By John Ensslin | May 15th, 2011
Denver journalist Bill Briggs was our guest on the May 14th edition of Studio SPJ when he talked with Ann Augherton about his new book, “The Third Miracle – an Ordinary Man, a Medical Mystery and a Trial of Faith.”
The episode, which you can hear by clicking on this link, was co-sponsored by the Virginia and Washington DC pro chapters of SPJ.
The book describes how the Catholic Church vets miracles and candidates for sainthood, as told through a specific case involving an Indiana man who suddenly recovered from a serious eye problem.
In this excerpt, Briggs describes an interesting moment that occurred while he was interviewing the man’s eye doctor, who was skeptical that any miracle had occurred.
“One of the most chilling moments to me…while I was reporting this was I was sitting in this doctor’s office and I said, ‘Why did you participate in this trial and talk with these sisters?’”
“And he said, well you know, the foundress (who was the person they were trying to elevate to sainthood and the miracles are needed to elevate somebody to sainthood) she has this sort of dominance over the town still in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“Her presence is really felt and the sisters really are part of the community – Mother Theodore is her name – I just felt like I had a responsibility to at least go and talk with them.
“And he spins around in his chair and says, ‘In fact – there she is.’ and he points out his window and there’s this statue of Mother Theodore that sort of gazes into his office 24/7, which I just thought was so ironic.”