A friend who I went to seminary with over a decade ago left before ordination and got married. He’s been living outside Colorado with his wife. She got pregnant and in the ultrasound for their first baby, they found the baby had Dextro-Transposition of the Great Arteries. This is where a baby needs an arterial switch surgery after birth to change the way the arteries connect to the heart. The two places offered to them for this invasive surgery was San Francisco or Denver. They chose to come to Denver, the same town my buddy attended seminary (even though he was studying for a different diocese over 10 years ago, as many dioceses send men to major seminaries outside their diocese.)
This weekend that baby was happily born at Children Hospital in Denver. Immediately after birth, his Dad baptized him. Baby was then whisked off to a minor heart surgery to open up the two atria. After heart surgery, I confirmed the child in the cardiac floor of the hospital. (Keep in mind that in both the old-school and new-school sacramental rules, a priest may confirm a person in danger of death. This comes via implied permission from the local bishop. Remember, the only ordinary minister of confirmation is the bishop.) We’ll register both sacraments at the local diocesan parish which is located near the two major hospitals.
After birth, after baptism and after the first minor surgery, I found the baby in the incubator (above picture) and ready for confirmation. These are the glory moments of the priesthood. It becomes even more memorable and powerful when a priest is able to serve a buddy with whom he went to seminary in the past. The beauty of the Catholic faith is that every priest comes from a family, and every priest is called to serve a family (either by prayer or sacraments.) I am always in awe that God has perfectly designed the Catholic faith. This includes the symbiotic relationship of families to religious life. I saw a strange bright ray of sunlight shining through a dark cloud over the hospital on my way to this confirmation this past weekend. Somehow, in some way, that boy is chosen for something great.
Please pray for that baby since he’ll have his major heart surgery at Children Hospital less than a week old. Again, he will need an arterial switch surgery after birth to change the way the arteries connect to the heart. Apparently, the pediatric heart-surgeon has a 100% success rate on this surgery! But it would still be good if you could please pray, as this is obviously such an aggressive and invasive surgery on such a tiny person. But that person is baptized and confirmed, so he is ready for anything that life could throw at him.