By Dc Tom Cuskey | Editor
“I am writing to ask for your prayer for Jimmer, a man from the Syracuse area, who is suffering from ALS, and wants prayers for his healing through Blessed Carlo Acutis’ intercession.”
This was the opening sentence of an email received from Katherine O’Driscoll on behalf of Fr. James Schultz and his pastoral team. Katie, as she is better known, works for Father Schultz, the pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Shrine in Oswego and Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish in Syracuse. His team is working to expand their parish prayer networks throughout the diocese and beyond, to hopefully bring about a miracle cure for Jimmer, a miracle that might also serve as a steppingstone to sainthood for Blessed Carlo.
“Jimmer shared his journey with ALS with us last year,” Katie explains, attributing the spark for the effort to a friend of Jimmer’s. She says the parishes have been praying for Jimmer, but his friend hopes for the parishes “to have a more concentrated effort for prayer,” according to Katie, “as an act of charity and love for his friend.”
The idea was to pray through someone who is declared “blessed,” a state of holiness conferred to those who are on a hopeful path to sainthood. “That is the best way to pray for a miracle to Jimmer,” Katie adds.
Fr. Schultz brought the request to the attention of Bishop Douglas J. Lucia who suggested that prayers be offered through the intercession of Blessed Carlo, to whom the Bishop has a special devotion. Katie says that right away “everyone agreed that it was a great idea and we just started running with it.”
Blessed Carlo Acutis was an Italian teenager who lived and offered his death from leukemia for the love of Jesus. Blessed Carlo is known for his deep devotion to the Eucharist; he worked to promote knowledge of Eucharistic miracles by documenting and sharing them online in a website he developed. Carlo was only 15 years old when he lost his battle with leukemia in 2006. His cause for sainthood is in progress, and a documented miraculous healing is necessary as part of the canonization process for Blessed Carlo.
On Ascension Thursday, May 26th, Bishop Lucia will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Mary’s Shrine in Oswego and pray in a very special way for the healing of Jimmer from ALS.
Jimmer and his wife, Betty, are longtime parishioners at Immaculate Conception parish in Fayetteville. Father Tom Ryan, pastor of IC, shared that Jimmer and his wife were very active volunteers and members of the parish community.
“I am amazed at the spirit to accept this challenging cross,” on the part of Jimmer and his family according to Fr. Ryan. He adds that there is a peacefulness about Jimmer, that he “realizes the spirituality of the cross” in this burden he bears. “God is present in all of this,” Father adds. “The church is coming together to pray. There is a teachable moment in the community” that is twofold according to Father. “As a community, how do we integrate this need into our daily lives? And never underestimate the power of prayer.”
To learn more about Blessed Carlo and this prayer effort visit https://stmarysoswego.com/bl-carlo-acutis
Official Intercessory Prayer
Oh Father, who has given
us the ardent testimony,
of the young
Venerable Carlo Acutis,
who made the Eucharist
the core of his life
and the strength of
his daily commitments
so that everybody may love You above all else, let him soon be
counted among the Blessed and the Saints in Your Church.
Confirm my faith, nurture my hope, strengthen my charity,
in the image of young Carlo who, growing in these virtues,
now lives with You. Grant me
the grace that I need:
that Jimmer would be granted complete healing from ALS
I trust in You, Father,
and your Beloved Son Jesus,
in the Virgin Mary,
our Dearest Mother,
and in the intervention of Your Venerable Carlo Acutis.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be