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God’s Light Shines in a Soccer Field

When two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.
Matthew 18:20
Brooke_Healey_Vigil _ K_BologniniOn a warm August evening, candles lit the sky in prayer.
I live at Our Lady of Peace Convent in New Providence, New Jersey. Last week, on a warm August evening, supporters and neighbors gathered in the soccer field next to our house for a prayer vigil for four-year-old Brooke Healey. Last year, Brooke was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
The candles lit up the field. I was so touched by the crowds—people of all ages and especially families with small children.
Brooke’s aunt, Michelle, opened the vigil by saying, “I believe in the power of prayer, I believe in miracles, and I believe in Brooke.” Fr. Bill, our pastor, led the crowd in an opening prayer as everyone’s candles were lit. “We ask you to look after Brooke,’’ he said, “give her comfort, strength, and courage…”
The vigil concluded with Steve Healey, Brooke’s dad, thanking the community for their prayers and support. “Over and over and over the community keeps reaching out—your support means so much,” Steve said.
Sickness, suffering, and death are part of everyday life but are particularly painful when they involve children. The image of Brooke in a wheel chair, debilitated and scarred by her disease, was heart wrenching. However, the faith of the community gathered there, lifting Brooke and her family up in prayer, made it a powerful moment. God was visually present in the glow of candles reflecting off the faces of Brooke and all the children present.
The miracle we prayed for—physical healing for Brooke—may not happen, but his presence that night, revealed in all those good people gathered on that soccer field, reassured me that God, in his own way, will ultimately take care of Brooke and her family.

Please pray for Brooke and her family.


Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.

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One Response to “God’s Light Shines in a Soccer Field”

  1. John Bartelloni says:

    Cancer is omnipresent.

    In my condo community at least five adults have been afflicted.

    I am a white, heterosexual Christian male Boomer. As such, I had been accustomed to my primacy. Hormone injections which ended Dec. 31 of last year and 39 radiation treatments which concluded in June, 2011 sure changed my way of looking at things.

    Yes, I’ll pray for Brooke, and I’ll pray her family can endure the unendurable.

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