‘Blessed’ encounter leads to
child’s baptism days before
undergoing heart surgery
By DAVID MYERS
Southwest Kansas Register
Nov. 13, 2011
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Norma Alvarez for acting as interpreter, and for her help in producing this story.
The large doors to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe opened, and in walked a young couple, Francisco Orozco and Maria Rojas (in Mexico, married women often retain their maiden name) with their two children, a 10-year-old boy, Francisco, and a boy of three, Randdy, who was soon to face heart surgery to clear a blocked artery.
Together, they knelt at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and prayed for a successful outcome to the surgery and for courage to endure the days to come.
It was Sunday, Oct. 2, and Bishop John B. Brungardt had just completed his first of several weekly sessions on prayer in the worship space of the cathedral, as the couple prayed just yards away.
“We went to the doctor on Friday, and they told us that we needed to go to Tulsa on Monday and have surgery on Wednesday,” explained Randdy’s mother, Maria. “We were told that he had to have surgery as soon as possible since he had an artery of the heart blocked. So we went to the church to pray.”
After they said their prayers, the couple stood and stepped out of the quiet, candle-lit shrine. Then they saw a friendly face, Norma Alvarez, the DRE at the cathedral.
“The bishop was greeting people who had attended the prayer session,” Norma explained. “The family walked up to me and asked if I would have the bishop bless their child, since he was going to have surgery and was not baptized.”
Bishop John prayed with the family and blessed the child and his loved ones. Then the bishop discovered that Randdy had not yet been baptized.
“The bishop said to me, ‘This child needs to be baptized, right now!’” Norma explained. “So, he baptized the baby! I had my camera phone and took a picture. It was really something. It was like a miracle that the bishop was there and they were there.”
“We were very glad,” said Randdy’s mother. “We never thought that the bishop would offer to do that for my son. For us it was like a blessing or a miracle since the night before we were commenting that our son had to have heart surgery and was not baptized.”
A few days later, the child underwent successful heart surgery in Oklahoma. The procedure included placing a three-inch incision in Randdy’s back, then removing the section of the artery that was clogged, and re-connecting the artery. Due to the severity of the surgery, the operation had to be accomplished in less than 30 minutes.
Randdy was in the hospital for four days and is now back home in Dodge City where his recovery has gone so well that he happily posed in a ninja costume.
“We feel so much gratitude and joy,” Maria said with a wide smile.