San Francisco, Calif., Jan 6, 2013 (CNA) - Quick thinking by two San Francisco police officers, who drove a dying newborn to the hospital in the front seat of their patrol car, is credited with saving the baby’s life.
Officers Steve Gritsch and Matt Cloud are “absolute genuine heroes,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr. “Baby boy Nash is alive today because of the quick thinking of these officers.”
Gritsch performed CPR holding the newborn on his lap in the front seat of the car while his partner drove to San Francisco General Hospital, where an emergency room team was prepped and waiting.
“It was interesting in a small space and we were sliding around pretty good, but it worked out I guess,” said Gritsch, who had been an EMT and firefighter for about four years in the Santa Rosa area before joining the police department.
Gritsch is a five year veteran of the police department and Cloud has been a San Francisco police officer for seven years.
"We drove right up front and I kind of sprinted into the hospital and when we put him on the table he was kind of moving around. So I was pretty thrilled about that,” said Gritsch, who when asked, said he did not believe he had a chance of saving the child’s life.
Baby boy Nash was stable and doing well at San Francisco General Hospital, police said. His mother, Nneka Nash, 39, faces one felony count of willful cruelty to a child and one misdemeanor count of failure to provide care to a child, said Stephanie Ong Stillman, district attorney spokesman.
The story began Dec. 12 when police got a 2 a.m. call of a bleeding baby at Third and McKinnon streets in the Bayview District of San Francisco, where a woman had handed the baby to a man on the street and disappeared, police said.
“We pulled up – some guy hands me a bloody jacket and it was all closed up and I open it up and there’s a blue baby in there. It wasn’t breathing so I began CPR on him and then we just kind of sprinted for our patrol car and hopped in and he drove,” said Gritsch.
“There was no movement, no screaming, no crying, no puffing of the chest. I didn’t think he was breathing,” said Cloud at a press conference Dec. 17 at the Bayview police station.
Cloud watched his partner take the baby to the Muni platform to do CPR. Both men have young children. Gritsch has a child almost 2 and Cloud has a 1½-year-old and a 4-year-old.
“I knew it was possibly going to be 10 or 15 minutes before the baby got to the hospital and I really didn’t think the baby had any kind of chance at point of waiting that long. I knew in my head I wasn’t going to let that baby die on a Muni platform in the middle of the rain,” Cloud said.
Cloud called out his partner’s name, and said, “‘Hey, you want to take him, let’s go.’ His response was, ‘yeah, let’s go,’” Cloud said. “I hopped in the car and we took off and told dispatch if that ambulance catches us we’ll pull over.”
The men “couldn’t have been more quick-thinking,” said Suhr. “The baby had to get to the hospital if the baby was going to make it.”
“It’s a great Christmas story,” said San Francisco Police Commission President Thomas Mazzucco. “They were doing the Lord’s work.”
Posted with permission from Catholic San Francisco, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Boston, Mass., Jan 6, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) -
More than 80,000 people have pledged to pray the Rosary daily, with their names recorded in a book presented to Pope Benedict XVI.
Father John Phalen, C.S.C., president of the Massachusetts-based Holy Cross Family Ministries, presented a book recording their pledges to the Pope in December during the Ecclesia in America international congress at the Vatican.
Fr. Phalen said the presentation was “a special opportunity.”
“It was an honor to present His Holiness with the book and ask his apostolic blessing on our ministry,” he said Jan. 3 statement.
The book contains the names of those from around the world who have pledged to pray the Rosary daily.
“There are even pledges in languages we can't understand, like some of those from India and Bangladesh,” Fr. Phalen said.
Family Rosary, a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, marked its 70th anniversary in 2012. It collected the pledges as part of its campaign to gave out free rosaries to those who agreed to pray the Rosary daily. Many participants pledged to say the Rosary with their families.
The ministry asked participants in the campaign to pray for peace in accord with the wishes of the Virgin Mary. They are encouraged to post a pledge card in their homes to remind them of their promise.
The rosary campaign was begun in 1991 by Family Rosary founder Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.
Fr. Peyton, known as the “Rosary Priest,” famously used the catchphrase “the family that prays together, stays together.” He drew inspiration from his father, who gathered his family to pray every evening.
Fr. Peyton founded Family Rosary in 1942 to help the family through prayer. He was one of the most influential American priests of the 20th century and pioneered Catholic evangelization in radio, movies, televisions and billboards. He died in 1992 and he is under consideration for sainthood .
Holy Cross Family Ministries employs 30 Holy Cross religious and about 125 laypeople worldwide. It has offices in 17 countries and provides rosaries to everyone who asks. The ministry, which is supported by free will donations, has given away more than 20 million rosaries.
Denver, Colo., Jan 6, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Saint Raymond of Penafort, a Dominican priest who worked to aid Christian captives during the era of the Crusades and also helped organize the Church’s legal code, will be celebrated liturgically on Jan. 7.
A contemporary of Saint Thomas Aquinas, he inspired the theologian to write the “Summa Contra Gentiles” for the conversion of non-Catholics. At least 10,000 Muslims reportedly converted as a result of St. Raymond’s evangelistic labors.
Descended from a noble family with ties to the royal house of Aragon, Raymond of Penafort was born during 1175 in the Catalonian region of modern-day Spain.
He advanced quickly in his studies, showing such a gift for philosophy that he was appointed to teach the subject in Barcelona by age 20. As a teacher, the young man worked to harmonize reason with the profession and practice of Catholic faith and morals. This included a notable concern for the poor and suffering.
Around age 30 the Spanish scholar went to study secular and Church law at Bologna in Italy. He earned his doctorate and taught there until 1219, when the Bishop of Barcelona gave him an official position in the diocese. During 1222, the 47-year-old Raymond joined the Dominican order, in which he would spend the next 53 years of his remarkably long life.
As a penance for the intellectual pride he had once demonstrated, the former professor was asked to write a manual of moral theology for use by confessors. The resulting “Summa Casuum” was the first of his pioneering contributions to the Church. Meanwhile, in keeping with his order’s dedication to preaching, the Dominican priest strove to spread the faith and bring back lapsed and lost members of the Church.
During his time in Barcelona, Raymond helped Saint Peter Nolasco and King James of Aragon to establish the Order of Our Lady of Mercy, whose members sought to ransom those taken captive in Muslim territory. During this same period Raymond promoted the Crusades through preaching, encouraging the faithful to defend their civilization from foreign threats.
Pope Gregory IX called the Dominican priest to Rome in 1230, asking him to compile the Church’s various decisions and decrees into one systematic and uniform collection. The resulting five books served for centuries as a basis of the Church’s internal legal system. Raymond was the Pope’s personal confessor and close adviser during this time, and nearly became the Archbishop of Tarragona in 1235. But the Dominican did not want to lead the archdiocese, and is said to have turned down the appointment.
Later in the decade, Raymond was chosen to lead the Dominicans, though he did so for only two years due to his advancing age. Ironically, however, he would live on for more than three decades after resigning from this post. During this time he was able to focus on the fundamentals of his vocation: praising God in prayer, making him known through preaching, and making his blessings manifest in the world. Raymond’s later achievements included the establishment of language schools to aid in the evangelization of non-Christians.
St. Raymond of Penafort’s long pilgrimage of faith ended on Jan. 6, 1275, approximately 100 years after his birth. Pope Clement VIII canonized him in 1601. His patronage extends toward lawyers in general, and canon lawyers in particular.
Vatican City, Jan 6, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday said that the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child commemorated at the Feast of the Epiphany shows that Jesus Christ is “the light of the world that guides the path of all peoples.”
“The faith of Mary becomes the first fruits and the model of the faith of the Church, the People of the New Covenant," the Pope told the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 6. “But this people, from the beginning, is universal; and we see this today in the figure of the Magi, who come to Bethlehem following the light of a star and the indications of the Sacred Scriptures.”
He said that Christmas shows the faith of the Virgin Mary, of Joseph and of the shepherds, while Epiphany shows “the faith of the Magi” who came from the East to adore the King of the Jews.
Pope Benedict explained that the Virgin Mary represents the “branch” of Israel and the remnant “foretold by the prophets, from which the Messiah will spring forth.”
In contrast, the Magi represent the people, “the civilizations, the cultures, the religions” that are “on the path to God, in search of his reign of peace, of justice, of truth, and of liberty.”
Mary embodies the “nucleus of Israel,” the people who “know and have faith in that God that was revealed to the Patriarchs.” Her faith is like that of Abraham, because it is “the new beginning of the same promise” that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
The Pope added: “the light of Christ is so clear and strong that it makes the language of the cosmos and of the Scriptures intelligible, so that all those who, like the Magi, are open to the truth can recognize it and join in contemplating the Savior of the world.”
In English, he greeted pilgrims including the boys of the Palestrina Choir of Saint Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. They had sung at the Sunday Mass of the Epiphany at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Benedict celebrated that Mass, during which he ordained three priests as bishops: Angelo Vincenzo Zani, who is named secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Fortunatus Nwachukwu, who is named the apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua; Georg Ganswein, the nominated Prefect of the Papal Household; and Nicholas Henry Marie Denis Thevenin, the nominated apostolic nuncio to Guatemala.
The Pope asked the faithful to pray for the new bishops and their respective ministries.
“May the new bishops be faithful successors of the Apostles, always bearing witness to Christ, who today reveals the face of God to the nations. May the Lord bless all of you and grant you his peace!” the Pope prayed.