Ladies of Divine Mercy hold inaugural event Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Cathy Lins, Catholic Herald Correspondent   
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

PINE BLUFF -- It was the inaugural event for the Ladies of Divine Mercy on January 9 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Pine Bluff.

Ladies of Divine Mercy is an apostolate for Catholic women’s faith formation with monthly Adoration, confession, learning about the faith, and fellowship.

They will be meeting every second Friday of the month from January to May.

Pastor helping to organize

Fr. Rick Heilman, pastor at St Mary, is working with Carol Heitzkey, Rachel Hunstiger, Megan Hardin, Joan Carey, Beth Ptak, and Marie Lins to organize this effort.

Father Heilman is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy -- an apostolate for men.

In talking about the Ladies of Divine Mercy, he said, “This was always a hope of mine. I have owned the domain name for about five years, hoping that this would go in this direction. But it’s all about God’s timing. And by the grace of God, the ladies that we needed to do the hard work of organizing this came forward.”

First event

That evening the church was filled. Father Heilman said the evening exceeded all their expectations. “I stood at the top of the stairs as they were coming in. You could visibly see that the weight of the world was off them. They had big smiles on their faces. It was a time with other women -- in a holy way. And it was good for them. You could tell.”

That evening, Father Heilman spoke on “Holy Hour -- Holy Woman.”

He said, “The first action of Satan is to take away our armor -- our supernatural graces.” He focused on the importance of being in the state of grace, and reconnecting to that state through the use of the Sacrament of Confession.

He tied that into the importance of a holy hour -- of resting in the arms of Jesus and adoring him.

He used the example of Martha and Mary, and how they had Jesus in their living room. And Martha was busy with hospitality while Mary was at his feet, gazing into his eyes.

Then Martha complained about Mary. “Jesus told Martha, ‘You are anxious and upset about many things,’ and this happens when we lose our connection to God,” Father Heilman said. “Mary has chosen the better portion, which is grace and our connection to God.”

He said the service and hospitality is important, but with grace first. “We must first come to the Lord and ‘Mary-i-nate’ at his feet.”

He added, “Evil is advancing because we have let go of our supernatural means. We are sadly mistaken if we think we can keep the peace of our families corporally on our own.”

At the end of the evening, the women enjoyed fellowship in the school gym, enjoying their “Treats and Tea” social.

Those women interested in future meetings are asked to bring a “treat” to share, and some of your favorite “tea.” All treats should be peanut-free.

Any extra “treats” will be going to the St. Mary’s Care Center nursing home residents the next morning.

Looking ahead

Future confirmed speakers include Fr. Eric Sternberg on February 13 and Fr. Gregory Ihm on March 13.

For more information about Ladies of Divine Mercy, look them up on Facebook or contact Rachel Hunstiger at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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