Dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
During this month of November as we dedicate ourselves to prayer for the Faithful Departed Souls in Purgatory we are aware that there are suddenly many additional souls who may require our charitable assistance at this time resulting from the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. As I write, the death toll is above two thousand. May the Lord who is merciful receive our humble prayers on their behalf and bring them quickly to His eternal kingdom. Let us pray also that the Lord will be near to those who mourn their loss.
Eternal rest grant unto then, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Let us also remember at this time the survivors of this storm in this particular time of need. In addition to our prayers they are in great need of our material support as you well know. Many parishes in the U.S. will be taking special collections to assist in this effort. You may also go directly to CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES. I invite you also to read about their efforts in the midst of this crisis on their website.
May Saint Philomena, powerful with God, intercede for us and obtain the protection and the mercy of the Lord.
Reverend Jason V. Kulczynski
National Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena for the United States
February 9th, 1949 - November 7th, 2013
My dear friends in St Philomena,
It is with sadness that I announce the death of Carol Davis. I met Carol for the first time when she came to the Sanctuary in January 2008. She wanted to visit and to plan ahead for a statue of Saint Philomena for the devotees of Saint Peter Chanel Church in Roswell, Georgia, USA. There had been much discussion about the statue and Carol wanted to make sure it was just right! When she saw the statue in the Sacristy she was very content that this was the one they should have. In February of 2009 I had the opportunity to once again meet with Carol when I visited Roswell, Georgia, USA and she initiated a fund to buy the statue. This is when Carol officially took a lead role within the Archconfraternity and became responsible for the devotion of Saint Philomena in Georgia.
Carol’s example has been a great pillar of devotion to Saint Philomena. Carol has now returned to her Father's home and I'm sure is praying for the devotees of Saint Philomena from heaven. Her personality will remain sculpted in my heart as a great devotee of Saint Philomena. When I received the news of her passing, I immediately lit the Sacred Altar, knelt down and prayed. The following morning I celebrated a special Mass at the altar of Saint Philomena in Carol’s suffrage.
I offered mass on the Saturday of her funeral and the high sung mass at the high altar was offered for her on Sunday.
I exhort all devotees to follow the example of her wonderful life. Carol’s name will be written in golden letters in the hearts of all devotees. Now she can rest in the eternal light of God, next to her beloved Santa Filomena.
To give of one’s self to God and do everything for others is a prelude to eternal life.
I asked Carol’s friend, her companion and fellow devotee of Saint Philomena, Jane Gilbert, to allow us some insight into Carol’s life. Jane so eloquently wrote of her friend that I want you to read her own words. Jane and Carol had visited the Sanctuary in May of this year and Marie Burns came from Scotland to meet with the group. Carol had shared her prayer to Saint Philomena on this particular visit: which was that she knew something was not right with her health and she prayed to Saint Philomena asking if it could be revealed to her the origin of her illness. It was revealed to her that same day.
Carol’s life in the words of Jane Gilbert:
"I have lost my best friend and constant companion. Our trip to Philomena in Italy was a gift from God. After that trip Carol went to Texas for treatment and now she is home in heaven.
"Carol was born in Pennsylvania. She moved to Tampa, Florida when she was young with her older brother and sister. Carol was always a strong Catholic. She loved her faith. After high school she started working and met her husband Richard. They moved to Georgia and there had two children, Josh and Jess.
"Carol was wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She always put others' needs before her own. She loved the saints and tried to follow their examples. When her son Josh had cancer she prayed hard to Saint Philomena for a miracle. Her miracle was granted! Her devotion to Philomena increased and a statue was placed in St. Peter Chanel Parrish where a Devotion takes place each Tuesday. Many miracles have taken place at this Devotion. Carol loved Philomena to the end. I anointed her with Saint Philomena's oil each day and we all asked Philomena to heal her, but this was not possible. Carol was ready to go to heaven where she could help God more.
"Carol was a member of St. Andrews Church where she was named Woman of the Year in 2011. She led the rosary each Monday night, taught RCIA and sponsored many new Catholics. Carol led the Divine Mercy each Friday at three p.m., even if she was the only one there. She was also a member of Marian Servants, a group which spends time in prayer and service to others.
"Carol told me when we were in Italy that her only goal in life was to bring others to love God as she did. She was a true example of a woman of faith."
Thank you to all who have prayed for Carol and to the priests around the world celebrating mass for her. Thanks to Jane for this beautiful account of Carol’s life. Thanks to Cara who was Carol’s constant companion and at her side these past weeks. Cara graciously updated us daily and passed on my messages to Carol. This was a blessing. Also thank you to Joe Atkins for his communications. I have no words which can comfort Carol’s husband and family, only to say they are most welcome at the Sanctuary any time and I will continue to keep them all in my prayers.
Sending you a blessing from the Sacred Altar of Saint Philomena
God Bless you
Msgr. Giovanni Braschi
Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
Support the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." - Mother Teresa.
If you can, please send a donation, offer prayers for the works of the Sanctuary and the Archconfraternity. Tell people about them and spread the devotion to our favorite little saint. We have many devotional items available to help support your prayer life: statues, relic medals, cords, holy oil, books, prayer cards, and more. With each purchase, you directly support the Sanctuary. You can view the various items and shop online at www.shopphilomena.com.
You may make a donation in any of the following ways -
- Direct to the Sanctuary:
- By personal check payable to the "Sanctuary of Saint Philomena." For security reasons, please send your donation through registered or express mail to the Sanctuary's address at the bottom of this newsletter.
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- By bank transfer to the Sanctuary's Bank account: SANTUARIO SANTA FILOMENA – fil n° 0007 BANK ACCOUNT: n° 1279013 SWIFT CODE: BPMOIT22 IBAN: IT19L0539275790000001279013
- U.S.A. Tax-Deductible Donations may be sent to the new non-profit set up in the United States:
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- Postal mail donations can be made to: Saint Philomena Sanctuary Support Fund, Inc. P.O. Box 4114 Bergheim, Texas 78004, U.S.A.