Divine Mercy, Our Light in the Darkness
The conference called: “Divine Mercy, Our Light in the Darkness”, was held in Vandalia, Illinois, United States of America, from Friday, October 31 to Sunday, November 2, 2014. It was organized by Debbie Pryor and Vanessa Keck, together with several members of the Community of Betania XVI.
The special guests in the conference were: His Excellency Bishop Thomas John Joseph Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, USA; Father Peter Prusakiewiccz of the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel in Marki, Poland, a worldwide renowned expert on the devotion to the Divine Mercy and the angels; Joseph Pierce, a British writer, biographer and teacher who converted to Catholicism in 1989; Sisters Susan Pieper and Loredana Mazzei, Apostles of the Interior Life, from Italy; as well as daughters of the Servant of God Maria Esperanza Bianchini, Mrs. Maria Gracia Bianchini Gebran, Maria Coromoto Bianchini Marrero and Maria Auxiliadora Bianchini Leon, accompanied by their husbands, some of their children, and members of the Betania Foundation. Ann Stock, a member of the organizing committee, was the Master of Ceremony.
For this occasion twenty-two traveled from Venezuela, most of them members of the Betania Choir, who shared their songs with the audience. Members of other communities of Betania located in the United States also flew in for the conference: Betania X, New Jersey; Betania XIII, New York, and Betania group in Louisiana.
Bishop Paprocki explained what comes after this earthly life, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Father Peter spoke of the absolute confidence people should have in Divine Mercy and explained how Jesus pours out his blessings upon those who every day recite the chaplet that was inspired to Saint Faustina. Joseph Pierce recounted his conversion to Catholicism after being a Nazi activist. Then, Sisters Susan and Loredana reflected upon how to build one’s inner life and practice “lectio divina” that Pope Francis states is: “The correct way of listening to what the Lord wants to tell us in his Word, and of letting us be transformed by the Spirit.”
Finally, the Bianchini family’s participation stressed on the theme of reconciliation, family unity, and loyalty to our Holy Mother Church. They shared the beautiful experiences they have had in the Sanctuary of Betania, located in Venezuela, South America, a beautiful green land, crossed by a river, where the Virgin has manifested herself to gather all of her children and lead them to Jesus; a place of shelter for souls, and of spiritual growth, where people transform their hearts. They explained the importance of basing their lives on the four pillars that were instilled in them by the Servant of God Maria Esperanza: prayer, meditation, penance, and the Eucharist.