November 18-21, 2004
We have known that Fr. _______ ______ MC was coming to the area again for the past several months and going to give another 4 day retreat for the Lay Missionaries of Charity. This was possible because he was coming anyway to give talks at both Christendom College in Front Royal and Catholic University in Washington. Since his time here coincided with the 3rd public apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg he agreed to say the mass at St. Joseph’s in Taneytown after the apparition.
This LMC retreat was held in the home of Dr. ___ and ___ ________. It was scheduled to begin with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 o’clock but I would not be able to make it until after I arrived home from work. I left that morning to work in "hometown" because I am training the person who will be taking over my old job. I stopped at St. Joseph’s on the way to work to say a prayer for the retreat and arrived there at 6:33.
I arrived at work and showed my replacement how things are done and later I was leaving to go to lunch but was delayed as I was leaving with a sudden work related task. I performed this last minute request and then took my lunch break. I rode to "Parish Church" to pray the rosary and when I arrived Fr. John Morrell stopped me to say hello as I was walking in the church. The time was 1:33.
I had just begun the rosary when I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I looked back and it was Mary G. Mary then told me that Margarette F had died. Mary and I prayed the rosary weekly with Margarette for about a year with the Legion of Mary. I then included Margarette in my prayers and prayed both the Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the rosary. When I finished I left and when I started the car to go back to work the time on the dash was 2:13. I drove back to work and when I arrived the odometer was 33.
After I got off from work I drove to the retreat and when I arrived the rosary was in progress. Mass followed and C.R.C. served. Fr _______ then outlined the schedule for the retreat for the benefit of those who arrived late. I then rode to my house which is just down the street to pick up my blanket and pillow. When I returned to my car to ride back to the retreat the peace hit me just as I started the car and I suddenly knew this retreat was all part of Our Lady’s plan for Her 3rd public apparition on Sunday. The time on the dash when I started the car was 11:13.
I returned to the retreat and sat down and caught up my daily journal/notes and prayed the rosary. It was during this time I remembered that tomorrow marks the 6th anniversary of my first time in St. Joseph’s and attendance at the Thursday Night Prayer Group. I then went to bed. I looked at my watch and the time was 12:33.
When I woke up this morning I rode home which is only about 1 minute away and took a shower. S.C.C. said she would be arriving at the retreat after getting C.R.C. off to school. I returned to the retreat and a few minutes later Fr. _______ rang the bell for everyone to go downstairs to pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament. The candle lit atmosphere was very peaceful and beautiful. We prayed the rosary and Fr. _______ meditated on the Thirst of Jesus between each decade as is the custom of the Missioniary’s of Charity. I had the 3rd decade. The rosary ended and was followed by a musical meditation on the Thirst of Jesus with Fr. _______ singing and playing the guitar. The time was 8:13. The musical meditation ended and Fr. _______ placed the host back in the tabernacle. The time was 8:33.
Breakfast followed and a little later in the morning Fr. _______ gave his first talk about God’s Thirst for souls. During the talk there were several times that he would say something that just suddenly seemed applicable to events that are taking place in my life now. When that would happen I felt the sudden urge to take a quick glance at my watch and each time it would say XX:XX:13 or 33.
After the talk Fr. _______ gave us time to reflect and write down the “lights and insights” we received on one of the topics he discussed. I picked #5 which said “Every encounter with God’s Thirst awakens man’s own thirst for God” I sat down and turned to a blank page near the end of my journal/note book and prayerfully wrote the following:
My encounter with God 6 years ago EXACTLY is an encounter that continues to reveal itself. It never crossed my mind that when I walked in St. Joseph’s for the very first time 6 years ago that it was because God has a thirst for me. At first I thought that was it and I would never be back. But because God’s Thirst for me triggered my thirst for Him, I am still here and now even live here. It has been 6 years today and it is still just the beginning. I can only thank God through His Mother, Our Lady of Emmitsburg for the transformation in not just my life but every life touched by the gentle, loving hand of Our Lady.
I then doodled on the paper and wrote “I love you Jesus and Mary and then I wrote: November 19, 2004 Emmitsburg, Maryland - The Center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Mother of God - Peace - and signed it R_____ C___. At that very instant the peace hit me very hard and I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:13.
This was followed by a quiet time for prayer and reflection and Fr. _______ heard confessions during this time. I was sitting down and I noticed a copy of Fr. Gobbi’s book on the bookshelf just to my right. I picked it up and just started to randomly read. I read 2 messages Our Lady gave Fr. Gobbi. I then closed the book and at that very instant the strong feeling of peace hit me so hard that again I suddenly knew to glance at my watch. The time was 12:13.
When Fr. _______ finished hearing confessions we had lunch and the next talk was scheduled for 3 o’clock. I had some free time and I got in my car and was going to go to St. Joseph’s and pray the rosary because of it being my 6th anniversary. I noticed my gas gauge was very near empty so I stopped and got gas. I then rode to St. Joseph’s and I glanced at my watch as I walked in the door and it said XX:XX:13. I prayed the Sorrowful mysteries and looked at my watch just at I finished the rosary and the time was 2:33.
I then rode home and ran into S.C.C. who was on her way to the bus stop to pick up C.R.C. from school and she asked me to do her a favor. S.C.C. then rode back to the retreat. I did what she needed me to do and then I rode back to the retreat and arrived at 3:13.
Later in the afternoon I had a very sudden, out of nowhere thought that I should give Fr. _______ a copy of my papers that cover the last 8 months since he was last here. When this thought hit me I resisted but glanced at my watch and the time was 4:33.
Daily mass began at 5 o’clock and C.R.C. served. Fr. _______’s homily was very good and very applicable to events currently taking place around here. Mass ended at 6:32 and was followed by Fr. _______ praying over each person individually with the laying on of hands. That began at 6:34 and the peace filled moment of transition between the mass and the laying on of hands was 6:33.
We then had dinner and afterwards Fr. _______ started hearing confessions again. I was not planning on going to confession until tomorrow but later in the evening someone came out of the confessional and I ended up going in. I glanced at my watch as I walked in and it said XX:XX:13 (9:40:13).
I went to confession and then Fr. _______ and I sat there and discussed in depth my particular circumstances here in Emmitsburg for nearly 2 hours. It was a good discussion because he is fully aware of the unusual things that I experience. When we finished our discussion we left the confessional room together. He reminded me to do my penance before going to bed which was to go down stairs before the Blessed Sacrament and offer myself completely to the Will of God and say 1 Hail Mary. I felt embarrassed that my penance slipped my mind. I walked downstairs and knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and at that instant the peace hit me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:33.
During my long discussion last night with Fr. _______ I was encouraged beyond description. Fr. _______ gave me advice that directly relates to what I am experiencing. The advice and encouragement he gave me will stay with me for a very long time.
I woke up this morning and something happened that caused me sudden joy and sadness at the same time. I had just gotten up and Phil C______ said I have something for you. He then handed me a mass card for a series of masses that will be said for my father. I read the card and at the very instant I finished reading it the feeling of peace hit me as hard as it has ever hit me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 6:33:33.
This is not the paper to discuss what led up to this. I will have to write another paper to explain it. It will follow this paper.
I then walked in the kitchen and got a cup of coffee and sat down and talked to Karen Major for a while. While we were talking Fr. _______ rang the bell signaling that it was time to go downstairs to begin the day with a holy hour. I walked down stairs and arrived before the Blessed Sacrament and again the peace hit. I then noticed a nearby VCR and the time on the display was 7:33.
We began by praying another rosary meditating on God’s Thirst for souls. There was emphasis that God’s thirst was not a need but a desire. I had the 4th decade. After the rosary Fr. _______ again sang and played the guitar during a musical meditation on God’s Thirst. Benediction followed and at the end Fr. _______ returned the host to the tabernacle. The holy hour ended and the time was 8:33.
We then had breakfast and Fr. _______ then gave another talk and discussed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in detail, he also discussed other things about the MC Fathers and Sisters. This talk lasted for one and a half hours. He said it was the longest talk he ever gave. When it was over he said the next session would begin at 1 o’clock. I got up to leave and ride home and take a shower. I walked out the door and it was at that instant the peace hit again. I looked at my watch and the time was 10:33.
I arrived at my house and as I pulled in my driveway I checked the mailbox. I got the mail and threw it on the kitchen table. I went upstairs and took a shower. I then did a few things and when I returned to the kitchen I looked at the mail. There was a Eucharistic Minister schedule from St. Mary’s. At the very instant I opened it the peace hit me again as I looked to see when we first served. The time was 11:33.
I rode back to the retreat and Fr. _______ was hearing confessions. I was on the sign up sheet and my time was coming up. I had no intention at all of going back in because I had just been last night. I figured the next person on the list could take my time slot. Fr. _______ came out and urged me to come back in just to talk. The peace hit and I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
Our discussion picked up right where we left off last night in our nearly 2 hour conversation and we discussed the events in Emmitsburg and what is happening to me for almost another 2 hours. Fr. _______ then said “Your role with Our Lady here in Emmitsburg is huge.”
The next retreat session was supposed to be another talk at 3 o’clock but was replaced with another holy hour. During this time I was frequently hit with a sudden urge to pray for better weather for tomorrows 3rd public apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg. It has been raining very hard. Each time it hit I glanced at my watch and it said either XX:XX:13 or 33.
I had to leave before the holy hour was over because I had to ride to Gettysburg to pick up C.R.C. and Peter F________. They attended a confirmation retreat today at St. Francis Xavier School. I picked them up and we arrived back at the LMC retreat and the time was 4:33.
Mass was scheduled to begin at 5:30 and C.R.C. served. S.C.C. had to work all day at St. Peters’s and arrived back at the retreat just before mass started. During the homily Fr. _______ asked why the LMC’s are in Emmitsburg. He then gave this answer: “Because Emmitsburg is The Center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and She has Her plan.”
Mass ended and we ate dinner. Fr. _______ then gave us a sign up sheet for all night adoration. I ended up with 11 o’clock til midnight. I sat upstairs talking to Karen Major while waiting for my time slot to begin. I began my hour and while I was sitting alone before the Blessed Sacrament I had the sudden urge to kneel and pray the rosary. I prayed that the rain would stop in time for tomorrows likely visit of Our Lady. At the very instant I completed the rosary I felt the peace. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. A few minutes later my replacement arrived and I glanced at my watch as I walked out and it now said XX:XX:33.
I woke up this morning and drove home to take a shower. When I returned the holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament had already begun and the rosary was in the 2nd decade. I ended up having the 4th decade. The rosary was followed by Fr. _______ singing and playing the guitar. The song was “His Thirst” and his voice and musical talent is CD quality.
We then had breakfast and the discussion around the table was some of The Thursday Night Prayer Groups first members recalling and telling funny stories of the earliest days of the prayer group.
Breakfast was followed by another talk by Fr. _______ that ended with a time for sharing the highlights of the retreat with the other 12 members. After everyone shared their highlights Fr. _______ shared his with us.
While Fr. _______ was sharing his highlights with us I was suddenly struck by his humbleness. The genuineness of his humility and humbleness caused a tremendous sense of peace within me. Peace that was so strong I knew to glance at my watch. The time was 11:33:13.
Officially that was the end of the retreat but everyone then went downstairs to witness Dr. ___ ________ and his wife ___ take the vows of the Lay Missionaries of Charity. They took the vows and then everyone signed a Oblation To The Divine Thirst. Just as I signed my name I again felt the peace and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
S.C.C. and I then rode home and started to get ready to go to Karen and Mick Major’s farm for the 3rd public apparition of Our Lady. My mother and sister were coming up from "hometown". S.C.C. was going to meet them at St. Joseph’s and lead them to the farm. I left a little early because I wanted to pray the rosary at St. Joseph’s before picking us Sr. Genevieve and Jim O’Brien. I glanced at my watch as I walked out the door and it said XX:XX:13.
I drove to St. Joseph’s and just as I arrived the odometer switched to 1.3. I glanced at my watch as I walked in the front door and the time was 1:13. Fr. Steve was there and waved as I walked in. He was preparing for a baptism. I prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary and before I finished Ray Sanders came in and asked if I could give him a ride to the farm for the apparition of Our Lady. I said yes. Just as I finished the rosary the baptism was about to begin. I glanced at my watch and the time was 1:33:33.
Ray and I then rode to St. Catherine’s to pick up Sr. Genevieve. We arrived and she was already sitting outside waiting. Ray and I helped her in the car and put her wheelchair in the trunk. We then rode to Wendy’s while waiting for Jim to get off work at 2 o’clock because Sr. Genevieve wanted a Frosty. By the time we got back Jim was ready to go. We rode out to Karen and Mick’s farm for the 3 o’clock rosary and when we arrived the odometer was 13.
The rosary was a little late getting started. Phil made a comment about all 3 public apparitions being threatened by rain and at the last minute having beautiful weather. The rosary started and it was then that the feeling of peace hit me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 3:13.
Our Lady appeared to Gianna during the 4th decade between the 8th and 9th Hail Mary. People kneel at this point. The apparition began at 3:28. I was close and had a good view of Gianna while she was seeing Our Lady. Suddenly someone moved and I was a little disappointed to loose my clear, unobstructed view. At that very instant I was hit very hard with a sudden thought that I did not need to see Gianna during this time. It was so strong I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33 (3:31:33). Two minutes later I was again filled with peace just as I looked up and my view was again clear and unobstructed. I again glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33 (3:34:33). The apparition of Our Lady then ended a few seconds later.
During this time Fr. _______ was hearing confessions. There were about 200 or more people there. Gianna’s husband announced that mass would begin at St. Joseph’s in Taneytown at 5 o’clock.
We rode to the church and Peter C helped me with Sr. Genevieve. We got her wheelchair positioned to where she was happy. I then took my seat next to Ted Szymanski. It was just a few minutes later that Karen Major came up to me and asked me to be the lector. This caught me completely off guard and I hesitated because except for a few daily masses I have never been a lector. I told Karen I would do it.
Fr. _______ said I should process in with him and the 2 altar servers who were C.R.C. and Ray Sanders and take the front pew. Mass began shortly after 5 o’clock. When it came time for me to go up and read I felt the peace. I did not look at my watch on the way up but I did not need to see it to know the time was 5:13.
I finished reading and returned to my seat. While Fr. _______ was reading the Gospel I saw light blue halos form around the head of the statue of The Blessed Mother on the left side of the church. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
Fr. _______ said a very nice mass and Jim O’Brien and Becky Brown provided the music in duet form. They were very good. When mass ended we were delayed leaving because people wanted to talk to Sr. Genevieve. We were further delayed when we realized that she had lost her pocket book. I finally found it after about a 10 minute search. We were headed to the car when I realized I forgot my coat in the sacristy and had to go back and get it. Because of these uncontrollable delays we returned to the car and when I started it to leave the time on the dash was 6:33.
We drove back to Emmitsburg and I was turning to take Sr.Genevieve back to St. Catherine’s. She then asked me where I was going. I told sister that I was taking her home. She then said “No, take Jim and Ray home first and take me last.” I said OK and turned around and took Jim and Ray home. I then took Sr. Genevieve back to St. Catherine’s and helped her up to her room. I then left.
While I was in the elevator I had the sudden urge to stop by St. Joseph’s to pray a rosary in thanksgiving for such a wonderful day. When I arrived the time was 7:13 and the odometer was 1.3. I sat in the car and prayed the Luminous mysteries and at the very instant I finished I felt the peace and glanced at my watch. The time was 7:33:13.
Nov 27, 2004