Tag Archives: Fr. Michael Gaitley

Chicagoland six-chapter event delights with spiritual, business messages

On Tuesday, November 14, the six Legatus chapters of the Chicago area gathered together for an inspiring evening at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Over 160 members attended from the chapters of Chicago, Downtown Chicago, St. Charles, DuPage, Rockford, and from the developing chapter of Northwest Chicago. The evening began by offering a breakout session  with special guest Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, the well-known author of 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus. Fr. Gaitley shared his personal experience of the Marian consecration and Divine Mercy and emphasized the transformation these can bring to our lives. Prior to the celebration of the Mass, five priests heard confessions while members led the rosary. Officially kicking off the evening, Fr. Gaitley served as the main celebrant and homilist for the Mass with four concelebrants from the Chicago area, all clad in the signature Legatus vestments.

After the spiritual enrichment of the sacraments and following the cocktail reception, Tim Rivelli, DuPage County president, welcomed the attendees. Father Andrew Wawrzyn, chaplain of the Chicago Chapter, led a blessing of the meal and Stephen Henley, Legatus executive director, offered opening remarks. Once dinner concluded, Tim Rivelli introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Tim Busch, for his presentation titled “Principled Entrepreneurship.” A member of the Orange County Legatus chapter and featured speaker at the 2017 Legatus Summit, Tim Busch founded The Busch Firm, Pacific Hospitality group, the Magis Institute, the Napa Institute, and Trinitas Cellars in Napa, CA. Most recently, the Catholic University renamed their school of business and economics to honor Tim and Steph Busch’s support of business education informed by the principles of Catholic social teaching.

This event was the second of two six-chapter events to be held in the Great Lakes Region of Legatus during 2017, the first of which took place in Michigan in June. Amy Dillon, Great Lakes regional director, shared the importance and power of these events for the members and the region: “These multi-chapter events offer the members an opportunity for greater fellowship within the Legatus community. It’s inspiring to see a room full of not only incredible business leaders and spouses, but leaders and spouses who share the Catholic faith and are committed to the Legatus mission to study, live and spread the faith. Many members have already mentioned how much they are looking forward to next year’s event, and I’m excited to see these events continue and grow in the Great Lakes Region.”

33 Days to Merciful Love

Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC
Marian Press, 2016
124 pages, paperback $14.95

In this stirring sequel to the best-selling 33 Days to Morning Glory, Fr. Gaitley uses the same 33-day format. Subtitled A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy, his new book takes readers on a journey with one of the most beloved saints of our day — St. Therese of Lisieux — and concludes with a consecration to The Divine Mercy.

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, there’s no better time to deepen your prayer life by consecration to Our Lord’s Divine Mercy, led by the Little Flower herself.

OrderAmazonMarian Press

The Time of Mercy

Pope Francis will open the Jubilee Year of Mercy on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

When Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 8 for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, he will be offering God’s most powerful message to a world in desperate need.

“Precisely because there’s so much darkness in our world, God is graciously giving us a time of mercy,” said Fr. Michael Gaitley, whose latest book, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, explains Pope St. John Paul II’s embrace of the Divine Mercy message and its connection to Marian consecration.

“In times of great evil,” Fr. Gaitley said, “God gives even greater grace and mercy. I say that because of what we read in Romans 5:20: ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.’ That’s what he is doing today, and Pope Francis — following the lead of Vatican II and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI — is confirming this good news of God’s word.”


Year of pilgrimage

Bishop Martin Holley

Bishop Martin Holley

Bishop Martin Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington, said he believes Pope Francis’ comment to a reporter, “I am a sinner,” may have set the template for the introduction to the upcoming Year of Mercy.

“He seems to realize that the best cure for our human brokenness is Divine Mercy,” Bishop Holley said.

When people hear the message of God’s mercy — often through the Divine Mercy devotion received by St. Faustina Kowalska and advanced by John Paul II — “they really seem to get it,” said Fr. Gaitley, a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. “They realize we’re not dealing with some fringe or fanatical preoccupation with the miraculous, nor some quaint devotional practice for the overly pious.

“Instead, we’re dealing with the most important message for our time, a message that has been repeated over and over at the highest levels of the Church, a message that, as Pope Francis put it, comes from ‘the voice of the Spirit that speaks to the whole Church in this our time, which is in fact, the time of mercy.’”

Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC

Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC

In Misericordiae Vultus, the bull of indiction announcing the jubilee year, Pope Francis urges Catholics to live mercy as a program of life. To begin, he said, they must listen to and meditate on God’s word,rediscovering the value of silence and contemplating God’s mercy. The Holy Year will run from Dec. 8 to Nov. 20, 2016.

Father Gaitley said it’s fitting that Pope Francis opens the document by calling Catholics to contemplate and gaze upon the mystery of God’s mercy.

“After all, before everything else, before talking about mercy, before deeds of mercy, we really should first allow ourselves to encounter God’s mercy profoundly,” he said.

Pope Francis has also proposed that each Catholic, according to ability, make a pilgrimage to cross the threshold of one of the Holy Doors that will be opened during the jubilee year.

“The great aspect of a pilgrimage is that one does not have to go outside their own diocese or the United States,” Bishop Holley said, “because each will have a Holy Door for the jubilee year.”

Among the Pope’s other directives for the Year of Mercy are to rediscover the corporal and spiritual works of mercy — including feeding the hungry and forgiving offenses — and to reach out to other religious traditions in a spirit of dialogue and respect.

The sacrament of mercy

The Holy Father is also asking Catholics to focus on the sacrament of Penance “in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands” and be a “source of true interior peace” for every penitent.

Vinny Flynn

Vinny Flynn

Vinny Flynn, who has been involved in a “ministry of mercy” for the last 40 years through teaching, writing, counseling, music and prayer, said he sees the sacrament of Penance as the most essential of the Holy Father’s instructions for the jubilee year.

“Pope Francis has stressed over and over again the importance of Confession,” said Flynn, who wrote the best-selling 7 Secrets of Confession. “This sacrament brings us healing. It’s not just about forgiveness.”

Flynn — whose new book, 7 Secrets of Divine Mercy, is being released to coincide with the start of the jubilee year — said the sacraments are key to growth in holiness, which can only be achieved by God’s grace.

“Through grace, especially through the grace of the sacraments of Eucharist and Confession, we take in the holiness of God himself,” he explained. “The more we take that in, the more we can live with His holiness in us. Eucharist and Reconciliation are emphasized when Christ wants to open the floodgates of his mercy. God wants us to understand the gifts he has given us in these two sacraments.”

Bishop Michael Burbidge

Bishop Michael Burbidge

In the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., Bishop Michael Burbidge said he will be encouraging priests to talk and preach more about the sacrament of Penance and why it’s essential — urging them to seek new and creative ways to make the sacrament available.

He also will be asking each Catholic in his diocese to commit to bringing one person back to the Church — and to be instruments of reconciliation in fractured relationships with family members, friends, co-workers or those they consider enemies by asking for the grace to forgive.

“We have to pray for that gift,” he explained, “for an extraordinary, amazing grace to be able to do that. Yet I do believe that in this year, God will be acting miraculously in our lives.”

Among the challenges of the jubilee year, Bishop Burbidge said, will be to embrace its message so that it’s more than an event — and to convey that mercy must be accompanied by a desire to repent, begin anew and sin no more.

Then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washes the feet of patients at a shelter for drug users during a Holy Thursday Mass in Buenos Aires on March 20, 2008 (REUTERS/Enrique Garcia Medina photo)

Then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washes the
feet of patients at a shelter for drug users during a
Holy Thursday Mass in Buenos Aires on March 20,
2008 (REUTERS/Enrique Garcia Medina photo)

To be a recipient of that grace, one has to acknowledge the sin that was committed and then express sorrow for it,” he explained. “Then, as we celebrate the beautiful gift of God’s mercy, it’s in light of the Lord’s command that upon forgiving sins, we would say: ‘Go and sin no more.’”

Father Gaitley said that, although some may hear the message of mercy and not understand the need for repentance, he believes Pope Francis sees as a bigger problem: those who feel they need to earn God’s mercy.

“I think he’s concerned that too many avoid the Lord and haven’t encountered his goodness because they don’t realize the good news that Jesus came, not for the righteous, but for sinners.”

JUDY ROBERTS  is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

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