Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Miracle for a Non-Practicing Mom

The Cure Leading to Mother Comensoli's Canonization
By Carmen Elena Villa
AGNOSINE, Italy, APRIL 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- It was 12:20 a.m., the first hour of Oct. 3, 2001, when Sister Bianca Pasinetti's telephone rang. "Sister, we all are here. Vasco is leaving us. Do something because we don't want him to die.

"Those were the words of Ettore Richini. He spoke of his 4-year-old son, one of the students at the school run by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Pasinetti's congregation.

Vasco had been admitted to the hospital with meningitis. He had been in the hospital since the afternoon of Sept. 29, when his mother Rita had returned to work in the afternoon after seeing that Vasco had a bit of a fever. As the hours had passed, his temperature kept climbing so the family had taken him to the hospital.

"After the child was a quarter of an hour in the hospital, they discovered that he had meningitis," Rita explained. "

They asked us various questions. He fell into a coma; his kidneys were not working."

The mother went on to recount: "We discovered it was meningitis H. Influenzae, a very aggressive bacteria that one generally doesn't catch -- its one case in a million -- [we] still don't know how he got it."

When Sister Pasinetti received Ettore's call, she promised her prayers and those of the community. Meanwhile, doctors encouraged Rita to disconnect Vasco from life support, warning her that if he stayed alive, he would be a "vegetable."

"Keep him alive as long as possible," was her answer.

Ettore recalled what he felt in those moments: "A sadness, an impotence at seeing my son who was already going, and you cannot do absolutely anything. I think it is the hardest thing that I have experienced."

There was "nothing good" in the situation, according to Rita. "He had a bruise on his brain, rapid heart rate […] purple spots all over his body."

Sister Pasinetti decided to bring a relic of Blessed Gertrude Comensoli (1847-1903), the founder of her congregation, to the child's room.

She thought, "I won't make Vasco get better, but at least I will make them see that we are praying," the religious recounted. She arrived to his hospital room and left the relic under his pillow."

I stayed with Rita," she continued. "We prayed. She was truly desperate at seeing the child that way." Sister Pasinetti called the sisters of her community to urge prayers. They passed the word to call people to pray and people began to arrive to the parish church in the community to intercede for the child.

Gaia, Vasco's 14-year-old sister, also went to the church to pray, not knowing that the sisters had called people together. "I went to the church to pray on my own -- in a moment like that, you don't know what to cling to. I found the church full of people," she recalled."

When the prayer [meeting] ended, the people weren't going home," Sister Pasinetti remembered. "They stayed to pray. I'd never seen something like that."

The woman religious and her sisters started a novena to Mother Gertrude.

Some days later, a doctor arrived to greet Vasco's parents with exuberance, something which struck them both as odd, since just an hour before, the child's condition was the same."Vasco is out of danger," the doctor told them. "It was an unexplainable healing," Rita assured.

Vasco, who today is 12 years old, says he does not remember anything about being sick, except the moment in which he woke up. "I looked at the sheets, I looked around me and I said, 'What am I doing here?' Then I said, "Mom, bring me my clothes because I want to go home.' She was very happy. She almost cried and she hugged me."

When the child returned to school, he told the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and his classmates what had happened: "When I was in the hospital, Mother Gertrude came by without letting herself be seen by the doctors. […] She came in and stood close to my bed."

Today, Rita continues awestruck by what happened nearly eight years ago. Though she was a woman of faith, she did not often practice her religion. "I do not know how it was possible," she said. "I ask myself many questions. I do not know why God chose us. What a lesson."

Sister Pasinetti is sure it was a miracle: "And it is not easy because it asks you to change. In any case, here too the Lord loves everyone. He does not look if one is practicing or not practicing. The Lord has come for everyone."

This Sunday, Vasco's family will attend the canonization of Sister Gertrude Comensoli in St. Peter's Square. "I lost my mother one year after all of this," Rita noted. "I think that if she would have died before this happened, I would have experienced it in a different way. Now I am not afraid even of death, because it forms part of life."

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Thursday, April 23, 2009


A little late for lent, but still funny.

For those of you participating in Lent Each Friday night after work, sun, snow or rain, Jack would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a moose steak. But, all of Jack's neighbours were Catholic. And since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday. The delicious aroma from the grilled moose steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest. The priest came to visit Jack, and suggested that he become a Catholic.

After several classes and much study, Jack attended Mass, and as the priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said: "You were born a Protestant and raised a Protestant, but now you are a Catholic."

Jack's neighbours were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled moose filled the neighbourhood. The priest was called immediately by the neighbours, and, as he rushed into Jack's yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.

There stood Jack, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: "You wuz born a moose, you wuz raised a moose, but now you are a Codfish"

Monday, April 06, 2009

Now what?

In the past year or two, we have probably spent enough money on our current minivan to buy another used (but more recent) one. Last fall, for instance, it was the transmission. We went through 3 of them in a row, before it was finally taken care of properly. Then the support for the engine started making the car shake like we were about to lose a wheel or something. (Still not taken care of) and the manifold had to be changed, and that is just in the past few months.

Today, the darn thing sits in my driveway, useless, because it won't start. It turns all right, it just won't start. So it seems we don,t have time to get one thing fixed before a new problem shows up.

I am starting to think that a horse and buggy would be more reliable.

There are advantages to living in a city. Public transportation for one. I wouldn't have to rely on the van so much, my kids could take the bus themselves instead of having to be driven everywhere...

But I like the country, the open spaces, the large yard, the cornfields in back. I like the pond in front of my house. I don't want to live in a city. I come from a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Come to think of it, living in a small town in the middle of nowhere, like Moose Factory, wouldn't be so bad either. I could just walk to the grocery store from my house, no matter where in town my house was, because wherever it was, it wouldn't be more than a 15 minute walk. Then I could just put all the bags on my trusty wheelbarrow and walk back home.

Just like my father used to do, over 20 years ago. Usually with one or more kids tagging along beside him and a small one sitting on top of the boxes.

We used to enjoy this so much, that he even made us a mini wheelbarrow with the wheel from an old tricycle for us to play with. Oh the hours spent pushing each other around, and lugging things back and forth. Back when video games and home computers didn't exist.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Escándalo en hospital de Brasil por cambio de nombre de paciente

¡Que pesadilla!


Una gran confusión generada en un hospital de Rio de Janeiro provocó el cambio de identidad de dos pacientes, una de las cuales falleció y fue enterrada por la familia equivocada, mientras que la otra fue dada de alta y retornó a otra casa, sin que los desconocidos advirtieran diferencias.

Dos familias protagonizaron un verdadero escándalo por un error en el registro de pacientes del hospital público de Sao Gonzalo, en los suburbios de Rio de Janeiro.

Vilma Caboclo y Maria Rita Alves fueron internadas el mismo día por un derrame cerebral en el hospital, pero por error sus nombres fueron cambiados.

Cuando Vilma murió, el hospital avisó a la familia equivocada, a la de María Rita, que la enterró en medio de una gran congoja familiar.

María Rita, de 54 años, por su parte, fue dada de alta como si fuera Vilma.

Con pérdida de memoria, María Rita fue a la casa de la familia de Vilma, que desconfió, pero aceptaron las explicaciones de los médicos: el rostro está desfigurado por el derrame.

Pero cuando María Rita despertó recuperada en la cama de Vilma, comenzó a gritar porque no reconoció a ninguno de los que supuestamente eran sus parientes.

Entonces, el caso se conoció: María Rita se encontró con su hija y con su yerno, el carpintero Marcos Henrique, quien la rescató de la casa de Vilma.

La alegría de la familia de María Rita contrastaba con la familia de Vilma. La comerciante Luciana Caboclo lloró mucho al conocer el caso: la mujer enterrada era su madre y no la que había salido del hospital.

“Quiero saber si la persona enterrada es mi madre. Vamos a pedir ver el cadáver enterrado ” , dijo Luciana Caboclo.

Cuando la familia de María Rita fue informada del deceso por el hospital, su yerno les dijo a los médicos que la persona fallecida no era su suegra. Pero los médicos insistieron en que estaba desfigurada y firmó el certificado de defunción.

La familia de Vilma aún no se explica cómo no reconoció el error y llevó para la casa a María Rita.

“Cuando la visité en el hospital les dije a los médicos que no era mi madre. Una enfermera me dijo que era una sinvergüenza por no poder reconocer a mi madre. Ellas eran parecidas y entonces creí en lo que decían los médicos. El resto de mi familia desconfiaba, pero yo insistí ” , dijo entre sollozos la hija de Vilma, la fallecida.

La secretaría de Salud anunció este sábado que abrió una investigación interna para encontrar a los responsables de la atención dada a Vilma y María Rita.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Interesting article on Marriage

Why polygamy is not Christian (nor even Jewish) even though some Old Testament figures practiced it. http://arpacanada.ca/index.php/issuesresearch/family/145-the-slippery-slope-towards-polygamy

In The Mystery of Marriage: As Iron Sharpens Iron, Mike Hanson comments on this text: "After we have surveyed, as far as possible, all the other creatures in the world, eventually God presents us with one who is special, one who strikes a deeper chord in us than anyone else was able to do. Although the person may be very unlike us in many important ways, still there is something inside us which recognizes the other as being bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, akin to us on a level far deeper than personality. This is a blood tie, an affinity of the heart in every sense. It is as if we discover an actual kinship with the one we live, which the marriage ceremony serves only to make official."

Way to screw up a compliment...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

L'Évangile du jour

Evangile de Jésus-Christ selon saint Jean 8,31-42.

Jésus disait à ces Juifs qui maintenant croyaient en lui : « Si vous demeurez fidèles à ma parole, vous êtes vraiment mes disciples ; alors vous connaîtrez la vérité, et la vérité vous rendra libres. » Ils lui répliquèrent : « Nous sommes les descendants d'Abraham, et nous n'avons jamais été les esclaves de personne. Comment peux-tu dire : 'Vous deviendrez libres' ? » Jésus leur répondit : « Amen, amen, je vous le dis : tout homme qui commet le péché est esclave du péché. L'esclave ne demeure pas pour toujours dans la maison ; le fils, lui, y demeure pour toujours. Donc, si c'est le Fils qui vous rend libres, vous serez vraiment libres. Je sais bien que vous êtes les descendants d'Abraham, et pourtant vous cherchez à me faire mourir, parce que ma parole n'a pas de prise sur vous. Je dis ce que moi, j'ai vu auprès de mon Père, et vous, vous faites aussi ce que vous avez entendu chez votre père. » Ils lui répliquèrent : « Notre père, c'est Abraham. » Jésus leur dit : « Si vous êtes les enfants d'Abraham, vous devriez agir comme Abraham. Et en fait vous cherchez à me faire mourir, moi qui vous ai dit la vérité que j'ai entendue de Dieu. Abraham n'a pas agi ainsi. Mais vous, vous agissez comme votre père. » Ils lui dirent : « Nous ne sommes pas des enfants illégitimes ! Nous n'avons qu'un seul Père, qui est Dieu. » Jésus leur dit : « Si Dieu était votre Père, vous m'aimeriez, car moi, c'est de Dieu que je suis sorti et que je viens. Je ne suis pas venu de moi-même ; c'est lui qui m'a envoyé.

Extrait de la Traduction Liturgique de la Bible - © AELF, Paris


My daughter turned nine

We took her out for supper at Pizza Hut for her birthday (March 30). She's lost her baby face and looking so grown up!

It wasn't so long ago (was it?) that we were so happy to welcome a little baby girl into this world.