In Part 1 of my series on Divine Mercy, I introduced you to Felix Carroll, the author of Loved, Lost, Found: 17 Divine Mercy Conversions. He described the writing of his book as a spiritual experience that was as profound as the birth of his son. In the preface, he writes: “Spoiler alert: the 17 people we profile here all find God in the end. So the question is, why read stories if you already know the ending? The answer is simple: Because you don’t know the beginning.”
So, what are their beginnings? I will describe two here. Fasten your seat belts.
Dr. John Bruchalski is New Jersey Polish, raised Catholic, saying the rosary for the conversion of Russia – that kind of fierce Polish Catholic. He was dedicated to the Blessed Mother at a young age.
As a boy, his role model was the family doctor… and that is the course John Bruchalski set out on. Leaving the nest, and along the way, he began to feel the Church had lost touch with regular people and was wrong on the issues of women’s sexuality and reproductive freedom. In med school, he began to build intrauterine devices (IUD’s) to prevent pregnancy. He provided contraceptives and learned sterilization.
And ultimately he started performing abortions. Early abortions. More like D&C type abortions. Then came later abortions… and Bruchalski started seeing body parts. It was then when he started to internalize what he was doing. In the latest term abortions, he had to check for body parts to know that he had removed all that he should remove… counting arms and legs and torso parts…
But then, Dr. John said that Christ and His Mother came calling on him. First it was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Of all things, it happened in a place dedicated to the image of a woman’s body filled with human life. Dr. John Bruchalski had accompanied a friend to Mexico where they visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Inside, John heard these words: “Why are you hurting me?” You can imagine… you can read the rest of this story…
These days, the now pro-life Dr. John Bruchalski doesn’t just go to parish groups of men and women with gray hair who know well it’s wrong to take a human life. No, Dr. John is going to places like the University of Arizona to speak to med students – med students who are mostly pro-choice and some headed towards the D&C’s and other procedures that will likely take lives. And to the U. of A. ‘almost doctors’, John doesn’t talk to the students about God and Grace and Divine Mercy.
He speaks in their language using medical terms they understand. He tells them about his journey and the body parts and the fact that more and more Americans are becoming pro-life. He tells them reasons why more and more doctors are choosing not to have anything to do with abortions. He answers questions from the med students about what to do about drug addicted women who find themselves accidentally pregnant for the fifth or more times. John Bruchalski responds about treating both the mother and the child… and about the Tepeyac family clinic he has opened back in Virginia to help women with problem pregnancies.
Another story from Loved, Lost, Found is about Father Jack Fullen, who calls himself the Stupid Servant. Before he was a priest he was married to a stunningly beautiful Protestant woman who was headstrong and against Catholic practices, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the idea of a Pope. At one point, she and Jack stop at Lourdes on their way to Rome. Oh – I forgot to mention that Jack had cancer… serious, life threatening cancer. In the waters and activities at Lourdes, Jack’s wife lost all her objections to the Catholic Church, especially her resistance to the Blessed Virgin Mary, when Jack was miraculously cured of his cancer.
Later on, in a whirlwind of on-fire Catholic faith practice, Jack and his wife went to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D. C. They were praying for guidance for the next phase of their lives, when all of a sudden, a voice spoke to Jack and said, “You are to become a priest.” You’ll just have to read the rest of this beautiful journey…God’s Divine Mercy unfolding.
There are fifteen more of these ‘love stories.’ The ‘I’m a spiritual person, not a religious person’ story of Mary Cook, a woman who liked visiting new age shamans. There’s the airline employee Terry who is using her off-days and vacation time flying around our country and the world to talk about Divine Mercy even in little parishes. There is the story of the 15 year old girl, Angelina, who was raped at a party and became pregnant…and how she met the Divine Mercy of Jesus…
This book is rich in beautiful mercy… the mercy that says I will never, NEVER give up on you or anyone. (For a free preview, go here: https://secure.marianweb.net/giftshop/assets/sample/LovedLostFound/ )
Please join us for Part 3 of Deacon Tom’s exploration of Divine Mercy and Mr. Carroll’s new book, Love, Lost, Found:17 Divine Mercy Conversions.