St John's Q&A

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Who is your hero?

The following is a reflection I gave at Mass this morning; I've been giving a reflection one time after Communion each week this summer. Please pray for our hero, Maria Stefko Turner.
Years ago, I had a T-shirt with a list of celebrities’ names on the front of it– rock stars, athletes, politicians. Across the front were the words, 'Who is your hero?' Then, on the back of the shirt were the words 'Would he die for you?' with a big Cross. The point is that Jesus Christ is the greatest hero the world has ever seen. That, to live a heroic life is to live heroic love. Jesus says that heroic love is the greatest love: “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus freely accepted laying down his own life for each one of us, his friends.

If I were to make a shirt today with a list of my heroes, certainly all mothers would be on it. Every mother makes great sacrifices, as many of you here today can attest. Through pregnancy, labor, nurturing, and raising a child, every mother lives sacrificial love. There is a very short list of mothers, though, who have made the greatest sacrifice and laid down their lives for their child.

One of these women lived in Europe last century. Gianna Beretta Molla was a mother of four children. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, doctors discovered cancer in her body. They advised her to abort the child in order to save her own life. She discussed it with her husband, thought and prayed about it, and freely made the heroic choice for the life of her child. Within a year of giving birth to her beautiful fourth child, Gianna lost her battle with cancer. A few years ago, Pope John Paul II canonized her a saint for the heroic choice she made to lay down her life for her child.

There is a woman who has family in St. John’s parish who was recently confronted with a similar situation as Gianna when she became pregnant with her second child. Maria Stefko Turner had the same condition, was given the same advice from her doctors, discussed it with her husband, thought and prayed about it, and made the heroic choice for the life of her child.

Now, Maria is fighting the cancer. Today is significant because she goes for her scans - tests to see where she is with the cancer. Some parishioners here have been making a novena to St. Gianna, imploring her intercession. Please join in this novena and pray for Maria. We have great confidence in God that He will hear our prayers to restore Maria to good health.

Who is your hero?” JESUS CHRIST…..St. Gianna Beretta Molla….Maria Stefko Turner.


  • We (IHM Bible Study and I) are praying for you Maria!!! A girlfriend and I would like to know if there is ANYTHING we can do for Maria and her family.
    And Maria, you are a true modern day hero!!! Your story needs to be told.

    By Anonymous JPensenstadler, at 2:30 PM  

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