Catholica USA: New Media at the Service of the Word


New Media at the Service of the Word

A Testimony of Faith, Healing and Thanksgiving*

Catholica USA: New Media at the Service of the Word

Dear brothers and sisters:

My son John was recently discharged from the Hospital after a 10-day battle with complications from pneumonia that included empyema, a chest tube and three rounds of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) therapy. My husband and I never left John’s side. This was a scary time for my family, a painful and frightening run for our boy, and an ongoing uncertainty about long term impact to his health.

But our experience compels me to share a resounding testimony.

When we arrived at the hospital I put my home Parish on notice. Every day doctors, surgeons, nurses and therapists ushered into the room, all ministering to John’s troubled body. On an equally impressive rotation were Eucharistic ministers, friends, family, and priests. Every day we received visits from priests and fellow parishioners. Every day Eucharistic ministers brought communion and prayed with us. John’s bed was graced with a rosary from Father Bob. A particularly powerful experience was when Father Bob administered Anointing of the Sick to my son. We were all on bended knee when the night nurse, unsolicited, joined in, took our hands and prayed with us. Words cannot express the profound and lasting impact of this sacrament.

My husband, a recent convert, told me “I’ve never been more proud to be Catholic.”

One Minister hung a crucifix over John’s bed. In addition to the visits, we received texts and phone calls from our Church. As a catechist, I was witness to the power of ministry to both body and soul. So, inspired, I wanted to write to you, but I was not the only witness: so too my son, my husband and all the staff, doctors, nurses, and families on the floor. All witness to the power of how the doctor’s ministry to John’s body worked in tandem with the Church’s ministry to his soul; a perfect, harmonious, effective, and complete medicine to my son’s whole person. Indeed, it was the total remedy to make him well. During the Anointing of the Sick, when Father Bob blessed John with oil, I couldn’t help but remember that in ancient times, oil was the primary medicine. And here, now, its ongoing healing power is used in a more perfect way to remedy what ails.

Dear brothers and sisters, it was evident to us that God’s angels were ushered in on the shoulders of His ministers and on the shoulders of the doctors. It was evident to us that His angels rested on every corner of John’s bed and in every corner of his room. The dedicated ministry we received from Father Bob and other priests drilled home the Truth of the Real medicine and the Trust of His care. What a CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) lesson I have to share with my students, and what a powerful reminder of how important it is to take care of this temporal body, but even more important to attend to the everlasting element of our spirit.

During the last and most difficult TPA therapy, Father Bob stayed and prayed outside the room. He waited until the chaos quelled and returned to John’s bed to offer another prayer. I could sense his determination to bring calm to our hearts. Immediately following, one of the nurses—whose flippant and casual nature had troubled us—was suddenly serious and asked if she could pray with us. She later turned out to be one of John’s biggest fans and best advocates. My own son, during a particularly rough time, remembered Father Bob’s advice to offer up his suffering … John said, “My prayer is for me and everyone in this hospital to get well and to go home.”

We could not leave this experience without letting you know what an absolute complete and powerful ministry this is. We are one little family in this giant Body of Christ and we are witness to the perfect remedy it is.

We pray for all of you and for the Priests as we celebrate our Faith. We are inspired to share and model His love.


John’s Mother

*The names of persons and places have been removed from this text to protect their anonymity.  Thank you very much to John and his mother for allowing Catholica USA to publish this letter. 

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