The only way to tell this is to tell the whole story and that means having to go back as far as April 1999 which was only about 5 months after I first started attending the Thursday Night Prayer Group at St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg. This is another paper I would not be able to write if I had not started keeping notes in my daily journal. This is going to be very difficult.
My mother is the youngest of eight girls in her family. Her two oldest sisters are Marion F who was 94 when she died and Mildred S who was 92.
I feel I should mention that Marion visited the apparition site of Rue Du Bac back in 1963 where Our Lady gave Catherine Laboure’ the Miraculous Medal. Marion brought back from that trip the Miraculous Medal that I wear today. My mother gave it to me shortly after the first time I ever took her to Emmitsburg.
Mildred visited Medjugorje with my aunt Margaret P back in 1990. Both Marion and Mildred visited Emmitsburg and attended the apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg at St. Joseph’s with me, my mother and Ted Szymanski on Thursday April 29, 1999.
Margaret would have come if her health had allowed and talked about wanting to come to Emmitsburg up until she died. I think it is important to mention these details because I believe it has everything to do with the events that have made this paper possible.
Friday April 26, 2002
Three years later on the evening of April 26, 2002 Ted Szymanski and I were in Emmitsburg to attend the Friday Night rosary at St. Mary’s in Fairfield. I had picked up Sr. Genevieve Walsh that night and taken her to the rosary. After taking her home later that evening I returned to my truck and saw where I had missed 4 phone calls from home. I called back and S.C.C. told me that my aunt Marion had died. As I received this news I noticed the time on the dash was 9:33.
I had the sudden and very strong desire to stop at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Mount St. Mary’s on the way home and pray a rosary for Marion. I asked Ted if he minded and he said he would love to pray a rosary for her. We did stop at the Immaculate Conception Chapel and prayed the rosary for her and I clearly remember finishing and looking at my watch and the time was 10:33.
Monday April 29, 2002
S.C.C., C.R.C. and myself drove to Norfolk, Virginia to attend Marion’s funeral. We arrived at my cousin Charley and Maureen’s house and later that evening we left with them to go to the family night at H.D Oliver funeral home. I remember noticing the clock on my cousin Charley’s dash as we pulled out to leave and the time was 6:13. We arrived at the funeral home and I opened the door and walked up to Marion’s casket. It was at that very instant I very suddenly remembered that it was exactly three years ago tonight that I took her and Mildred to St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg. I looked at my watch and the time was 6:33.
Tuesday April 30, 2002
The priest who officiated at Marion’s funeral mass was Fr. John Mary Tompkins OSB. After the mass ended the funeral procession rode to St. Mary’s Cemetery and just as we arrived and I was getting out of the car I felt the feeling of peace hit me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 12:33.
Wednesday November 9, 2005
It would be impossible for me to tell what happened today and tomorrow without having provided the details of Marion’s death back in 2002. This is where it becomes very, very difficult.
For some reason I had a very uncomfortable feeling early this morning. The only way I can accurately describe this feeling is to say that I could feel the force that exist that tries to block or stop the reception of grace from God. I don’t know how else to put it so I will just leave it at that.
I drove to Manassas to go to work this morning and was delayed because of a car accident on Rt. 15 near Leesburg. This caused me to miss daily mass at All Saint’s. This only made the uncomfortable feeling worse. However, whatever was making me feel tense and uncomfortable dissipated and completely disappeared at the instant I remembered I could still attend the 10 pm mass at Mount St. Mary’s tonight. At the instant I realized this I looked at my watch and the time was 8:33:33.
At this point whatever had been bothering me throughout the morning was now gone. I continued driving and arrived in Manassas and went straight to work. I was very busy all morning and later in the day I took my lunch break and went across the street to All Saint’s to pray my daily rosary. I arrived and just as I shut the car off I noticed the CD flash 13. I glanced at my watch as I walked in the adoration chapel before the Blessed Sacrament and it said XX:XX:33.
I prayed the Glorious and Luminous mysteries before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. About 7 or 8 minutes before I finished the rosary someone entered the pew behind me. This persons presence somewhat annoyed me because of a unusual rhythm in the sound of their breathing that I found unpleasant.
I finished my rosary and genuflected before the Blessed Sacrament as I was leaving. As I turned around I looked at the person who was behind me and I was stunned. It was my aunt Marion F who had died on April 26, 2002. She was praying the rosary.
In the silence and peace of my soul I said “My God, I didn’t know it was Marion F.” She never made eye contact with me. She was focused only on the Blessed Sacrament. When I got to the door I turned around and looked at her again from behind and I was astounded. I walked out of the door and somehow the entire episode was suddenly blocked out of my mind and I did not give it another thought. I got in my car and when I started it the time on the dash was 2:13 and the CD flashed 13.
Later in the day when I got off from work I drove back to Emmitsburg and stopped at St. Joseph’s on my way home. I glanced at my watch as the car came to a complete stop and the time was 7:13:00. I noticed the lights were on so I tried to go in but the door was locked. I said a few prayers and got back in my car to leave and at the instant the car started to move the odometer switched to 1.3.
I arrived home and ate dinner and told S.C.C. that I was going to go to the 10 pm mass at Mount Saint Mary’s tonight because I missed mass this morning in Manassas. I attended mass and when it was over I rode by St. Joseph’s just long enough to say a quick prayer and when I arrived the odometer was 13.
Thursday November 10, 2005
I stopped by St. Joseph’s to say a prayer before going to work this morning and just as I arrived the CD counter flashed 13. I prayed for a minute or so and left to go to work in Manassas. I was almost to Leesburg when my cell phone rang. It was my sister Barbara M. She said that she and my mother had been trying to call us since yesterday afternoon but only got a busy signal and could not get us on the cell phone either. I had no idea why the line was busy all that time. Barbara then told me that my aunt Mildred had died yesterday. She also told me to call mom. We hung up and the time on the dash was 7:13.
I called my mother and she told me that Mildred had died yesterday. She said the nursing home said she died sometime after 2 pm. She asked why our line had been busy and I told her I did not know. We hung up and I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
A few minutes later as I thought about Mildred my mind just went straight back to the night I took both Marion and Mildred to St. Joseph’s for the apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg. It was at that very instant my mind just automatically went straight back to yesterday to the instant I saw Marion praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament. This was the very first time this had even crossed my mind since it happened. I instantly knew it really was Marion and she was praying to Jesus for Mildred at the very time of her death and so was I but did not realize it at the time. At the instant I realized this I felt a peace that was numbing. It was during the peak of this feeling of peace that I noticed the odometer was 3.3 and the time on the dash was 7:33.
I called home and the phone was not busy as Barbara and my mom had said. C.R.C. answered the phone and said that he had just discovered that the upstairs phone was off the hook and he had just hung it up. I told them that Mildred had died.
From this point on everything I have just said was confirmed to me throughout the day by a frequent bombardment of sudden, out of nowhere thoughts about the reality of what I have just said. I will not try to list them all here except to say that when I was praying my daily rosary at All Saint’s today I suddenly thought about the cross that everybody must carry throughout life and mine seems to be a mystical one. I also knew that I picked up and embraced this cross at St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg during the Thursday Night Prayer Group. As this thought hit I suddenly remembered seeing Marion yesterday and glanced at my watch and the time was 12:33:13.
When I got off work later in the afternoon I drove back to Emmitsburg. I wanted to stop at St. Joseph’s and say some prayers for Mildred and Marion and give thanks for the experience I have just described. I arrived at St. Joseph’s and the odometer was 1.3 and I glanced at my watch as the car came to a complete stop. The time was 7:33:33.
Friday November 11, 2005
C.R.C. and I got ready to go to Norfolk for Mildred’s funeral. S.C.C. did not go because she was scheduled to work on Saturday and needed to set up for the 2nd Sunday Mission of Mercy Prayer Service at St. Mary’s on Sunday. We all attended daily mass at St. Joseph’s. At the instant I knelt down and offered a prayer for Mildred I felt the peace and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
Mass ended and we drove home and started getting ready to leave for Norfolk. We had plenty of time so I sat down and caught up my journal notes from the digital voice recorder I use and at the instant I finished writing the part about seeing Marion at the time of Mildred’s death I again felt the peace. At that instant I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:33:59.
A short while later C.R.C. and I left to go to Norfolk and drove straight to my cousin Charley and Maureen’s house. At the instant we arrived and the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 3:33. We walked in the door and the time was 5:13.
Later in the evening we left to go to H.D. Oliver funeral home for the family night. As we arrived and walked up to Mildred’s coffin I glanced at my watch and the time was 7:13.
Saturday November 12, 2005
When I got up the next morning my cousins had a few things they needed to go out and do. This gave me the morning free. I decided that I would like to ride back to the funeral home and pray the rosary for Mildred. When my cousins left to run their errands I got in my car to ride back to the funeral home and noticed as I was pulling out the time on the dash was 9:33.
I arrived at the funeral home and rang the bell and was let in. I walked up and knelt at Mildred’s casket and glanced at my watch as I started the rosary and it said XX:XX:33. I prayed the entire rosary. At about the ˝ way point I started feeling ill. I don’t know why I just suddenly did not feel well. I was not even sure I would be able to finish the rosary but after a little while it went away and I was able to finish. When I finished the rosary and was leaving I stopped and picked up Mildred’s funeral card and suddenly the peace struck. It was at that instant I saw where she was born in 1913. I left and as I pulled out of the funeral home parking lot I had to wait for a car to pass with the license plate of 33.
I drove back to my cousins house and they were back by the time I arrived. Later as we left to go back to the funeral home to meet the rest of the family for the 2 pm funeral I glanced at my watch as we walked out of the door and the time was 1:13:33.
The priest was Fr. Christian from St. Gregory’s parish and he was from Brazil. He did a very nice job. We left the funeral home and processed to St. Mary’s Cemetary and when we arrived and got out of the car I noticed the car in front of us had the license plate of 33. The graveside service was very short. Mildred was buried next to Marion. As we left the cemetery I saw a huge crucifix that can be seen from everywhere in the cemetery and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
We then went to my aunt Vera’s house and ate lunch. The entire family was there from all over. C.R.C. and I left to go to the 5 pm mass at Christ The King because we were going to go fishing tomorrow with my cousins out on the Chesepeake Bay.
Sunday November 13, 2005
C.R.C. and I went fishing all day out on the bay in Charley’s new boat. The fish were not biting and at the end of the day I caught the only fish. It was still a nice day and we had lots of fun. When we got back to shore C.R.C. and I left to go home. I invited my cousins to come up to our new house and suggested they plan their visit for a 1st Sunday so they could attend a monthly public apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg. C.R.C. and I got in the car to leave and pulled out and the time on the dash was 4:13.
We took a different route home by coming up the Eastern Shore to Baltimore. That was not a good idea. It took us an extra hour and about 50 additional miles. When we arrived back in Emmitsburg we stopped at St. Joseph’s on the way home. When we arrived there was a sign advertising a parish event for the 13th.
Nov. 27, 2005