Fr. Paul

Fr. Paul

“It was six months ago on July 24th, I walked into St. Alexius hospital not feeling well. A battle with pneumonia and triple bypass surgery followed. I then was fortunate enough to be admitted to Vibra Hospital of the Central Dakotas. Many of us have had the opportunity to experience the two hospitals in Bismarck and have known of the extraordinary care that they provide. But now I was being introduced to a place I’d never heard of, for care that was so specialized it required specific training. I was soon to learn what a hidden gem Vibra and its staff is, and that we in the Bismarck-Mandan area are extraordinarily blessed by the care provided at Vibra Hospital.

A journey that began on January 24th and extended to what is now six months, surprised me beyond telling. The biggest surprise has been that so many people have hung in with me for the six months. They have been so loving toward me, so supportive with their prayers and cards, and have carried me to this time. I suspect one person was as surprised as I am about my condition, as they sent a sympathy card rather than a “get well” card.

I have been cared for at every hospital and major healthcare facility in Bismarck-Mandan during my illness. The skills exhibited on my case by everyone who has cared for me have been remarkable, as their healing touch brought me to this next step in my journey to health.

At one time, as I was struggling on the ventilator with my breathing, I received a card from a person who said, “Father, let every card you receive be your breath that we take for you and with you.”

I do feel that I have traveled down the walk, through the valley of the shadow of death, and have come out surprised beyond measure with the knowledge of God’s love for me and you. I experienced some moments of extreme terror, and of calm serenity in this journey over these last six months. And it has been a very real surprise. The staff expertly challenged the times of terror and reinforced the times of calm and my ability to handle both.

The staff promoted my health with their skills and healed me physically, but more surprisingly healed me spiritually. “Your faith is stronger than your fear,” I was reminded. So that together with the skills of doctors and medical staff, I was reeducated in the faith gift I had received thanks to family and friends. My Bishop and other servants in the vineyard who sacrifice daily held me up in prayer. My spiritual family at Corpus Christi Parish sustained me for these last six months. I will never again be surprised by the depths of God’s love.”