The Deacon's Bench

Here comes a beautiful reminder that you can never anticipate what God will do. It’s a poignant and inspiring story of faith, hope and life, from Florida Catholic:

Friends and colleagues said “maybe you should interrupt the pregnancy” when Daniele Cardoso told them the devastating news: Her first-trimester tests indicated her unborn baby boy had a serious brain and skull defect, and had little chance of making it into the world.

But Cardoso remained hopeful.

“For God, there is no percentage,” Cardoso, a parishioner of St. Jude in Boca Raton, told the Florida Catholic, shaking her head with a defiant twinkle lighting her blue eyes.

João Pedro Cardoso, the first child of Daniele and Murilo Cardoso, was born June 13, 2003. Three surgeries in his first year of life corrected the brain problem, but João Pedro still has cerebral palsy. The curly haired, 5-year-old beat tremendous odds “with the help of prayer,” according to his mom, but life has not been easy for the tot or his parents.

“I talk with my heart now about my feelings then,” Murilo Cardoso explained. “We were praying – he is going to turn around, going to improve and he is going to have a better situation in the future. I prayed that he would walk, talk, play soccer – you know, have a normal life.”

João Pedro took some of his first steps during a Mass celebration Sept. 7, the Sunday before the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“I was in tears,” said parishioner Elena Moro, who witnessed the child struggling to walk.

Moro is a member of St. Joan of Arc Columbiettes Auxiliary 13051, a group of Catholic women from various parishes dedicated to working with the Knights of Columbus in various efforts.

The women heard about the Cardoso family and put together fundraising events this year resulting in “a total of $4,500,” according to Moro.

“It makes me feel great,” said Moro. “Whatever money we made for the family was used for his therapy. You can see the results of our fundraisers,” she explained about seeing the child reaching great strides.

Read the rest at the link.

Photo: The Cardoso family poses for a photograph with Carmelite Father Emiel Abalahim of St. Jude Parish. From left, 10–month–old Beatrice sits on the lap of Father Abalahim, Murilo Cardoso holds his 5–year–old son, João Pedro, Catharina, 3, Thiago, 10–months and Daniele Cardoso. Photo by Nancy Flanigan, Florida Catholic

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