Skip to comments.Meet James Fulton, the Alleged Miracle for the Beatification of Fulton Sheen (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 07/04/2012 1:48:49 PM PDT by NYer
As you know, I am a Chief Editor along with Tito Edwards at Ignitum Today, the social network of the JP2 and B16 generations. One of our contributors, Bonnie Engstrom, wrote back in September 2011 about the riveting survival of her infant son, an alleged miracle that the family believes was through the intercession of the now Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Bonnie informed us last week that this alleged miracle has been chosen as the one to be submitted for review by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and if it is declared a true miracle then Archbishop Fulton Sheen will be beatified. It has been so exciting to share in this remarkable journey through Bonnie’s writing. When the pastor at our parish in New York announced this good news from the pulpit last Sunday, I smiled at my husband and thought, “I know the family involved!” It’s an amazing and glorious story.
You can read more at Catholic News Service and at Bonnie’s website, Learning to Be a Newlywed, but before you read anything else, you need to read her original story when she told us about the day her son, James Fulton, was born. It is reprinted below with her permission. Thank you Bonnie.
By Bonnie Engstrom, September 16, 2011
While cpr was continued and we waited for the ambulance my husband took water and baptized him using the name we had agreed upon, James Fulton. I remember sitting on the floor saying, Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen over and over again in my head. I suppose it was as close as I could come to a prayer; I suppose it was my way of asking Archbishop Sheen to interceded for my son.
The paramedics came and rushed James away. In route, as they tried to restart his heart, they gave him two doses of epinephrine by lines in the shin bone. Neither worked and one leaked out, turning his whole right leg from toe tip to buttock black and blue and purple. In the ER the doctors and nurses worked on him for another 18 minutes or so. A nurse practitioner told me she wanted James mother to be able to hold him alive for a little bit. Five minutes, an hour she just wanted my son to be alive long enough for me to say good-bye.
They did a sonogram of his heart. It fluttered but it didnt beat. A nurse held his foot; she later told me it was cold, like the expression cold and dead. He was intibated and getting oxygen, but there was no way that the chest compressions were adequately circulating the oxygen to the brain and other organs. Following the orders of the on-call neonatalogist they stopped working on him so they could call time of death.
My little boy, James Fulton, 9lbs and 12oz, had been without a pulse for 61 minutes.
Everyone stopped working. And then his heart started.
James was admitted to the NICU at the Childrens Hospital of Illinois and was immediately cooled a newer type of therapy where they lower the bodys temperature by a few degrees in an effort to spare the brain and other organs further and ongoing damage. For three days he was sedated and shivering, covered in tubes and wires. They thought that he would not live to be a week old. They thought he would have to lose his right leg because of the chemical burn. They thought that if he did live he would be a vegetable. They tried to give us hope, but they thought that he would probably spend the rest of his life strapped in a wheelchair, blind, severely mentally disabled, on a ventilator, fed through a feeding tube, in diapers, unable to communicate love.
EEGs showed very abnormal brain activity. An MRI showed that the brain had been injured from the severe lack of oxygen.
At times I wondered if we should have just stayed home and never called 911. I worried that I had become Dr. Frankenstein and had, through other people, manipulated James into life. I worried that he would be treated like a monster.
In the situation we were in I could either worry or I could hope. I could fear or I could trust. We had prayerfully decided to have a homebirth and so I knew that we were following Gods plan for our lives. I didnt know where we would end up, but I knew that I could not live in the dark I had to hope and trust I had to live in the Light.
So we prayed, and we asked people to pray with us. Two days after his birth 100 people, many I barely knew, came to the Peoria Dioceses cathedral. In the church where Fulton Sheen served Mass and was later ordained, we had a holy hour and Mass. As a group we prayed for Sheens intercession: Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, Fulton J. Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession that James Fultons body heals and functions normally and that he is spared any brain damage. I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Friends told James story on Facebook, in emails, on blogs, and to their prayer groups, prayer chains, Bible studies, family members, and friends. People in Alaska, New York, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Ireland, and Canada prayed for my son, asking for Sheens intercession. Atheists asked their believing friends to pray for him. Classrooms of children in Catholic schools throughout Illinois recited the Sheen prayer every day. Little children adopted him as their main prayer intention. My dad began attending Mass again on a regular basis.
And God answered the prayers. Jesus Christ healed my son. The Holy Spirit filled the hearts His faithful. And Sheen continued to evangelize through his namesake and my son. By the time he was a few days old his kidneys, liver, and colon were all working. His leg was healing. By a week he was breathing without any assistance. His blood pressure was good. He began eating by bottle. He was taken off pain meds and started to interact with me, his visitors, nurses, and doctors. At seven weeks he came home from the hospital. A follow-up MRI showed no more brain damage. The precautionary g-tube was removed when he was six months old. Now he rolls over, crawls, cruises, and will walk soon. He eats Cheerios, picking them up with his thumb and pointer finger. He squeals with laughter, plays with blocks, steals toys from his older siblings, and has scored in the normal / age appropriate range by his developmental and physical therapist.
My family and I believe that God brought James back from the dead and healed his body. We believe that He did this through the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. We believe that God did this for the same reason that he allowed Lazarus to die: This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.
Today my son is one year old. Thank you, Jesus, and Happy Birthday, James Fulton!
Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D. is a scientist turned homemaker raising seven children with her husband in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She is pursuing a MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and she is a Chief Editor at Ignitum Today. She writes about all that she is learning at Accepting Abundance.
What a tear-jerker of a story.
All honor and glory be to God, the father for the healing of James Fulton.
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, pray for us.
My James was born after the accident where Father Benedict Groeschel was hit by a car. While I was delivering - and James was my biggest baby by quite a lot! - I was screaming, in my mind, "Father Groeschel! Father Groeschel!"
You'll note that Father Groeschel is still kicking to this day, and James is 8-1/2 and Kathleen is his birthday baby, born the same day. When Father Groeschel's cause for canonization is in progress, as I'm sure it will be after he dies plus five years, I'll be sure to mention this anecdote to the appropriate persons.
It was Bishop Sheen that was quoted as saying that Rome and Mecca would be united via their common worship of Mary.
Are you referring to this?
Sorry, but it’s not a miracle.
Newborns have a different hemoglobin so tend to be able to tolerate low oxygen a lot longer than adults/older children. And most of us who have done deliveries have pulled kids back from death and prolonged apnea. It’s not that rare, alas, although it is less common now that we use monitors to watch for irregular heartbeats that suggest the kid is having a problem...
And it sounds like they started CPR right away....or fairly quickly since the stupid midwife didn’t recognize the kid was having problems, and then when he was born “flat” with a low APGAR, instead of starting resusitation immediately, she showed the kid to mom...HELLO>>>>Save the kid first>>>Priorities you know...
The shame is to this “educated” mom who risked her life by having a home birth with a poorly trained midwife. Home birth can be safe in low risk women, but the dirty little secret is that things can go wrong very very quickly, and you need a well trained midwife with fast ambulance available (in the UK, they used to back home births with “flying squad” ambulances).
This whole episode is why a lot of folks who are atheists laugh at “christian idiots”...
Go ahead and keep telling yourself that. This case, like all those used in beatifications and canonizations, was investigated by the best experts available to highest scientific standards. The scoffing of atheists at these proven miracles is inspired by the pouting of their demons.
the article doesn’t state it was approved, only that it is one of the miracles being sent in for investigation.
The Vatican usually insists on proof, not a non medical story by a science and medical hating mom like this one. Catholics don’t have to leave their brains behind when they join the church.