It’s so easy to look at the news and think everything is horrible. But really, we have so much to be grateful for. Like Uber eats, curbside grocery pickup, and the internet which lets you know when friends are in Rome so you can ask them to pray for your dead son at the tomb of St. John Paul II.
When JP2 died, Anthony checked himself out of school. We lived across the street from his elementary school and he called and said, “They announced that the pope died and I want to come home.” We were not Catholic. My family is culturally Catholic and he had been to Mass maybe three times in his whole life. But he came home, grabbed a bowl of cereal, and watched the news coverage of all things John Paul II.
In 2002 I began working in a bar and the owner was Italian. He came here with $20 and made a life for himself owning clubs. He gave Anthony a St. Christopher medal that had been blessed by Pope John Paul II. Anthony wore that medal on his belt loop for most of the rest of his life. It’s the one thing I can’t find now that he’s gone.
The day of Anthony’s suicide, my friend Fr. Darryl was in Rome praying for him at the pope’s tomb. I’ve asked everyone I know who goes to Rome to do the same, including the priest who baptized Anthony and blessed his body. As I write, another friend is there praying.
Y’all, this is Catholicism. Not the debates, the disagreements, the politics, or even the scandals. Yes, we know that evil exists and we have to speak out against it. But we have to remember that praying for each other, asking for help from our Saints, and trusting in the Love of God is what Catholicism is. That’s how we can we be truly Catholic today in the midst of so much ugly.
Leticia Ochoa Adams is a writer living in Texas. Her website is Leticia Ochoa Adams. She is working to create the Red Door Foundation and writing a memoir about her life and how she found healing through therapy and Catholicism, even as things kept crashing down in her life. Her previous article for Hour of Our Death is I Do Not Know If Anthony Is With God. Her other articles can be found here.