Hospital Chaplain Says God's Got A Soft Spot For Mums

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
13 Feb 2018

Fr Darryl with patient Yenny Cruz at St Vincent's Private. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

In his six years' as the Chaplain at St Vincent's Private Hospital, Fr Darryl Mackie said he has not only witnessed many miracles but is certain God has a soft spot for mothers.

He said time-and-time again he has seen a mum's love and prayers being answered at a time when all hope by medical teams was lost.

One particular 'miracle' he will never forget was that of a young man in his early thirties and in the last stages of life, his organs were shutting down and he was taken off the liver/heart transplant list as doctors didn't think he'd survive the night.

After spending many hours with his grief-stricken mother, Fr Darryl blessed the young man and left the hospital expecting to be greeted with an empty bed the following morning.

However on his arrival, the young patient was not only in his bed but sitting up smiling and asking for something to eat.

Medical teams could not explain how somebody so close to death could have survived … but Fr Darryl can.

"Jesus loves mums, he has a special place in his heart for them. I don't think that, I know it. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind," he said.

"This young man's mother was so distraught, crying and praying endlessly and I'm sure that's what pulled him through. And I have seen it on many, many occasions.

"His organs returned to normal, each day getting stronger and stronger and two years later he is alive and well and living a normal healthy life. The power of prayer is the only explanation."

Recently marking World Day of the Sick, Fr Darryl said working at what is affectionately known as the "miracle hospital" has been one of the most difficult and rewarding vocations he has performed.

He said what sets St Vincent's apart from other hospitals is its care of not only a patient's physical but also spiritual wellbeing.

"A person can be healed physically but it takes a lot more to make them mentally well," he said.

"We are located in a part of Sydney where we have the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor and both are treated equally, with respect and a level of care we are very proud of.

"We tend to the homeless, people with mental health issues and addictions and for many we are the only family they have.

"Seeing people come in here with nobody is very sad and hard to deal with, knowing they are completely on their own is something that I still find difficult to come to terms with.

"But I have also seen the importance of saying good-bye, making peace with a loved one and reconnecting with God.

"Grieving is a process for everybody, not just the patient and their family and friends but also for the tremendous staff who work at the hospital.

"My role is to help make the end of life as comfortable as possible, being allowed into the most private of somebody's life is something that keeps me going every day."

Fr Darryl in his office with a photo at his ordination