Monday, December 5, 2011

We have friends (sister of an in-law) and her husband who are graduates of Franciscan University in Steubenville. Nine months ago they received happy news that they were “with child” — as it is sometimes stated in Scripture.

A few months later an ultrasound showed the baby had congenital abnormalities — she did not have a face and maybe not a brain. The prognosis was simple– ABORT!

do-babies-go-to-heaven111010However, the parents didn’t believer the child in the womb was simply a piece of foreign tissue to be sucked out and destroyed.

Rather, they have a high and noble philosophy, a more correct understanding. They knew that the baby growing within was a human person, not a blob of discardable matter, like a tumor or infection.

There would be no abortion; rather, everyone would join in prayer and support, hope for a miracle, but trust in God’s blessing whatever the outcome.

Last weekend the baby was born and held in the arms of her parents. They held a living, breathing human being who had been given the gift of life. I will not tell the rest of the story. I will let the parents do that.

I will say though that to die in the arms of a loving mom and dad and wake up in the arms of Jesus and Mary is something too precious to describe. Janet and I had to read this letter over a period of time since tears welled up in our eyes every time we tried to read it.

Dear Family and Friends,

We want to thank you for your prayers and support throughout this time. Our daughter Grace Faustina was born on Friday December 2nd at 2:37pm. She was 7 lbs. 6 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long.

I had the honor to baptize her immediately. She was also able to receive Jesus in the Precious Blood, as well as be Confirmed and Anointed with oil by a priest. Christ’s presence was tangible and He answered so many of our prayers. It was such a blessing to spend time with our little girl before she passed away peacefully at 3:55pm in her papa’s arms. The hour of mercy!

We have been truly blessed and honored to be given this gift from God and have been deeply moved by the way He has sustained us in the love and support of so many. Christ is a presence now, and because he is a fact of reality we can live our circumstances in a new way with hope and certainty.

My wife and I truly experience this time of sorrow with joy and peace, knowing that Christ is with us and that Grace is with Him. Our Grace Faustina shared in the mystery of Christ’s suffering and brought us all closer to him and her life was truly beautiful. We shall miss her greatly!

With gratitude we again humbly thank you for your prayers and companionship. We will send the details of Grace’s Requiem Mass when they are finalized.

In Christ, your grateful family (name withheld out of respect)