March 2018 eNews

Greetings from South Carolina! We hope everyone is having a good Lent. Joe and I are taking a few days rest from a long and very busy Pittsburgh winter. We have a stack of books, golf clubs and running shoes and hope to make the most of some time outdoors!

We are so excited to share this month’s eNews as we introduce our first guest writer for the monthly reflection, American spiritual writer Vicki Burbach.  Her work has been featured and shared on the National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange and the Big Pulpit. She has also been a guest on EWTN Live, EWTN Bookmark, The Busted Halo Show, The Son Rise Morning Show, EWTN Morning Glory and On Call with Wendy Wiese, among others. Her blog site is Pelican’s Breast. She has also lead a book club discussion on the Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur.

New Content
March Reflection – by Vicki Burbach

In a recent homily, our parish priest discussed the staggering fact that 80 percent of baptized young people are leaving the Faith before they are 25 years old. He was sharing the findings of a newly published study conducted by St. Mary’s Press, in conjunction with Georgetown University. The report —  Going, Going, Gone! The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics — discusses the self-reported reasons Millennials give for leaving the Church. Our pastor mentioned three:

  1. They do not believe in God
  2. The Church is full of Hypocrites.
  3. What the Church has to say about morality (particularly sexual morality) is diametrically opposed to what the culture is teaching Millennials.

Elisabeth intuitively recognized and understood each of these reasons, and sought to eradicate them through the only productive means possible —  personal transformation. May each of us be inspired to adopt her resolutions, that His light may be encountered by every soul we meet:

It is not in arguing or in lecturing that I can make them know what God is to the human soul. But in struggling with myself, in becoming, with His help, more Christian and more valiant, I will bear witness to Him whose humble disciple I am. By the serenity and strength that I mean to acquire, I will prove that the Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy. By cultivating all the best faculties of my mind, I will proclaim God is the highest Intelligence and that those who serve Him can draw without end from that blessed source of intellectual and moral light. — The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur, p. 10

Forgotten Books – Publishes another book

Last fall we were made aware that Forgotten Books publishing in London reprinted one of Elisabeth’s works in French, “La Femme Chrétienne: Extraite de “la Vie Spirituelle”” (“The Christian Woman: Extracted from “Spiritual Life””). And more recently, the same publisher has again reprinted one of Elisabeth’s works, “Journal Et Pensées de Chaque Jour: Précédés d’une Lettre du R. P. Janvier, O. P”(“Journal and Thoughts of Every Day: Preceded by a Letter from R. P. Janvier, O. P”). We have written to the publisher to inquire on these recent publications to understand their motivation for publishing these books now.

Elisabeth on the “Web”

Reflection of the Day

A new friend in Northern Ireland let us know that Elisabeth’s words were used as the reflection of the day on a web site devoted to Saint Padre Pio. Please follow this link for the reflection posted on March 3rd.

Books for Lent

Our guest writer, Vicki Burbach, also included Elisabeth in a recent post containing a list of ten great books for Lent that are too often overlooked.

Inspirational Quotes on Suffering

And most recently our guest writer posted 11 inspirational quotes about sacrifice to consider as part of our Lenten devotions. And number nine on that list was a familiar quote from Elisabeth, which follows.

“I have seen clearly what I can do in my own corner of life. Above all, to work on myself, to try to develop in myself all the instincts God has given me; to strengthen my will by regular work; to elevate my soul unceasingly by sacrifice and the acceptance of my usual sufferings, and by a constant and tender sympathy for all who approach me.”

Actions For The Cause

Thank you to those who have been in touch with us and have confirmed a mass for the intention of Elisabeth near the anniversary of her death, May 3rd. As of today, masses have been confirmed at the following locations. If you are able to arrange for a mass near this date at your local church, please let us know.

  • France
    • Église Saint-Germain de Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Thursday, May 3, 2018)
    • Église Sainte-Anne de l’Étang-la-Ville (Thursday, May 3, 2018)
  • United States
    • Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware (Thursday, May 3, 2018)
    • The Pittsburgh Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Thursday, May 3, 2018)
    • Anonymous (Thursday, May 3, 2018)

Prayer Requests

  • For Cheryl S – United States
  • For a young man and his Mother in Brazil who are battling multiple health issues
  • For Jose Renato and family, a family of Elisabeth supporters –  in Brazil
  • For those with the desire for marriage and family life, that they may receive the gift of this vocation from God
  • For a very young man, Pito, in France with serious health issues
  • For a very young girl with Down Syndrome in Pittsburgh who is working through multiple health issues and for her Mom
  • For the healing of Uncle Michael who is suffering with glioblastoma
  • For the conversion of David C.
  • For friends in Calgary and Nova Scotia addressing many health issues

We are most grateful for everyone’s support. We know we are just a small link in the Circle of Friends.  Please help us grow the circle by sharing

With our gratitude and prayers,
Jennifer and Joe MacNeil