Jim O’Brien is now Brother Paschal O’Brien of the Divine Mercy
Sunday October 1, 2017
Jim O’Brien has been a good friend of mine since I first met him back in 1998 at the Thursday Night Prayer Group at St. Josephs in Emmitsburg. Jim was a member of the Thursday Night choir and it was his superior singing voice that propelled the choir to achieve the quality of sound that set the atmosphere of the evening to one of peace and prayer in anticipation of the arrival of Our Lady during the rosary later in the evening.
Jim would sometimes come to our house in “Hometown” and visit for a few days and it was always a pleasure having him. Since we moved back to Virginia Jim and I have always remained in contact with each other. Several years ago Jim mentioned to me that he was interested in taking vows to become a brother. That has now come to pass and I was present when he presented his vows to Bishop Mark E. Brennan who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Sunday October 1st was a beautiful day for Jim to take his vows. The weather was perfect and had it not been Sunday it would have been the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower. I made arrangements for my CCD aide to take my place teaching today so I could attend. I drove to Emmitsburg and when I arrived at St. Josephs the time was 10:13. Just as I turned the truck off the fuel economy display flashed 13. I got out of the truck and started walking towards St. Josephs and instantly there was a parked car directly in front of me with the license plate of 13.
It was wonderful being able to go in St. Joseph’s because it was unlocked for Sunday masses. I am sad to say that the church remains locked throughout the week. I entered the rear pew and prayed for a few minutes before getting up to leave. As I was leaving I was stopped by two old friends, Larry and Suzanne Moruskin who were members of our Jesus of Mercy prayer group we were part of when we lived in Fairfield, we talked for a few minutes and I then left and drove straight to the Immaculate Conception chapel at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and when I arrived the time on the dash was 10:33.
I went in the Immaculate Conception chapel and took my seat. A few minutes later Dr. Michael Sullivan arrived and sat next to me. I am not sure how many people were in attendance but I would estimate it to be over a hundred. It was a beautiful mass that was celebrated by Bishop Brennan and four other priest. It came time for Jim to take his vows as directed by the bishop and the time was 11:33. The mass ended and I glanced at my watch after walking out of the church and the time was 12:13.
I walked back to my truck and noticed on my phone that my son, C.R.C. had called so I called him back. He works at the Grotto of Lourdes and said he would meet me at the benches at the Pope John Paul II statue because you can see the statue of St. Therese from there. Just as I arrived at the Grotto the fuel economy display flashed 13. I arrived at the parking lot and there were no spaces whatsoever. I had to circle the parking lot for about 3 or 4 times waiting for someone to leave. A car pulled out and then it took me a long time to park the truck because of the small space available. After I finally got parked I walked to where C.R.C. said he would meet me. I arrived and he looked at me and said “Right on time.” I glanced at my watch and the time was 12:33:13.
C.R.C. and I sat on the bench and prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary and when we finished he had to go back to work. After C.R.C. left I walked over to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and I prayed the Joyful mysteries of the rosary for C.R.C.. I completed the rosary and looked at my watch and the time was 1:13.
I left the Grotto and drove to Taneytown because M.M and K.M are hosting a covered dish dinner for Brother Paschal. I arrived and there were lots of people there and even more food. Later when C.R.C. got off from work at the Grotto he called and said he was going to stop by on his way home. He lives in Westminster and K.M and M.M’s is right on the way. C.R.C. stayed for about an hour or so before leaving to go home.
I stayed a little while longer talking with K.M and M.M and another person who I can’t remember his name. After he left I told K.M and M.M about the events that happened to me on Febuary 3rd and 4th when M.M died. After that I left and when I pulled out of their driveway I noticed the time was 7:13. I Drove to Emmitsburg on my way home and arrived at St. Joseph’s at 7:33:13.
Oct 15, 2017