PARKER. For the past two years, Ave Maria Catholic Parish Youth Ministry and its young people have dedicated their weekly prayers to individuals in law enforcement. When the youth gather for faith formation classes, they are given the name of an officer to pray for and send them a card.
On April 22, these young people were able to witness the power of their prayer when a few of the officers they have been praying for came for a visit. Detective Dan Brite, Sergeant Christine Brite, their daughter Addison, and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock came to visit Ave Maria youth to say thank you.
Sheriff Spurlock spoke of how prayer and his relationship with God impact his decisions every day as the Sheriff for Douglas County. He also described the way in which the prayers of those in the community were powerful in the healing of one of his detectives, Dan Brite.
A suspect shot Dan Brite in September, 2016, and the events that followed can only be described as miraculous. Dan was only shot once, had a team of deputies come to his assistance on the scene, was less than a mile from Parker Adventist Hospital, was treated by one of the hospital’s most sought-after surgeons and underwent serious surgeries that medical professionals say only one percent of individuals survive.
Christine, Dan’s wife and fellow deputy sheriff, shared how the experience of watching her husband fight for his life caused her faith to be ignited more deeply. She described one moment where she knew God was present and was filled with a sense of peace. At that moment, she knew in her heart that Dan was going to be okay, Christine said. The couple said that their faith life deepened after the accident because the goodness in the community and the prayers they received gave them courage and peace.
Dan said that he was moved by the many letters he continued to receive from the Ave Maria youth and that he and his wife were excited to come and speak about how they have been impacted by the prayers and generosity of the community.
Our young people have a great power that in our culture is seen as unnecessary and ineffective — prayer. Praying for others not only helps them grow in their relationship with God but also in learning how to love one another. The youth of Ave Maria were able to see that prayer is indeed powerful and it is not to be underestimated.
(Angelle Schott is coordinator of youth ministry for Ave Maria Parish in Parker.)