January 10, 2011: A Child to Hold (by Beth Galvano)

~ by Mary Galvano

Trying to think of the perfect topic to write on, Mary was taken to a story written by her mother about a past Christmas. She felt it would be a beautiful article as we end the Christmas season.

I arrived an hour early to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at the Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Francis Xavier. The Haitian Mass was still taking place, so I sat in the cry room to wait.

I began to have a real pity party because this was the first Midnight Mass I had ever attended without having a family member with me. I was used to hearing my daughter, Mary, cantor and one of my six other children participating as lector. I longed for my children to be near me. Being a single widow, I had felt nervous to drive so late at night by myself. I would not be home until 1:30 A.M. I asked God to give me peace. I thanked Him for the times when I did have my children with me, and I thanked Him especially for Baby Jesus represented in the Nativity Creche.

I wished to hold a child.

Then, something amazing happened. A one-year-old Haitian girl, dressed in a beautiful floor length dress with silver sparkles and dozens of white bows in her hair suddenly stood in front of me. She unfolded my hands that were in my lap. She then climbed into my lap and fell asleep! God had sent me a child to hold. I didn’t know who she was, but as she cuddled in my arms I thanked God for the most precious gift of all, a child.

After the Haitian Mass, her father who had been playing the bongo drums for the Mass thanked me. His wife had not been able to come because she had to work, and he was having trouble playing the drums and keeping an eye on his daughter. When the father had glanced over his shoulder to check on his daughter, he said I had been an answer to his prayer.

God knows all our needs and answers all our prayers.

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