On October 5, 1938, a young religious by the name Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of WWI. Sister had had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humblest of tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden, or as a porter.
On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind. Saint Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:
"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, 'paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'"
Some time later, Our Lord again spoke to her:
"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."
Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved. Used with permission
Dear Friends of the Divine Mercy Retreat Center and Family Camp,
We have stepped out of the boat in faith, again ~ and The Lord provides!!!
Last month, through the grace of God and your generous financial support, we entered into the Master Planning Phase of the Divine Mercy Retreat Center and Family Camp! Praise HIM!!!
It was on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19th, when we officially hired an incredibly gifted church architect named John Clements with Jackson & Ryan Architects, Inc. Are you beginning to see how the Holy Family has all of this covered??!! We think John is THE best church architect in the entire Houston metropolitan area and he has already begun working on the 4 month long process to develop the Master Plan for the Retreat Center and Family Camp.
When the completed Master Plan becomes available to view, we will post it on our website for everyone to see! www.divinemercyretreatcenter.org
Currently, however, we do have a financial deficit of $5400.00 needed to pay off the balance for these Master Planning services. You can make a donation online at our website right now or send a check in the mail to the address listed below. We thank each one of you for your generous support of prayers and financial gifts. Your gift is a tax-deductible donation.
We are SO excited about this step in Master Planning!!! We trust in The Lord who is the Great Architect. As always, we'll keep you posted! And . . .there's more BIG news coming in May! The Lord is blessing and moving and working this Easter season!
HIS peace and joy be with you ~
Andrea, David & Michaela Barta
Happy Easter dear friends of the Divine Mercy Retreat Center! We pray your Easter season and Divine Mercy Sunday have been beautiful and holy, peace-filled days!
Our first Easter blessings is here! We are overjoyed to announce that Fr. Roy Oggero, CSB has joined the Board of Directors of the Divine Mercy Retreat Center!
We've asked that Fr. Roy continue to pray for us & this mission and serve as "spiritual director" for the Board. (Exactly what he's been doing all along with David, Michaela and I on this holy project ~ even long before we formed the non-profit corp last December!)
Welcome Beloved, Fr. Roy! And thank you, Jesus!!!
Abundant Easter graces and tender mercies on us all ~ and on the whole world ~
~Andrea, David & Michaela, founding family
Board of Directors:
Mr. David Barta, President
Mrs. Andrea Barta, Treasurer
Mrs. Stacy Mikolas, Secretary
Miss Mary Michaela Barta, Director
Mr. John Masterson, Director
Rev. Fr. Alvaro Interiano, Director
Rev. Fr. Roy Oggero, CSB, Director
The Landing Page for the Divine Mercy Retreat Center website is now LIVE on the world wide web!
The DMRC can now take online donations through our website! And, you can also send us your contact information to stay up-to-date on our progress.
Our Lord is continuing to move this project forward in wonderful and often times miraculous ways! Here's the weblink: www.divinemercyretreatcenter.org
In case you have not heard the recent good news, the IRS already approved the Divine Mercy Retreat Center as a 501(c)3 tax exempt, charitable organization! The government granted 501(c)3 status within 13 days of application. Totally unheard of! Thank you, Jesus!!!
We're excited to see your financial support through the online site! All donations are tax deductible and your information is secure and confidential. Please also help us spread the word and share the website: www.divinemercyretreatcenter.org The full, working site is under construction with our creative partnership team and will launch in another 7-8 weeks.
Thank you so much for your generous support and continued prayers! The Holy Spirit is moving!
Blessings & mercy be yours ~
Praise Report! . . .Y'all told me Jesus would "run fast" with this project. I just didn't know HE was going to sprint the whole way!!! Praise HIM!!!
Hold on. . . here goes . . .
Effective this past Thursday, January 28, 2016, we officially entered into the creative partnership with Marcellino D'Ambrosio of D'Ambrosio Creative! Work begins this week and it's approx. a 2 month process ~ with lots to be produced and accomplished!
Effective this past Friday, January 29, 2016, our CPA, Noel Mascarenhas, officially completed and filed for our 501(c)3 tax exempt status with the IRS. BE PRAYING CONSTANTLY ABOUT THIS!! Noel advised it might be 7 months to get a response. I'm begging Jesus to get this done for His DMRC in just 3-4 months.
3. Business CARDS
Also this past Friday, DMRC business cards went to print! Thank you, Fr. Alvaro Interiano for designing the card! We are spreading the Divine Mercy message just by having Jesus' image on the beautiful business card ~ in English and Spanish. Jesus promised graces even to those who look lovingly and ponder upon His image.
4. DIVINE MERCY CONFERENCE
Effective Sunday, January 31, 2016, Sally Flowers with the Archdiocesan Divine Mercy Ministry Team has agreed to let us announce the Divine Mercy Retreat Center at the "Divine Mercy Rays of Enlightenment Conference" held at Christ, the Redeemer Church on March 12, 2016 with approx. 300 attendees!
I'm still overwhelmed at how fast this is moving. Please pray for me and David, too! So, dear friends . . . take your vitamins and do your push-ups! ;) St. Paul, pray for us to have the stamina to run the race and finish well as you did!!
THANK YOU, JESUS and MARY, FOR YOUR MANY GRACES AND BLESSINGS!!!
Andrea and David
Hello Dear Friends!
We have some glorious news to share with you!
For about 9 months now, David, Michaela and I have been praying and fasting and praying and discerning and working and praying and praying some more . . .about a dream and desire to build a Retreat Center and Catholic Christian Family Camp consecrated to Our Lord in HIS Divine Mercy and to the Blessed Mother!!
Last week on Tuesday, the opening day of the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis and on Our Lady's Feast Day of Her Immaculate Conception, our new non-profit business, the "Divine Mercy Retreat Center", was formally approved with the State of Texas! We are official, we have formed a Board and we are moving forward! The Lord had been opening door after door. It has been AMAZING and we are overwhelmed at HIS goodness and mercy!!!
The next steps
Since everyone asks!
We are discerning where Our Lord wants HIS Divine Mercy Retreat Center. This is HIS Retreat Center (not the "David and Andrea Retreat Center". It is HIS!) and we know HE has ordained this and has picked-out the land and has it waiting for us to develop/build for HIM. We have our eyes on 2 potential, country acreage properties ~ and, ideally we hope to have 50-100+ acres or even 100-200+ acres. But, we are still open to and praying about whatever presents itself! Call me if you have land and want to talk about it!
Our amazing CPA, Mr. Noel Mascarenhas, is continuing to work on the final version of the Bylaws and Resolutions for the non-profit corporation. We have already obtained our EIN number and domain names (professional web design to hopefully begin in early 2016), and we are preparing to begin working with donors very soon. Per the professional recommendation of the CPA, we need a list of donors to submit with our 501(c) 3 filing. All Donations ~even in amounts of just $5 to $1000 are helpful to bolster our final approval with the IRS. Checks are made out to: Divine Mercy Retreat Center. You will receive a letter of donation and it is tax-deductible per our CPA.
And "yes", all of this info can be shared publicly now! Fr. Drew, our pastor at St. Laurence, fully knows about our plans and gave us his blessing several months ago! Thank you, Jesus!!! Feel free to spread the good news with anyone you know who might want to help make this a reality! And, please, please keep this holy endeavor in your prayers!
We have lots of hard work ahead of us. But, nothing is impossible with God! The Divine Mercy Retreat Center and Catholic Christian Family Camp are going to be beautiful, natural, welcoming, hospitable, holy places of great love and mercy and healing for God's people, for married couples, for children and for families! All for the Glory of God!!
Jesus, we trust in You!
The Bartas ~ David, Andrea and Michaela