By Fr. Christopher Kubat
Have I ever told you how blessed we are to have the Marian Sisters at St. Gianna’s Women’s Home? Well, if I haven’t, let me restate it: we are.
Part of the deal of having Marian Sisters is having a convent and chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, along with daily Mass. We are blessed to have Sister Bernadette Radek, Sister Karen Eden and Sister Carol Hohmeier, and our talented volunteer support staff.
After celebrating early morning Mass, while talking to Sister Bernadette, I often have the opportunity to talk with mothers and their children as they leave for school and work. Some of the older children wait in the lobby, which is by the entrance to the chapel, for their buses.
As you can imagine, after seeing certain individuals morning after morning, what’s discussed can build from a ‘good morning,’ to simple conversations, to subsequent conversations that are tied together.
There is one very polite young lady in her early teens who, while waiting for her bus, is always staring into the screen of her smart phone. After a few days of exchanging hellos, I asked her if she ever prays. After saying no, I said a prayer for her out loud which only took a few seconds.
“See how easy that was?” I said. Then I dropped this bomb on her: “Could you say a tiny prayer like that for me today?” She smiled and said, “OK.”
When I saw her again a few days later and asked if she said that little prayer for ‘old father,’ she smiled with dimples and explained she initially decided not to say any prayers, as was her habit, but at some point during the school day, she all of a sudden felt inspired to say that little prayer I had asked her to pray for me. It was a Holy Spirit moment. And in that instant, she asked God to help me. She related how good it felt and was so proud of herself. I was proud of her, too. You will be happy to learn that I suggested and saw her count down prayer time on the timer of her smart phone. One smart kid.
There are several reasons for writing this story: first, to demonstrate how easy it is planting seeds. It does not have to be complicated. Second, to ask whoever reads this column to say one Hail Mary for this young lady, or even better, to keep her and the other children and mothers at St. Gianna in your prayers, for seeds planted need water and fertilizer of prayers and penance in order to germinate.
Of course, financial donations are essential in our mission at St. Gianna’s but so are your prayers and penances, for it is not always about money.
I would like to thank the Marian Sisters and those who support us with prayers, penances and with material and financial support. St. Gianna, pray for us!