Christmas in Emmitsburg, "Hometown" & Medjugorje

December 24-25, 2005


The title of this paper may seem a little strange including Medjugorje in it but Medjugorje ended up playing a very important role in our Christmas this year. We were not in Medjugorje but Medjugorje came to us in a very surprising and unexpected way. I will try to explain.

S.C.C. and I had decided that we would like to spend Christmas in "hometown" and visit relatives that we don’t see as often as we used to. The only problem we encountered was the fact that C.R.C. was scheduled to serve at St. Mary’s on Christmas Day at the 10 am mass.

C.R.C. called the other altar servers asking to switch and was continually told “No”. It looked like we were not going to find a replacement. The last person C.R.C. called said they would be able to take his place. As I overheard his phone conversation and realized a replacement had been found I felt the peace and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.

December 24, 2005

There were a lot of things to get done before we left to go to "hometown" for Christmas. S.C.C. and I both wanted to attend mass at St. Joseph’s this morning and because of the errands we had S.C.C. said she would just meet me there. I then drove to St. Joseph’s and arrived at 8:13 and the instant the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 13.

At the instant I was getting out of the car I noticed Fr. O’Malley walking towards the church and he threw his hand up and wished me a Merry Christmas by name. He was very cordial. After I wished him a Merry Christmas I felt the peace in a very strong way. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. I walked in the church and genuflected before the exposed Blessed Sacrament as I entered my pew and again it said XX:XX:33.

A few minutes later mass began and Fr. Steve was the priest. Mass ended and confessions were offered so I went. After saying my penance I left and glanced at my watch as I walked out of the door and it said XX:XX:13. I got in my car to leave and at the instant I pulled out the CD flashed 33.

I drove to St. Peters Books to get a cup of coffee and when I arrived there I noticed the time on the dash was 9:13. I had my coffee and sat around and talked for a while with Peter Blanchard. We discussed some of the things needed for the newly created Foundation Of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary here in Emmitsburg. I then drove home and pulled in my driveway at 10:13.

S.C.C. was home by the time I got there and asked me to deliver some Christmas presents to Joe and Jan F’s and to Phil and Aileen C’s house. I dropped the F’s gifts off at their house and then drove to  Phil’s. I delivered their gift and got in my car to leave. At the instant I started the car I felt the peace and glanced over at the CD just as it flashed 33.

I drove home and later in the afternoon S.C.C. suggested that we open our Christmas presents before leaving to go to "hometown". We opened our gifts in the living room and it was a very nice Christmas. The radio was on in the background and Silent Night started to play. The beautiful lyrics of that song suddenly filled me with peace and the true meaning of Christmas. It was so strong I knew to glance at my watch and the time was 1:13:33.

We then got ready to leave for "hometown". S.C.C. said she wanted to take the truck so we could bring back some old furniture that her mother had given her. We loaded up the truck but when I went to start it the battery was dead. We then had to push the truck out of the garage and jump start it with S.C.C.’s car. Because of the loss of electrical power the clock in the truck reset to 1:00. After getting the truck started we pulled out of the driveway and the actual time was about 4:45 but the incorrect time displayed on the dash because of the electrical problem was 1:13.

We left for "hometown" and got as far as Leesburg before we were delayed because of a traffic accident that held up traffic for about 30 or 40 minutes. After we got through that we continued our trip to "hometown" and drove straight to "Parish Church"  for Christmas Eve mass and arrived there at 7:33.

Mass was just beginning and Fr. Roger was the priest. The church was packed by the time we got there and so we stood at the door in the vestibule. After mass started Joe K came up to me and asked if we would take the gifts up to the altar. I told him that we would love to.

I noticed the ciborium that was on the table was the one we brought back from Medjugorje the last time we were there. A couple of minutes later as I was thinking about being asked to take up the gifts in that ciborium I felt the peace and thought about being in Medjugorje. I glanced down at my watch and the time was 8:13. Mass continued and at the instant of the Consecration I again felt the peace and the time was 8:33.

Mass ended and we saw my mother, sister and nephews walking towards us. It was good to see them. I felt the peace hit me again as we were reunited. I glanced at my watch and the time was 9:13.

We talked for a little while and told them that we would see them tomorrow at my sisters house for Christmas dinner. We then went to S.C.C.’s mothers house to spend the night. After arriving there I thought that now would be a good time to take Fr. ___ the latest pack of papers and a small Christmas gift and put it on his table. I walked back over to "Parish Church" and glanced at my watch as I placed those items on the table. The time was 9:33.

December 25, 2005

I spent the night on the sofa watching Midnight Mass with the pope on TV. When I woke up the next morning I decided I wanted to go pray my rosary before the day got to busy at "Parish Church". I walked across the street to the church and glanced at my watch as I walked in the door and it said XX:XX:33

I started praying the rosary and a few minutes later Fr. Roger came walking in and opened the tabernacle door. At the instant he opened the door I felt the peace and glanced down at my watch and the time was 8:33.

I continued my rosary by praying both the Joyful and Glorious mysteries. Just as I finished the rosary Frank Q came in and opened the tabernacle again. At that instant as I was genuflecting to exit my pew I again felt the peace hit me as the door opened and this time I glanced at my watch and the time was 9:13.

I walked back to S.C.C.’s moms house and we had Christmas breakfast. Later in the day we went to my sisters house and had dinner with my family. I then took a nap and slept for three hours before S.C.C. woke me up saying it was time to leave to go home. We left and after a few miles I remembered that I had left my cell phone at Barbara’s house and had to go back to get it. After getting the phone we left again and when we arrived in Emmitsburg we stopped at St. Joseph’s and the incorrect time on the dash from the power failure was 8:33.

We drove home and I turned on my computer to get the email and there was a special Christmas message from Our Lady of Medjugorje. I finished reading the message and again felt the peace as I thought back to the ciborium at "Parish Church"  and the actual time on my watch was 12:33.

Medjugorje Message of December 25, 2005

"Dear children! Also today, in my arms I bring you little Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with His peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be my carriers of peace in this peaceless world. God will bless you. Little children, do not forget that I am your mother. I bless you all with a special blessing, with little Jesus in my arms. Thank you for having responded to my call."

R_____ C___

Dec. 31, 2005

5:33 Pm