A blessing at St Ann’s Mission, North Dakota

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By Fr. Jeff Eppler, SOLT

The Lord continues to do great things here at St. Ann. We had a mi-raculous intervention regarding the beautification of our church. In February this year we received a call concerning someone willing to give our parish some statues. I inquired about it and in March three of us (myself and two parishioners) were traveling in a van going three and half hours south to a private residence in Williston, ND. Apparently, a woman had converted her home into a chapel and gathered numerous religious items over the years to stock this chapel. Unfortunately, she died a few years ago and her friend had been look-ing for ways to get these items back into a church.

When the three of us walked into this house, which the electricity had been shut off for three years since the woman died, we were confronted by a nice collection of statues in the immediate hallway. As we ventured down the corridor, it opened into a large room and in it was a life-sized crucifix, lots of statues, stained glass windows, and a beautiful high altar and four gorgeous side altars. The three of us were in shock at the beauty and sheer amount of items present. After recovering from the amazement of it all, I asked the neighbor, who had opened the home for us, if all these things were available. She said we could have it all, for free. We were ecstatic and put as many things in the van as could fit.

We traveled back to Belcourt jubilant at the incredible lavishness of God in our regard. We arranged to go there three more times, with trailers and more parishioners to lift and pack things and ended up with lots of stuff for our church and for the surrounding churches. We ended up with hundreds of thousands of dollars of statues, altars and other items all given through the faithful generosity of this dear deceased woman and her friend.

The providence of God did not end here. He also provided a benefactor that supplied the financial means for us to renovate the entryway and sanctuary of St. Ann church. So, over the last few months, we fixed and set up the donated altars, painted the sanctuary, added new woodwork and saw a radical transformation in the appearance of the interior of our church. I have never seen our church more beautiful! God is so good. I am convinced He wants us to experience beauty in worship and has miraculously provided the means to achieve that. He is truly more awesome than we can hope or imagine. He takes loving care of all His children here at St. Ann. May God be praised, and may you be blessed!