From the Batavia Visionary

Below are Comments of the Batavia Visionary, as presented at a retreat given by Fr. Frank Kenney, S.M., in April of 1996 (Personal Revelations, Volume 4, pp. 127-134):

In looking back on all the extraordinary events that have occurred, and are still occurring, it is sometimes hard to realize that I’m even a small part of it all. In trying to comprehend it myself, I’m reminded of Our Lady’s words, “God does not always choose the best of people,” because I certainly am not worthy of the graces I have received.

I am just like all of you, an ordinary person, trying to survive in these days of difficulty and uncertainty. I have a large family and have to deal with family life and family problems, just as all of you do, every day. Someone recently asked me, “What’s it like to see the Mother of God?” I was speechless. Because most of the time I don’t realize that this beautiful lady, who has become my closest and dearest friend, is the Mother of God. To me she has become only “my friend.” That is not to say that I don’t give her the respect due her as the mother of Jesus, but simply that she has a most natural way of making you feel at ease and comfortable in her presence, and one might tend to forget her heavenly status of Queen of Heaven. She even told me that it was not necessary that I stay on my knees before her and told me to rise so that she could speak to me. However, whenever Jesus is present, she reminds me to “kneel in the presence of God.” In fact, she herself will kneel in reverence of her Son in any vision of Him as a grown man.

Our Lady is indeed so beautiful that there are no words to describe her. I have been lovingly led and taught by her now for nearly five years. Her ways are those of a loving mother and, when she has a reason to correct or reprimand, she does so with a gentle tenderness. She often says, “My ways are always simple,” and, whenever we do anything for her, she reminds us to “keep it simple.”

She does not want anyone to honor her without first honoring her Son Jesus. I too am often reminded of this by her if I should approach her before I go to Jesus.

Another thing I’d like to share is that Our Lady has a wonderful sense of humor. I see this side of her quite often, mostly in her dealing with me, because I consider myself her problem child. When I first was asked by her to “tell a priest,” I told her I didn’t know if I could do that and had a hard time struggling with this request. Now some of you may wonder, “How could you say ‘no’ to the Blessed Mother?” Well, let me tell you, if you are ever faced with the dilemma of approaching a priest and telling him that the Blessed Virgin sent you to him, then you will understand the inner conflict I experienced. Besides, I didn’t exactly say “no.” I just said “later.”

And then I was reprimanded, for Our Lady sent Jesus to me saying, “Do as My Mother tells you.” That ended my hesitation.

There’s another thing that amazes me, even more than all of you, and that is the subsequent turn of events that followed Our Lady’s appearance when she first came to a field in Indiana on September 1, 1991, to five mothers and told us that she was “The Lady of Light.” That in itself was so overwhelming to us that we still have not returned to normal. But now to see all that has come about from that single experience is really amazing.

Who could have guessed how great was God’s plan here and that the appearance of Our Lady on this night was just the beginning of it? I would like now to briefly explain just what did transpire after this blessed event.

At first, all of us who saw Our Lady were permitted to sort of keep her to ourselves and enjoy her company. But shortly after she came to us she told me that I should “tell a priest,” and that is how her public mission here in the land of America as Our Lady of Light began. The first priest she led me to was Father Don Rinfret.

When I first met Father Rinfret at a Marian Conference in Chicago in October of 1991, I had no intention of telling him or anyone else about our experience of seeing Our Lady because I thought it was a gift just for us. Boy, was I ever wrong. Besides, who would believe it? We didn’t even tell our own families for a long time because we felt they would only laugh at us.

However, Our Lady had plans of her own, and I found myself pouring out this story to a priest I had just met in confession there. Later I wondered, “Why did I do that?” But then, I reasoned, it was okay because he didn’t know who I was and I probably would never see him again anyway. So I relaxed.

But again Our Lady’s plan took over. Before we left the conference on Sunday to board our bus home, this priest came from nowhere and grasped my arm saying, “There you are! I sent my angel to find you because I want to know more about your experience.” I was caught, so I yielded reluctantly and told him more details. I also promised to call him at the number on his card which he gave me for this reason. But I didn’t say when, I was still dodging God’s Will.

Before we parted company, I also told him with a smile that I felt it wasn’t his angel that found me, but that it was the work of Our Lady that had brought us together.

Now, it could have all ended then and there because he didn’t have my phone number, and, if I didn’t call him, who would know?

Well, one guess! Our Lady knew and must have heard my thoughts, because she reminded me often after I returned home to call her priest and to do it soon. She also said to trust him because he was hers and was even from her land. Now I was wondering what she could possibly mean by this and got his card out to look at it. Sure enough, she was right. He lived in Maryland. She won. I called him.

Our Lady told me that she would be giving me messages for all of her children and that I should send them to this priest. “So, okay,” I thought, “that’s not too hard. He’s a really nice priest and so far hasn’t said that he thinks I’m just a nut, so maybe I could send these messages and he could share them with his prayer group.” I agreed to do this. So we had a deal.

I started sending her messages only to Father Rinfret, but only for a short time, because at the next conference I attended at Notre Dame in 1992 Our Lady had another surprise for me. She appeared there too and very soon had me agreeing to go to another of her priests. This one was a Father Smith whom I did not know, but whose parish I knew was not too far from where I lived.

This time Our Lady was asking for a lot more than delivering her messages, for she wanted me not only to tell him about her appearances but to inform him that she would be appearing at his church (St. Joseph, Cold Spring, Kentucky) on August 31, 1992 at midnight. Oh boy! I really started squirming about this request! How in the world would I ever make him believe me?

Of course, Our Lady again already had it all planned and told me, “Do not worry about convincing him of this for I will do that.”

Well, to make a long story short, I did go to him with her message. She did prove herself to him and proved her message to be true. I guess you could say that the rest is history although it is not over by any means, for it still continues even today.

At the beginning of Our Lady of Light’s messages to me, she said that there would be three priests whom I would be contacting and that these priests would become her three “ambassadors” in the land of America. One would be from the east, one from the center, and one from the west. After the conference at Notre Dame, we now had two, Father Rinfret (the east) and Father Smith (the center). As the days progressed into months, everyone (including me) was asking, “Who is this priest of the west?”

Whenever I would ask Our Lady about him, she would only smile and say, “Do not be concerned of this, for he will appear, but in God’s time.”

Finally, I just sort of forgot about him because Our Lady was keeping me quite busy dealing with her two priests and sending them her messages. However, I did ask her on one occasion who he was and how we would know him. She told me that I should not be concerned about meeting him because he would be sent to me through someone else. I didn’t understand this, but breathed a sigh of relief because now maybe I could go back to another conference. I had been avoiding them because I was afraid Our Lady would ask me there to approach another priest who was to be her priest of the west. I should have remembered that Our Lady always wins with me even when I hold back from doing as she asks. I should have remembered that she always carries through with whatever she promises or says, but does it in her own way.

On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1993, true to her word, Our Lady introduced her “priest of the west,” and I did hear about him through someone else. This someone else was Father Rinfret, her priest of the east.

I received a phone call from him saying that he had just been to Salt Lake City, Utah, and had met a priest there that was probably the “priest of the west.” He gave me this priest’s phone number and told me to call him. His name was Father Lawrence Sweeney, pastor of Holy Family Church in Ogden, Utah. It seems that this holy priest was receiving special graces already in the form of a miraculous experience during the Consecration of the Mass when a red substance was left in the bottom of the chalice and on the sides when Mass was over. To some this would not seem so ‘different’ but Father Sweeney only uses white wine for the Mass!

Anyway, I’m getting away from my story. So, to get back again, I called this priest right away and found out that he had accepted being Our Lady’s “priest of the west.” She confirmed this fact the next time she appeared to me. She also instructed me to send him a message from her, which I did.

So that’s how the three ambassadors of Our Lady came to be and how I was fortunate enough to meet and work with them for Our Lady. Since that time, I have also come to know another of her wonderful priests, Father Frank Kenney. This priest is in Dayton, Ohio.… He also accepted being a part of her mission here as Our Lady of Light and is working very hard for her and Jesus.

There is one more priest who was called for a special mission by Our Lady and he is Father Ed Carter of Xavier University. He saw Our Lady at St. Joseph Church on the night of August 31, 1992, and has since admitted this publicly. He now receives messages from Our Lady and Our Lord and has written many books to lead people back to God. He also has formed Shepherds of Christ Ministries in order to reach all of the priests. His words from Our Lord are now being sent to priests all over the world (through the Shepherds of Christ newsletter). Just think of the magnitude of this! What a wonderful grace! I was instructed by Our Lady to include him with the priests who were to receive her messages through me.

So you see, Our Lady now has me working with five of her priests. And I didn’t even want to deal with one! I will admit, however, that I have come to enjoy them, for they are all very beautiful souls and all love Our Lady as much as I do. There is also another thing I noted about them and that is that they all have a touch of her wonderful sense of humor which I find very endearing.

Speaking of Our Lady’s sense of humor, in the beginning days, our Lady had promised to send a miracle on December 8, 1991. Well, foolish me, I had expected to maybe see the sun spinning or perhaps to see my rosary turn to gold, or something of this nature.

Now Father Rinfret also knew about this promised miracle and both of us were waiting anxiously for its arrival. On that day, I kept looking toward the sun and checking my rosary beads. Finally at 6 o’clock that evening, I said to Our Lady, “Dear Holy Mother, you promised a miracle today. Did I miss it?”

Then, I clearly heard her say, “Turn on your TV.” “An odd answer,” I thought, but I turned it on. They were just coming on with the evening news and announced, “Communism in the Soviet Union has fallen, etc., etc.” I was dumbfounded and my mouth dropped open in surprise as Our Lady said to me with humor in her voice: “This is my ‘miracle.’ It is for the whole world. Did you think it was to be just for you?”

So Our Lady came through on her word then and she continues to do so today. She is a wonderful mother and wants all of us to listen to her. She herself has said that she would appear in every home if only we would accept her in our hearts. She loves us as every mother loves her children. She also wants us to know that she is real and that God is real. She reminds us that they are not in some far off place, but are right here, right beside us.

Our Lady asks that we convert our lives and acknowledge God in them. She wants us to talk to Them just as we do our best friends. She said that this is real prayer, for, when we do this, we are praying from the heart.

Our Lady has come to earth among us because she loves us, but most of all she has come to take us to her Son Jesus. Once you become her friend, you cannot help but become a friend of her Son.

All of you who are hearing (reading) these words should know that it is no coincidence, because it is your call from Our Lady to come home. It is also your call to help her. Ask her what she wants from you, and I’m sure you will get an answer in one form or another.

Don’t be like me and hesitate. You may as well say “yes” now and give in because, I warn you, she will not give up. She will win you over with her love.

By the way, I’d like to add that, when I called Father Rinfret in Maryland on December 8, 1991 to tell him about Our Lady’s miracle, he answered with an excited voice that he had received his miracle because apparently his whole prayer group had witnessed the miracle of the sun spinning that evening. I smiled before I replied, “Sit down, Father, and let me tell you about her ‘real’ miracle.”

One thing good about this was that now I did not feel I was the only one in hot water with Our Lady because one of her holy priests had also thought that this (promised) miracle was to be just for him.

I could go on forever talking about Our Lady….May each one of you receive the blessing of Our Lady of Light because she has made this promise that I could extend her blessing to all I meet. The best part of this wonderful promise also extends to all of you because she said that anyone that I bless with her blessing could then bless everyone they meet with it. So go out from here and bless the world! You can do this silently or in words. Simply say, “I give you the blessing of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.” It works!

…(I)t is just as she says: “I am here to take you to Jesus. In your joy, in your sorrow, and in all things, go to Jesus.”

— A servant of Mary in Batavia, Ohio