Saint Mary’s Church
Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2001
As I described earlier I was asked if I would consider being a Eucharistic Minister on Friday March 24, 2000 exactly 24 hours later to the minute after leading the 3rd decade of the rosary when Mary appeared to Gianna at Saint Joseph’s. Being a Eucharistic Minister has been a very rewarding experience that I will value my entire life. There have been a number of dates that I was scheduled to be Eucharistic Minister that had very significant relations with important dates for me in Emmitsburg such as Sunday October 1, 2000 the feast day of Saint Therese.
On Tuesday November 27th there was a message on my recording machine from Pat at church saying Father ___ had decided to add a vigil mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Friday evening at 7pm and she would like to schedule me as the Eucharistic Minister and she would also like to schedule Christopher as an alter server. She asked that I call her to confirm that this would be OK. The first thought that ran through my mind was not being able to go to Saint Mary’s for the Friday night rosary and Benediction. I also knew that my responsibility as a Eucharistic Minister comes first so there was really never any question in my mind where I would be on that Friday night right from the start. I called the church and confirmed that Christopher and I would be there but at the same time I knew it was going to hurt not being at Saint Mary’s that night.
I called Sister Genevieve to tell her that I would not be coming that night because I always stop and pick her up and she would need to arrange for another ride. Rides are difficult for her to arrange because it takes someone with the ability to transport her wheelchair. While I was on the phone with her she asked me if I would consider being her guest at Saint Mary’s on Saturday morning December 8th to witness the renewal of her religious vows. I told her that I would love to be there and I offered to pick her up and take her there on Saturday morning. She said that would be perfect. She then said that she would save her strength and not try to go to the Friday night rosary and she would see me on Saturday morning and that mass would be at 8:00 am. She said I should try to pick her up around 7:30. I said “I’ll see you then”.
On Friday night I served as Eucharistic Minister and I don’t know how to describe this so all I will say is that I got more satisfaction from being Eucharistic Minister that night than I have ever felt before. I got up the next morning and drove to Emmitsburg to pick up Sister Genevieve and I got there right around *7:30. Sister Genevieve said “Rxxxxx I don’t know how to tell you this but I had the time wrong, mass does not start until 9:00, you could have slept for another hour. I told Sister that it was no problem at all and not to worry about it. We talked for about an hour then left to go to Saint Mary’s. We arrived at the church about 8:30 and talked to Father Mxxxxxx and he said he wanted me to roll Sister Genevieve’s wheelchair up to the front of the church for the renewal of her vows after the homily. At that point Father M and Sister Genevieve had a short rehearsal and when that was over I rolled her back to where I was sitting in the third row on the right. Sister Genevieve sat in her wheelchair in the isle next to me. When mass started Father M announced that Sister Genevieve would be renewing her religious vows. During the Gospel somehow my mind wandered and as I stood there I looked down at Sister Genevieve sitting in her wheelchair. The happiness and joy expressed on her face was beyond description and I remember thinking “Blessed Mother, this must be why you wanted me to be Eucharistic Minister last night in Virginia so I could help Sister Genevieve here this morning”. In perfect synchronization with that thought that just came out of nowhere I saw a flicker of light which caused me to look up. When I looked up there was a halo of light surrounding the head of the statue of Mary in the front of the church. Suddenly I realized that I was also smelling roses at the same time. I could not take my eyes off of the statue but I forced myself to do so and I looked at Sister Genevieve and she was looking at Father M who was reading the Gospel. When I looked at the statue again the halo of light was surrounding the entire body of Mary and the roses were still very strong. I looked at Sister Genevieve again and I looked at Father M and I turned my head back to look at the people standing behind me. It was obvious to me that they were not perceiving any of this. The world was going by as if nothing was happening. When I turned back to the statue of Mary the light was still surrounding Her entire body and in addition to that a halo of light was completely surrounding the statue of Saint Joseph that was standing right next to Her. The roses were still strong and gradually the light around Mary and Joseph started to dim except for the halos around their heads which remained bright for a few extra seconds. The halos were the first to appear and the last to leave. Suddenly the halos around their heads disappeared in perfect synchronization with the end of the roses and the end of the reading of the Gospel.
I don’t know what else to say so I will just stop here.
* Actually it was 7:33 but at this early stage of writing these papers I had not yet started to include this because I did not know how to describe it. R.C. Aug 16, 2018