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The Trouble Tree


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 28/10/2013

She hired a plumber to help her restore an old farmhouse, and he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill gave up, and his ancient truck refused to start and caused hours of delay and frustration. While she drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited her in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles, and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward, he walked back to the car. They passed the tree, and her curiosity got the better of her. She asked him about what she had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure; those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So, I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning, I pick them up again. Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

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Things God Won’t Ask


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 27/10/2013

1. God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

2. God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

3. God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your wardrobe, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.

4. God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.

5. God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.

6. God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.

7. God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.

8. God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.

9. God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability.

10. God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.

11. God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.

12. God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

13. God won’t ask in what neighbourhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbours.

14. God won’t ask about the colour of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.

15. God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.

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Schoenstatt’s Centenary


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 19/10/2013

Top of Shrine DoorOn Friday 18th October 2013 Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko as “Ambassador of the Holy Father” came to Schoenstatt at the invitation of Fr. Heinrich Walter the President of Schoenstatt’s General Presidium and the Team 2014 to inaugurate the Jubilee Year celebrating Schoenstatt’s Centenary. (To download a summary of the programme click here) High Point of this celebration was the Opening of the Door of the Original Shrine for the new century of the Covenant and through live-stream TV coverage by EWTN directed by our Communications Officer, Fr. Andrew Pastore, we could join in these celebrations. It had been previously announced that our Holy Father Francis granted for the occasion of the Jubilee Year Plenary Indulgence for our Shrine and all Schoenstatt Shrines in the world. (Download Decree) (more…)

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Covenant Mass to begin our Centenary


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 17/10/2013

Centenary FlagWelcome to our Covenant Mass.

On Friday 18th October 2013 we will celebrate Covenant Mass at 6.00pm and join with the international gathering of members of the Schoenstatt Family in Schoenstatt for the opening of the Jubilee Year. There will be live-stream participation through EWTA TV Channel. Our wish is to begin this year of celebration of the Covenant as a year of hope because we receive the grace of the Jubilee. Our prayer is that we can look forward and find how we can grow and help many to grow in their faith. To this end our Holy Father, Pope Francis, extends a plenary indulgence to all Schoenstatt Shrines. Beginning on Friday 18th October 2013 until Sunday 26th October 2014. We welcome you to the Shrine and pray that you receive the graces you need for your life and for all your loved ones. (more…)

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Miracle


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 14/10/2013

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way to Boot’s Pharmacy. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking here to my brother from London whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.”Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.” “I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist. “His name is Andrew, and he has something bad growing inside his head, and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?” “We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little. “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.” The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?” “I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he’s really sick, and Mummy says he needs an operation an specialist treatment. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.” “How much do you have?” asked the man from London. “One pound and eleven pence,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.” “Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A pound and eleven pence — the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.” That well dressed man was a surgeon specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed and the treatment organised abroad free of charge, and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mum and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. “That surgery,” her Mum whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much the treatment in America would have cost?” Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost…one pound and eleven pence… plus the faith of a little child.

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I Wish You Enough…


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 07/10/2013

At an airport, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, “I love you, I wish you enough.” She said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed good-bye, and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” I asked. “I am old, and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead, and the reality is her next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said. “When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?” He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment, and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he continued, and then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory. “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough ‘Hellos’ to get you through the final ‘Good-bye.’” He then began to cry and walked away.

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Friends of the Bible


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 01/10/2013

Gerry Markland invites you to a six wek course of “Friends of the Bible” and introduction to Sacred Scripture so that God’s Word may come alive in our hearts and more and more be the light to guide our footsteps, a real consolation in times of need and a source of joy for us. The meeting starts tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd October at 7.30pm in Kearsley Mount Cottage, Schoenstatt Centre, St John Fisher’s Manchester Road, Kearsley. On Wednesday 9th October Fr. Chris Thomas from the Irenaeus Project for Spirituality is a guest speaker. (To download the poster please click here)  Contact: Gerry Markland on 0161 371 7661, E-Mail <gmarkland101@yahoo.co.uk>