PM's Our Lady of Guadalupe Bible College (GBC) awarded certificates of graduation to seven graduates: Sr. Mary Alicia Buddan from Belize City, Belize; James Crawford from Indianapolis, IN; Anne Hall from New Palestine, IN; Debbie Miller from Indianapolis, IN; Bernadette Nabity from Phoenix, AZ; Karen Nieto from Jefferson, NC; and Jon Smith from Fortville, IN.

In their course of studies these students have completed seminars at the Bible Institute in Cincinnati, OH; at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center (PJDC) in Adams County, OH; in scheduled GBC courses offered in various parishes; GBC studies given in Home Based Communities; as well as through the GBC home-study courses.

These graduates actively permeate the secular culture with the Gospel: Sr. Alicia Buddan is the director of the Catholic Charismatic office in the Diocese of Belize in Central America and teaches Guadalupe Bible College (GBC) courses in her diocese.

Anne Hall and Jon Smith teach with Deacon Wayne Davis and Darlene Davis at weekly Bible Studies in Greenfield, IN. Jon also shares in the teaching with the Davis' on the Presentation Ministries Bible Telephone Line.

Debbie Miller has been attending the Bible Institute for many years. In 1999 she founded Healing Hidden Hurts, a ministry to post abortion survivors.

Karen Nieto, in addition to graduating from GBC, also completed the Forty-Day Discipleship Program offered at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center. Her sister Doris Keller preceded Karen in completing the Discipleship Program as well as graduating from GBC.

Both Jim Crawford and Bernadette Nabity have participated in many spiritual and catechetical programs in their dioceses in addition to attending the PM Bible Institute and various courses offered through GBC.

Are you being called to become a GBC teacher/mentor?

Teacher/mentor qualifications include:

  • Being under the Lordship of Jesus
  • Having a servant attitude
  • Having taken PM's "How to Teach the Bible Course"
  • Having been a student or graduate of GBC
  • A member of one of the PM's Home Based Communities or a PM co-worker
  • Having prayerfully discerned the call to become a teacher/mentor
  • Being docile to the Holy Spirit
  • Having your life in Godly order

Please consider becoming a GBC student, to be equipped to help build God's Kingdom. "The harvest is great and the workers are few". Contact Shelley Meade c/o GBC P.O. Box 96, Madison, OH 44057 or for more information.

Presentation Picnic A Great Success

"With exultant and sincere hearts they took their meals in common, praising God..." —Acts 2:46-47

"Unstop the Well"! Janet Willig's inspiration came from her notes on Fr. Al Lauer's sermon in 1994 about "unstopping the well" (Gen. 29: 4-10). This call to reopen the stopped wells has become a prophetic word for Presentation Ministries; it's an exhortation to restore lost fruitful practices. Through prayerful reflection Janet and Dave were encouraged to revive and co-host the Presentation Pentecost Picnic at their home, together with their next door neighbors Tom and Jeanette Fleming.

Pentecost day began cloudy with threatening storms; however, the sun came out brightly and the weather was perfect at the start of the picnic at 4pm. Over eighty Presentation faithful came to celebrate the Feast Day. They sang songs of praise led by Paul Egan, prayed the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, led by Fr. James Reutter, and seminarians John Paul Hennessey, Christian Cone-Lombarter, and Andrew Reckers. Following the liturgy prayers several Home Based Community members prayed for the renewal of Baptismal and Confirmation graces for all those present. Then the group celebrated with a great "pot luck food feast". In the evening the children, teens, young and "older" adults enjoyed basketball, baseball, cornhole games and great fellowship.

Praise God! A flowing well was unstopped and the Spirit was moving boldly at the Presentation Pentecost Picnic.

The Souls of the Just Are in the Hands of God..." —Wisdom 3:1

Audrey Brisson — An energetic, enthusiastic 98 year old, Audrey served others through her joyful, generous, and prayerful life. She was a member of a PM Home-Based Community (HBC) for many years, serving for almost two years at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center(PJDC) in the 1990's. She could work circles around many of her younger brothers and sisters cooking, cleaning, and managing the kitchen. She went to the Lord with her "boots on".

Marion Brisson — Marion and her husband, Joe, have been members of PM for twenty or more years. Along with Joe, she was active in HBC in Michigan and attended many Bible Institutes in addition to serving almost two years at the PJDC in the 1990's. She was a powerful and dedicated prayer warrior for PM. Physically limited by polio, she was confined to a wheel chair, but there is no "chaining the Word of God" which inspired Marion to thoughtfulness for others in action and in prayer.

Liz Donovan — Liz was a long suffering witness and intercessor for the Lord. She served Him through her dedication to the New Creations HBC. Liz became an early supporter of PM and a faithful student of the Bible, attending Fr. Al's Bible Studies for many years. Her patient endurance during her long physical illness and trials of grief and loss, has been an inspiration to many.

Mary Frye — Before PM was developed as Lay Association of the Faithful under the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Mary Frye gifted Fr. Al's early ministry with clear prophetic vision in the early 1980's. She strongly encouraged the How to Teach the Bible Seminars at Presentation Church and started a Bible study in her home. She was one of the first "holy women" who supported Father Al with her prayers and means, particularly in the radio ministry.

Marge Heyob —Marge was a Secular Franciscan, and a faithful servant of Gods beloved poor. She served in North Farimount and English Woods in Cincinnati, Ohio, the St. Vincent de Paul Society for many years both in Presentation Church and St. Leos Church. After she retired as a nurse in the spirit of St. Francis she chose to live a simple life-style, living close to those she served in North Fairmount and English Woods. She worked at the PM ministry center every Tuesday with the mailing crew, filling orders for One Bread, One Body and various PM publications written by Fr. Al and was a dedicated intercessor for the parish and PM.

Charlotte Hirt — Charlotte and her husband Charlie were the first lay couple to accept the administration of the How to Teach the Bible Seminars at Presentation Church and at St. Ignatius Church. They led the Servants HBC and pioneered the first PM Bible Institute. Charlotte had a beautiful gift of hospitality and was very generous in opening her home to ministry workers and immigrants, including a family who was forced to flee persecution in Eretria, Africa. Charlotte was the leader of the PM Intercessors until she was recently called home to the Lord.

Deacon Leonard Roth — Deacon Leonard Roth, age 61, was ordained to the diaconate in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio on May 26, 2006. He served the Lord in the diaconate for seven years. Deacon Leonard and his wife, Kathy, were members of the Totus Tuus Home-Based Community in Paulding, OH.

Diane Dodd — Whenever possible Diane Dodd returned to PM's Bible Institute at Xavier University for the banquet of God's Word. It was always physically difficult for her because she had multiple physical problems which made it hard for her to move about. But that did not deter her from seeking to know God better through the Bible and the Church's teachings. She was a cheerful intercessor and rosary maker who inspired others to prayer through her hobby. Now she is resting in the hands of the Lord.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord.