Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fr Thomas Dubay Dies: World-Renowned Retreat Master, Author & Popular Spiritual Director to Priests

Fr Thomas Dubay has died. Many would say a saint has entered heaven!
He was one of the well loved priests from EWTN a spiritual master on Contemplative prayer, the spirituality of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. He was a Marist Priest; the Marist charism is…
to think as Mary, judge as Mary, and feel and act as Mary in all things…
He instructed many Catholics through his 20 spiritual masterpieces on the spiritual life and prayer, his forte was Spiritual Direction for priests and religious. He practiced what he preached in his example of holiness and a Christ-like life.

Rev Thomas Dubay, SM - RIP September 26, 2010

"From the Little Sisters of the Poor who cared for him - From Washington, DC:
This morning at 4:45, the Lord welcomed into His Kingdom Rev Thomas Dubay, SM, after suffering kidney failure and massive bleeding in the brain. Father’s frail health had been declining ever since his admission to the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Washington more than a year ago, but his suffering was even more noticeable in recent months. Despite this fact, Fr Dubay was just as witty as ever.

When Father’s superior, Fr. Bruce Lery, SM, called the Little Sisters on Sunday morning to tell them, he said, "We have a saint in heaven" –how true! Fr. Dubay was hospitalized about a month ago and then transferred to a rehabilitation facility for specialized treatments but his health was steadily declining. Yesterday he was re-admitted to the hospital with bleeding in the brain, and he was put in coronary intensive care. Although the ventilator was removed, he continued to breathe on his own.

Although he suffered from his loss of independence, he was happy to concelebrate Mass almost every day in the chapel of the Little Sisters Home in the shadow of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in our nation’s capital.

The Marist priests and brothers visited him almost daily, and Father depended very much on his superior, Fr. Bruce, who was always there for him. In a few words, Fr. Dubay literally practiced what he preached! Father was happy to give weekly classes to the Little Sister postulants –classes which he enjoyed as much as they! From his room, Father continued his spiritual direction with many persons who called on him and this also was extended to letter writing.

We can render prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful support Father gave to religious communities spending a good part of his life giving conferences and retreats. Although his preaching and spiritual direction was delivered to contemplative communities, his teaching was not for them alone. Religious the world over benefitted of his spiritual wisdom and guidance for years. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace after leading so many souls to true spiritual peace during his lifetime! The opening prayer of today’s liturgy says it all: “Help us hurry toward the Eternal Life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom”.

In this video below Fr Dubay offers insights into his Call to the Priesthod and how to recognize a personal Call from God to the Religous Life or the Priesthood. His wisdom will be surely missed.

Here is a good article written by Catholic journalist Tim Drake who over the years spoke to and interviewed Fr Dubay a number of times.

I can imagine Father Dubay saying this prayer as he greets Our Lady as she escorts him to his mansion in a special place in heaven.
I greet thee, Mary,
Daughter of God the Father.
I greet thee, Mary,
Mother of the Son of God.
I greet thee, Mary,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
I greet thee, Mary,
Temple of the Blessed Trinity.
I greet thee, Mary,
White Lily of the resplendent Trinity.
I greet thee, Mary,
Fragrant Rose of the heavenly court.
I greet thee, Mary,
Virgin full of meekness and humility,
of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born
and nourished by thy milk.
I greet thee, Mary,
Virgin of virgins.
I greet thee, Mary,
Queen of martyrs,
whose soul was pierced by the sword of sorrows.
I greet thee, Mary,
Lady and Mistress,
to whom all power has been given
in Heaven and on earth.
I greet thee, Mary,
Queen of my heart, my sweetness,
my life and all my hope.
I greet thee, Mary,
Mother most amiable.
I greet thee, Mary,
Mother most admirable.
I greet thee, Mary,
Mother of beautiful love.
I greet thee, Mary,
Conceived without sin.
I greet thee, Mary,
Full of grace, the Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed be the Fruit of thy womb.
Blessed be thy spouse, Saint Joseph.
Blessed be thy father, Saint Joachim.
Blessed be thy mother, Saint Anne.
Blessed be thy angel, Saint Gabriel.
Blessed be the Eternal Father,
Who has chosen thee.
Blessed be thy Son,
Who has loved thee.
Blessed be the Holy Ghost,
Who has espoused thee.
May all those who love thee bless thee.
O Blessed Virgin,
bless us all in the name of thy dear Son.
O Virgin most kind,
Mary, Mother of God,
most loving consoler of those in distress,
commend to your Son the souls of the Faithful Departed,
so that, because of your motherly intervention,
they may joyfully arrive in your company
as their longed-for home in heaven.
Eternal rest grant unto him Oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayers for Fr Laurence Gresser FSSP

I am writing to ask for many prayers for a good and holy FSSP priest in Sydney, Australia. (The Maternal Heart Chapel, Lewisham) Fr Laurence Gresser.

I'll share what his brother John wrote:

Fr Laurence Gresser is a FSSP priest from Sydney who suffered extensive burning on Saturday:

The first 24 hours have been difficult for Fr Laurence, but things are looking positive.

On Saturday afternoon, while on a visit to the poor, Fr Laurence felt cold and tried to light a faulty heater, which exploded. His cassock caught on fire and he sustained burns to 35% of his body. An ambulance was called straight away and he received immediate care in hospital. His situation on Saturday night was considered critical but has since stabilised.

Fr Laurence is currently in Intensive Care, and is sedated. The burns are mainly to his face, chest, left arm/hand and right shoulder. The doctors have so far classified them as “superficial” although the full extent of his injuries will not be known for 7 – 10 days. It is not yet known if there is any damage to his eyesight. Doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery (although they will not estimate how long that may take).
Please pray that there will not be any permanent damage or scarring.

Fr Laurence has been Anointed twice and has also been blessed with every Sacramental Fr Wong has in his extensive collection!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Priests in Focus

Starting a new approach to the Priests in Focus from now on. We have decided to post 6 priests names each fortnight (every second week) still on the Thursday.

There are two main reasons. It enables us to actually post it here, as well as the sidebar, by posting it allows the ladies who only follow our site via google reader to receive the new list without having to click over to check out our sidebar.

Secondly it enables ladies to make a novena if they wish for these priests, giving us 14days to accomplish a nine day novena (maybe the extra days will be handy as well in case a day is missed here or there) ~ it also gives more time to reflect upon and pray for these priests a bit longer than previously.

We hope you also like this new idea and please continue to email us with the names of any priests you would love to have added to this fortnightly list.

I hope to design a special image to head this fortnightly post, but I'm adjusting to a new Mac at present and haven't learnt yet how to put together a new image. So hopefully soon, that will come.

So here are the names of the six priests:

Fr Andrew James.

Fr Simon Kitimbo

Fr John Ssemaganda

Fr Charles DiMascola,

Fr Ross (recently deceased)

Fr. Louis Madey

A list of the priests we have previously prayed for, are in the right hand sidebar down the bottom.

If you have any priests you wish to nominate to be added to the Priests in Focus please email us and we would more than happy to add that priest to our list.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, bless us with holy, courageous priests!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Holy Mother Mary's Birthday

"On Our Lady's birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Savior's mother, Mary. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too.
Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as "Cause of our joy", one of the most beautiful titles in her litany".

If you are devoted to The Blessed Virgin Mary here is a very special website that offers beautiful contemplations and meditations on Our Holy Mother - MaryVitamin

O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church,
from this spot you have manifested your clemency and compassion
for all who have recourse to your protection.
Hear the prayer we address to you
with filial confidence,
and present it to your Son Jesus,
our only Redeemer.

Mother of Mercy,
Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice,
on this day we sinners consecrate to you,
who come to meet us,
all our being and all our love.

We also consecrate to you
our life,
our work,
our joys,
our infirmities,
and our sorrows.

Grant to our peoples peace, justice, and prosperity
so that we may entrust to your care,
our Lady and our Mother,
all that we have and all that we are.

We wish to be completely yours
and to follow together with you the path of total fidelity
to Jesus Christ in His Church:
hold us ever lovingly by the hand.

See how great is the harvest,
and intercede with the Lord
that He will imbue the whole people of God
with a hunger for holiness
and bestow abundant vocations of priests and religious,
who are strong in their faith
and zealous dispensers of the mysteries of God.

Grant to our homes the grace
of loving and respecting life in its beginnings,
with the same love
with which you conceived in your womb
the life of the Son of God.

Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Fair Love,
protect our families
so that they may always be united
and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our hope, look upon us with pity,
teach us to go continually to Jesus,
and if we fall help us to rise again and return to Him
through the confession of our faults and our sins
in the Sacrament of Penance,
which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love
for all the Holy Sacraments,
which are, as it were, the signs
that your beloved Son left us here on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother,
with the peace of God in our consciences,
with our hearts free from evil and hatred,
we will be able to bring to all others
true joy and true peace,
which come to us from your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Heavenly Mother stay close to us all, we pray on this special day when we celebrate your birthday that you may shower many blessings and graces upon us all and the suffering souls in purgatory.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reviving First Sunday Devotions - The Difference One Mother Can Make

 This picture is indeed unique in the annals of the Catholic Church. From 1 to 4 September 1946, the majority of the 323 priests and religious met in their village of Lu for a reunion which attracted world-wide attention

The Difference One Mother Can Make
by Fr. Roger J. Landry - January 11, 2008
"The vast majority of priests and religious say that the nourishment of their divine vocations began at home. It was in the domestic Church that they first learned about God — who he is, how he loves us, and what he expects of us. It was from their parents that they saw the centrality of God in human life and learned how to pray, how to love, how to forgive and ask forgiveness. It was from example of their faith that they grasped the importance of the Church, the Eucharist and confession, the commandments, virtues and works of mercy. It was also from them that they learned a loving reverence and fascination for the priests, brothers and women religious whom God had mysteriously called to his service and theirs.

While not discounting the contributions of fathers and siblings, in most homes most of the credit for this Christian upbringing goes to mothers. They are the principal masons laying the foundation for their children's future growth in faith. They are the "spiritual breast-feeders," who allow their children to be nourished by their own faith. There's an expression among priests that "behind every vocation stands a woman," and in most cases that woman has their mother's face".

The Mother's of Lu

We have shared this amazing story before from the booklet Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood For Priests but thought it was worth sharing again. It was this story that really moved us last year to start the SM blog for the YOTP. There were many other deeply inspirational stories from the booklet that touched us but this one was the one that really prompted us into action.

The mother's of Lu were not just physical mothers to there children, they were spiritual mothers to there children, taking their stewardship one step further by offering their children back to God not once but over and over, with confidence that He would do something beautiful with them for Himself.
The most generous act we can offer Our Lord is to offer our children back to Him, to be His and His alone, they are the most precious things to us and also the most precious things to Him.

We would like to revive the First Sunday devotion in responce to what these peasant mothers of Lu did, and encourage & remind all women who are praying for priests through the Spiritual Motherhood for Priests devotion to offer their Holy Communion and Mass on the First Sunday’s of the Month in honour of vocations to the priesthood, specifically from our own families by reciting the simple prayer below during their thanksgiving prayers after Mass. It is not a prerequisite of the devotion but another aspect of it, it is up to you if you would like to. 


The little village of Lu, in northern Italy, is located in a rural area 90 kilometres east of Turin. It would still be unknown to this day if some of the mothers of Lu had not made a decision that had important consequences in 1881.
The deepest desire of many of these mothers was for one of their sons to become a priest or for a daughter to place her life completely in God’s service. Under the direction of their parish priest, Msgr. Alessandro Canora, they gathered every Tuesday for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord for vocations. They received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month with the same intention. After Mass, all the mothers prayed a particular prayer together imploring for vocations to the priesthood.
Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the children to recognize their vocations.
When the Lord said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14), we can understand that many are called, but only a few respond to that call. No one expected that God would hear the prayers of these mothers in such a dramatic way.
From the tiny village of Lu came 323 vocations: 152 priests (diocesan and religious), and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations. As many as three or four vocations came from some of the families. The most famous example is the Rinaldi family, from whom God called seven children. Two daughters became Salesian sisters, both of whom were sent to San Domingo as missionaries. Five sons became priests, all joining the Salesians. The most well-known of the Rinaldi brothers is Blessed Philip Rinaldi, who became the third successor of St. John Bosco as Superior General of the Salesians. Pope John Paul II beatified him on 29 April 1990. In fact, many of the vocations from this small town became Salesians. It is certainly not a coincidence, since St. John Bosco visited Lu four times during his life. The saint attended the first Mass of his spiritual son, Fr. Philip Rinaldi in this village where he was born. Philip always fondly recalled the faith of the families of Lu: 
“A faith that made our fathers and mothers say, 
‘The Lord gave us our children, and so if He calls them, we can’t say no.’”

Fr. Luigi Borghina and Fr. Pietro Rota lived the spirituality of Don Bosco so faithfully that the former was called the “Brazilian Don Bosco” and the latter the “Don Bosco of Valtellina.” Pope John XXIII once said the following about another vocation from Lu, His Excellency, Evasion Colli, Archbishop of Parma: 

“He should have become pope, not me. He had everything it takes to become a great pope.”

Every ten years, the priests and sisters born in Lu used to come together from all around the world. Fr. Mario Meda, the long-serving parish priest of Lu, explained that this reunion is a true celebration, a feast of thanksgiving to God who has done such great things for Lu.

The prayer that the mothers of Lu prayed was short, simple, and deep: