Mission » Berichte/Reiseberichte über Gebetstreffen Vassula's » 1997 Reports » USA »
Vassula in USA
July 31 - August 6, 1997
Grace and peace to you from God our Father in heaven. This report is given to you so that
you may contemplate once more the power of the Spirit. It is through God that Vassula
received grace and her apostolic mission to go and pass on the words that God is giving her
and honour His Name thrice Holy. First we thank God for opening the way and for giving her
every occasion to evangelize. If Vassula was sent again in this vast country, it was so as
to encourage the faithful and strengthen them by sharing a spiritual gift. Like our Good
Lord said to her on the 20th December 1996:
"...if I had chosen to send you in this vast nation. so intensively to remind My people of their real foundation and that the Glory descends only from above, it is because the Time is near, the Time of acute suffering is at your very doors now...those evil forces' noose is not only tightening around the,Vicar of My Church, but on My entire Church! no, you have not spent yourselves in vain (Fr. 0'Carroll and Vassula), for I have revealed My Glory in many hearts and I have reminded My people of the power that I wield by giving them many graces..."
This time, Fr. "X" was to accompany Vassula. He himself is an American citizen, though he is in the seminary in Bangladesh. Fr. "X" was already in Europe due to his translation work for the Marian Movement of Priests at their annual retreat in San Marino.
The journey to America began bright and early on July 31. They caught the train at 7:16 AM and arrived around 14 hours later in Greenville, South Carolina. They were met at the airport by their host, Jim Peters, Paula (one of the workers for the conference), and Pat Callahan and Bob Carroll (Trinitas). Pat and Bob remained with them for the whole journey.
Even though they were tired after the long journey and change of time from Europe, it was necessary to sit down to discuss and plan the meeting due to some unforeseen circumstances. This arose when a priest hostile to True Life in God and resisting the Holy Spirit, was able to persuade the local Catholic bishop to "forbid" Vassula to speak at the Marian conference. She was permitted to be present, but not to speak. Since the conference had been arranged at first by a Catholic woman. she felt that all she could do was go along with this decision.
This meant that everything for True Life in God had to be arranged at the last minute. Vassula was only informed about the cancellation a week before. However, God who knows all things, came to her rescue and had already arranged for someone who would be in a position to help her at this critical moment. It reminds us of what the Lord had once said to Vassula, "...do not fear. all heaven is with you. There are many devout men who will help you; be fearless, I am with you..."(9.12.96) This devout man who would save the situation and would host us was to be Jim Peters. Jim Peters, praised the Lord for being chosen and for having been given the opportunity to serve the Lord. He eagerly answered to God's Call. He sacrificed himself for the glory of God. Led by the Spirit of God, he was able to get a nice hall. It had been reserved by a group of Baptists for another meeting, but they cancelled at just the right moment for Vassula to have a meeting on Saturday, August 2, as had originally been planned. The meeting would be hosted by the Orthodox community, but it would be open to all.
The story of how Jim was prepared for this meeting is worth telling here. He is a Greek Orthodox who is married to a Roman Catholic. Shortly before Vassula met at Rhodes with the associations of True Life in God, an Orthodox lady had approached Jim to ask his opinion about volume one of "True Life in God." He read it, and said that it was OK, however he was not really very impressed. Then she gave him book 8. As soon as he read that, he felt that he had to meet Vassula. There was just enough time for him to attend the Rhodes meeting, so he made the necessary arrangements.
Vassula all along felt the urge from God that while on mission, she should speak and not only show herself. God had told her once, when she was in the USA, on December 12, 1996: "...so, go, My daughter and do not refrain from speaking when it wi11 do good..."
This is why God came to her aid in this difficult situation and inspired an Orthodox man, who was not under the obedience of the Catholic bishop, to take over. In fact, when Vassula had found out that she would not actually be allowed to speak, she mentioned it to Tom Austin who was that same afternoon at her house. That same night, Tom went to attend a Eucharistic adoration, and during adoration he remembered that he had met Jim Peters who came from the very same city the meeting was scheduled to be held in. Thus, he could ask Jim Peters to arrange that all those who wanted to hear Vassula would not return home disappointed.
So in just five days, Jim Peters was able to arrange the details for the conference. Jim had already been helping to arrange the original meeting that had been scheduled (the Marian Conference): now he had been called by our Lord to arrange this meeting with no team to help him. Relying completely on God and trusting Him, God showed His powerful Hand to Jim and to all of us, by breaking the barriers that Satan had put to silence God. But God allowed His Word to flow on His people so that they would be healed. Let us join Vassula's acclaim and say, "God, You are greatly to be feared because of Your Power. May You show Your kindness to me when I am in trouble: let Your smile be on me to show to the nations that You are with me." (12.12.96)
On Saturday morning, the meeting with Vassula was announced at the main Marian conference hall. Unfortunately some thought that they would not be able to attend Mass, and so some of them failed to come. However, when Vassula finished the meeting, there was enough time (without a minute to spare) to celebrate Mass for those who wished to attend at the main conference hall. The Mass was in honor of the Immaculate heart of Mary (since it was the first Saturday of the Month).
The meeting with Vassula that morning was truly ecumenical, even more than it would have
otherwise been, no doubt. Jim Peters was able to interest a number of Orthodox people,
including the wife of the Lieutenant Governor of the State. In the end everyone joined
together to sing an orthodox hymn of praise, in Greek. Another advantage of having their own
meeting was that Jim was able to provide a very professional translation in Greek of all of
Vassula's talk. Once again the words of God given to Vassula, come to mind:
At the end of Vassula's address to the people, she stopped and hesitated saying: "I will finish by saying what Jesus had said to his disciples once: I have many things to say to you still but they would be too much for you now". From the audience then came a voice: "Try us!" So once more Vassula addressed the people and taught them how to consecrate themselves! their families and their nation to the Blessed Mother.
After the meeting was ended, Jim Peters announced that there would be a healing service. People came and lined up while Vassula prayed over them, and many rested in the Spirit. While Vassula was praying over people, those that were waiting their turn to be prayed on recited the rosary.
At the end, Jim invited people to leave their names. He plans to organize True Life in God prayer groups according to the recently published booklet that explains how to organize the prayer groups. May the Lord bless him and protect him for all the good work he has done.
However, there was yet another disappointment in store. Before the Marian conference closed, in the evening, a healing service had been scheduled, and Vassula was permitted to take part. Just before it was scheduled to begin, it was explained to Vassula and Fr. "X" that this healing service would consist in several people coming to the front on the stage. There they would simply pray that people would be healed and announce such healings if they believed that the Spirit had made it known to them. Vassula would be allowed to participate. Vassula, of course, immediately explained that this is not the way God has showed her to conduct her healing services. Finally the man in charge said that people could approach her after the scheduled healing service. Thus Fr. "X" and Vassula went to the hal1 with this impression.
However as matters turned out, no announcement was made that Vassula could offer individual healing, and a very clear impression was given that everything was over, so the people left the hall.
During the healing service itself, Vassula was encouraged to participate by saying whatever the Lord inspired her. Vassula clearly understood that Jesus was not going to say anything, but would remain silent. He would respect the wishes of the bishop who wanted Jesus to remain silent at this conference.
This calls to mind the meeting that was held right after Vassula's arrival in Greenville. The purpose of the meeting was to pray to God and make them understand what sort of action to take and how to proceed. During the prayer meeting, Pat suggested that we consult the Bible. He opened the Bible to a place that spoke of how the Jews rejected the prophets. Then Vassula opened the Bible to Chapter 15 of the Gospel of Mark where Jesus is before Pilate. There the silence of Jesus is emphasized when Jesus was questioned by Pilate. But, to Pilate's amazement, Jesus made no further reply..."
It seemed clear that Jesus was preparing through this Gospel reading for exactly what happened to Vassula at the Greenville conference. It was clear that once again, Jesus had chosen to remain silent in the face of rejection.
The next morning, Sunday, they left for Boston. The plane arrived about an hour late, so the rosary had already been finished when they arrived. They were met at the airport by Rosani Kowslik, who had been in charge of organizing the meeting. Several hundred people were gathered together in the hall. There were a number of people who spoke Portuguese, so arrangements had been made for a translator. Vassula arrived in time to listen to the hymns which were sung in both Portuguese and English. Because of the translation, the meeting lasted till it was time for Mass in the Church. However, since a number of people had come from far away and had already attended Mass, Vassula began the healing service for them. Those who went for the Mass were able to come afterwards, and Vassula prayed over them as well. Finally there was a small Mass for Vassula and a few others. This was followed by a very late supper.
At the meeting, besides Catholics and Protestants, there were also Orthodox, including a priest. He was deeply moved, and spent a long time talking to Vassula.
The next morning, Monday, August 4, was the departure for Chicago. There at the arrival gate was Bill Potoglou. He is Greek Orthodox and his wife, Patty, is Catholic. Thus, this meeting also would be very ecumenical. Since Fr. "X" is from Chicago, some of his friends and relatives were also there at the airport.
The meeting in Chicago took place in a nearby suburb, Elmhurst. Almost four hundred people were inside, and about a hundred were left outside for security did not allow more than that amount. There were large glass doors, however, so everyone outside could see, and even hear because of the sound system.
Satan had worked hard to prevent this meeting. Mrs. Potoglou had been subjected to a lot of verbal harassment by a priest on the phone. This reminds us of Jesus' words:"Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you too." (Jn 15:20) Out of respect, Patty Potoglou didn't hang up, on him or even criticize this sort of bullying. However, she did mention that he "didn't like being interrupted."
He was insisting that she throw away all the "True Life in God" books. For these people,
Jesus would say:
Let us learn from the Archimandrite Sophrony, who described how extraordinary manifestations would be treated by the ascetic monks: "...By not rejecting one avoids another peril - namely, attributing divine action to demons and so falling into the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, like the Pharisees who declared that Christ 'does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.' ....the soul can become accustomed to rejecting grace, to detesting it, and grow so used to resisting God that she will thus define herself on the eternal plane so that her sin 'shall not be forgiven ... neither in the world, neither in the world to come.' Whereas the soul that promptly recognizes her wrong-doing, through repentance attains salvation, for no sin is unforgivable except the sin that is not repented of." Read Mt 12:30-32 also.
The meeting, nevertheless, took place and went along well. It was like God telling them: " Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a glad heart; for what you do God has approved beforehand." (Qo 8:7) And that is exactly what Vassula and the family Potoglou did, just before the meeting: they dined with joy and with a glad heart, for in their heart they knew that God was with them. Again, after Vassula's testimony, many rested in the Spirit. Those who had been waiting outside were allowed to come in first, and then those inside came forward. The meeting ended quite late but with great enthusiasm. And as Vassula said to our Lord, we too can say: "You thwart the plans of our persecutors while Your Mouth sings to me songs of deliverance." (27.9.95)
The following day, Vassula, Fr. "X", Pat Callahan and Bob Carroll were once again on the road. This time the destination was Ashkon, a rural community about 70 miles south of Chicago. The town is rather small so the Church was not filled but the Spirit was extremely powerful. In fact, some people were falling in the Spirit even before Vassula could touch them with the cross. Perhaps this was also due to the fact that the parish has perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It was also a very special day, the feast of Our Lady of the Snows, August 5. At Medjugorje, in fact, they say it is Our Lady's birthday. Whatever the reasons, the Spirit was very powerful. There were also two priests who were hearing confessions.
Afterwards, they had a very late supper. Their host, Fr. Jim Hollup, is an enthusiastic supporter of Medjugorje. The meeting had, in fact, a very special message about Mary.
There is another example,of how God leads everything, that is if one gives his will entirely
to His Majesty, and allows God to be his Guide and His Lamp.
Vassula had left behind her usual notes that she is accustomed to make use of during
meetings. Often these journeys are extremely rushed affairs with so many demands made on
Vassula's time and energy. Thus, she forgot to bring the notes with her from the motel near
Chicago. However Our Lord showed them later on that He had other plans: He wanted Vassula to
read a message from volume nine (in the handwritten English version). This had some
beautiful messages on Our HolY Mother, which indeed were an appropriate birthday gift to Our
Lady. The reading made it clear that when Gabriel addressed Mary, he was really reporting
the words of the Blessed Trinity when he said Mary "full of grace", adding "the Lord is with
Thee " This is what Jesus had chosen to read through his instrument:
Then the Lord led Vassula to read out a message regarding His Sacred Heart, reminding everyone of His Divine Heart filled with riches, riches that were kept for our times. This is why the Lord in His Wisdom made her forget her notes behind. Vassula was convinced that the notes would "re-appear" again the following day somehow.
The following day, Thursday, they stopped again at the Potoglou's home for a special visit. Mrs. Potoglou had been alerted by Vassula about the missing notes. Thus, she went to the motel and went through the garbage bags until she finally was able to rescue the messages. It was a fitting ending to the visit to America which consisted of obstacles and triumphs.
Let us finish with an extract of a True Life in God message: