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Association of the Miraculous Medal

 

Father Perry Henry

It has been a pleasure for me to serve you as Spiritual Director of the Association of the Miraculous Medal these past few months. Your kind welcome, your prayers for me, and for our Lady’s Association have been overwhelming as I have come to know many Association members on a very personal level. And so it is with mixed emotions that my time as Spiritual Director for you and the Association, which was only to be temporary, is winding down and I return to my full-time responsibilities as Provincial of the Vincentian Western Province.

Today, I am writing for two reasons: first, I would like to introduce you to the new “team” who will be leading the spiritual needs of the Association, and second, I am asking for your help to address some very important needs we have for maintaining the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. I am excited about the future we have together receiving Mary’s graces, and I’m thrilled to introduce the new spiritual leadership for the Association.

Fr. Oscar Lukefahr, C.M., is now serving as the Association’s Spiritual Director. Fr. Luke, as we comfortably refer to Fr. Lukefahr, brings great knowledge of our faith and a true devotion to the Blessed Mother. Fr. Luke’s ministry has taken him to many places across our province, always with a focus on spreading the Good News of Mary’s Son. Following in the footsteps of St. Vincent DePaul, Fr. Luke has been a tireless evangelizer of the poor, most recently through his ministry in parish missions conducted throughout the United States. I encourage you to read Fr. Luke’s letter that will give you insight into his experience. 

Fortunately, Fr. Luke will not be working alone to support your spiritual needs. Fr. Prudencio Rodriquez, C.M., and Fr. Charles Shelby, C.M., will be working with Fr. Luke as Associate Spiritual Directors. Fr. Rodriguez is director of the DePaul Evangelization Center located in Montebello, California. He supports our work with our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters. Fr. Shelby is a familiar name to many of you. He is a Vice Chancellor at DePaul University and previously served the Association for 25 years. Both Frs. Rodriguez and Shelby have a deep devotion to our Blessed Mother.

As these dedicated Vincentians begin their roles praying for you and serving your spiritual needs in the tradition of St. Vincent DePaul, I would ask that you keep them and the Association in your prayers. Prayer is more powerful than any of us know; as Mary explains to us through the Miraculous Medal, many graces will be bestowed upon us if we only ask. 

As I turn the Association’s spiritual direction over to the very loving and capable hands of , I have a final request to ask you. Over the last five years, we have all experienced significant hardships as a result of the great recession that blanketed our country and our world. We have survived, in great part, because of our faith and your prayers. But with the recession and decreased donations, the Association has been forced to defer many important repairs to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. 

Because of this deferred maintenance, the Shrine now has many repair needs to bring it back to its full splendor – a splendor that is befitting of our devotion to the Blessed Mother.  Our most pressing needs are for the Shrine’s exterior. The stucco has begun cracking and some large pieces have fallen off the bell tower. This creates aesthetic issues for the Shrine and church; but more importantly, it puts the Shrine’s structural integrity at risk. We must also address many issues with the doors and windows of the Shrine. The harsh weather we have experienced has taken its toll on the wooden doors and the window frames which are in desperate need of repair and replacement. These are just two of the many needs that we currently have to preserve this national treasure dedicated to our Lady’s Miraculous Medal. 

Please consider a gift to the Association to assist us in meeting these urgent needs of the Shrine. What a wonderful welcome this would be for Fr. Lukefahr, Fr. Rodriguez, and Fr. Shelby as they guide our membership in prayer for your intentions and petitions. Your most generous gift helps us to honor the Blessed Mother; would you consider a gift of $50, $100, $250 or more for these important needs at the Shrine? If you are not able to give at these levels, anything you are able to contribute to help us preserve the Shrine and restore its beauty will be welcomed. There is no gift too small or too large. 

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. 

Yours in our Lady,

Fr. Perry Henry, C.M.
Provincial

 ♦ Read Fr. Luke’s letter

We Urgently Need Your Help

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