Assuming it was a joke to excuse his tardiness, they responded: “LOL Father. You don’t have to lie.”
‘What is God trying to tell me?’
The woman and twin boys were taken to the hospital. The babies were born prematurely, at 30 weeks.
The priest has visited them in the hospital, and they are doing well. He does not know the exact nature of the mother’s situation in life. She left the hospital a few hours after being admitted, and as far as anyone knows she has not yet returned.
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“It’s a beautiful story on one side, but heartbreaking on the other,” said the priest, whose own beloved mother passed away earlier in the year.
“It was a surreal experience,” he said. “It was like something from a movie.”
“I was there holding a baby with my bloody hands, and the baby was all bloody as well, and I’m dressed in clerics. And I’m a priest in front of the shrine of Our Lady. And I was thinking, ‘What is God trying to tell me? What are you trying to tell me, God? What is this about?’”
He shared the experience at Mass the next day with parishioners, who also thought the priest was telling an “apocryphal” story that had no actual basis in reality.
But the reality is that there are two new babies who have come into this world thanks to his quick thinking and action. And, although they entered the world at a disadvantage, like Jesus, with “no place to rest their heads,” there is hope these children will be raised with love.
So, what might God have been saying to Mariscal through this experience?
Perhaps that life is precious and fragile, and that a Church that rallies around the disadvantaged, the homeless, the naked, the defenseless, and the vulnerable is the kind of Church that Christ intended to build.
(Story continues below)
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Mariscal, who was ordained in 2018, said this story should be “about the mother and the babies and how they are. The twins and the woman are the protagonists of God’s love. They and people like them on the peripheries of our own communities are the ones God is calling us to embrace with our service and love for our neighbors.”
This story was first published Nov. 14, 2023, at Catholic Extension and is adapted and reprinted here with permission.
Catholic Extension is a fundraising organization that helps ensure that all American Catholics can practice their faith within vibrant religious communities. It connects poor and remote Catholic communities with essential financial support, educational associations, and infrastructure.