A small sign of God’s enduring mercy

Denise Pawlowski | Special to The Michigan Catholic

I lost my father to dementia after several years of seeing him decline. It was a long hard journey for both of us. I can say that my faith really helped me get through the daily depression and stress of the situation.

I am thankful for the aid of the Catholic dementia series I attended. These workshops laid out the progress of the disease and options for handling each level of progression. No doctor or nurse explained any of this to me or my family. So, with my prayer life and this knowledge as a sort of map, we, my husband and I, walked through the days.

Like my dad, I had good days and bad days. All too soon it came to an end with me having mixed feelings of whether or not that was a good thing. For who does not want to continue a relationship with a loved one even though it is less than perfect?

My dad died Oct. 26, 2016, and was buried on Halloween. Several days later, my stepmother called to say that his lilac bush was blooming in the front yard. I sent my husband by to see if it were true, and yes, it was. He took a picture on his cell phone for proof. Oh, what a sight: a half-dead, brown, wilting-leave bush with new open blossoms. Was this a sign from my dad that he was all right? I think so.

We had prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily in his room while he was in hospice asking for God’s mercy on him. What a blessing those blooms were to those prayers.


‘Signs and Wonders’ series

During the opening session of Synod 16, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron asked synod members to consider, among other things, the role “signs and wonders” might play in the work of evangelization. Biblically, the archbishop noted, such signs — which often came in the form of healings, answered prayers or simply graced occurrences — accompanied the proclamation of the Gospel by the first apostles.

To help the archbishop with his request, The Michigan Catholic reached out to ask its readers to tell us the “signs and wonders” in their own lives. Has your family been the recipient of an answered prayer? Do you know someone whom the Gospel has touched in a particularly powerful way?

Our hope is to encourage as many Catholics as possible to share their story as a way to “Unleash the Gospel” in 2017. As often as we can, we’ll feature a short story you’ve submitted. Send your story (preferably in 300 words or less) to [email protected] or The Michigan Catholic, 12 State St., Detroit, MI 48226. To read all the stories we’ve received, visit www.themichigancatholic.com/signsandwonders.