Father Leonard Mary Answers Ten Questions

About three years ago I wrote about  Father Leonard Mary’s Calling. This essay gave impetus for the growth of this Blog. Father Leonard is a dear friend of mine; even though we live in opposite time zones, we have always managed to keep in touch. I have had the special blessing of discussing perplexing matters of my life with him and  have received great counsel from a holy spiritual director. I asked Father Leonard if I could write a new story about his ever-evolving life. He happily agreed. I asked Father ten questions, so this is an informal interview with a very busy priest who humbly took the time to answer these questions.

1. Which Bible verse best inspires you?

After a few minutes of healthy laughter Father answered the question. That verse would be 1 Corinthians 2:2:

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

FaceTime interview

2. When did you first hear God’s calling?

I’ve had a deep respect for the clergy  and what they represented and stood for. I was part of a youth group where I felt a spark drawing me closer to the Lord. The youth group’s leader must have noticed something, and told me that I should consider going to seminary. But I was too young and believed that God wanted me to experience more of life. 

3. Who is your favorite saint?

St. Francis of Assisi. I learned about him right before my Confirmation. My father shared some of his stories, so I continued to learn more about him. What impressed me the most is that St. Francis wanted to live radically for Jesus and literally to be like Him. I was 16 years old and I took his name for my Confirmation.

4. What is the importance of Adoration?

Adoration brings you into the presence of God. Jesus is with you, you are in His Holy presence. This is the taste of heaven: we sit at His feet, put our heads on His Heart like St. John the Beloved, and allow Him to love us. I started attending Adoration while I was in high school.

Celebrating Mass In Nevers, France

5.  As a priest have you been misunderstood?

Yes, more so in the first and second years as a priest. Becoming a priest involves you becoming a new person.  I’m a big guy, and I felt awkward in the liturgies and at the altar with my hand motions and gestures, kinda like a bull in a china shop.  I had trouble speaking Latin, and as much as I studied before Mass I didn’t feel comfortable.  Singing was also very difficult. I never felt comfortable with my singing voice as well.  All this made me nervous.  You need to find your expertise, and when I realized mine, that’s when I experienced calm and God just wanted me to do my best, and to do everything with love. All falls into place with love.  God looks at the heart, not at the appearance. 

6. What direction do you see the Church going?

The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit. It’s the Bride of Christ, always giving glory to God. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it; it will never be destroyed.  Its members are sinners in need of God’s grace.  There will always be trials and scandals amongst its peoples.  We can’t let that discourage us, and must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, receiving Him in the sacraments and praying without ceasing.  

7. Do you think it’s a good idea to use the pulpit to express truth in current events of our society?

Yes, you must bring up issues of today. These are troubling and trying times.  We need to address how to live in these current circumstances, and the people need to be reassured that they are loved by God. We need to tell them that He is with them and hears their prayers.  

8. Does the Church have bad Shepherds?

There have always been unfaithful clergy, wolves in sheep’s clothing, throughout the history of the Church.  It started with the disciple Judas.  The authority given to clergy from Christ is all about service. Jesus said, “I came not to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.”  (Matthew 20:28)

 

                                                                                                                   Father Leonard dispensing First Holy Communion, Bro. Leo assisting

9. Our grandson Jacob is making his First Holy Communion in August. Do you have any advice for him?

Through receiving the Holy Eucharist Jacob will encounter Jesus Christ.  As he consumes His Body and Blood, he’ll be nourished by Jesus’ loving presence.  This is the food we always long for. This is the most important food of all.

10. What are your job’s responsibilities?

I serve by helping the sacramental needs of EWTN by celebrating Masses and hearing confessions. I am the Communications Director for my community, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word.  I am the Director of Formation for the temporary professed friars, who are preparing for lifelong, perpetual vows. I am in charge of procuring supplies, going to Sam’s Club and Costco on a regular basis. I am the confessor to the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word.

Father Leonard Mary has a Master’s of Divinity and in May he received his Master’s of Communication and Management from the University of Southern California. He has also learned Spanish well enough to celebrate Mass in Spanish. Though he is greatly accomplished, one of his greatest gifts is humility. We were both under the teaching of a Catholic lay person, Joanne Petronella, who taught with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Her classes were rich with prophetic teaching. She was stern because she understood what God had in store for us. God blessed a young man, born and raised in East Los Angeles, to become a servant of the most high God. Because EWTN is the largest global Catholic television network, Father Leonard’s homilies can be heard by millions of Catholics all over the world. 

I was humbled with the responses from Father Leonard. I will never leave my Catholic roots, but I had questions and doubts about certain situations within our Church. Now that I have a more gentle attitude about our leaders, my new approach will be to pray and ask for God’s holy intervention.

The reason Father Leonard laughed at the first question was because there are so many Scriptures that inspire him, including this one:

John 13:34-35

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

My Prayer:

Dear Lord, we lift up Father Leonard Mary and the community of EWTN. Continue to allow them to spread Your Holy Word throughout the world. Lord, protect this organization and keep it pure. Bring in all the lost souls, those who are angry, those who curse You, those who want to destroy Your Church. We intercede on their behalf. Bring peace to our world. We pray for all parish priests and ask that You give them discernment to guide their flock to the foot of  Your Holy Cross. Amen.

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Where The Boys Are

J.W. Oakley School: I’m the only girl in the last row. I had crushes on three of the boys in the front row.  Johnny, my Junior High crush is in the second row, plaid shirt, behind the boy in all white
My help mate

Daily Mass has been my saving grace during these nonsensical times. I cannot get past the madness, and, to make matters worse, I found myself in a state of anger. We all have our coping mechanisms and mine is currently out of whack. I keep reminding myself that God is in control, and He will see us through. As the world continues revolving into more chaos, I turn to Scripture to keep me sane.

So instead of a story with political undertones, I have decided to re-share a story about my younger years, hoping that it will bring a smile to some of you.

For as long as I can remember, I always had a crush on a boy. My mother was a single mom and during our teens she kept us in check; we were taught the fear of God and to remain virgins until marriage.

My first encounter of confused love came as a crush I had on my six grade teacher. He was tall, dark and handsome. He was married with a pregnant wife, but my feelings for him did not change.  During music class , when accompanied himself on his ukulele, that I knew he was the one. As a class we sang “My Gum Tree Canoe,”  but I imagined that he was just singing to me. “Singing row away, row over the waters blue. Like a feather we float, in my gum tree canoe.” This was the most romantic song I had ever heard, but in a couple of weeks I got over him and fell in love with Ruben.

Ruben Hater’s Club

Ruben was my six- grade crush. In our innocence we just stared at each other; our eye contact was the profession of true love as we knew it. Ruben was going to be in the school talent show, playing the part of Ringo Starr, the Beatles’ drummer. For some reason I did not attend the show, so the following day I was no longer Ruben’s girl. He had moved on to Jeanine, who was a beauty. My heart was broken, so I formed a club: “The Ruben Hater’s Club.” I was president and my best friend, Nanci, was vice-president.  We climbed a neighborhood tree and Nanci and I met to discuss our lives and Ruben’s, but within a few weeks the club dissolved. I moved on to other, cuter boys who appreciated my long stares.

Johnny and John

In Junior High Johnny was my secret crush. I told one of my friends how I felt, but  she betrayed me; during recess she ran up to Johnny and told him about my crush. I was mortified, but he told her to tell me that he liked me too. Johnny and I just flirted, and that worked out fine for us. Our family had a telephone, but because it was a party line,  you could hear other neighbors’ conversations: Therefore we never called each other. We had two phones at our home but if you were on one line, another person could carefully pick up the other phone and hear your conversation. Our brothers were notorious for humiliating us like this.

Our mother wanted us to have a better life, so she decided to move us out of Brawley. We moved to be closer to relatives in Fresno. I left my summer boyfriend in Brawley. His name was John, and he promised to write to me. He had this plan, that he called “The Five-Year Plan.” After five years we would meet again and marry. John was committed to this plan and wrote to me on a regular basis. I had a problem with John because in his letters he called it a “Five-Year Plane.” There was also the fact that after reaching the end of the line on the paper, he placed a period.  It didn’t matter if he had written a complete sentence or not. So his letters had periods all along one side of the page. I could no longer continue the long-distance relationship with this over-zealous period guy.

Ninth grade in Fresno was still Junior High, but I loved it because, once again we were the big kids on campus. Another Ruben came into my life, but he really wanted to take me on chaperoned dates. My mother would not hear of this, so I just stopped asking. Ruben and I ran for Spring King and Queen; I won but Ruben did not. Mike, a white, popular, roly-poly boy was crowned Spring King. It was a no brainer for the king and queen to become a couple. Ruben did not take this graciously, so I was his first heartbreak.

My cougar days

Things did not go as expected in Fresno so, once again, our mother moved us, this time to Colton. This was my first high school experience. My sister Jo and I were the new girls no one knew. I  made friends quickly but I didn’t date until my junior year. A friend of mine had a younger brother, I started dating but, he was a freshman. This was scandalous!  Now I was considered a cougar. I went to one dance with him but later we broke up. I dated other boys but did not really like them either.

High School

My senior year I had a boyfriend I did not like at all but I could not find it in my heart to break up with him. My mother did not approve of him either. She once told me, “If you marry him, your kids are going to look like monkeys.” Our mom never held her tongue when it came to who we were dating. I broke up with this guy after the worse prom date. On the day of the prom  he kept driving past our house with his tux hanging from the back seat of his car. It was embarrassing enough for me, but my brothers were relentless in their teasing. He took me to Newport Beach for dinner, but by that time I would have preferred to be anywhere else but there. At a table near us was an older gentleman, in his thirties who sent me a note by the waiter. The note read, “If you smile, I will pay for your dinner.” I was flattered and gave the man a sincere smile. The stranger kept his word and paid for our dinner. On the way home I broke up with my date; I was so upset that I sat in the back seat. All of my high school relationships were pure because I could hear my mother’s strong voice in the back of my head, still influencing me.

College Jalopy Guy

When I was in college I dated but I was never really serious about anyone. I remember this nightmare guy who pursued me until I agreed to go on one date with him. I was getting flowers  anonymously and I thought they were from him (they were not). On the day of our date this guy drove in something that resembled a car. He had spent most of the day hand painting this jalopy. As I got into the vehicle there was a huge opening under my feet and I could see the road and the axel rotating. I was scared for my life! Needless to say, this was our one and only date.

Mike

God was always with me and He had a big plan for my life. I thank Him that in all my past experiences with boys, I have no shameful regrets. I broke hearts and my heart has been wounded, but God had set me  aside for my husband Mike. I was a child bride at nineteen.

 Search through the book of the Lord and read:
    not one of these shall be lacking,
For the mouth of the Lord has ordered it,
    and his spirit gathers them there.

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Understanding Prophetic Dreams

My dream journals…I dream

The Lord speaks to us in many ways. He speaks to us through the Bible, through dreams and visions and, by bringing others into our life to help guide us. After much prayer the Lord opened the door for this Blog. I received a dream, a vivid dream about the Blog. The Lord told me to name it “My Catholic Roots Are Showing.” I also received instructions on the logo. When I woke up I journaled all the information with great excitement, but with a big concern. I prayed and and questioned God about the name, “How can I name it My Catholic Roots Are Showing when I have so many Protestant friends and my son is not serving You in the Catholic Church?” I waited for God to answer, but the name My Catholic Roots Are Showing kept coming back to me.

Many people are receiving dreams; some of them are prophetic. A prophetic dream is a confirmation of something that is about to happen, or it could be a warning for us to prepare spiritually in order to change the course of the prophecy. A good friend’s daughter was away at college, and her daughter had struggled with substance abuse. My friend always prayed for her wayward child. One day the Lord gave her a dream about her daughter blasting out of a deep pit. The young lady’s right hand was stretched out as she was surfacing from the pit. This dream reassured my friend that her prayers for her daughter had been answered.

Joel 3:1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Day of the Lord

It shall come to pass
    I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.

Warning Dreams

Years ago Mike and I were going to purchase a larger home. I found a home not far from ours, called the realtor, and had Mike go with me to see the home. It needed a lot of work, but I was fine with that because the yard was twice the size as that our current home. We made an offer and were ready to sign the paperwork, but the realtor had an emergency and could not meet with us. That night I had a dream that I was so sad that I had sold my house; I was crying in disbelief. The following day we set an appointment to sign the paperwork a second time, but Mike was delayed at work so we had to cancel the meeting again. On this night I had exactly the same dream as the night before, I could not stop crying and feeling remorseful about the sale of our home. When I woke, I told Mike that we could not purchase that home. This was a warning dream. We would later find out that the owner of the home committed suicide in the master bedroom.

Prophetic Dreams

I dream on a regular basis, so I keep a journal to record my dreams. This is a dream I had on January 16, 2007: Mike was driving me to the airport, We were going to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But I told him that my flight was out of Orange County, so we started to head back. On the way there were all sorts of people dressed in loose clothing, walking on the freeway. They had taken over and did as they pleased, crossing in front of cars and causing accidents. There were groups of 5-6 people and were walking slowly. I told Mike to be careful and not to run over them. I noticed that other cars had already hit some of them because their bodies were still on the freeway.

On August 29, 2009, I had another prophetic dream: The United States was under attack. I saw ships being bombed. I was waiting for the Lord to speak through me in a prophetic word. I said “I…(and waited) then the words came. “I, the Lord thy God, will bring disaster to this country.” These were the words given to me in this dream. I came across these dreams while going through my dream journals.

Instructional Dreams

The Lord gives us instructions in dreams. When my husband Mike cannot figure out something having to do with work or with fixing something around the house, the Lord will give him a dream to instruct him on how to proceed with the task. Sometimes the Lord tells me how to conduct a Bible study or how to confront a difficult situation with a friend or family member.

Interpretation

Some dreams are direct and to the point, like when Mike is given instruction on how to repair things. Other dreams have hidden meanings. Colors and numbers are important in dreams because they represent hidden spiritual messages. Once I had a dream that as I was picking my luggage from the baggage carousel, I saw that my suitcase had been opened and all of my garments were spread on the carousel. I was so embarrassed as I ran to collect my clothing. All of my clothes were in shades of purple. The color purple represents royalty and kingship; it was also the color of the robe that was draped over Jesus on the Via Dolorosa. Even though my clothes were scattered everywhere and I was embarrassed, the dream meant that I had nothing to hide and all was exposed. You must be careful about interpreting your dreams because there are many charlatans who will lead you in the wrong direction. Seek God for the answers or go to someone who seeks the Lord for the correct interpretation.

Numbers are also important in dreams. In the dream I mentioned earlier I had two dreams warning us not to purchase the home. I did not pay any attention to the first dream, but the second dream was a confirmation that this purchase would have been a huge mistake.

In the dream about the people on the freeway, we have a representation of the modern-day protesters. The loose clothing means that they are comfortable. The numbers 5 and 6 equals 11. The number 11 represents disorder, a symbol of incompleteness, like filing Chapter Eleven for bankruptcy.

Acts 1:26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

26 Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

The Apostles were complete with 12 because this represented the 12 tribes of Israel. Eleven would never be considered complete.
Modern-Day Prophets
We need to pay attention to the times we live in. The Lord is speaking through His prophets. Dana Coverstone, a Protestant pastor from Kentucky, shares three powerful dreams about the End Times. You can find them on YouTube. Dr. Taylor Marshall also has really good information on The Three Days of Darkness, and Queen of Peace Media’s Mark Mallett and Daniel O’Connor  have many excellent YouTube podcasts about the End Times.  God is waiting for us to return to Him. I pray that we will be prepared for this spiritual war. God Bless!

Job 33:14-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

14 For God does speak, once,
    even twice, though you do not see it:
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls upon mortals
    as they slumber in their beds.
16 It is then he opens their ears
    and with a warning, terrifies them,
17 By turning mortals from acting
    and keeping pride away from a man,
18 He holds his soul from the pit,
    his life from passing to the grave.

 

 

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