Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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And your BFF didn't know this story? Great article to read. I,can envision it! What an amazing intuition you followed. Someday soon we will talk more!

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God is in the clouds

Prayers to the patron saint of the hurricane season: Seeking the intercession of Saint Medard during Hurricane Matthew



Saint Medard, patron saint of bad storms, pray for us! 


Preparing for Hurricane Matthew:

Hurricane season runs annually from June 1 to November 30.

Since we retired in 2014, my husband and I spend a great deal of time at our home on Singer Island in South Florida. Today, all eyes are on Hurricane Matthew, which formed quickly and was just upgraded this morning to a Category 3 hurricane, currently with 120 mph winds. 

The National Hurricane Center classifies as "major hurricanes" all those in Categories 3 (111-130 mph), 4 (131-155 mph) and 5 (156+ mph) on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Matthew is now off Aruba, moving toward Jamaica and Cuba early next week, then it’s likely headed toward the Bahamas by Wednesday. The storm continues to evolve, and it is really too soon to know where its exact track will go

All news media outlets and weather are urging families to review their emergency plans and be prepared in the event that the hurricane comes our way. It has been twelve years since a hurricane has directly impacted Palm Beach County, and most families in the area have become rather complacent. Florida is vulnerable geographically to tropical storms and hurricanes that might make landfall here. And no matter where the tracking for Matthew goes, we will at the very least be on the outer bands and get lots of wind and rain.

Back in September of 2004, Hurricanes Frances (105 mph winds) and Jeanne (120 mph winds) hit our area just twenty days apart. The next year, Wilma (105 mph winds) hit South Florida, causing 25 deaths and again leaving a number of counties without power. 

Prayers for hurricane protection at Mass:

Parishes here in Florida often incorporate a prayer for protection from hurricanes and tropical storms during the general intercessions at Mass each week. Our parish, Saint Paul of the Cross in North Palm Beach uses the following intention

That we would receive the grace of physical protection from
all storms, disaster and calamity this hurricane season, we pray… 
Lord, hear our prayer.

Offering prayers for safekeeping is comforting, even if Mother Nature has other ideas.




Saint  Medard, patron of bad storms:

I first wrote about Saint Medard in February of 2014 in anticipation of the winter snowstorm Pax: "Praying to Saint Medard, the patron saint of bad storms."

Saint Medard is the perfect patron saint for the hurricane season. He was a sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, who, as a child, according to legend, was once sheltered from the rain by an eagle hovering over him. His feast day is observed each year on June 8. 

An old French folktale refers to the June 8 feast day:

“Should Saint Médard's day be wet, 
It will rain for forty yet; 
At least until Saint Barnabas, 
The summer sun won't favor us.” 

In a similar manner, Cajun folklore, which refers to June 8 as “Samida" (for Saint Médard), holds that if it rains on this day, it will rain at least once a day for the next forty days.

Pray for us:

This week, we again call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep us safe and to protect all those who are vulnerable to the rage of Hurricane Matthew.



Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, 
we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes.
We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes,
tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters,
especially now with the impact from Hurricane Matthew.
Loving God, send in more helpers, 
and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.
You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee;
Deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us.
Amen.



September 30, 2016 04:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Celebrating the little way of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: Prayers and simple spirituality from the Little Flower




“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden to me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”
— Saint Thérèse of Lisieux/ Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873–1897)

Seen here in a photograph taken by her sister, Celine Martin (Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face) on Easter Monday, 1894.
(Archives of Carmel of Lisieux)

———

The beautiful Carmelite nun Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is often referred to as one of the most venerated saints in modern history. Today, September 30, the Church observes the 119th anniversary of her death. We celebrate with her feast day tomorrow, October 1

Thérèse was born in 1873 in France and given the baptismal name Marie Françoise Thérèse Martin. The youngest Martin daughter, she had a childhood marked by illness, great familial affection, very devout Catholic parents, four close sisters, the untimely death of her mother when Marie was just four years old, followed by several years of depression and self-isolation, before realizing a childlike faith, hope, and a strong desire to do God’s will. This paved the way for her deeply spiritual life journey. 


The Little Flower:

When Marie Françoise Thérèse was 14, her father told her a story while they were sitting in their garden. After she had asked her father if she could follow her two eldest sisters and enter the nearby cloistered Discalced Carmelite community, he gave her a small white flower and described to her how God loved and cared for her just as He had brought that perfect little flower in being and cared for it.

Young Marie Françoise Thérèse saw that flower as symbolic to her own life, and would later write, as Thérèse: "while I listened, I believed I was hearing my own story.” This story not only shaped part of her spiritual journey, but also explains the back story of how Thérèse would eventually become known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply as "The Little Flower.”

The next year, at age 15, Marie Françoise Thérèse entered the Carmel in Lisieux. She was given the religious name of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D.

Her spiritual journey has been preserved through her letters and her writings, most importantly, her memoir Story of a Soul.  Therese’s spirituality, called her “little way,” is based on seeing herself as a child of God and simply trusting in Him.

There is much to meditate on as we read about the experiences which shaped the Little Flower and molded her into a model of holiness for all of us, most especially as a spiritual role model for women.

Thérèse’s death:

Thérèse died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 after suffering greatly from the effects of tuberculosis, which was not properly diagnosed at first. She looked ahead, “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…”

Pope Pius X called Thérèse "the greatest saint of modern times.” Later, after miracles were attributed to her intercession, Pope Pius XI dispensed the waiting period and beatified her in 1923, and then canonized her two years later, only twenty-eight years after her death. In that era, the usual waiting period for beatification was fifty years.

Later, Pope Pius XII named Thérèse a co-patron saint of France in 1944 with Joan of Arc, one of her longtime heroines. Then in 1997, Pope John Paul II declared Thérèse to be a Doctor of the Church, only the fourth woman to be given this status.

———

Ten fun facts about Thérèse:

Did you know?

1. Thérèse always carried the Gospels and the Epistles of Saint Paul close to her heart. She noted,

“But it is especially the Gospels which sustain me during my hours of prayer, for in them I find what is necessary for my poor little soul. I am constantly discovering in them new lights, hidden and mysterious meanings.”     

2. Thérèse’s parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, had nine children, four of whom would  die in early childhood. 

3. Louis and Zelie became saints of the Church on October 18, 2015. Notably, they were the first married couple to be considered together for sainthood, and then were the first to actually be canonized together. 

4. Each of the five remaining children of Louis and Zelie, all girls, would enter religious life:

--Thérèse’s two oldest sisters were the first to enter the local cloistered Carmelite monastery in Lisieux:

--Marie Louise, the eldest, would became Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart;

--Marie Pauline, the second sister, who would eventually be elected as the mother prioress of Carmel, would be known as Mother Agnes of Jesus;

--Marie Françoise Thérèse, the youngest daughter, would enter in 1788 at the age of 15, taking the name Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D.;

--The fourth sister, Céline, who cared for their father until his death in 1894, entered Carmel that same year and became Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face.

--Their first cousin, Marie Guérin, followed them to Carmel in 1895 and became Sister Marie of the Eucharist.

--Finally, the third sister, Léonie followed a different path and entered the Monastery of the Visitation of Holy Mary, taking the name Sister Françoise-Thérèse, and becoming the only Martin sister to not enter Carmel. 

5. In 2012, Léonie Martin was declared “Venerable” and her cause for canonization was opened. 

6. Archival photos: Céline Martin was given permission by her eldest sister, Mother Agnes, to bring her camera and the necessary supplies to process photographs to Carmel. The photos she took of Thérèse over the years have been a treasure to the Church and to all those who have devotion to the Little Flower.  

7. Thérèse’s childhood heroine was Joan of Arc. Later, while at Carmel, she would write two plays about Joan for the Carmelite nuns to perform on feast days to honor of the Catholic woman who would become the patron saint of France.

8. Two years after her canonization, Pope Pius XI named Thérèse the Patroness of the Vatican Gardens in 1927.     

9. Thérèse’s relics have traveled on religious pilgrimage and been venerated all over the world. Also, her writing desk from Carmel was on display throughout the United States in 2013. 

10. The Basilica of Saint Thérèse in Lisieux is one of the most visited shrines in France

———-

“For me, prayer is a movement of the heart; it is a simple glance toward Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and love in times of trial as well as in times of joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus...I have not the courage to look through books for beautiful prayers...I do like a child who does not know how to read; I say very simply to God what I want to say, and He always understands me.”

—Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on prayer

———-


Bring your special intentions to Saint Thérèse in prayer:

Miraculous Invocation to St. Thérèse:

O Glorious St. Thérèse,
whom Almighty God has raised up to aid
and inspire the human family,
I implore your Miraculous Intercession.
You are so powerful in obtaining every need
of body and spirit from the Heart of God.
Holy Mother Church proclaims you "Prodigy of Miracles…
the greatest saint of Modern Times.”
Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition
(mention in silence here) 
and to carry out your promises of
spending heaven doing good on earth…
of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses.
Little Flower, give me your childlike faith,
to see the Face of God
in the people and experiences of my life,
and to love God with full confidence.
Saint Thérèse, my Carmelite Sister,
I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere”
and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you.
Amen.

———

To learn more about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux:

The Society of the Little Flower:

Spreading Devotion to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: The Greatest Saint of Modern Times 



September 30, 2016 03:45
By Patti Murphy Dohn


A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends




By Patti Murphy Dohn

Their bags are packed, boarding passes are printed, and all those passports are ready to be stamped as our young pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other dioceses around our nation head to the airport.

The occasion?
World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II.

Praying for our WYD pilgrims:

Let us join together each day and offer up this prayer for all those attending this year’s WYD celebration with Pope Francis.

Fashioned on the official prayer from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this version can be used each day by the parishes and families of our pilgrims. 


A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends: 
(Based on the World Youth Day Prayer for the United States from USCCB)

God our Father,
Be with our young people on their pilgrim journey of faith.
Give them the grace and courage to step forward
in faith and hope on the road ahead. 

Lord Jesus,
Open their eyes to see Your face in all those they encounter. 
Open their ears to hear Your voice in those who are often ignored. 
Open their hearts that they might be faithful disciples of mercy and truth. 

Holy Spirit,
Transform them. Empower them to give of themselves to the poor;
to welcome the lost; to forgive those who hurt them; 
to comfort those who suffer and are marginalized. 
Bless all those who travel on mission from the United States of America
to Krakow in Poland, Land of Divine Mercy, 
to join the universal Church for World Youth Day.
Bless, too, those who celebrate stateside, united in faith and joy. 
Like the disciples who journeyed up the mountain
to witness the Transfiguration, 
May this experience be an encounter
that strengthens them for their work in the world. 
Through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
patroness of our nation,
May they be worthy witnesses of their faith,
humble representatives of our country,
and inspired missionaries
bringing peace, hope, and mercy into our communities. Amen.

Saint James the Apostle, 
patron of pilgrim travelers, 
pray for them.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, 
young faithful witness from our native land, 
pray for them. 

Saint Therese of Lisieux, 
patroness of missionaries and advocate for youth, 
pray for them. 

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, 
man of the beatitudes and patron of young adults, 
pray for them. 

Saint John Paul II, 
son of Poland and patron of World Youth Day, 
pray for them.  

Amen!

—-

Read more of my reminiscences on World Youth Day:




For more information on World Youth Day: 

1. Visit the World Youth Day page on the website of the U.S. Catholic Bishops;

2. The Catholic Review will provide daily coverage about their experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow” 


 

July 21, 2016 09:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Calling on Saint Medard: Prayer to the patron saint of bad storms



Once again, our family and friends along the east coast are in the calm before the storm... a huge snowstorm which meteorologists are calling Jonas. 

With blizzard warnings and school closings pinging alerts to my cell phone, my husband and I share the worry with our family back in Maryland as the hours tick down to the arrival of this huge storm. 


Praying to Saint Medard:

It's time once again to call upon the intercession of Saint Medard, the sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, whose feast is observed on June 8. He is the patron saint for protection from bad storms. 

According to legend, as a child, Medard was once sheltered from the driving rain by an eagle hovering over him.  





The last time I wrote about praying to Saint Medard was two years ago in February of 2014 as Winter Storm Pax was making its way to the east coast. It dumped more than a foot of snow on the Baltimore area.

As we get closer to the start of winter storm Jonas, let us again call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep our loved ones safe and to protect all those who are in need of shelter and warmth.


Prayer to Saint Medard:


Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms,
we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.

Protect our families and our homes.

We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, especially for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way this weekend.

Loving God, send in more helpers, and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.

You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.

Saint Medard, pray for us.

Amen.


January 22, 2016 12:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Another tribute to the powerful intercession of Saint Anthony: Patron saint of lost items



Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)


My Facebook memories “On this day” reminded me that it was two years ago when I first called for shared stories about the intercession of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of finding lost and stolen items.

Many Catholics recall the familiar jingle used to call upon his assistance:

"Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around:
Something is lost and needs to be found!”


When I published my first tribute to his intercession in January of 2014, I had no idea that it would bring about so much interest. I included a number of stories about items found through Saint Anthony’s intercession, as well as the prayer so often used by those who seek his aid, “Unfailing Prayer to Saint Anthony.”

My first tribute has had thousands of readers over the past 24 months. And I have received more than three thousand emails from people all over the world both calling for prayers for items they have lost or had stolen, as well as testimonies and words of thanks for Saint Anthony's intercession for items found. 

The most common requests come from those seeking prayers for things lost, usually of great value, both sentimental and monetary. This includes lost jewelry, purses, laptops, keys, wallets, and passports. 

The stories of items found and credited to Saint Anthony’s intercession have been fascinating. I had received so many stories of gratitude that I published a follow-up on his feast day of June 13


A new testimony to Saint Anthony: A wintery lost and found story:

Just last week I received an email from Stacey Sheets of Stevens Point, Wisconsin with a shout-out to Saint Anthony:

“I have an amazing Saint Anthony story for you!  

I lost my wedding and engagements rings this past Monday. I was pretty sure I had left them at the gym that I belong to. As soon as I realized it, I went back to the gym and searched everywhere for my rings, including the parking lot.  

To explain, I usually take off my rings and put them in my coat pocket there.  
No luck, I couldn't find them.  We live in Wisconsin and that afternoon we were hit by a big snowstorm, about eight inches of snow.  

I looked everywhere, I even went back to the store I had gone to on Sunday thinking maybe I had lost my rings there.  

After a while, I just could not remember when I last had my rings on. So I just started looking everywhere imaginable, even my ice box in the freezer.

I told the ladies at the gym yesterday what had happened, and one of them said to me "Say a prayer to Saint Anthony"  and I said "No, isn't it Saint Jude?"  

I had been praying to Saint Jude, but I decided to google Saint Anthony and I found your website. I started praying to Saint Anthony yesterday evening, into the night and first thing this morning.  

And can you believe what happened?  I got a call at 12:45 today that a Good Samaritan had found my rings buried in the ice outside in the parking lot, even after snow plows went through!!  

I sincerely believe that it was Saint Anthony who made it possible for my rings to be found.  My little boy was with me when I got the phone call that my rings had been found. I have explained to him that miracles do really happen and that there are good people in the world.  

I am so glad that I found your website.  I just can't believe that in less than 24 hours after looking on your website, I am writing you a letter with my rings back on my hand!

Sincerely,

Stacey Sheets


(Photo courtesy of Stacey Sheets)


Gratitude:

I was so thrilled for Stacey and her family when I read this email. What an amazing story of her rings being found in the ice after that big snowstorm!

I had initially thought that her email was from a young woman with the same name who went to school with my children in the 1980’s at Saint Margaret’s in Bel Air.

Stacey and I emailed back and forth several times. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she is a parishioner at Saint Bronislava Catholic Church in Plover, Wisconsin. She was happy to have her story shared in one of my "God is in the Clouds" follow-ups about the powerful intercession of Saint Anthony.

Stacey told me, “I am still in awe of what happened, I just can't stop smiling!”

I cannot stop smiling either! 


Thanks, Saint Anthony, for coming around.
Something was lost and now it has been found!

God is good… All the time.
Amen.

——-

Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony:

"Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints"
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.
 Amen.

——-



Do you have any stories about the intercession of Saint Anthony?

Email your stories to me at: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com.


Read more on St. Anthony's intercession: 





January 19, 2016 01:07
By Patti Murphy Dohn


A patron saint for the hurricane season: Praying to St. Medard for protection



St. Medard, patron saint of bad storms, pray for us!


We are in the midst of hurricane season here in the United States. It runs each year from June 1 through November 30. 

The possibility of hurricanes hitting home should be on the minds of people living in South Florida. But it has been a number of years since one struck here in Palm Beach County, so many people have been rather complacent.

My husband and I bought our home on Singer Island eight years ago, three years after Hurricanes Frances (105 mph winds) and Jeanne (120 mph winds) hit the area just twenty days apart in September of 2004. The following year Wilma (105 mph winds) hit South Florida, causing 25 deaths and again leaving a number of counties in the dark. 

The outlook for the 2015 season:

"It's very unusual… This is by far the longest that state has gone without a hurricane hit going back to 1851…
Florida is just one of those areas that is most vulnerable because they're in an area,
geographically, in which tropical storms can easily maneuver and make landfall.”

—AccuWeather meteorologist and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski on the 2015 hurricane season

Hurricane protection prayer at Mass:

Every Sunday when I go to Mass at St. Paul of the Cross Church in North Palm Beach, I am struck by the standard weekly petition for protection from hurricanes in the Prayer of the Faithful:

That we would receive the grace of physical protection from
all storms, disaster and calamity this hurricane season, we pray… 
Lord, hear our prayer.


Calling again on St. Medard:

I first wrote about St. Medard in February of 2014 in anticipation of the winter snowstorm Pax: “Praying to Saint Medard, the patron saint of bad storms.”

St. Medard seems to be the perfect patron saint for the hurricane season. A sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, he is the patron saint for protection from bad storms. As a child, so the legend goes, he was once sheltered from the rain by an eagle hovering over him. His feast day is observed each year on June 8.

Let us call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep us safe and to protect all those who are vulnerable during the hurricane season.
  

 
Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes.
We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, especially for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way tonight.
Loving God, send in more helpers, and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.
You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us.
Amen.



July 23, 2015 02:07
By Patti Murphy Dohn


St. Anthony of Padua: More testimonies and prayers to the patron saint of lost items



“Happy the man whose words come from the Holy Spirit and not from himself.”
—Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Feast day: June 13


The feast of St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of Italy, is celebrated each year on June 13.
Anthony is widely regarded for his intercession in the search for lost or stolen items. The popular "St. Anthony of Padua" children's book, published by Catholic Book Publishing Company in 1984, is subtitled, "The world's best loved saint."

According to oral tradition, Anthony, who was a Franciscan friar, had a book of psalms, one of his most treasured belongings, which contained his notes for teaching young novices. This psalter was stolen by a young man who had left the religious community. Story has it that after Anthony's prayed for its recovery, not only was the psalter returned, but the young man also returned and was accepted back by the Order.

After Anthony's death, people began praying to him to find their lost or stolen items:

“The sea obeys and fetters break,
And lifeless limbs thou dost restore,
While treasures lost are found again,
When young or old thine aid implore.”
- From the "Responsory of St. Anthony"


Last year, I wrote about personal stories of those who sought St. Anthony's intercession in their own quest to find lost items. It is one of the two most widely-read blog posts in my three years of writing "God is in the Clouds."

Since it was published 17 months ago, it has not only had thousands of hits from online readers, but it has also elicited dozens of comments and emails from all over the world with requests for prayers, as well as tributes of gratitude to St. Anthony for his successful intercession.

Some stories about St. Anthony's intercession:

Read that blog post here for stories about the finding of:

~the treasured necklace belonging to one of my former's student's beloved deceased sister;

~the camera and memory card with hundreds of photographs of my friend's newborn grandson;

~a bride's purse filled with all the wedding cards (and money gifts) lost before the newly-married couple departed for their honeymoon and not found for four weeks until the bride's grandmother invoked prayers to St. Anthony;

~a daughter-in-law's lost engagement diamond and a friend's lost honeymoon airline tickets by an old friend who prays to St. Anthony all the time, claiming that "once you say the prayer, you have to stop looking for whatever it is you lost. Turn it over to St. Anthony and let him lead you. He always does!"

~and the story of a former student who has called on Anthony's intercession so often that she considered naming her son after the saint.

Praying for St. Anthony's intercession for lost items:

Over the past year and a half, I have received numerous emails with prayers to St. Anthony to intercede in finding lost or stolen items. Some of the most common request are to locate purses, laptops, keys, wallets, passports, and jewelry, especially wedding rings or heirloom family pieces. Some have surprised me by writing about their love being lost or found!!

"I'm not the type to pray for myself because I sometimes feel like others prayers are of greater priority than mine. So I have take to praying for others. Two weeks ago I lost my wedding band and engagement ring. My husband and I dated for 10 years before getting married and to lose them now, when we just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, breaks my heart. I have turned my house upside down and inside out looking for them. I have also been praying every night since the day I lost them. I hope that someone out there can say a little prayer for me so that I may find them."
~Denise wrote to me on May 27:
Please pray with her to St. Anthony.


Testimonies and gratitude for St. Anthony's intercession:


"I tore apart my office looking for an case file. I couldn't find it anywhere and this could mean my license to practice law if I lost original documents. I prayed and prayed to St. Anthony as I touched every file in the office...nothing. I finally gave up and thought I'd try again tomorrow and see if I could find a different prayer for St. Anthony. As I sat here about to write a prayer on this website, with my foot I gently pushed a small metal box back into its place on the lower shelf of the computer desk. I noticed that underneath my computer desk a brown file folder was peaking out. I asked could this be it? I gently pulled it out and there was the missing file.So my prayer for petition turned into a prayer of gratitude. THANK YOU SO MUCH ST. ANTHONY! You are so good to me."
~From Rose who emailed on June 2


"Just wanted to let you know that after almost a week of praying to St. Anthony for my son’s missing laptop computer, he found it last week on Thursday at school. It turned out a teacher had found it and put it in his desk for safe keeping. We are so grateful to St. Anthony who always helps us when we need him and we can’t thank him enough!"
~From Anna who wrote to me on June 3


"My son had attended a local Catholic elementary school where I volunteered to watch the children during lunch in the cafeteria. One day, I went to put on my disposable food preparation gloves and noticed the diamond in my engagement ring was missing. I was looking everywhere on the floor, and the school receptionist came over to ask me what I was looking for. I told her, and she and the secretary held hands and prayed.
Afterwards, I went home to look and decided to use my vacuum with a piece of old stocking on the head to see if I may have lost it in my bedroom. As I vacuumed I prayed to St. Anthony. I sat on my bed to look through the dust that accumulated on the stocking.
All of a sudden a feeling came over me; I stopped, got up and walked over to a bath towel that was in front of my bedroom sliding door for my dogs’ wet feet. I turned over one corner of the towel and underneath was my diamond. I felt a prickle up my neck.
I immediately called the school and was told that our principal, Sister Anne, over the loud speaker, had just had all the children say a prayer for the lunch mom who lost her diamond. I know deep in my heart that our prayers were heard and answered."
~From Kathy who wrote on May 26


"I want to thank you Saint Anthony for helping me find my car key. I lost my car key, and after hours of looking for it and calling places that would charge me almost $400 for a new one, I finally thought about how there was a prayer to help you find lost items. And so I found this prayer, and after I prayed over and over again, I then took a nap due to the stress of looking for my key all day. Then when I woke up I found my key on the floor in the middle of my step on the stairs inside my house as if he had placed it there!! I am sooo grateful, I even cried because I was so thankful!"
~From Malerie who emailed on May 25


Do you have any stories about the intercession of Saint Anthony?
Email your stories to me at: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com


Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony:

"Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints"

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints,
your love for God and Charity for His creatures,
made you worthy, when on earth,
to possess miraculous powers.
Encouraged by this thought,
I implore you to obtain for me (name your request).
O gentle and loving St. Anthony,
whose heart was ever full of human sympathy,
whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus,
who loved to be folded in your arms;
and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.
Amen.

 
Have you lost anything and want us to pray with you for St. Anthony's intercession?
Email your prayer requests to me at: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

June 13, 2015 09:59
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Remembering Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day 1993

“I came that they might have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10: 10
Theme for World Youth Day, Denver 1993

 

Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ Denver Post

“Imagine Woodstock with all of the good and none of the bad… It was an event of more than 100,000 young people that changed society, but there was no marijuana; no beer bottles on the ground.” –Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, communications director for World Youth Day Denver

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Looking back to 1993:

The third visit of Pope Saint John Paul II to the United States (not counting two flight layovers in Alaska) was held in Denver for the 1993 World Youth Day (August 10-15, 1993). The Archdiocese of Denver, under the leadership of then Archbishop J. Francis Stafford, hosted this historic event.

This marked the eighth WYD, which was started by Pope John Paul II in 1986 in Rome. Denver’s event was the first World Youth Day to be held in North America, as well as in an English-speaking nation. Pope John Paul II initiated plans for World Youth Day in 1984, with the first celebration in 1986. The Denver event was the eighth celebration and the first to become an international media sensation.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

The Holy Father arrived in the Mile High City on August 12 following the first-ever papal visit to the island nation of Jamaica (August 9-11), and a brief stop in Mexico. He arrived by helicopter. The photos taken on board showed him, rosary in hand, as the young people gathered at Mile High Stadium gave thunderous applause, pointing to a rainbow that lit up the southern sky.

“Young people were pointing to it [the rainbow] in wonder…The Pope wept openly before the thunderous ovations of the universal Church.”  --Cardinal Stafford reminisced last year during the 20th anniversary of the event 


President Bill Clinton met with the Holy Father at the Welcome Ceremony on August 12, just eight months after his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States. This was the first of four meetings of President Clinton with this Holy Father.

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Photo: James Baca/ Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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"Jesus has called each one of you to Denver for a purpose! You must live these days in such a way that, when the time comes to return home, each one of you will have a clearer idea of what Christ expects of you."

–Pope John Paul II to the youth at Mile High Stadium

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Gifts for the Holy Father--Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The August 15 Closing Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption had to be moved to Cherry Creek State Park because the massive crowds could not be accommodated at Mile High Stadium. Estimates mark upwards of 750,000 in attendance.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

“It was predicted that the papal initiative would attract no more than 20,000 young people. Mile High Stadium would be more than adequate, they said, for the activities culminating with the vigil and papal Mass.” --Cardinal Stafford recalled.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The History of World Youth Day:

Enjoy this ten-minute video which traces the history of World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II.






August 14, 2014 03:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn


St. Alphonsus Liguori: Quick facts and prayers to the patron saint of arthritis sufferers


"He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts God can do all things."

--St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori (1696-1787)

It's August 1:

Today is the feast day of St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori, bishop, patron saint of priest-confessors and moral theologians, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation of priests, brothers, and sisters. He is also known as the patron saint for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis as he himself suffered from severe arthritis for the last forty years of his life.

Quick Facts on St. Alphonsus:

1. Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori was the oldest of seven children, born near Naples on September 27,1696.

2. He received a doctorate in both civil and canon law from the University of Naples at the early age of 16.

3. Alphonsus gave up law after almost ten years of great success in the courtroom, and soon after had a vision while visiting a local hospital which told him to consecrate his life solely to God: "Leave the world and give yourself to me."

4. Ordained in 1726, Alphonsus travelled throughout Naples giving spiritual missions--parish retreats--as he had a burning desire to bring people to our Lord: 

"I Love Jesus Christ and that is why I am on fire with the desire to give Him souls, first of all my own, and then an incalculable number of others."

5. Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists, on November 9, 1732. The order had a very rocky start, but the men's branch was approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1749 and the women's branch the following year.

6. He dedicated himself to the work of preaching missions, hearing confessions, writing spiritual books, and local pastoral work. He always emphasized God's loving mercy and the ever-ready help of the Blessed Mother. He taught his priests to show great kindness and compassion to all, especially in the confessional, and insisted that all sermons be kept simple so as to be understood by all the faithful.

7. Though he turned down the bishopric of Palermo, as he was determined to minister as a priest, Alphonsus was later named bishop of St. Agatha of the Goths near Naples in 1762 and dedicated himself to caring for the faithful, both physically and spiritually.

8. Alphonsus suffered from great infirmity due to the effects of arthritis and rheumatism, with intense daily pain and deformity which forced him to drink from a straw because his head was so bent forward. A long bout with rheumatic fever left him paralyzed.

9. Best known for his "Moral Theology," Alphonsus wrote over 100 books. Among the most popular are  "The Glories of Mary," "The Way of the Cross," and "Visits to the Blessed Sacrament."

"Realize that you may gain more in a quarter of an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament than in all other practices of the day."

10. Alphonsus suffered great anguish in his later years with regard to royal intrusion on the oversight of the congregation, and his eventual exclusion at age 83. He prayed fervently to overcome the dark days and depression that ensued.

Note: More can be read about this difficult era for Alphonsus and his congregation in “Alphonsus de Liguori: Saint of Bourbon Naples, 1696-1787, Founder of the Redemptorists” by Frederick Jones, C.Ss.R. 

11. Alphonsus died peacefully on August 1, 1787 at the 12 noon Angelus, after having spent the night in prayer to Our Lady. He was 91 years old.

12. He was beatified in 1816, canonized in 1839, and named a Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius IX.

The start of a National Blessing for Arthritis Sufferers:

The Redemptorists in the United States advertised in 2010 that they would conduct the first National Blessing for Arthritis Sufferers at their parishes and retreat centers across the country on the August 1 feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, their founder and patron saint of those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. They noted that St. Alphonsus himself suffered from severe arthritis for the last forty years of his life. The disease left him permanently bent forward and confined to a wheelchair.

"This is the first blessing of its kind, as far as we know, on a national scale, for people who suffer the chronic and debilitating agonies of arthritis, fibromyalgia and other serious physical conditions. We hope this is the beginning of an annual tradition that brings people to our churches to ask for the blessing and intercession of our great saint on his feast day and to beseech Our Father in Heaven to grant these suffering souls deliverance from their pains." --Very Reverend Thomas D. Picton, C.Ss.R., provincial superior of the Denver Province of the Redemptorists, in 2010


The Fifth Annual National Blessing for Arthritis Sufferers this weekend:

The Redemptorists will conduct their annual blessing this weekend in conjunction with their patron's feast day.

Our local shrine, Saint Alphonsus Church, located at 114 W. Saratoga Street, is observing the feast day with a three-day celebration this weekend:

Schedule for the Triduum for the Feast of St. Alphonsus Ligouri:

Masses are as follows:
Friday, August 1, 2014
7:00 am  - English
8:00 am – Tridentine Latin Rite
12:10 pm – English
7:00 pm – Tridentine Latin Rite
Saturday, August 2, 2014
7:00 am – English
12:10 pm – Tridentine Latin Rite
Followed by Holy Hour
 Sunday, August 3, 2014
 8:30 am – Lithuanian
10:00 am – English
11:30 am – Tridentine Latin Rite – High Mass Followed by Benediction, Veneration of Relic

Blessing with St. Alphonsus Relic after all Masses

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“There are millions of souls who suffer daily from the agonizing effects of this debilitating affliction. We beseech Our Father in Heaven, through the intercession of St. Alphonsus, to grant these suffering souls deliverance from their pains.” - Father Harry Grile, provincial superior of the Denver Province

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Prayers to St. Alphonsus Liguori for Arthritis Sufferers:


An Arthritic's Prayer to St. Alphonsus:
St. Alphonsus, you are the special patron of all who suffer from arthritis and the pains of many years. When our fingers twist with pain, keep us focused on the hands of Christ pierced with nails. When our knees throb with endless aches, allow us to see the knees of Jesus smashing to the street under the heavy cross. When our backs stiffen with soreness, let us remember the back of Christ thrown across the rough wood of the cross. When our hips, elbows, knuckles, and other joints hurt so much that tears well up in our eyes, help us to recall the tears, the sweat, and the blood that flowed from our crucified Jesus, who suffered so much more for each of us.
St. Alphonsus, you were afflicted with curvature of the spine and confined to a wheelchair in your final years. Teach us to unite all our pains with the sufferings of Jesus. By your intercession, may our pain be eased — but even more, may we be one with Jesus in his death and resurrection for the redemption of the world. Amen.

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Prayer to St. Alphonsus for People with Painful Arthritis:
Saint Alphonsus, loving Father of the poor and sick, all your life you devoted yourself with charity towards those who suffer sickness. I invoke you as the patron of those who suffer with arthritis since you were afflicted with this disease in your lifetime.
Look with compassion on me in my suffering.

Full of confidence in your intercession I come to you for help in my present need (mention need).
Amen.

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Video Blessing for Arthritis Sufferers:

Fr. Bob Halter, C.Ss.R., provincial vicar for the Denver province of the Redemptorists, delivers a video blessing of arthritics: This is especially helpful for those who cannot attend the special blessing this week-end. 




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A Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori:

One Thing Necessary:

O my God, help me to remember that time is short, eternity long.
What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
To love you, my God, and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without you, there is no peace of mind or soul.
My God, I need fear only sin and nothing else in this life, for to lose you, my God, is to lose all.
O my God, help me to remember that I came into this world with nothing, and shall take nothing from it when I die.
To gain you, I must leave all.
But in loving you, I already have all good things — the infinite riches of Christ and His Church in life,
Mary's motherly protection and perpetual help, and the eternal dwelling place Jesus has prepared for me.
Eternal Father, Jesus has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be granted us.
In His Name, I pray: give me a burning faith, a joyful hope, a holy love for you.
Grant me perseverance in doing your will and never let me be separated from you.
My God and my All, make me a saint.

Amen.



August 01, 2014 02:48
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Finding God in all things: Experiencing the joy of knowing God’s presence



Today (July 31) the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).  

One of my favorite parts of Ignatian spirituality has always been the core Jesuit teaching about finding God in all things: To be deeply aware of His presence at all times--good and bad-- and in all places in our lives. Thus we can see in very personal ways how God is present to us and we are able to acknowledge how He walks the path of life with us each and every day.

  • Haven't you ever been to the beach or visited a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon, and just marveled at God's grandeur?
  • Has someone ever come to comfort you at a time of great distress, and looking back later, you see the Lord's presence in their touch? 


How do you start to “find God in all things?”

One of the best guides I have ever read comes from Andy Otto, one of the dotMagis bloggers for Ignatian Spirituality website.

Andy offers us "Five Ways to Find God in All Things:"

1. Micro-Awareness—This is not just trying to be aware of the present moment, but rather letting each small action you take become your primary purpose in the moment. If you let something as simple as pushing the power button on your computer or walking up the stairs be done with intention and awareness (rather than letting routine get the best of you), you’ll find a new holiness in those mundane tasks.

2. Journal—Writing down the experiences of your day as well as your thoughts and feelings is a kind of Examen, but oftentimes the act of writing uncovers unseen moments of God’s presence you initially missed.

3. Do something the “old fashioned way”—Technology and fast expectations can often close the door on our awareness of God. For a change, walk to someone’s desk instead of calling, handwrite a letter instead of e-mailing, walk to the store instead of driving, or take the train instead of flying. The change of pace may give you a more meaningful interaction or experience. And slowing down lets you acknowledge God’s presence more easily.

4. Listen—When was the last time you really listened to someone without trying to think of what to say next? You’ll be surprised what you hear if you actually listen—to a friend, to the natural sounds around you (try turning off the radio when you drive), or to your own conscience. God speaks when we pause long enough to listen.

5. Say “God is here”—This idea comes from UCC pastor Jane E. Vennard. She says: Practice saying “God is here” the next time you are assaulted by your neighbors’ quarrelling, see someone carelessly toss trash from a car, get drenched in an unexpected rainstorm, or bite into a mealy and tasteless apple. From his own experience, Saint Francis of Assisi learned that the deeper lessons of God came when one embraced all things, even that which isn’t beautiful. Sometimes saying “God is here” is the best way to snap into an awareness that God dwells not just within you but alongside you in every moment, mundane or grand.


Ready to meditate more on God's presence in your life?

You can learn more about finding God and also about Ignatian spirituality in Andy’s “God in all things” blog here:

Sign up on his home page to receive his weekly email updates. 


Prayer for Generosity (St. Ignatius of Loyola):

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

Amen.



July 31, 2014 03:01
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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