Out Now: Faith Magazine December Edition


Out Now: Faith Magazine December Edition

The new edition of FAITH Magazine is currently arriving at homes all across the Diocese of Lansing. Faith is the official publication of the Diocese of Lansing.

This month’s edition focusses on miracles and has a whole host of stories from those who claim, with good reason, to have been healed in the most remarkable ways through the power of prayer and divine intervention.

That includes the story of Nolan Ostrowski, pictured, who appears on the front cover. Nolan recounts how Blessed Solanus Casey (1870 – 1957) visited him twice in hospital and hastened, what he believes to be, a miraculous recovery from COVID-19 in 2021.

“I thank God. I thank Him for sending Solanus to touch me and save my life and I tell him I hope I’m worthy to do His will,” says Nolan to FAITH’s Mary Gates. Nolan’s story is now reproduced in full below:

 “He Saved My Life” by Mary Gates | Photography By Rey Del Rio | Faith Magazine | December 2022:

On a Ventilator and Near Death, Nolan Ostrowski Says He Was Touched by the Healing Intercessions of Blessed Solanus Casey

“After all of this happened, I tried to think back to see when I learned that God was always at work in my life.”

For Nolan Ostrowski, ‘all of this’ includes testimony of two hospital visits from a saint, physical healing after more than 40 days on life support, and the gift of spiritual sight to see the providential workings of God.

Long before this healing, the Lord laid the groundwork for what Nolan would experience in 2021 and how his life would change.

“About five years prior, I realized that there were no consequences. Maybe that was presented to me early on in life, but I never realized it until later when I started to see it,” Nolan says.

Not without faith throughout his life, Nolan says there were definitive times God tried to break into his heart to help him see how he was at work.

“It’s funny because I’ve always had a good relationship with God,” Nolan says. “I’ve had strong faith. I was raised Catholic, and I went to church. I remember sitting in Mass as a kid looking at the ceiling fans. I was not paying attention, but I was talking to God.”

Despite life’s challenges, Nolan tried to maintain the faith he was raised with. “I tried to follow the path that God gave me even though there were a lot of turns in my life. Once, upset after a breakup, I made a list of things I wanted to do in my life and then I went to Mass. I realized the priest was talking verbatim about the same things I had written! I knew that God was speaking directly to me, which scared me, so I jumped up and I left. I couldn’t believe it. That’s when I knew that He was always there for me. And I felt as if I had a short reprieve in my life.”

That reprieve led to Nolan providentially meeting his wife Kathleen and then to the birth of their three children. Having worked after high school as a carpenter, and through the years on and off as a commercial driver, Nolan was on a carpentry job in Ann Arbor when COVID hit in 2020.

“I worked through COVID when everyone else was home, and I didn’t get sick,” Nolan says. “Eventually, so many other people had the virus that we ran out of work to do and I was laid off. I had been off work for three or four weeks before I got sick in the summer of 2021.”

Following a couple days of mild symptoms, Nolan’s oxygen levels dropped, and he was admitted to the hospital in Lansing with a severe case of COVID.

“People were praying for me, which I know had a big impact,” he says. “My boss’s wife dropped off what I call a Catholic first-aid kit, which was full of relics, water from Lourdes, and prayer cards. Blessed Solanus Casey’s relic was in there.”

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone else, Nolan’s mother and Kathleen’s father each visited churches and asked Solanus to intercede for Nolan and his healing.

Lying in bed on his fourth night in the hospital, Nolan had a visitor come sit near the top of his bed, a man with only his brown robe and feet visible. “Just an old guy wearing sandals. I couldn’t see who it was, but it gave me a lot of ease. I didn’t know what was going to happen with my health, but that visit made me feel immediately reassured. I figured it was my guardian angel—that’s what I told my wife the next day.”

Through God’s providence, the events of the next day would not only clarify who had come to Nolan’s hospital room but would also change his life forever.

“I didn’t know it, but the next day, July 30th, was Blessed Solanus’ feast day, so my wife and kids prayed for me at the dinner table using the prayer for Solanus’ intercession.” Later that night, Nolan says his visitor came once again. “When I woke up, he was sitting at the foot of my bed looking at me, acknowledging that I was awake. At that point I wasn’t on any medications or anything, so I knew I was thinking and seeing clearly, and I started to pray. It was when I was praying that I realized he was not my guardian angel.”

Nolan didn’t know who the man was but got the sense that he could help. “I started telling him about my kids and my wife. And I got the notion that he needed something more from me. I said what came to mind in the moment which was, ‘Look, if you can take care of this I’ll never use God’s name in vain again.’ I don’t remember thinking I needed to make a promise or anything. It just came to me, and I said it. The man jumped up and at that point I wondered how I got by with just a little promise, but I realize now it was more than a little promise—my healing has required more than I could imagine at that moment.”

The man’s reaction surprised Nolan. “When he jumped up his hands were in the air—he ran around the side of the bed and nudged my arm up to touch me on the side. And that was that. His robe turned white and the whole room was white and there was a lot of ease and comfort.”

When Kathleen came to visit the next day, she brought something with her that pieced together the puzzle of Nolan’s encounters. “She came in and told me that they had prayed for the intercession of Solanus Casey and that she felt compelled to bring me his picture. When she showed it to me, I immediately knew it was him. I said, ‘Yeah, he’s the one who came to visit me.’ It was pretty emotional. It is still very emotional for me.”

A day later, Nolan’s doctors decided to ventilate him, which meant heavy sedation for Nolan and difficult medical decisions for Kathleen. “After a few days, they told her there was nothing they could do. One doctor said there was an alternative, an ECMO machine, at other hospitals that might help. Kathleen told that doctor that she would pray for them and all the people they had to help. I don’t know if that compelled them to find someplace, but they called several hospitals around the state and in other states and no one would take me. They didn’t believe I was going to make it.”

Making a prayer of surrender to God, Kathleen entrusted Nolan’s life to the Lord. The response to that prayer came in the form of a phone call. “A doctor in Indiana called and told her they had a machine if she wanted me there.”

After Nolan was airlifted to Indiana and put on the ECMO machine, Kathleen brought the picture of Blessed Solanus Casey to his bedside, and God’s providential care became even more clear.

“One of the doctors doing rounds saw the picture and said, ‘I know who that is!’ He said that Solanus had lived less than twenty miles away for a while. Of all places I could have ended up, I was right down the street from where he had been.” The saint’s intercession continued to bring peace and, despite doctors’ prognoses and after receiving last rites, Nolan’s health steadily improved, further revealing God’s work. “And there have been so many instances since then— so many things that have happened and people he’s put in my path that I know are his interventions.”

Above all, the reason for Solanus’ visits and his healing make sense to Nolan in a broader understanding of the deal he made to honor God. “Solanus came to me two days in a row. He saved my life, he’s the one that was sent to me. I don’t want to downplay that. At the same time, it was the beginning, not the end.”

Upholding his end of the ‘deal’, Nolan says he tells it like it is. “I want people to know that God exists. And Satan, too. What has come for me is an awareness of the entire reality, not just the consolation. There were a lot of things that changed that night that I never knew needed to be changed. I started to see very clearly.”

It is that new spiritual sight that has affected every aspect of Nolan’s life. Healthy and working as a city bus driver until recently, Nolan’s awareness of God’s providence challenges him to, like Solanus, use the simple encounters God provides each day for good. “I have driven many people who are homeless around and people in need—I want to do so much for them. What I find myself doing is praying—I spend all day praying. It’s how I start every day and what I do throughout the day.”

Like Blessed Solanus, who strove to “thank God ahead of time,” at the core of Nolan’s prayer is gratitude.

“I thank God. I thank Him for sending Solanus to touch me and save my life and I tell him I hope I’m worthy to do His will.”

* For more from Faith Magazine go to: https://faithmag.com/

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