Update on Brotehr Joseph (brjoseph.htm)

        LATEST UPDATE!   We talked with Dave Fuire on Thursday morning (6-18) and he was most encouraging. The latest is that Brother is breathing entirely on his own, no oxygen needed, all tubes are gone save for his IV feeding tube, which Brother really doesn't like and would like to be able to eat on his own. Despite the fact that he had brain damage, he has been able to say a few words and knows who he is and recognizes Our Lord and Our Lady. Would anyone need to know anything else? Maybe for most of us we're the ones who are brain damaged because we fill our heads with too much and don't focus enough on the simple things of what is really important: God. Brother's brother Ron from Arizona was in town to visit him and he brought him a tapestry of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Brother Joseph clutched it to his chest in gratitude. Dave also noted that prayers are helping immensely and that he truly believes new cells are growing in his brain where the damaged ones were. Two other things Dave brought up that are truly wonderful. It was thought that Brother might be paralyzed on his right side, but he was moving his right arm some the last time Dave visited him on Wednesday night. Also, there is Gregorian Chant playing softly in the background in his room constantly that is soothing all who tend to him. With those wonderful sounds, how could Brother ever feel alone for the angels are with him and interceding for him as are all who are praying for him. Dave noted that students at the Mount in the past did an experiment by placing like plants in a room with one room playing Gregorian Chant and the other room just Rock music (if it could be called such). Well, you know the outcome. The plant in the former thrived, while the latter plant withered and died. For those who want to send cards and prayer cards to Brother, he is in
                  Brother Joseph Mary, CMRI
                  Room 846
                  Sacred Heart Hospital
                  101 W. 8th Avenue
                  Spokane, WA 99204
    Dave has said that it is possible if he continues on this pace, he might be released from the hospital within a few weeks. Please continue your prayers for him.

       From earlier: On Friday, June 12, Dave related great news. Since then he confirmed in writing the following: "Brother was already off the ventilator and breathing on his own, responding well and may even be moved to a regular room!" Dave also reminded that it is also the 6th anniversary of Brother Mary Ambrose's death, a CMRI brother who died in his 90's and whom Brother Joseph cared for in his final years. But then, would anyone expect any less from Brother Joseph, a true devoted slave of the Immaculate Heart. As Dave described all that's happened this past few days, "The ways of Divine Providence." Dave was overjoyed in relating that "Brother is out of intensive care and breathing on his own with the help of oxygen. He can't talk but seems more aware than ever. He was in a lot of pain." Indeed, quite possibly a wonderful miracle in our midst. Dave told us by phone that Wednesday night while he was in Brother's hospital ICU room, he was praying silently for about fifteen minutes. Then said aloud, "I'm going to pray a rosary now and I know you're praying with me." Brother opened his eyes and when Dave put his hand in Brother's, Brother squeezed Dave's hand. He responded! Dave relayed this wonderful news to the staff on duty and they basically dismissed it. However, this followed a very similar prayer session Adam and a few others had experienced with Brother earlier in the week. Naturally, any thought of a miracle to the medical profession is, for the most part, forbotten. Chalk it up to the cynical sterile, secularist industry it has become today which, for some reason, retain the mindset that someone in a somewhat comatose state cannot respond (does Terri Schiavo come to mind?). Adam had relayed sad news about 6 p.m. Thursday evening that evidently a collective decision had been made that they would unplug Brother's ventilator this coming Sunday and encouraged all, who could make it, to visit him over the weekend, evidently believing once they removed the breathing apparatus, he would just pass away. Well, folk, Heaven has another idea and it's due to everyone's prayers and sacrifices, and the expiatory suffering Brother is undergoing for Our Lord and Our Lady. Four hours later on Thursday night, Adam was so excited when he called Dave again. During that interval, Brother willfully had his breathing tube removed and he is breathing on his own at last report. Dave calls it a miraculous turnaround, but then we all kind of expected something special would happen on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which has always been such a special feast to Brother Joseph. Oh, and perhaps the "Miracle Worker" we celebrated on Saturday, dear Saint Anthony of Padua had a little something to do with Brother's progress, too. Hopefully he will continue to improve and convert the medical profession to the fact that faith can move mountains! Please continue those Rosaries and the Prayer to St. Joseph below.

        On the Sunday following Corpus Christi Thursday, many traditional parishes had adoration and the beautiful Corpus Christi processions. This was something Brother Joseph looked forward to so much each year and planned meticulously for, designing massive murals year-in and year-out. In the early years he would oversee magnificent chalk drawings on the road that transformed the blacktop into a gigantic holycard. He would make sure the flower decorated trellaces, which each parishioner would sponsor, were in place for the procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the main altar to the outside altar for Benediction. This year, of course, he will not be able to take part as he lays in a coma fighting for his life and the lives of so many through his prayers; prayers he flooded Heaven with for the many years before his accident. Now, we believe, as you read below, that somehow as God deigns he continues those prayers even in the state he is currently in. As we related here last week, our dear friend Dave Fuire, a parishioner at Mt. St. Michael's in Spokane and one who epitomizes Catholic action in practicing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy at all times, was the first to notify us of Brother's terrible accident Sunday morning when the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen's Brother Joseph Mary toppled over the stairway landing balustrade and fell some 12 feet to the marble floor at the Mount.

        We ask your continued heartfelt prayers for him. As we first noted here, we have been so blessed to be considered a dear, dear friend of Brother's since 2004 and we are crushed by the news and feel so helpless that we cannot be there with Dave and others to pray and stand watch outside ICU for him. He does have his Godson Adam with him, a young man in his mid 20's who converted through the good fruits and efforts of Brother Joseph, and exhibits the kind of zeal Brother Joseph has always had. Brother has really been a living saint in our midst in these times. It is possible the time is nearing for God to bring this innocent, loving religious home to his reward and we are overjoyed that he has received Extreme Unction from Fr. Mary Bernard, CMRI and know, whatever conscious condition he might be in, offers whatever suffering God has deigned for him with joyous anticipation of the graces gained for others through his reparation.

        Even though there may be some repetition, we wanted to relate what was published in the St. Michael's bulletin for Trinity Sunday: "As of Friday noon, his status is as follows: There is a large blood clot between his skull and the brain as a result of the fall, and the hope is that it will start to dissolve, without the need for surgery. He has not regained consciousness since the accident. Bro. Joseph also sustained cracked ribs, a broken clavicle and some minor fractures as well. Please do not attempt to contact him in Sacred Heart Hospital's ICU, as he would be unable to communicate with you. Please continue to keep him in your fervent prayers. Your concern for him is much appreciated. Thank you and may God bless you." Tom Gallegos has offered a Mass stipend for the 8 a.m. Holy Mass at the Mount on Friday, June 12, said for Brother's health and recovery in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary on the feast of Saint John of San Facundo within the Octave of Corpus Christi, one of Brother Joseph's most cherished feasts and the processions that, as a talented artist, he so painstakingly and artistically prepared for with such reverence and love for honoring Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

        As we related last week, Cyndi talked with Dave Thursday morning (6-4) and he expressed a beautiful sentiment we wanted to share with you and why we put in our headline above "pray for and with" him for Dave relates that, whenever there is someone in the room praying aloud or singing Ave's, not only does his blood pressure go down in a more relaxed state, but also his fingers move ever so slightly as if he is fingering his beads. Truly, whatever comatose condition he might be in, he can hear and respond, continuing to pray for souls. Knowing Brother, he is not praying for himself, but for others. The photo above right shows him meditating on the mysteries and the one to the right, both taken by Denise Michele, illustrates that he forever holds the holy Rosary in his right hand, constantly praying the beads.

        Another good Samaritan and our friend who has been close to Brother for at least 40 years is Tom Gillbrough who reported that Brother is still bleeding internally and they're trying to thicken the blood to stop the flow as best possible. It may be that the blood thinners he was on caused him to become light-headed or have a stroke and fall. Tom wrote, "Beforehand, the doctor mentioned, besides the head injury that Brother Joseph suffered, he also broke his collar bone and five ribs on his back. The scan was to determine whether to operate on the brain or not. After the scan, the doctor saw that the brain was quite swollen and the swollen brain will continue to swell for a few days and may recede afterwards provided if Brother Joseph survives the trauma. However, the doctor had decided that he will not do an operation at this time since it would be too risky. The doctor gave Brother plasma to thickened the blood which may stop the bleeding."

       Another good friend from the Mount, Tom Gallegos, who with his wife GayeLynn are truly dedicated Catholics and involved in several Guilds and true Catholic action, was the closest to Brother Joseph on the stairs but could do nothing since it happened so quickly. Having just talked with Dave, Brother is presently in a comatose state and has been given a feeding tube and incubated. Because it is too dangerous to operate on the damage to his skull, they must now play the waiting game. Dave relates, however, that as long as Brother is in that hospital, God is moving hearts and many are responding who before had been lukewarm. He has had many visitors, all touched somehow by this special religious God has blessed us all with. Adam has been passing out Rosaries and Green Scapulars to many visitors who have responded both from outside as well as workers within Sacred Heart Hospital. God indeed does write straight with crooked lines and His instrument of Brother Joseph's suffering is doing wonders that only Heaven knows. He is in the care of "Dr. Baby Jesus" as Brother Joseph so lovingly calls the divine Infant. Few in this world are as dedicated as Brother Joseph to all God has asked of him in full obedience to His holy will. We will continue to keep you abreast of his condition as we hear. May we all have the kind of zeal and dedication and innocent childlike faith that he has always exhibited to one and all. O patron of thy servant St. Joseph, pray for him. Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for him now and at the hour of his death. Amen. Say an extra Rosary today that through Brother's suffering, more will be brought to Christ through Blessed Mary and, if it be His will, that Brother Joseph be miraculously healed. It doesn't hurt to ask. What hurts is if we don't pray. Below is a special prayer Brother Joseph prayed each day several times to his patron saint. Let us pray this prayer to Saint Joseph with the favor we implore for dear Brother Joseph Mary, CMRI in his greatest time of need.

      Glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to thee do we raise our hearts and hands to implore thy powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the favor we now implore, the healing graces for Brother Joseph to fully recover as a sign of increased conversions through his fiat to your foster Son Jesus and your immaculate earthly spouse Blessed Mary. Through the love thou bearest to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist us!