Preventing Evil Doing Good, - Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos



Preventing Evil Doing Good, - Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
National Shrine of
Blessed Francis
Xavier Seelos
In the Redemptorist Church
of Saint Mary’s Assumption
Volume LIII
Number 11
919 Josephine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
“ D i alogue
H o mi ly! ”
“In some ways, it’s
funny for me to be here
from Rome preaching
to you. You are the
experts on Father
Seelos. You’re here
today because you know
him personally, and very
well. . . . Your lives are
a witness to your faith
and your friendship
with him. You are the
living homilies to just
how relevant is the life
and witness of Father
Seelos today. Keep
up that witness. Let
the world know the
difference he makes
as we move toward his
Photos: Bill Coskrey, Kim Bourgeois
(504) 525-2495
November 2014
Doing Good,
Preventing Evil
After Saint John Neumann was relieved from the
office of Vice Provincial — and not long before
the formation of the Redemptorist mission
team — Seelos evidently desired that they pair up
to conduct parish missions. On January 30, 1850,
Neumann wrote a lengthy letter to Seelos, his
onetime mission partner:
“I agree perfectly with Your Reverence. I wish we
could busy ourselves more with the giving of missions,
but where shall we give them, since no one requests
them, outside of our own mission stations? . . .
During the ten years which I have so far spent in
the [Redemptorist] Congregation, I have arrived
at this conclusion: If a missionary is sincerely
and honestly motivated by a desire for the glory
of God and the salvation of our German people, he
will do a lot of good, but more than that, he will
prevent a lot of evil. My dear Father, we ought to
be persuaded of this and thank God that His arm
has not been shortened. If, after a few sermons
and confessions, there is no apparent improvement
among the people, still, they will have been stopped
Superior General, Most
on their way to perdition. Even if the seed falls on
Reverend Michael Brehl,
good ground, it will take time to sprout, and still
at the Seelos Mass in
more time to bring forth the desired fruit. With
New Orleans,
regard to this, we are a bit childish in our viewpoint.
October 5, 2014
It is as if we planted a cherry stone in a flowerpot one day, and the next we looked to see if it
had sprouted or was even some inches above the
ground. In this way God likes to keep us humble.
My dear Father, whenever we feel a great desire to
help the most abandoned, let us be ready to go to
their aid if we are sent, but in the meantime let us
pray that the Lord
may help them in a
more ordinary way.
Since we cannot do
more than pray and
do penance for them,
let us take things
easy and leave the
rest to God.”
Mes s a g e f r o m the Edi to r
During my high school years, I was a swimming pool cleaner
for a while, but the job was just too draining for me. Had
I told my employer what I really thought of the job, the
truth would have set me free.
When Pope John XXIII was asked, “How many people work in the
Vatican?,” he quipped, “About half of them.” It is true in life that some
people are hard workers; others work hard at insisting how hard they work.
The industrious Theodore Roosevelt wrote: “Far and away the best prize
that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Francis Seelos would agree that fulfillment is found in purposeful
activity; but he would also say the same for ordinary occupations and routine
tasks. He was convinced that menial jobs—and even hardships of whatever
kind—became purposeful when viewed as opportunities to show God our love.
He advised his two sisters in religious life, “To be faithful in little things:
never to do mechanically and superficially the most insignificant tasks and
those that recur daily, but with a view to God who in everything sees into our
hearts; to perform every job willingly and exactly under the eye of God. To
be faithful in little things, especially in our crosses and sufferings, wherever
they may come from; to see them as coming from divine Providence, and
always to say: ‘This is good for me. This is how God wants it. This is how
God lets things happen. This is how he wants me to do penance for former
frivolities. This is how he is trying to make me holy. May God be thanked.’”
This outlook helps explain why Seelos possessed such an astonishing
work ethic, and also why he willingly accepted difficult duties. The first
biographer of Seelos wrote that “he was very thrifty with his time, for
he had pretty much made it a hard and fast rule not to waste a moment
of time.” “He never indulged in indolent rest and comfort. Desirous to
imitate the virtues of his beloved saints, he read their lives not only with
intense concentration, but also made notes of them, in order to impress
their maxims more deeply upon his mind, and in this way he sought to avoid
any waste of time. Not a moment was to be lost for him.”
According to Father Joseph Wissel, “You had to be very careful in his
presence not to mention the hardships of a certain work that you were
about to undertake; otherwise, you heard right away: ‘Let me do it. I’ll do
it.’” Likewise, Father Benedict Neithart related, “He usually occupied the
last and hardest confessional in the church. . . . He was always the first to
enter and the last to leave the tribunal of penance, and when others were
backward in this holy work he would scold them as well.”
There are many people who don’t mind going to work, but that eighthour wait to go home is a drain! A German idiom that dates back before
Seelos’ time suggested draining the bathing-tub, but not the baby along
with it. Work without meaning becomes detached from God; it tosses out
the essential component. Seelos inspires us to attach all labors to God
by regarding our occupations as professions of faith, and our chores as
expressions of love. That truth will set us free!
Byron Miller, C.Ss.R.
TO group
Seelos Center
is a gracious,
people and
Photos: Kelly Allerton
they made me feel like I was part of their family. I missed being there
when I left the Welcome Center.”—Vicki Salloum, author of Faulkner &
Friends, after her Sept. 27 book reading and signing at the Seelos Center.
Seelos Center Services
Pilgrimages to Seelos Shrine &
Museum. Call Center: 504-525-2495,
Open Mon-Fri, 9 to 3; Sat, 10 to 3:30.
 Daily Prayer Message 504-586-1803
 Blessings of the Sick with a Seelos
Crucifix in designated area hospitals:
East Jefferson
Gerry Heigle:
Teresa LaCour: 504-887-0214
Ochsner (Kenner)
Linda DiMaggio:
B. J. Chauvin:
Ochsner (Jefferson)
Mark/Monica Surprenant 504-895-5371
Marie Giorlando
Earl Moraga
Dennis Waldron:
Elaine Freeman:
Mary Grace Orsag:
Boniface ‘Boni’ Suire: 337-937-5675
Deacon Bill /Joan Travis: 318-664-7069
Patti Ibert: 337-578-1798
Baton Rouge
Gloria Bacque: 225-753-3800
Mary Haaga: 985-735-1056
Dr. Ann Logarbo:
April Mayo:
Denham Springs
Kathy Newcomb: 225-665-1924
Dan Montz, L.P.C.:
Anne Ritter:
Lacombe/Abita Springs
Billy Bachemin: 985-288-7006
Lake Charles
Lisa Verrette:
David Brumfield: 985-886-9235
Lisa & Eric Johnsen:
New Iberia/Abbeville/Jeanerette
Rachel Gonsoulin: 337-224-7855
Suzanne Pitre:
Gasper Corpora:
M/M Claude Bourgeois 225-673-6688
Shreveport/Bossier City
Tom & Marjorie Rivers: 318-797-3116
Mary Jo Stewart:
St. Bernard/Arabi
Patricia Noote: 504-756-4163
Seelos Center Devotionals
Purgatory-The Forgotten Church:
New 85-min. HD-DVD documentary
questions, Is purgatory real? Can the
living help alleviate the anguish of the
dead? (Donation: $25, incl. p/h)
Meet Our Volunteers
Seelos Oil in exclusive 1 oz. bottle
to be used when praying over people
for healing; to bless family members,
homes,objects.(Donation:$9 incl.p/h) 2014 Seelos Gala Committee at work: Gloria Bacque, Kay Kenney, Anne Batt,
Seelos Blanket: Measures 4’x6’ Diana Maher, Alma Weilbaecher, Barbara Wheeler, Liz Mixon, Nick Punch, Olivia
100% cotton. High quality woven Bourgeois. Not shown: Mary Biundo, Jane Fountain, Joanna Giorlando, Joanne
dyed yarn. Handwash/machine Marier, Fr. Miller, Maria Pellerin, Arlene Rogers, Sharon Wilde, & Gina Wright.
washable.(Donation: $150, incl. p/h)
3rd Class Relic Cross: 4” wooden
crucifix touched to Seelos’ original
cross & touched to a rare hair clipping
preserved at the time of his death
in 1867. (Donation: $10, incl. p/h)
Seelos Perpetual Mass League:
one-of-a-kind lasting remembrance
for you or for someone dear, living or
deceased. (Donation: $25, contact
Seelos Ctr. or website for enrollment)
Recommended Reading
Fearless, a new book by Alice Camille & Paul Boudreau,
inspires readers to fearlessly live their own faith by
telling the fascinating stories of the saints of America.
The chapter on Seelos reads, “Every year, thousands
flock to what is now the shrine of a man the Church calls
blessed, to connect with his holiness and seek healing.
New Orleans was his last assignment; it promises to be
his best.” (Softbound, 207 pages. Donation: $19, incl. p/h)
Special $20 offering
to enroll deceased
loved ones in
Perpetual Mass League
only during November
in honor of
All Souls Day!
Seelos Center News
Faulkner & Friends, by Vicki Salloum. Set in the New Orleans Irish
Channel, fictional characters in this
new novel are devoted to Fr. Seelos
& his shrine. Softbound, 167 pp.
(Donation: $17, incl. p/h)
A monthly newsletter for friends of
Denver Provincial Superior:
Very Rev. Harry Grile, C.Ss.R.
Seelos Center Executive Director / Editor:
Rev. Byron Miller, C.Ss.R.
Seelos Center Administrators: Joyce Bourgeois,
Olivia Bourgeois, Nick Punch, Maureen Vicknair
Vice-Postulators: Frs. John Vargas & Byron Miller
Seelos Center News (USPS 4472) published monthly
by the Redemptorists / National Shrine of Bl. F.X. Seelos
Subscription is $12 per year.
Special $10 offering
Seelos Mug: 11-ounce ceramic mug
for One-Year Mass
with easy grip handle, has color image
The Seelos Shrine is a member of the National Assoc.
League enrollment.
of Shrine & Pilgrimage Apostolate (NASPA)
of Seelos on one side and his reliquary
on the other. (Donation: $12, incl. p/h) SHRINE ASHRINE AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO area STUDENTS
Gold Seelos Medal: 14 karat yellow
gold, approx. total weight 0.34 gram
with heavy gauge O ring. Makes a fine
gift & keepsake. (Contact Seelos Ctr.
or website for availability and pricing)
.999 Fine Silver Seelos Medal
Round, 3/4” dia., with loop; brushed
image with polished reverse & edge.
Marked with .999 FS on reverse top.
(Donation: $63 - includes p/h).
A Seelos Vigil Candle will burn
near his sacred resting place in Seelos
Shrine, New Orleans, for a $3 offering.
2nd & 3rd-Class Relics/ Seelos
Pamphlets & Prayer Cards also in Spanish
& Vietnamese. Call Seelos Center, 504-5252495 or 2499. Currently, Seelos 1st Class
relics are unavailable.
New Seelos Statue Shrine Ornaments
Exclusive 7-inch
devotional statue
of Blessed Seelos.
Fine coloring and
detail, resinstone mix.
Base reads
“Father Seelos”
($28 incl. p/h)
Underside stamp:
Maple wood
engraved angel
keepsake reads,
“Bl. Seelos
New Orleans.”
4” x 2.75” gold/
white ribbon.
plastic goldcolored ornament
reads, “Father
Seelos Shrine,
New Orleans.”
3.2” diameter,
Both ornaments for
$15 (incl. p/h)
irvine, ca
All praise and glory to God through the
intercession of sweet and merciful Bl.
Seelos! My daughter suffered a back
injury during dance class. She was in great
discomfort and had a knot in her back from
a muscle injury. We prayed and I applied
the Seelos holy oil and crucifix. Within the
hour, the pain and muscle knot were gone,
and she was restored to full range of motion.
metairie, la
I injured my shoulder and was in constant
pain. I asked Jesus through Bl. Seelos to
heal me without surgery. It has been one
month since I fell and the pain is practically
gone! I believe that I am being healed. Thank
you and the Shrine for all your good works.
fairhope, al
My grandson was born in January. He
stopped breathing and was seizing on the
first day of his life. He was transported
to a hospital in Florida where an MRI
indicated a form of pachygria or “smooth
brain.” Doctors told us he would have
special needs, have some form of epilepsy,
and “probably never walk or talk,” due
to a neuro-migrational disorder probably
caused by a seizure in the womb during
the first trimester. The Seelos prayer group
(of which I have been a member for four
years) had been continually praying for him
since birth. He now has a normal 6-monthold brain. The missing ridges and folds
from his previous MRI are now perfectly in
place. The fluid around his underdeveloped
brain is now gone, and it is normal size.
No abnormalities are detected in the
second MRI. The pediatric neurologist
said that there is no medical explanation.
covington, la
Six years ago, my 21-year-old son took
a temporary job with a roofing company.
He was on the roof of a five-story building
when a small section of the roof collapsed.
He fell four stories onto a concrete platform
that was about 15 feet above ground
level. Trauma physicians said the chance
of survival at that height (between 38
to 42 feet) is only about 30% and that
most suffer extreme injury with long-term
residual effects. My son’s injuries included
fractured pelvis, hip, sacrum, lumbar spine,
and wrist. He required trauma care, two
10-hour surgeries to spine and pelvis, and
three wrist surgeries. He was at high risk
for spinal cord injury and paralysis. He was
in intensive care for 10 days, hospitalized
another week, in rehab for 5 weeks, then
confined to bed at home for 3 months
before progressing to a wheelchair, walker,
cane, and eventually independence. When
he was first hospitalized, our friend Carol
called the Seelos Center to ask for prayers
and he was visited by several people from
the Center who prayed over him and left
a relic, which we kept with him throughout
his hospitalizations. I found great comfort
knowing that, even when I was totally
exhausted or overwhelmed, Bl. Seelos was
watching over him and praying when we
couldn’t. My son’s complete recovery is a
miracle. Today he is independent, working,
soon to marry, and living a productive life.
I will be forever grateful to Bl. Seelos for
his intercessory prayers and to our most
gracious loving Lord Jesus Christ.
covington, la
The neuroradiologist was asked to confirm
if he still saw a tumor in the brain of a
teenage girl. He was asked because this
teenager received a Seelos blessing and
had repeatedly told anyone who would
listen that she prays to Father Seelos, that
her tumor will be gone, and that the doctors
would not find anything when they tested
her. The doctor said he saw something,
but not a tumor. He explained that he
needed to spend more time studying it
and needed to consult with another before
giving a diagnosis. Later that week, she
continued verbal and cognitive tests; techs
told her that she is going back for another
MRI; another 4 hours later, the doctor
finally came in to discuss and confirm his
findings. All the while they were continuing
to prepare her and her family for a very
extensive brain surgery and the probability
for long-term neuro deficits to her shortterm memory. But the doctor couldn’t find
the tumor! He couldn’t explain it! Said
the scans today looked nothing like what
he saw last week. He did see something
however. Said it could be blood on the
brain that happened when she fell the
first time, or that it could be a cluster of
blood vessels that formed. He said as a
surgeon he had nothing to operate on. If
it was pooled blood, it should be gone by
the time another MRI is done; if it is the
cluster of vessels, brain surgery would
be needed, but it would not be nearly as
invasive or risky. Right now, they just can’t
explain what happened over the past week.
How amazing is that! With a big grin, her
younger brother said, “I think Father Seelos
became a saint today.” I cannot agree more.
“fr. seelos has become the patron saint for our parish grief support group.” — lafayette, la
Dear Father Byron: In my own way, I want to support the cause
of Blessed Francis Seelos in gratitude for Graces Received &
Prayers Answered. $_________ to be used for:
 the ministry & maintenance at the National Seelos Shrine.
 my 1-year newsletter subscription renewal ($12)
Make a Self-Guided Retreat with Bl. Seelos: All 6 for $15, incl. p/h
 other item(s) designated below:
 Delete me from your mailing list.
 Delete multiple mailings to
this address.
 these prayer intentions at the Shrine & at weekly Mass for
Seelos Benefactors:
Please make donations payable to “National Shrine of Blessed Francis Seelos”.
Contributions to the Seelos Shrine are income tax deductible, less items purchased.
 Send electronic newsletter
to e-mail address below:
Kindly return in the enclosed
envelope with any corrections or
call 504-525-2495 or e-mail
[email protected]
Allow a minimum of 30 days to
process your address change request.

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