Jim Weeks remembers that day, sitting in the adoration chapel at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth. It was February of 2019, and he had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
A priest whom he barely knew then, Fr. John Riccardo, came to be with him, and to pray with Jim and his family. He anointed Jim, and then brought a picture down from the wall — an image of the paralytic being lowered through the roof to Jesus at Capernaum.
“Fr. John showed me the picture and told me, ‘This is where you are right now. This is the cancer bringing you to Jesus, and all of your friends bringing you to him with their prayers,’” Jim recalled. “Then he said, ‘God is either going to heal you or He is going to give you great strength.’”
Jim and his wife, Krystin, say that moment made a huge difference in their approach to Jim’s battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim felt a newfound sense of peace.
For anyone, pancreatic cancer is a shocking diagnosis. For Jim, news of the aggressive cancer seemed especially cruel. Just four years earlier, Jim fought through stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was six months from being in remission when the cancer on his pancreas was discovered.
The couple’s four daughters, ages 13 to 23, had already watched their father go through a difficult time and would now have to do it again.
“Both times I told them that Jesus is asking us to take this journey with him and trust him,” Krystin said. “No matter where this goes, no matter how this ends, we never lose our faith.”
Armed with the sacraments
After that experience with Fr. Riccardo in the adoration chapel, Jim and Krystin gathered information, interviewed doctors, and learned all they could to determine the best course of action. They prayed fervently, and asked their friends to pray for them, too.
After all, the more people lowering Jim through the roof, the better.
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