UP Catholic 10 02 2015 E Edition Page 2

2 October 2, 2015 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org To place an advertisement of gratitude for your favorite priest, contact Deacon Steve at upc@new.rr.com 1-866-452-5112 Cut-off date: October 7th. October 25, 2015 Native of U.P. shares heaven experience BY JAMIE CARTER THE U.P. CATHOLIC I can remember saying how grateful I was to be on my way into heaven. Then Jesus said to me, not today, John, stated Father John Tourangeau, a native of Wells, who had an afterlife experience more than 22 years ago. He kicked-off a year-long speaking tour at his home parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Wells last month. He wants to share his story with others so they, too, may share any stories of trauma and tragedy. I think all of us are pretty good at sharing the positive stories of life, love, faith and relationships. The things that we determine or experience as trau- ma or tragedy we tend not to talk about, we want to hide, said Father Tourangeau who entered heaven briefly in 1993, but it took him almost 20 years to begin talking about the experience. On Jan. 16, 1993 he was celebrating Saturday eve- ning Mass at his parish in southeastern New Mex- ico. He explained that during Mass, he began to feel queasy and nauseat- ed, but expected that it was probably the flu. For the rest of the evening he went about his normal duties until he woke up in the middle of the night, having a hard time breathing. At that time, he was taken to the hospital. Upon arriving, there was this young doctor that had an attitude that I wasnt fond of, Father Tourangeau chuckled. He said to me, Sir, youre having a heart attack. You waited too long to come in. Then, he proceeded to say to me, if you believe in God, make peace be- cause youre going to die. It was at that instant Father Tourangeau knew he had to give himself entirely over to God and let him take control. I thought in that moment, I cant control or orchestrate this any longer. So, maybe for the first time I had to trust God 110 per- cent. I said a prayer, God give me the grace to trust and let go. I cant stop this. I cant control this. Following his prayer, he remembers an instant peace that he still feels today. I experienced in that instant of uttering that prayer in my heart, the depth and peace that I cant even describe. A healing and reconciliation. He continued the story, explaining how he saw a review of his life, including images of the joyful moments. Then he was sur- rounded by a white light. I was in the bright white light. It wasnt necessarily a tunnel, but I was envel- oped by a white light. I couldnt see like you and I see. I was mindful that I was surrounded by people of love or spirits, he said. Family, friends, what we call in the Catholic tradition a company of saints. I know that I wasnt journeying alone. All of a sudden it turned conversa- tional, he stated in regards to seeing Jesus face-to-face. After Jesus had told him he was sending him back to earth, Father Tourangeau asked what his mission was. Jesus responded, You will figure it out. At that moment, he saw the doctor with the paddles and heard the words, Weve got a heartbeat. I was angry, I was nervous, I was scared. I felt vulnerable. I didnt know why I had to come back. But, Jesus told me I still had a mission. So, why did I have to come back? The Christian mission and journey is that of Jesus Christ. It is to heal, to be- come strong from the inside, out. To heal our bro- ken hearts, to give each other hope, he explained. When we do that for ourselves, we can begin to do that humbly with others. We can be a wounded healer. Jesus told stories, very intimate stories of life, love and relationship. Thats what were invited to do as well. More of his story can be found in his recently pub- lished book, To Heaven & Back: The Journey of a Roman Catholic Priest. Father Tourangeau serves as a priest with the Norbertine Community and cur- rently resides at St. Norbert Abbey in DePere, Wis. JAMIE CARTER U.P. CATHOLIC Father John Tourangeau, a native of Wells, takes time to sign copies of his new book during a recent talk at his home parish of St. Anthony of Padua about his afterlife experience. C C O C n o l I o w w t J to t e h p h

Previous Page
Next Page