Blessed Stanley Rother, Pray for Us

Father Stanley Rother was a Catholic priest born in Oklahoma who gave his life because of his faith when he was murdered serving God’s people in Guatemala in 1981.  He became the first martyr born in the United States when Pope Francis recognized him as a martyr on December 2, 2016.  The significance of being a martyr is that he will now be recognized as Blessed Stanley Rother after his beatification this coming Saturday, September 23, 2017.  If you’re like most people (including me up until a few months ago), you have no idea what any of this really means or why I’m bringing it up to you now.  But more on that in a minute.

The reason most of you are reading this is to get an update on Stephanie, so here’s the latest: Her shakiness hit a peak on Saturday evening.  Around 11pm, she became rigid and stiff and began shaking, and her eyes began to roll up in her head.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life, because after her not talking or interacting much to then see this, I immediately feared the worst.  However the nurses helped get her to her side and let what appeared to be a seizure run its course where the shaking finally stopped and she lay there still with eyes closed and let her recover from there.  I stayed awake staring at her vitals (which were still good) praying that this would pass.  Around 4am, she began moving her legs and arms again, and began talking (more mumbling) some.  For Sunday, Monday, and today, her tremors have seemed to decrease in frequency and intensity, and she hasn’t had another serious episode.  Her neuro oncologist, based on my description, thinks it may be more pressure related than seizure activity, but it’s not known for sure.  She hasn’t complained of pain too often, continues to sleep a lot, and still has a fair amount of confusion.  She has had a few moments the past couple of days of more alertness, opening her eyes and some talking.  Some times the talking is coherent and clear, other times is clear but random, and other times it’s tough to interpret.  She often seems like she wants to say something but can’t express the words, or she forgets what we were asking a second or so after being asked.  Some times she’s able to answer basic questions, and other times she stares of blankly or looks like you’re speaking a foreign language.  So all in all, there are moments where she seems a little better, and others where she seems to be getting worse.


She hasn’t eaten in a while, which led us to giving her a dobhoff tube for nutrients.  So she now has a tube running down her nose to her small intestine to supply nutrition.  They’re slowly building up the amount she’s getting, and so far (~24 hours in) her body seems to be tolerating it ok, but she doesn’t like it and in her less coherent state has often grabbed at it.  Hopefully she can tolerate it better each day and it will help her feel better and give her energy.  She also now has a PICC line so they don’t have to continue to poke her every day for bloodwork and change her IV every few days as they’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.

As I’ve mentioned before, the doctors have said that it will take a miracle for her to recover.  And that brings us back to Father Stanley Rother.  I know it’s a foreign and strange concept to many non-Catholics (and even some Catholics) to pray to someone other than God.  I won’t get into a deep theological discussion, but basically praying to Mary or Archangels or Saints is a way to have someone else pray for you.  Just like I ask each of you to pray for us during these difficult times, I also pray to Mary and the Saints and ask them to pray for us.  (As a sidenote, someone once explained it to me saying if you wanted something from a king, wouldn’t it be helpful if you could ask his mother to ask him for it for you?)  Now something I haven’t known much about is how people become Saints.  It turns out there is a very involved process, and it’s summarized well here.

After Father Rother is beatified on Saturday, Blessed Stanley Rother will be one step away from being canonized as a saint.  In order to become a saint, “one miracle is required. It must be proven that this event took place through the intercession of the Blessed and after the date of his or her Beatification.” In order for it to be a miracle, “It must be determined that there is no scientific explanation for the cure and that the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God [Blessed] is proven.” So in order for Father Rother to become a saint, he needs to intercede on one’s behalf to God for a miracle to occur.  If you’ve followed Stephanie’s story (or even if you haven’t), God worked his ways in order to have a neuro surgeon reach out to Stephanie to operate on her brain tumor last February when all other surgeons deemed it “inoperable”.  That surgeon who reached out and performed the operation works in Oklahoma City, the diocese where Father Rother was from and the city where his beatification will occur on Saturday.  Additionally the miracle can’t occur until after his beatification, so after Saturday.  So while we continue to ask for your prayers, we specifically ask you to pray for Stephanie to continue to fight and live through Saturday (and beyond), and then also for you to pray to Blessed Stanley Rother to intercede for a miracle for Stephanie, to cure her completely of her cancer.  Again, we’re not asking you to pray to him to do it himself, but rather asking you to ask him to ask God for it, just as I’m asking all of you.  It doesn’t mean that it’s God’s will to cure her or for this to be Father Rother’s miracle, but if it is His will, I certainly want to ask.  And just as I ask as many people as I can to pray for us, I ask as many people as possible to ask Father Rother to pray for us as well.

For more information on Father Stanley Rother’s story, the ceremony this weekend, or the process he’s going through, please visit http://stanleyrother.org/ (Also the website where I took the above quotes and explanations from) or http://www.archokc.org/rothercause.

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Blessed Stanley Rother, we pray today to ask you to join our prayer for a miracle for our beloved wife, mother, daughter, and friend Stephanie as she fights for her life with cancer.  We ask you to pray that God remove every trace of cancer from her brain, neck, and spine, and cleanse her body to the full healthy state that He created her to be in His image. We pray that where all medication, treatment, and earthly ability failed, that through His love and kindness He heals Stephanie completely and gives her the ability to continue to serve Him every day for many days to come. We pray for you to intercede for us for this miracle, in turn allowing the universal church to recognize you as a saint.  Blessed Stanley Rother, pray for us.

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33 thoughts on “Blessed Stanley Rother, Pray for Us

  1. Michael, your strength is so inspirational! Thank you for sharing this difficult and emotional message with us! Prayers continue to be lifted daily and we now storm the heavens through the intercetion of Father Stanley Rother!

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  2. I’m in Tears. Understanding your request and logic and love. I will do this as a humble servant of god. I am not a person of great faith every week but I have loved Jesus and our faith even when I disagree. I am an open minded soul. I don’t shut people out and feel neither of you would. I have looked for days for your reports but I also realize that times may need silence. I will pray and open for this new saint. They do live among us.

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  3. Michael- I want to tell you, that because of Stephanie, I was blessed to have found Dr sughrue in OKC. I too was diagnosed with a tumor near my brain stem in February 2016. All the Dr’s in Missouri (from which I am from) all told me that it was inoperable. I came across Stephanie’s story and felt like I was reading a story about me. All that was happing to her in the beginning had happened to me. When she said that this Dr had comtacted her and told her he could help her, I thought why couldn’t he help me? So I contacted him and sent all my stuff to him to look over it. He then called me and said he could do this! I met with Dr sughrue last month on August 8th, and by August 11th I was going in for surgery. He was able to remove my tumor! I was so happy as well as my husband and 3 boys. I still follow Stephanie’s blog to this day. She was my saving grace and I know there is a miracle out there for her. I will continue to pray for her and keep her in my thoughts.

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  4. Dear Michael,
    Thankfully praising God for giving you such a depth of love, understanding, and faith; and for using you (as you cherish and champion Stephanie, in prayers, words, and hope in His perfect purposes) to enable us to join your petitions for Stephanie’s life to be fully restored for His glory and our great joy,
    Jude,
    in Jesus’ All-powerful Name

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  5. Praying for a miracle. Praying to Blessed Stanley Rother to intercede for Stephanie’s total cure. Praying to God’s mercy to heal Stephanie.

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  6. Michael- I continue to pray each day for Stephanie and join you in asking for Fr. Rother’s intercession for Stephanie’s complete healing . Your compassion, faith and courage are such a beautiful testament of your love for Stephanie, Sarah and God. May you feel His peace and comfort as you embrace each new day.

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  7. You can BET I’ll be praying. What an amazing act of faith! God bless you and your family with complete and total healing through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, all the angels and saints, and Fr. Stanley. Lord, hear our prayer!

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  8. Blessed Stanley Rother, hear all our prayers and intercede on behalf of these prayers to our Lord Almighty that He grants healing in all manner for Stephanie so, she may continue to be an earthly proclamation of your everlasting love for mankind and testify to your almighty works; for without God, we have and are nothing. Amen!

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  9. Intercede prayers works. We will pray for him to intercede for Stephanie ansld you. God can perform miracles if it is His will. Michael your strength is beautiful. You are honoring her as God wants a husband to do

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  10. Michael, I am not a Catholic, so as you had suggested, I do not understsnd everything about Father Rother’s Beatification, but please know I will continue my prayers for all of you, and for Stephanie’s doctors and nurses. I’m so sorry to know that she had a rough spell, and hope she doesn’t ecoerience such again. All my thoughts, love and prayers. And THANK YOU so much for keeping everyone appraised of what’s going on with her. Keeping everyone current has got to be so difficult for you … you are a special SPECIAL man.

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  11. I feel like this is an answer to prayer to ask for Fr Rothers holy intercession on Stephanie’s behalf! Both my prayer groups in Windham, NH will be praying for the powerful intercession of this beautiful priest! Do you have a relic/prayer card that you can place on Stephanie from him? If anyone is interested… the Beatification of Venerable Father Stanley Rother will be televised on EWTN @ 11 am on Saturday the 23rd. Gods blessings in hope, faith and love+

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  12. Dearest Michael and Family, You and Stephanie’s journey has not been easy, however, you have never lost faith or hope. Please know I have kept you all in my prayers ever since I heard about it several weeks ago. I believe in miracles and will most definitely be praying extra hard to Father Stanley Rother. You and Stephanie are such an inspiration! I wish you lots of love, strength, prayers and that special miracle!!!

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  13. Michael your courage and support of Stephanie is amazing, the magic of love is the grace that our Father pours down on all of you, His children. I will continue to pray for Stephanie healing through Father Stanley Rother, and will have faith in God, that His will, will be done for Stephanie and Father Rother. Peace and Love with you this most beautiful day!

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  14. I just wanted to let you know that I shared y’all’s story with my Awakening Facebook group, which connects people who attended an Awakening retreat while in college. (That retreat is why I’m Catholic; it’s awesome.). Someone commented the following under my post:

    “I go to seminary with a lot of seminarians from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, who are all traveling back home for Fr. Stanley Rother’s beatification. I’ve forwarded this link to the seminarian from OKC who’s organizing the trip for all the seminarians who want to go, so know that your friend will be prayed for by a bunch of seminarians from OKC and beyond.”

    *Hugs* Lifting you up!!

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    1. Michael, I’ll continue to pray for Stephanie. There was a prayer vigil for her at St. Dominic’s last evening. Our Alpha group stayed together for the Bible Timeline course this summer and will be praying for all of you. After Saturday I’ll pray to Blessed Stanley Rother to ask God for to heal Stephanie completely from the cancer. Prayers also for Sarah and you. Your faith in God is very inspiring! God bless all of you!

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  15. The choir at St Mary’s in Springboro prayed this prayer for Stephanie last night at practice. All of us here were so blessed to hear Stephanie’s angelic voice every week during her time at St. Mary’s. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold you ever so close as you face this difficult time.

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  16. I am amazed at the coincidence to see this posted by you – our priest in Mount Pleasant SC was a seminarian with Father Rother and shared his story with us last week. He even joked that we should pray to him because he’s not well known so his line for intercession won’t be too long ;). I prayed for a miracle for Stephanie then, and seeing this fills me with hope that he is with you.

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  17. I knew Stephanie when she cantored and helped lead the children’s choir at St. Mary’s in Franklin! My family and the St. Mary Parish family is praying her and all of you! Believe in Miracles!

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