Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. This year’s feast I celebrate with a special joy. On Christmas Eve, the 18 year old daughter of my friends, Mary Anne and Joe Renna, was severely injured when her car was hit by a car which ran a red light. Theresa was flown by helicopter to the nearest hospital and admitted to ICU where she spent the next three days. On Friday, she was moved to a step-down unit. Yesterday, she was discharged home. She had a broken jaw, a crushed right hand, a damaged lung, broken ribs, a possible liver lesion, and facial injuries including potential blindness in her one eye.
The Rennas are very strong advocates for family life. The healing of an individual family member is a healing for the whole family. Today, I learned that Theresa’s lungs are okay, her liver lesion healed, her facial injuries will also heal following an antibiotic regime, and that she is able to eat soft and pureed food and can still talk. She has no brain damage or paralysis. Though her eye is swollen shut, she has no vision impairment. There are no broken bones in her right hand. This news is nothing short of a miracle.
The news of this miraculous event on this feast of the Holy Family is a testimony to the work of the Rennas in the Global Family Eucharistic Holy Hour which aired in August of this year and as recently as yesterday on the Catholic Faith Network to the fact that God still heals families today. It is clearly evident in the attacks on the family today, whether it be the damage of divorce, child abuse, the redefinition of marriage, or the culture of death in a “throwaway culture”, which devalues the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly that such healing is necessary.
I believe the healing we are offered today is also available to the Family of God, which models itself after the Holy Family. The deep scars of the clergy abuse scandals, and the reorganization of many dioceses, resulting in the closing and clustering of churches throughout the country. Shortly after the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, I experienced firsthand the growth of a spiritual family after attending the Totus Tuus Family Conference, an event sponsored by the Apostolate for Family Consecration, at Catholic Familyland in Bloomingdale, OH. At that conference, I experienced the beginning of an inner healing process through Our Lady, Healer of Hearts. The conference brought together members of the Apostolate for Family Consecration, the Society of Our Lady Healer of Hearts, Pre-born Jesus Ministry, and the Foundation of Jesus – the Divine Mercy, forging new friendships and strengthening current ones. A new family was formed, creating hope for all families and the Family of God.