Well I was born in Toronto in 1959. I came from a family of 12. Well I can tell you I was not a normal child, running away from home not going to school.
So I was with the St Joseph Nuns Sacred Heart childrens village. I was there for awhile went back home for awhile. Then my parents could not handle me so my next step was St Johns Training School in Uxbridge on with the Christian Brothers was with them for awhile, went back home.Continue...
Start getting into drinking and drugs so at one time was a mess. I had been at many treatment centres. But the last one was in 1990 in St Thomas ON. After I got done with treatment went back to Toronto and joined ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. Why I was there I started to believe in my Lord my God. I started going back to Mass, made my Confirmation in 1993 at St James Catholic Church. I was in AA in Toronto 5 half years then move to Kingston Ontario still going to AA. October 9th I will be 24 years clean and sober. I volunteered at Kingston Penitentiary for 18 years first with AA then in the Chapel with Father Lacar. I would attend Mass with the inmates.
After making my Confirmation, about 15 years later start doing the Rosary every day. I first learn about St. Padre Pio, how much he prayed the Rosary and he recommend doing the Rosary. Then I started and I read the 15 promises that come good if I were to pray the Rosary and the graces and indulgences.
Now I just started to wear my Brown Scapular and I went for years to the mother house in Kingston for Sisters of St Vincent de Paul and Prison Ministry I did at the Archdiocese Center with Sister Peggy SC. I learn too about St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabriel the Archangels, St. Joseph, St. Brother Andre. I read the Bible to every day or every other day, the Little Flower/St. Therese, St. Francis, and I read a lot about St John Paul II. I have been to St Joseph Oratory in Montreal.
Today I am an altar server at St. Marys Cathedral. I pray and I do the Rosary every day and go to Mass and try to do the Lords work. My life has been much better and I know all the gifts and blessings come from God and His Mother Mary who is our Mother too.
Amen and thank you,
In 2008 I was assigned as principal to a small Catholic elementary school in France. I had no experience of working with young children. My confrere, Father F., therefore advised me to pray a novena to St. Philomena, of whom he was himself a great devotee.
I remember smiling and thinking that his advice was rather simplistic. Shame on me, my pagan habits did not then allow me to pray novenas, and even less to pray them to maiden saints so popular with woman and children. The Mass and the Rosary were enough for me; what need had I of pious prayers printed on pretty picture cards?Continue...
I thanked my confrere in a condescending manner. He told me off for my impiety, telling me that St. Philomena was, after all, the patron saint of youth. Thus came the first miracle. Despite my pride I thought I had nothing to lose by praying a novena. I admit that it was the first of my adult life! I dutifully took up the pretty prayer card and prayed each evening with dubious fervor.
On the eighth day, as I vested for Mass a lady popped her head through the sacristy door: “Father, are you saying today’s feast day mass?” I replied that it was a ferial day. “Not at all, Father! Today is August 11th, St. Philomena’s feast day!” My first novena as a priest, and it ends on St. Philomena’s very feast day! My confrere warned me: “Be careful! She is adopting you, you’ll see. Don’t disappoint her. She’s a young girl and sometimes capricious.”
Some weeks later the school year began. As I became acquainted with my new duties, I thought I had better look into the accounts. I knew the budget was tight, more so since the recent construction of three new classrooms and a chapel.
As I juggled the numbers I realized that things were worse than anyone had suspected. We were deep in debt! I was in a panic. I promptly announced from the pulpit to a parish of 350 souls that we needed $120,000 in the next 6 months, and then another $90,000 yearly for the next 3 years. The parish was stunned.
Meanwhile, my dear confrere, Father F., had given me Father O’Sullivan’s book: St. Philomena the Wonderworker. I read that she had a weakness for schools in financial distress, especially whenever these schools prayed and spread her devotion. I therefore decided to officially invest St. Philomena with the duty of sorting out our financial situation.
Before the entire parish I made the promise that if St. Philomena answered our prayers, I would take all the children and their parents to thank her at her shrine in Mugnano, Italy. This was on condition that she paid off all our debts in 3 years and left sufficient money to pay for the transportation and lodging of 100 people, all the way to Mugnano. If she wanted us to come to her, she had to pay our way!
Parish, parents, and children all rose to the occasion. We launched many fundraising projects. But most of all, every family of the school and parish set up an image of St. Philomena in their homes and prayed her novena daily.
And we waited. In due course a beautifully hand painted portrait of St. Philomena was given to the school and we hung it up in a place of honor with the inscription below: St. Philomena, pray for
us our savings account.
The very day we hung up that portrait of the saint, our first proceeds came in. Steady donations continued and after 2 years we had reached the goal. Our future was assured for years to come.
As promised, we did arrange what was an unforgettable journey to Mugnano, Italy. Parents and children travelled together (expenses paid!) first to Rome then onto Mugnano to say thank you to St. Philomena. I was not the only one who almost wept when entering the basilica. For 3 years we had begged her patronage and protection. I will always be indebted to St. Philomena for what she did and is still doing for the families of the school as the school continues to thrive; building more classrooms for an ever growing number of students.
Today I am a principal at a Catholic school in the USA. I still tell this story as it gives me the chance to praise St. Philomena and tell of her wondrous kindness to all those who invoke her, however great and seemingly impossible their needs.
Father John B.
I strongly agree with the promises of Our Lady at Fatima. Praying the Rosary does bring about miracles.
My husband and I had been estranged from his mother for two years. I began saying the entire Rosary on my knees every day and in less than two weeks time his mother called and told him she needed him. She was in her early 90s by then. My husband had been very distressed by the rift between them. So the last years of her life (99) he was able to take care of her needs and assure her that we would always be there for her. She died on an Easter morning. God is good!