As usual I overslept, but managed to get out of the house and on the road to Macedonia to the Padre Pio Prayer Group gathering within an hour and to St. Barnabas on time to deliver my contribution to the luncheon to someone who would take it to the cafeteria in the basement of the school, then find a pew in the church where Diane could easily find me.
A short time into the Mass Diane arrived and we participated in the service, with a larger than usual group of attendees. Since a wedding was scheduled after this Mass, we all filed over to the cafeteria for the prayer session followed by a potluck lunch.
The guest speaker, who usually begins an inspiring talk as we are finishing the repast, was a Capuchin Monk from Detroit. His focus was on the life and work of the now “Venerable” Father Solanus Casey, also a Capuchin Monk from Detroit. I had never heard of this wonderful, on the road to sainthood, man before. The stories of his remarkable history of healings was too exciting to be ignored. Of course, I was quick to get into line to gather some holy cards, information brochure and little plastic covered picture with the crocheted closure so one could carry it in the wallet or pocket.
One of the experiences the Monk told us about was when a woman came to Fr. Solanus, asking for prayers for healing her husband who was very ill in a hospital. She asked if he would speak to the husband if she got him on the phone and of course, he said yes. Once the man was on the phone with Fr. Solanus, the monk told him something very different than the woman had hoped for, he said, “…God has other plans for you…” The lady later said she had never seen her husband so at peace. I find this story very compelling in regard to life after death.
The good news that there seems to be one more soul in heaven that we can pull by the socks (as my paternal grandmother used to say) for help in our countless needs and concerns was enough to raise my spirits and I stood in line again for the visiting Monk to bless me and again for the recently retired visiting pastor from St. Clare parish in Lyndhurst, which was our parish when I grew up in Mayfield Heights, for his blessing as well. I felt donned in armor when I headed back out into the real world for the rest of the day.
After a few hours back at home, I set off by foot to the closest of the Catholic churches in this area, St. Martin of Tours to attend the vigil Mass. (The morning service does not qualify for the required Sunday Mass.) During the Mass, just after the homily there was a healing service and of course I got in line for that blessing as well.