Today is the annual Mission of Mercy Retreat. It was a very good feeling that it was once again being held at the Grotto Of Lourdes in Emmitsburg. The past several years it has been held at other locations because there were those who did not wish to be even remotely associated with anything that had Gianna Sullivan’s name attached to it. It is now becoming very obvious to many people here in Emmitsburg that the apparitions of Our Lady are not going away and many people are starting to take another look at the entire situation.
Many people thought Mission of Mercy would fold after the closure of the Thursday Night Prayer Group but the fact is it has only grown and expanded since that time. Mission of Mercy has provided free medical, dental and prescription medicine to anyone who can not afford it for the past 10 years. In addition to the medical van that travels to sites in Arizona, Maryland and Pennsylvania there is a network of doctors and nurses who provide services for Mission of Mercy in their offices in all three states. S.C.C. now volunteers for Mission of Mercy and works every Thursday at the Gettysburg site.
I slept late this morning because I planned on attending the noon mass at the Grotto of Lourdes before the Mission of Mercy Retreat started at 1 o’clock. When I got up I first remembered the retreat and I that I was supposed to bring a cooler with ice when I walked downstairs and turned on the computer and the time was 9:13.
It was going to be a pretty busy day because we had also been invited to dinner at some friends house in Gettysburg at 6 o’clock. Later in the morning I left to get ice for the cooler. After I had the ice I decided that I would stop by St. Joseph’s before going to the retreat to pray the rosary for the Mission of Mercy. At the very instant I arrived at St. Joseph’s a car approached from the opposite direction and we met directly in the front of the church and the car had the license plate of 33. In addition there was a Fredrick County Sheriff’s car sitting in the middle of the street directly in front of St. Joseph’s and it also had the license plate of 33.
When it happens this way I am further astounded because I realize it took the arrival at that precise time of somebody else, coming from another direction for me to experience the 13 or 33 at the instant of my arrival at St. Joseph’s. The feeling of peace is unbelievable every time no matter how it happens.
I walked in the church and I prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary and the main target of my prayers was the Mission of Mercy. After the rosary I left and rode over to the Grotto and when I arrived I was very disappointed in myself because I forgot that I had not been to mass. When I walked in people were just sitting down after the gospel reading. After the mass finished the Mission of Mercy Retreat began by David Liddle who is the executive director of Mission of Mercy welcoming everybody. The time was 1:13.
The priest who led the retreat was Fr. Leo Patalinghug from nearby St. John’s in Westminster. The first thing Fr. Leo did was go back and re-read the gospel from the mass that had just ended. At that instant I no longer felt bad about being late for mass and missing the gospel. The sudden feeling of peace was so strong I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
The main topic of Fr. Leo’s two part talk was on humility in scripture and humility in prayer. He was an excellent speaker. When the first session ended I left to go pick up C.R.C. and bring him back to the retreat. At the very instant I walked out the door the peace hit and I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. C.R.C. and I returned and again the peace hit at the very instant I walked in the door. I glanced at my watch and again it said XX:XX:13.
After Fr. Leo’s talks on humility the Chaplet of Divine Mercy was prayed at 3 o’clock, also during this time confessions were being heard and both C.R.C. and I went. At the instant I saw C.R.C. walk out of the confessional the peace hit me again. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
C.R.C. and I joined in the rosary procession that was led by Wayne Warthen through the Grotto. We arrived at the Medjugorje shrine and Wayne nodded at me to take the 5th decade. After the rosary the retreat was scheduled to continue with another talk on humility by Rev. Dennis Yocum who is the pastor at United Methodist Church.
Rev. Yocum and United Methodist Church host one of the Mission of Mercy sites. C.R.C. and I left after the rosary because we needed to pick up S.C.C. and be in Gettysburg for dinner at 6 o’clock. On our way home we stopped for just a minute at St. Joseph’s and when we arrived the time was 4:13 and the odometer was 1.3. We then drove home and at the very instant I walked in the door the peace hit me very hard. I glanced at my watch and the time was 4:33:00.
We got ready to go to dinner at Sharon L’s house. I first met Sharon on my 2nd trip to Medjugorje. We arrived at Sharon’s house and the house number was 13. Brian F also joined us for dinner. Both Brian and Sharon moved to the Emmitsburg area from New York because of the recommendation of priest they know who are convinced the apparitions of Our Lady are genuine.
While eating dinner it amazed me to hear the stories that have happened to other people because of being here in Emmitsburg that cause them to have no doubt whatsoever. While listening to their stories and relating them to mine I was twice filled with peace during dinner. I glanced at my watch both times. The first time was at 7:33 and the 2nd time was at 8:13.
After dinner we sat in the living room and talked for a long time. Both Brian and Sharon work caring for severely handicapped people who can do nothing for themselves. Brian is the person who suggested that some of us from the Thursday Night Prayer group go back to Medjugorje March 28th through April 6. After we finished our visit we drove home and pulled in our driveway and the time was 11:13.
Nov. 6, 04