Timothy Parsons-Heather was sound asleep early on Feb. 22, 1991, when he had the experience he said changed his life.
“I was awakened — not as if you would hear a sound, but as if an impulse came from inside you,” he recalled. “After I awoke, I could hear a voice coming from outside me. It was a pleading voice from a very young girl. There was authority in her voice, even though it was very mild.”
A Catholic Church commission is reviewing the communications Parsons-Heather believes are from the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Within a half hour of that first event, Parsons-Heather called his good friend, William Roth Jr., to explain what had occurred.
“As soon as Tim said what had happened, my mind raced, trying to grab an anchor to explain what he had just said,” Roth said. “And at that moment, the Holy Mother spoke to me and said, ‘You have always trusted him. He has never failed you. Believe him now.’ As soon as I heard that, I felt a supernatural ecstasy, during which I have never doubted in 25 years it was the Virgin Mary.”
Since going to Medjugorje, a town in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1991, Parsons-Heather and William Roth Jr., former Ashland residents who now live in Springfield, said they have been receiving visions of and messages from Mary — communications they recently turned over to Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Springfield Diocese for a commission to review.
Medjugorje has become a popular site of Catholic pilgrimage since 1981 because of reports of appearances by Mary.
Parsons-Heather and Roth said they have experienced visions, miraculous phenomenon, apparitions, prophetic knowledge and daily conversations with the Virgin Mary since February 1991.
“After the initial shock, she began teaching us about moral truth and what kind of people Jesus wishes us to become,” Roth said. “I don’t see mystical phenomena or miracles, per se, as something extraordinary or rare anymore. They accompany our faith. Many beautiful spiritual gifts become part of anyone’s life when we are consecrated in obedience to Jesus through his mother’s guidance.”
A few weeks after first speaking to Parsons-Heather and Roth, they said the Virgin Mary appeared to them at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Ashland.
“We were kneeling in prayer of the rosary at the back of the church,” Roth recalled. “She appeared in the sanctuary in front of the tabernacle, which could be seen through her chest as if it were inside her. During the apparition, the parish priest, Father Murray, entered and proceeded to the sacristy to begin his preparation of the altar for the next morning’s Mass. He did not see her, but she gazed at him intently while he was going about his pastoral duties. As he left the church, she returned her gaze upon us as we prayed.”
From the very first message, Roth said he was inspired to begin an official record of the events and messages, which have been compiled into 12 volumes under the title “Morning Star Over America.”
“That’s the title that the Virgin Mary told us to use,” Parsons-Heather said. “Over the course of the last 25 years, the Virgin Mary has appeared and spoken to us to help complete the contents of the religious works. She continues to appear and speak to us privately for the completion of the subsequent works. We have remained cloistered since 1991 because we were instructed by the Virgin Mary to do so and not become distracted by secular interests.”
Paprocki has established a commission to study the messages from the Virgin Mary.
“The purpose of the commission is to study the body of literature concerning what is referred to as the ‘Morning Star Over America’ in accord with the ‘Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations,’ in order to express a judgment regarding the authenticity and supernatural character if the case so merits,” Paprocki said. “I would advise people to do nothing with the published ‘Morning Star Over America’ works until the commission yields a response.
“This is the only such request for the establishment of a commission to examine private revelations that I have had during my tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, which began in June 2010. I do not have data on the frequency of the establishment of such requests in other dioceses,” the bishop said. “I formed the commission in response to the request of Timothy Parsons-Heather and William L. Roth Jr., who seemed sincere in their assertions.”
Parsons-Heather and Roth said there was nothing in their childhood or religious background that prepared them for what they have experienced in the past 25 years.
“I lived directly across the street from St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Ashland,” Roth recalled. “My dad was instrumental in raising us in the Catholic faith, and he studied for the priesthood before marrying my mom. As I was growing up in the Catholic church, I was an instructor for the Christian Youth Organization for the high-school-age parishioners. I was just a normal person going about normal things in everyday life.”
Roth’s friend, Timothy Parsons-Heather, attended Ashland United Methodist Church before converting to Catholicism in 1979 at age 25.
“The first Mass I ever attended, I was asked to play ‘Taps’ for Bill Roth’s grandfather, John J. Roth, in June 1977,” Parsons-Heather recalled. “What happened was the miracle of the Mass. The most intriguing part of the Mass was the consecration of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. I knew I had found the physical presence of God at that Mass.”
Despite Parsons-Heather being seven years older than Roth, the two became friends in the early 1970s through a common group of friends.
In 1989, Roth, while a Christian Youth Organization instructor, received a book about Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, and that inspired him to visit the holy site.
“It was probably the most profound experience of my life up to that time,” Roth said. “I had grown up being taught about our Holy Mother’s appearances at Fatima and Lourdes, and it struck me that it was happening right now, and I thought that we were very, very blessed to have an event like that happening.
“What I saw was the truth through the faith of the visionaries at Medjugorje. I became convinced that the power to change the world was through the Virgin Mary’s miraculous intercession. I knew it was the gift that the world had been waiting for.”
After Roth returned and shared his spiritual experiences with his family and Parsons-Heather, Parsons-Heather planned his own pilgrimage to the holy site.
“I invited Bill’s father to join me on the trip to Medjugorje in November 1989,” Parsons-Heather said. “I had a different experience than Bill. I saw many miraculous events that countless other pilgrims had seen at Medjugorje, including the miracle of the sun, where the sun begins spinning in the sky and pulsating like a heartbeat.”
Then, in December 1989, Roth and Parsons-Heather returned to Medjugorje together, where they received a blessing of the laying on of the hands from one of the Medjugorje visionaries.
“We were pulled out of a crowd of hundreds of people to enter the private residence of the visionary to receive her blessing,” Roth said. “We were the only ones selected. We didn’t really know why we were selected. We went as we were asked. It was a transcendent moment to walk out of the house and have several hundred people look at you, wondering what had just happened. At Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary asked everyone, through the visionaries, to live her messages and pray the rosary.”
Roth said that between December 1989 and February 1991, he and Parsons-Heather began to take their faith more seriously by doing what the Virgin Mary asked them to do.
“Our holy mother has appeared and spoken hundreds, if not thousands, of times in our home in Springfield while unfolding our work,” Parsons-Heather said. “She has been unrestrained and prolific in her relationship with us. She has used the trust we have placed in Jesus and her, hoping to reach the hearts of the American people.”
Greg Olson can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.
Our Lady's Monthly Message From Medjugorje to Marija
Dear children! Also today I am calling all of you to prayer. You cannot live without prayer, because prayer is a chain which brings you closer to God. Therefore, little children, in humility of heart return to God and to His commandments so that with all of your heart you are able to say: as it is in Heaven so may it be on earth. You, little children, are free to, in freedom, decide for God or against Him. See where Satan wants to pull you into sin and slavery. Therefore, little children, return to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Our Lady's 2nd of the month, Monthly Message To Mirjana
Dear children, I have called you and am calling you anew to come to know my Son, to come to know the truth. I am with you and am praying for you to succeed. My children, you must pray much in order to have all the more love and patience; to know how to endure sacrifice and to be poor in spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, my Son is always with you. His Church is born in every heart that comes to know Him. Pray that you can come to know my Son; pray that your soul may be one with Him. That is the prayer and the love which draws others and makes you my apostles. I am looking at you with love, with a motherly love. I know you; I know your pain and sorrows, because I also suffered in silence. My faith gave me love and hope. I repeat, the Resurrection of my Son and my Assumption into Heaven is hope and love for you. Therefore, my children, pray to come to know the truth; to have firm faith which will lead your heart and which will transform your pain and sufferings into love and hope. Thank you.
Pray for Priests
ADOPT A PRIEST IN PRAYER
Could you find in your heart to adopt a priest and pray for him daily?
In a letter Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction for the campaign for Eucharistic adoration and spiritual "maternity" for the sanctification of the world's priests. The campaign calls especially for "women consecrated" to spiritually adopt priests to help them, through their self-offering, prayer, and penance. It is hoped that through this initiative there will rise up to God from every corner of the earth an incessant prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, supplication and reparation, so as to give rise to a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priesthood.
Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and living perpetually among us through Your Priests, grant that the words of Your Priests may be only Your words, that their gestures be only Your gestures, and that their lives be a true reflection of Your life. Grant that they may be men who speak to God on behalf of His people, and speak to His people of God. Grant that they be courageous in service, serving the Church as she asks to be served. Grant that they may be men who witness to eternity in our time, traveling on the paths of history in Your steps, and doing good for all. Grant that they may be faithful to their commitments, zealous in their vocation and mission, clear mirrors of their own identity, and living the joy of the gift they have received. We pray that Your Holy Mother, Mary, present throughout Your life, may be ever present in the life of Your Priests. Amen.
*Fr. John Randall, age 82 entered into eternal life on June 15, 2011, but the Body of Christ Prayer Meeting will continue every Thursday evening as before. May he rest in the peace of Christ.
Charismatic Body of Christ Meetingevery Thursday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I. 02907- Tel-401-421-6441
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARSare also available in English and Spanish to anyone who wishes to attend. All are invited to come and join us for an evening of prayer, witnessing and healing, beginning with the celebration of the Holy Mass.
DVD of Divine Mercy Weekend with Fr. Randall, at Our Lady of LaSalette Shrine. To Obtain copy of this event call (508) 236-9068
FATHER JOHN RANDALL IS THE AUTHOR OF:
In God's Providence - The Birth of a Catholic Charismatic Parish
The Book of Revelation: What Does It Really Say?
Wisdom Instructs Her Children: The Power of the Spirit and the Word
Mary, Barrier or Bridge?
Pope John Paul Scriptural Rosary (20 decades)
Spiritual Warfare, The Twenty-First Decade
*Fr. Randall's last published book,- No Spirit, No Church,- is available at all Catholic Book Stores in Rhode Island or
order on Amazon.
*Father John J. Randall's New Rosary Prayer Book has been reprinted with a hard cover with his picture on the cover.
It also contains the Novana to the Holy Spirit and the Divine Mercy chaplet. It is being sold at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I Tel-401-421-6441 at the cost price of $4:00 - Also available at Gabriel's Trumpet book store at 477 Washington Street, Coventry, R.I. Tel: 401-823-4884
You can also call Saint Charles Rectory at 401-421-6441
Fr. Joe Whalen, M.S.
Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry - Click on photo...
Fr. Joseph Whalen is the founder of Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry. He retired in 2014 at the age of 91. He has spent his entire priesthood witnessing to Christ's healing presence. Please keep him in your prayers.
August 8th 2016 Fr. Joe Whalen has gone to his eternal rest. His legacy and love for this Ministry that he founded will continue. We now have a powerful intercessor in heaven!