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An inside look at attributing a miracle: Knights of Columbus Father Michael McGivney and the Schachle family

Daniel and Michelle Schachle hold their son Mikey, 5, near their home in in Dickson, Tenn., June 2, 2020. Five years ago, Dan and Michelle prayed to Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, to intercede with God to save their son, still in his mother’s womb, who was given no hope of surviving a life-threatening case of fetal hydrops. (CNS photo/Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register) See MIKEY-DICKINSON-MIRACLE-MCGIVNEY June 12, 2020.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Five years ago, Dan and Michelle Schachle of Dickson, Tennessee, prayed to Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, to intercede with God to save their son, still in his mother’s womb, who was given no hope of surviving a life-threatening case of fetal hydrops.

When the condition, which is a dangerous accumulation of fluids throughout the body, disappeared, it triggered a long and complex process of evaluating whether a miracle attributable to Father McGivney’s intercession had occurred.

“It’s a strange thing to investigate, whether God has intervened in the world in an extraordinary way,” said Father Dexter Brewer, pastor of Christ the King Church in Nashville and a vicar general of the Diocese of Nashville and former judicial vicar of the diocese, who oversaw the local tribunal investigating the miracle.

“It’s all very formal, and very intense,” Father Brewer said of the process, which involved dozens of interviews, examinations of medical evidence, months of work, and a very specific submission process to the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

The process begins in the diocese where the miracle occurred, explained Brian Caulfield, vice postulator of Father McGivney’s sainthood cause.

The local bishop, which in this case was Bishop David R. Choby, appoints members of a tribunal to gather all the facts of the case. (Bishop Choby died in 2017.)

“They weren’t leaving the question of is this a miracle to us,” Father Brewer told the Tennessee Register, Nashville’s diocesan newspaper. “We collected the information and passed it along to the Vatican. We didn’t make a recommendation or judgment.”

Read more at The Dialog

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