Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers,signs an agreement with Mark Middendorf, co-founder of Lighthouse. Lighthouse and the Marians forged a relationship whereby Marian materials are now being offered through Lighthouse kiosks in 5,000 parishes throughout North America.
Catechesis by kiosk. It plays a huge role in the Church’s evangelization efforts. Now, by the grace of God, the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are at the fore front of it.
The kiosks in question are those in the back of many churches that,traditionally, hold CDs, pamphlets,booklets, and books on such topics as the Sacraments, forgiveness, devotions, and prayers.Parishioners are invited to avail themselves of the materials. God seems to do the rest.
Take, for instance, one young man who was contemplating suicide.Then, he listened to a CD obtained from a Lighthouse Catholic Media church kiosk. It helped to save his life, and he recently entered the seminary.
“If someone says one CD can’t make a difference,we have story after story of how God uses it to change people’s lives,” says Mark Middendorf, co-founder of Lighthouse.
This brings us to one of the most exciting initiatives in recent years for the Marian Fathers. Earlier this year, Lighthouse and the Marians forged a relationship whereby Marian materials are now being offered through Lighthouse kiosks.
The Marians will benefit from Lighthouse’s presence in more than 5,000 parishes throughout North America. Indeed,since Lighthouse’s founding eight years ago, it has distributed more than 8 million CDs alone that feature such names as Dr. Scott Hahn, Matthew Kelly, and Fr.Robert Barron.
“This is truly Divine Providence at work for us,” says Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC,the director of the Association of Marian Helpers.
Clearly, not a coincidence
As Fr .Michael suggests, Divine Providence stands as the only credible explanation for the collaboration with Lighthouse. A little more than a year ago, Mark Middendorf had never heard of Fr. Michael.But in a single day, two people gave him Fr. Michael’s best selling book 33 Days to Morning Glory and recommended that Lighthouse distribute it. That very same day, Mark also received an e-mail from someone praising the book.
“I try to be open to the Holy Spirit,” Mark says. So he decided to call his good friend, Terry Barber, a fellow co-founder of Lighthouse and founder of Saint Joseph’s Communications. “Terry,” said Mark, “what can you tell me about Fr. Michael Gaitley? Do you know him?” “Know him?” responded Terry. “I’m having lunch with him today.” And so the relationship began. That the connection came about through 33 Days to Morning Glory—a do-it-yourself retreat of consecration to Jesus through Mary—could not have been coincidence either. It so happens Mark had been encouraging all of his employees, including Lighthouse’s 600 plus account managers throughout the country,to make either St. Louis de Montfort’s or St.Maximilian Kolbe's famous Marian consecration.
That was before he read 33 Days, which he now promotes.
In addition, Mark has a devotion to Divine Mercy,such that each week day,the employees at Lighthouse's head quarters in Sycamore,Ill., pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet together at 3 p.m. “The Marians and we at Lighthouse share a common mission,” says Mark. “This is all an answer to my prayers.”
A great demand for Divine Mercy
Here is how the kiosk program works: For a nominal fee, parishes purchase materials through Lighthouse and then offer the materials for a suggested donation to parishioners. Anticipating a huge hunger for the Marians’ Divine Mercy materials, Lighthouse has introduced a new Divine Mercy Resources module that fits on to its free standing kiosks. In addition, the kiosks now promote the Marians’ new Hearts Afire initiative—a small-group, parish-based, faith renewal program inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s call for a “new evangelization.” “God has given us a great gift through our partnership with Lighthouse,” says Fr .Michael.
...like any good mother, Mary wants to help her children on earth.
It was June 2001, I was a sophomore in high school and I was serving as aTeen Leader at Extreme Faith Camp, when I stumbled across a book that wouldforever change my life. I had been praying that God would take me deeper inmy faith when my eye caught sight of a small book titled, "TotalConsecration to Jesus through Mary" by Saint Louis de Montfort.
Upon opening the book I discovered that it was a 30 day spiritual exercise.I immediately committed to beginning on the next start date (July 13). Whenthat day came I woke up early with excitement to attend Mass and begin myjourney to consecration. I knew this was a special time in my life, but Ihad no idea just how powerful this spiritual exercise would be.
For thirty days I prayed the consecration prayers and the rosary, and readthe insightful works of St. Louis about "true devotion to Mary." I learnedof Mary's virtue and my heart burned to follow her example of truewomanhood and holiness. It was the first time that I had ever consideredMary as MY Mother.
I was learning of her maternal love for me and of her desire to lead me tothe heart of her Son. As I slowly gave my heart over to Mary, I fell morein love with Jesus. As any good mother would, Mary was helping me todiscover God's plan for my life.
OnAugust 15(the Feast of the Assumption), I concluded my first TotalConsecration to Jesus through Mary with Mass. I felt like a completely newperson and my spiritual life had a depth that I hadn't known before. "ToJesus through Mary" became my new life motto. There was only one thing leftto do... so I went out for ice cream to celebrate!
Looking back, I know that picking up that book twelve years ago was amomentous life changing event. It propelled me into a journey of faith, ajourney that became the foundation for every major life decision I wouldmake. The "Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary" has been revised andexpanded since I first stumbled across it. The "33 Days to Morning Glory"book is based on St. Louis de Montfort's original consecration but alsoadds wisdom from other modern saints.
I am looking forward to renewing my consecration to Jesus through Mary thissummer with this new book. I anticipate with joy journeying deeper in faithwith Mary at my side. I hope that you will consider joining us. Take a leapof faith and you may find that Mary is waiting to bring you to a new depthin your faith life. She waits to journey with us closer to the heart of herSon, deeper into holiness, and to a renewed vision of God's plan for ourlives.
- testimony of Youth Director coordinating parish-wide consecration with33 Days to Morning Gloryby Fr. Gaitley through Lighthouse Catholic Media
Email me to bring the consecration to Jesus through Mary, to your parish email@example.com