Not sure how to begin, so much has happened in the last three days. But I will start with Miracles, then Monsignors, and finish with Ordinations—in Turkey!
The miracles I mention are just a few of the ones most noteworthy, but are not the sum total.
Every year or so my back pops and I fall on the floor where I stay for several days. It is a family flaw. It happened two days before we left on this trip to film the Apostolic Fathers. I was worried I would never get on the plane. The day before we left my back was suddenly fine. It happened within a 20 minute period. The pain dropped 90% and we boarded the plane with narry a problem. Ask my family, such a thing rates as a miracle.
We needed to film a crucial segment for St. Polycarp in his Church in Smyrna (Izmir Turkey). The past archbishop was a friend of ours but the new archbishop was difficult. It was a year’s process to get permission to film in the church. He demanded a personal letter from my bishop in Lansing. Bishop Mengeling was very helpful.
But scheduling was a problem, the Archbishop of Izmir speaks only Italian so our Turkish agents were no help. Since I speak only English, I was very little help. I used the computer to translate the messages faxed back and forth. The answer was NO. Finally, a at the last minute, we got the OK. But it wasn’t until we knocked on the door that we were really sure.
(Picture: viewing the piece of Polycarp's skull)
AND, after appealing to St. Polycarp to intercede for us, we even gained access to the relic of St. Polycarp—a piece of his skull. We had only two hours to work and we finished filming within 2 minutes of our deadline. It was surely a miracle.
We had tried to gain permission to film in the Agora in Smyna (Izmir) where St. John consecrated Polycarp bishop and where Polycarp then served as bishop for over 50 years. But permission was denied. We did not have enough time. Things are very bureaucratic in Turkey and there was little hope. Except by Janet and I who kept praying, asking St. Polycarp and trusting God. Our agent said “Impossible” (I still have the e-mails). The guide said it cannot happen. Other guides said “Impossible.”
The day before we were scheduled for the most important filming everyone was planning what to do as an alternative. My guide Okan stepped on the bus and said, “I have a gift for you.”
“What,” I said. “The Turkish government just sent me a message that you have permission to film in the Agora tomorrow.” Ah ha! I knew the Lord would not let us down. St. Polycarp was aware and concerned for our endeavor. We arrived on time, did our shoot perfectly and then—as soon as we were done three buses arrived full of kids ages 8-12. Again, it was a miracle because had the kids arrived earlier we would have been shut down.
Thank you Lord Jesus! And thank you St. Polycarp for interceding for us. Remember, these were was just a few of the stunning heavenly interventions.