NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu.

~ Peter, Ministry Administrator

Sunday, July 31, 2022

BEWARE - This Association is NOT Catholic

For a couple years now, this author has been tracking a quasi-religious group from South America, which calls itself the Association Mary, Mother of the Divine Conception (referred to as "AM" going forward).  Since its start in 2012, the group has quickly grown and evolved into a "religious order" - the Grace Mercy Order - as well as, other satellite organizations.  Normally, I wouldn't care much but the AM has three members - a male and two females - who claim to be "Divine Messengers"; alleged visionaries who receive messages from such personages as Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph.  In addition, members of their order dress like Catholic monks and nuns (the women's garments are similar to Mother Teresa's nuns)... and they openly incorporate traditional and familiar Catholic devotions and imagery in their practices and messages (e.g. the Rosary, the Divine Mercy, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, etc.).  So what's the problem then?

Simple - the group is NOT Catholic.  The AM admits this fact in its website by stating they are "a religious association without ties to any established religion".  Despite this clear description of what their association is all about many people - Catholics and non-Catholics - are mistaking them for Catholic because of how the AM outwardly portrays itself.  I know this because at least two church-friends of mine excitedly texted YouTube videos to me of the AM messengers receiving "apparitions".  It was their text messages, along with a strong impulse from the Holy Spirit, which prompted me to post this blog to make people aware.

One of the AM messengers during an
alleged apparition.

The AM's movement of "spiritual evolution" has substantially expanded in recent years and has spread to other parts of the globe, including the USA.  More people are being exposed to their messages and teachings, largely in part due to their various online and social media presentations, which are very well-organized and professionally produced.  However, when one carefully reads their messages, their teachings closely allign with New Age and pagan eastern philosophies rather than orthodox Catholic/Christian doctrine.  Below is just a snippit from a lengthy message, from among many others, that the AM visionaries claim to have received from Mary:

  "Beloved children, who in these last eleven years spoke and shared with you the Love of God, comes from a peculiar Source that was created by the Ultraterrestrial Universe before the Material Universe existed.  In that Source, the Divine Essence, of Who later would be Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was gestated, conditioned and lovingly prepared to carry forward the great mission in the humanity.  This Ultraterrestrial Source of the Spiritual Universe, was characterized by its highest level of purity, of love and for its immaculate essence.

  The Father, after the fall of the Project of His first children, Adam and Eve, He thought to create a way and a sufficiently pure, immaculate and humble Consciousness, which with Her invincible Love could embrace all human error and convert it through forgiveness and the sublime Maternity. It was thus that the Creator Fathers, the Archangels, received the request of God and, in the elevated Celestial Universes, each Archangel began to contribute with the best of Themselves, so that the Feminine Essence, which would emerge from the Creative Source, would come to Earth to begin as soul and divinity with Her special mission. The Sacred Source of the Feminine Energy was translucent by means of the Principle of Maternity."

Did you notice the odd words included in the message?  If one is solidly grounded in the Faith, it's easy to spot the questionable terms - "Ultraterrestrial Source of the Spiritual Universe", "Creater Fathers", the "Divine Essence, of Who later would be Mary", "Consciousness", "Feminine Essence", "Creative Source", etc. - mixed in with the familiar Christian ones.  Having researched New Age philosophies and practices in the past, I immediately recognized these terms as common verbiage used in such non-Christian philosophies.  Therefore, in my personal opinion, it's a major red flag; a strong indication that these messages are not from heavenly sources.

The group's depiction of "Mary, the Mother
of the Divine Conception of the Trinity"(???),
a bizarre title allegedly revealed by Mary
to one of the AM messengers.

Going back to the friends who texted me links to the AM videos, one is a very devout woman - a daily communicant - who's been to the Church-approved Marian shrines of Lourdes and Fatima, as well as the unapproved site of Medjugorje.  Her situation tells me that if a person like her could easily be confused by the AM and their messages, there are many, many other Catholics out there who could be misled too.  It's a cause for great concern.

And what is further disturbing to me is one of the so-called visionaries has recently been touring various Catholic shrines in Europe - the Divine Mercy in Krakow, Fatima, Garabandal, La Salette, Lourdes, Medjugorje, etc. - and receiving "apparitions" and "messages" at such places.  It appears to be a calculated effort to legitimize and/or associate the AM messengers/messages/movement with the more well-known apparitional shrines frequented by pilgrims.

Members of the AM conducting their version
of the Mass (note the familiar Divine Mercy
image in the background).

In closing, Catholics beware of this association!  It all goes to show that not all purported apparitions - past and present - are authentic and divine.  The truth is - there are reported apparitions occuring today that are outright hoaxes (e.g. the exposed false visionary of Argyle, Texas) or diabolic counterfeits; the devil's way of "aping" genuine revelations of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints in order to sow confusion and draw people away from the one true Church founded by Jesus.  Holy Scriptures warn us:

Beware of false prophets, which come
to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall
know them by their fruits.

~ Matthew 7:15-16


Satan disguises himself as an
angel of light.”

~ 2 Corinthians 11:14

Given the above biblical passages, it's imperative that we know our Church Teachings better; carefully discern; and closely adhere to the guidance of the Church.  Yes, this author does personally believe in a few unapproved Marian apparitions such as Tre FontaneMontichiari-Fontanelle, and Medjugorje... but the messages given at these places are sound in doctrine and their respective shrines enjoy tacit approval from Church authorities: Tre Fontane and Montichiari-Fontanelle have Church-sanctioned chapels onsite where the Sacraments are allowed by their local bishops; in Medjugorje, the Archbishop Henryk Hoser - a special Papal Envoy to the shrine - officially stated in 2017: “The devotion to Medjugorje is allowed.  It’s not prohibited and need not be done in secret.”

I commend the people involved in the AM for their various charitable and humanitarian endeavors, but earnestly pray for them to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady to be enlightened about the sublime truths of the Catholic Faith... as well as the dangers of New Age and occult practices.

With the above being said, here's one more passage from the Bible to seriously consider:

But though we, or an angel from Heaven,
preach any other gospel unto you than that
which we have preached unto you, let him
be accursed.

~ Galatians 1:8

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: July 25th, 2022

  “Dear children!  I am with you to lead you on the way of conversion, because, little children, with your lives you can draw many souls closer to my Son.  You be joyful witnesses of God’s word and love, and with hope in the heart which conquers every evil. Forgive those who inflict evil on you, and go on the way of holiness.  I am leading you to my Son, for Him to be the way, the truth and the life for you.  Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Today is the Feast of Mary, the Mystical Rose!

"I am the Mother of Jesus and the
Mother of all of you.  Our Lord sends
me to bring you a new Marian devotion
for all male and female institutes,
religious orders, and secular priests.
I promise those religious institutes, orders,
and secular priests who venerate me in
this special way my special protection,
an increase of spiritual vocations, fewer
betrayed vocations, and greater
sanctity among the servants of God."

~ Words of the Rosa Mystica to
Pierina Gilli, June 13, 1947

Please join this ministry today in praying with our Holy Mother - Mary, the Mystical Rose - especially for the sanctification of our priests and other consecrated men and women in the Church.  In addition, let us pray for an increase in holy vocations, which are urgently needed in these troubled times.

O Mary, the Mystical Rose,
Mother of the Church, pray for us!

** To learn more about the important
and highly prophetic Marian apparitions
of Montichiari-Fontanelle, click here.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Saint of the Month - July 2022: Sr. Maria Columba Schonath

The Servant of God 
Sr. Maria Columba Schonath
Conformed to Christ Crucified 

In her lifetime - Sr. Maria Columba Schonath - a Dominican nun of Bamberg, Germany, was revered as a living Saint.  Yet, today, her name is hardly known outside of her country despite the fact cures and other signal graces are reported at her tomb, and her Cause for Canonization being started in her diocese.  So, who was this enigmatic nun whose life was so closely conformed to the Lord's?

Sr. Maria Columba was born in the town of Burgellern on December 11, 1730; that same day she was baptized Maria Anna in the parish church of St. Killian.  The eldest child of a miller, she was reported to have been pious and spiritually gifted from her earliest years, experiencing her initial encounter with Christ during her First Holy Communion at the tender age of 8.  She had been looking forward to the day with excitement, but upon seeing herself poorly dressed compared to the other first communicants, she was filled with a naive sense of unworthiness and embarrassment until she heard a voice say to her (she later understood it to be Jesus): "You are ashamed of your body.  I am not ashamed of your soul.  Let the outside go!  I don't look at the outside.  You should prepare your heart for me because I want to be united with you."

The Schonath family home in Burgellern.

Maria Anna later described her First Communion in the following manner: "Then my heart was kindled like a fire and I couldn't contain my joy all day."  It was just the beginning of a long series of mystical experiences that lasted until the very day she died.

Another significant experience Maria Anna recorded occurred shortly after she lost her dear mother when she was just 11-years-old.  She was tending sheep when the Lord appeared to her and invited her to walk the narrow "way of the Cross and suffering", to which the young girl replied in the affirmative.  From henceforth she was drawn more and more into contemplative prayer and self-mortification, and took it upon herself to perform the most difficult household chores without complaint.

About a year later, while praying alone in the parish church, the devout youngster made known to Jesus her desire to belong only to him, as his consecrated bride, after which the Lord again appeared to her with arms outstretched as if to embrace her.  This appearance had the effect of solidifying her conviction to one day enter a convent.

The Dominican Monastery and
Church in Bamberg.

At 16, with the consent of her father and stepmother, Maria Anna applied for admission with the Dominican Monastery of the Holy Sepulcher in Bamberg, but was denied due to her lack of education.  She tried with other local convents but received similar negative responses to her inquiries.  Frustrated, but not defeated, she complained to God about her plight and was visited by an apparition of St. Dominic de Guzman (d. 1221) who assured Maria Anna that she would become a member of his Order... so, she reapplied with the Dominicans of Bamberg who accepted her the second time around.  She entered their monastery in May 1753, at the age of 22, and was given the name Sr. Maria Columba (or simply Columba, which means dove); she solemnly professed vows on September 24, 1754.

Shortly after her profession, the new nun - who was relatively healthy up to that point in time - was suddenly afflicted with a mysterious illness.  Sr. Columba experiences fever, weakness, chronic nausea, and painful ulcers that erupted on her body leaving her mostly incapacitated; doctors called in to treat her were perplexed over her condition.  It goes without saying that it was an extremely painful trial in both mind and body for the patient since the other sisters now looked upon her as a burden to their community.

Fortunately, Columba was not left without heavenly support - St. Dominic often visited the sick woman to comfort and mentor her.  The Saint taught her to meditate constantly on the crucifix, which he referred to as the "Book of Love", and encouraged her to surrender and unite herself to Christ on his Holy Cross.  The Lord, too, manifested himself more frequently to her, especially as the Ecce Homo and once complained: "My heart is wounded with love and pain.  If you want to become like me, you must also become like this."

A contemporary depiction of Sr. Columba.

Drawn in a unique way into the mystery of Christ's redemptive sufferings, it's hardly surprising that this mystic eventually received the Sacred Stigmata in her hands, feet, and chest two days before her 33rd birthday.  Then, just two days after the same birthday, Sr. Columba also experienced the Mystical Marriage.  It was the pinnacle of her spiritual life for which she was well-prepared by years of sickness and moral oppression.

The stigmatic wounds remained visible on Columba's limbs for the remainder of her life but only bled on Fridays; they also emitted a floral fragrance.  It was her personal conviction that she was commissioned by her Divine Spouse to atone for the sins of her time and to pray for the conversion of sinners.  In addition, she sensed it also a special prerogative to assist the souls in Purgatory with her reparatory sufferings.  The Poor Souls were frequent visitors to her bedside, imploring her prayers and voluntary sacrifices on their behalf to which she always generously agreed.

News of the extraordinary events occurring in the Bamberg Monastery soon reached the ears of the local bishop, who enlisted the services of a certain abbot to examine Columba's case.  Apparently, the man was a skeptic when it came to mystical phenomena and he judged her condition to not be supernatural; possibly the effects of a natural disease.  As a result, Sr. Columba was subjected to suspicion and forbidden from speaking with others, including her relatives who sometimes came to the monastery's grill to check on her.  On her part, the afflicted woman behaved admirably, calmly complying with every restriction imposed on her - she even defended the bishop against her family when they suggested they'd confront him over his treatment of her.

Despite her incredibly difficult situation, Columba only continued to pray and quietly offer up her moral and physical sufferings without showing any trace of resentment towards the bishop or her companions.  Her forced solitude only served to deepen her spiritual union with our Lord, who lovingly consoled her with frequent personal visits.  During one particular apparition, Jesus drew her attention to a crucifix hanging on the wall of the infirmary and said to her:  "This shall be your consolation.  I want to leave you with this sign.  Think of this when you will be deserted of all consolation, both inside and outside; both spiritual and physical.  Turn your eyes to this sign that I leave you on my image.  This will bring you and others for whom you are praying great comfort during this time and even more so after your death."  The crucifix then began to miraculously drip blood, which it repeatedly did on several other occasions in the presence of many witnesses.

Sr. Columba's miraculous crucifix.

Mystical revelations also intensified as the scope of Sr. Columba's mission seemed to expand beyond the monastery walls to reach even the farthest corners of the world!  During a notable 15-hour ecstasy, the nun claimed she was taken by two angels to every tabernacle - in every country(!) - to adore the Blessed Sacrament; to make reparation for sacrilege; and to pray for the conversion of sinners from each locale.  All this was meticulously recorded in a diary Sr. Columba was commanded to write in obedience to her bishop and spiritual director.

In due time, the opinion of the other nuns towards Columba began changing.  No falsehood was ever detected in her behavior, but rather, she was consistently humble, docile, obedient, and even infectiously joyous... and the fire of Divine Love that burned like a furnace within her heart warmed all who came into contact with her.  So, despite the strict secrecy imposed by the bishop upon the monastery concerning Sr. Columba, word of her leaked out to the outside world.  People came to the nun for prayer and consolation and she delivered.

Fortunately, the Dominican Sisters carefully documented the profusion of signs they observed: the effectiveness of Columba's intercessory prayers; the weekly Passion Ecstasies; the bleeding crucifix; the prophetic insight and utterances of their resident prophetess.  In fact, it was the study of these recorded testimonies of her fellow nuns that greatly contributed to the opening of Sr. Columba's Cause for Canonization centuries later.

After a bout with a serious illness, Sr. Maria Columba Schonath died at the age of 57 on March 3, 1787.  She had just received the Eucharist when her stigmata reportedly began bleeding profusely, as though in her final moments of life, she was also conforming to the death of her Crucified Spouse.  As a mark of respect, the nuns interred her body in a side-chapel of the monastery church where it remains to this very day.

Above: The tomb of Sr. Columba in Bamberg.
Below:  A relic from Sr. Columba's habit.

The mystic's fame of sanctity spread throughout Germany and nearby regions as graces attributed to the intercession of Sr. Columba were reported at her tomb.  Favors continue to be received, consequently leading to the opening of her Cause for Beatification on May 17, 1999.  An association dedicated to keeping her memory alive, along with promoting her Cause, is presently active in Bamberg.

"Oh, you people of the world,
don't give up... and love Love, who
loved us so much and without
which we are nothing."

Words of Sr. Columba

Please join this ministry in praying for the speedy Canonization of this worthy Servant of God.  May her example of burning love for God inspire in all the world an ardent love for Jesus, too.

Sr. Maria Columba Schonath,
pray for us!