I had a visit at the hospital today. The woman happened to be Catholic and her parents who are both alive are very devout. This woman has had much suffering. She lost her husband prematurely; they regrettably never had children. She is now suffering with an aggressive cancer and has had several organs removed. She is faced with a last ditch effort of nine chemo sessions spread over the next 6 months. She is spunky, though, and wants to try going back to work part-time. Meanwhile, she pours her love into two nieces who live nearby. So her confidence in God is virtually nil, though she doesn't deny His existence. She hasn't attended church in awhile in spite of her parents encouragement. But the bright spot still shining in her memory is a friendship she had with a certain priest named Fr. Stephenson. She was baptized by him. When she was a teenager, he gave her great counsel. He even witnessed her marriage. But he has since died. It's left a hole in her heart among other holes. Fr. Stephenson was a shining light for her like the Star of Bethlehem. Even though she seemed hesitant to pray I suggested we ask for the intercession of Fr. Stephenson; each holy priest is a great intercessor before God. This pleased the patient immensely and many concerns were placed in his hands to bring before God. Is Fr. Stephenson in heaven or purgatory? This I obviously don't know. But here was a good and kind priest who so touched the life of this woman: he may be the only connection for her to eternity in the midst of God's "failures". My son, Patrick, will be visiting for a few days. I'll have him offer a Holy Mass for this beloved priest. Let us never forget the good and holy priests that both touch and have touched our lives. Praise you God for each holy Alter Christus, especially those among Your priest sons! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!