Dear Friends,

Too often, people have a very lax and casual approach to the articles of Faith.  One such confusion or doubt  regards the doctrine of Purgatory.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states, “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers for them, above all at the Holy Mass, so that thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God, Heaven” (CCC 1032).  It goes on to say, “The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead” (CCC1032).  “All who die in God’s grace ad friendship, but still imperfectly  purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the Joy of Heaven” (CCC 1030).

People sometimes ask what the supporting Scriptures tell us regarding this beautiful teaching, You’ll need to look them up:

Matthew 5:48                1 John 5: 16 – 17

Hebrews 12:14              2 Samuel 12:13 – 14

Revelation 21: 27           Matthew 5: 26

Matthew 12: 32               2 Maccabees 12: 44 – 46

1 Corinthians 3: 15          2 Timothy 1: 16 – 18

The great thing about this teaching is that God’s grace, mercy and love abound.  God never seems to give upon us.  So, we always aim for Heaven, just in case we miss.  We have freedom to accept or reject God’s love, but through purgation we still attain Heaven.  But, if we reject God’s friendship and fail to convert, Hell is the final destination.

Therefore, we pray for the dead, have Masses said for them, pray for peoples conversions and do whatever we can to increase our charity and holiness before God.  The thought of Purgatory is enough to help us be less selfish.  May we always have the courage to accuse ourselves of our sins and desire with our whole heart to be at one with God ( to atone for our sins). Let us strive for Heaven with our whole heart, mind and soul.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Glenn Fontana


Dear  Friends,

TFOURTH SUNDAY OF LENToday’s Gospel tell of Jesus’ healing of the blind man.  It is not only a parable of physical healing, but a prescription for spiritual healing of those times when we cannot see God with the clarity and vision necessary to find our way to Heaven.

This lack of vision can occur for various reasons. First, in Jewish belief, anyone afflicted by a physical ailment was thought to be a punishment from God, many times passed on as a sin from the parents.  Second, physical blindness could only be cured by God Himself.  Because Jesus cures him, Jesus is equated with God.  Third, the blindness of others, who are not physically so, demonstrates the disbelief and doubt  that God can cure anyone at any time and that Jesus Christ (who is God) cares deeply for this man, where others have marginalized him and left him to die on the road side.

The lesson of the Gospel is loud and clear.  The physical healing shows the power of God. The clouded and visionless people around Jesus are more in a world of hurt than the blind man.  It is to this reality that Jesus teaches. Miracles occur all the time.  But, the greater miracle is an ever increasing belief in Jesus Christ as God and the love  that  that produces.  The blind man is loved by god. How come others can’t see the miracle?  Instead, their doubt clouds them to the miracle and they can’t look beyond the  sin.  Why does God heal the sinner? Why doesn’t God help me the way He helps others? Why am I not as special as the blind man (who obviously is a product of sin)?

Until we let the scales of judgment, marginalization  and condemnation fall from our eyes, a miracle will never be believed and healing will never happen.  God loves us!  God can heal  anyone!  Faith that god is all powerful is a grace.  Miracles are happening all the time!  But, our clouded and presumptuous vison of God disallows such physical and spiritual truths.

How do we overcome such doubt, such questions about God?  We need to make a conscious Act of Faith—trusting God, letting Him rule in our lives, and binding any sin which holds us hostage. Perhaps, physical healings are a bit more rare.  But, spiritual healing is as ordinary as they come— if you want to truly see with clearer eyes.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Fr.  Glenn Fontana

Witness on Forgiveness

Dear Father Fontana,  I met you some 5 years ago when you where the chaplain at Lincoln State Prison, I was an inmate there. At the Mass you gave a homily on forgiveness and I never told you how much of an in pack was placed on me that day. I had one choice to give up the pride and replace it with the Holy Spirit  and that I did… I thought that if I just sat in the side line I could avoid anyone wanting to  help me to forgive, first myself and then the  mistakes I made in my  life and those who I victimized  in life because I would not forgive. What could I say but yes because I knew deep down I was called at this moment and it was a moment of Truth “Yes I would ” came out of my mouth.  I shut everything out of my mind and gave up my spirit of pride and in return received the Holy Spirit in a very special way. As I felt my soul lifted I tried to hold back this exclamation of “Praise be Jesus” and only say it inside but it shot right out of my mouth. “Praise be Jesus” came from my soul, it was as if my soul was just filled up so much that my most inner love for Jesus could not be held in anymore” I paid the price with life behind bars for many years. But Father Fontana I will never forget your spirit of joyfulness every time you came to the Prison to visit and offer Mass for us men. My faith in Jesus  has filled me with amazing grace and encouragement to now stay on the right path with Jesus guiding me along.  I now have a good job and twice a month I go to halfway  house to the inmates released from prison and witness the forgiving power of Jesus to them. Many listen to my words and now I use your CD on Forgiveness  the question Jesus ask Our you better then Your Master? Can you not forgive?   I tell everyone to go to your web site and get the CD on Forgiveness very powerful message.  I just want to say thank you for being you.
Sean Fitzpatrick witness on forgiveness


A Thirsty Soul Needs Quenching
Dear Friends,
in today’s Gospel we read about the woman at the well. The water well was usually in the center of town, But sometimes on the outskirts of the village like in this Sunday’s reading.  It was not only a place to draw water, but a place to gossip
catch-up on what was going on, and to be seen by others. A modern water cooler at work can serve the same purpose.
When Jesus meets this women, she is quite aware of who He is. Although both are there to quench a physical need, the spiritual dryness of this woman becomes the focal point for a challenge and a promise. This encounter demonstrates not only the power of God  to read souls, but to also give remedy to that soul by promising that through genuine conversion to Christ one will never thirst again.  Who doesn’t need physical food or drink.  This women’s concerns are about to be challenged because her sins are as deep as the well at which she sits.
When was the last time you truly let Jesus pierce the veil of pride that covers your soul?  Do you desire a solution to your sin and tribulations? Is there within you to flood your soul with hope and repentance?
These are the deeper questions of the Gospel today.  The interesting thing about Jesus is that He never forces the woman to believe. It is always an invitation.  This is true in every part of Christ’s life.  God doesn’t force His love on us, nor does He force us to love Him.  God will challenge us, but will also make a promise:  That if you remain thirsty for God, he will flood you with a remedy that will satisfy even into eternity.
In our spiritual lives, becoming sponges drinking up every grace and mercy Christ affords us, changes us, Our acceptance of Christ’s promise by confessing our sins, renouncing our past and hoping for a new life in Him allows us to trust that when God challenges us and invites us to change, the promise will be that we will never thirst again.
May Lent continue to be a challenge.  May that challenge turn into acceptance of His promise: You are mine and I never want to let you go!
Yours in Christ,
Father Glenn Fontana

Thoughts for Lent

Dear Friends,
With Lent 2017 upon us, I thought it would be nice to answer some questions about this season and explain what one can do to make a good Lent. I hope you find this helpful.
1. What is Lent?
Historically, Lent is the 40 day period before Easter, excluding Sundays. Why are Sundays excluded? Because Sunday is the day that Jesus rose from the dead, making it an inappropriate day to fast or mourn for our sins.
2. Why is Lent Forty Days?
The time frame of 40 days is a traditional number for disciplines, devotions and preparations in the Bible. Moses stayed on the Mountain, Agdad, for 40 days. Nineveh was given 40 days to repent. Most importantly, the Jews spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying as did Jesus before He began His public Ministry.
3. What is a Day of Fast and Abstinence? Fasting is required of those 18—-60.
Fasting constitutes the eating of one normal meal and 2 snacks which cannot equal another meal. Children are not required to fast, but are to be trained in the Spiritual practice. Abstinence is required for Catholic ages 14 and up. This means no meat on Ash Wednesday or the Fridays of Lent. Fasting is to be done on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
4. What can we do to make Lent holy?
We can give something up, eat less, be more charitable in speech and almsgiving. We can go to Confession, fast, go to daily Mass, attend Stations of the Cross and Benediction, pray more, read the Bible, be more generous and kind, and much more. Acts of self-denial help us to appreciate the sacrifice Christ made for us to overcome spiritual flabbiness. By attending to these spiritual habits, we train the spirit to embrace good habits, thereby training ourselves to resist temptations when they come.
May your Lent bring you to Easter with a new joy and happiness in Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Glenn Fontana
Spiritual Director

Thought for today

Posted: 25
Jan 2016 09:15 PM PST

So in everything, do to others what you
would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

– Matthew

Today’s commentary
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
, Author of Making
Sense of the Bible

We often hear this, but do
our actions match with our understanding? What would happen if we looked to
others with the same passion and creativity that we apply to ourselves when we
want to get ahead? The impact could be life changing for everyone

Share your stories!

Would you like to contribute your stories to the Mary’s Helpers Website? We
would love to hear from you! Simply email your story to mhiupdate@gmail.com and share your story
of faith and hope with the world!


PJ McGhee






Miracles in your life?

Do you see them? I have so many occasions in my life to have witnessed
miracles that it leaves me breathless. My recovery from alcoholism is one of
them. One of the agents who helped me with that was Father Glenn. He entered my
life at a time when I needed Christ more than I ever thought I could. What
miracles have you seen in your life?


A Healing Testimony

Hello all! These are scans of a testimonial that Stan Budinzski sent to brother Karl this spring. Mr Budinzski gave this testimony in regards to his journey with cancer. Please enjoy!