Sunday, November 16, 2008

Converted Aged Ninety

While strolling through town after Mass, I rang some friends in Tasmania - to explain to them, as I put it, that I'm coming back as "the first Climate Change Refugee" (after reading, as Traddies like, some apocalyptic, but of the secular variety) - and heard the encouraging news that the nonagenarian mother of Mary's husband has just become a Catholic.

Apparently the family have been praying for this for years, but when Mary asked Fr Quinn, C.P., to visit her mother-in-law in hospital, where she was after suffering a serious accident, and at least to bless her, she added "And receive her into the Church if she asks" - to which Fr replied, "She'll never become a Catholic".  But what do you think was the first thing the dear old lady said to Fr?  She was baptized (sub conditione I presume) and received into the Church at her hospital bed, with four generations of her family in attendance.

Deo gratias!

I should add that Fr Quinn (the humblest of men) is known for his indefatigable hospital ministry; the number of persons he has received into or reconciled with the Church, the number of marriages he's regularized, the numbers he's baptized and confirmed, must be incalculable.  I consider that he has been given a special power or grace for this salvific work.  

For instance, on one occasion of which I'm aware, he came to the sole Catholic patient in a four-bed ward, and administered the sacraments to him.  No sooner had he left than the nurses came running, since the other three patients had all pressed their emergency buzzers: and they told the bewildered nurses, "We want him to do the same for us!"  He was recalled, and received all three into the Church.  True story.

No comments: