Leaving a dinner with a few families in Fort Collins, CO around 11pm one Saturday evening in the summer, I got a text from another friend that he needed a sacrament. I asked if he and I could meet halfway in Thornton just before midnight at the parking lot of a coffee shop. (See above picture.) Funny thing is: A priest had heard my confession in my car earlier that day in Fort Collins and we kept our phones outside the car. Probably any sacraments done should be without phones around. The government can hack phones even in airplane mode. If you think this is a conspiracy theory, just try talking about “Einstein’s Bagels” with your phone on airplane mode and see what pops up on your Facebook feed within a day or two.
In any case, it was nearly midnight when I took my phone out and put it on the roof for a sacrament for this friend. As the sacrament ended, I forgot my iPhone (surrounded by a small plastic wallet, as I only carry my ID and two credit cards in it) was on my roof. I drove off with my iPhone and wallet on the roof! Somewhere on I-25, driving back to my hermitage, I realized I had left it up there. I back-tracked to the coffee shop at midnight. I took out a high-powered flashlight (one you might find in EMS) and searched the street of the shady area of Thornton. I even went back to I-25 and stopped my car with vehicles whizzing past at 80mph as I looked for my phone and wallet. I suppose protecting people from the government was worth it, but I didn’t feel too protected myself by God for serving His people.
I returned to my hermitage where I have no landline. It’s sad how helpless I felt without a phone or credit card, even though I only live in small condo. I took out my iPad to see who on the West Coast had texted me recently with Apple products, as only “blue texts” could answer my iMessage or FaceTimes to cancel my credit cards. After all, I had lost them in a shady part of town. I looked, and a newly married woman in Los Angeles had texted me late. (As you all know, I usually don’t text married women without their husbands, but I asked her for help. She was surrounded by sleeping in-laws or something and talk to me, kind as she was on texts to my iPad.)
Then I remembered my new friend, Fr. John Lovell, founder of Coalition for Canceled Priests was at the Napa Institute convention. An hour behind, there was a chance he was awake. And he had an iPhone so he could get messages from my iPad. I texted him at midnight begging him to pick up a FaceTime call. He agreed and was able to cancel the credit card attached to my charity that many of you support, “Peregrino Hermitage Limited.” I went to bed amazed I was so dependent on a phone and credit cards. I reveled in the fact I have supporters all over the world, but I don’t have any close friends within an 8 mile radius of my hermitage. It felt very lonely.
In the morning, I texted my pro-life team from my iPad (still not my phone) that I could only get iMessages from the Apple owners and I would be off the thread as soon as my phone (somewhere in the city? In the hands of a thug?) went off the grid. One of the women on the thread (the black evangelical lady with whom I’ve broadcast in front of Planned Parenthood) told me to try “Find My iPhone” app from my iPad. I did, and amazingly, the above image showed up. I thanked her and raced 30 miles away to the onramp of 84th Ave onto I-25, less than a mile from the coffee shop parking lot where I had met my friend. (Notice in the picture above my iPhone was called Theotokos in honor of Our Lady. It means, the God-bearer, as Mary was the one who bore to humanity God-Himself.)
As I zipped down the onramp in my car, I found the above image had located my phone so far down the onramp that cars were already doing 55mph near me as I got out of the car, searching a dry, deserty Denver interstate for my phone, wallet, ID and credit card. I searched among weeds and tons of trash (as Denver is a democrat run city, there’s trash everywhere.) Finally, I found something: My iPhone that had been run over! I kept searching another ten ministries among dirt and brush and debris and then found a credit card. I went to the other side of the onramp, dodging traffic. I could tell dozens of people were staring at me as they sped up to get on I-25, but I had to find my Colorado Drivers License. A phone can be replaced quickly, but a driver’s license takes so much time since the scamdemic lockdowns. Thanks be to God, I even found my driver’s license!
I snapped the above picture with my iPad (still with me, of course, indicating where to find my phone, again, using only the above featured image, offline at this point) to indicate the near-miracle of finding a phone and wallet off an interstate nearly 12 hours after a midnight loss, scattered numerous yards from each other. The phone still (barely worked) after being presumably run over. What is the chances that I would find two or three important items of my life off to two different sides of an onramp to an Eisenhower Interstate system amid so much traffic and debris?
At first, I had a little pity party before God wondering why I would be punished for helping His people. Then I remembered how many times I myself had sinned and how much worse I deserved for my sins than scavenging around a dirt pile for a nice iPhone that you my donors bought me. Then I realized this was a mini-miracle: I had prayed the whole way on Sunday morning racing to the “site” of the phone loss on the highway, begging Our Lady and St. Joseph and St. Anthony and St. Ignatius (it was his feast day) between Hail Mary’s of my Rosary for that phone and wallet to be found. Of course, God had not abandoned me.
The phone was severely damaged, but the great gift from God was that my driver’s license was found. No credit cards were stolen. I found one credit card and as for the other, Fr. John Lovell had gracious canceled it (canceled—get it?) I never would have any of this back if it weren’t for a good friend who isn’t even Catholic but loves Our Lord. I told only a few families about this adventure before blogging and amazingly two families immediately offered to buy me a new phone. I really wasn’t searching for that. Just like I recently asked Abby Johnson about two different mobile ultra-sound units and she bought one without me asking for it! It’s of course for our pro-life work.
Thank you Jesus, and thank you saints and thank you donors who keep me available to bring sacraments at weird times of the night during in an odd time in Church history to be available with Apple products. Wicked as they are, we can plunder the Apple of Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land. And thank you God for great donors who offer me things without me even asking. That seems to be how it always goes today. Pray my pity parties of feeling smitten by God may be replaced with thanksgiving for the beauty of my life.