October 2020, a dear member of our family was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Never belonging to a faith family, she started to ask questions about our Catholic faith and expressed a desire to one day convert when she regained her strength. To support her desire, I introduced her to Fr. Richard Pagano’s podcasts on YouTube, “The Catholic Talk Show” and the weekly live stream masses from SJPII Catholic Church. Throughout her intense treatment and COVID restrictions she found an enormous amount of comfort and strength viewing and listening to these on-line ministries!
On December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, she was given the sad news, her cancer had spread and her prognosis was very dim…it would just be a matter of weeks. While still adjusting to the news, she shared her continuing desire to convert to Catholicism and made a personal request that, if possible, she would like Fr. Richard Pagano, the “online pastor” that she had grown so fond of, even though they had never met!
Attending Holy Day mass that evening at SJPlI, I prayed that Fr. Pagano would be available to make this personal request on her behalf. My prayers were definitely heard! Fr. Pagano was the celebrant and eagerly answered this request with a resounding “YES”! The following day, December 9th Fr. Pagano, her “online pastor” was at her bedside administering the sacraments and bringing our family member into the catholic family!
The Holy Spirit definitely flooded the room on that day filling our hearts to the brim! There are no words to express the look of peace, joy and total contentment on the face of our loved one, along with her beautiful smile that seemed bigger and brighter than ever!
On January 4th 2022 the gates of heaven opened and she now rests in the loving arms of Jesus! Her faith journey started with Fr. Pagano’s on-line teachings in her home and now she is listening and sharing stories with Our Divine Teacher in Heaven!! What an awesome life story!