It was Sunday evening, October 13th, 2013, exactly six days before I would share the stage with Marcus Grodi, television personality and host of EWTN’s program, the Journey Home. I turned to my wife, Kyla and she was feeling the same way, ‘I feel some sickness coming on,’ she said. For me though, the feeling was all in my throat. The next two nights only confirmed what I had felt. Monday and Tuesday I was often awoken with a burning sensation that refused to go away. This was not good.
I decided to take Wednesday off from the catechesis work at the parish to recover. I began to feel better, but then again I wasn’t speaking that much. That night, my pastor decided to take matters into his own hands and began asking others to pray for me.
Thursday Kyla and I went on a date. It was just what we needed. One hour together with only one of our children at a coffee shop just around the corner from where we live. I decided I needed something cold on my still aching throat and so I ordered an iced cappuccino. Life was good. I was feeling better than I had in days, I was on a date with perhaps the most beautiful girl in town, and soon enough I was going to be meeting Marcus Grodi.
But that iced capp was a mistake. Thursday evening I couldn’t sleep; well not until Friday morning at 6 a.m. An hour and half was all I had in the end, but nothing could be done about it. The day was full with meetings; one with the distributor for my first book, others with members of the Catholic Ministry team. The meetings were all necessary and unavoidable. My throat was beginning to throb and I needed to go to bed.
It was Friday evening when David Gilbert, president and founder of Serviam Ministries (formerly Catholic Chapter House), and I got on the phone together. ‘Get some sleep’ was his sound advice once we had finished discussing the various details for the next day. I intended to, but I first needed to make a couple of phone calls. By the time I was done it was about 10:30 p.m. I did a quick check of everything I would need for the next day. I was missing several items, including the tickets needed for several others to get into the conference. All of it was in my office at the parish, about twenty minutes away. By the time I had returned and got into bed it was almost 1 a.m. “Lord have mercy on me!” was my prayer as I fell asleep.
Kyla and I woke up at 6 a.m. without the alarm clock. My throat was not hurting nearly as much as it had been the previous day, and surprisingly I felt somewhat awake. As the day progressed and we made our way to Canada Christian College I felt better and better. I couldn’t believe it. How was this happening?
As the doors opened to the public and people began to stream in I received my answer. One after another I was approached by faces that I had seen from years past, and even complete strangers. ‘We were praying for you on the way over said one couple,’ and ‘we said a rosary for you this morning’ said another. Slowly throughout the day individuals continued to share that they had prayed for me and what God might say through me. Many even had the specific intention of holding back my cold so that I could get through the event. A dear priest friend of mine also sent me an email assuring me of his prayers that he had begun a day or two before. The people of God were praying for me; and He was listening.
The day was wonderful. God was able to reach hearts. And I, once all was said and done, was able to go to sleep, thankful for the Body of Christ.
To learn more about what Patrick is doing for the Kingdom check out his website at patricksullivan.ca.