Miracles are Happening in Davis
This is the first news article I ever wrote. It was published July 26, 1991. Coincidentally the wedding announcement of one of my next door neighbors appeared opposite to my article. I have corrected a couple of minor errors, but otherwise it is as originally printed. Remember that this was printed in a secular newspaper so the tone is a bit more neutral than I would use here on this website. As for everything else on this website the local Catholic clergy bear no responsibility. This was published decades before they came to Davis.
The ArticleThe reported appearances of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia made the July cover of "Life" magazine. Recently the television program "20/20" televised a Catholic Exorcism. Last fall, reflections that looked somewhat like the Virgin Mary appeared in Colfax and dominated the local news. But what about Davis?
Christians in Davis, as elsewhere, report many miraculous experiences, although unchecked by the media or church authorities. Some people in Davis, a town not known to be a center of miraculous activity, are willing to speak out.
Physical healings were the most commonly discussed miracles in the New Testament and are still popular in Davis. Believers like physical healings not only because they confirm their faith in God, but because they suggest that God loves them and is willing to become involved in their lives.
One method that Davis Roman Catholics use to ask for healing is the rosary. The series of prayers is called the rosary because they are believed to be like a bouquet of roses for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The person who prays these prayers typically keeps track of them with a chain of rosary beads.
Several Davis residents report that God has healed someone in their family through praying the rosary. Christine Coelho claims her son Christopher Bacich, was born with and eventually healed of cancer of the adrenal glands even after doctors offered no hope.
Coeho prayed, then sought more help by flying to Los Angeles to visit the Rev. Aloysius Ellacuria, a Catholic priest famous for his own healing from cancer. Ellacuria gave Coelho his own rosary beads, told her to touch her baby with it, and urged her to have her family to pray for healing.
When Coelho touched her son with Ellacuria's beads, she said the child shook all over. She said she thought she had imagined it, so she touched the child again, and once more he shook. Coelho said she convinced her family to pray the rosary and her son was healed.
According to Coelho, a doctor who examined the baby kept saying "It's a phenomena, it's a phenomena." She told him, "It is the power of prayer."
Prescription drugs given to the baby were subsequently banned for use on infants because of severe side effects that could cause brain damage. Yet today, Bacich is a 21 year-old honor student at the University of San Francisco.
Thankful for the physical healing of her son, Coelho is also grateful for the spiritual effect that the healing had on her family. The family has remained loyal to their faith and to praying the rosary. And Bacich, in addition to his academic success, is a leader of Communion and Liberation, a church group to which many of his family belong.
Janet Vyviechka of Davis said her brother, Irwin Havrda, was diagnosed with cancer and given two weeks to live. Vyvlechka's mother began to pray the rosary continuously. Two years later, Havrda is alive and cancer free.
The rosary is but one of many means which Davis Catholics ask for healing. At least one St. James Catholic Church parishioner has visited Lourdes, a well known grotto in France where thousands have traveled in search of healing. Still others have petitioned saints, prayed in tongues and simply asked God to heal them.
Davisites from other denominations have also noted successful healings from prayer. The Rev. Exter Hardy, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, said his newborn son, Chase, was healed of a diathramitic hernia through prayer. The hernia caused the baby's lungs to put out too little oxygen, necessitating the use of a life support machine.When doctors gave Chase a 10 percent chance of living, Hardy asked his congregation and friends here and worldwide to pray for the baby.
Chase lived, which Hardy considers to be answered prayer, if not a miracle. But what doctors could not explain, he said, was the speed of the baby's recovery. Chase was taking milk at three weeks and home from the hospital after six weeks.
While many different techniques of prayer are used for healing, Hardy and many other Christian leaders agree that God can work through doctors, many of whom are called on to document miraculous healings. Some Christians refer to people who take unnecessary risks as dare devils, not dare saints or dare angels.
Not all miracles are healings. Lance Johnson, a Davis optometrist attending First Baptist Church, was caught in a typhoon off the coast of Korea during the Korean War. He said the waves were so high that the propeller came out of the water which caused the ship to shake terribly. With each wave, the ship rolled 45 degrees from the vertical to port and then to starboard, he said.
Sure that his ship would capsize, Johnson suddenly had a vision of his mother praying. A great peace came over him, and he knew that he would survive. Later he learned that his mother awakened that night felt his life was in danger and prayed for his safety. It was not until the next day she know of the typhoon through the local newspaper.
Other miracles reported by Davis residents include the multiplication of food, the exorcism of evil spirits, speaking in tongues, prophetic predictions for the future, sightings of he sun spinning and dancing in the sky, and the metal chains of rosary beads turning golden.
Commonly associated with appearances of he Virgin Mary, the silver chains of many rosaries have been reportedly turned a golden hue after being used. One explanation may be that since even the most expensive silver rosaries are silver-plated, the silver rubs off with constant rubbing revealing a brass chain underneath. With use, the golden color remains, without use, the chain resembles tarnished brass.
The Rev. Luke Zimmer, well-known in Catholic circles for his healing powers, uses a tiny sliver Which he believes to be from the cross on which Jesus was crucified to heal people. Cynics have suggested that there is enough of the true cross around to rebuild Noah's Ark. Zimmer's is a tiny sliver shaved off of a piece of what Catholics believed to be the true cross housed in Rome.
Zimmer used the relic to bless visitors at services held during the Colfax "miracle," now thought to be light reflecting from a window and not an actual appearance of he Virgin Mary. The excitement oin the small rural church on an ordinary day was heightened by Zimmer's ability to fell believers with the Word of God. Most people who came to view the image probably had no idea who Zimmer is, but nearly all were fascinated by the possibility of a miracle.
I have a number of web pages concerning new miraculous evidence for the faith. If you liked this perhaps you will find that interesting.
Your Miracle StoriesThis is one of a number of web pages on local, Davis Miracles. Perhaps you have a story. You can tell me if you see me at church, look me up in the phone book, or leave a message through various on line methods. contact information is here.