November 15, 2022 // Diocese

Giving and Receiving Blessings Around the Diocese

The last months of the year bring a spirit of reflection and thankfulness, a time to ponder the good things of the past year, as well as consider ways to “pay it forward.” As we celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for the holy season of Advent, Today’s Catholic asked readers to tell us what they are most grateful for and what spiritual gifts they can give to others. These are some of their responses.

What am I thankful for?
What free spiritual gifts can someone give?

Taking Holy Communion to nursing homes and to people who cannot get out of their homes. We need to love and serve our elderly and infirm.
Jill Harris

The thing I am most thankful for is becoming a Catholic this year at Easter.

The spiritual gift that I can think of is to pray daily for those that I love 🙂

Thankful for God’s sweet love.

I can give my time to people who don’t want to die all alone … hence, a hospice volunteer.
Patti Hagadorn

This year along with the gift of my faith, I am most thankful that my brother-in-law survived his massive stroke last December and that the relationship with him and my sister has gotten so strong.

The gift that I can give this year is being present to those in my life and offering them the gift of prayer for all they hold in their hearts.
Janice Martin

I am thankful for time at retreats, and the clarity that Mary has provided for my husband and I regarding our family. 

The gift of listening — true listening without an agenda and with an open heart to help, if asked.
Megan Deig

Being alive after two months on a ventilator in Parkview Regional Medical Center, and my husband had COVID, mild case.

Kindness, love.
Mary Rose and David Lee Kimmel

Family health.

A spiritual gift to someone is the renewed grace to practice the Catholic Faith.

I am thankful that my family and I have not been directly affected by COVID.

There are so many – patience, a smile, a listening ear, understanding.
Geraldine Bryan

For my three grandkids; Jaxon was born just a few months ago.

Time with my family and grandkids; like to cook a meal.
Luke Harkenrider

My family and friends, my faith.

A visit from someone. I can pray for others or I can visit them with a small gift.
Phil and Claire Hayes

My faith, it carried me through life like a comfortable, warm blanket when I most need it.

Kindness, it is a great way to let people know they matter and are loved even in the small gesture.
Kevin Prus

I am most thankful for my husband, Tim, and the support he gives me on my spiritual journey.

The most significant gift I have received from others and the best gift I can give to others is the gift of prayer.
Amber Pavlina

I am thankful for the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, and a wonderful gift idea is a spiritual bouquet!
Jay Burke

I am thankful for my family – good health, well-being, and the time we are able to spend together. When our daughter Lucy passed away in an accident earlier this year, we were given a spiritual bouquet from the students in the Our Lady of Good Help Homeschool Co-op, who offered Masses, rosaries, holy hours, Divine Mercy chaplets, and many more prayers for Lucy and our family – it was comforting to know we were being prayed for during that difficult time.
Sarah Hilger

I’m beyond thankful for the Lord’s consistent goodness and presence, seen in every breath I take.

In years past, I have given hand-written prayers specific to my individual friends and family members.
Alaina Ganser

I am thankful for the birth of my first child and the joy and simplicity he has inspired in my husband and I.

A profound gift we can give others is a spiritual offering: whether it’s the daily dishes, preparation for a big meeting, an inconvenient errand, or uncomfortable back pain, all of these things can be offered for the intentions of a loved one.
Emily Rauch

Thankful that God is always with my family in sickness and health. Thankful that my mother is still with us at the age of 99 and in good health. Thankful that my sick cousin finally said yes to coming to live with us, so we can take care of her, very sweet lady.

Received “The Pieta Prayer Booklet” from my cousin when she came to live with us. I enjoy praying several of the prayers. It is so important to help everyone if possible get to heaven.
Judith Cloonan

I am thankful for the many churches in the area celebrating daily Mass and adoration. A spiritual offering I have been blessed to give is the gift of craftsmanship through the art I make for others.
Catherine Oliva

I am thankful for the infinite beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, both in the ordinary and the extraordinary form. We can give the gift of charity.
Alexandr Nist

I am grateful for the gift of life — mine, my family’s, and my friends’!

It is better for my soul to give rather than receive … love, compassion, and understanding.
Laverne Gladieux

I am thankful for my health and the gift to bring Jesus in Holy Communion to four individuals at Christmastime.
Rosie O’Keefe

Thankful for a loving community that is there in both joy and sorrow, struggle and success.

Give hope by uplifting others and pulling them out of the difficulties right now and into the reality of God’s beneficence and providence guiding our world.
Bernadette Fellows

Thankful for a deeper and more authentic relationship with my wife.

For a gift, get yourself to a retreat – it is like plugging yourself in and recharging via the Holy Spirit; it is life-changing.
Bill Parrish

I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend daily Mass with my students.

I always appreciate prayers and it is also a lovely act of charity when people take the time to really talk to you, listen, and give words of encouragement.
Katlyn Brown

Thankful for the surprise pregnancy of our rainbow baby, Elijah Theodore, born on the feast of All Saints.

My favorite spiritual gift is when someone offers to pray with me, not just for me (although intercessory prayer is so important too!) and sets aside time where we pray together – I feel not only their love but Christ’s.
Monica Markovich

I’m thankful that my children and their spouses are strong in their Catholic faith and look for ways to enrich their faith.

A spiritual gift I have received and also given is a novena prayer for special intentions, such as physical health, peace, and protection.
Katie Rohrer

I am thankful for being raised in the Catholic faith.

For spiritual gifts, my mother used to have little tubs with our names on them, and every time we prayed or did something for each other we put a slip in their tub, but we couldn’t open them until Christmas.
Aidan Parrish

I am thankful for the transcendent goodness of family.

The most moving gift is when someone tells me they have offered prayers for me or my spouse or my children.
Mollie Crummey

One thing I am especially thankful for this year is the opportunity to serve as the new sacramental minister of all the good people of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne.

The spiritual gift that I gave a close friend is to pray daily the ancient blessing from the Book of Numbers that begins, “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He cause His face to shine upon you…”
Father Kevin Bauman

Definitely extremely thankful for our freedoms in America, specifically being able to live my faith without fear.

I love giving spiritual bouquets and usually get a calendar to write on certain feast days of the month the specific prayers I would offer for a loved one!
Heather Cline

I’m thankful for the gift of practicing and playing music with my four kids since the pandemic – and my wife encouraging it all the way.

A great spiritual gift I received once was when my dad died: a group of students gave me a sympathy card and alongside each signature was a description of the specific prayers and when they would be saying them for my dad and family.
Dr. Louis Albarran

I am thankful to have met and become friends with a lot of different men this year, who continue to bless me in many ways.

Mother Teresa was known for saying the most important person is the one right in front of you, therefore, the best gift I can give is love in the form of being fully present to someone in a world constantly moving.
Dylan Arango

This year, I am most thankful for the gift of continued life for myself and my family, and for the grace of being able to see my firstborn son turn one this year.

I love to teach the Faith to others, whether they are adults or children, by passing on the knowledge of Christ that has been passed to me.
Parker Zurbach

I have been thankful in 2022 for new, edifying relationships.

Regarding a gift idea, I would suggest a handwritten letter to someone in a difficult season of life to express empathy and let them know that they are being prayed for.
Tim Arnold

Thankful that with God, there is always something new around the corner if we remain open and adaptable to His will.

The best spiritual gift I’ve received is hope from those a couple steps further along in life during times when things get so dark and complicated that it’s easy to despair.
Amelia Ruggaber

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers … that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you” (Eph 1:16-18): truly, there has been great gratitude in getting to know persons earnestly striving to grow in the Faith and to be a part of that growth.

“Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph 6:18): If we could only see the spiritual riches that accrue to souls when we pray, truly we would be set on praying
always, and this is one of the greatest gifts people have given to me. Make holy hours for people, and gift those for Christmas.
Father LeeAllen Fortin

I am thankful for God blessing me with a beautiful wife and having the honor of celebrating the sacrament of marriage with her this year!

One can give the gift of prayer, in the sense of praying for another, their specific intentions, their growth in virtue, and the reception of graces during whatever trials they are going through.
Nick Heiny

I am thankful for the blessing of getting married and being able to begin the vocation I am called to!

The spiritual gift I can give to someone is the gift of humility, in the sense that I can give them my full time and attention to make them feel loved and valued.
Anna Heiny 

Christ’s love, presence, hope, and joy EVERY day of our lives!

Smiles, love, hope, friendship, and being there for them.
Glen Matthew

As flawed as it is, I am very thankful to live in this country where freedom still exists.

Prayers when I needed God most, or when others needed it most from me.

My family, my faith.

With the help of Jesus and Mary, I would like to deliver as many souls as possible from purgatory by attendance at daily Mass.

My family, wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren make me smile with beautiful memories and anticipation of the future joys they’ll bring. I’ve been blessed with special family members. EVERY ONE.

To enjoy and feel the peace and comfort of the presence of God in the Eucharist.
David Haines

My vibrant Catholic parish.

Generosity with personal time.
Beth Schwier

I am thankful for the Lord’s abiding presence that has led me to people who have enriched my life in various ways.

Distraction is something we ought to tackle as we prepare for the centerpiece of God’s involvement in our lives with His entrance into life among us in Jesus at Christmas; as a gift, try to be an active listener.
Charlie Ducey

I am thankful for dear friends who feel like family and family who are like close friends.

Whenever you are thinking of a particular person, say a prayer for them, and keep a count of these intentional prayers using tally marks or a similar system. Give that person your record of the times you have offered up prayers for them when they crossed your mind.
Miriam Barry 

I am thankful for the opportunity to be given the charge of providing a Catholic education to all the students at Queen of Angels.

I believe the biggest spiritual gift I can give someone is the opportunity to talk about how the Lord and His love have impacted me and helped me in my spiritual journey so that maybe I can contribute to assisting in their journey.
Dennis Wiegmann

I am thankful for the seven men, ordained as Deacons for our diocese this year, who laid their lives on the ground as a gift to Jesus and his church. 

I had a friend introduce me to the idea of assigning a person or family to each mystery of the rosary for any given year; knowing I was being carried by my Heavenly Mother through the heart of my friend was such a gift and a gift it has been my joy to do for others!

Thank God for forgiving our sins and for blessings given us even when we don’t seem to deserve them.

Praying for the most forgotten soul in purgatory; it’s important to that soul and when they get to heaven, perhaps they can help some other forgotten soul.
Michael and Patricia Kramer

That my dad, Mark Weber, is still around and making SNOWDRIFT!

Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance, patience, empathy, and understanding.

Elizabeth Osborne

Thankful I found another good job in March after my company closed its doors on Feb. 28.

The spiritual gift I like to give is my faith at a very secular place of work. My most grateful gift I received is the solid Catholic upbringing I have. My wife and I passed it on to our children and now our grandson.

William Monhaut

I’m 91 years old and still in fairly good health and have five wonderful children.

Since I was born, I’ve been Catholic and hope to be with God and the Blessed Mother, also my wonderful husband and family who left before me.

Patricia Kohaut

Thankful to get to go to church to serve God.

Let others know you are praying for them.


Every time I enter the peaceful, prayerful, and beautifully calming surroundings of the St. Vincent’s Adoration chapel, I am thankful to have my hourly commitment there. I always feel an enlightenment during my hour that I am there. Perhaps, being with the Eucharist, which translates from the Greek word for “Thanksgiving,” it’s just natural to feel thankful there – despite the craziness in the world.

Volunteering in a way which benefits others is a wonderful gift for the recipients as well as for the giver. It’s a win-win situation.

Mary Nixon

The health of our family.

Time at the Lamb’s Supper.

Connie Konz

My husband’s cancer going into remission.

All the prayers for my husband’s return to good health and support.

Deborah Carlin

Not only this year, but every year my husband and I are thankful to have the Holy Cross priests serving our parish (St. Adalbert/St. Casimir).

Bonnie Tafelski

I am thankful for my life that Jesus has allowed me to still have.

I give my time in prayer, morning, noon, and night, for any soul in need, living or deceased. Everyone needs extra prayers prayed for them; that’s most important.

Daniel Kloss

I have a beautiful, loving family and have been blessed with my 17th great-grandchild. Last Christmas Day, I came down with COVID and our Lord spared my life! Praise God!

Marie Slaga

I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met this year who have inspired me to be all that He intended for me to be.

I wish that everyone could experience the joy of one’s time and talent for the benefit of others.

Paul Kowalski

I’m thankful for my new parish, St. Bernard, and all the hospitality I’ve received in Wabash as a new pastor.

Prayer, Mass intentions. Seven Sisters Apostolate – knowing someone is praying for me each day.

Father Jay Horning

My religious vocation celebrating 70 years.

Prayers or promise of the Novena of Masses.

Sister Anne D’Arcy

The Traditional Latin Mass at Sacred Heart.

We gave a spiritual bouquet of over 40 holy rosaries in a vase to our beloved aunt suffering with cancer. When we presented the vase to her in person, over 50 of us prayed a holy rosary with her and every day thereafter, a niece and nephew prayed a holy rosary for her on their assigned day. A beautiful gift of prayers!


Thankful for family and friends during the holidays!

Help them out on anything they need.

Tammi Helm

Programs and medical care for seniors.

To share smiles anytime with the handicapped.

Lewis Stewart

Good health that allows you to live life freely.

Time spent with the grandchildren to express deeply our Catholic faith.

Les Zorger

To be able to live a life free of worry to subsist economically.

I would pray for the many less- fortunate people here and in the world.

Donna Brooke

My family.

Subscription to “The Word Among Us.”

Lavonne Chalk

I am grateful for my family, my faith, my friends, and my health.

I gave Matthew Kelly’s book “Holy Moments” to friends to encourage them to do acts of kindness. I enjoyed the book myself.


Family. In the recent past, there have been some health issues. Family (including church family) were always there.

Prayer! Absolutely!! I have seen the positive results of prayer consistently.

Robert Morgan

Our diocesan clergy – they lead us to our Savior!

Prayers! Through the intercessions of our saints and Mother Mary, God hears our prayers.


While taking care of my elderly mother with dementia was trying at times, she passed this summer. I received many blessings and insights of the working of God’s love in my life and family members’. I am grateful for God’s merciful love during this time of suffering and the many splinters to be removed from my eyes.

Taking the time through God’s grace to write a memory of someone close to you that has passed (or is still present in your life). To “bring to light” God revealing Himself through your loved one’s life.

Cindy Sorg

I am thankful that my parents raised me in the Faith and send me to Catholic schools.

In a word, “prayers”. I firmly believe that Our Lord answers all prayers.


I enjoy going to my church and spending time with my family. I am thankful for the soup kitchens that provide food for the less fortunate.

Spending time with family and receiving handwritten cards from family and friends. I enjoy playing card games with family.

Julia Couch

The one thing I am thankful for is my Catholic faith!

The spiritual gift I would give someone is fortitude! Today in our society, so many young people and old alike are afraid – afraid to stand up for what is right. To give someone fortitude, courage to do that right thing. This I feel is what God is calling all of us to do is to do what the Gospel tells us – Be not afraid, for I am with you always!!

Lucy Papaik

Though I can’t walk, I am thankful for all my faculties and for all my children who take care of me and all my friends who care about me.

I have the gift of being a singer, so the gift I would give is a song.

Aivars Grieze

My good health.

The gift of exhortation (reminding others of the powerful and amazing work of God).

Debbie Greene

I am thankful for the Church!

The greatest gift my friends have given me as I grieve my daughter, Raffaella, who died in 2018 at age 23 in a drowning accident, is all the Masses which have been said for her.

Ruth Stroik

Having good health insurance which allowed me to get my health care caught up.

Every Christmas, my parish gives a gift after Mass. Usually a spiritual book, but once a crucifix. Most Christmases it is my favorite – and sometimes only – gift. I cherish those gifts.


Dolores Leemreis is grateful I could give my husband of 56 years five children (four boys and one girl). Bernard wanted family when we got married in 1959.

My family. We enjoyed Thanksgiving together.

I have a college friend, Cheryl J. Fleck, who just found out that she has ALS, same as her dad and sister, Sheila, died of. Please keep her in your prayers.

Lora Williams

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