As a bit of background, Patti was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist. I was raised as somewhat of a lapsed Methodist. Over the years of our marriage, I would like to think that I have strengthened my faith in God and his Son, largely due to the example  Patti has set for me.

As you can imagine with a diagnosis like pancreatic cancer, I hear from friends and family how I am “in their thoughts and prayers.” On occasion in the past, when I have heard disturbing news like this, I, too, have offered my thoughts and prayers to someone who is facing a difficult situation. It’s how we comfort each other. It’s how we show we care for our fellow man. It’s how we feel and how we believe that there are truly divine interventions occurring around the world on a daily, perhaps hourly, basis.

And this community of faithful can be so much more extensive than any of us believe or recognize. For example, in the past few weeks, my sister-in-law, Lisa, has told us how her sister, who is Mormon, has put us on the prayer list at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. With a choir like theirs, it is sure to capture the attention of the Man upstairs.

Then, a friend of mine in D.C., Mike, told us how 30 Catholic bishops had gone to Vatican City to be installed as cardinals, and the head of the Catholic faithful in Washington, DC–a guy named Archbishop Daniel Weurl–was recently named a cardinal and went to Rome to be installed. Mike’s local Parish priest–Father Raymond Fecteau, the pastor of Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Darnestown, Maryland–was one of the priests who was invited to go to Rome for the installation.

Turns out that the Pope gave a special blessing to all the priests who attended, telling them that they could bestow this blessing on those in their congregations back home, and that the blessing was especially intended for those who are ill and are remembered in the prayers of those back home. So, as Mike shared with us, “While receiving the blessing yesterday from Father Ray, I specifically thought of you and asked that the Pope’s blessing be extended to you.”
Then, just yesterday, Patti heard from a former neighbor, Alyssa, who passed along her best wishes and mentioned that her brother, Mark, is a cantor with the largest Jewish synagogue in Jerusalem. Mark told his sister that he was going to say a special prayer for us during Hannakuh, when the congregation was at its peak attendance and special prayers are in order.
This is a very humbling experience for me, personally. To be in the thoughts and prayers of Mormons, Catholics and Jews is a true testament to God’s tremendous influence on us all. Whether the prayers are said in the Vatican, the Mormon Tabernacle or the community church down the street, or by the bedside at home, I truly believe God hears all prayers and wants to protect his children from harm.
This stream of prayers is an immensely gratifying and humbling experience; one that I am so thankful to experience. Thank you again to the many who are offering prayers of healing and strength and power on our behalf. God bless you all and your loved ones.