‘Forgiveness Makes You Free’
Copies available at the following links:
Fr. Ubald will be returning to the United States at the end of February and we have some exciting things going on while he is here. There are several firsts happening and hopefully you will be able to join him somewhere along the way. As details become available we will be filling those in.
His new book is launching the beginning of March. It is available for preorder on Amazon now. So order your copy today. He will have his inaugural book signing at the Pauline bookstore in Manhattan, NY on the evening of February 26th, at 7pm. http://www.pauline.org, for more details. There will be other places along the way so stay tuned.
There will be a movie showing for Forgiveness The Secret of Peace at the Fulton Sheen Center in New York on Friday, February 22nd, at 7:30pm, followed by a panel discussion with Fr. Ubald and others. You can go on their website to buy your tickets, http://www.sheencenter.org. We are expecting a sold out show so don’t wait until the last minute. There will be other events and healing services in New York added as we get them confirmed.
Fr. Ubald will be traveling to Augusta and Savannah, GA, as well as, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, areas for the first time. As we get more details they will be posted on the travel page.
We are excited for what is happening in the Green Bay Diocese where the movie will be showing in several parishes around the Diocese followed by Fr. Ubald and Bishop David Ricken coming to each parish for discussion and a healing service.
Stay tuned for more details to come and we hope to see you on the road, at the movies, or at a book signing. Pray for Fr. Ubald and his team and know they will be praying for you.
Hello, this is Heidi Saxton, Father Ubald’s editor from his upcoming book “Forgiveness Makes You Free.” Last June Father hosted my husband Craig and me to the Center for the Secret of Peace in southwest Rwanda. It was an amazing place! He showed us several projects that he had undertaken to minister to the needs of the people there, and it has been a great privilege to share those experiences you here in this blog.
In addition to his building projects and evangelism meetings throughout the country, he has also been actively working to raise up a group of Catholic men and women known as the “Missionaries of Peace.” They have a center of formation, with Sister Victoire (below) teaching these young men and women all they will need to know to be witnesses to peace. Here are a few pictures we took of our time together!
They are a joyful, prayerful, and generous group of people. Listening to them speak about their work, I was touched by their simple trust in God’s provision. They have seventy in formation at present, and it costs about $120 to feed and house a single novice each year. Please pray for them, that God would provide all they need to continue their important work of reconciliation and peace. For more information, or to make a donation, go here.
This is the message from today’s psalm, Psalm 54. How have you found this to be true?
Have you thanked God for sustaining you, from the air that you breathe to the food you eat and the work he has given you to do? Have you thanked him for hearing you, in joy and in sorrow? Have you thanked him for his protection throughout the day?
Thanking God with faith … It is the first key to opening your heart to receive the blessings God wants to give you.
Next weekend Father Ubald will be at the WINE Conference at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Somerset NJ. Please pray for him as he continues his healing ministry in the weeks ahead. Please also pray for his new book, as we (Father Ubald and his editor, Heidi Saxton) will be putting the final edits into the manuscript during that weekend!
If you ask Father Ubald how he heals people — and there have been many people healed through his healing prayer services — he will quickly put things in proper perspective. “Jesus heals. Only Jesus. I am only his instrument. You must open yourself to Jesus, and let him do the work he wants to do in you.”
In Forgiveness Makes You Free, he describes five important steps to opening the heart to Jesus, to making yourself ready to receive his healing: Thank God with faith for all he has done for you. Forgive and receive forgiveness. Renounce evil. Decide to live for Jesus. Receive with joy the blessings he wants to give you — and share those blessings with others, especially through your testimony.
If you have a healing story that you would like to share, either in a future book or on this blog, please send it to Heidi Saxton at heidi(dot)hess(dot)saxton(at)gmail(dot)com.
“Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?”
“God travels the earth during the day … but he sleeps in Rwanda” (Rwandan folk proverb). This “land of a thousand hills” is a place of breathtaking beauty, and yet it is also a place that has known great tragedy. For more than thirty-five years, Father Ubald has worked to bring healing and peace to his people. He needs partners who will stand with him. Will you help?
Please pray for the work of the Center for the Secret of Peace, and if you are able please make your donation here. No gift is too small. Each gift is an answered prayer.
Today’s reading from the Psalms reminds us that our God, while merciful, is also a God of justice. With each refrain, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord,” (Psalm 34), we also read of the God who is “close to the brokenhearted,” who saves “those who are crushed in spirit.” This is just as true for believers in the United States as it is in Rwanda.
The medicine of the Great Physician, the call to forgiveness and mercy, has a bitter taste at first. And yet, in time the sweetness emerges in peace, in reconciliation, even in joy. — HHS
It had been seventeen years since she first asked Father Ubald to pray for her to have a child. Seventeen years since she had offered herself to Our Lady of Love, and asked for her to pray for her healing. Year by year, her hope began to fade. After ten years, she stopped going to church. After fifteen, she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never be a mother.
And then it happened. The stirrings began. And a child was born. She had not been forgotten, though she had tried to forget. She came forward at the healing service at the Center, and asked for forgiveness for having doubted. The small, sleeping bundle in her arms made Father Ubald’s eyes light with joy. “Thank you, Jesus.”
As the interpreter whispered this young woman’s story in my ear, I was deeply moved. I remembered the stories that had been sent to me while we were putting the book together — we needed only enough for a chapter, but could have had enough for a book. Each of those stories was a sign of God’s love, just as this tiny child had been. God has not forgotten the people of Rwanda, those who cry out for justice. “From all their distress he rescues them.” And when he does, they come to the Center to tell what God has done.
What has God done for you? Have you shared your story? Will you share the blessing? If you would like to help Father Ubald continue this important ministry all over the world, please make your donation here. No gift is too small. Each gift is an answered prayer.
Heidi Hess Saxton is Father Ubald’s editor at Ave Maria Press. Father Ubald’s book, Forgiveness Makes You Free will be released in April 2019. You can read more of Heidi’s writing on her blog “Life on the Road Less Traveled.”
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho has become a popular place of pilgrimage for both Rwandans and those coming from every corner of the world to hear the story of the Blessed Mother appearing to those three schoolgirls, warning them of the coming devastation and predicting the genocide that would soon cover the land in a river of blood. Immaculée Ilibagiza, herself a survivor of the genocide and a good friend of Father Ubald’s, frequently leads pilgrimages there. You can find more about her schedule here.
While traveling with Fr. Ubald, he told us the true story of a spiritual healing that had recently taken place at the shrine in Kibeho while he was preaching about forgiveness as the way to find peace. When Fr. Ubald challenged those present to forgive those who had harmed them, a man came forward to give testimony. He said he had grown very hard against God and the Church because of how he had suffered during the genocide, having lost so many people who had been dear to him — including his wife.
Years after the genocide, he had remarried a woman who was a devout Catholic, who had prayed for her new husband to find peace. When she heard that Father Ubald was having a retreat for victims of the genocide, she encouraged her husband to attend — but he refused. She did not press the issue, but continued to pray.
The day of the retreat, the man had a change of heart while he was out milking the cow. He called his wife to bring him some water to clean himself up, and told her that he was going to the retreat. They went to the church together, and when it came time for those who had been harmed to stand up and announce their intention to forgive, he announced, “The first person I forgive is Jesus.” He strongly believed that Jesus had turned his back on him back in 1994.
“Some were shocked, even horrified, that the man would say such a thing … ” admitted Father Ubald to me as he relayed the story. “But the next week he was back. He said to me, ‘Now it is I who must beg pardon. I must say I am sorry for keeping this hatred in my heart for so long.'” Like so many others, he had felt betrayed by the very people who should have shown him the love of God. “That is why we need so badly to build the Chapel of God the Father,” said Father Ubald. “The people need to be reminded that we are all children of one heavenly Father — God the Father.”
He took us inside, where the scaffolding still filled the sanctuary, though the workers had stopped building because there was no money to pay them. “I heard God very clearly tell me that this placed needed to be built. I pray every day that he will make a way for this to happen, so that everyone will hear of the God who loves like a good father.”
“I will help you, Father,” I found myself saying. My husband eyed me questioningly. We have two special needs teenagers and an elderly parent living with us, and I am only working half time. “I believe you have been given a mission from God — and I will tell people what I have seen, and pray with you that he will touch the right hearts to respond.”
If you would like to help, please make your donation here. No gift is too small. Each gift is an answered prayer.
Heidi Hess Saxton is Father Ubald’s editor at Ave Maria Press. His book, Forgiveness Makes You Free will be released in April 2019. You can read more of Heidi’s writing on her blog “Life on the Road Less Traveled.”
For eight days my husband Craig and I traveled hundreds of miles with Fr. Ubald, over bumpy paths and winding roads. Despite its grim history, Rwanda is a beautiful place. Homes with miniature goats hug the roads, as banana groves and other crops line the mountainside above and the valleys below. On each side of the roads, the bright, resplendent textiles of the women’s dresses caught my eye as we drove past. And yet the large plastic jerry cans, carried by so many people, reminded us that few of these places have running water or indoor plumbing. While rich in natural beauty, Rwanda is also a place where many live in great poverty. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Blessed Mother choose to come here in the 1980s, to remind her poor little ones that they had not been forgotten.
We had just left the National Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho, and heard the story of the three school girl visionaries — Alphonsine, Marie-Claire, and Anathalie — who had been visited by Our Lady between 1981 and 1987, warning that Rwanda would become a “river of blood” if hatred was not quelled by love. (For more information about the appearances and visionaries, pick up a copy of Immaculée Ilibagiza’s Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa.) Two of the three visionaries were still living: Alphonsine was a religious sister there at the shrine. Natalie was a nun in Italy. Marie-Claire and her husband had been killed in the genocide.
Not far from the National Shrine, Father Ubald is overseeing another important pilgrimage site, the Chapel of God the Father. He had hoped to open it in time for the 25th anniversary of the genocide this spring, and is trusting God to provide the additional funds — $100,000 is needed to complete construction and to build the roads, toilets, and other infrastructure the government requires for it to be open to the public. (Please pray with us, that God would provide the resources needed, and ask the Lord if you might be able to help by making a donation here.)
Next week I will give you an example of the healings that are taking place at Kibeho and in other places where Fr. Ubald is preaching and evangelizing about the power of forgiveness and mercy to bring healing and peace to those traumatized by violence. (Thank you to Katsey Long for providing these photographs, which were taken during the shooting of the documentary.)
Heidi Hess Saxton is Father Ubald’s editor at Ave Maria Press. His book, Forgiveness Makes You Free will be released in April 2019. You can read more of Heidi’s writing on her blog “Life on the Road Less Traveled.” If you are enjoying this blog series and would like to help Fr. Ubald, please make a tax-deductible donation to the Center for the Secret of Peace by clicking here.