July 16, 2020
Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
To Jesus through Mary! Greetings from the Marian Center In Joy Valley! We hope all is well with you and your loved ones. As the warm, long days of these past couple months have stretched out over the hills above the valley, we have been doing a lot of thinking and praying. And lot of watching and discerning. We’re guessing you have been doing something similar.
In times like these, it’s all the more important that we remain connected to the people who share our Faith, those who encourage us and build us up through our filial bond in Jesus Christ. That’s exactly what the Marian Center family is all about. We are dedicated to the important work of building up the Faith and sharing it with everyone who comes down the driveway.
Perhaps the question we have received most these last couple months is, “Will there be a conference this
October?” We are so very sad to say that the answer is no, there will not be a conference this year. We have waited, prayed, sought spiritual counsel, and discerned that a Marian Conference this year is simply not feasible and perhaps not safe considering the coronavirus pandemic.
It was an extremely difficult decision, but after speaking to some of our most frequent conference-goers and hearing their hesitancy about attending this year, we knew what we had to do (especially since, as we write this, Michigan is still in “Stage 5” which restricts gatherings of over 50 people).
When we informed our speakers of our decision, they were not surprised, as events like ours throughout the country have been cancelled. However, the conference will return next year! We are in negotiations on a date and are working on speakers already!
Marian Apparition Exhibit
Now that we have the unpleasant news out of the way, we are extremely pleased to share some great news: the Marian Apparition Exhibit is up and it is BEAUTIFUL! (See enclosed flyer.) At a time when folks are afraid to attend Mass because of large crowds, when adoration chapels have been shut down, when prayer groups have decided to not meet, we are excited to share this wonderful exhibit with so many people. Your generosity made this possible!
The Marian Center is situated on 38 incredibly beautiful acres. We have gorgeous places to pray outside and a well-ventilated large exhibit room. The two playground structures provide a nice opportunity for families with little kids to get outside, too. Social distancing comes quite naturally here! Visiting the Center and exploring the exhibit might be just the thing to revitalize your faith life during this time! In accordance with the State of Michigan guidelines, we ask that you wear a mask and maintain a socially safe distance.
Signs of the Times
We’ve all seen the news about churches and statues burned and desecrated, riots and civil unrest, not to mention the continuation of the coronavirus. It’s enough to make many wonder where God is in all of this and what these things mean in His plan. Many are afraid for our country, the Church, and the future. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t feeling the strain, too.
Recently we called on the Marian Center’s spiritual advisors for guidance in discerning the “signs of the times.” We think the advice we received is such “good medicine” that we want to share it with you as well.
In the spiritual war of our times we ought to:
1. Increase our devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist.
2. Increase our devotion to Our Lady, especially through the recitation of the Rosary.
3. Pay attention to and recognize, as much as possible, the full significance of world events. No one knows the day or the hour, but we are commanded to watch. (Cf. Mk 13:32-37)
4. Foster genuine Catholic family life in response to the horrendous attack on the family (as Sr. Lucia predicted).
These suggestions aren’t anything new, but nonetheless, a good reminder that we need to stay close to Our Lord and Our Lady.
This timeless advice we received and are passing on to you is exactly the antidote to this moment in history – and the Marian Center is taking this advice very seriously. We are increasing our efforts to encourage devotion to Our Lady through the Marian Apparition Exhibit and Marian consecration classes. We are putting Miraculous Medals in the hands of everyone we can. We are praying and fasting and sacrificing more now than ever before. It seems the devil is having his moment, but we are engaged in this spiritual battle and fighting with you! Regardless of whether or not we are in the end times, we do know one thing: JESUS TRIUMPHS!
We have enclosed a prayer card to St. Corona. Join us in praying for all those who are sick with this virus and those caring for them. But also join us in praying for spiritual healing for our country and our world.
As always, we will keep you in our prayers. Please also consider helping us in these evangelization efforts with your generous contribution to the Marian Center.
To Jesus Through Mary,
Lori Mercer and Katie Moe