Monday, March 31, 2008

OLA March 30 Newsletter from BVM Foundation

Our Lady of America Newsletter
March 30, 2008
Divine Mercy Sunday

"Who is She who comes forth like the morning rising,
fair as the Moon, bright as the Sun,
terrible as an army set in battle array?"
[Song of Solomon 6:10]

As Easter draws to a close and we are showered with an abundance of grace from the Passion, Resurrection, Divine Mercy and the Feast of the Annunciation, now is the time when Heaven's love for us is manifest in extraordinary ways! Praise be the Name of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, Mary, Our Lady of America!

Many have recently asked us where is the devotion of Our Lady of America headed? When will Her request be fulfilled and Her statue carried in Solemn Procession by the U.S. Bishops into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception? Could this be done in conjunction with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in April?

Recently we have learned that it has been determined that His Excellency The Most Reverend Leonard P Blair, Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo-in-America has the jurisdiction to answer many of these questions in a definitive way rather then the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Diocese of Toledo is where Sr. Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil) received some of her messages, lived much of her life, died and is buried.

It is obvious to many that a great time for Our Lady of America to be enthroned would be around April 15, 2008 the eve of Pope Benedict’s visit to the National Shrine. Will it happen? At least one Bishop believes this is practical because the U.S. Bishops will be coming to Washington D.C. at that time for the Papal visit.
We believe that the National Shrine has sufficient space on the level of National Shrine Crypt Church (in the area of Memorial Hall) to place the statue of Our Lady of America for at least a long-term initial site.

For this to be accomplished, it will take an interior grace for the Bishops to realize that in responding to Our Lady of America they will embrace a more excellent plan and vision for the National Shrine. This image is not simply one in a long series for placement in a side location. She has indicated the central theme and future mission of the entire edifice; to become a place of great pilgrimage, conversion and healing.

We are in a time of great grace! Redouble your efforts to move Heaven with your prayers! The prayers of the faithful for intercession through the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary are especially effacious right now. Pray for Bishop Blair and all the Bishops. Have Masses said for them. Send up your Rosaries on their behalf. Ask that the devil be chained so as to not interfere with this work. Pray to St. Michael for their protection.

There is one other Bishop that also needs your prayers is a special way. It is the Bishop of Rome, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. His visit to the United States and the United Nations has the potential to change the course of human events. Pray for his protection and that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of the world leaders who hear his address. A great way to do that is to join in the Peter Prayer Program for Pope Benedict. This program consists of a number of novenas and a commitment to be in Adoration before Our Lord, begging for intercession and protection for His Vicar, while the Pope is addressing the United Nations.

We have so much to do in asking Heaven for the graces of Our Lady of America to be completely fulfilled and accepted. The state of the world is quite sad and in many ways very unstable. Our Lady of America is Heaven's gift to us and the world, giving hope that people will turn back towards God, embrace purity and accept the Divine Will.

I pray, with you, that we will have the humility, purity and desire to accept Her.

-Al Langsenkamp

B.V.M. Our Lady of America is a not-for-profit activity of the BVM Foundation, Inc. Batesville, IN 47006
BVM Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation.

We make holy cards available free of charge to anyone who has the ability to distribute them to groups.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Torchbearer's Cleanup Day Saturday, April 5

Members of The Saint Mary of the Assumption Youth Ministry Group from Decatur, IN will be Our Lady's Torchbearer's into Spring activity at Sylvan Springs this upcoming Saturday. They will be sprucing up the grounds, raking some leaves, and cleaning the paths leading to Holy Family Hill.

You and your family or group are welcome to stop by and lend a hand. Your help will be greatly appreciated by every visitor to this special place all season long.

There will be opportunities for tours of the building throughout the day. When the work is done, we will have an ice cream social with an informative discussion of Our Lady of America.

So, grab the kids and a couple rakes and swing on by this Saturday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.

If you cannot make it but would still like to help, the best thing you can do is send a donation to help with gas and equipment costs. The fastest way is to use the donation button on this page or to send your tax-deductible check to OLTIV at the address above. Every contribution helps us keep things as clean and inspirational as possible for Her children.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Friday Night Rosary Reconvenes

Spring is officially here again and that means it is time for the Friday Night Rosary group to begin meeting again at Sylvan Springs in Rome City, IN.

The rosary starts at 6:30 pm.

As always, everybody is welcome to attend and we encourage you to come early and bring the kids. Free tours are available beforehand. Bring your own bottles if you want water.

Please join us in spirit from your own home or parish if you cannot join us in The Our Lady Mother of Mercy Chapel. She is counting on you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mark Mallett on Refuges and Mary

Thanks to Janice for sending this from Mark Mallet's site.

ONCE again, I hear clearly in my heart this week words which rang out last winter—the sense of an angel in the mid-heavens crying out:
Control! Control!
Keeping in mind always that Christ is the victor, I also hear again the words:
You are entering the most painful part of the purification.
Few understand how deep the rot of corruption in Western society runs into nearly every facet of society—from the food chain to the economy to the environment—and perhaps just how much of it is actually controlled by a few of the wealthy and powerful. More and more souls are waking up, however, as the signs of the times no longer belong to the domain of a few religious circles, but dominate major news headlines. I don’t believe I need to comment on the present turmoil in nature, the economy, and society in general, except to say that they are being used to mold a new world order in which freedom is determined by the state, rather than arising from the inherent rights of man.

The temptation is ever present to despair in the face of this "dictatorship of relativism"… to stare in fear at what appears to be a hideous Beast rising slowly from beneath the sea of modernity. But we must resist this temptation to defeatism, and cling to the words of the late Holy Father, John Paul II:

For they are the words of Christ throughout the Gospels, before and after His death and Resurrection. In all things, Christ is victorious and assures us we must never be afraid.

I have spoken often of Revelation 12 and the present and coming battle between the Woman and the Dragon, between the serpent and the Woman’s offspring. It is a battle for souls which no doubt brings many to Christ. It is also a time in which persecution is present. But we see in the midst of this great battle that God provides a refuge for His people:
The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days. (Rev 12:6)
I believe it means protection on many levels: physical, spiritual, and intellectual.

This past Christmas, my spiritual director and I were chatting with a local butcher whose family has lived in the area for over a hundred years. We were talking about the history of the region when suddenly he became emotional. He recalled the Spanish Flu which passed through the countryside during the previous century from 1918-1919, killing over 20 million people worldwide. He said that the Shrine to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located about 13 miles or so from our town, was erected by locals in order to implore Mary’s intercession and protection. With tears in his eyes he said, "The plague went all around us and never came here."

Many are the stories of protection of Christians through Mary’s intercession throughout the centuries (what mother does not protect her little ones?) When my wife and I were in New Orleans a couple years ago, we saw with our own eyes how many statues of Mary were unscathed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while houses and fences and trees all around them were demolished. While losing most of their possessions, many of these families were protected from physical harm.

And who can forget the eight Jesuit priests protected from the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan—only eight blocks from their home—while over half a million people all around them died. They had been praying the Rosary and living the message of Fatima. God has sent Mary to us as an Ark of Protection. I believe that means physical protection too:
At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer [of the Rosary], and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 39

Indeed, the most valuable grace Mary brings is the salvation Jesus won for us through the Cross. I often picture the Ark of Protection as a lifeboat, one which is sailing all those within it to the great Barque of Christ. The refuge of Mary, then, is really the refuge of Christ. Their hearts are one, and so to be in the Heart of Mary is to be taken deeper into the Heart of her Son.

The important point here is that the greatest refuge Christ offers the Church in this battle against the dragon is protection against losing our salvation, so long as we desire to remain with Him by our free will.

What I mean by "intellectual refuge" is that a time is coming when there will be false signs and wonders and nearly irresistible temptations to follow the "logic" of a new world order. How will we possibly be able to discern which road to take?

The answer lies in this: pure grace. God will provide interior lights to the mind and hearts of those who have humbled themselves like little children, those who have entered into the Ark during this time of preparation. To modern senses, how silly and antiquated are those souls who thumb Rosary beads and sit in front of Tabernacles! How wise these little ones will be in the days of Trial! That is because they have repented of self-will, and surrendered to God’s will and plan. By listening to their Mother, and being formed in the school of her prayer, they are acquiring the mind of Christ.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God… Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone. For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:3-16)
This is not to say that those who have no devotion to Mary are lost or will be lost (see Protestants, Mary, and the Ark of Refuge). What is most important is that one follows Christ. But why not follow Him by the surest means which He Himself has left us, namely, the Woman, who is both the Church and Mary?
This Woman represents Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, but she represents at the same time the whole Church, the People of God of all times, the Church that at all times, with great pain, again gives birth to Christ. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Castel Gandolfo, Italy, AUG. 23, 2006; Zenit
Herein lies the mystery to the constant refuge Christ offers His followers: it is safety in the Church and Mary, and both lie deep within the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
And do not forget… the angels will be with us, perhaps even visibly at times.

Friday, March 21, 2008

John Leary March 4, 2008: (St. Caismir)

For Your Discernment
Jesus said: “My people, in today’s Gospel I took pity on the paralyzed man who was unable to move himself into the healing waters of Bethsaida when the water was stirred. I healed him on the Sabbath which angered the religious authorities when I told him to pick up his mat and walk. (John 5:1-18) In the vision many light candles for various intentions of healing and conversions. At holy places, as Lourdes, there are some healings granted to those who believe that I can heal them. Spiritual conversions are even more important than physical healings. Those, who have their prayers answered, should also remember to give praise and thanks to Me for any healings. There are many miracles still performed, even when they are not always made public. You will see even more miracles at My refuges when My faithful will be healed of all of their health problems through the healing spring water, and looking at My luminous cross in the sky.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI's Upcoming Visit

When Pope Benedict XVI celebrates his first papal Mass in the United States, it will be a "familial" gathering at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, said Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

The pontiff "comes to strengthen the faith, the hope and love of the Catholic Church in the United States," the archbishop said, adding that he hopes the pope's visit will "bring a new wind of Pentecost ... a new springtime" to the U.S. church.

But Pope Benedict also "will bring his friendship and his holy word to all the people of the United States," he added.

"Many good things are done in the Catholic Church in the United States," Archbishop Sambi said, but "as a good nuncio, I should say much more can be done to bring Jesus Christ to everybody who is thirsty for him, and to invite those who abandoned (the church) or (left because of) a decision of the church to return home."

"There is no church alive without a permanent evangelization," he continued. The church must "continuously give the word of God and the instrument of salvation," the sacraments, "to the faithful," he said.

Evangelization "is a very precise and clear mandate ... the last mandate of Jesus Christ to the apostles before the ascension into heaven," he said. "The church of today must continue for the human being of today ... the same mission of Jesus Christ."

During his visit the pope also will acknowledge the bicentennials of four archdioceses -- New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Louisville, Ky., established as Bardstown, Ky.

Bardstown, KY was the original seat of the diocese for Rome City,IN.

This greatest gift Pope Benedict XVI could give American Catholics would be for him to acknowledge Our Lady of America while he is at the National Shrine To The Immaculate Conception on April 16...The Pontiff's own birthday.

If you are going to any of the events, please don't forget to take Our Lady of America with you...medals, prayer cards, photo prints.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Emergency Prayer Request

This letter arrived today from Luke Bruner who has taken on a 1 year mission working with youth at an Indian Reservation. Please add him and these youngsters to your special prayer intentions. Souls are at stake.

Tomorrow I am running a retreat for the entire high school (apx 150 students, plus faculty and staff). Any prayers you can offer for the students are greatly appreciated.

Our school is in the process of rebuilding Catholic identity (we sold our patrimony for a bowl of porridge in the 70s and 80s), and this is the first all-school retreat in several decades. Many of our students will be going to the Sacrament of Penance for the first time since their first confession. All students will also spend some quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament... it will be the first experience of adoration for every student in the school. We're even having a Eucharistic Procession... the first one held here in two generations.

In short, there is the potential for a tremendous outpouring of grace tomorrow. Every prayer will help.

A successful and rewarding retreat for the students could make a profound difference at this school.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Joseph and OLA

Since 2001, visitors to Sylvan Springs who have inquired about Our Lady of America have been given as much information as has been available. There has always been a special message for the fathers who have visited...a special challenge for them to emulate the obedient faith of St. Joseph in their own daily lives as part of an overall calling for their entire family to pattern their lives after the Holy Family.

Many times, the fathers seem hesitant to take on this role. For so many years, the emphasis of Father's Day has been on celebrating the role of "fatherhood" as being that of the "great provider" in the family. Nowadays, our culture has valued cell phones, computers, cars, clothes, and social connections as being the litmus test of being a good father. Our Lady of America and St. Joseph have a different litmus test they would prefer the fathers of America to pass.

The fathers of America need to courageously take back the spiritual leadership of their families that our culture has encouraged them to abdicate over the past 50 years. Fathers need to become the spiritual lions of their families and their communities...not by boisterously promoting their beliefs, but by their habits of daily living.

Fathers need to love their wives in the way God intended. Fathers need to lead their family in prayer. Fathers need to respect their children as the gifts from God that they are. Fathers need to understand that the most valuable thing they can give their wives and children is a strong faith and trust in Our Lord. Thirty years from now, when their children are grown and, hopefully, on their own, they WILL NOT remember the cell phone their daddy gave them or the faster computers and new clothes they wanted as teenagers. They WILL remember, and always have, the strength and comfort of their relationship with God that was instilled in them by the example set for them by their fathers. This is what will sustain them when life gets tough.

Focus on the Holy Family as your model for life. There is someone there for every member of your family to emulate. Who knows? If we all follow their lead, the underlying celebration of Father's Day may change back to what it was intended.

Please click on the link to the St. Joseph Novena and pray between now and Easter Sunday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking News...Hooray for Bishop D'Arcy!!

Bishop of Fort Wayne: Notre Dame President is Wrong to Allow Vagina Monologues
"I believe its performance to be pornographic and spiritually harmful" and "If it is performed, it should be denounced."

By John Jalsevac

FORT WAYNE, March 12, 2008 ( - The bishop of Fort Wayne, Bishop John D'Arcy, has released a public statement berating the president of Notre Dame University, Fr. John Jenkins, for deciding to allow a performance of The Vagina Monologues at the university. reported yesterday that Fr. Jenkins released a statement on Mar. 10 in which he announced his decision to allow the performance of the play to go ahead on Mar. 24-26. "My decision on this matter," wrote the president, "arises from a conviction that it is an indispensable part of the mission of a Catholic university to provide a forum in which multiple viewpoints are debated in reasoned and respectful exchange - always in dialogue with faith and the Catholic tradition - even around highly controversial topics."

Jenkins also said, "It is particularly painful for me that Bishop John D'Arcy - for whom I have great respect and affection - disapproves of my decision.

Bishop D'Arcy begins his statement, released today, by thanking Fr. Jenkins for engaging in an ongoing dialogue with the bishop about the advisability of allowing the scheduled performance of the play to continue. Immediately after, however, the bishop launches into a detailed critique of Fr. Jenkins' position, taking taking him to task for his belief that allowing The Vagina Monologues is in any way comparable to reading in class the works of anti-Christian and anti-Catholic authors such as Nietzsche, Gibbon and Luther, saying that between such works and the play, there is a "difference, not of degree, but of kind."

Nietzsche, Gibbon and Luther, writes the Bishop "have written serious philosophical, theological and literary works, which have influenced Western thought. As such, their work has academic merit and is worthy of serious discussion and critique in a classroom setting. Father Jenkins believes that Eve Ensler's play was written to shock and offend. How can one put such a play, which many consider pornographic, on the level of serious works such as the writings of Gibbon and Luther?"

D'Arcy also points out that it is clear that the students and teachers who are pushing to have the play performed at the university, are doing so not simply for the purpose of an academic discussion, but rather because they passionately believe in the message of the play, which promotes sexual license and immorality in a way that deeply contravenes Catholic teaching.

"Is this not the motivation of the departments that have asked to sponsor the play and the young women who will be acting in it?" asks the bishop rhetorically. "Did they not propose to have multiple performances of the play again this year because they believe it conveys an important message, and they want as many people to see it as possible? In short, people push to have this play performed year after year because they endorse the message it conveys, and they want to be part of the international campaign to promote this message. In allowing performances of the play on campus again this year, whether or not they are officially considered part of the V-Day campaign, Notre Dame continues to cooperate in advancing the campaign's agenda, an agenda which, as I have repeatedly reflected in my several statements over the years, is directly opposed to the dignity of the human person and is antithetical to Catholic teaching.

"The play is an affront to human dignity, as Catholic teaching understands it. If it is performed, it should be denounced. Otherwise, the university appears to endorse it as in some way good and the impression is given that Catholic teaching is one option competing among many. This method places faith in a defensive position and on the margin and is unacceptable at a Catholic university."

The bishop concluded, saying, "I believe that the performing of this play, even with one or more persons willing to present Catholic teaching, is in direct opposition to both the spirit and letter of 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae.' Also, because it depicts and endorses sinful sexual acts in direct opposition to church teaching, I believe its performance to be pornographic and spiritually harmful. This judgment is made after prayer, reflection and dialogue and after preparing several statements over many years."

If Notre Dame goes ahead and allows the performance of the play on campus, it will be the sixth year in a row that it has done so.

To contact Fr. Jenkins:

University of Notre Dame President
Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C.,

To read the full text of the statement, see:

Time To Reconcile Before Holy Week

We'll get back to Father Hoevel and Bishop Noll's shuffleboard game shortly. First, we want to run this important post that was first run last March. It was inspired by another dinner conversation with Father Hoevel when I asked him "Without being specific to any one person, what do people no longer confess as a sin that they used to confess to when you started out as a priest?" He answered, "Talking in church in the presence of the Eucharist!"

We often hear from priests who lead retreats at this special place where Our Lady graced us with Her presence that "the quality of the confessions is so high when these people are here." Many times these priests will ask if it is just the nature of the people who are on these retreats or if it is due to some other influence upon these people during their visit that makes them immerse themselves more fervently into the sacrament of reconciliation. It is interesting that the priests would even consider the notion, but they are feeling "it" too. Perhaps it is a bit of both, but it sure seems like the gravity of the spiritual environment plays a very prominent role in placing people in the proper reflective spirit.

By Church law, Catholics are required to make a confession at least once a year. Others who are more inclined to the spiritual life, make confession much more frequently just as they might attend Mass more times throughout the week.

The quality of our confessions
Though many go to confession many times a year what is important is not so much the quantity of our confessions but the quality of our confessions. By this, it means that we are called to make good confessions.

A bad confession is done without the necessary preparation and without a contrite, humble, and penitent heart.

A good confession is done with the necessary examination of conscience and the qualities of heart and soul that are important to receive the grace of the sacrament.

Examination of conscience
Before going to confession, it is important to examine our souls. Most people usually hold their recent life experiences up against the ten commandments and the seven deadly sins: pride, lust, avarice, gluttony, anger, sloth, and envy. If any bells go off, they report them as necessary.

There is, however, another way of examining our conscience which focuses more on the status of the relationships in our lives. This takes a greater amount of introspection and individual discernment than just holding your own moral scorecard up to the answer sheet of the ten commandments and the seven deadly sins. It takes quiet time in the right setting. A place where Our Lady has prepared the environment especially for us to grow closer to Her Son.

When examining one's conscience this way, one should examine one's relationship with:
1) God
2) others
3) nature
4) our self

If we use these four parameters to examine how we fall short of Christ's teaching, then it will help us see where we have sinned.

Just as your doctor tries to create the proper setting and environment for your exam by having you abstain from food or medications before your procedures, so it is with putting yourself in the right setting and environment for a quality confession while on retreat at one of these pilgrimage spots.

You must be with God, with others, with nature, and alone with your self.

In case it has been a while since your last confession

As you make your confession with the priest, this is what you will say:
"Bless me Father for I have sinned. My last confession was last ________.
Since my last confession I __(tell him what you have discerned)___... "

Keep it natural and conversational, but with all the qualities of heart and soul necessary to make it a good confession - humility, honesty, seeking mercy, penitent, sorrow for one's sins, etc...
a.. As you finish with your confession, wait for the priest to give some spiritual advice and encouragement and then bow your head for his absolution.
b.. Make sure you remember the penance the priest gives and perform it right after the confession lest you forget what the penance was. Many times we are so relieved of our tensions that we forget what we were told to do.
c.. After confession you should make the Act of Contrition.

This is the Act of Contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because I have offended You, my God, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Look Back....

Sister Mildred Neuzil was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 2, 1916, just three years after Bishop Shahan's plan for the National Shrine was put into effect, and before World War I had ended.

In 1929, she entered an active community, the Sisters of the Precious Blood, and on August 15, 1933, was professed as a religious, taking the name Sister Mary Ephrem. Sister was professed twenty years to the day that Bishop Shahan had received papal approval for the construction of the National Shrine.

Just five years after her profession, in 1938, Sister began to have mystical experiences, spiritual locutions. She thought little of them, presuming all religious have them. As these visits took on the nature of a specific program of devotion to Mary which Sister was asked to propagate, she then turned to Bishop Paul F. Leibold, a holy and highly respected man, as Our Lady had directed. Bishop Leibold, later Archbishop of the Cincinnati, Ohio archdiocese, would be her spiritual director from 1940 to 1972 when he died an untimely death due to an aneurysm.

Archbishop Leibold had become so convinced of the authenticity of this message that he approved Sister's Diary and placed his imprimatur on the sketch of the medal Our Lady had asked Sister to have struck, a medal that would bear the image of Our Lady of America on the front and the symbol of the Christian Family and the Blessed Trinity on the back.

Father Robert Hoevel was born in Fort Wayne, IN on February 2, 1916. Like Sr. Mildred, he too began his religious life at the age of 13 when he entered the seminary at St. Joe in Rensellear, IN.

In 1938, he was granted a scholarship (thanks, in part, to Bishop John Noll) and given a spot at The American University in Rome where he was excited to study with the world's best theologians in preparation for ordination to the priesthood. It was here that the faculty first suggested he consider a track of studies that would put him on a career path towards "higher stewardship" in the Church...because of his strong educational background, they thought he would make a good Bishop someday. He respectfully declined their suggestion and begged that he just be allowed to be a "good parish priest".

Unfortunately, World War II broke out and he was not able to complete his studies when he and all of the other "allied" students were put on one of the last passenger ships out of Italy back to the United States. He was terribly saddened at having to leave his studies so close to the "seat" of the Church, but he was buoyant at the thought of being that much closer to his own ordination.

He finished his studies back at St. Joe and was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1942 at The Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception by Bishop John F. Noll. After several days of family and public receptions, he and the other new priests were a bit tired, so Bishop Noll suggested they go to one of his favorite places, Kneipp Springs in Rome City, to "rest up a bit". When they got there, they were "immediately treated like kings" by the sisters...little did they know, the sisters treated ALL priests like kings when they went to Rome City for private retreat.

Bishop Noll caught up with them at the "Springs" after a few days and the new priests enjoyed the opportunity to get to know their bishop more intimately in the relaxed surroundings. They fished, played shuffleboard, prayed, and said Holy Mass together. It was during a friendly game of shuffleboard that Bishop Noll asked Fr. Hoevel to reconsider his position on "higher stewardship".

To be continued....

The Legion of Decency

One of the great benefits of having had Fr. Hoevel in residence at Rome City was the opportunity to pick his brain over dinner (every night at 6 pm SHARP!). During these conversations, a wealth of history was passed on to all who were there.

One night I commented about the state of morality in our media and entertainment programming. Father Hoevel quickly lit up and said "What we need is the Legion of Decency!" "The Legion of Decency?" I asked, "sounds like a bunch of superheroes in capes". Father replied, "They didn't wear capes, they wore cassocks". He then went on to tell us about how things used to be .

The Legion of Decency was formed in 1934 under the Most Rev. John Timothy McNicholas, Archbishop of Cincinnati to combat immoral movies. People took a pledge, in church, against bad movies. They pledged not only never to go to any morally objectionable movie, but never even to go to any movie theater that had ever shown a morally objectionable film!

This was very effective in discouraging Hollywood from making movies which would earn the disapproval of the Legion of Decency. And the Legion of Decency's ratings were very strict, much more strict than the modern Catholic Bishops' movie rating system (which has been sadly ineffective in influencing the making of movies).

Catholics used to be united, strong and strict, and then they were a powerful force to be reckoned with by the movie industry!

Around the end of the 1950's, things began to change. The emphasis was taken off condemning bad movies, and a deliberate effort was made to make The Legion of Decency more `positive'. The pledge gradually faded out of use, until it was finally completely forgotten.

One of the 4 Bishops who headed the Legion of Decency was our very own Bishop John Noll. It seems when he passed away in 1956, the teeth of this once-revered and respected organization lost their bite on Hollywood and the screenwriters.

In 1957, Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical called Miranda prorsus. It not only vigorously condemns bad movies, but also immoral TV shows and radio programs. However, without a cadre of strong Bishops ready to continue Archbishop Noll's fight for morality under this banner, the Legion was displaced in our culture by Hollywood's own self-imposed and self-serving rating system. Sounds like a fox in the henhouse.

Our Lady of America has been trying to warn us about these things since 1956. We don't need high definition to see that the picture is getting clearer.

Monday, March 10, 2008

World War over Water?

Experts predict that if global warming continues, 1/2 of the world's population will not have ANY drinking water within 20 years.

There are more people in China than the entire Unites States that CURRENTLY do not have clean drinking water. This number is growing every month due to China's unchecked industrial pollution. The fear is that as these poor people begin to die off with greater and geometrical frequency, the peasants who have had their farms polluted by the local industrialists will begin to rise up and revolt.

Experts predict World War III will be fought over water...not energy.

When Mother Mary chose Rome City, IN to announce Herself as Our Lady of America, She did so for a few reasons:
One was the nearly lifelong connection of this property and its spiritual direction under Archbishop John Noll.
Another was the fine example to the world made by the Precious Blood Sisters and the years of accumulated graces won by their many sacrifices for others.
Without a doubt, the most obvious and prevailing reason was the practically unlimited supply of fresh spring water which flows from the hillside.

This was why, as a young seminarian, John Noll helped pick this spot in 1895 for Dr. Geiermann to build the healing center in the first place.

It's The Water!

Feel free to stop by, pray a while, and have a drink or fill your bottles and jugs so you can share with someone else who is thirsty. It's all FREE! Who knows? If we all share what we have, maybe we won't have to die for it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rev. Robert J. Hoevel Funeral Service

HOEVEL, REV. ROBERT J.: Mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Henry Catholic Church, 2929 E. Paulding Road, Fort Wayne, IN with calling one hour prior.

Calling also from 3 to 8 p.m. today at the church, with Entrance Prayers at 3 p.m., Rosary at 4:30 p.m. and Vigil at 7:30 p.m. today.

Arrangements by Mungovan & Sons Memorial Chapel, 2114 S. Calhoun St.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Father Robert Hoevel Passes Away

Father Robert Hoevel passed away quietly this Wednesday morning at Saint Anne's Home in Fort Wayne, IN. Our Lady was there to take him home to Her Son's Heavenly Kingdom.

Thank you Father Bob for being such a good and faithful shepherd here on earth. You are missed!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fr. Hoevel Update

Things have worsened very dramatically for Fr. Hoevel in the past 24 hours. Complications have set in that cannot be treated. He has been sent back to the nursing facility for comfort.

Please continue your prayers.

Oprah's "New Earth" Poses Significant Threat

The actor Chuck Norris has built a career in the movies of defeating villains. Today he is going after another bad guy by publishing a very enlightened response to Oprah Winfrey's "New Earth" web seminars based upon the writings of Eckard Tolle. It is presented here in its entirety that you may understand the consequences of this new age teaching as it undermines basic Christian beliefs.

Please read the article and understand the danger present in this 10 week seminar that hundreds of thousands are now embracing because Oprah says we should. If friends seek to discuss this topical item, you will be prepared with facts to debunk the hype that is escalating.

Click here to read the entire story.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Good News To Share!

Father Hoevel has been taken off the ventilator and is up and around again after his hip surgery. He is not out of the woods yet, but he can see the clearing ahead.

Thank you for your prayers. God is good!

Life can be very lonely for our older priests. Please do not forget to send a card or short letter to help cheer him up during this frustrating time.
The address is:

Father Robert Hoevel
Saint Anne's Home
1900 Randallia Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46805