One of the Friars shared this story with me and now I want to share it with you. It speaks about family and community, about prayer and support and about the – St. Anthony’s Guild Family!
Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room, asking: “How is my little boy? Is Jimmy going to be O.K.? When can I see him?” The surgeon responded, “I’m sorry, we did all we could.” Sally screamed, “Why do little children get cancer, doesn’t God care anymore? God, where were you when my son needed you?” The surgeon softly told her, “Some of us from the hospital staff will be out in a few minutes to be with you while you spend time with your son’s body before it’s transported to the university.”
The nurses and doctors and some of the nuns who ran the hospital stayed with Sally while she said good-bye to her son. “Sister, you know it was Jimmy’s idea to give his body to the university for medical study. He said it might help somebody else, and that is what he wanted. I said, no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom I won’t be using it after I die, maybe it will help some other little boy to be able to spend one more day with his mother.’ My Jimmy had a heart of gold, always thinking of someone else and always wanting to help others if he could.”
Sally walked out of St. John’s Children’s Hospital for the last time now after spending most of the last 6 months there. When she arrived home, she felt completely exhausted and she lay down across her son’s bed and cried herself to sleep holding his pillow. Sally woke up about midnight and lying beside her on the bed, was a letter folded up. She opened the letter, it said:
After you wipe away your tears, continue reading my letter.
The sense of family and community that Sally felt when her son went to God, is the same sense of family that we at the Guild believe is what brings us together around St. Anthony. He brings us together, and when we suffer the trials of life and feel weighed down by the sufferings and pains of life, St. Anthony comforts us and brings us closer to Jesus and Mary who flood us with their peace and love.
This St. Anthony’s Guild Family is what membership is all about. It is about being a part of our family and being bound to each other by our devotion to St. Anthony through our prayers, novenas and reflections.
We have a shared purpose and a sense of belonging to this great family of St. Anthony. This great Wonder-Worker listens to us and answers our prayers! You are a part of us, the St. Anthony’s Guild Family, and that makes all the difference!
Thank you for being a part of us,
Fr. David, Convertino, OFM