Thursday, April 24, 2008

St Ann in Cable WI

Our Blessed Mother and St. Kateri Tekakwitha

My favorite station of the Cross, Veronica meets Jesus

The lectern with feathers.

The tabernacle inside teepee and relic of St Francis in altar.

St Francis Solanus

On this wonderful, warm Spring day yesterday, we visited here, then went to Mass at St Ann parish in Cable. You can read more about St Francis Solanus Mission.

The inscription reads: "Budded on earth to bloom in heaven."

This is St Francis Mission, near Hayward WI, in Reserve. There's a convent and school, with 40 children, K- 8, a gift shop and lovely grounds. Serene. A beautiful cemetary where I prayed for those who are buried here. So many were so young...young mothers who died in childbirth, and veterans of WWI. The interior is so reverent and beautiful. I bought a leather bag to hold a rosary, crafted by one of the children.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'll be visiting Sr. Mary in a couple of weeks...

You can read about Sister Mary here, a Carmelite nun, who lives as a hermit near La Crosse, WI. I will have a 2 day retreat at her hermitage in a couple of weeks. I'm very excited to meet her and learn about hermits in our time. There are 5 hermits in the diocese of La Crosse. I'll also be going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe! I'm very enthused about that, too! She's been chasing me down, so to speak, and I hope to pray for many intentions at her Shrine. Please keep me in your prayers, too. God bless all my blogger friends. I'll have some pictures to post when I return, no doubt! :)
I leave for Minnesota tomorrow and for Wisconsin on Sat. This is a two week "mission" /retreat/vacation for me. I'll be seeing my brother in Minnesota and some friends in Wisconsin, then end my trip at Sr. Mary's hermitage! I appreciate your prayers for a safe journey and for my time with family/friends. I just want to be and share the light of Christ!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Papa is coming!...

Photo © susie melkus
Wed. Audience May 23, 2007

Benedict XVI Advance Message to the United States

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in the United States of America,

The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! In just a few days from now, I shall begin my apostolic visit to your beloved country. Before setting off, I would like to offer you a heartfelt greeting and an invitation to prayer. As you know, I shall only be able to visit two cities: Washington and New York. The intention behind my visit, though, is to reach out spiritually to all Catholics in the United States. At the same time, I earnestly hope that my presence among you will be seen as a fraternal gesture towards every ecclesial community, and a sign of friendship for members of other religious traditions and all men and women of good will. The risen Lord entrusted the apostles and the Church with his Gospel of love and peace, and his intention in doing so was that the message should be passed on to all peoples.

At this point I should like to add some words of thanks, because I am conscious that many people have been working hard for a long time, both in Church circles and in the public services, to prepare for my journey. I am especially grateful to all who have been praying for the success of the visit, since prayer is the most important element of all. Dear friends, I say this because I am convinced that without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavors would achieve very little. Indeed this is what our faith teaches us. It is God who saves us, he saves the world, and all of history. He is the shepherd of his people. I am coming, sent by Jesus Christ, to bring you his word of life.

Together with your bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: "Christ our hope." Following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors, Paul VI and John Paul II, I shall come to United States of America as Pope for the first time, to proclaim this great truth: Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture, and social condition. Yes, Christ is the face of God present among us. Through him, our lives reach fullness, and together, both as individuals and peoples, we can become a family united by fraternal love, according to the eternal plan of God the Father.

I know how deeply rooted this Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings. I shall also bring the message of Christian hope to the great assembly of the United Nations, to the representatives of all the peoples of the world. Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom; but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfillment in the commandment to love one another. Do to others as you would have them do to you, and avoid doing what you would not want them to do. This "golden rule" is given in the Bible, but it is valid for all people, including non-believers. It is the law written on the human heart; on this we can all agree, so that when we come to address other matters we can do so in a positive and constructive manner for the entire human community.

Dirijo un cordial saludo a los católicos de lengua española y les manifiesto mi cercanía espiritual, en particular a los jóvenes, a los enfermos, a los ancianos y a los que pasan por dificultades o se sienten más necesitados. Les expreso mi vivo deseo de poder estar pronto con Ustedes en esa querida Nación. Mientras tanto, les aliento a orar intensamente por los frutos pastorales de mi inminente Viaje Apostólico y a mantener en alto la llama de la esperanza en Cristo Resucitado.

Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends in the United States, I am very much looking forward to being with you. I want you to know that, even if my itinerary is short, with just a few engagements, my heart is close to all of you, especially to the sick, the weak, and the lonely. I thank you once again for your prayerful support of my mission. I reach out to every one of you with affection, and I invoke upon you the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Que la Virgen María les acompañe y proteja. Que Dios les bendiga.

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows tile...

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Please visit my friend, Col. David Farr's website to purchase this breathtaking 8x10 ceramic tile of Our Lady of Sorrows. Perfect Mother's Day gift, Father's Day gift for a priest, or Wedding gift. He has many new items as well for your next parish fund raiser perhaps?

Be sure to tell him "susie from Omaha" sent you. :)

~Thank you~

Reflection on Truth...

Today, April 2, is the 3rd anniversary of beloved Pope John Paul II's passing through the veil, into Heaven, to join all the Saints of God at His Throne. I miss him. I love him and I hope to see him to thank him for his prayers... someday. It is due to his prayers I'm sure, and those of so many faithful others, that we finally did return to the CC.
We found ourselves on the banks of the Tiber in Dec. 2004, and both jumped in and swam like never before, to get to the other side. I for one, was most amazed at taking the plunge, and this new-found love inside me for this Church that I thought had been too stodgy, too old-fashioned, too structured, too rigid with way too many "man-made" rules. I thought Catholics were sort of "pathetic" to be required to go to Mass on Sundays. Those "traditions of men" weren't going to ensnare me, for I was free from all of that stuff...or so I thought. I now have seen the beauty in and of authority and order. Just as God is not the Author of confusion, but Order itself, He is not chaos and contradiction for he cannont contradict Himself.
So, here was the 64,000.00 question: "Why would his Church be conflicted and offer contradicting doctrines?" A question I was forced to my own heart 3 years ago. Truth is always "confrontational." Truth will always 'hit us between the eyes. Truth confronts us every day with every choice we make, every decision, every time we open our mouths or keep them closed, we're confronting Truth and Truth aka: Jesus Christ, confronts us. He did just that one weekend in Dec. 2004. I wasn't expecting a confrontation at all, Friday, Dec. 3. Then Rich got home and told me of his desire to return to the Faith of his youth....
Well, what a sense of humor our God has! The joke was surely on me! I grin like a Cheshire cat now to remember it! Why, I swam even faster than my husband! He is still amazed by my voracious appetite for Traditions, ritual, prayers (even written ones in prayer books!!) quiet adoration, the rosary, incense, candles, shrines, you name it... let's just say "all things Catholic!" I am only full of gratitude to be back Home and today, I want to thank my Papa, JPII for answering the call of God on his life and being such a faithful Shepherd to the flock. JPII WE LOVE YOU! WE MISS YOU! and as you're no doubt still busy in Heaven praying for us, please pray us all our eternal rest! You are nearer to us now than you ever were on earth. Please pray us home to enjoy the beatific vision of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Your lost and found lamb,susie

Rest in Peace, Papa...

Pray for us, Papa!

JPII the GREAT we love you!~

Interesting photo taken last year in Poland. JPII? Maybe. I believe in 'visions' but I don't "cling" to them. They are a gift, and we must cling to the Giver of gifts. If this brings comfort to some, then it is good. I believe the Saints are indeed active here on earth, and busy in Heaven praying for us. They are able to do things as Jesus did. Jesus walked through walls, and many Saints bilocated here on why not appear as here?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In fondest memory...of a true SAINT...

Tomorrow, April 2, will be 3 years since our beloved Papa, John Paul II passed through the veil, into Heaven. I miss him. I love him. I hope to see him and thank him for his prayers... someday.

When we (my husband and I) left the Catholic Church to seek a more "hip and with it" and lively faith community, (due to my whims and wishes)we left shortly after JPII was elected pope. We were gone for almost his entire papacy, 26 years. We returned just 4 months before he passed on to his eternal rest. I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that during his papacy, he prayed and prayed hard for 'wandering lambs' to come HOME, to ROME, to the ONE TRUE CHURCH.

It is due to his prayers and many, many more by some people we know and knew, and so many more we never met, we finally did return Home. We found ourselves on the banks of the Tiber, we both jumped in and swam like never before, to get to the other side. I for one, was most amazed at taking the plunge, and this new-found love for this Church that I thought had been too stodgy, too "old fashioned" and too structured. So many "man-made" rules to follow. I thought Catholics were sort of "pathetic" to HAVE to go to Mass, when to me and many of my friends, God didn't care if we went to church or not, if we had our love for him and our bibles, it didn't matter if now and then we chose to stay home or go somewhere else. We weren't bound by those harsh demands of "men." Those tradtions of men were "anathema" to me!

Well, what a sense of humor our God has! The joke was surely on me! I swam even faster than my husband, and he is still amazed by my voracious appetite for Tradtitions, ritual, prayers (even written ones in books by Saints!) quiet, the rosary, incense, candles, shrines, you name it... let's just say "all things Catholic!" I am only full of gratitude to be back HOME...and I want to thank my (our) Papa, JPII. JPII WE LOVE YOU! WE MISS YOU! and WE WILL SEE YOU AGAIN, as you're busy in Heaven still praying us all our eternal rest! Thank you JPII!~ Pray for us!

May we run, and never tarry on our journey to the Tiber, and into the waiting, loving outstretched arms of HOLY MOTHER CHURCH......Mama Mary, and you, Papa. Thank you! You are nearer to us now than you ever were on earth. Pray us home to enjoy the beatific vision of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen.