Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seminarian with brain tumor and his spiritual journey

Fellow blogger, Philip Gerard Johnson, a seminarian in Raleigh, North Carolina, is in need of some additional prayers. 

I have followed the story of Philip since his blog was initiated back in November of 2008.  He was a young officer in the US Navy at the time when it was discovered that he had an inoperable brain tumor.  He had desires to become a priest.  Bishop Burbridge accepted him into the seminary as he was undergoing a medical discharge from the military.  He had asked for intercessory prayers to Rev. Thomas Frederick Price (1860-1919), whose cause for sainthood is behing advanced.  Bishop Burbridge put his imprimatur on the prayer card for the intercessory prayer that was written, which you can see and pray here for Philip.
Philip learned through an MRI the other day, that his brain tumor is growing once again. He is undergoing more aggressive chemo therapy aimed at reducing the tumor.   

Philip has one of the most interesting blogs. He has traveled the world, doing photoposts from , Ireland, France, Rome and many other places.  One of my favorite posts was when he went to the Holy Land and provided photos of Mt. Carmel!   He also has a nice photopost up about his mother coming into the Church on her first year anniversary.

In March, he was inducted into the Mercedarian Third Order.  (Order of The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy). It's noteworthy that diocesan seminarians and priests may belong to secular branch of various orders.  Fr. Perrone of Assumption Grotto  is a diocesan priest who is also a secular Carmlite.  Philip writes: 

The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy is a Roman Catholic religious order established in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco for the redemption of Christian captives from Muslim Spain. One of the distinguishing marks of the Order is that, since its foundation, its members are required to take a Fourth Vow to exchange themselves for another who is in danger of losing their Faith.

Johnson has also chronicled another journey on his blog - a spiritual journey with Christ through his suffering with cancer.  In this journey, he teaches us how to make God's will our will.  In reading his posts you will gain appreciation for the little things in life, but also for the gift of faith. 

Those men reading this blog that are considering the priesthood, and seminarians, should follow his writings very closely. His great love for the priesthood, can also inspire priests. May they treasure the gift of their vocation. This is a man who is not hesitating in the least to follow the call, and God's will for him. Learn from him!

Please keep Philip in your prayers (pictured upper left had corner). And, visit his blog, In Caritate non Ficta, to follow him on his spiritual journey. You will learn much.

There is a great story on him from May 2009 in the UK Catholic HeraldI can't live as if I am dead already.

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!