Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Group

“May all who need healing, come to the Merciful Physician.”

Our prayer group was originally formed at the beginning of 2003, soon after the Rapid City Retreat with Fr. Zlatko Sudac. It took us some time to crystallize our direction and mission and in January 2004 we became registered members of the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, assuming a name of Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Group. Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, imparted a special Apostolic Blessing for all members of the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy.

The Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy is a lay ministry outreach of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary headquartered in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Read more about this lay ministry movement at www.thedivinemercy.org/eadm/.

Our Spiritual Mentor is Msgr. William O’Connell.

Our Mission

Our Mission Statement is based on a personal call to holiness of all our members. It and our actions as a prayer group are based on this excerpt from St. Faustina’s Diary:

On March 22, 1937, the Lord Jesus said to St. Faustina, “I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls.” (Diary, 1032) Inspired by this request of Our Lord Jesus Christ, our main mission is to save souls. We do this by the following means:

  • Proclaim the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, and promote Eucharistic Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
  • Offer the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the dying.
  • Bring the Divine Mercy Message and devotion to our suffering society.
  • Meet regularly and:
    • Pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
    • Pray and work for the Culture of Life.
    • Study Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Diary of St. Faustina.
    • Encourage members to participate in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, especially through care of the rejected, the lonely, the disabled, the elderly and the dying.

Our Corporal Works of Mercy

Our group initiated and/or organizes the following:

  • Divine Mercy Sunday celebration – including 40-Hours Eucharistic Adoration.
  • Praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the sick and the dying and for the culture of life during the Eucharistic Adoration on Monday evenings. (Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, imparted a special Apostolic Blessing for all the Faithful who during Adoration of Our Most Merciful Savior in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick and for those throughout the world who are dying in that hour.)
  • Spreading the message of Divine Mercy by making the Divine Mercy Image and pamphlets available for our parishioners and retreat attendees as well as creating the Divine Mercy web pages on the Blessed Sacrament website.
  • Praying daily for our Bishop and all the priests and seminarians from our diocese. Praying daily for other causes, such as peace, military, our family members, etc.
  • Healing retreats (e.g. with Fr. Richard McAlear).
  • Mailing spiritual packages to deployed soldiers.
  • Collecting gently used coats before Christmas for Corner Stone Mission.
  • Helping our parish to organize a celebration of the Year for Priests (this included creating a separate web page).
  • In cooperation with Pro-Life Committee and Knights of Columbus, organize the “Month of the Rosary” celebration in October by praying the rosary before each Holy Mass on weekends.

 Our members individually have been involved in:

  • Preparing our parish youth for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • Supporting pro-life efforts across the diocese.
  • Birth Right.
  • Catholic Daughters.
  • Homebound (Communion).
  • Organizing Eucharistic Adoration for various Church Feasts and other occasions.
  • Obtaining the First-Class Relic of St. Faustina for our church.
    (It is on display in our Adoration Chapel.)
  • Soup kitchen.
  • Jail ministry for local inmates.
  • Divine Mercy presentations to local groups and individuals.
  • Organizing the “Month of the Rosary” celebration by praying the rosary before each Holy Mass on weekends.
  • Knights of Columbus.

Please, call us if you are interested in learning more about the Divine Mercy and how it can change your life.

Meetings

Our prayer group meets twice a month, every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 4:00 pm from September through May. During the summer months (June-August) we meet on every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7:00 pm.

After a short informal business meeting, we gather for prayers of gratitude and petition.  We follow the recommended guidelines for increasing our faith and knowledge by studying Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Diary of St. Faustina, followed by discussion and personal faith sharing.  The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed either in word or in song.

For the business part of the meeting, to study and share – we gather at the church hall, and then we move to the Adoration Chapel to pray.

How to Join Us

If you would like to join us or for more information please call:

Jean Holm 605-399-9522
Frank Matejcik 605-342-6871

A Call to Suffering Souls to Join Us

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

The year after they attempted to assassinate him, Pope John Paul II wrote a letter on the spiritual merits of suffering. He said no suffering is in vain because all suffering can be united to that of Christ. We are a prayer group at Blessed Sacrament parish called the Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Group. We meet twice monthly to deepen our Catholic faith and knowledge of the Divine Mercy message. We share our struggles and joys as we live out our faith together.

An important part of our community includes suffering-soul members. A suffering-soul member of the Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Group is one who consciously and voluntarily offers up prayers and physical sufferings to God for accomplishing our mission, encouraged by this teaching of Sacred Scripture, as St. Paul wrote:

“Since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart…. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal flesh.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure…” (2 Cor 4).”

We realize that suffering-soul members are channels of great spiritual power and thus would be exceedingly helpful to our ministry. We turn to you and invite you to join us as a suffering soul member. We are seeking the support and prayers of at least one suffering soul for each member of our prayer group. If you feel called to share in this beautiful and holy ministry please notify the person who gave you this information.

Whatever sufferings you offer will be most appreciated, especially for souls near death. We realize you would not be able to attend our meetings; however, please be assured that you and your intentions would be continually remembered by the prayer group members.

Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Apostles of Divine Mercy

If you would like to join our prayer group as a suffering soul, please call us.

Personal Testimonials How the Divine Mercy Has Changed Our Lives

Testimonial 1

Divine Mercy: God’s Gentle Touch
By a parishioner

The importance of Divine Mercy was something that came to me gradually.  I learned the Chaplet many years ago and said it regularly.  I started saying the Novena every year.  Eventually, I read the beautiful diary of St. Faustina, which drew me into a much greater awareness of the Mercy of God. I began to consciously choose to believe in and rely on the Divine Mercy and place those for whom I was praying for the mercy of God.

One day as I was driving to work, I felt an urgency to pray the chaplet for the next person to die.  When I nearly finished the chaplet, I arrived at the scene of a plane accident.  The police had just arrived and I was the first person to be stopped by them due to the accident.  I knew in my heart that this was the person for whom I was praying. This incident increased my awareness of how important the chaplet is.  I have often had people confirm that they had a need for prayer, in the hour I was praying for them.

I was among those who rejoiced when John Paul II declared that the Sunday after Easter was Divine Mercy Sunday.  I felt so strongly that the graces of Divine Mercy were flowing freely that day, that I said the chaplet over and over trying to give that grace to everyone I knew.  It was a great privilege for me to spend a week at St. Faustina’s convent in 1992.  Like Divine Mercy Sunday it seemed like a time of great grace, which further impressed on my heart that I can trust Jesus, the Divine Mercy, with all of the needs of all those who I love. Devotion to the Divine Mercy has brought me to an increased measure of peace, it furthered my confidence in Jesus and amplified Joy in my day to day life.

Testimonial 2

How the Divine Mercy Saved My Soul…
And That of My Husband and Son

By a parishioner

It was more than 10 years ago when my mother asked if I had a picture of Jesus in my home. “Mom, I don’t need a picture of Jesus,” I replied in a cocky voice. “I have a picture of my guru and that’s the same.” “No, that’s not the same. You must have a picture of Jesus,” my mother insisted. “And, it cannot be just any picture but an Image of Jesus with two rays.”

That was my first lesson on the Divine Mercy Image even though I never saw it and had no idea what my mother was talking about. I discarded her message but – Jesus had planted the seed.

My husband and I were away from the Catholic Church for 30 years. We left the Church – as most young ones – at the very beginning of our university years. We did not need God. We knew everything! We started living selfish lives, ungrateful to God for what we had. God was the last Person we thought of, even when we needed help, as when our marriage was strained. We were so far away from living in God’s Truth that we never even passed the knowledge about the existence of God and Jesus Christ who walked on this earth to our son.

On my next trip to visit my mom I couldn’t resist asking her about the picture she spoke about. My mother then showed me the Divine Mercy Image. “Why would anybody need it,” I thought. However – although I did not realize it – Jesus was already opening my heart. Before I returned home, I asked my mother where we could get an Image for our home.

Jesus’ Image with its famous “Jesus, I trust in You” invocation ended up in our bedroom. Ignorant of Jesus’ powerful promises regarding the Image I was surprised when a chain of events in my life lead me back to Church only two years later.

By God’s merciful grace my husband followed my footsteps. Shortly after that our marriage was blessed by Church. A meaningful and emotional first-since-high-school confession, followed by Holy Communion, became a starting point of a powerful transformation of our hearts and lives! How God had worked in our lives during these eight years. We began experiencing peace in our hearts. A peace which the world is not able to give. It is beyond our human power to express how one feels when the burdens of life are lifted from your shoulders. The crosses stay the same or they may even increase, but one faces them with a different strength. And, how does one describe the heart burning with a new-born love for God? There would not be enough room in this bulletin to speak of the incredible graces God has showered on us since then.

This testimonial would not be complete without mentioning my son’s story. As we were entering Church he was on the verge of self-destruction. Alcohol, drugs, broken family, homelessness and finally jail. In the midst of these sorrowful-for-the-parents events, our son accepted an Image of Divine Mercy. He held on to it even when he was homeless and even though he did not fully understand whom It portrayed. And he too experienced the Mercy of Our Lord. Now, his life is completely restored. He joined the Catholic Church a few years ago, his children have been baptized and two of the older ones already received the Sacrament of the 1st Communion. Jesus is their Master.

With this testimonial, I would like to bring a new hope into your hearts. If you do not have the Divine Mercy Image in your homes, please accept one. Give It as gifts to others. Your lives will be changed in unimaginable ways. Jesus promised grace and mercy. And, I testify – as a living example – that Jesus keeps His promises.

Testimonial 3

Mercy Witness
By a parishioner

Our Lord said to St. Faustina, “Say unceasingly the Chaplet that I have taught you.  Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.  At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet: or, when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same.  When this chaplet is said by the bedside or a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul and the very depths of my tender mercy are moved….” (Diary of St. Faustina, verse 811)

One Saturday afternoon I began to feel terribly weak and sick.  I felt as though I was dying.  I had never experienced that type of physical feeling before.   I was interiorly prompted to pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for an unknown person who was contemplating suicide.  I struggled through the Chaplet all the while consumed by weakness, hopelessness and overwhelming despair.    I finished the prayer and felt my strength and health return almost immediately.  Early the next morning we received a phone call telling us that the father of my husband’s coworker had committed suicide.  I related the story to the newly widowed wife and shared Jesus’ promise of the mercy and power of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  She was consoled by Jesus’ message of mercy.  In these days, we have been given a beautiful gift of mercy by Our Lord.  So important is this message of love and mercy that Pope John Paul II decided to declare Divine Mercy Sunday a feast day in our Church.  This feast can obtain many beautiful graces if we participate in this celebration.

Testimonial 4

Divine Mercy Testimonial
By a Jail Ministry volunteer from Blessed Sacrament Church

I joined the Hope for New Life jail ministry when I felt that the call for me was clear; it was at the very beginning of its operation. At first, the volunteers were concerned about finances and what to present to the inmates (women only at that time), and how it would affect them. In very short time, this ministry had operating funds and a growing number of members. Everything seemed perfect and was just how God had planned it from the beginning.

In the process, I was introduced to the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN and saw a couple of different versions. Both were very powerful and took me by the heart. As our Ministry was building, I decided to present this as one of my first core subjects when two other members were with me.  Bobbie, an inmate, was present and very anxious and distraught about her whole life situation. You could visibly see the discontent in her. After we talked to the inmates about the promises associated with Divine Mercy, including the Divine Mercy Chaplet (how it came about, and what it is truly all about), we sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Song according to the CD by Trish Short. We focused on the Sorrowful Mysteries each decade and that – combined with the meditations from the St. Bridget one-year Prayer – was about as powerful as we could get. When we first started the song, it was very noisy in the cell block. By the time we were done, you could hear a pin drop from across the room. There was not a dry eye in the room from most of the inmates that attended that session, and when we were singing it, I to this day believe that I heard angels singing with us. It was the most beautiful and sensational Chaplet that I ever prayed. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the effect it had on several of the inmates was life changing.

One day, I was at a 3-in-1 conference in Watertown, SD where I met Trish Short and told her about the impact of the Divine Mercy Chaplet on the inmates that we presented it too. She was very interested in getting testimonies from these people about how it changed their lives. So, we obtained a testimonial from Bobbi, who is presently at a prison in Arizona.

Here is Bobbi’s testimonial:

A Testimonial about the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Song

The first time the Divine Mercy Chaplet was presented to me in prison, I felt all the fear, pain and hurt inside roll down my face with the tears from my life’s struggles and failures. As I sang each word, the passion of the Chaplet lifted me and filled me with an ease of warmth and love pulling me from deep inside my broken spirit. Each verse built hope, self-worth, and strength within me, but most of all forgiveness of myself as well as others.
It has been a life changing experience for me my very first day and has touched my life each and every day since. Every day I’m still in prison and long for my children, I pray to the Lord, who I know is always with me, “Jesus, I trust in You.” I know that I am blessed by His love and each day I take my step towards home in His faithful love.

When Trish Short read this, she wrote me:

“I will find a way to use it (Bobbi’s testimonial) because it is BEAUTIFUL!!!   PRAISE GOD! … When we rebuild some of our internet promotional pages, I am going to be sure to make use of Bobbi’s testimony…it will not go to waste!”

I am writing this testimonial about Jail Ministry to lift each of us to the level of happiness that God presents to us for doing his works. It is a great reminder of why I was called to this ministry and why I love it so much. I hope this helps all of us to remember what we are called to do and that the rewards are far beyond any grace that we recognize.  I thank God for this ministry and all of those that we serve. I thank the Holy Spirit for filling us with the words that we need to get the message out. God bless all of you.

Testimonial 5

A Testimonial of Hope
Written by an inmate from a prison in Phoenix, AZ
who received the Divine Mercy Image
at Pennington County Jail from Jail Ministry volunteers

”Yes, the words of St. Faustina truly are very meaningful; I am so glad that some of the inmates [at Pennington County Jail] were able to accept Jesus into their lives by this Image. It’s beautiful to see that He has such strength, hope in His Image – you can feel it inside of you. That is how I see Him when I look at the Divine Mercy Image of Jesus: Jesus, I trust in You. I also have it hanging in my room/cell.

”As for right now, I do not have a clue to what will happen when I get out; I have no place to live, and I will start from scratch on a new life. I am grateful with that. I will do the halfway house first. I will have to find a job. I will leave here with a pair of sweats – that is all I own. That is what I will wear to this halfway house until I get some clothes, and I will work there until I get enough money to get an apartment or place of residence, or I will go to the Women’s Shelter until I can get a place to live. Whenever I get a good job and a good home I will work on my children. So, I still have a lot ahead of me.  Yet, I’m not worried. I know that as long as I’m on the right path with God, things will go when it’s His Will. I just got to keep doing what I’m doing. Stay Positive. I don’t want to be around people who use drugs or alcohol or [others] who can in any way damage my sobriety and freedom. I choose to be positive and be around drug-free, positive people in my life. I don’t want to lose my children or my freedom again. And, as long I am able to put the Lord first, I know I can make it. He [God] has truly changed my life; I am a better person, I’m stronger, I’m more beautiful inside and out than I thought was possible. He has brought great gifts into my life. I rejoice in His Name. I still cannot believe I am so blessed; I have to pinch myself sometimes. He does love unconditionally. I’m a living proof, witnessing His love.”

Promises of Divine Mercy Relayed to St. Faustina By Our Lord, Jesus Christ

The mission of St. Faustina was recorded in her Diary which she kept at the specific request of the Lord Jesus and her confessors. Our Lord communicated that mercy is the greatest attribute of God* (Diary of St. Faustina, 301) and Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. (Diary, 83)

The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is—trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. (Diary, 1578)

Our Lord presented the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy:

  1. The Image of Divine Mercy
    St. Faustina saw a vision of our Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. His right hand was raised in blessing, the left was touching His heart. From His heart area, rays of mercy were streaming in two distinctive colors – one red, the other one pale. Jesus said: Paint an image according to pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth and especially in the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary, 47-48)By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it. (Diary, 570)
  2. Chaplet of Divine Mercy
    Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners at their last hope of salvations. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. (Diary, 687)At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or, when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. (811)
  3. Feast of Divine Mercy
    No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My mercy, and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. (Diary, 570)On that day, the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive the Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary, 699)
  4. Hour of Mercy prayer
    In His revelations to St. Faustina, Jesus asked for special daily remembrance at 3:00 p.m., the hour He died for us on the cross: At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in my abandonment at the moment of agony: This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world….In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (Diary, 1320)When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in you. (Diary, 186, 187)At three o’clock, we may pray the above prayer.
  5. Novena of Divine Mercy
    In preparation for the Feast of The Divine Mercy, Jesus asked St. Faustina to make a novena prayer from Good Friday to the following Saturday. For each of the nine days, our Lord gave St. Faustina a different intention: all mankind, especially sinners, the souls of priests and religious, and so on. The leaflet describing how to pray the chaplet instructs also how to pray the novena.I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fount of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need in the hardship of life and, especially, at the hour of death.On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls. (Diary, 1209)By this novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls. (Diary, 796)* Our Lord’s words to St. Faustina are presented in bold type for emphasis.Read more about Divine Mercy Message at www.thedivinemercy.org.