Blessed Are the Pure In Heart
Bring The Children
Chapter 23 – Blessed Are the Pure In Heart
The children were getting older, growing up into fine young adults, shaped by these experiences and wonders. Life Teen had been a great experience throughout their High School years. Beyond that many other things were happening.
After Chris graduated college, got a job and moved out on his own, he wanted to meet people who shared the faith. He began attending local Catholic groups. One such group was called Pure In Heart America, an American offshoot of a group founded in Ireland by people who had been to Medjugorje and based on a collection of 129 lectures given between 1979 and 1984.by Pope John Paul II referred to as ‘Theology of The Body.’ These writings take the reader on a journey through scripture to reveal the truest identity and meaning of the human person and points us to our ultimate destiny to which we were all created for—infinite love and fulfillment with God in Heaven.
The mission of Pure In Heart is as follows:
Pure in Heart is an international Catholic community of young adults. Pure in Heart America proclaims the virtue of chastity and the sanctity of human life around the world.
We will educate, inspire, and empower youth around the world to faithfully live their vocations. Pure in Heart will become a strong Catholic community locally, nationally, and internationally. We are founded in prayer with the goal of evangelization. We will be distinguished as... theologically sound, scientifically accurate, and culturally relevant.
A co-leader of the group in Boston was Keeley Wray from Rhode Island. She had a bachelor’s degree in biology from Providence College and a master’s degree from Brown. She was working at a biomedical company in Boston. Chris liked her but didn’t want to get serious with anyone till he had a better job, capable of supporting a family. He soon got one.
As they got to know each other better, Chris asked Keeley out and their whirlwind romance led to an engagement. It was during this time that he learned that she was born on March 4, 1983, the same day Helene and I went on our ‘not a date’ date. He proposed at an outing to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. They were married only three months later.
Soon after their wedding, Chris and Keeley announced they were going to have a baby, our first grandchild. As the pregnancy progressed, the doctor determined that there was a problem and the baby would not likely make it to full term. Then the placenta ruptured, and an emergency Caesarian section delivery was ordered. The baby was under stress and her heart rate fell. She was delivered at 4 pounds, 15 ounces and rushed to Boston where she was placed on a cooling pad, a technique to reduce potential brain injury.
Fearing that the baby was injured, Helene and I contacted Father Mike Mac to deliver the sacrament of healing. We’ll never know to what extent it worked versus the medical treatment or versus that she wasn’t really injured but today she’s five and as normal as any five-year-old.
Chris and Keeley’s commitment to the faith and family would bring them three beautiful children in the first 5 years of marriage, much like Helene and me.
As their family grew, Keeley and Chris left Pure In Heart America and it waned. Meanwhile Kimberly had started a new branch of PIH in Worcester Massachusetts with college friends and other interested young adults. During college she had joined the campus Newman Club and had become a leader. She even organized a campuswide vigil for a student who had been killed in a car accident.
As time went by, Kimberly felt a calling to move to the Boston area and take up attending Pure In Heart there. The Board of Directors soon asked her to become the Executive Director of Pure In Heart America over their three locations.
Kim quit her teaching job and began rebuilding the nonprofit. It was rough and slow going. Only 4 people attended one of the early meetings. They invited guest speakers, religious, and famous authors like Jason Evert, who was later added to the Board of Directors. And they organized retreats and other events, and attend the annual Walk For Life in Washington, D.C.
The meetings were held at the Saint Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston. Kim discovered that the Director of the Shrine is the priest over Kim’s uncle, Steven Paul Malinowski, who recovered and wrote the book 'The Apocalypse - Letter by Letter’.
As of this writing Pure In Heart America has chapters in Boston, Lowell, Worcester, Lawrence and Haverhill, all in Massachusetts. And they recently moved into an office at The Catholic Center at Harvard University. Kimberly was recently featured on Catholic TV being interviewed by Bishop Robert Reed.
Recall that earlier in the book when Kim was 7, a man from Ireland, which is where Pure In Heart was founded, had given her a note in Medjugorje, the same place where the founder of Pure In Heart was inspired, said was from her guardian angel. And he had drawn a heart around it. It partly said, “Jesus wants you to KNOW that he is very very very happy you are here.” And so HE is.