Pat getting the roses ready for the Marian Children Rosary

Church of Holy Spirit
Webster, NY

May 13, 2006

Marian Children Rosary
Rose offering by New Helfta for our Blessed Mother
(May 14, 2006 is Mother's Day)
Carnation offering by Holy Spirit parish.

May 13, 2006 ... AVE, AVE, AVE, MARIA. AVE AVE AVE MARIA. ...

Today is Our Lady of Fatima feast day. We thank God for our gathering to honor her and for all of us who participated. We thank Father F. Helfrich for his strong devotion to our Lady and for allowing us to praise God with her on this special day. We greatly appreciate Father's generous and sincere support as well as his being there to pray with us. We praise God for Lissette Maria Dernier who was the voice of our Lady to me this time. I have asked the Blessed Mother: "I am not good at going out and promoting this ministry. If it is the Lord's will, and you know I am given the grace to carry it out, would you please have people get in touch with me, then I will be open for God to use me as he pleases." And faithfully, she always answers my request.

Lissette learned about the Marian Children ministry and found me through reading one of Genesee Abbey web news. After several phone calls, emails and a couple of meetings, we seemed to be ready for this day when I had to give my slide presentation right after the Marian procession and the Marian Rosary. It was especially wonderful to see that not only individuals, but also families or part of families come to join us. They were devoted mothers and fathers who make sure to teach their children the faith they profess and live as well as the Tradition they possess and embrace.

My painting student, a devoted Catholic mother, Paula Johnson and her beloved fervent Catholic daughter, Christa came to join us. I was glad to see them. Christa goes to the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, one of the best Catholic Universities in the country. She and the other two teen boys helped lead the rosary. They were the Marian Youth of the day!

I was also happy to see RoseMary Mantelli, whom I refer to as "cara zia". I got to know her and her faith a bit when I did the Marian Children ministry at Holy Cross Church. She is a kind, generous, meek, caring and devout Catholic. She was a great help today. Since she celebrated with us all day long at Holy Cross Church, she knew exactly what to do. Thank you cara zia for your prayer and support with the ministry. May you receive special graces to always perceive and believe in how much you are loved and cared for by the Lord and his Blessed Mother. Amen.

Often, a host parish would have either an active member, the youth minister or the religious ed. person to get in touch with me to go over the steps of the events, especially about the things that concern the children so they will know what to expect. That way when I come, they will have an idea of what will involve. This time, Lissette who does mission as a volunteer organized it and she is not a member of the Holy Spirit parish so things were a bit different. Besides, because my most helpful and capable Marian Helper could not make it that day, I did not have the help I needed. Usually, while I explain to the congregation what we are to do, my friend, the Marian Helper will work with other adult volunteers to help organize the youth and the young children. She will see to it that they put on their Marian garments appropriately and that the Marian scarves will be distributed orderly to some Marian Helpers who will then put the scarves on the children as we start the rosary.

Anyhow, that day, after the procession, which we sang several Marian songs following the church bell music with Father had played, there was a confused moment when I had to run here and there to get things started. But as soon as the adults prayed the rosary, all people, including the children began to understand what they were supposed to do. I had to be patient with the active little boys but it was a part of the teaching. I could understand well how it is never easy and is never in order when we have many young children get involved in an activity like this one. However, that should not be an excuse for us not to include children in church activities because those are the opportunities they will learn to live and to value the Tradition. One elderly lady made a negative comment when I asked her to participate toward the end of the event. She refused and said that it is not very organized! I could tell she was not an easy person to deal with when it came to dealing with children's childish behaviors! I agreed with her comment, but I am sure the Lord and the Blessed Mother did not mind it at all. Sometimes, important things are ignored and are not carried out because we focus on unimportant things, which mean more to the temporal world than to God! What more important is that what we did today, shown in these photos, visually and spiritually planted the seeds of faith in the mind of these young children. As Rev. Father John Eudes taught our spiritual group that memory continues to live on, to be a part of who we are and of what we will become.

What will these children remember about this day? Led by a processional crucifix, followed by statues and pictures of our Lady, together, we sang in faith and unity the well-known and heart-felt Marian hymns and songs that we often hear the faithful sing at the processions at Lourdes. We prayed the Marian Rosary together where the youth and the children fully participated with pride and joy in something they are truly a part of. And in their Marian garments and scarves, they led the rosary and presented beautiful multi-colored roses and red carnations in our Lady's honor as the adults recited the rosary.

At the end of the event, we gathered together and Father gave us a final prayer of blessing. Thank you Father. All children were encouraged to take either a rose or a carnation home to give it to his or her mother on Mother's Day which was the next day.

... After more than five hours of intensive work, prayer and praise, the Holy Spirit allowed me to "fly" back to Genesee Abbey in my car safe and sound, just in time for the 4:00pm Mass on this feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Thank you Lord and the Blessed Mother. You know I would not want to miss mass for anything that afternoon!

And here in the next two photos is Nadine. The one on the right is of her and her aunt. In the one below, she is accompanied by Paula, a stranger to her in this world but is a sister in Christ in the spiritual one, giving a rose to our Lady and the baby Jesus. Nadine is an excellent example of a promising soul and of a saint to be as well as a great encouragement to my faith and my Marian Children ministry.

Nadine and her aunt

That day, physically and spiritually, I was still recovering from the long and difficult trip to St. Kathryn's in Hudson, New Hampshire the weekend before where I had the icon of the Blessed Mother on display and presented the talk about my on-going/life-long conversion story with God. Today, I started out with having everything packed. I loaded the car and drove about 45 minutes to Holy Spirit. I unloaded everything, assembled the stand and set up the icon in church. I felt a bit tired even though I had help from a few people especially Pat and Bill who visited their daughter here from Hudson, New Hampshire where I was. They decided to come and support me with the Marian Children ministry since I did not have the opportunity to do that at their church. I thank the Lord for their faith, their friendship, their help and their goodness to me. After the procession and the Marian Children Rosary, which lasted for more than an hour, I had but very little energy left in both body and spirit. However, I trusted the Holy Spirit would work fine through me as He always did so during my previous talks. Yes, indeed, the people's sincere and genuine response to my sharing helped sustain me. Thank you Holy Spirit! Then near the end of my talk, as I took a deep breath, I saw a little hand up. It was Nadine's. She has silently entered the room with her aunt to listen to my talk. Earlier, she was with the children in a room next door watching a movie and enjoying the cookies. Her aunt later shared with me that after all the children left to go home, in the parking lot, Nadine told her: "I don't want to go. I want to stay." So her aunt escorted her to the room where I was giving the presentation. Sitting on her aunt's lap during the second half of my talk, she was so good and behaved that I never noticed any of her childish movement or behavior.

Anyhow, she wanted to share with me that her brother's name is Francis in responding to my mentioning my special relationship with St. Francis of Assisi. She then told me she would like to ask me a question in private at the end of my talk. When all have left except for Paula and Christa who stayed to help me (I thank you very much), Nadine asked me kindly and seriously whether I would teach her how to paint... We settled that question and she hung around as I put my cards and prints away. I asked her to pick out a print which I would like to give her for being herself. She asked whether I have painted St. Therese, the Little Flower and then St. Gertrude the Great whom I too mentioned in my sharing. She sure was listening to my story, which lasted for about an hour. I told her I did not paint those saints yet, but I would like to do so in the near future since they are very dear to me. As I continued packing, after she disappeared for a few minutes, she came back and handed me a picture of Jesus which she drew for me!!! She made my day and was the angel sent from the Lord and the Blessed Mother to console and to reassure me of my ministry that day!


July 21, 2006 Today, as I try to finish updating this web page, I continue to reflect on that special day. Looking at the children's faces which are shown here in these photos, I am happy and convinced that the children themselves and those who were there that day joining the Marian Children Rosary, gave the Blessed Mother the best Mother's Day gift this year!

May your special love for these little ones O dear Lord and Blessed Mother, continue to give them the confidence and the fervent and strong faith they need to always perceive that they are specially loved by you. Amen.

I thank all who joined us in prayer that day and who faithfully support my Marian Children ministry. May you too receive the same special grace as these little ones. Amen.

Back to The Marian Children