Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another missed teaching moment

Remember the "gay" Catholic Worker guy who was kidnapped in Iraq?

Well, summer camp he was supposed to work on has been given the kibosh by the Knights of Columbus, which funds the camp.

Now I happen to agree that the Knights are wise to Mr. Loney's very publically proclaimed homosexual agenda, and that this is -- 'ow you say? -- problematic to say the least vis a vis a leadership role at a youth camp. As the ones who write the check, they have the right to say yay or nay.


Does the spokesman for the Knights have to come off like a blunt-spoken jerk? What's the net message here? If you're going to cancel the entire camp experience for everyone else, at least you could try and communicate to Mr. Loney and his supporters exactly why homosexual behavior is sinful, why Loney's presence would certainly constitute promotion of said behavior, and why no camp might just be preferable than one that casues confusion or scandal.

I can see the headline now: "Gay Catholic Kidnapped by Muslims in Iraq, Persecuted by the Church in Canada."

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's a she.

I just checked my com box below and I'm in awe at the kind responses and promises of prayer -- so beautiful, you all have no idea. (Or maybe you have.) Wow. Thank you so very much.

We just got back from the geneticist doctor who gave us a run-down of what we might expect based on the amnio results. The visible chromosomal information seems to indicate a very rare condition that doesn't even have a name. It's a partial trisomy 9q with a parial monosomy 9p. In plain English, there is a small extra portion of chromosomal material on the ninth pair (q stands for longer arm of the chromosome) and some missing material on the shorter arm (p stands for petit, or small.) There are some physical and mental characteristics associated with this, but none of them are *always* present and too little is known about accurate percentages.

Doctors, of course, have no choice but to talk in terms of risks and chances, but I have to say it annoys me. Most doctors, including specialist, are not evil or deceptive. They do their best with what they know. But they are fallible. As in, being virtually certain yet incorrect that a baby has, say, deadly trisomy 18.

How "very rare" is this condition? Since this oddball scenario was identified in 1973 there have only been a few hundred cases. There is no known documentation that tracks how these little persons make out after infancy.

Truly, we're entering no man's land. Otherwise known as God's land. And in the field of medicine and healing, the God factor is a powerfulthing, as many of you know personally.

Big news: The sex was confirmed this morning. Normally we don't like to know until D-Day but we made an exception here. It's a girl. Her name is Naomi Rose Coffin.

We're just going to keep on keeping on with the daily prayers, giving this little girl over to the only infallible Physician, Jesus Christ, who loves her so much more than my wife and I do. Plus, I'd like to think that His vicar, John Paul the Great, is now in a good position to help us also in the work of intercession.

I'll be giving periodic updates. And I'll be blogging more frequently (not good news for some of my readers)! Thanks for being patient. Above all, I want you to know how precious your prayers are.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Prayer request

To my loyal readers, my apologies for the dearth in blogging. It's kind of rude to suddenly drop out with no explanatory note.

My reason is not trivial, though. I've been distracted by several life disruptions, the most difficult being the news that our baby, curently in utero, may have some serious health problems. Dads are hardwired to protect and comfort, but I find myself reduced to flailing on the sidelines, completely helpless.

Almost completely, that is. As Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "it's impossible to lose your footing on your knees."

So I'm praying with great fervor for as much healing as Our Lord wills. I believe He's already begun that healing, as the first diagnosis (or at least a very strong suspicion, comfirmed by two specialists via ultrasound) was a condition called trisomy 18, in which the baby dies on the day of birth.

In light of that devastating news, we elected to have an amniocentesis done, and had to wait two weeks to get the results.

The doctors were wrong. It's not trisomy 18.

Bullet number one dodged.

But there are a few visible anomalies: enlarged lateral ventricles and posterior fossa of the brain, plus a hole in the heart along with a smaller-than-normal atrial valve. The fetal cardiologist told us the heart may well heal over time before birth. The brain issues are more murky, hard to discern. So we continue to storm heaven.

The amnio found that the baby has a small portion of chromosomal material on the ninth chromosomal pair, and so we're meeting with a geneticist MD soon to find out what that could mean, if anything.

We're in no man's land. If you could remember the baby and us in your prayers, through the day or during holy Mass or rosary, it would be so greatly appreciated. We're asking our Catholic brethren to ask especially for John Paul the Great's intercession. My wife and I got to meet him briefly in Rome on our honeymoon. We have a picture on our wall capturing the moment when we asked for his prayers and pledged ours for him.

Holy Father -- now it's your turn!