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Seelos News Archive 3 (2010)


A group of American pilgrims will be visiting Füssen on Friday 10th September 2010.Holy Mass will be celebrated in St Mang Basilica,where Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was baptised at 1800hrs.All welcome to join in this celebration of the Holy Mass.The Austrian tour guide,Julia W. who is charge of the group of 69 American pilgrims had to rearrange the schedule due to the group having to get to Munich and Oberammagua.Origionally the group had planned to have Holy Mass celebrated at 1130hrs Saturday 11th September.The group will be given a tour of the places connected with Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in Füssen by the organisers of this website.Grüss Gott aus Füssen. 

SEELOS  MASS SEPTEMBER 11th(8th September 2010)
A group of American pilgrims will be visiting Füssen on Saturday 11th September 2010.Holy Mass will be celebrated in St Mang Basilica,where Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was baptised at 1130hrs.All welcome to join in this celebration of the Holy Mass.



A healing service and Mass will be celebrated at 1700hrs on 8th September 2010 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 17980 W. Main St., Galliano,Louisiana,USA,L with the exposition with the Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Relic. Members from the Seelos Center of New Orleans will be on hand for prayer requests. For information, call Thelma Guidry at 632-7249 or 696-7249.

SEELOS IN CUMBERLAND(11th August 2010)

With a new book about Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos selling well,we thought it would be nice to have a look around one of the churches he served in whilst in Cumberland.We are greatful for the assistance of Sharon Seckens who took the photos and to Jack McFadden webmaster of John Vianney Parish;Prince Frederick in Maryland for allowing us to use the photo below and link to their excellent tour of St Mary's Church.

Stained glass window in St Mary's Church,Annapolis,Maryland.PHOTOGRAPHER:Sharon Seckens Copyright © 2010  
The stained glass windows can be found Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the Title of the Immaculate Conception, commonly known as St. Mary's Church.  The parish was established in 1853; the church built between 1858 and 1860 on land once owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.See the tour of this church taken in 2007 and found on the St John Vianney website.     For more information about the life of Blessed Seelos in Maryland,read "Seelos:The Cumberland Years The life & labours of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in Maryland's Allegheny Mountains,1857-1865 " By Father Blaine Burkey,O.F.M.Cap. and "St Mary's Church in Annapolis,Maryland.A Sesquicentennial History .1853-2003"  by Dr.Robert L.Worden.

SO NEAR YET SO FAR!(3 August 2010)
A pilgrimage by the Denver Province of the Redemptorists will not be able to visit Füssen on the 21st August 2010 as had been hoped.The Pilgrimage to Oberammagau is being led by the Provincial of the Denver Redemptorist Province,Father Tom Picton C.sS.R.They have a scheduled stop in Munich then Schwangau to see Neuschwanstein Castle which is just 3 kilometres from Füssen.They had hoped to drop visiting the world famous castle with no religious significance and spend two hours in Füssen visiting the Shrine of Blessed Seelos and other places with close links to him.Joseph Roos,Mission Advancement Director Redemptorist/Denver Province told us
"I have an update for you before our trip to Germany later this month. I have determined that our bus will NOT be visiting your city as we had hoped." 
So a warning to all Americans wanting to visit Füssen-Be careful which tour company you choose!Just because they claim to do "Catholic tours of Germany" doesn't mean they will visit places which are connected to the Catholic faith and Füssen which has a great connection with German/American Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.Many would prefer to go to places like Neuschwanstein which has no religious significance.Also it all depends on the tour guide they use.Whilst one good tour guide based in Vienna brings ALL her tours via Füssen to learn about Blessed Seelos,German tour guides based in Munich don't bother,maybe because they know nothing about him!Time they learnt!

A part of the Cross that was on top of the bell tower of St Mary's Assumption Church,New Orleans is now with a family in Füssen Germany.Francis Xavier Seelos was born in Füssen and died in New Orleans 48 years later.The last year of his life was spent at the Church of St Mary's Assumption.

Recently the church in New Orleans celebrated its 150th Anniversary of the doors opening for worship.The Cross on top of the bell tower was struck by lightning on 30th August 2009.Because of the age and condition of the wood it was not repairable so it will be replaced between November 2010 and February 2011.The New Cross will be made of wood from Cyprus that has been retrieved from the river where it laid for 75 -100 years.  


A piece of history.The small part of the wooden cross which was on top of the St Mary's Assumption Church,New Orleans.The last Church where Blessed Seelos carried out his ministry as a Priest.Below the section of the cross is a photo taken BEFORE the lightning struck the cross.Also clearly marked is where the section came from in the centre.It is now in the possesion of a family in Füssen who have a great devotion to Blessed Seelos.


NEW SEELOS BOOK NOW ON SALE(8th July 2010)"> Seelos: The Cumberland Years
By Father Blaine Burkey, O.F.M. Cap.

Capuchin Franciscan Father Burkey was born and raised in Cumberland, so he was a natural to write a book subtitled “The Life & Labors of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in Maryland’s Allegheny Mountains, 1857-1865.” Blessed Seelos, a Redemptorist priest who also pastored in Annapolis and Baltimore, is a candidate for canonization.

Father Burkey will be signing books in Cumberland, July 17 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Book Center on N. Centre Street, and after July 17-18 Masses at St. Patrick Parish, 201 N. Centre St.

American Pilgrimage to Füssen 3rd July 2010

The above pilgrimage celebrated Mass in the Spitalkirche,Füssen at 1400hrs on 3rd July 2010.The previous day had been spent visiting the Passion Play in Oberammagau.Dispite the Mass being celebrated only 100 metres from the house where Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was born,none of them had heard of this German/American Blessed.They were delighted to take the few English leaflets we had about him.More are  on the way from New Orleans in time for another Pilgrimage in September.



Our reporter in New Orleans,Cindi Rose brings us these Videos and photos of the Brick parade.

Banner outside St Mary's Assumption Church New Orleans marking 150 years since it opened.Copyright © 2010 St Mary's Assumtion Church New Orleans. All Rights Reserved.
150 years after it first opened its doors to the public,St Mary's Assumption Church is celebrating its Anniversary.To mark this historic event the parishioners took part in a "BRICK PARADE".

This was to signify that the origional German immigrants who built the church where unable to get the wagons carrying the bricks right up to the site due to heavy mud.

Copyright © 2010 St Mary's Assumtion Church New Orleans. All Rights Reserved
The women parishioners went out to meet the wagons and loaded the bricks into their long aprons and carried them to the site of the church,so they could be used to build it.

The procession in 2010 had a Police escort and a small band and nice tarmack road to walk on.A big difference from those bigone years.7 years later after a year of service to the Parish,Father Frances Xavier Seelos died aged 48 on the 4th October 1867 due to yellow Fever.

Copyright © 2010 St Mary's Assumtion Church New Orleans. All Rights Reserved

The Seelos National Shrine is located in the Church and the Seelos Centre is nearby.The celebrations also happen to coincide with Parish Priest,Father Greg Schmitt's 67th birthday and his 41st Jubilee of Ordination.CONGRATULATIONS AND MAY BLESSED SEELOS INTERCEDE FOR YOU ALWAYS!



A recent picture of Joey holding the Seelos Cross which was sent to the family by the Shrine last year. It had been blessed by Father Byron Miller,Excecutive Director of Seelos Shrine,it was also touched to various relics of Father Seelos. 

Every parent dreads to hear that one of their children is suffering from cancer.Paul Schwartz knows better than many how it feels.On March 10 2008 his son,Joey enterred hospital for a minor surgical procedue to remove a lump.Little did the family know this was going to be a turning point in their lives.Joey was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called Midline Carcinoma.
Since then people worldwide have read about the story of Joey's alleged healing due to the intercession of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.
But what is it like to be the parent who has to make the decisions about your child's treatment?Why did the family decide to continue on with treatment when it was claimed Joey had been healed by Blessed Seelos's intercesion?

Joey's father Paul has allowed us an in-site into how the family felt and came to its decisions during this tumultuous time after the alleged healing following a visit to the National Seelos Shrine in New Orleans.We hope it will help others in the same position to know that they are not alone and that through prayer God strengthens us to trust in Him more.
Here in Paul's own words is their story

"I wanted to pass on a quick story related to Joey, and the intercession of Blessed Father Seelos and our Lord Jesus Christ's recent response to our prayers . . .
As we discussed before, we believe that Joey was cured through the intercession of Blessed Father Seelos and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, during our visit to the Seelos Shrine on August 2, 2009.  It's been a difficult journey for us to continue Joey on chemo treatments, poisoning his body with toxic chemicals, knowing that he was already cured.  However, understanding that God operates in some mysterious ways, we knew He could possibly be performing Joey's miracle through our doctor's hands, so we continued with treatments.

Joey & his brother,Derek at The National Seelos Center,New Orleans
Over the past year, through intercessory and direct prayer, we have been asking God to guide Joey's treatment. Our faith was really put to the test starting this past December.  At that time, we began having discussions about the end point of Joey's treatments with our medical team.  Our doctor was telling us that Joey might require a minimum of 1 to 2 more years of chemo, possibly even having to be on some form of treatment for the rest of his life.  We were very conflicted between faith and logic.  We knew God had already cured Joey, but we also knew that he had a highly lethal cancer that had to be treated very aggressively.  If God had already cured Joey, but if He was working through the medical team, why were we being told Joey needed 2 more years of treatment?
For the next few months, our doctor was very adamant that extended treatments should be pursued.  Believing that God was working through the medical team, we eventually agreed to the extended treatment plan on March 8
I can tell you, we were not very comfortable with this decision.  We increased the frequency and intensity of our prayers.  We asked Blessed Father Seelos to continue to intercede on Joey's behalf.  We asked God to, now more than ever, guide medical team on the most appropriate treatment path.
On April 17, our prayers were answered (yet again).  When we came to the clinic appointment, our doctor surprised us by saying he had reconsidered the plan and proposed to end treatment after 2 more cycles of chemo.  As adamant as our doctor was only a few week earlier regarding the extended treatment, it could be only by God's direction and influence that he had changed his mind.
On May 28th, we experienced further the effects of God's influence when our doctor came into the exam room and asked if Joey was comfortable in ending treatment now and foregoing his final scheduled cycle of chemo in 2 weeks.  Prayer is definitely a very power tool !
So, as of May 28th, we have totally and completely placed Joey's cure in God's hand.  We are comfortable with that as our faith is strong, and only get's stronger as we continue to bear witness to His love and mercy.  We will also be eternally grateful for the intercession of Blessed Father Seelos for bringing Joey's cause to His attention and securing His mercy and blessings."

To read the full account of his cancer and the stages of treatment please see Joey's Caring Bridge site


Pilgrims pray at the Seelos family grave
A group of American pilgrims visited the sites of interest & Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in Füssen on the Feast of Corpus Christi 2010.Thanks to the suggestion of their Austrian Tour guide,Julia Woodwards,members of the  St. Bernadette American Volunteers under the Spiritual Direction of Father Matt McGinness left Salzburg early and travelled to Füssen.

Austrian Tour Guide,Julia Woodwards(Center),with the pilgrims outside the house where Blessed Seelos was born.

The "Seelos in Füssen" website was delighted to co-operate and take the pilgrims on a tour showing them the house where Seelos was born,his parents and families grave,the school he attended and Churches where he served Mass as well as where he lived when his father,Mang became sacristan of the Parish Church of St Mang.

On the Bridge over the River Lech after taking photos of the Basilica and former monastory
The pilgrims were delighted to visit the Shrine and see the font where Blessed Seelos was baptised.They move on to visit the world famous passion play in Oberammergau.Then next week they move to France to vist the Shrine of the Cure of Ars,St John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests.

Group Photo outside St Mang Basilica with Father Matt Mc Ginness 2nd guy from the right.

They finish their pilgrimage of European shrines with 5 days in Lourdes where Our Blessed Lady appeared to St Bernadette.It was a real pleasure meeting them all and may they have a gracefilled Pilgrimage. 

New Seelos DVD available(30 May 2010)
A couple from Arkansas,Bob & Penny Lord who run the the Holy Family Mission ministry and also it also includes "Journeys of Faith" which is designed to help lapsed Catholics and others knoe more about the Catholic Faith.It is a World Wide Ministry of Evangelisation through Communications Faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.The Couple have spent much time at the National Seelos Shrine in New Orleans making a DVD.They interviewed Father Byron Miller,Ececutive Director of the National Seelos Shrine as well as Joyce Boudreaux, and many other involved in the cause for his Canonization.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi,Thursday 3rd June 2010 a group of Pilgrims is hoping to visit Füssen in the Evening.They are being led by Austrian tour Guide,Julia W.It is hoped that they will be able to see the sites in Füssen associated with Blessed Seelos.

Dr.Miriam Rosenthal-English has been translating the origional Novena to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos authored by Father Byron Miller CSsR into the German language.She has nearly completed this act of love to help promote Blessed Seelos who has helped her so much in this life.Although Father Byron Miller,Executive Director of the National Seelos Shrine in New Orleans was the author of the Novena,the Copyright belongs to Liguori Publications, which is owned by the Redemptorists.Father Byron tells us they are also in need of a Spanish edition and hope to get that underway as soon as possible.


Two American pilgrimages due to visit Füssen to celebrate Mass and visit the Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos this month.The first arrive Thursday 6th May and will celebrate Laudes at 0815hrs followed by Holy Mass at 0845hrs in the Basilica.The second Pilgrimage arrives Pentecost Sunday and they will celebrate the Birthday of the Church at 0900hrs in St Mang Basilica.A chance for visitors on those days to partake in an English speaking Mass.


Joey Schwartz whose story has been broadcast worldwide after battling cancer and his alleged healing due to the intecession of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was admited to hospital last week.Joey was suffering from a chest infection which made his counts sink very low.Thanks to intecesary prayer he is now back out of hospital and on the mend..

Franz Xaver Seelos Lied,ein Spiritual in deutscher Sprache,das die Füssener Sing-und Musikschullehrerin Frau Johanna H. umgeschrieben hat.Diese Lied singt im Spitalkirche ende Messe am 21 April 2010 fur die Alte Damen aus die Heilig-Geist-Spital

Hymn to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos which was sung by the children's choir founded by Johanna H.,Singing & Music School teacher in Füssen,who also wrote this spiritual.The Mass took place in the Spitalkirche on Wednesday 21st April 2010 and the Children sang this for the Elderly Ladies from the Holy Ghost Hospital after the end of Mass.



Special this year was the design on the Paschal Candle.It was designed and made by the wife of Deacon Fredl H,She had chosen this 10th year since Blessed Seelos was beatified to give the Paschal Candle a Seelos Theme.Having both visited New Orleans in February the Seelos Pashal Candle has the Shrine of Blessed Seelos in New Orleans at the bottom.On the left hand side is the Church of St Mary Assumption,the last church Seelos served in.On the right hand side is a scroll which commemorates the 10th anniversary of his beatification.It is truly a work of art praising God for his wonderful servant who was born in Füssen.Father Byron Miller,Eexutive Director of the National Seelos Shrine in New Orleans told us,"Deacon H sent us a photo of his Easter Candle creation and we used it in the May Seelos newsletter, which should be coming out soon. The shrine is honored to be depicted on the candle in this way and it was brilliant to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of beatification in such a fashion."

The present Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in St Mang Basilica is to disappear.Made by the artist,Erwin W,the present Shrine was commissioned after the beatification of Blessed Seelos in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

The origional Seelos Shrine/Artist,Erwin W

It is hoped there will be a new Shrine in the area underneath the organ loft. 4 artists have presented their ideas of what it should look like.Having seen all 4 designs,only one looked even remotely acceptable,but left the feeling that it was not really in fitting with the Basilica and the Life and work of  Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.The models seemed really to lack inspiration, imagination and flair about who he was and what he stood for.

Proposed site of the New Seelos Shrine,under the organ loft at the back of the basilica
Another important factor in moving the Shrine and which one is chosen will be the cost!It is now up to Father Deuring,Parish Priest and the Parish Council to decide which of the designs they want.Watch this space for further news.

To mark the 10th Anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos,special celebrations will take place in St Mang Basilica and the Franciscan Monastory.Mass will be celbrated on his Feast Day,October 5th.It is then hoped to have a German Redemptorist Priest come and give a lecture about the Life of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in the Franciscan Monastory on the 6th October,although this has to be confirmed.
 Deacon Fredl Hofmann and his wife,Annelies, travelled to the National Seelos Shrine in New Orleans during February and were made very welcome by the staff there.They hope to tell the Parish more about their visit and it is scheduled for October 7th this year in the Franciscan Cloister.
The Church of St Jane de Chantel in Abita Springs,Louiiana now has Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos looking down on the congregation from a window above the main Altar.The church has been undergoing a massive renovation and it was decided to renew the ten windows behind the main altar.All the other windows in the Church were renewed about 30 years ago and the Parish Priest, Father Robert Cavalier decided he would like all the windows looking the same and now was a good time to do it.The centerpiece of the windows are the Body & Blood of Christ.The other windows depict other saints.Father Seelos died in New Orleans and has many who pray for his intercession throughout Louisianna.The window with him on also has the Assumption Church in New Orleans on it.The windows were made by a Trappist Monk,Father Methodious Telnack.


Ebay has rules which prohibit the sale of anything taken from the human body including bone!Yet they allow people to sell relics which contain a fragment of the bone of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos dispite being informed 4 times about it.Relics cannot be sold anyway as it is against Canon 1190 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
Our suggestion is if you use EBay then quit now in protest.
Paul Schwartz brings us news that EWTN will be screening a series called "The Faithful Travellor" from 4 th March 2010.It will be visiting Shrines and Churches throughout the United States of America and giving insight into what is there.

Saint Mary’s Church and Novitiate, 1864. During his rectorship of St. Mary’s (1862-63), Blessed Franz Xaver Seelos established a fleet of sailboats to be used for recreation by the Redemptorist priests, brothers, and novices. Courtesy: Redemptorist Archives of the Baltimore Province, Brooklyn, New York.
One of the churches they will visit is St Alphonsus in Baltimore.It was here that Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos and Saint John Neumann worked together.Monsignor Arthur W. Bastress will talk about the French Gothic Church and about the two former pastors whose holiness has been officially recognised by the Church.

We put the suggestion to Parish Priest,Father Frank D last night after the 1800hrs Mass in St Mang Basilica,it might be a good idea if a copy of the Baptismal Certificate of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was displayed in the small cabinets by the Shrine of Blessed Seelos here in Füssen.With more and more people actually visiting the Basilica because of him,it would be the next step in making him better known.Father D said he thought it was a good idea.We now leave it up to him if he decides to actually do anything!

Baptismal font were Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was Baptised
Blessed Seelos was born in Füssen and baptised the same day in St Mang.The baptismal font in the crypt  at the back of the basilica is where he was baptised   11th January 1819.With Blessed Seelos's cause being investigated by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in relation to an alleged healing from cancer of Mary Ellen Heibal R.I.P.which if proved to be true could lead to his canonisation,it is important that we here in Füssen play our part in promotion this great servant of Our Blessed Lord.It will soon be 200 years since his birth and it is something that we here in Füssen,the place of his birth & baptism should celebrate with graet joy.With so many problems confronting the church at the moment,we alll would do well to follow the example of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.A German American Priest who gave his life in the service of Christ.

Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos-St Mang Basilica,Füssen,Bavaria,Germany
A Priest who spent hours in the confessional helping others to come closer to Christ,bringing Him to them with his compassion and understanding.It is in this Year of Priests very important that our priests of today will see in him,one who was holy,prayerful,loved God above all things and trusted in Mary and all the Saints to help and guide him.May they imitate him and St John Vianney and all follow in humility the life they embraced when they were ordained.We pray that Blessed Seelos will see the suffering in the German Church caused by a few priests who left the way of Christ and corrupted the souls of minors.May he interced for those who suffered at the hands of these Priests.May the perpetrators of these heinious sins be given the grace to come to real sorrow for the harm they have done to others by their actions.May those Priests who have done nothing wrong,but by the very fact they are Priests,they are now facing hostility and persecution,offer these sufferings with Christ for the good of the whole Church and may the members of the Church here in Germany realise that the sins of individualls should not turn us against the saving and redeeming power of Christ.May Blessed Seelos bring all these before Our Blessed Lord that His Church may bring all to eternal salvation which can only be found in Him.


Thanks to our reporter and photographer Michelle Storey based in St Alphonsus Parish,Grand Rapids,Michigan we have the 1st photos of the new Seelos Statue which will be blessed and dedicated Sunday.

The following will be in St Alphonsus Parish Newsletter this week.



            Today, at the 11:00 Mass, we will bless and dedicate the statue of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R.  Fr. Byron Miller, C.Ss.R., the Executive Director of the Seelos shrine, will be the principal celebrant for this Liturgy.


            Fr. Seelos was born on January 11, 1819 in Füssen, Bavaria, Germany.  After studying for the Priesthood in Germany, he asked to be admitted to the Congregation of the most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) for ministry to German-speaking immigrants in the United States.  In 1844, he was ordained a priest at the Redemptorist Church of Saint James in Baltimore.  His availability and innate kindness in understanding and responding to the needs of the faithful made him so renowned as an expert confessor and spiritual director that people came to him even from neighboring towns.  Seelos ministered for a time in Pittsburgh, Cumberland, and Annapolis.  From 1863 -1866  Seelos dedicated himself to the life of an itinerant missionary preacher in English and German in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.


            After a brief period of parish ministry in Detroit, Fr. Seelos was assigned in 1866 to the Redemptorist Church of St. Mary’s Assumption in New Orleans.  He was known to be joyfully available to his faithful and singularly concerned for the poorest and most abandoned.  In God’s plan, however, his ministry in New Orleans was destined to be brief.   By September 1867, exhausted from visiting and caring for the victims of yellow fever, Seelos contracted the dreaded disease and entered into eternal life on October 4, 1867, at the age of forty-eight years and nine months.


            The enduring renown for his holiness occasioned his Cause for Canonization to be introduced in 1900.  A century later, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II beatified Father Seelos on April 9th of the Solemn Jubilee Year 2000.  He awaits one more miracle for canonization!


Fr. Bernie Carlin, C.Ss.R.