My very dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Despite a downturn in my health, nevertheless I wanted to write to you for it has been several months, and leading up to and after Pentecost Sunday the Holy Ghost has put upon my heart these thoughts to share.
Recently, our country celebrated Memorial Day. It is a Federal Holiday, and a day supposedly set aside when we, as a nation, remember all the soldiers, men and women, who have died in battle, to make our country free. And I think it is a good thing to remember and to ponder these lost lives. First, were these soldiers baptized? Are they now in Purgatory or with God in the Beatific Vision? Or, were they unbaptized, resisting the truth even at the point of death on a battlefield?
Many weep on this day, for they recall their loved ones who have lost their lives, and they look at our country, our nation and perhaps they wonder if what their relative died for was in vain. I am writing this on the 60th Anniversary of D-Day and it is very special to me for my own dear father Leonard Joseph Kreke was among those in the Normandy Invasion. His Faith got him through the war and he returned stronger in his Faith than ever before. He prayed the Rosary and Chaplet daily on the battlefield and greatly bemoaned the changes in the Church during and after Vatican II.
It struck me then. How was your Memorial Day? Was it a day of remembering fallen heroes, and praying not only for the repose of their souls, but also for the nation they died for? Did you bring family together, as has become tradition, to celebrate together the end of one season and the on-coming of summer? There were picnics galore here, and lots of boating, swimming, and so forth to commemorate the holiday. Fireworks at night…but somehow I was not reminded at all of the "Star Spangled Banner", but rather the ol' "Razzle Dazzle 'Em" Yep, keep the public at large preoccupied with false, empty promises, keep their eyes on the glitter of what a once great nation we were, and let them never think of what an even greater nation we could be.
With that thought I am reminded of how far our great country has sunk. Is this land still the "greatest" nation on earth? Do we still enjoy the protection of God through the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom our country is dedicated? I peer upon the statues and holy cards of Our Lady of Grace and it is difficult to imagine our Blessed Mother sending out rays of graces to our government on the Federal, State and Local levels when in every aspect we have become an atheistic country, favoring abortion, sodomy, and every type of greed, usury, and calumny. How can there be graces when the seven capital sins are now the seven capital virtues, while true virtue is scoffed at and laughed at by authority both secular and ecclesiastical?
Our Memorial Day was quite different this year. Oh, it dealt with soldiers - soldiers of Christ who, because they are young, might be reluctant to throw themselves into the battle as a seasoned soldier, for they are still in bootcamp and having their problems. I was struck by this and all of the above, while attending to medical emergencies within my family. I mentioned that my own health has taken a downturn, and that is true, for the oxygen is needed more, and a higher dose is needed also, plus I have to constantly struggle with all the regulations of Social Security for even though I have been declared permanently disabled, the State of Missouri doesn't recognized that and therefore, because I am married, receive not one penny in assistance though I had been receiving partial medical care through Medicaid but even that now is being called into question as the State seeks to squeeze a budget while approving so many pork projects from arts councils to building roads leading to gambling entities. But this isn't about my troubles today.
No, the real "memory" of this Memorial Day which Mike and I will always carry with us is that our older son Kevin suffered his first grand mal epileptic seizure just before the weekend and his eeg and catscan diagnosed that after the fact. He's had many problems over his 21 years which the doctors could not pinpoint, and all I can think of that prayerfully this condition can now be treated. Long ago Our Lady said that it would be many years before they discovered what was wrong internally with Kevin and we can only trust in her Divine Son. He is now undergoing further testing and treatment that is necessary for the neurologist to figure out why this happened to him, whether it will happen again, and what to do about it. In that short span of time, Kevin's life changed again, and only God knows if he will ever be the same. For now he cannot drive, which also prevents him from keeping a steady job, and he has been worn out and fatigued since the seizure. The poor kid tried twice to get into college after High School graduation only to miss by a point or two on the ACT tests. When he complains that he can't get a break, we try to point out to him that God has a reason and to look at Job who was so tested by the Lord. Slowly Kevin is beginning to understand this but at his age, the times, and seeing his peers makes it more difficult for him to comprehend why God chose him for this special mission.
Talk about a domino effect. Our younger son Kellin, at the very same time (well, we had enough time in-between events to see to each one's care) suffered some sort of breakdown because of the stress of not only growing up, but, having graduated high school, trying to find his way in life and to figure out what he is to become and if what happened to his brother will affect him. He is a high-strung person, with a triple A personality, and he was diagnosed years ago as obsessive/compulsive. He was making headway in quelling the OCD with its accompanying anxiety while on medication from the psychiatrist during the years from 1998 until July 2002 when we moved here to Kimberling City in August. But he had a difficult time adjusting to a new school, and fell in with the wrong crowd and in doing so, took himself off the medication, feeling shame in having to be dependent on necessary meds. Things went downhill from there, until he collapsed this Memorial Day weekend, and had to be rushed to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri - about an hour and a half drive from here. We live in a very rural part of the state, where, as Mike says, there is not a straight nor flat road anywhere and few double lanes. It took almost eight hours for a doctor to make an assessment of Kellin's condition, and when it was finally completed, it was decided to admit him to do further testing.
Finding a hospital room took him across town to St. John's Hospital, and to the Marian Center - a special unit for stress. It was so sad to see this once Catholic Hospital run by the Sisters of Charity, run now by lay people, and the halls once adorned with holy pictures, crucifixes and traversed by the dedicated nuns who showed such love and care for their patients now sterile walls, and only lay people with a non-denominational chapel and rotating chaplains that might once in a while schedule a priest. Most who were there were motivated by a paycheck (many of them), and little concern for their patients.
With Kevin here under home care, and Kellin under care in Springfield, Mike and I divided our time the remainder of the weekend. I was only able to travel one day up there, on Sunday where we were able to attend Holy Mass at the SSPX chapel Queen of All Saints and have Father Dean come over to the Marian Center afterwards to hear Kellin's confession and bring him Holy Communion. Bless Father Dean for that made our day. This crisis began on Thursday and lasted until the day after Memorial Day. Another family was most gracious in helping by also visiting Kellin or K.J. as he's affectionately known (an abbreviation of Kellin Joseph). That is one reason Mike had to put The Daily Catholic on emergency mode and bless our readers for understanding. He didn't get a lot of sleep going back and forth because with Kevin unable to drive, he had to do all the driving and his phlebitis is beginning to act up quite severely both because he's been sitting too long at the computer and not getting the circulation in his legs that he needs and the added stress. With all this, I sure didn't get much sleep because well, I am a mother and a wife. Enough said. It was important we were there for both sons. But parents don't think of themselves. It's part and parcel of sacrifice which so few of the younger generations understand today.
This happened also at the time when this state has our younger son's Medicaid under review (it happens when the child turns 18 (even though they're a year behind, he's 19 now), so there is absolutely no guarantee that the hospitalization and ambulance ride will be covered, and another reason they jockeyed him across town to where they would accept him with the belief they will be repaid when the Medicaid is unfrozen. The problem is there are no guarantees when dealing with the government and if they don't re-approve his Medicaid I don't know what we'll do because the costs will be in the tens of thousands. The tests given Kevin for his seizure were covered, at least in part, and then came the medication that Kellin needed.
Because of the "frozen" Medicaid, the cost of the medication absolutely put Mike and I in the red. We have just been getting by, truly living our vow of poverty by having no luxuries at all, and stretching a very thin budget even further until it was ready to snap. Well, it snapped this Memorial Day Weekend and only by the grace of God did our 1995 Honda make it up and back. But then, we would not even stop to think of doing anything less for our sons than the best that God would expect.
Now that things have quieted a bit Mike and I felt we needed to share this with you. While a few of you have been very generous in helping to keep The Daily Catholic on line by your donations, many, many of you have helped by prayer (which is truly needed and for which we are eternally grateful), but assume so many more are donating when, in truth, it seems most of our thousands and thousands of readers assume the 'other guy' is donating when they're not. It reminds me of something I heard last week that I would like to apply here: We have good news and bad news. The good news is we have all the money necessary to keep The Daily Catholic going and even improve it by hiring a full-time webmaster, so we can devote our time to building a Traditional Chapel, School and Retreat Center in this area so the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can be offered daily to a packed church. The bad news is the funds needed for all of this work for God are still in your checkbooks and banks. It can't help us do His will if you don't give now. You can't take it with you, but what you give can go a long way towards saving more souls and possibly make your own stay in Purgatory much shorter if it comes from the heart. Neither I nor Mike ever like to ask for money because we perform this ministry solely for the honor and glory of God, never for our own personal gain. But just as St. Francis depended on the charity and mercy of others to build his Order of Friars Minor and so many other saints lived mendicant lives in spreading the Faith, so also in this 21st century the Faith remains the same and the way to evangelize it remains dependent, as always, on the generosity of others. Because of the computers, we had to have air-conditioning and so when the air conditioner went out last month we had to get that fixed. This entailed replacing the old unit. Now we must come up with the necessary $1,500. to cover the costs and excuses that we are waiting for donations until we pay the installer doesn't wash with the secular workers. And that's fine because the air-conditioning men did a good job and deserve to be paid promptly. Bless them for trusting us. In addition, one of the reasons why Mike's at the computer so long each day is that he's been using the old 56K modem which makes it super slow in loading pages and waiting for them to roll out on the screen. Over the last few months it has been slower than ever and the best solution is broadband, which would cut his time at the computer down by three to four hours. But to install that for The Daily Catholic computers will take at least $900. because of our location. Those are just a few of the needs. In the meantime, other bills have greatly depleted whatever cushion the ministry had. Without your help we have to close up shop. And just a few donations will not and cannot bring this apostolate to its fullest potential. Anyone who knows us know that Mike and I have lived the vow of poverty since 1990 (this vow did not include our children) and so we must look to ALL of you for help now.
We have had to put our home on the market, but in this area it may take many, many months for it to sell. Some of the homes here have been on the market for over a year. We don't want to, but medical bills and other unforeseen expenses have squeezed us to the point where we have no choice.
We have spent everything we have, and have even had to pawn what little we had from family, given to us down through the generations as loved ones have passed on. This was necessary to pay for various necessary medications not covered by Medicaid and, with Kellin's latest prescriptions, comes to an additional $350 a month.
Kevin may need hospitalization, and he may, for a time, need an assistant in the home, since my own health will not always allow me to do for Kevin all that is needed...particularly if I do not get to him in time, and the seizure hits him and he passes out on the floor. I just have to leave him there until he awakens some times an hour or more later. We don't know why this happened, why he did not have a grand mal seizure until just before Pentecost for we have been praying for God to grant us signs as to what He wills of us. My Michael has been a trooper but, as I mentioned, his health isn't guaranteed because of both his refusal to worry about himself and the fact he's burning the candle at both ends trying to balance taking care of his family and devoting time to his labor of love - The Daily Catholic and he has just turned 61. Though he won't admit it, his health is not good. As his wife I naturally have concerns for him because he neglects his own health in order to care for his sons and me. To offset the time he dedicates to us, he has to work overtime to keep up with The Daily Catholic for he truly cares about imparting the truth and helping others keep the Faith in these confusing, trying times. He keeps hours on the computer that would tax even a young man who was healthy. Though he so adroitly handled million dollar budgets when working in ad agencies and for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in San Diego, when it comes to asking money for himself, he seems to freeze up and it is left to his dear wife to state the obvious: We need your help!
Yes, we need you. We need you to show the generosity of Christ's own Sacred Heart to a family who has been called to the following vocation: SACRIFICE, SUFFER, and LOVE.
This we do…and we not only accept it, we EMBRACE it, as Christ embraced his Passion. This latter understanding was brought home to us so wonderfully in the movie "The Passion of The Christ". There is no mere acceptance here...there is a total embrace of what lay ahead for Christ as He supped with His apostles.
One day, my dear brothers and sisters, through the mercy of Our Lord, may we all sup at the great feast prepared for all who Love Him, which Christ has gone ahead to prepare for us as the beloved disciple says in the Book of Apocalypse, chapter three, verse 20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man shall hear My voice, and open to Me the gate, I will come to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." We will know one another and greet one another, and for those who have been charitable in giving to the least of Christ's servants, great shall be their share, high their place in the Kingdom that has no end.
For the boys…for medication and food, until the Medicaid gets straightened out in September, we need an additional $500 a month to keep pace with the expenses we cannot meet.
For the ministry, which has so much work yet to do for Christ, for the rebuilding of Holy Mother Church in all her glory for the coming of Christ, after, of course, the fulfillment of Mary's promise at Fatima, we need $1,000 a month. That all totals out to $1,850. a month in order to just break even. Now, that may not sound like very much for many, but to us it is a mountain. Part of the stress our sons are feeling comes from our dependence on the Providence of God to keep us going. We have been doing this since they can remember for we began this ministry, albeit in the Novus Ordo at the time, in 1990. We know God will always provide, but He asks others to help for "the laborer is due his just wages". Each month we are falling deeper in debt in trying to catch up with the medical expenses that mount up.
As I said earlier, it is never easy to ask and this is something Mike especially finds difficult because he trusts that even at the eleventh hour God will always come through. Yet, practicality wise, it is only through others that He can work and if you keep hidden under a bushel basket your checkbook and not share your wealth, then it cannot help those who need you in order to not only exist, but to better strive to keep the Faith alive by spreading the Truths of Christ's True Church. In actuality, operating a web site that reaches 116 countries each month and averages nearly two and a half million hits a month for under $2000. each month is quite frugal and not asking a lot when you consider so many Novus Ordo sites have an operating budget of many times that per month. The reason we are able to do it at such low costs is because no one is paid a salary and Mike's talents cover so many areas that he does the work of four or five people utilizing his God-given talents truly for God. We have seen many fruits and that is what spurs him on. We are making headway with many, and are seeing many who once argued against the Traditional point of view changing their mind, and returning to the reality of the fact that the Faith does not change and neither does the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass passed down from Our Lord to His Apostles through every generation up to present time. That is why it is called the "Mass of All Ages."
Dare we let one soul slip away? Never! And dare we let children suffer in a world that has no true care or concern for their well-being, but drug companies who seek only profit. Please help. I don't know what more I can say or ask. I trust in Jesus to inspire you, and I give this cause to Our Blessed Mother, to whom we and this apostolate are dedicated. I know that pocketbooks may look bare, but if we look just a little harder there will be a little bit to be shared with Christ's little ones. If everyone sends just a little, then no one will be hurting, and the rewards of the ministry belong to more and more. But please don't depend on the "next guy" to help by remaining lukewarm to our needs for lukewarm is what happened to the Church of Laodicia and we know from Chapter three, verse 15-16 in the Book of Apocalypse what God thinks of those who "are neither hot nor cold."
We have made it quite simple for you to help with an easy to use Paypal system where you can contribute by credit card or a check or you can mail us a check. All of that information is available at this site's NEED HELP Page. Won't you please help us in our time of need and at this time when we initiate our first campaign to raise the necessary funds to survive. Mike is going to graphically draw up a heart to illustrate how donations are doing which he will keep updated for our dear readers. God bless you for your help and love. My prayers for God's will in your life always.
Your very little sister in Christ,