Over the course of this petition drive we’ve received many heartfelt testimonies of how the Ephphatha Chapel has changed the lives of the people who have visited and prayed before The Presence. There are stories of physical and psychological healings, answers to personal questions, even affirmations of vocational callings, which we so desperately need.

If you have a story to tell – if your devout adoration and praying before the True Presence has changed your life in any way, we would appreciate hearing from you. Tell us, with complete anonymity if you wish, or declare your special miracle for all the world to hear.

Last summer, I went to the Ephphatha Chapel to pray for a great-nephew of mine, Evan, who was near death with complicated medical challenges that were and are beyond description. He is still, and always will be, facing an uphill battle. Yet the fact that he is alive, despite countless setbacks speaks for itself. His parents count their blessings with every hour, every precious moment of his blessed existence. I think you know what I mean. Prayers are as essential to his survival as the next breath we take.

I firmly believe our Ephphatha Chapel is a place of small miracles, as evidenced by the life of little Evan. It is a little bastion of peace in a stormy, turbulent world of men who are sated, satisfied, and full of themselves because of all their newfound science and technology toys, which projects nothing but useless noise and confusion unless it’s applied properly, in the advance of true scientific discovery to benefit mankind. As in Evan’s case, where medical science and prayerful petition have performed an elegant dance to the beat of tears, smiles, and sacrifice. My cousin, Monica, with selfless integrity and pure guts (she hates to fly as I do), flew out to California to donate one of her kidneys. It’s working, with needed tweaking here and there, but it’s working. A small miracle. One of many for a miracle child.

I’ve experienced peace of mind, as you have, on vacation to a cherished destination: a small island in the Caribbean, alone on a coral beach – just you and the solace of white-capped breakers rolling towards you in unceasing and comforting regularity. Or perhaps, for you, it was fly fishing in a skip-stoned brook full of cold, clean water on a frosty morning with the glint of a rising sun bouncing off wavelets making you blink or cry or both.

Experiencing the immensity of the universe is another kind of peace. Hiking up a snow-capped mountain, looking down at the world, full of its problems that you have just escaped, or sailing out into the vastness of the ocean, knowing and feeling the awesomeness of fathoms beneath you, and then looking up at the stars, at the kind of night-sky so far away from humanity that you shudder at your own insignificance and yet sense acceptance that you are part of it and it is part of you. The Creator of all things knew these things would bring us peace. Nature mirrors the hand that created it.

Supernatural peace is akin to these things but a few steps up Jacob’s ladder. Here you feel the nature of the Creator Himself, not the nature He created. Here, you glimpse, if only for a moment, eternal fireworks – the oohs and aahs of what should have been if not for the sin of Adam. Saints like Thomas Aquinas and Catherine of Siena have tried to describe this but fail because words – language – as we understand it, cannot properly express ecstasy.

I have felt an infinitesimal portion of this peace only a few times in my life: At my first Holy Communion; atop Croagh Patrick, in Ireland; at the tomb of St. Peter below the cathedral; at my sister, Janie’s, death bed; in the catacombs underneath the city of Rome where the remains of unknown soldiers of Christ were buried after they were butchered; at the resting place of St. Francis, in Assisi, especially. Never have I absorbed such peace as at Assisi. Hundreds of people were there and I didn’t notice any of them. It was only him and me. And, one other place which you’ve already guessed: our Ephphatha Chapel.

It’s not that my prayers were always answered there the way I would have liked. But, that could certainly be said about Lourdes and Fatima and Guadalupe, too. It’s just the way you feel after spending some quality time in His Presence: truthful, undisguised, yourself for once, and what a gift that is.

Have miracles happened at the Ephphatha Chapel? You bet they have. Maybe a spring didn’t gush from nowhere to provide miraculous healings, maybe the sun didn’t spin and fall to earth, and maybe roses didn’t paint a pregnant virgin upon a poor man’s tilma. But, as we collect our petitions and offer them to Archbishop Chaput, a few of us have had supernatural encounters with love, and that kind of special one-on-one with the divine shouldn’t be displaced by a new housing development. There’s nothing miraculous about that.

Let us know of your special moments. We can’t wait to hear them.

Email me at

Small Miracles: Your Turn


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