- Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:01 pm
Thanks Danica-Christine. I guess I should start my story….I am a cradle Catholic, who attended Catholic schools throughout my university education. I am blessed to be from a family who has one uncle who is a diocesan Priest, an aunt who is a Notre Dame Sister, another uncle who was a permanent Deacon and a cousin who is a Priest and monk at a monastery in Kentucky. I have always been a believer, but like most had luke-warm faith periods and seemed to be good at blowing off my frequent sinfulness.
One turning point in my faith awareness was when my brother invited me to attend a Cursillo weekend. Cursillo is a movement, originated in Spain, centering on increased Holiness though a tripod approach of Holiness, formation (study) and evangelization. They are gender segregated retreats that truly are Spirit based and faith sharing/affirming experiences. One of the highlights of the retreat is the “fourth day”. This is where you live the experience and put into practice what you have learned. The idea entails that you group with fellow Cursillista friends once a week to share your weeks life experiences regarding living the 3 elements of the tripod and sharing/supporting each other in their faith journey. I highly recommend a weekend retreat to anyone! I know we have fellow Cursillistas on the forum.
Another great grace I received was as my wife and I adopted our youngest son a year and a half ago. We traveled to California to meet him when he was three days old. God truly blessed us with a healthy, beautiful boy. He has been a constant joy ever since.
We were there for six days, waiting to get the go ahead from our lawyer to head back home. Our son had been declared healthy by the pediatrician and able to take a day trip, so we headed on the seventh day to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano. It was beautiful! The history, the ruins of the original chapel and the gardens on the grounds were awesome. The three of us went into the southwestern style Church, where in the 1990’s, Pope John Paul II declared the white stucco church, a Basilica. We were admiring the artwork inside and came upon a painting of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha. I remember saying a short prayer to her and taking a picture with our camera. Later that day while still exploring the Mission, we got the call that we could head home to our 6 ½ year old son and the rest of our family eagerly anticipating our arrival home with our new son.
That next week at work, my wife calls me asking if I know whose feast day it was when we got the call to come home. Blessed Kateri (July 14th)! On a whim that night, I pulled out my son’s little paper-back series of Saint books and looked up Kateri Tekawitha. I knew I had read her little bio in the past. When I started reading, my eyes started to well up. She was adopted by her two aunts and an uncle at the age of 3 or 4 after her family died of small pox. Kateri was left with near blindness and had facial scarring as a result of her near fatal brush with the disease. She was always a very holy child and had great devotion to our Lord in the Eucharist. She was routinely scorned and made fun of by her Mohawk tribe for her Christian beliefs. She was soon sent up to Canada by her uncle, who feared for her life, to a Christian community of Native Americans. Kateri was finally baptised at the age of twenty (she had desired this since she was a young girl but met with opposition even from her Missionary priest advisor for the longest time). It was the final sentence that floored me….Kateri died at the age of twenty four. Our son’s birth mother was twenty four at the time of his adoption! Needless to say, we got the feeling that our son was truly meant for us. I have a special devotion to Blessed Kateri and am a member of the Blessed Kateri Tekawitha League. I will highly recommend that our son take Kateri as his confirmation name. God truly blessed us for allowing her to intercede in our prayers. Please spread devotion for her cause for canonization.
I have always believed in the Medjugorie apparitions and long to go there someday. I look forward to Jesus and Our Lady’s victory to come and feel blessed to live in these special times. Thank you and God Bless this lovely forum family and all your intentions. I’m privileged to be a part of it. And thanks for reading.