BRAZIL, Indiana (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. John Hollowell has been completely healed of a large brain tumor upon going on pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France. The tumor began developing several years ago shortly after the priest prayed for the grace of suffering on behalf of the victims of clerical sexual abuse.
When Hollowell was first diagnosed with the tumor in 2020, he said he understood it to be an answer to a prayer he had made in the wake of the priestly and episcopal abuse scandals that have rocked the Church in recent decades, from the 2001 Boston cases to the McCarrick scandal in 2019.
READ: Catholic priest diagnosed with brain tumor offers up suffering for abuse victims
In his online announcements about the diagnosis, the priest stated, “In 2018, I asked, if it be God’s will, that I might be given some small share of the Cross to carry for victims of priestly abuse … I feel like this is that cross, and I embrace it willingly. I would love to have a list of victims of priestly abuse that I could pray for each day. I would like to dedicate each day of this recovery/chemo/radiation to 5-10 victims, and I would like, if possible, to even write them a note letting them know of my prayers for them.”
WATCH: ‘For the victims’: Fr. Hollowell’s heroic sacrifice for victims of clerical abuse
READ: ‘For the victims’: Priest offers heroic sacrifice for those affected by clerical abuse
Hollowell went into his first major surgery with about 170 names of abuse victims for whom he prayed and offered his sufferings. Many months and several surgeries later left the tumor largely the same size and the priest sometimes wholly unable to offer Mass. When doctors told him he was not fully cured, he decided to offer his life to God in reparation for the sins of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and bishops and for the healing of those who had suffered such abuse.
“I just decided if it [the aggressive tumor] comes back … I’m just going to let nature take its course,” Hollowell explained. “So then the prayer became … If it’s God’s will, to even die, I’m not afraid, I’m at peace with that.”
The priest then made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, known for the miraculous healing power of the springs of water that arose after the apparition of Our Lady to St. Bernadette in 1858. At Lourdes, Hollowell’s brain tumor — 80 percent of which had been left by his surgeries — wholly disappeared.
In announcing his healing online, the priest expressed his deep gratitude to God and said he hoped that it would serve to bring souls back to the Church.
Reflecting once on the words of St. Peter, the priest said it is suffering like Christ, out of love for others, that the Christian finds ultimate happiness. “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow, and I think what the Church has always understood that to mean is, we should suffer for other people as well, in imitation of Christ, and in that we will find our ultimate happiness and fulfillment.”
Hollowell has a strong online apostolate, appearing on The Dr. Taylor Marshall Show defending the Church’s practice of priestly celibacy, and has regular blogs at On This Rock.
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