Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Prayer request...

...for a friend from the past, Francis Mooney. Some of you knew him as Xavier, with a subtitle referring to "A Captured Heart." He writes:

My older brother Joe, after being in remission for three years and thinking that he'd defeated it, recently learned that leukemia has struck him again in a particularly virulent way. His Doctors at Penn have recommended and designed an aggressive treatment regimen and he's been undergoing chemotherapy in preparation for bone marrow transplants. My sister Maryalice is, blessedly, a good match as a donor. She's just finished the preliminary stimulus treatments and will be at Penn much of tomorrow for the marrow donation.

Advances in medical knowledge and technology mean that Joe's chances of defeating the disease are far greater now than even brief years ago, but the prognosis is still fairly grim. Many of you know Joe or have seen his sculptures at Villanova and elsewhere; you know that he will battle manfully. All of his family will be grateful if you'll support that battle with your prayers.

Many thanks, and every good wish to each of you.

Many years ago my own brother was confronted with having to say yes or no to this same therapy which, at the time, promised a success rate of well below 30% (for his particular affliction) and, in its particulars, struck me as brutal, requiring of the patient an assent to the likelihood that the treatment itself would kill him. Maybe things have gotten better since then.

I miss old Francis. His name, though no link, is still in my sidebar and always will be. I can't even find his site on the Wayback Machine.

He used to leave comments like this one from Christmas 2004:

Sincere thanks for your work here in the last year, Bill, and warm best wishes that rich blessings will be on you, your family, and all your readers and friends in the Year of Grace 2004.

And write letters that would leave you with something like this:

I'm in debt to many of your readers for comments they've left on your site and for their own blog writing as well, and I'd be glad of an opportunity to extend my regards to them. And to solicit their prayers, almost always our most beneficial gift to each other...A month that starts with the feasts of the Little Flower, our Guardian Angels, and Francis of Assisi is particularly blessed. And I hope that the blessings of grace and peace are abundant in your life and in the lives of your readers...

I said a long time ago he was the most self-effacing blogger I knew, and when reading his stuff I always felt touched by that 'grace and peace' he never failed to extend to others. I think we can spare a prayer for his brother.

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