Tuesday, November 12, 2013
SUPPORT BRAIN CANCER-WEAR SILVER!
Tuesday all students and faculty wore a silver ribbon to support one of our young mothers who is in her 3rd year of fighting brain cancer. She has a four and five year old in our school. When we learned this past weekend that they would be leaving our school in two weeks to go to California to be with family and closer to her cancer doctor we all sported a silver ribbon to support her and her family.
Many of us just knew that pink was for breast cancer and didn't realize there was a color just for brain cancer.
When the mom came to school today to see her little daughter who had a reaction to fresh pineapple, tears came to her eyes when she saw all the silver ribbons in support of her.
Frida,y I had the privilege of going with the family to a healing Mass at St. Augustine's Church in Phoenix. Father Fernando Suarez from the Philippines and known as "the healing priest" was stopping on his travels to celebrate Mass and then a healing service for all who wanted to attend-and many did.
I arrived an hour early with our pastor, Fr. Ariel Lustan, and our school nurse and her husband. We secured a pew close to the front. Our mother suffering from brain cancer, her husband, brother-in-law and two small children could not leave as early as us as the husband had to finish working at the dental office where he is a dentist and his brother is the dental hygienist. I sat at the end of the pew and for about a half hour before Mass started, I constantly told people I was saving the pew for a family of five. They finally arrived one minute to 6:00pm. The church was overflowing with people standing all over and the parking lot was as full as the church.
Fr. Fernando came down the aisle with about six Filipino priests concelebrating with him. We have many Filipino priests in our Diocese of Tucson and in the Phoenix Diocese. During Fr. Suarez's homily, he shared how he became known as the "Healing Priest" and that his spiritual director encouraged him not to hide this gift from God.
After Mass was over, those in wheelchairs, those with canes and the very handicapped were brought to the sanctuary where they were prayed over by Fr. Fernando. Then the procedure was to have the people in the front pews come first to be prayed over. But soon people from the back came up to the front and there we sat in one of the front pews waiting and waiting to be called up. Fr. Ariel was already in the sanctuary so he came down to get our young mom and her husband for support. She was prayed over by Fr. Fernando and said she could feel something.
We waited another long period of time as everyone in my pew wanted to go up and be touched and prayed upon by Fr. Fernando. The mom and her two little ones were getting very tired and hungry so Fr. Ariel came again and led all of us into the sanctuary to stand in a line.
Father Fernando went up and down the line of people constantly asking what you wanted him to pray for and he touched each person. There were "catchers" behind each person in case you fell backwards or forwards when Fr. Fernando prayed over you. Our young mom this time did go backwards when prayed upon but her husband was there to catch her.
It was now about 8:30pm and no one had eaten anything since lunch so off all of us went to eat dinner together at a Chinese restaurant. This was my 2nd Chinese meal of the day. I have worked with a wide variety of cultures in my travels as a religious Sister and one thing I learned is to respect their culture and don't be afraid to try their food. They are happy when you do. So Friday, I tried a wide variety of Chinese food. When I would ask "What is this?" The response always was, "Don't ask, just try." One item I did figure out after eating a little of it was a chicken foot. I recognize it from Hawaii. It's one item I know that I do not like-but I at least tried it to know that.
I ask that you continue to pray for our young family fighting hard to beat the brain cancer. Wear a silver ribbon when you can and say a prayer for her and her two young children who know that "mommy is sick".