Edited transcript of a Workshop Presentation by Don Pennell
When my children were young we had a little thing going that said, "Whatever you do, don’t tell me what you can’t do. Tell me what you can do."
So by the time they were teenagers, going to high school and having a hard time with their classes, I would begin to say something and they would say, "Never mind, dad, we don’t tell you what we can’t do, we’ll tell you what we can do." And they achieved based on that.
As we travel around the country I hear stories like, "Ah, Don, I can’t do that, I haven’t got the time." "I can’t do that, I don’t know what I’m talking about." "No, I can’t do that because I’m too old."
You CAN Do It!
Well I put the "old" bit to bed. Have you ever heard of Mathusala? Well, Mathusala was 175 when he fathered Lamech. So if God can have him produce a son at 175, I see no reason why you people here can’t work for Mary.
So, in the next 15 minutes, we are going to take this "I can’t" and turn it into "I can".
I don’t care how old you are. I see a lot of grey hair. I have grey hair and I ride a bicycle with a tent and a sleeping bag, and I can do 50 miles in a day. And I’m a senior citizen. So what does that tell you? It tells you, you can do it.
So what can we do to get the word out? Because Our Lady said: "Make My message known."
Let’s talk about radio for example. You all listen to radio. Usually you have a personality you like to listen to. Maybe it’s the religious programming you have, maybe it’s the news or a talk show.
Or maybe you know somebody at that radio station, maybe you know the secretary there. Then make it a point to see that secretary at work at the radio station. Tell her who you are and have a piece of literature from the Fatima Center in your hand.
And say, "Look, I think you should know about this," and tell her what your ulterior motive is. Your ulterior motive is to get Father Gruner on that radio station, because they own the mass media. That’s how the message gets out.
You Need Information
But you’ve got to get into that radio station and the only way to get in there is to talk to the one or two people that you know. But you’ve got to have information.
Down the hall in our bookroom, we have all the information. Tomorrow when we close at 5:00, when I walk into that room and I say my name, I want to hear an echo. And all I want to see is tables and chairs and no books, no brochures left.
Because, how can you spread the message if you don’t have something in your hand to give out, to read? I saw a lady yesterday come up and pick up a piece of literature, one little piece, nice. Like it was gold, I can only take one piece of literature.
Do you know five people? You better pick up five pieces of literature.
Do you know 10 people? There goes 10 pieces of literature for ten people. That’s what we mean. That’s what this seminar is all about. It’s about action.
Radio and TV
So you go to the radio station and pretty soon somebody says, "Well yeah, maybe we would be interested in having Father Gruner on." You’ve done your job. You may not know how to get him on, but you give a call to the Fatima Center and you say, "I think I can get Father Gruner on radio." "Oh good, who, what, when, where, why?" Give us the information and we will finish it.
All we are asking you to do is open the door. Open the door for us to come through, and we can do it.
The same thing with television. On NBC, ABC? No, if you have a local cable station and you live in that community — that’s what it’s about. And if they have a religion program, say, "Hold it just for a minute, I’ve got a video we produced that you can show." And we can have that put on free of charge. Make a point to go down to the TV station, see that person, because, quite frankly, there are times when they need you more than you need them, because they are running out of material. They are looking for new material to put on their station.
And so you’re walking in with a video that’s going to plug 30 or 60 minutes of their time.
"Thank you very much ... we’ve been looking for something." Or if they want an interview with Father, say, "Fine."
These stations don’t have a lot of money, but if we are going to reach 5,000 or 10,000 people, we’ll be glad to pay for that telephone call so they can interview Father Gruner. "Oh, it won’t cost you anything?" "No, I’ll get in touch with the Fatima Center, they will call you." And you give us the name and address, and we will follow through.
Newspapers, how many newspapers are there around Los Angeles? Just to give you an idea, every newspaper has a religion editor and that religion editor is not necessarily Catholic. They are usually non-denominational because what they are working for and reporting on is every denomination so they are usually pretty open-minded. So this past summer when Father Gruner was speaking at a conference in Phoenix, we got a phone call saying, "Oh, I know the editor of the East Valley Scottsdale Tribune. I think I can get him to do an interview with Father Gruner."
A few days later, we called him and what do we get? A personal interview newspaper article called "The Priest of Fatima." Thousands of people now read about Fatima.
Now how hard was that? I don’t care if you are 60 or 80, you pick up the telephone and phone the editor and say, "This is who I am", and chances are they will say, "Yes, come on down."
"I have some information for you." But you are only going to have this information if you clear that room out.
How Easy It Is
Do you know 15 people? There go 15 more pieces of literature. You see how easy it is. It’s real easy. All you have to do is say to your friends, "Do you know about Fatima?" Assume they don’t. Always assume they don’t know about Fatima because in most cases they don’t. So you’ve got that piece of literature saying, "Here, I want you to read this, Carmen. I think you’ll find this interesting. Okay. It’s about Fatima. You love Mary, don’t you?" "Yes." "Okay, read that." Then a week later, "Did you read that?" "Yeah, that was interesting." "Well here’s another piece."
Pretty soon, after two or three or four weeks ... "Do you have a friend you can pass it to?" "Yes, I know Carol." You see what happens, on and on and on it goes.
How many of you people know what the Christian Coalition was? Does anybody know? The Christian Coalition was Pat Robertson and Reed. And with a small number of the people, they helped elect Ronald Reagan because they got Christian groups to vote Republican. Now why can’t we, as a small group here, change the face of Los Angeles? 2 + 2 is 4. 4 + 4 is 8. It doesn’t take much to multiply.
That looks after the newspapers.
Now we get down to the bishops. This is the fun part. I know a bishop personally. If I pick up the phone and say, "Excellency, can I come in and speak to you?" He’ll say, "Yes, come on in." I’m sure some of you here know a bishop. Remember what I said, the room is full of material.
There is a bishop just waiting to read this material. Hes waiting to read about the Message of Fatima because he probably doesn’t know that much about it.
So you are going to feed him that kind of information, because there are two things we want from that bishop: One, we want him to join with the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The second thing we would like is for him to meet the "Fatima Priest", Father Gruner, because most of the priests think Father Gruner is a bogeyman. It’s not true, but how can you defend against that? How can you defend against "Father Gruner is suspended, don’t talk to him"?
You can’t do it unless you go down to that room and pick up a dozen copies of this "Actually Virginia, Father Gruner is Not Suspended." This is the bullet in the gun. This is your ammunition to defend not only Father Gruner but to defend Our Lady of Fatima.
Here’s the material. I don’t want to see any of these left. None. Read it and understand it and give it to a bishop. Ask him to read it, you never know what might happen.
If you get to see the bishop, try and arrange for us to come and see him as representatives of the Fatima Center. Once you’ve "opened the door", you can follow up with a little note every now and then as mailings come through from the Fatima Center, "Thought you might be interested in this, Your Excellency." Feed it through.
Or maybe you send them a religious medal on a Feast day. "Thought you might be interested." Pretty soon, you break down the hardened heart and that is what you want to do. Break down that hardened heart.
If you can’t get to the bishop, there’s the vicar general. Remember, every house has two doors. If you can’t get in the front, go to the back. Same thing. You are still inside. So make a friend by going to see the vicar general and maybe the vicar general will start feeding information to the bishop.
How do you get in there? How many of you people here know a receptionist at the local bishop’s office? Or do you know anybody in the bishop’s office? Don’t get cramps by putting your hands up now. Okay, what you do is you just go in and knock on the door and make yourself known.
You know you are like the kid that wants the candy. They want the candy, don’t they ask for it?
How many of those bishops, and how many of those vicar generals and how many of those secretaries know about the desecration by the Hindus? They don’t.
They’d love to have this information. There’s about 500 copies down there, 200 people here, so that’s about 2½ copies apiece. But there should be none of those copies left here.
Go Up the Ladder
You can also talk to your local priests or your local deacon. Remember, the deacon is associated with the priest, the priest is associated with the bishop, and on and on it goes.
So if you have to start at the bottom, start at the bottom. We have a deacon here today and I’ll bet if we gave him this information, he would read it, if he didn’t already follow Fatima. And then we can say, "Why don’t you pass that on to your priest?" Pretty soon it goes up the ladder.
I’m a 4th degree Knight of Columbus. My council has said, "Bring Mary in. Give a talk on Her." No problem. Why not all the councils across this country, why can’t that happen there?
Just Four Tea Bags
What’s the price of four tea bags? Not much. So what happens? Well you invite four lady friends, or five, to come into your home because you have a beautiful book that you want to talk to them about, The Devil’s Final Battle. And you know what you want to do? You want to start out by reading a chapter this week and talk about it over a cup of tea. And next week, say, "Come on back, we’ll do Chapter Two over a cup of tea."
But the idea is: Have your friends in. You can be 80 years old and you can invite your friends in to read a chapter of the book and discuss it and give out literature. By the time you hit the 8th or 9th chapter, you get one of them to start it. They may not come to your house anymore, they might start their own.
You see what can happen? 1 + 1 is 2, 2 + 2 is 4, 8, 16.
If the 12 apostles can do it, what’s wrong with 12 followers of Mary doing it? They had it just as hard.
Easy Online Outreach
One thing we talked about here is the computer. I think you will find this is fun. Those of you who have computers are going to have a riot.
This one here is called discussion groups. This one is called, "Mary, Mother of God discussion board". What you do is you take Google and you type in "discussion group Mary". That is all you have to type in. Up comes "discussion group". What I put in one day was "the desecration by the Hindus". Within 3 days, over 50 people responded to that. The next one I put in was "Fatima". Over 40 people, within 2 days responded, which means I now can communicate.
They are saying, "Oh, that Hindu thing was terrible." I’d write back and say, "Yeah, they’re ‘pagans’." And the next guy would write back and say, "Oh, you can’t use the word ‘pagan’." I said, "Well, if St. Francis Xavier can use the word ‘pagan’, I can use the word ‘pagan’. He paved the way."
So all of you who have computers, go to the "Mary discussion board". Do you know how many people you can influence? An incredible number of people.
Can We Not Give an Hour a Week?
Father Gruner has given 25 years I swear its 20 hours a day — defending Our Lady, promoting the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. Can we not give one hour a week? Can we not give two hours a week to Our Lady?
You have the information and information becomes knowledge and with that knowledge you can overcome the hardened heart. Because your heart is soft enough to break it down. You don’t need force, you need knowledge and you need to ask in prayer for Our Lady’s help in softening hard hearts.
The knowledge is here for you. We have a lot of books with us; they would make magnificent Christmas presents. Buy The Devil’s Final Battle and give it to your daughter or son-in-law. The gift of a book is so precious.
So ladies and gentlemen, come next door to our bookroom. It’s a day of action. You heard about action and now I want you to act.
The Fatima Center carries a wide selection of good Catholic reading to each event. All these books and more are also available directly from the Fatima Center (see: "Be a Messenger of Truth and Hope!" ). Call 1-800-263-8160.
Free Fatima materials, scapulars and rosaries are distributed wherever our Pilgrim Virgin statue visits.