Prof. Courtenay Bartholomew Returns to Emmitsburg To Launch His New Book
First Friday - Sunday August 4 - 6, 2006
As I sit down to write this paper I am at complete peace. I believe this is a special paper because so many different events had to take place and come together involving different people at different times and places resulting in this paper. No human on this earth could have possibly orchestrated this to make it all happen the way it did. It would be impossible.
Actually the sequence of events that led up to this paper started nearly a month ago as I was coming out of daily mass at the Basilica on Saturday July 8th. Mike Sullivan came up to me and asked how far Dulles Airport was from where I work in Manassas. I told Mike that it was only about 20 minutes away. Mike then told me that Prof. Courtenay Bartholomew would be flying in from Trinidad on August 4th and he asked if I could pick him up at the airport and bring him back to Emmitsburg on my way home from work. I told Mike that I would be happy to. I glanced at my watch and the time was 9:33.
First Friday August 4
I ended up taking a few hours off from work today because Courtenay Bartholomew’s plane was supposed to land at Dulles Airport at 2:25 pm. As I was pulling out of my driveway this morning to go to my Friday morning Eucharistic Adoration I had a strong thought of today being one of those special days. As this thought crashed through my mind I glanced down and noticed the odometer switch to 1.3.
I drove to the Missionaries House of Studies for my 5-6 am adoration and during that time I prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary and I read my morning prayers from the Liturgy of The Hours. Adoration ended and I left to go to work. I stopped at St. Joseph’s on the way and said a few more prayers. At the instant I pulled out to leave the odometer switched to 1.3.
I started driving to work and I was listening to the news on the radio. After I had enough of the violence in the news I pushed the CD button on the dash and the Medjugorje CD that was in the player started to play. At that instant the counter on the CD player flashed 333. It made me instantly think about our upcoming trip to Medjugorje. It was so strong I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33 and at that very instant as I looked up an oncoming car had the license plate of 33.
I arrived in Manassas and stopped at All Saint’s for daily mass. Fr. Holmes was the priest. When it came time to go to Holy Communion a boy who was sitting several rows in front of me got up to go receive the Eucharist and he was wearing a tee shirt with large numerals on the back that said 13. Mass ended and I rode across the street to go to work and when I arrived the time on the dash was 9:13.
It was not a very busy day and I had arranged to take off work at 2 pm so I could be at the airport to pick up Courtenay at 2:25. I was sitting at my desk and I glanced over at a small picture of Our Lady of Emmitsburg that is on my desk. At the instant I glanced over at that picture I suddenly had a peaceful feeling run through me as I thought about being asked to pick Courtenay up today. It was so strong I glanced at my watch and the time was 10:13:13.
Also at that very instant my phone rang. It was S.C.C. and she said she had just hung up from talking to Courtenay Bartholomew and he was having airline troubles and would not be landing at Dulles until after 11 pm tonight. He told S.C.C. that he would be tired and was going to stay at the Dulles Marriott Hotel when he landed and would like to be picked up around 8 am Saturday morning. Like I said, I received the phone call with this news simultaneously at the very instant I glanced at a picture of Our Lady of Emmitsburg at 10:13:13.
Mike and Gianna Sullivan were traveling home today after a few days at Cape May, New Jersey and I knew they would need to know this unexpected change of plans because they were planning on picking Courtenay up at our house around 4:30 in the afternoon.
I called Gianna’s cell phone and talked to Mike. I told Mike that I would drive back down to Dulles and pick up Courtenay on Saturday morning. Mike thanked me and said that Fr. Jacques Daley OSB was also here and would be saying mass at there house after Courtenay arrived and he invited both S.C.C. and I to attend. I hung up from talking to Mike and as I thought about being invited to this mass I felt the peace run through me. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. I then called Peter Blanchard to tell him about this change. I left a message on his phone and felt the peace just as I hung up and so I glanced at my watch and the time was 10:33.
I returned to my work and it was still slow and after a while I suddenly remembered that Saturday morning was also the monthly Lay Missioniary of Charity (LMC) meeting at St. Mary’s. I called Sherry Masser and asked her to take charge of the meeting because I would be going to Dulles to pick up Courtenay Bartholowmew. Sherry said she would do it. We hung up and I suddenly thought about this being the first LMC meeting I ever missed. I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:33:13.
Since I was already scheduled to take off from work at 2 pm I did not tell anyone that my plans had changed and I still left work early and started driving home. I was just past Leesburg when I very suddenly thought about how quickly everything changed today and how these unexpected changes and events become the basis of the papers I end up writing. The knowledge of knowing this is caused by Our Lady caused me to glance at my watch and the time was 3:13.
Not to long before I arrived in Emmitsburg I had another strong, sudden feeling of peace hit me. During this time I thought about picking up Courtenay tomorrow morning and Sherry Masser taking my place at the LMC meeting and how everything always just falls together perfectly. I looked at my watch and the time was 3:33. I arrived in Emmitsburg and at the instant I approached the front of St. Joseph’s an oncoming car met me directly in front of the church with the license plate of 133.
I sat outside in the car and prayed my daily rosary. I prayed the Glorious mysteries. At the instant I finished the rosary the time on the dash was 4:33 and the CD flashed 133. I pulled out to leave and at that instant the odometer switched to 3.3.
First Saturday August 5
I got up early this morning because I had to drive back to Virginia and pick up Courtenay Bartholowmew at The Dulles Marriot Hotel. As I pulled out of my driveway the CD counter flashed 133.
I had not driven more than a few hundred feet when I realized I needed to get gas before doing anything else. I stopped by Tom’s in Fairfield and filled up. I then stopped by St. Joseph’s on my way through Emmitsburg. I arrived there and the time on the dash was 7:13 and at the instant the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 13.
I said a few prayers and left to go to Dulles. I arrived at the Dulles Marriott Hotel and the odometer was 13 and the CD flashed 133.
I walked in the lobby and Courtenay was already sitting there waiting for me. I introduced myself and the first thing he said was “And just what mortal sin did you commit that you are burdened with having to come pick me up?” We just laughed and got in the car to go back to Emmitsburg. Courtenay did not have a pleasant trip here. Many things went wrong and he ended up getting here in the last available seat on the last possible flight.
We had not been riding very long when Courtenay asked me this question: “How did you first become familiar with the apparitions of Our Lady to Gianna Sullivan?” When he asked me this question I just happened to notice at that instant the CD flash 33.
I felt a strong feeling of peace and I was able to easily talk to him. I told him how it all started. I told him as much as possible in the 1 ½ hour ride back to Emmitsburg. He listened intently and asked questions. Each time I just happened to notice the CD counter while I was talking it said 13, 33 or 333.
I then told Courtenay about how every time I would arrive at St. Joseph’s for the Thursday Night Prayer Group the time or odometer would be 33 or 333. I told him how I started waking up in the middle of the night praying at 3:33 out of a sound sleep and how it still happens to this very day. Courtenay then stopped me and said “You have just said the magic word to me.” Courtenay then said this was not new to him because it also happens to him too!” I continued talking and he continued asking questions. Courtenay asked me if I had any idea of the magnitude of the mission given to me by Our Lady. We continued to drive until we arrived at Mike and Gianna Sullivans house and the time was 10:33.
Gianna and Mike came out and we got Courtenay’s luggage out of the car. Courtenay then came up to me in private and said “I know why God sent you to pick me up at the airport. It is so you could tell me all of the things you have told me. You have confirmed many things to me.” I told him that everything I had told him was just the tip of the ice burg. He said “I’m sure”. I told him that I have written everything down and that I would make sure he got a copy before he left if he wanted me to. He said he wanted it.
We all went in the house and Fr. Jacques Daley who host several EWTN shows was there. It was the first time I have seen him since the last Thursday Night Prayer Group at St. Joseph’s back on September 7, 2000. Mike Sullivan then told me that Fr. Jacques would be saying mass in their chapel at 4 pm and that S.C.C. and I were both invited. I told him that we would like to come.
I then left and stopped by St. Peter’s for a cup of coffee. A little later Mike Sullivan brought Courtenay to the book store because he was scheduled to have a 11:30 to 1:30 book signing for his newest book that has just been released. I purchased a book and as I was leaving I did not stop to have Courtenay sign the book because I thought I would just get him to sign it later in the afternoon over at Mike and Gianna’s house.
Courtenay stopped me as I was walking out the door and said “I have not signed your book yet”. I handed him the book and he signed it “To Robert , S.C.C. & C.R.C. with special appreciation from Her Majesty (333) Courtenay. He handed the book back to me and pointed out the (333) and said “This is special for us”. I instantly felt the peace run through me like electricity. I looked at my watch and the time was 12:13.
I drove home and spent the afternoon with S.C.C. and took a nap before going to Mike and Gianna’s house for the 4 pm mass. Later when we arrived at the Sullivan’s house the odometer was 3.3.
We went in and Fr. Jacques said mass in their private chapel. Besides S.C.C. and myself those present were Courtenay Bartholomew and Mike and Gianna Sullivan and their daughter Ann Marie. It was very nice and I felt like it was a special honor to be present. S.C.C. felt the same way. After mass we all sat around the kitchen table and had a glass of wine. When everything was over we left and as we did I glanced at my watch and the time was 5:33:33.
After we arrived home S.C.C. asked if I would drive to Brother’s Pizza and pick up a spaghetti dinner for her. I said I would after I went to St. Joseph’s for First Saturday confession. I left the house and arrived at St. Joseph’s at 7:13.
It was still 7:13 when I saw Jim T arrive at St. Joseph’s. Jim and his wife S.C.C. and three children just moved here from Our Lady of The Blue Ridge in Madison, Va. After I went to confession Jim asked if I could stop by his new house and help him connect his computer to the internet. I said yes.
I got S.C.C.’s spaghetti and later rode over to help Jim. As I arrived at Jim’s house I glanced at my watch just as the car came to a complete stop and it said XX:XX:13. We got the computer up on the internet and I drove home. I glanced at my watch as I arrived home and the car came to a complete stop and it again said XX:XX:13.
Sunday August 6, 2006
I woke up this morning and did not get up right away. I thought about it being the public apparition of Our Lady today. I never looked at the clock until I actually got out of bed and the time was 7:33.
Later in the morning S.C.C. and I went to the 10:30 mass at St. Mary’s. C.R.C. has been in Ohio all weekend with the Ferguson’s. S.C.C. and I ended up being last minute Eucharistic Minister fill ins. Just as mass began I felt the peace so I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. I received the Precious Blood at 11:13 and we finished our Eucharistic Minister duties at 11:33.
We rode home and there was a message from my sister Barbara on the phone. She said that she, my mother and my cousin Carol Krause from Norfolk were on their way to Emmitsburg for today's apparition. Later I put together a complete pack of my papers to give to Courtenay Bartholomew and just as I finished doing that I looked at my watch and the time was 1:13.
I then left the house to go pick up Louie Reppert and his mother Emma. They had called asking for a ride to the apparition of Our Lady. Louie is somewhat handicapped and his mother Emma needs assistance because of her age. As I helped Emma in the car I felt the peace and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. We also picked up Ray Sanders and then rode to the Lynfield Event Complex. At the instant we arrived another car parked right next to us with the license plate of 33. As I helped Emma out of the car I again felt the peace as I gave her the assistance she needed and it was so strong I glanced at my watch and the time was 2:13.
Today’s prayer group began at 3 pm and there was a huge crowd of people. It was the most I have seen since Thursday Nights at St. Joseph’s. I would estimate it to be around 700 people. Fr. Jacques Daley OSB was there along with Fr. Simon Ingler. Our Lady came during the 4the decade at 3:45 and the apparition ended at 3:55. When the rosary ended I felt the peace hit me and I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33 (4:03:33).
The prayer group continued with Jim O’Brien and Becky Brown leading the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and special prayers for the proposed feast of God The Father. Mike Sullivan then read a thank you letter from Fr. Vincent O’Malley for prayers offered by Our Lady’s prayer group for the recovery of his health.
That was followed by an excellent talk by Dr. Courtenay Bartholomew. That was followed by a book signing. There was a long line of people waiting to get their books signed. After Courtenay signed the last book I walked up to him and gave him a bag with all of my papers. He thanked me and said he wished he could have talked to me more. I told him that the papers would tell everything I could possibly say. He thanked me and I turned around to leave. I glanced at my watch and the time was 6:13:59.
S.C.C. said she would give Louie and Emma a ride home and my mom, sister and cousin could follow me to our house. When I returned to my car another car had parked next to mine and this one had the license plate of 13, so my car was sandwiched in between two cars with the license plates of 33 and 13.
My family from "hometown" and Norfolk followed me to our house. We had not been there very long when S.C.C. arrived after dropping off Louie and Emma. Just as S.C.C. walked in the house she suddenly remembered that she forgot and left something very important at the Lynfield. It was a bag that contained her rosary from Medjugorje that turned gold. She was distraught. I called Karen Major and asked her if she had seen the bag and Karen said she did and had picked it up and it was safe. I hung up from Karen and looked at the clock on the wall and the time was 7:13.
August 13, 2006