CONVERSION STORY NO.???????????????

We have talked before about how our Conversion Stories never really end. Every once in a while something new happens that makes us want to re-commit ourselves to Jesus. This is one of those stories.

About 7 years or so ago, I started having a very fast heart beat, which then caused other problems, which resulted in several operations and a loss of energy. Of course, at the same time, I was getting older, which also results in a loss of that youthful energy.  Anyway, a few years before that after I retired from  working, I started talking to Jesus and asked Him what he wanted me to do next. After several years of prayer, and “What do you want me to do”? and several bible classes, a thought hit me during the night.  It seems, I always get my communications from Jesus at night.

The people that had been leading our bible and religious study classes had either moved or were worn out and had stopped coming up with ideas. It seems that is what Jesus wanted me to do. I had not led classes and come up with ideas for years, since before  I was married 25 years ago, so this took some praying and courage.  I was taking bible study classes in another church in our Cluster, so had someone to talk about it with and bounce things off from. Then the Presence Catholic Radio came on the air in our Area.

The Presence. FM is another miracle.  There are not that many Catholics in Maine. The Presence runs totally on donations. It started 6 years ago in Southern Maine and moved north, area by area until it covers all of Maine.   It is very informative, and everyone that listens, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, learn a lot.  I just happened to be listening one morning on the way to exercise class and heard the Rosary and then a prayer in song called: THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY.  This is a beautiful prayer, and the first time I heard it, it brought tears to my eyes.

First though, one thing I learned from one of the Presence talk shows, was that the Rosary, and the Mysteries that go with it, form  a STRING OF THE LIFE OF JESUS. Each Mystery that we say between the ten Hail Marys and the Our Fathers is a point in Jesus life and by the end of each week, day by day, we cover the Life of Jesus. It is so beautiful when you realize this.

Anyway, I thought more people should hear and pray the Chaplet. I did some research, spoke to other people at our church and spoke to our Parish Priest. The Sunday after Easter is called DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY, and the Pope had asked all Catholics and other Christians to pray the Chaplet on that Sunday afternoon at 3 PM for peace in our world. Three PM is the hour that Christ died and it is a special time for prayer.  It worked, the Priest agreed, and I and many others in our church worked to make Divine Mercy Sunday afternoon a very special time of prayer.  It worked so well that Father decided we should move this prayer service to other Churches in our Cluster, and that is what we have done.  This year it will be in another of our churches and we can all still pray together.

Why do I call this one of my Conversion Stories? Because, this Chaplet brought more prayer and joy back into my life. It is something I can share and other friends can share with me.  There are many benefits to saying the Chaplet and people all over the world say this Chaplet at 3PM each day, especially on Fridays.  So even if I say it at 5PM, someone somewhere is saying this prayer and we are praying for peace, for souls in Purgatory and other special requests for our family, friends and ourselves. Jesus listens.

If you type in “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” on Google or another search engine, you will see a picture of Jesus with the words, “JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.”




DAV life member Lester Tenney reflects on the forced POW march that left thousands of his fellow American service members dead during WWII. by M. Todd Hunter, DAV magazine July/Aug. 2015

After learning what Lester Tenney endured in April 1942 and for more than three years thereafter, one may not be inclined to consider him lucky.

Surrounded by malaria and dysentery, and with little to no food or water, Tenney was one of an estimated 80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war who endured the Bataan Death March, a forced 60-mile trek in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

During the brutal march, his captors, the Imperial Japanese Army, beat him and many others with sticks and rifles.  His teeth were knocked out. His head and nose were split open. His ribs were broken. So why would anyone consider him lucky?

Of the roughly 12,000 American troops who set off on the march, Tenney was one of only about 1,700 who survived to the end of WWII. Today, fewer than a hundred survivors are estimated to still be alive.

“It was called a ‘death march’ not because of how many died,” Tenney explained while in Washington, D.C. to attend Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s address before Congress in May. “They called it a ‘death march’ because of the way they died. If you stopped on the road, you were killed. If you had a malaria attack, they killed you. If you had to stop to defecate, they killed you.  If you just couldn’t take another step, they killed you.”

He later added that his captors’ indifference to the lives of his fellow brother-in-arms was evident in the manner the Japanese executed them……………………….

“I would see a herd of caribou in the distance, and I would say to myself, “I must get to the herd of caribou,” he explained.  “Then when I got to the herd of caribou, I’d find another goal and another goal and another goal.  Every day was another goal.”

At 94, Tenney  claims he has lived his life setting small goas for himself every day since.  It’s a frame of mind that undoubtedly helped him endure his forced labor in Japanese coal mines after surviving the march–working 12 hours daily for more than three years.

A high-school dropout, Tenney returned home from the war, got married, raised a family, earned a Ph.D. and enjoyed a career as a finance and insurance professor at Arizona State University. After retiring in 1983, the DAV Life Member wrote “MY HITCH IN HELL” about his experiences as a POW.

Today, Tenney spends his time sending care packages to American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan and often travels around the country talking about his experiences–all without holding a grudge about the atrocities he experienced decades ago.


“As our nation pauses to reflect on the 70th anniversary of V-J Day (Sept.2), it’s important to recognize those who persevered until victory during WWII.” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Lester Tenney is one such individual and a perfect example of the exemplary service paid forth by those belonging to the Greatest Generation.”

“I do believe that every man that came back from Bataan is disabled in some manner, either mentally, emotionally or through physical attributes,” Tenney concluded. “And I think we’re all a member of the DAV in one way or the other.:

WATCH VIDEO ONLINE:  Watch an interview with Lester Tenney at:

Also to get more info. on DAV go to: or or @davhq.