“We now live in an age of “scientific miracles”. Our spacecraft have landed on the moon and Mars and have explored the neighbourhoods of Jupiter and Saturn. Our communication systems allow worldwide instantaneous information transfer via internet. Our physicians can transplant organs, perform surgery that only the microscope can see, can map the entire human genome and cure genetic disorders through gene therapies and biological drugs, and medicine and science are advancing so quickly that textbooks are always out of date by the time they are printed. It seems at times that all of the secrets of nature are being unlocked and that even life itself will soon not be a mystery.

So, are miracles out of date? Do we need miracles? Should a well-informed and thoughtful person give miracles any credence?

There is a striking passage in the Gospels of Mark and of Matthew. Jesus had achieved fame as a healer and miracle-worker, but when he returned to his own home, Nazareth, among people who had known him or were his relatives, “… he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith (Matt. 13:58).”

Herein lies the important distinction. Modern “scientific miracles” have no mystery, are limited by her own perspectives, science, and powers, and do not put us in touch with something greater than ourselves. This book instead is a testimony of faith, showing how the faith of this family, and faith-community had an encounter with the providence of God, with the result that their collective faith was further increased, and the sense of the presence of God in the lives of the whole community and his family were graciously strengthened. Note that it is not only the reversal of the disease that is important, but there must be openness to see the hand of God in it all. One can imagine a situation in which a person with a disease might later be reported healthy, and the conclusion may be “spontaneous remission” or “wrong diagnosis”, with no benefit in the lives of those affected. It is not the size of the miracle of healing that counts, but the openness to see that God wants to be present in our lives, and a family and a community can be drawn closer to God through becoming aware again of His providence and living power for those who are willing to have faith enough to perceive God’s hand in our lives’ events.

Dr. Eldon Tunks MD FRCP(C), Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry,
McMaster University

From the moment I contacted Karen Zizzo I was impressed with her generous and compassionate personality. She and her assistant Joyce Hansen were very accommodating and pleasant to work with.

Our Board hired Karen to animate our annual Faith Development Day. We wanted someone who could touch our hearts and renew our spirits. The reactions to the day were very positive. The staff was very impressed with Karen’s presentation. They were pleased with the way she was able to invite them to reflect on their own spirituality by relating to her own experience of God’s miraculous actions within her life and the lives of her loved ones. Karen was able to relate to her appreciation of her Catholic background and to remind her audience of the power and possibilities of prayer. Her positive approach and genuine faith gave her audience a renewed sense of hope and optimism.

Karen was able to provide a time of teaching, moments for personal reflection and writing and times for group discussions. Our staff enjoyed the session and were renewed through their faith day . Karen was indeed a blessing to us. I would recommend that other Catholic School Boards consider asking Ms Zizzo to be an animator for Faith Days. She is a model of a Catholic lay person whose mission is to bring hope and faith to others.

Kathleen Mueller, Catholicity Coordinator
The Northwest Catholic District School Board