The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations asked renowned women of faith to write reflections on their appreciation of the priesthood during the Year for Priests. This final piece, by Lois H. Coyne, was selected not because she is well-known, but because it reveals the extraordinary faith and witness that so many Christians live in the ordinariness of daily life.
▪ ▪ ▪
The day began as very ordinary, but would end in a way that could never be forgotten: I remember coming home, late as usual from my friend’s house, hungry and ready for dinner. As I ran into the kitchen, banging the door behind me, I found my mother dying before my eyes. The white-lace handkerchief she held to her mouth was quickly turning red. In her other hand she clutched a relic of St. Therese of Lisieux. Little did I know, at the time, that her lungs were giving out. Like St. Therese, she was suffering from Tuberculosis (TB). As she managed to catch her breath, she asked me to pray for her. It was the most terrifying moment of my entire 9 years of life. I begged over and over, “Please, dear Jesus, don’t let Mother die.”
Suddenly, my father came home from work, and the doctor and the priest were immediately called. When the priest arrived at our door, his presence was like no other. He carried close to his heart the Blessed Sacrament in a little gold case (which we had learned at St. Francis Xavier school was called a Pyx). An altar boy preceded him, ringing the golden bells. As we knelt down, the young priest walked toward my mother’s room. Suddenly I sensed, even though I was only 9, that there was something special about this priest. He was young with dark hair and had a spiritual quality about him that seemed to completely connect with the Person of Christ: the One he was bringing to my dying mother.
. . .
Read more: Arlington Catholic Herald