Friday July 4
I started thinking about possibly riding up to Emmitsburg when I woke up this morning and the clock next to the bed said 6:13. I went to daily mass at "Parish Church" and while I was driving home I decided that I would go. I was going to call Ted to see if he wanted to go but suddenly I felt like I should go alone today. The thought of going alone was so sudden and strong that it caused me to glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. I wanted to go to St. Joseph’s. When I got home I told S.C.C that I was going to ride up and that I would not be late getting home. I did a few things around the house and when I finished I left to go to Emmitsburg to pray the rosary at St. Joseph’s.
When I was almost there I remembered that it was 5 years ago yesterday that I first came to Emmitsburg. It made me feel a little sad that yesterday came and went and it never crossed my mind that July 3rd 1998 was the first time I ever stopped in Emmitsburg on my way to Gettysburg. I continued driving and arrived at St. Joseph’s and looked at my watch at the very instant I walked in the church. The time was 12:13. There was nobody else in the church. I prayed the entire rosary and when I finished I looked at my watch again as I walked out the door. The time was 1:13:13. The peace was so strong that I kissed the corner of the church as I walked by. At that very instant I again felt compelled by the extremely strong sense of peace to glance at my watch. The time was now 1:13:33.
I got in my truck and drove straight home. I did not even stop at the Grotto because I had told S.C.C that I would not be late getting home. As I was driving home I thought about the past five years and I thought about C.R.C getting beat up by his baby sitter back in 1992. Looking back I now know for sure that this was the event that started this whole Emmitsburg experience for our family. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever.
When I got back to "hometown" and was turning off of Main St. onto Rt. 522 I was saddened when I saw a pickup truck getting ready for the "hometown" parade. It was carrying a very large sign that announced that the persons husband who was convicted of beating up C.R.C is now running for a high elected office in the next "hometown" elections. This sent a chill through me. The person who is running for office did not beat up C.R.C but he lied in court to try to protect his wife who was convicted.
I arrived home a few minutes later. I looked at my watch as I walked in the front door and the time was 3:33. I then told S.C.C what I had just seen. She was saddened too. I told S.C.C that I have forgiven everyone involved with that and never want to think about it again. S.C.C agreed and we changed the subject. Because of the life changing Emmitsburg experience S.C.C and I have both been able to forgive and try to forget this whole thing.
There was a lot of newspaper coverage when C.R.C was battered and a lot of people in this town still remember that incident very well. I hope and pray that during this campaign nobody tries to remind voters of this incident. Considering how low some people will go to dig up dirt on somebody running for office, it would not surprise me if they did.
About a minute after I finished telling S.C.C that this person was running for office the phone rang and it was Sister Genevieve and she wanted to know if I would be able to help carry the statue of Our Lady of Fatima for St. Joseph’s tomorrow in the Emmitsburg 4th of July parade which always takes place the Saturday after the 4th. I told Sister Genevieve that I would be happy to do it. This makes the 3rd year I have done this in the July 4th parade. Sister Genevieve said I needed to be there by 5:30 because the parade starts at 6:00 When we hung up I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
Saturday July 5
On Saturday I caught up on everything I needed to do around the house and stayed busy the best part of the morning. I was not paying any attention to the time when I called Ted to see if he wanted to go to Emmitsburg this evening for the parade. Ted was not home so I left a message on the answering machine. It was when I hung up that I noticed that the time was 11:33. I wanted to leave a little earlier than necessary because I wanted to attend 4:30 mass at St. Joseph’s. A couple of hours passed and I still had not heard anything from Ted so I left. As I pulled out of the driveway the odometer was 1.3. I had only been driving for a little while when the phone rang and it was Ted saying that he just got home from his daughters and would love to ride to Emmitsburg for the parade. I told Ted that I would see him at Walmart in about an hour. When we hung up the time on the dash was 1:33.
When I arrived at Walmart Ted was already there. We drove straight to St. Joseph’s and when we arrived the time on the dash was 3:30. We walked in the church and I glanced at my watch just as I was entering the pew and the time was 3:33:13. I said a few prayers and went to confession. When I returned to my pew I said my penance and then prayed the rosary. I glanced at my watch just as I finished the rosary and the time was 4:13.
Mass started at 4:30 and Fr. Steve Trzecieski was the celebrant. When mass was over I suggested to Ted that he watch the parade from St. Joseph’s to avoid the heat and the long walk. Ted agreed. I drove to the parade line up area which was about a mile away and parked. I walked over to where the Mission of Mercy van was and met up with Karen and Mick Major. The time was 5:33. Gianna was there and said “Hi Robert”. I said hello back to her.
The parade started and Mick Major carried the front end of the platform that carries the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and I carried the back. Last year I carried the front and Mick carried the back. The float in front of us was the Armata Bianca and the Mission of Mercy van was behind us. The license plate on the trailer in front of us carrying the Armata Bianca had a licence plate of 30333. It was extremely hot and the parade took a longer route than previous years. It went down Main street, looped around St. Joseph’s and ended up at the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. When it was over Mick and I walked back to where the vehicles were parked and when I got in my truck and pulled out to go pick up Ted at St. Josephs the time on the dash was 7:13. I glanced at my watch and it said 7:13:13.
I arrived at St. Josephs and Ted was standing outside talking to some old friends of his. I told him there was no rush and to take his time. I sat in the truck waiting for him because I thought the church would be locked. After I sat there for a little while I saw someone open the door and go inside. After seeing that the church was unlocked I went inside and the priest were just finishing up with 1st Saturday confessions. Fr. Steve was getting ready to lock up the church so I got up and was going to leave. Fr. Steve stopped me and thanked me for carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the parade. I told him that it was my pleasure. I then walked out of the church and glanced at my watch and the time was 7:33.
Same Event 1 Year Ago
Saturday July 6, 2002
I have often wondered why I never wrote a paper describing the sequence of events on Saturday July 6, 2002. Even though I remember every detail of this day vividly, I will rely on the notes I have been keeping to make sure it is 100% accurate.
Karen Major asked me earlier in the week if I would be able to help carry the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Emmitsburg 4th of July parade on Saturday July 6. I told her that I would do it. She said I needed to be there by 5:30 because the parade starts at 6 PM. I told her that I would be there. I carried the statue last year too.
That morning I helped Cecelia Campbell move out of the apartment in Brightwood that she moved into after her house burned because the landlord wanted to move his mother into that apartment. Cecelia’s friend, Pat found another house that was available and this one was much nicer and the rent was not to much more. For some reason I kept thinking about the 2 times that Our Lady of Emmitsburg appeared while Cecelia was leading the rosary on Thursday nights at St. Joseph’s. I clearly remember thinking about this and thinking that finding this house just days before Cecelia had to be out of the old apartment was the intersession of Our Lady of Emmitsburg. This was so strong that I had to look at my watch and the time was 10:13.
I took some things to the dump for Cecelia and then drove back to her old apartment. When I got there Cecelia was not there and her friend Pat said that Cecelia called and needed a jump because the battery in her car was dead. The car was at Safeway in "hometown". I drove back to town and got the car started and followed Cecelia back to the apartment. When we arrived I glanced at my watch because I needed to make sure I would have time to get ready and be in Emmitsburg on time for the parade. The time was 11:33:13.
I went home and got ready to go to Emmitsburg and Karen Major called to make sure I was still coming. I told her that I would be there. I drove to Emmitsburg and decided that since I had time, I would attend 4:30 mass at St. Joseph’s. When I arrived at St. Joseph’s the odometer was 3.3. I looked at my watch as I walked in the front door and the time was 4:33.
When mass was over I drove straight to where the parade would line up and arrived there at 5:33. Gianna Sullivan was there and she surprised me when she walked over to me and started talking. Normally our conversations have consisted of a friendly hello and that is the extent of it. Not this time.
Gianna told me about the nearly fatal aneurism that her husband, Dr. Michael Sullivan suffered. She told me that the doctors prepared her for the worst and she prayed for the best. She said that before Dr. Sullivan was operated on she asked what the mortality rate for this surgery was and the doctor told her 90%. Gianna then asked the doctor how confident he was that he could get Dr. Sullivan through the surgery and he said 90%.
Gianna then told me that during the surgery the doctors had to shutdown all of Dr. Sullivans organs and during this 57 minutes there were no vital signs at all. Gianna then told me that during the time of this near death experience Dr. Sullivan was given absolute proof and was told that the apparitions of Our Lady of Emmitsburg were genuine. She did not tell me who told this to Dr. Sulllivan during his near death experience. She also told me that when Dr. Sullivan awoke he knew the gospel readings for each day he was unconscious.
Gianna then changed the subject and told me that Our Lady has been saying some good things lately. She did not say what. She also told me that Our Lady looks and uses people who say yes to Her.
By now the parade was about ready to start and Gianna noticed that she did not have her Benedictine Crucifix and she seemed a little upset that she did not have it. She said she meant to put it on but forgot. She said it provides a lot of protection. I just happened to be wearing one under my shirt and I told Gianna that she could wear mine. She said I can’t take yours. I told her that she could wear it and just return it when everything was over. She took it and thanked me.
The parade started and Mick Major and myself carried the platform that holds the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Gianna and Karen Major were directly in front of us carrying the Armata Bianca banner. About half way through the parade someone relieved me of carrying the statue because it is very heavy. Karen then asked me to take her end of the Armata Bianca banner. That left Gianna and myself carrying the banner down Main Street for the rest of the parade. When we arrived at the end of the parade route Dr. Sullivan was there and still looked very ill. Gianna thanked me, said good by and returned my Benedictine Crucifix that I wear around my neck. I then walked back to where my truck was parked and drove over to St. Joseph’s and when I arrived there I looked at my watch and the time was 7:13:33.
I then drove over to the Grotto of Lourdes and just walked around for a little while thinking about this very nice day. When I returned to my truck and started it to go home the time on the dash was 8:13. I drove home and pulled in the drive way and the time was 10:13. I walked in the house and S.C.C was sitting on the bed praying the rosary alone. The clock next to her said 10:13.
July 11, 2003