For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: How the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries
- Inside the Ministry: The World of Marian Apparitions
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: Was Mary the Mother of God?
- Bible Boot Camp: Begins January 17
- GNM Videos: A praise report!
Saturday January 1, 2022
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
And Mary kept all these things in her heart, reflecting on them often. (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday: How the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries
As the new year begins, now is a good time to remember what the Lord has done, reflecting on what happened. I’d like to share with you the miracle of how Mary has influenced my life and my ministry, and thus honor her on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. It’s truly an incredibly story how the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries
I grew up Protestant. After my conversion to the Catholic faith in 1977, I had difficulty relating to Mary. I listened to what was said about her by those who had a genuine devotion to her, but it just didn’t seem real, at least not in my life. I learned to pray the Rosary, but it seemed boring and less meaningful than other prayers I did.
After trying and failing for a few years to understand how to have Mary in my life, I gave up and told Jesus that if he wanted me to have a relationship with his mom, he’d have to introduce her to me. A few more years went by.
While I was a staff reporter for a Catholic newspaper (1989), a Marian speaker came to my diocese. It was Wayne Weibel (seen with me in the photo); he had converted to Catholicism after making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and I was assigned to write about his visit. I had already read his book, Medjugorje the Message, and although it wowed me, Mary still seemed foreign and distant. Little did I know, this would be a part of how the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries.
While interviewing the local man who organized Mr. Weibel’s speaking tour, he told me that Our Lady had personally selected me to cover this story. Huh? She picked me? This was not just a decision made by my editor? The Virgin Mary knew I existed and cared about me? What a thought!
As I followed Mr. Weibel from church to church for my article, I questioned him, I listened to him, I prayed with him. After an evening presentation in a large church, I watched people come into the sacristy to thank him for his words. Some of them gave him gifts, such as a crucifix and a picture of Mary. Each time, he turned and gave them to me and said, “Your mother wants you to have this.” Really? Wow! Mary was giving me gifts through these people?
Still, I did not feel any closer to her. She continued to be a stranger whom I knew things about but whom I did not know as a real mother. That night, before I went to sleep, I again told Jesus that if he wants me to have a relationship with his mother, he’d have to make it happen. I was trying my best, but failing.
The next morning, I woke up as a very different person. Don’t ask me how it happened, for I surely don’t know. I awakened with a genuine understanding of who Mary is to me, that she loves me, knows me, cares about me, prays for me, prays with me, and works to accomplish good things for me. She has been dear to me ever since. And the Rosary immediately came alive as a connection between her heart and mine.
The Blessed Mother has been in my life more for the sake of the ministry God has called me to (and will in the future call me to) than for my own personal sake. But don’t get me wrong, she has helped me in my personal life more than I know! I have victoriously relied on the Rosary during the most difficult and darkest times in my family, my work, and my friendships. I’m not one to pray the Rosary daily — I have done it that way but I travel in and out of various forms of prayer, using whichever form comes most alive at the various stages of spiritual growth. But it has been a great weapon that I often pull out when battling the forces of evil. It is a crucial part of how the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries.
In October of 1993, my husband, Ralph, and I attended a Catholic Charismatic weekend conference, which we had not done together for a long time. Note that this was October — the Month of the Holy Rosary! The theme of the conference: “Do Whatever He Tells You” — Mary’s words at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). But we did not yet realize that she was directing us like she had done with the wine stewards.
One of the featured speakers was Charlie Osburn, founder of the Good News School of Catholic Lay Evangelization in Pensacola, Florida. He hooked us with his teachings on radical Christian living and reeled us in. The next year, Ralph and I attended his school.
When I observed the changes taking place within me and the other students, I felt a new passion growing. I yearned to be able to serve God through Good News Ministries because of how much the teachings impacted people’s lives. It was making a bigger difference than any programs I had put on at my parish. I begged the Lord to let me get involved, not realizing that this was exactly what he had in mind.
While praying about this in the school’s small St. Anthony’s Church, I felt the unseen presence of a woman dressed in blue standing nearby me, off to the right. I knew it was our Blessed Mother. This is how the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries!
And so began the beginning of Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay, which grew internationally through GNM.org. For the rest of the story, visit gnm.org/mary-our-patron-saint.
Inside the Ministry: The World of Marian Apparitions
Now that we’ve gone over how the Blessed Mother founded Good News Ministries, let’s talk more about her! Recently, I received a beautiful book, entitled The World of Marian Apparitions, by Mariologist Wincenty Laszewski. I highly recommend it! Here’s why:
The world-changing appearance of Our Lady at Fatima ushered in an astounding series of apparitions worldwide that continues to this day. This book tells their stories.
Our Blessed Mother has been speaking directly to us for decades, and the average Catholic has barely heard about it. This beautiful book is a wake-up call for deeper prayer, repentance, and holiness. It includes:
- Over 400 pages describing the fully documented miracles and visions
- Interesting accounts of 48 apparitions described by eyewitnesses, including non-believers
- An abundance of photos and illustrations.
- Our Lady’s messages, analyzed and quoted precisely.
The book can be used as a virtual, global pilgrimage that will change your life and convince you of how much Our Mother cares about you. To give you a taste of it, I opened up to an apparition that began the year I was born. In 1955, Mary appeared to Sister Reinolda, a missionary serving in Ngome, South Africa. This was the first modern Marian apparition on the African continent.
Our Mother’s messages in this apparition are very inspiring to me because I’m an ex-Protestant who became Catholic due to the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
The first vision occurred on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She requested to be known as Mary, Tabernacle of the Most High. She asks us to follow her example: We are to carry Jesus within us and serve as living monstrances, bringing Christ to the world by revealing his glory.
Mary said, “I wish that more tabernacles be prepared; I mean human hearts. I wish that the altars be surrounded by praying people more frequently.”
Later, she said, “I want to save the world through the Host, my fruit. I am completely one with the Host…. Fearful things are in store for you unless you convert.” The visionary was confused. Who needed to be converted? The Holy Mother elaborated that dreadful things would happen “if the religious do not convert and the world does not convert.”
Furthermore, she said that those who believe and convert would receive a a sign from her: an extraordinary outpouring of grace. “Hurry up,” she added. “The hour is advanced. I must keep back the streams of grace with force because you do not make any effort to help me. I am asking for help from you, my chosen ones.”
What kind of help? “Be hosts,” she said. “Prepare hosts for me — hosts who put themselves completely at my disposal. Only a flaming sea of hosts can drive back the hate of the godless world and restrain the angry hand of the Father.”
The price of this book is US$39.95. To purchase it or to see more, go to sophiainstitute.com/products/item/the-world-of-marian-apparitions. Don’t buy the ebook version. It’s too difficult to use; the hardback is full of beautiful photos and layouts.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
Was Mary the Mother of God?
Instead of saying that Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary”, the New Roman Missal has us saying he “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Why?
For the answer, visit wordbytes.org/faqs/mary-mother-of-god.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
Bible Boot Camp: Begins January 17
Bible Boot Camp is an intensive, 21-part telling of THE STORY IN THE BIBLE.
Have you heard of Fr. Mike Schmitz’s 365-day podcast “The Bible in a Year”? My podcast series “The Story in the Bible” will take you through the entire Bible in just 21 days by relaying it to you as a story. This is ideal for those who have already taken Fr. Mike’s course and for those who just want to absorb the Bible faster. Make a commitment to listen to the daily podcast — a half hour a day — and you will be very glad you did!
This boot camp is a thorough over-view of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, in story-telling fashion. It’s the story of Jesus. It’s the story of salvation. It’s also the story of your own life! Find out how it all ties together. Transcripts with maps and illustrations are included.
Sign up today at elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/eclass.
A praise report
In 2021, we made a huge difference with our videos! Our audience spent 2,460 hours watching, totaling 29.6K views.
The most popular video is A Prayer to the Holy Spirit @ gnm-media.org/prayer-holy-spirit. Published in 2013, it’s been watched 172,560 times; 7,500 times in 2021.
Our top countries for YouTube channel views:
- United States
When you support Good News Ministries with your prayers and gifts, you’re helping us extend our outreach through YouTube and social media.
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
Let’s connect in GNM’s community: See you there!
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.