Greetings from Pittsburgh! We hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start. We are only a few weeks into January and we have already had a few nice surprises on the cause for Elisabeth.
After many failed attempts, I have finally found the episode of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s television show “Life is Worth Living” where he speaks of Elisabeth and Felix Leseur. For our friends outside the United States, Archbishop Sheen’s television show was quite popular in the 1950s. In this particular episode he is discussing Marriage and Incompatibilities. Just before he speaks of the Leseurs he mentions the sharing of spiritual gifts between husband and wife and notes St. Paul’s words from the Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:14). “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband”. He gives a very brief history of Elisabeth and Felix in this context. He concludes by actually making the audience laugh at the end of his discussion on the Leseurs, but I will not spoil the joke for those that may want to watch the episode. If you do not have time for the full episode, the discussion on the Leseurs begins around the 19th minute.
We had heard often that there is a following of Elisabeth in Japan, but had never received a letter from that part of the world until now. Just a few days ago, we received an email from a sister in a convent in Tokyo with a devotion to Elisabeth. There is no doubt that Elisabeth’s fame of sanctity around the world continues to be strong.
And we are most grateful for a strong show of support for Elisabeth cause, by the nine masses that have been already been confirmed in the United States for 2019. And a mass has already been scheduled in the United States for 2020! A complete list of masses is routinely updated at this link.
February 2019 Reflection
Given the theme Archbishop Sheen explored with St. Paul’s words, I believe there are many words of Elisabeth that are appropriate. I chose one of my favorites; her journal entry on November 13, 1905.
“Worries, sad memories, an atmosphere of unbelief, indifference, or scorn, and the painful awareness of never being able to make either God or one’s soul known to others–all of this has battered me and knocked me to the ground, bruised like the gentle Savior. But all this brings me to a humble act of faith, love, and acceptance, and a new resolution to be more courageous, to steady myself in peace, and to submit to these offenses without revealing the suffering they cause me. With Felix I ought to be more even tempered, stronger; with Maman more gentle and attentive; with everyone kind and self-forgetful. … I must say with St. Paul that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). My beloved Felix has many cares, Maman an immense grief; they need me, or even more, they need only God. Through my sufferings and sacrifices I can obtain spiritual transformation for them. … My God, assist her who, in spite of her faults, desires above everything to make you known and loved.”
Elisabeth Leseur Selected Writings, Paulist Press, Janet K. Ruffing, RSM
Ways You Can Help
We are asking that you consider having a mass offered at your local parish for Elisabeth on (or around) the anniversary of her death: 3-May. We’d also love for you to let us know if you do (parish name & location).
We are looking to extend our reach by adding additional languages to ELCause.org and the monthly reflection. We are particularly interested in finding help for Polish and Japanese translations. If you are interested please contact us at email@example.com.
We continue to receive prayer requests and periodically update the Prayer Requests page. If you would like to add a prayer request, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With our prayers,
Jennifer and Joe MacNeil