Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Open Letter From Irvin Kloska re: Upcoming Our Lady of America Apparition Site Auction

August 29, 2010

In less than two weeks the Holy Rome City site where the Blessed Virgin appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem aka Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil will be sold at auction to the highest bidder.
A little over 10 years ago the Way, a cult, gave up the property. Fortunately, Larry Young and his family came along and purchased it and have spent a considerable amount of money renovating and updating the property. The auction takes place because they ran out of money and can no longer pay the mortgage.

Our Lady called Herself Our Lady of America because She was pleased with the love and honor the children of America gave to Her because of Her glorious and unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception. She told Sister Neuzil that there would be greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima , here in America, the United States in particular, if we would do as She asks. It is 54 years since Our Lady appeared at Rome City and made this request and we have not yet honored it.

At Rome City Our Lady has been trying to get our attention by many little miracles of conversions, healings and other phenomena over the last 10 years. No one in authority is paying attention.

Wake up Catholic America, time is getting short. Do we need any more hurricanes, floods, tornados or earthquakes to get our attention? Look at our beloved country as it is disintegrating before our very eyes. God has been taken out of our schools and other public places. Churches are emptying. Rampant sexual immorality is all around us. Internet traffic is 40% pornography.

Now is the time to fulfill the request of Our Blessed Mother. It is time to get Her into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It is time to spread Her message of purity. It is time to reform your life. It is time to please Her by making the rosary a family prayer. Our Lady said on September 27, 1956, “Behold O my children, the tears of your Mother! Shall I weep in vain? Assuage the sorrow of my Heart over the ingratitude of sinful men by the love and chasteness of your lives. Will you do this for me, beloved children, or will you allow your Mother to weep in vain?” In 1957 Our Lady said; “Tell my Bishops of the United States, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out”. “My daughter, will my children of America listen to my pleadings and console my Immaculate Heart? Will my loyal sons carry out my desires and thus help me bring the peace of Christ once again to mankind?” Dear Bishops, please let us not wait another 54 years.

The Springs at Rome City is an important part of this devotion. It is Holy Ground as it was anointed by the presence of the Mother of God. This is the place of the message.
This is the place over the last 10 years the Our Lady is trying to get our attention. This property must be saved for fear that it again would fall into secular hands. My people please listen and pray. We need a miracle, for we have less than two weeks.

Some one needs to come forward to help us!

God bless,

Irvin L. Kloska

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Image From The Sun Falls To Earth As Priest Prays Outside Apparition Site in Rome City

It was the afternoon of August 13, 2010 and Father Joseph Nguyen had just finished saying a Holy Healing Mass and praying the Friday Night Rosary with travelers from as far away as California when they noticed the sun spinning very vigorously and decided to take a few pictures.

As Father Nguyen began taking photos, someone in his group asked "wouldn't it be wonderful if Our Blessed mother came right down here with us?" With that, the first image appeared from the sun just a few feet from where the holy priest was standing. As it moved closer, it grew in its shape and clarity.

Even as Father Nguyen moved away, the image remained for a few moments before retreating back into the sky and into the spinning sun.

To answer the question posed by the visitor right before these images appeared, the only answer one can accept is "Yes! It is wonderful!!"

"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children."

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What God Thinks of Family

Due to a report of potential malware being attached to this particular posting, we have removed it from this blog.

You can search Youtube for Dean Braxton and get his story as told to Sid Roth.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Catholic Church Needs the Virgin Mary and Miracles not Public Relation Campaigns

By Stephen Ryan

The Catholic Church recently rolled out an aggressive public relations campaign to reach out to former church members who have strayed from the Catholic faith hoping to lure them back.
The Boston Arch Diocese said recently commenting on the PR initiative “we want to let them know that we want them to be a part of our family and are anxious for them to comeback be a part of our local communities of faith.”

To us, though, there seems to be something lacking or empty in the whole public relations shout out to fallen members. Most of the promotions, directed at those who have left the fold, consist of banal reminders of the positive institutional role the Church once played in their lives. Any effort by the Church to reach out is commendable but according to Pew Research 70% of those who leave the Catholic Church complain that they leave because of a missing sense of spirituality and not for a lack of a meaningful "community feeling" .

With spiritual emptiness at the core of the faithful leaving, it is imperative the Church understand that it is essential to fulfill the mystical needs of the fallen adherent in order to bring real meaning back into their lives. To us, if it is spirituality they want, then one would think spirituality is what the Catholic Church would offer up in abundance. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the focus of the Catholic Church's current outreach efforts. With no pun intended this is a real mystery to us.

No doubt the Catholic Church is well aware of the Pew Research data but perhaps out of fear of alienating their core constituency – those that attend Church regularly - talk of the mystical side of the Catholic religion seems to be off limits - too "touch feely" Our experience with The Diocese of Arlington, in Northern Virginia, offers a good example. Administers of the Catholic faith at the Diocese of Arlington in Northern Virginia, in our view, wrap their arms around the institution of the Church like a security blanket as they allow the thirst for deep spiritually among its followers to be unquenched. The Diocese of Arlington is content each week to preach to the converted a steady steam of Church politics and agendas mostly having to do with sex.

The great Pope, John Paul II, may have foreseen what ails the Church today - The great Pope once said "The world has lost the sense of the supernatural". The Pope dedicated his Pontiff to the Virgin Mary and emblazoned his Papal Coat of Arms with a big red letter "M" for his beloved Mary the Mother of God. The Pope was devoted to "Our Lady" and is well known to have meditated deeply on her supernatural presence on Earth. Emphasizing the real presence of Our Lady on earth the Pope, in fact, told those who would listen that the gentle hand of the Virgin Mary indeed steered an assassin's bullet away from his heart saving his life. He wasn't making that up. He's the Pope.

After surviving the assassination attempt, Pope John Paul II would gleefully remind Catholics that his life was saved on the exact anniversary date of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. At times, it seemed, as if JPII wanted to grab us by our collar and implore us to find Christ and a deeper relationship with God and the Church through the graces that Our Lady offers. Pope Benedict XVI is nearly as devoted to Our Lady as Pope John Paul II. Our Pope has already visited Fatima and frequently invokes her life and message in many of his homilies and speeches.

The Catholic Church believes in miracles – not because they believe in miracles - but because after exhaustive scientific investigations into miraculous healings the Church is left to conclude that no earthly explanation exists for the observable phenomenon that they have studied. There exists an amazing body of work on the investigation of miracles and it is wonderful to explore. The Catholic Church believes the Mother of Jesus Christ has come to this earth to guide her Children to Christ as well. Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima have brought immense spiritual fruits to the Catholic faithful.

Despite the hunger for spiritual renewal in the Catholic Church many leaders quickly and sullenly point out that Marian apparitions should be viewed as “personal revelations” and belief is not required to participate fully in the Church. While technically correct we can hear Pope John Paul II saying in heaven to all the Catholic curmudgeons - “Phooey!” He would tell the fallen to find a new relationship with Christ and be led there by Our Lady. The teaching of the Catholic Church asks us to.

Our Lady has appeared on this earth and the Catholic Church has authenticated these phenomenon and the supernatural events should be embraced, taught and celebrated. But today the Church in American bows to the voice of science and reason and almost embarrassingly tolerate Marian shines as tourist destination for blue haired ladies. Our two last Popes are comfortable with the mystical side of our faith and apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary - why shouldn't the lay leadership and Bishops of the United States be any less enthusiastic about the spiritual fruits of "Our Lady" than our Popes?

The Church has acknowledged the authenticity of many appearances of the Blessed Mother. Religion by definition is mystical and unearthly but the American Catholic Church seems uncomfortable with this strain of worship. The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Arlington seems much more at ease preaching politics than teaching about the miracles and Dogmas of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This needs to change in order for our faith to grow.

Pope John Paul II famously said to thousands of young people at a youth rally "Do not be afraid to be the Saints of the new millennium, if you become what you are you will set the whole world on fire."

A powerful quote to say the least but we must all remember that without Catholics who believe and pray for miracles we would no longer have new Saints in heaven.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

‘Fascinating' Rome City site going on auction block

For many, Sylvan Springs is holy ground

By Kevin Kilbane
of The News-Sentinel

A property in Rome City that some believe has ties to Mary, mother of Jesus, and others believe has a spring spouting water with curative properties, is for sale.

The former Sylvan Springs property in Rome City goes up for auction Sept. 10-11, and the outcome has people on all sides wondering what the site's future will hold.

“It is a fascinating piece of property,” said Nancy Vinson, who coordinates advertising and marketing for Wiegmann Auctioneers in Fort Wayne, which will handle the sale.

History dates to 1901

The 197 acres of real estate, which sits on a hill near the dam creating Syvan Lake, will sell at 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at the site, 2730 E. Northport Road in Rome City. Personal property on the site — restaurant equipment, tables, chairs, pews, tools and more — will sell at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.

Originally known as Kneipp Springs or Kneipp Sanitarium, the Sisters of the Precious Blood religious order in Dayton, Ohio, operated the site beginning in 1901 as a place where people could relax and get “treatments” in the spring water. The sisters sold the property, later known as Sylvan Springs, in 1976.

The site was owned by The Way religious group and briefly a Noble County nonprofit organization before being purchased in 2000 by current owner Larry Young, a Fort Wayne native who has worked in the bankruptcy auction and liquidation business in Chicago. Young planned to develop the site as a sports-training facility. That plan never attracted much interest, and Young has been looking for a buyer for the last few years.

A mortgage foreclosure judgment was issued last fall against ATCGG Partnership LLP, Young's company that owns Sylvan Springs. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 6 in Fort Wayne. Through the auction, Young hopes to generate money to pay off creditors, said attorney John Burns of Fort Wayne, who represents Young's company in the bankruptcy case.

“We hope whoever buys it will maintain most or all of the property as a historical site,” Burns said.

Reported Mary sightings

Rather than sports teams contacting him, Young has seen an increasing number of people come to the property for its spiritual history.

Then-Precious Blood order member Sister Mary Ephrem reported in September 1956 that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to her during evening prayer and then the next morning after Mass. Ephrem, who withdrew from her religious order in 1981 and died in January 2000, had said Mary continued to appear to her after she left Rome City to serve in other locations.

People who visit the grounds now still speak of feeling an overwhelming sense of peace, and some report spiritual and physical healings or conversions to the Catholic faith, said Irv Kloska of Elkhart, who visits the site frequently and strongly believes it is holy ground.

Others have reported seeing what they believe are spiritual signs, such as the sun spinning in the sky, images coming out of the sun and descending to the ground, and unusual orbs that appear in photos taken in the chapel.

Home for retired priests?

Young hoped the Catholic Church would take on the Sylvan Springs property as a religious shrine. That hasn't happened. He also believes the property could support a mineral water bottling plant: Combined flow of mineral springs there has been estimated at more than 500 gallons per minute, he said via e-mail, and lab tests done last fall show the spring water is “of very high quality and purity.”

Kloska thinks the site would make a perfect retirement center for Catholic priests.

“A lot of retired priests need a place to go,” he said. “A lot of them live a lonely retirement.”

Four townhouses on the grounds contain 16 living units, Kloska said, and each unit can accommodate two priests. The main building has about 40 rooms with their own restroom, he added, and numerous other rooms share restrooms off the hallways.

Other options mentioned include developing the site as a conference or retreat center.

No interest in buildings

At the auction, bidders will have the opportunity to buy the entire property or to buy parcels of it. The details on the parcels still are being worked out, Vinson said, though one possibility would be to sell the former farm fields as one piece.

“I don't think we're going to have any problem selling the farm ground at all,” she added. Young converted some of that land into athletic fields.

Wiegmann Auctioneers has been contacting potential buyers to alert them to the sale, she said. She also plans to place large advertisements about the auction in newspapers in Indianapolis, South Bend and Chicago.

Parcel sale debated

Young said via e-mail he hopes the campus sells as one piece, but he understands how auctioning it in parcels could generate higher bids.

“Dividing into parcels will forever change the disposition of this property and the surrounding community,” he said. “This whole process has been like watching a defenseless child die of a curable disease when you know there is somebody standing nearby with the cure in their pocket — but you just don't know who that may be. It really tests one's faith. But I have come to know God's plans are perfect, and we are all but a small part of it.”

If sale of the farm ground and personal property generates enough money to pay off his company's debts, Young said he would consider staying on to keep the main campus open for those who want to pray there.

Whether some faithful continue to view the site as holy ground depends on its future use, Kloska said.

“A casino would be terrible,” he noted.

“I truly believe she (Mary, Jesus' mother) is going to intervene, but I don't know when,” Kloska said. “If that happens, that will tell us how mystical a place this is.”


More on Sylvan Springs

Reported appearances of Mary:

In the mid-1950s, Sister Mary Ephrem, then a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood order, reported Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to her twice in the chapel at what now is known as Sylvan Springs. Ephrem said the first appearance occurred during evening prayer Sept. 25, 1956, and the second the next morning after Mass.
During the Sept. 26 reported appearance, Ephrem said Mary urged her to convey a message to “my children in America”: “I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders I will work will be wonders of the soul. ... I desire, through my children in America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations.”
Ephrem, who withdrew from her religious order in 1981 and died in January 2000, previously said Mary continued to appear to her after she left Rome City to serve in other locations. Among the messages she reportedly received, Ephrem said Mary told her the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., should be “a place of special pilgrimage.” Mary requested she be honored there as “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.”
The Catholic Church has not officially recognized the reported appearances. The church leaves it to the local bishop to decide whether Mary or another holy figure has appeared, an expert said. Former Bishop John M. D'Arcy of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend said previously he did not think reported spiritual happenings at Sylvan Springs warranted an investigation.
A priest who was Ephrem's spiritual adviser and later became bishop of Cincinnati did review her written record of her experiences. He issued a finding then that nothing in the recollections contradicted Catholic teaching.

A local connection:

Some Our Lady of America supporters cite a link to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., as the reason Mary reportedly appeared at Sylvan Springs in Rome City.
Archbishop John F. Noll, who headed what is now the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend from 1925 until his death in 1956, helped lead efforts to raise money for and to complete construction of the basilica. Noll, who founded Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newspaper and publishing house in Huntington, also spent part of his summers at Sylvan Lake and what is now Sylvan Springs.

Visitors' comments:

Here are excerpts of comments we received via e-mail from people who have visited Sylvan Springs:

-- “As a Catholic, I am so pleased to be able to pilgrimage to this special place only a few hours from my home. My first impression, as I stood on the sidewalk beside the chapel, was a sigh, and a feeling of finally being home. The cares of my world were brought into focus, and a feeling of a greater power in charge came over me. Even with the paint peeling inside the chapel, I could feel that I was in a holy place. My heart felt at home. I did not want to leave.
“I would love to see this place opened and available year-round for any who need healing in any part of their lives. The apartments could house people who work there, while the dorm rooms could house visitors for a small room charge or gift. All people should be welcome to visit; as Mary said, ‘I want all my children to come.'”
— Mary Cosgrove of Ashley, Mich.

-- “I was fortunate to be able to visit the site last month. I had many beautiful, spiritual experiences while I was at that site. I have wonderful photos of miracles of the sun and other miracles that happened while I was there.
“I would like to share with you the reason why I am working so hard to save this site to have it available for people to travel there to pray for physical and spiritual healing. In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I thank God that I have been healed. I was in treatment for 18 months. During that time, hundreds prayed for my healing. My doctor credits God for my healing because the healing I received was far beyond what was expected. I know firsthand the importance that faith and prayer play in healing.
“During my time of treatment, I wanted to go to Lourdes in France, but it was too far for me to travel during my treatment. I am a mother of young children, and a trip to France was just too much to try to do during my treatment. It was hard enough for me to just try to get through all of my duties as a mother. It was impossible to add a trip to France on at the time.
“During that time, as I prayed, I would ask God why there was not an apparition site in the United States that people could go to and pray as they do in Lourdes. I had no idea that there already was a site here. Had I known about the Rome City site of Our Lady of America, I would have gone there to pray during my time of illness. I was not able to go to France, but I would have been able to go to Rome City, Indiana. I am working hard to try to save this site because I want others to be able to go there to pray during their time of need.”
— Nancy Goggin of Randolph, Mass.

-- “I would like to share with you and with others that Sylvan Springs is a place of miracles and of healing. It is a place of heaven here on earth. I pray that all may happen according to God's will, and that for Our Lady of America, Sylvan Springs may be preserved and maintained as a holy ground and as a place for all.”
— Cheri Irons of Battle Ground (Ind.)

-- "For me it was a spiritual journey. I was in poor health, but had always wanted to visit a place where the Blessed Virgin Mary had appeared. I knew of no such place in the U.S. ... Due to my poor health, I did not travel well at all, and my husband had been adamant that I couldn't travel to Medjugorje (or any other place out of the country). Once I found out about Sylvan Springs, I had no desire to travel further ... she had appeared right in the heart of our country. I live just outside of Kansas City, and, in July of 2007, my husband took me there at my request.
"It was a 12-hour drive one-way, and we stayed for three days then returned home. At the time, I was unable to follow conversations well, or to focus on things, people or conversations around me. I also had to use a walker and frequently a motorized wheelchair (due to pain and limited mobility) just to get around. I knew others had experienced miracles and healing there, but I asked only for whatever the Lord and his Mother wanted to give us. We were treated like royalty during our stay, and met Irv who does healing services as well as Larry, the owner. Both were very hospitable and unpretentious. My husband and I both consider them and their families like our own family now.
"During this trip, the peace we felt from the moment we set foot on the property was palpable (and has been every time we have visited since). After the first trip, I came home and told everyone I knew about this special place. My husband also shared miraculous stories, and I was on a mission to spread the word about Our Lady of America and her messages, which started in the chapel on the property.
"Within nine months (without any change in my medication or treatment regimen, other than our trip to Rome City and drinking the water), everyone who knew me began to notice changes. The phrase I most frequently heard was "you are like a completely different person!" I was alert, able to carry on normal conversations, and I no longer needed the motorized wheelchair or even the walker. Long before the walker, I initially used a cane which I have no use for either. The next spring we returned with friends and relatives, and Larry was so shocked at the difference in my appearance and affect that he did a double-take.
"We have made four trips altogether now, and each one is just as exciting and full of miracles. We have received miraculous photos, witnessed the sun spinning, pulsating and dancing on two of the four trips. I love the people I have met there: those who volunteer as well as those who travel there. I think it is the closest to heaven on earth I'll ever experience, and I feel like I have to go there for rejuvenation often. I am so thankful for the friends I have met because of this special place and devotion.
"Because of the healing I received I feel committed to "shout from the mountaintops" about Our Lady of America and Rome City. If I could, I would figure out a way to live there. I know I'm not the only one who knows how special it is, and I believe if others would go there they would be as excited as I am about Our Lady of America and the holy ground in Rome City! I pray it will be preserved for pilgrims and anyone who loves or is just curious about the Blessed Mother and our Savior, Jesus Christ! I believe this devotion could save our country as well as lead the world to peace if we do as Our Lady requested here!
-- Pam Jackson of Peculiar, Mo.

Learn more
For more on the Sylvan Springs property and its spiritual history, go to

What: Sale of the 197-acre Sylvan Springs complex near Sylvan Lake in Rome City, about 30 miles northwest of Fort Wayne.

When: Real estate at 5 p.m. Sept. 10; personal property at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.

Where: On site at 2730 E. Northport Road in Rome City.

Information: Call Wiegmann Auctioneers at 447-4311 or go to

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sacramental Grace Is the Difference

By Theresa Thomas • August 19, 2010

At 10:00AM on a warm August day in 1962, Irvin and Bonnie Kloska, both 21 and full of hope, married in St. Adalbert’s Church, in their home town Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I believe it was the first time I ever wore a tux,” says Irv, who currently lives in Elkhart, Indiana. “I know it was the first time I ever wore a bow tie.”

Wired to Mate?

After their Polish dinner reception complete with polkas, kielbasa and sweet and sour cabbage, Bonnie and Irv drove off, in a decorated car, to embark on their new life together.

Some scientists say that the love that drove Bonnie and Irv to the altar was not something sublime, but a simple preconditioned wiring of the human species to mate. A recent article in National Geographic even suggests that falling in love may merely be a chemical reaction to various stimuli. Apparently novelty, among other things, triggers dopamine in the brain, which stimulates feelings of attraction. Oxytocin — a hormone which promotes a feeling of connection and relatedness — is released during hugging and repeated positive exposure to another.

According to research, prairie voles, which have high levels of oxytocin, mate for life. The article suggests that oxytocin is a major reason that humans mate for life as well. Despite the trappings of romance, is that all that was going on with Bonnie and Irv 48 years ago when they said, “I do”? Are humans basically just like all animals?

The Catholic Church responds with a vehement no. There is a huge difference between the simple “pair bonding” of animals such as prairie voles and the marital union between two human beings. We know this instinctively, according to natural law, and Catholics are explicitly taught this. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that humans possess unique dignity because they are made in the image and likeness of God (#1700).

While humans may share certain bodily characteristics and physical responses with mammals (oxytocin very well may affect feelings and emotions in humans, for example) men and women have free will, can choose to love, and have immortal souls that will live forever, qualities that animals do not share. The dignity of the marriage of two human beings far surpasses anything in the mere animal world.

When Marriage Is a Covenant

A sacramental marriage like that of Bonnie and Irv is elevated still further from a mere civil union or from a marriage between non-Christians. It gives the couple special graces that are not present in non-sacramental marriages. Father James Seculoff, pastor at St. John the Baptist in New Haven, Indiana, who has been a priest for 48 years and has counseled many married couples explains, “Sanctifying grace makes a couple’s souls beautiful in the eyes of God. Sacramental grace helps a couple to live their vows. A Catholic marriage is not just a legal contract. It is a covenant, between you, your spouse and God.”

No wonder the bond between Bonnie and Irv has strengthened over the years. They are buoyed by the graces which were poured forth as early as their first evening together.

“We started driving to our honeymoon destination — Niagara Falls — at 11:00 at night,” says Irv, “On our way to the hotel, we said our first family rosary together. We prayed the Glorious mysteries.” Since then, the Kloskas have prayed many family rosaries as their family grew, and they began attending daily Mass. “Bonnie and I both have a great devotion to the rosary,” says Irv. “There is great power in that prayer.”

Irv states that he was very aware of what he was undertaking in marrying Bonnie. However, he says, “I was not aware of all we would be experiencing over the next 48 years.” “All” included, according to Irv, many joyous moments, but also sacrifices, disagreements, concessions, and financial stress.

Bonnie and Irv were to experience the births of 12 children, the adoption of one, a miscarriage, life-threatening illnesses of two children, the death of another, and a chronic illness — severe asthma — which still challenges Irv today. “Those concerns were the farthest things from my mind,” says Irv, “as I climbed the marble steps of the altar to marry Bonnie. Remember, I’m 21, in love, going to school and, after all, I was earning a whole $2.75 an hour at the post office.”

Irv credits the graces in the Sacrament of Matrimony with helping him cope, over the years, with stressful work situations and various family crises. “It was also sacramental grace that supported me every time I had to pay tuition to Catholic grade schools and high schools and colleges,” says Irv. “I added it up once. We have given our children 200 years of Catholic education. You can’t do that without grace.” Indeed.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church plainly addresses the topic of grace in a sacramental marriage. “This grace…is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they ‘help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children….' Christ gives [couples] the strength to take up their crosses and to follow him…” (#1642).

How to Have a Grace-Filled Marriage

Here are some ways that married couples can tap into these graces that are present in a sacramental union.

• Pray together. “It takes three to make love,” stated Fulton Sheen, one of the best-known Catholic apologists, referring to God, “What binds lover and beloved together on earth is an ideal outside both. As it is impossible to have rain without the clouds, so it is impossible to understand love without God.” Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion together. Go to confession. In the sacraments, graces are received.

• Give 100% effort. Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. Don’t keep track of what your spouse is giving, just give your all. Make his favorite dinner. Help her fold the laundry. Clean out the other’s car as a surprise some Saturday morning. Mother Teresa advised “Love until it hurts.” Give yourself totally and you will find true happiness.

• Follow the Church’s teachings and reject artificial birth control. Artificial birth control is antithetical to the dignity of the human person. According to the Couple to Couple League, Natural Family Planning (NFP) is 99% effective when practiced properly. The divorce rates for couples who follow NFP are extremely low, and couples report that marital satisfaction increases when NFP is followed. God’s laws are meant to bring us to personal fulfillment. Their seeming restrictions actually bring freedom and happiness.

• Read the writings of the Church regarding marriage and the family. Casti Cannubi (On Christian Marriage), Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Human Births), and Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) are all available at most Catholic book stores or online. They are beautiful documents which can help couples grow in love for one another.

• Make up any disagreements before the day is over. Do not mention the “d-word” (divorce), even in jest.

• Listen to one another. Show your attentiveness with your body language. Sitting up straight, leaning forward and making eye contact all say, non-verbally, “What you are saying is important to me.” Restate your spouse’s thoughts when he/she is finished speaking to indicate that you understand or to allow him/her to clarify, and let your spouse finish his/her thoughts before you respond.

• Trust and be trustworthy.

• Look out together. True love does not simply look inward, but reaches outward towards others. When couples raise children they give of themselves and work for a common goal. Some married couples choose to continue reaching out to others after their children are grown through volunteer or charity work. Many childless couples do the same.

• Laugh and have fun together. God wants His children to be happy in pure things. “Gladness of the heart is the very life of man, cheerfulness prolongs his days” (Sir 30:22).

• Take care of yourselves. Remember your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. After a few babies, a wife’s body is probably not going to look the way it did before she had children. Nevertheless, she should care for it by eating right and exercising. This is in keeping with the dignity of the human person. Likewise, a husband should strive to be in good physical and mental condition. In the same vein, beware of excesses. Do not mistake caring for the body with becoming obsessed with exercise to the point of neglecting daily duties.

Lastly, recognize that there is tribulation in life. Not every moment of marriage is going to be divine. Love is a choice, and one that must be made over and over. But precisely because we are not mere animals, we can — with the help of grace — make that choice.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photos from Feast of The Assumption on August 15

These photos were taken from the top of Holy Family Hill at 3PM on Sunday, August 15 by a family who stopped by to pray a rosary together where the Our Lady of America devotion all began in 1956.

It was not long after the family began to pray the rosary that the sun began to spin and pulse very dramatically. This is what they saw.

"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sun Spinning Atop Holy Family Hill

This photo was sent to us by Dan who recently visited Sylvan Springs from the Chicago area. He captured a great moment with the Holy Family as the sun was spinning.

"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Healing Mass Scheduled For 4PM Friday Before Rosary

We apologize for the late notice, but we just received word that Father Joseph Nguyen will be in town for the Friday Night Rosary and will be offering a Healing Mass at 4PM, Friday, Aug 13.

Father Nguyen is well-known for his leadership at retreats all over the world and for his prayer healing ministry.

All are invited to attend.

Call 260-854-3525 if you have any questions.

Special mission to focus on Lectio Divina

ROME CITY — A mission centered on the spirituality of Lectio Divina will take place over three days at St. Gaspar Catholic Church, Rome City.

Lectio Divina is an ancient monastic prayer that is increasingly popular among lay people. It has been understood through the centuries to mean divine reading, treasure of tradition and wisdom of the saints.

According to Jean Leclercq, OSB, the founders of the medieval tradition of Lectio Divina were Saint Benedict and Pope Gregory I. However, the methods that they employed had precedents in the biblical period both in Hebrew and Greek. A text that combines these traditions is Romans 10:8 where Apostle Paul refers to the presence of God's word in the believer's "mouth or heart". It was the recitation of the biblical text that provided the rationale for Lectio Divina.[1]

Daily life in a Benedictine monastery consisted on three elements: liturgical prayer, manual labor and Lectio Divina, a quiet prayerful reading of the Bible.[2] This slow and thoughtful reading of Scripture, and the ensuing pondering of its meaning, was their meditation. This spiritual practice is called "divine reading" or "sacred reading", or lectio divina

Saint Benedict in his Rule (chapter #48) stipulated specific times and manners for Lectio Divina. The progression from Bible reading, to meditation, to prayer, to loving regard for God, was first formally described by Guigo II, a Carthusian monk and prior of Grande Chartreuse in the 12th century. Guigo named the four steps of this "ladder" of prayer with the Latin terms lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio. In Guigo's four stages one first reads, which leads to think about (i.e. meditate on) the significance of the text; that process in turn leads the person to respond in prayer as the third stage. The fourth stage is when the prayer, in turn, points to the gift of quiet stillness in the presence of God, called contemplation.[3]

In September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI stated:

"I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church - I am convinced of it - a new spiritual springtime."

The mission will follow a 7 p.m. Mass on Friday, a 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday and Masses at 7:30 and 10 a.m. Aug. 15. The sessions will be moderated and anchored by Ginny Kohrman, a lecturer and holder of spiritual theology degrees from the University of Dayton. She was selected by the Catholic Office of Spiritual Development to lead the event.

The 10 a.m. Mass Aug. 15 will be celebrated by Bishop-emeritus John M. D’Arcy, who will also provide insights into personal immersion in the Bible through Lectio Divina.

Free babysitting services will be available during the Masses and social, snack and refreshment periods following all sessions.

There will also be free tours at Sylvan Springs (right next door)throughout the weekend. Call 260-854-3525 for more details.

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Photos From Friday Night Rosary

This photo was taken shortly after the Friday Night Rosary just outside the doors to the Our Lady Mother of mercy Chapel where Our Lady of America first appeared to Sr. Mildred Neuzil in 1956.

The sun was spinning and shining through the west window when this image was captured. Notice the familiar shape in the large red orb?

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

“No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" Introduced

By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, DC, July 30, 2010 ( -

Today Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Dan Linkinski (D-IL) filed the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion in every federal program and establish as permanent many of the pro-life policies currently relying on regular congressional re-approval.

“The health care bill made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile,” Lipinski said. “To guarantee that taxpayers are never forced to pay for abortions and the innocent unborn are protected, we must make the longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion permanent and government-wide.”

The proposed legislation would make permanent the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the funding of elective abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother, through any program funded by the annual Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Act.

The Hyde amendment is currently attached to the annual appropriations bill as a rider each year, rendering its continued survival uncertain.

The bill would also make permanent the Helms amendment, the Smith FEHBP amendment, and the Dornan amendment, which respectively prohibit the funding of abortion overseas, the funding of elective abortion coverage for federal employees, and the use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia.

In addition to banning abortion funding, the bill would also codify the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause within the Hyde amendment. This ensures that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate against health care providers because they do not provide or facilitate abortions.

“The comprehensive approach eliminates the need for the numerous funding protections and limitations approved every year and ensures that no program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard,” Smith said. “According to every reputable poll, large majorities of Americans want no complicity whatsoever in paying for abortion."

Pro-life leaders lauded the measure.

"We applaud Congressman Smith and numerous Members on both sides of the aisle for responding to the concerns of the American people by introducing a measure that applies an abortion funding ban across the federal government," said Tom McClusky, Family Research Council Action Senior Vice President.

"The American people, regardless of their views of abortion's legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. The Smith bill would protect the American taxpayer and restore the traditional ban on government funding of elective abortion."

“The overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion, and the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ will comprehensively end this practice,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life Action. “Congress can act now and fix this problem once and for all, and we are urging our grassroots activists across the nation to contact their representatives and support this sensible legislation.”

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