1/31/12

The power of Charismatic prayer

Saint Charles Borromeo Church

R.I. Catholic


The power of Charismatic prayer


BY LAURA KILGUS, Staff Reporter






PROVIDENCE — When he was 18, Deacon Jose Rico was “searching for God.” After attending a Life in the Spirit seminar, an introduction to take the steps toward a personal encounter with Jesus, he became enlightened as to what it meant to be a Charismatic Catholic during an evening of dynamic praise and worship.“That night, for the first time, it all came to life,” he said. “I knew in that moment, that God loved me so much. It was the release of the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t stop crying and my heart was pumping fast. The Charismatic renewal is mainly people who have had this experience, but it can happen anywhere. It is an experience that gives them life. It is like a magnet drawing you to the richness of the church.”

St. Charles Borromeo Church in Providence is often referred to in the Diocese of Providence as a Charismatic parish where the Charismatic style of prayer is common. Many parishioners are expressive in their worship and are free to raise their hands in prayer during songs, pray their own prayers audibly, and pray in tongues.

“We are sentimental people,” said Deacon Rico, who works full-time as the parish Hispanic pastoral assistant. “We like to experience these feelings and emotion and a lively Liturgy brings that out.”

The deacon explained that Catholics from across the Ocean State visit St. Charles because of the attraction of the Charismatic atmosphere.

“People come in and say that there is something here that is different to them,” said Deacon Rico. “It’s the spirituality that you can’t really describe, but you can experience it. It is an experience with God.”

Ed Sousa said, “What I like about the Charismatic Mass is that it is so full of joy and praise to Our Lord, and the Mass comes alive.”.

St. Charles Borromeo Church also offers weekly Charismatic Prayer Meetings in which Catholics gather to give thanks and praise God. Father Jaime Garcia, parish administrator of St. Charles Borromeo, said that close to 300 people attend the Tuesday evening meetings.

“We praise Jesus, pray together, pray scripture, give a teaching, and give thanks to the Lord,” he said. “Every night is different but that’s the structure.”

Father Garcia explained that a Charismatic Prayer Meeting cannot be compared to a Eucharistic celebration and that the Mass celebrated at St. Charles Borromeo is the same Mass that is celebrated everywhere.

“It is a little more lively, we just let the Spirit flow,” said Father Garcia. “We don’t invite people to come to Charismatic Mass, we invite them to come to Mass.”

Charismatic prayer is a vehicle of communicating with God and the Holy Spirit. Deacon Rico explained that Catholics should pray as they feel comfortable, but also respecting others and keep open to the Holy Spirit.

A significant number of younger Catholics are drawn to the vibrancy of charismatic prayer, said Deacon Rico. Recently, thousands of teenagers gathered at the University of Rhode Island to attend the Steubenville East youth conference hosted by Life Teen.

During a weekend that celebrates the Catholic faith and the power of the Holy Spirit, attendees explained it is not uncommon to see teenagers shouting in praise, lifting their hands and clapping to the rhythm of dynamic worship music.

Adelle Tetreault, 17, of Narragansett, said that her experience was special because she was able to share it with such a large number of other teenagers who wanted to come together to glorify God.

“I knew this was going to be a Mass unlike any other Mass I had ever experienced,” she explained. “I think one of the aspects of the Masses at Steubenville East that attracts young people would have to be the music played because it is songs that we have heard and know the words to.”

Kathryn Robenhymer, a parishioner of St. Thomas More Church, in Narragansett recently returned from her third Steubenville East conference.

“I felt like the Mass was directed toward me,” she said. “I think the upbeat music and charisma of the Mass allows high schoolers to engage in and relate to the Mass in a special way.”

Robenhymer added that the lively liturgy directed toward teenagers attracts young people to the church.

“Being able to celebrate the Mass and share the love of Christ with other high schoolers, who are at the same point in life as me and that I can relate to, is an incredible experience,” she said.

In his address to participants in a meeting by the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant in October 2008, Pope Benedict XVI said that it is important to “safeguard the Catholic identity of Charismatic Communities and to encourage them to maintain a strict bond with the Bishops and with the Roman Pontiff.”

Father Garcia emphasized that his parish is committed to living the faith and the lifting up of the Catholic Church.

“We are very faithful to our Catholic teachings and we teach that in our charismatic church,” he said. “We are very Eucharistic centered and have had perpetual adoration since 1986. We are very supportive of the pope and our bishops and always support the teachings of the faith.”

Deacon Rico said that many people have different ideas of what it means to be a charismatic Catholic and those ideas often get misguided.

“One of the things that people get shocked about is the speaking in tongues, the raising of hands and clapping,” he said. “It was something I never saw. When I had gone to Mass before it was always quiet. We came in quietly and left quietly. But, the Holy Spirit has been renewing his church throughout the ages. It’s part of the church history.”

Deacon Rico added that faith is contagious because the Holy Spirit works within all of us.

* “The real charismatic experience is when your Catholic faith comes alive.”
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QDOcDGDWA
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English Charismatic Body of Christ Meeting every Thursday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 178 Dexter Street, Providence, R.I.  Phone-401-421-6441
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LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARS are also available to anyone who wishes to attend. All are invited to come and join us for an evening of prayer, witnessing and healing, beginning with the celebration of the Holy Mass.

The Healing Power of Jesus


Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)

Jesus’ compassion and love really shine out in the miraculous events described in today’s Gospel reading. Moved with pity, he showed great mercy toward people who were in distress and without hope. It’s not surprising, then, that Jesus’ mira­cles have frequently been called “the good news made visible.”

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Christ’s compas­sion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that ‘God has visited his people’ and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand” (CCC, 1503). Restoring health to the sick and life to those who have died also points toward the transforma­tion that will take place at the end of time. That’s when our mortal, per­ishable bodies will finally be clothed with imperishability and immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).

When Jesus worked miracles two thousand years ago, people saw his love and were moved to embrace his message of salvation. The same thing can happen today when we read about these healings in the Gospels. We can see in them Jesus’ invitation to open ourselves to his mercy and to put our faith in his saving power.

Day by day, God continues to work miracles to bring us to whole­ness and deeper conversion. We may not understand why everyone is not healed when we pray. Still, while some are not healed, others are! Even if we haven’t experienced God miraculously healing us, many of us know of wondrous deeds that he has done in our midst—perhaps a parishioner whose brain tumor inexplicably disappeared after prayer or a friend whose hearing improved dramatically just moments after she received the Eucharist.

Just as the woman with the hem­orrhage reached out to Jesus, we can reach out to him right now. He will tell us the same thing he told Jairus: “Do not be afraid; just have faith” (Mark 5:36). So let’s all press closer to Jesus. Let’s cry out to him for healing and hope. He loves to answer us with miraculous signs of his presence and love!

“Jesus, unleash a wave of healing power throughout your church. Touch the sick and the suffering, and restore them to wholeness and well­being.”
2Samuel18:9-10,14,23-25,30–19:3; Psalm 86:1-6

1/30/12

Jesus still heals people today.


“They caught sight of the man … sitting there clothed and in his right mind.” (Mark 5:15)

Today we are once again reminded of Jesus’ power to heal and restore people. The Gospels are filled with stories like this—so much that it’s hard to deny that Jesus really did perform works of healing and deliverance. But what may be less accepted is the claim that the risen Jesus still heals people today!

Yes, Jesus wants to heal us, both physically and interiorly. He wants to set us free from sickness and from the guilt, anxieties, fear, and bitter­ness that bind us up and keep us distant from him. And he wants to do this through us. That’s right—he wants you to be an instrument of his peace and healing!

The church teaches that when we are baptized, we are given a share in the very life of God. Doesn’t it make sense, then, that this would include a share in Jesus’ ability to heal? St. Paul goes so far as to list healing as one of the gifts that the Holy Spirit pours out on believers (1 Corinthians 12:9).

As members of the body of Christ, we can all pray for people to be made whole. All it takes is a simple prayer, asking Jesus to come to those who are hurting. We can ask him to give them peace. We can ask him to speak his words of comfort and heal­ing to their hearts and bodies. Any one of us can soak our loved ones in prayer and trust that God will per­form just the right healing at just the right time.

In recent years, the church has seen a remarkable growth in the number of teams of lay people who are learning how to pray with parish­ioners who come to them for heal­ing. Many come with heavy burdens like serious illness, family problems, relationship difficulties, and inner wounds. These healing teams are careful not to try to solve people’s problems or give advice. Their one goal is to create an open, trusting environment so that people can meet Jesus, the Great Physician.

Jesus is still healing people today! As Scripture states so beautifully: “The Lord is close to the broken­hearted” (Psalm 34:19).

“Jesus, teach me how to be your instrument of healing, peace, and restoration.”

2 Samuel 15:13-14,30; 16:5-13; Psalm 3:2-7

1/29/12

Become my extended hands...


Photo by Bernard Gallagher
  http://www.crownofstars.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Become my extended hands...


“Become my extended hands...” In light of these words from the most recent message of Our Lady, this article by Fr Jozo Zovko is very fitting.



• A mother told me that her son, about fifteen years ago, was hospitalised in Germany. He was in a coma for six months. Initially she and her husband were not allowed to see their son because the doctors thought that the boy would be traumatised if he saw his parents. The young boy had fallen from a tall building and had fractured all of his bones. When the physicians felt they could not do anything more for the boy they told the parents, “We do not expect your son to live. Now you may visit him.”

His mother had prepared herself for that visit through prayer and fasting. She, her husband, and their other children went to the hospital. The doctors accompanied them to the boy’s room. There they saw what appeared to be a long white stone upon the bed; he was completely covered in a cast except for his forehead. His mother laid her hand on her son’s forhead and began praying. During the prayer her son awoke from the coma and said, “Mama.”

The doctors were taken aback. They tried to explain this phenomenon. They said that when the mother touched her son’s body she transmitted her heartbeat to him through her pulse, and the boy recognised it and was awakened. When the mother heard this explanation she said, “No, it is not true. What does pulse mean? I prayed for my son, and Our Lady awoke him.”

Today this man is in good health and comes often to Medjugorje. His mother was right. Our Lady for the past years has been holding her hands upon the body of the Church, as she held her hand upon the body of the young man in a coma, and watched and prayed for him every day. Now she is watching over you every day.

Our Lady has given us the Son, whom one does not lose. Our Lady holds your hands. Will she succeed in awaking you? It depends on you. Medjugorje is more than a clinic; it is a large candle always burning brightly for prayer, love and peace. People pray everywhere in Medjugorje. They pray together in church, on the mountain and in their homes. They pray throughout the day.

• Adapted from Fr Jozo’s book: Medjugorje, A Testimony

Posted by pilgrim at 9:40 PM   http://www.crownofstars.blogspot.com/

1/28/12

You must be Born of the Holy Spirit






BORN OF THE SPIRIT
Father Steven Reilly, LC

John 3: 7b-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know my needs better than I do. I turn to your Holy Spirit to teach me what to ask for in this prayer. I want to fulfill your holy will over my life. I love you, Lord, and I place all my hope in you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith!

1. You Are the Teacher of Israel. Nicodemus was one of the leading teachers, yet here he tries to make a quiet request for information from Jesus. As a religious teacher he was well versed in the rules and regulations, but there was still a gap in his knowledge. He didn’t know about the Holy Spirit and the new existence that we receive by being born of “water and the spirit.” In a way, he can’t be blamed, since Jesus had not yet revealed it, but it just goes to show us how fundamental spiritual knowledge is in order to be a credible spiritual leader. As committed Catholics, we need to lead others to deeper faith. But will we do so to the degree that we know the faith and are living it in our hearts?

2. Being Born of the Spirit. Are we practical materialists? At times we become so enmeshed in the reality of daily life that we don’t give the slightest thought to the spiritual world, which is infinitely greater than the material one that consumes all our attention. Through our baptism, we are marked out for heavenly things. We bear on our soul the indelible mark that proclaims to the universe that we are children of God. Every time we take a spiritual breath, and glance heavenwards, we renew that birth in the Spirit through which the Lord claimed us as his own. Let’s never spend more than a minute as practical materialists!

3. Giving Testimony. Jesus speaks here about giving testimony. He wants us to be his witnesses as well. He wants us to continue to proclaim to the world the reality of the “heavenly things” that he revealed. Possibly the greatest testimony we can give is the happiness and charity of our lives. Joyful, charitable Catholics carry in their very demeanor the sign that their faith is authentic. Before you get angry, upset, or critical, ask yourself, “Is this the testimony of a life filled with the Holy Spirit?”

Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life. At times, I don’t always live in accord with the great blessing you have given me, but I know that your patience and mercy always give me another chance. Help me to love others and give them a glimpse of heaven through my charity.

Resolution: In my conversation today, I will try to say something that will plant a spiritual seed in others.
Lord, Let your Spirit shine on me.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXnY-dcAR1g

Prayer for Healing


A Prayer for Healing:



Heavenly Father, I call You right now in a special way. It is through Your power that I was created.

Every breath I take, every morning I wake, and every moment of every hour, I live under Your power.

Father, I ask You now to touch me with that same power. For you created me from nothing, You can now certainly recreate me. Fill me with the healing power of your Holy Spirit.Cast out anything that should not be in me. Mend what is broken. Root out any unproductive cells. Open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild any damaged areas. Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection.

Let the warmth of Your healing love pass through my body to make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function.

And Father, restore me to full health in mind and body so that I may serve You the rest of my life.

I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

1/26/12

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”


Timothy and Titus

I remember you constantly in my prayers. (2 Timothy 1:3)

Born in Galatia, in present-day Turkey, Timothy was appointed by Paul at an early age as a fellow apos­tle. He accompanied Paul on many of his travels and became one of his closest associates. Later, Paul com­missioned him to lead the church at Ephesus. From Scripture we can gather that Timothy was rather timid and needed lots of encouragement from his mentor. Yet we also know that Timothy died a martyr’s death after publicly denouncing the wor­ship of the goddess Diana—in her own temple, no less!

So what gave this quiet pastor the courage to take such a bold stand? We could say that it was the grace that came to Timothy when Paul laid hands on him (2 Timothy 1:6). But there is more to it than that. Paul’s exhortation in itself must have been very inspiring. Timothy knew what his responsibilities as a bishop entailed, and he knew that God was with him. But he also needed strong encouragement to do all that God was asking of him.

Our world places a high value on self-reliance. But not even the great saints of the past operated alone.
Either they were part of a faith com­munity or they were accountable to someone who could help them on their spiritual journey. As Timothy needed the support of Paul, we need the support of our brothers and sis­ters in Christ. We also need to give out that support as well. None of us will get to heaven by ourselves!

There’s a reason why Jesus told his disciples: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). It’s not that he isn’t with us as individuals. No, it’s that we function best when we are united as the body of Christ. As we gather in Jesus’ name, the Holy Spirit ministers not only to us but through us. It doesn’t matter how “little” our ministry, parish group, or small group is. It’s not little to God. So give thanks for your fellow believers. You really do need them!

“Lord, help me see the gift that my fellow Christians are to me—and the gift that I can be to them. Show me how to participate more fully in your body, Lord.”
Psalm 96:1-3,7-8,10; Mark 4:21-25
Saint Charles Church, Providence, R. I.

1/25/12

Medjugorie Sing Alleluia to the Lord


Today, Let us just sing songs of praise the Lord.

Daily Grace: Let Prayer Become A Joy For You


Daily Grace: Let Prayer Become A Joy For You: Dear children! With joy, also today I call you to open your hearts and to listen to my call. Anew, I desire to draw you closer to my Im...

Our Lady's Medjugorje Message to Marija of January 25, 2012


Dear children! With joy, also today I call you to open your hearts and to listen to my call. Anew, I desire to draw you closer to my Immaculate Heart, where you will find refuge and peace. Open yourselves to prayer, until it becomes a joy for you. Through prayer, the Most High will give you an abundance of grace and you will become my extended hands in this restless world which longs for peace. Little children, with your lives witness faith and pray that faith may grow day by day in your hearts. I am with you. Thank you for having responded to my call. January 25, 2012

1/24/12

Mary of Medjugorje comes to save a young man.

Mary of Medjugorje comes to save young man through apparition on the Internet!

Mary of Medjugorje comes to save young man through apparition on the Internet!
I have heard many beautiful stories of Mary coming to a person and pulling them out of darkness in an instant, with her overwhelming embrace of love, and this is perhaps the most immediate conversion I’ve encountered. And, of all ways, it happened through the Internet!

The visionary Ivan and Cardinal Schönborn
As incredible and doubtful as it may be, Mary seems to be blessing people through her live apparitions, live-streamed through Mary TV. This wouldn’t make sense, except for the fact that God can do anything, and testimonies are verifying it. According to the Medjugorje visionary Ivan, Mary blesses those present to the live-streamed apparition, and any objects they bring to be blessed, just as she would those standing next to the visionary. (The next apparition to be broadcast will be January 31st through www.marytv.tv. Click on the link for details.) The theological assistant to Cardinal Schönborn, primary author of the Catholic Catechism, who supports the Medjugorje visionaries, clarified the Church’s teaching: “Section 12 of the ‘Enchirdion Indulgentiarum’ (the ‘Handbook of Indulgences’) can be taken analogically: Through broadcasts or digital transmissions, blessings will be received by those who participate ‘piously and devoutly’ and this includes also religious items brought with them, in the same way as if they had participated personally.” It would follow the mercy and kindness of God to bring His mother close to as many people as possible. The blessings may be an answer to the prayers those who lament not being able to travel to Medjugorje themselves.
I have no doubt that many would balk at this, or at least wonder; but before you assume God would somehow ignore modern day telecommunications to impart His grace in this way, read this story . . .

Coming Home through the Intercession of Our Lady

Scurrying down the steps, I frantically found myself in search of my gym shoes, which I’d misplaced the night before. I was due at the gym in five minutes to meet friends for a Thursday evening workout. Yes, once again, I was running late. At that exact moment, my phone rang. It was my mother: “Did you get a chance to watch Ivan’s and Marija’s apparition yet?” she asked. Responding impatiently, I replied “No mom, I’m already late as it is. I’ll watch it when I get back.” Sitting down to tie my shoes, I suddenly stopped. Feeling drawn towards the webcast of the Medjugorje visionaries’ apparition, and guilty for being reluctant with my mother, I gave in. It was the evening of September the 23rd, 2010, and my life, as I knew it, was never going to be the same.

My senior picture at Bryan High School in Omaha, Nebraska, back in my "cool" days
Growing up I attended St. Bernadette Catholic grade school. Although tuition was expensive, the sacrifice my parents endured was worth the Catholic-based education my siblings and I received. Their sacrifice instilled in me a foundation I would newly discover later in life. When I was in grade school, we attended weekly Mass, including Sundays. After my eighth grade year, I decided to enroll in a public high school, solely for athletic reasons, and found myself going to Mass on Sundays only. And to be honest, the only reason I went is because my parents forced me and my twin brother to go; if I’d had it my way, I would have slept in until noon.
Life at this time was going as planned. I graduated from high school and entered my first year of college. College was exciting: new friends, new environment, living away from my parents. However, with this newly acquired freedom came the element of choice. I suddenly found myself choosing not to attend Mass. At this stage in my life, I became distant from God and the Catholic Church. I obtained a job working security at a downtown club and started traveling down a dead-end path. I found myself going home with various women whom I met at work. On several occasions, I ended up at strip-clubs until the early morning hours. With after-hour parties taking place weekly, there wasn’t a weekend when I was in bed sleeping before the sun came up. I would drive home intoxicated, past the church I used to attend, observing families arriving at morning Sunday Mass. The devil had me right where he wanted me, and I was only adding fuel to his fire. My life continued on this path for the next several years.
One evening my mother invited me to attend a speaking engagement at our local parish, where a man, having returned from the pilgrimage site of Medjugorje, gave a testimony of his recent trip to the small town located near Bosnia and Herzegovina. I reluctantly went, only because it would make my mother happy. As I sat there that night, I heard the man talk about a place where six visionaries were experiencing apparitions of Our Blessed Mother. I had no clue about Medjugorje, and to be completely honest, I didn’t care and wasn’t really paying attention. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Myself and one of God's greatest gifts to me, my twin brother. We were born on December the 8th, the feast day of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception
Time passed until last September, 2010. As a gift, my mother gave me a book that left a great impression on me. The book was titled, Queen of the Cosmos: Interviews with the Visionaries of Medjugorje. I took the book to work where it sat on my desk for several weeks, collecting dust. One day while sitting at work, with an hour or so to spare, and nothing else to do, I did something that would forever impact the depths of my soul. I opened the book and began to read. In this book, the visionaries shared how they saw the Virgin Mary, as I’ve never heard Her described, comparing Her beauty to beyond our comprehension. As I continued to read, I began to fall completely in love with the lady whom they were describing. After reading the book in just two days, I knew nothing but understood everything. This young, pure, loving, vibrant woman was my Mother, and I was Her son. I developed a passion and curiosity for the apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje, and this marked the beginning of what I call my miraculous conversion through her intercession.
A week after I’d read the Queen of the Cosmos book, my mother informed me that an apparition would be streamed live through the internet to various parts of the globe; and not only this, but according to the visionary Ivan, special graces would be granted to those witnessing the broadcast of the apparition, no matter where they were located. Although I felt somewhat reluctant to take time to observe the apparition, I was extremely excited to see the visionaries Ivan and Marija communicate with the Mother of God.

The visionaries Marija and Ivan at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna for their September 23, 2010 apparition
The date was September 23, 2010, at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. As I sat witnessing this live event on the Internet, I felt someone surround me with her presence, as though she had entered the room. I quickly looked up, expecting to see someone standing there. I didn’t see anyone, yet the person’s presence was becoming more and more intense. I describe it as if someone were standing with their face inches from yours, but you’re unable see anyone. At that moment, I felt a love that was not of this world, a love more pure that anything I’ve ever experienced. I was so overcome with the love radiating from this person in the room with me that I began to cry. In my humanity, I couldn’t comprehend the love that was being bestowed upon me. I could feel it radiating off of me. I compare it to someone running a high fever, being able to physically feel the heat emanating from his body. And I knew exactly who was in the room with me. I yelled out, “Mary!” “Mary!” “Mary!” while crying uncontrollably. My heart expanded like fire, “Mary!” I exclaimed. “Mary, I love you!” “I love you, Mary!” This love became so intense I put my hands over my face and continued crying. I asked aloud, “What’s happening to me?” “What is happening?” and cried, “Mary!” “Mary!” “Mary!” in between sobs. Finally, unable to stop my tears, I yelled out, “Show me yourself!” “Let me see you, Mary!” “Mary, please. I know you’re here. Please allow me to see you with my eyes!”
That night of September 23rd, 2010, I was twenty-four years old, still very young, and with my whole life ahead of me. However, after feeling the love of Mary, I was truly ready to die. I never saw her with my eyes, but I felt her with my whole being. Knowing that I could never receive that same love from anything or anyone here on Earth, I was ready to leave this world and go with Our Blessed Mother. It was a love so indescribable that at one point I cried out, “Mary, I’m ready to go. Mother, if you want to, take me with you, I’m ready.” And I meant this from the depths of my soul.
Growing up Catholic, I had received the Sacrament of Reconciliation many times, confessing my sins, not out of sorrow, but due to the fear of hell. As I sat wondering if my tears were ever going to cease, I realized that for the first time in my life, I was truly sorry for everything I’d done. I mean I was truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. I managed to pick my head up, and with tears streaming down my face, for the first time, I looked to God and said, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” And I truly meant it.
After experiencing this miraculous conversion, I did one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. I gave my yes to God; I gave Him complete control over my life. I figured I’d messed things up enough; and by turning the reigns over to Him, I couldn’t go wrong. Ever since giving God and Mother Mary my yes, I’ve been blessed with many gifts. Six months after my conversion, my mother and I flew to Sacramento, California, for a Medjugorje conference. To our surprise, the Medjugorje visionary, Marija, was present there. If you recall, Marija was one of the visionaries I observed at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. At the conference, I was able to meet and receive a hug from Marija: an incredible gift from God and Our Blessed Mother!

My Mother and I at the 2011 Sacramento Marian Conference. Here I was able to meet and be present with Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic during her apparition with Our Blessed Mother.
My life hasn’t been the same since the evening of September 23, 2010. I have taken Our Lady’s messages to heart: fasting, praying the rosary, receiving the sacraments. I also recently joined a Bible study on campus. I have to laugh because growing up I was always extremely close to my mother. God saw that I was slipping away from Him and knew exactly what to do. He sent His Mother to bring Me back to Him. There isn’t a day or hour that goes by when I’m not thinking about Mary. I love her so much, and I’m so happy to have her as my Mother. I recently heard a man quote a wonderful phrase that I knew directly related to me. He said, “When my time comes. When I die and leave this world and am standing in front of Jesus at Heaven’s gates, Jesus will look at me and say, “Oh yes, My Mother has told Me all about you.” I’m so thankful for Our Lady’s intercession. She saved my life and healed my soul, bringing me closer to Her Son. I can’t help but feel excited, as I sit in anticipation, wondering where this new found love will lead me next.
Adam Holubar (Omaha, NE)  Article taken from www.medjugorjemiracles.com by Christine Watkins

Read more stories, such as this, in the book, Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession.

About the Author

Christine Watkins is an inspirational speaker and the author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary's Intercession by Ave Maria Press. See www.christinewatkins.com, www.holychoices.org, and www.enliveningfaith.org

1/23/12

Medjugorje: New Confessionals are finished in March



by Jakob Marschner

Work is moving forward on Medjugorje’s 36 new outdoor confessionals. New photos from the construction site show the raw walls in red bricks to have emerged north of St. James’ Church. Taking the total number to 61, the confessionals are expected to be fully built in March, ready for the new pilgrim season.

http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/

God, however, can do and has done all things.


CAN'T CANT

"David was told, 'You cannot enter here.' " -2 Samuel 5:6

Yesterday was the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion. This precipitated the development in the USA of what Pope John Paul II called the "culture of death." We are so entrenched in this culture of death, violence, and the degradation of the human person that it seems impossible to change the situation.

 We have been told we cannot stop Planned Parenthood, cannot change the "politically correct" to the "God-correct," cannot expect people to be pure, and cannot stop our government from financing the holocaust of babies in the womb. Of course, by our own power, we cannot do anything (Jn 15:5). So our pro-death, anti-life enemies are correct.

God, however, can do and has done all things. "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in My eyes also, says the Lord of hosts?" (Zec 8:6) "Ah, Lord God, You have made heaven and earth by Your great might, with Your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to You" (Jer 32:17).

So don't be discouraged. Jesus already has won the victory of life over death when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. God's love has conquered death (see Sg 8:6). Planned Parenthood and the "politically correct" are destined to be thrown into the same garbage dump of history as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union have been. Jesus alone will stand the test of time. He alone will reign supreme.

Worship Jesus, "the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6), "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).
  Father, thank You for saving me from the "culture of death."
"David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him." -2 Sm 5:10

 Dissenting and indifferent Catholics in the voting booth have significantly contributed to putting the most anti-life president ever to occupy the Oval Office into power.
http://en.gloria.tv/?media=247756

1/21/12

Father Reinaldo Cardoso is finally heading home..

Fr. Reinaldo Cardoso

THE RHODE ISLAND LIFE A SERIES

Ailing priest returning to his ‘first love’
After a 40-year absence from East Timor, a nation that has long held his heart, Father Reinaldo Cardoso is finally heading ‘home’

By G. WAYNE MILLER JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
PAWTUCKET — In deciding to return to East Timor, where he spent the first years of his priesthood long ago, the Rev. Reinaldo Cardoso understood that this journey will almost certainly be his last, at least of the temporal sort.

He is 77, in frail health. He believes his earthly life will end on that island between Australia and Indonesia, the place he calls his “first love.”

He reached his decision last summer while living at the Jeanne Jugan Residence, a nursing home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where he has lived since 2005.

“I went to the chapel days and days and nights to pray,” he says, from his wheelchair in a sun- filled room at the home. “I told God, ‘If you want me to go, you better send me the Holy Spirit, because without him I can do nothing. I cannot even support myself in the flight because it is too long.’ ”

God, he says, answered. And he received an offer of assistance from a friend, the Rev. Domingos Cunha, a native of East Timor whom he met in the 1960s as a novice missionary on the island. Father Cardoso taught the younger Cunha in an East Timor seminary. He placed the vestments on him at his ordination. Separate paths brought them both to America.
 
“A real priest,” Father Cardoso says. “A real brother.”

And so, medical arrangements having been made, the younger priest will accompany the older one on his journey to East Timor, where Father Cardoso will be a chaplain and spiritual director of Seminario Maior for Bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva. Like Father Cunha, the bishop was one of Father Cardoso’s students, four decades ago.

Fathers Cardoso and Cunha board a plane on Tuesday. The first leg of their journey will bring them to the Azores, Father Cardoso’s native land.

“I want to show him my island, the place where I was born, and say goodbye to some friends –– priests from my town there –– and some schoolmates I have.”

They plan to reach Dili, the capitol of East Timor, on Jan. 19.

“I don’t plan to come back,” Father Cardoso says.

Born in December 1935 on the Azores’ São Miguel Island, Father Cardoso was the third of the13 children –– one girl,12 boys –– of a government transportation official and his wife, both Catholics. None of his siblings was called to serve their church. Father Cardoso’s calling came as a child, during Mass.

“At my right side was an altar dedicated to Santa Lucia,” he says. “The altar in front was the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the left side was the Blessed Sacrament. And I started to think to go into the priesthood that day. So at age 12, I left the village to Terceira Island for the seminary. I arrived in September 1948.”

A priest in New Bedford, where his grandparents had moved, helped pay his expenses to the seminary in Terceira. Through reading, he became fascinated with East Timor, which for centuries had been a Portuguese colony. He wanted to be a missionary there –– and with the support of the first bishop of Dili, who had family ties to the Azores, he arrived in 1960, shortly after his ordination.

During the next dozen years, he learned three of the languages of East Timor. He taught in a high school and the seminary. He was diocesan secretary and chancellor.

“I was so in love with East Timor that I say I never go anyplace else.”

He did finally, in 1972, when he took his first vacation with his parents, who had also moved to New Bedford. The political situation in East Ti-mor, meanwhile, was deteriorating –– again. Brutally occupied by the Japanese in World War II, East Timor was invaded by Indonesia, which coveted its oil. East Timoreans were imprisoned, tortured and killed. Priests, including Father Cardoso’s friend Father Cunha, were persecuted.

Father Cardoso could not return.

From New Bedford, he came to Rhode Island, where he served at two parishes with Portuguese-speaking congregations: Our Lady of the Rosary in Providence and St. Anthony in West Warwick. All the while, he supported the opposition in East Timor, serving as a liaison between residents there and American clergy, politicians and others who might influence foreign policy.

“I was in this country fighting always, every day, for the liberation of the people of East Timor, for their human rights.”

In 1999, the Indonesian occupation ended.

Father Cardoso is a modest man, and makes no claims about his role. But the 2004 book “The Heaviest Blow: The Catholic Church and the East Timor Issue” proclaims: To him can be attributed the “‘breaking open’ of the East Timor issue in the United States as a whole, as well as the Catholic Church.”

Father Cardoso’s health has taken him on another journey: strokes have left him partially paralyzed with “so many operations, eight of them.”

More recently, “I went to the dining room by myself. Somebody call me, I turn around, and I fall and I break my left hip. So back to the hospital to be operated on. I have a few pieces of metal in my leg, some screws, you know. But one thing I have learned with this sickness: I started to understand the reality of the humanity of Christ, how human he is. And the suffering of Christ for me now is something to meditate.”

When he arrives in Dili after his last great temporal journey, Father Cardoso will consider himself home.

“It is my country,” he says, “my first love.”

A land abundant with good souls, he says.

“I love the people of Timor because they are a real church. A church of kindness, a church of love and respect for people –– and helpful. They help one another so much. And they are good, very good. My dear friend, if you go to East Timor for a month or two –– I bet you a million dollars, if I have it! –– that you go back again and again.”

He will say goodbye to American friends before his final trip back, but there will be no party, no airport sendoff on Tuesday.

“As I came quietly, I’ll go quietly. Everything is prepared.”

Friends wishing to contact Father Cardoso in East Timor may send email to frrcardo so@gmail.com   This account will be monitored by a priest friend, with appropriate messages forwarded to Father Cardoso. gwmiller@providencejournal.com
(401) 277-7380
THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / JOHN FREIDAH

The Rev. Reinaldo Cardoso will fly to the Azores, his birthplace, then to East Timor.

THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / JOHN FREIDAH

Father Cardoso at the Jeanne Jugan Home in Pawtucket. All the years he ministered here, he supported the political opposition in East Timor, serving as a liaison between residents there and American clergy, politicians and others who might influence foreign policy.

1/20/12

Ivan Points To Adoration For Strenght

Adoration of Jesus in The Blessed Sacrament is a paramount source to keep going at a difficult time, visionary Ivan Dragicevic says in a new interview. Ivan also confirms the seers to share a number of identical secrets, tells to be half finished writing his book, and calls the relationship between New Orleans and Medjugorje “important and significant”.

ivan dragicevic medjugorje visionary
Ivan Dragicevic

It is urgently needed for man to follow and live the Virgin Mary’s messages from Medjugorje. It is not always easy, particularly not when times are difficult. But there are sources to turn to for strength, and meeting with Jesus in The Blessed Sacrament will make everything easier, Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic says in the January issue of The Medjugorje Star.

“Our Lady told me a couple of times,“I know my children are trying to live my message”. If people are trying, this is a very good step.” Ivan says.

“Living in this world today especially at this time, sometimes it is hard, even for me. I am trying every day. We need to be following, following Our Lady’s messages. We need to always be fighting to live the messages.”

medjugorje adoration jesus blessed sacrament
Adoration in Medjugorje

The struggle is spiritual in nature, and it is not intended for man to fight it alone:

“Everything will be easier if we put Jesus first. Our Lady recommends going to Adoration of Jesus. In Adoration you meet Jesus; and when you meet Jesus, Jesus tells you everything you need. After you start Adoration of Jesus, everything else is easier” Ivan tells The Medjugorje Star.

“Joy, joy, joy can only be in Jesus. Nobody can give joy except Jesus. Reading the Bible, you will see joy. That is what Our Lady is asking, to read the Bible. Our Lady asks for confession to cleanse ourselves of sin. When the Holy Spirit and grace comes in your heart, there is a river of love. A river of joy then becomes your heart. Remove all negative and you will be open for the Holy Spirit.”

Seers share a number of secrets; book half finished

jesus saint louis cathedral new orleans
The statue of Jesus outside Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans. Ivan calls the city's relationship to Medjugorje significant and important

During the interview, Ivan confirms the Medjugorje visionaries to share a number of the same secrets entrusted to them by the Virgin Mary. Visionary Vicka Ivankovic said the same in the mid-1980s but later the notion sprung up that The Permanent Sign is the only future event known with certainty by all the visionaries:

“Our Lady does not give six visionaries 60 different secrets. Some secrets are the same. When I stay in Medjugorje in the summer when most of the visionaries are there, I talk to some of them during coffee time, especially Jakov and Mirjana. We talk of the same secrets.” Ivan tells The Medjugorje Star.

Two other noteworthy bits from the interview deal with the book that Ivan says he is writing with The Virgin Mary’s help, and about Medjugorje’s relationship to New Orleans where the interview was conducted by Mimi Kelly of The Mir Group in early November 2011:

“I am working for a long time on my book. The book is half finished. I need more time. So many papers stay on my table. The last couple of years I have been so busy with traveling and speaking in churches. Privately, Our Lady gives me things especially for priests, young people, family, and children” Ivan says.

And about New Orleans:

“I think New Orleans is my second home. I come one or two times a year. New Orleans is a foundation for Medjugorje. After the apparitions began in 1981, some of the first pilgrims came from New Orleans. The relation between Medjugorje and New Orleans is important. It is significant.”
Spirit Daily is circulating this article

http://is.gd/IQhLjM

1/19/12

Temporary Inconvenience – Permanent Improvement









Temporary Inconvenience – Permanent Improvement
By June Klins  http://www.spiritofmedjugorje.org/  

             
About thirteen years ago, a woman I know was having a crisis in her family, and needed nothing short of a miracle for the problem to be resolved. So she began to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays on bread and water for her family situation. Her friends and family were less than enthusiastic about her fasting. They said that people would think she was a fanatic, and that she would make herself sick. Despite the negativity around her, she stuck with it. Within a year, not only was the problem resolved, but it was resolved in a way that could only have been orchestrated by God! In thanksgiving, she continued to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, but now she was fasting for Our Lady’s intentions, for Her peace plan.

  She is amazed at all the blessings that have come her way during these years. She attributes it to prayer and fasting. She has also experienced some major trials, but claims that the fasting, along with prayer, has helped turn some difficult situations into blessings.

Our Lady has been asking us for 30 years now to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. But how many of us take this request seriously? Most of us can come up with all kinds of excuses why we cannot fast. A poster that my colleague hung up in our shared classroom says, “You can’t possibly hit the ball if you’re thinking about all the possible ways you can miss.” Isn’t that the truth? We don’t need to hit a home run on the first time at bat. Visionary Vicka suggests that we start out slowly in fasting, doing perhaps a modified fast and then work up to one day of fasting before eventually working up to two days.

When I first came back from Medjugorje, I wanted to live the messages, but like everyone else, I did not think I could do a bread and water fast, so I began doing a “Lenten” type fast on Wednesdays and Fridays – not eating between meals. I did that for months before I worked up to the bread and water fast. It really is not as hard as it seems. I read somewhere that one way to encourage yourself to persevere on fast day is to tell yourself that it is only temporary, and that tomorrow you can eat normally. “Temporary inconvenience – permanent improvement!” And oh, what an improvement it is! 

Ask for the grace and it will be given to you. Our Lady would not ask us to do something that was not possible to do. Our Lady knows that our fasting will not only help Her peace plan for the world, but will help our own lives as well. Ask and you shall receive. With God all things are possible.

Of course, if your health does not permit, Our Lady would not want you to do a bread and water fast, but there are many other things you can fast from on those days – sweets, TV, computer, gossip, complaining, etc. Vicka tells us that Our Lady says that a bread and water fast is the best way to fast, but not the only way to fast.

.
In the last few months, there has been a much more serious tone to Our Lady’s messages, as if time is running short. I feel Her prompting me to help Her gather an army of people who will fast and make a difference in the world. I hope to include more fasting articles and stories in this newsletter over the coming year, to encourage everyone to persevere. If you have a story or a tip to share about fasting that you think will help our readers, please send it to us for possible publication.
Please help dry Our Lady’s tears. Remember, fasting is only a temporary inconvenience.
http://www.spiritofmedjugorje.org/

AND AMAZING GRACE: Teresa Fama's Medjugorje Testimony - 1987


AND AMAZING GRACE: Teresa Fama's Medjugorje Testimony - 1987: ALWAYS PROTECTED UNDER HER MANTLE MY PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE SAVED MY HUSBAND’S LIFE By Teresa Fama -- THE MEDJUGORJE STAR Little ...

1/18/12

Dear Family of Mary

Gabriel brings God's call to Our Lady!
(c)Bernard Gallagher, used with permission

January 19, 2012

Dear Family of Mary!


"Dear children! Today I wish to call you to pray, pray, pray! In prayer you shall perceive the greatest joy and the way out of every situation that has no exit. Thank you for starting up prayer. Each individual is dear to my heart. And I thank all who have urged prayer in their families. Thank you for having responded to my call." (March 28, 1985)

Yesterday I mentioned Our Lady's offer, the way out of every situation that has no exit. Prayer is that way out! Prayer changes everything. Fr. Jacques Philippe writes about the power of prayer to change our lives. He believes that every situation we find ourselves in has within it a "call" from God. It is a call that leads to new life, and can be found through prayer. He writes:

The answer to the question "What call is the situation addressing to me?" does not exist before the situation exists. It is not a ready-made response or a kind of psychological projection. It is similar to grace; it is like a gift. It comes in the opening of the heart and the beginning of prayer. Often one finds it in the encounter with the Word of God, and often it has the unexpected newness that is the mark of the Spirit. It gives peace and liberates.

Often one's pre-existing responses have little to do with God's true call. They reflect one's habitual way of thinking, the coping strategies one has grown accustomed to. At first they may seem very spiritual and edifying. But they are not the will of God. To hear the true call of the Spirit, one must know one's self and listen to others who often see things more clearly. Then we generally detect pretty quickly what comes from God and what comes from the "flesh", as Paul calls it - which might also be called the wounded psyche.

It may be one's habit to blame oneself for life's problems. Or to blame others. Or to think one must be heroic in a way that God doesn't ask. A person may have a fear of weakness, believing what he or she must always be strong. Some of us are in denial; some are always taking flight. These are paths that lead to rigidity, worry, and tension.

The responses that come from the Spirit are different. They are in harmony with the Word of God; they have the flavor of evangelical sweetness, of humility and peace, a note of simplicity and realism. They are also characterized by freshness and newness, and give rise to confidence. Although it sometimes takes courage to accept them, they are not restrictive in nature, not imposed from the outside, but are part of an interior dynamism that respects freedom. They lead us out of our repetitious scenarios and produce true changes. They produce a renewal in our lives that can only come from God. (Rev. Jacques Philippe. Called to Life. Scepter Publishing, 2008, P. 63-65)

Pre-existing responses can create the situations we live in that seem to have no exit. They box us in, create unhappiness and fear. Pre-existing responses are very often sinful. But God's call to us will set us free, bring us new life, and bless everyone around us as well. God's calls to us are the way out of the situations in our lives that have oppressed us.

Prayer is necessary, if we are to hear God's call to us. Prayer opens our hearts to understand God's plan and His way. As our Lady says, "Pray, pray, pray!"

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2012

Alberta Sequeira speaks from the heart.

Alberta Sequeira Four Time Award Winning Author

Need a public speaker for your conference or company event? Alberta Sequeira speaks from the heart after losing a husband and daughter to alcohol abuse. Her topic is "The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family." She offers a deeper talk for private events with abusers. Email and request a quote at memoirs@albertasequeira.com.

She is also available for an hour talk on her "Spiritual Renewal Within" after her pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia.


Ms. Sequeira is a co-host on Authors Without Borders Presents on the NBTV-95 Cable Station where she interviews other writers and authors. She is a co-founder of Authors Without Borders (
www.awb6.com).
Click here.

Vist her Blog at
www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com.

2011 Became The Busiest Year in Medjugorje

By Jakob Marschner

In 2011, the total number of Holy Communions distributed during Mass in Medjugorje went above 2 million for the first time. The number of concelebrations by priests was likewise record-high in passing 40,000, also for the first time.

priests mass medjugorje
Priests were involved in two Medjugorje records in 2011: Never before did so many of them come - and never before did they distribute so many Holy Communions to parishioners and pilgrims

2,027,900 Holy Communions would be enough if all the inhabitants of Houston, Texas, were to receive the Body of Christ one time each. Yet the number does not stem from Houston, but from Medjugorje where more than two million distributed Holy Communions in one year was registred for the first time in 2011.

The number climbed from 1,571,800, a rise of 29 percent compared to 2010 which was itself a record year. 1,378,600 Holy Communions were distributed in Medjugorje in 2009, according to parish statistics.
A record number of priests handed out the more than two million Holy Communions. 41,094 concelebrations of Mass were registred in Medjugorje in 2011, up from 38,227 the previous year. The figures are not descriptive of the actual number of visiting priests, as most concelebrate more than one Mass during their stay in Medjugorje.

The current Medjugorje boom in Italy accounts for some of the progress, though not all of it. 8,171 Italian concelebrations took place in 2011, up from 7,270 the year before and 4,718 in 2009.


http://is.gd/zoDvK0

The sword of the Holy Spirit


"THE SWORD IN THE STONE"

"Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war." -Psalm 144:1

David killed the giant Goliath with a stone and a sword (1 Sm 17:49, 51). Jesus is "the Stone Which the builders rejected" and "the Keystone of the structure" (Mt 21:42; Ps 118:22). The Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God and prayer (Eph 6:17-18), is the Sword. We will be victorious over giants - such as Planned Parenthood, secular humanism, materialism, racism, denominationalism, nationalism, violence, starvation, and even Satan himself - if we are founded on the Stone, Jesus, and wield the Sword, the Spirit.

In Jesus, we are more than conquerors (Rm 8:37). "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31) Sooner or later, "at Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!" (Phil 2:10-11) "

There is One greater" in us "than there is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4). The Holy Spirit will renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30). Victory is already won by Jesus, and we live the victorious life through the Spirit. The Stone and the Sword will destroy every giant. Through Jesus and in the Spirit, be a David.

 Father, Son, and Spirit, may I understand the effects of Your living inside of me.

 Jesus "said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored." -Mk 3:5

1/17/12

Who Decides

This is Amelia


Brick Walls
by on January 12, 2012 · 521 Comments · in Amelia, Featured Stories
I am going to try and tell you what happened to us on January 10, 2012, in the conference room in the Nephrology department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
We arrived for our regular Nephrology visit with Amelia’s doctor who has seen her for the last three years. She examines Amelia and sends us for labs. I ask about the transplant and she says we have about six months to a year until she needs one. She tells us she reserved the conference room and when we get back from labs, we can meet with the transplant team and he can tell us about the transplant process.
After the labs, Amelia falls asleep in her stroller and we are called back to a large room with a screen and about sixteen chairs. Joe and I get comfortable and leave a space between us to fit the stroller. After about five minutes, a doctor and a social worker enter the room. They sit across from us but also leave a space between the two of them.
The doctor begins to talk and I listen intently on what he is saying. He has a Peruvian accent and is small, with brown hair, a mustache and is about sixty five years old. He gets about four sentences out ( I think it is an introduction) and places two sheets of paper on the table. I can’t take my eyes off the paper. I am afraid to look over at Joe because I suddenly know where the conversation is headed. In the middle of both papers, he highlighted in pink two phrases. Paper number one has the words, “Mentally Retarded” in cotton candy pink right under Hepatitis C. Paper number two has the phrase, “Brain Damage” in the same pink right under HIV. I remind myself to focus and look back at the doctor. I am still smiling.
He says about three more sentences when something sparks in my brain. First it is hazy, foggy, like I am swimming under water. I actually shake my head a little to clear it. And then my brain focuses on what he just said.
I put my hand up. “Stop talking for a minute. Did you just say that Amelia shouldn’t have the transplant done because she is mentally retarded. I am confused. Did you really just say that?”
The tears. Oh, the damn tears. Where did they come from? Niagara Falls. All at once. There was no warning. I couldn’t stop them. There were no tissues in conference room so I use my sleeve and my hands and I keep wiping telling myself to stop it.
I point to the paper and he lets me rant a minute. I can’t stop pointing to the paper. “This phrase. This word. This is why she can’t have the transplant done.”
“Yes.”
I begin to shake. My whole body trembles and he begins to tell me how she will never be able to get on the waiting list because she is mentally retarded.
A bit of hope. I sit up and get excited.
“Oh, that’s ok! We plan on donating. If we aren’t a match, we come from a large family and someone will donate. We don’t want to be on the list. We will find our own donor.”
“Noooo. She—is—not—eligible –because—of—her—quality– of –life—Because—of—her—mental—delays” He says each word very slowly as if I am hard of hearing.
“STOP IT NOW!” The anger is taking over. Thank God. Why did it take so long to get here?
The social worker is writing some things down. Not sure what. She casually gets up to take a call. My eyes follow her to the phone and I see Joe’s face. His mouth is open, his face is pale and he is staring straight ahead of him at the white board.
Rage fills the room. I point in his little, brown pudgy face. “Do not talk about her quality of life. You have no idea what she is like. We have crossed many, many road blocks with Amelia and this is just one more. So, you don’t agree she should have it done? Fine. But tell me who I talk to next because SHE WILL HAVE IT DONE AND IT WILL BE AT CHOP.”
I see the social worker quickly writing down what I just said. Joe hasn’t moved. Amelia is still asleep.
The social worker decides to join the conversation. “Well, you know a transplant is not forever. She will need another one in twelve years. And then what? And do you have any idea of the medications she will need to take to keep her healthy?”
I speak through gritted together. “YES, I HAVE DONE ALL MY RESEARCH.”
She smirks a little. “Well, what happens when she is thirty and neither of you are around to take care of her. What happens to her then? Who will make sure she takes her medications then?”
In a voice that mimics hers, I snort, “Well, what happens if you die tomorrow? Who will take care of your children? Your responsibilities at work?” She breathes in and her eyes widens. “Right!” I throw at her. “Neither of us can predict the future and we shouldn’t try. But if Amelia does not have this transplant she has no future!”
The doctor interrupts. He puts his hands up and tries to take a stern voice with me. “These medications she has to take after the transplant, they are very dangerous. They can cause seizures. We have to get the dose exact. They may cause brain damage.”
“DO OTHER CHIILDREN WHO HAVE A TRANSPLANT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?”
“Yes, but it is different for her. She is already brain damaged and mentally retarded.”
He pauses as if he is choosing his words carefully. “I have been warned about you. About how involved you and your famliy are with Amelia.”
The devil himself could not have produced a more evil laugh. “Ha! Warned! That is funny! You have no idea…”
I am beginning to realize I want this over with so I can move onto the next person who will help me with the transplant. So I say the words and ask the questions I have been avoiding.
“So you mean to tell me that as a doctor, you are not recommending the transplant, and when her kidneys fail in six months to a year, you want me to let her die because she is mentally retarded? There is no other medical reason for her not to have this transplant other than she is MENTALLY RETARDED!”
“Yes. This is hard for me, you know.”
My eyes burn through his soul as if I could set him on fire right there. “Ok, so now what? This is not acceptable to me. Who do I talk to next?”
“I will take this back to the team. We meet once a month. I will tell them I do not recommend Amelia for a transplant because she is mentally retarded and we will vote.”
“And then who do I see?”
“Well, you can then take it the ethics committee but as a team we have the final say. Feel free to go somewhere else. But it won’t be done here.”
They both get up and leave the room.
I look at Joe who is sobbing trying to get the stroller and Amelia’s backpack. I break down with him before we head to the parking garage.
I hope you are disturbed, troubled, distressed, when you read this. I hope you share it with many, many people. Although I did not know this yesterday, this is very common and happens across the map. I have researched and researched and researched transplants and the MR, as they are called in the medical journals, and it is appalling. We are in the year 2012 and my child still does not have the right to live, the right to a transplant, because she is developmentally delayed.