il-pont -  no 34                       Istanbul  - Turkija   



Christmas 2000  no 34


Miracle of God’s Love


AS CHRISTMAS is fast approaching I remembered that I still had to prepare another issue of my newsletter il-pont (the bridge). These days time seems to run fast than ever.  Last year at this period, I was still in the Philippines. I just cannot understand how these twelve months had been blown away like a candle.  Certainly being constantly on the move time fooled me.


With the Great Jubilee 2000, which is now drawing to its conclusion, we have certainly lived a year rich in graces and meaningful events. Personally, the year 2000 has been a strong stimulus toward a big change and personal commitment.  Being in Turkey already testifies the big change I went through.  My ministry has also changed.  From formation, I moved to pastoral ministry, which certainly entails a great personal commitment.  Nevertheless, with God’s assistance I am settling down slowly but steadily in Istanbul.


I had to face many new challenges.  I had my ups and downs.  I walked in light and through valleys of darkness.  But the Lord was always by my side.  His Love for me this year never failed.  God’s love is an never ending Miracle.


In a few days time we shall celebrate God’s Love, which was made known to us by the birth of Jesus.  Christmas invites us to meditate on the Miracle of God’s Love.  Lately I received a story, which I wish to share with you this Christmas.  It does not speak about Jesus Mary, Joseph, Angels or the ox and cow.  Nevertheless, it speaks about the Miracle of God’s Love.  The Person who send it told me: “It is going to make you cry”.  It actually did.  Crying over God’s Love brings along much healing as well as peace and joy.


On behalf of all the Friars at Sent Antuan Kilisesi I wish you and your loved ones a most holy Christmas and the best of God’s blessing for the year 2001.


Fr Thomas.


Keep on singing

LIKE ANY good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy’s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her. The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen. In time, the labour pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three...every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labour. Would a C-section be required?


Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born.  But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the new born babe to the national intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee. The days inched by. The little girl got worse.  The pediatrician had to tell the parents “There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst”


Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby, but now they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. “I want to sing to her” he kept saying.


Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister. But kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen made up her mind, though. She would take Michael whether they liked it or not! If he didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket. The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, “Get that kid out of there now! No children are allowed.” The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse’s face, her lips a firm line. “He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!” Karen towed Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray...”. Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. “Keep on singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. “You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away”


As Michael sang to his sister, the baby’s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten’s purr. Keep on singing, sweetheart!!!” “The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping,  I dreamed I held you in my arms...”. Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her.


Keep on singing, Michael.”


Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.

“You are my sunshine, my only Sunshine.


 Please don’t take my sunshine away...”.


The next day - the very next day, the little girl was well enough to go home!


Some called this true-life story “The Miracle of a Brother’s Song.” The medical staff just called it “a miracle”.


Karen called it “A Miracle of God’s love!”.






of God's Love


In a few days time

we shall celebrate God’s Love, which was made known to us by the birth of Jesus.  Christmas invites us to meditate on the Miracle of

God's Love.