Sunday, June 21, 2015

True Story of Providential Encounter Between Navy Chaplain and a Marine Cousin at Sea

One Saturday at sea we flew on a SH-60 from USS Kearsarge to visit Sailors and Marines on the Arlington, one of three 9-11 memorial ships recently commissioned and part of the amphibious group.

During time set aside before Mass this evening I waited in the chaplain's office for the purpose of providing confessions and talking. A young Marine corporal came in and sat down. His face struck me as vaguely familiar. That, in combination with his last name, which is emblazoned on every military uniform, made me pause. I blurted out the name of my first cousin who died after prolonged treatment for a brain tumor in Illinois and he responded, "That's my mother!"

When I was in Illinois for the funeral, which was a beautiful celebration of faith by a holy Catholic family, he would have been too young to get to know. We took care of that today. I know his mother was present in spirit and added to the joy of our meeting. And what was it that brought us together for this blessing? It was a Person, Jesus Christ, who did so as we sought, one to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in that ship's chapel, and the other, to worship thereby.

Big Church, small world.

(In photo, Chaplain Cusick, left and Corporal Price, USMC.)

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