"I only have 5 minutes, would it be possible to speak to you?"--words spoken to a pastor by a school teacher on his way to visit his mother in a hospital, and used to introduce the pastor's article in the Catholic Digest. The teacher, an only son, felt his visit to his mother would be his last; she was dying of a liver ailment. Wanting to give his mother a present before she died, he went to the priest to ask for help, although he was not a Catholic nor was his mother.
"Bringing food does not make sense nor
buying her clothes, Father. Any word is acceptable, please help me. I
want to hear what you have to say and bring that to my mother before she dies."
the serious attitude of the man, the priest was moved and asked if he
had ever gone to a Catholic Church. No was the answer. He then asked him
why was he now coming to a
Catholic priest for help in giving a present to his mother. He said he
was on the way to the hospital and saw the church with the
cross, and thought the minister or priest would probably be of some
help in knowing what to bring to his mother.
priest expressed his respect for the teacher in wanting to have
something to give his mother before she died, but felt it was unreasonable to be asked to do this in five
minutes. We were in our mother's womb, the priest said, for 10 months, at
peace, when we had to leave. This was our first separation and probably
the reason separation was followed by cries. But the birth was happiness
we leave this world the same feelings of sadness
come, the priest told him, but knowing what is waiting for us, we
are happy as we look forward to the beginning of a new life. His words
were well-received by the teacher. The priest
added that by helping his mother to desire and look
forward to this new life, a life of faith and salvation, he would be
giving a great present, as well as expressing his filial piety towards
priest's words brought a grateful smile to the teacher's face. He said
that in all
the years he has been teaching never have these words come to mind. The
priest took a rosary out of his pocket and gave it to the teacher. He
told him there was a parish in the town where the hospital was located
he could contact the sisters and priest there to come to baptize his
A few days later he received a letter from the
teacher, thanking him for his advice and telling him that his mother received the gift
gratefully and died in peace.