Mantenga recalls how his daughter, Mia, was born three months early and weighed less than two pounds when she was taken by emergency c-section 22 years ago. That night, before he knew his daughter's fate, he went to a chapel and prayed.
From a column by Tony Rossi, producer of the USCCB-sponsored radio show "Personally Speaking," over at Patheos.com:
"I went to the chapel. There was nobody else in there. I knelt and—I haven't been the most devout Catholic in my life, I'll be the first to admit, but we all tap into that which we know. And that is my spiritual connection to God, that's the channel it runs through—Catholicism. But I went in there and said, 'Look, I know I'm not on the A Team. I'm not one of the starters; I've been on the bench for a while. But please, if there's something that can be done for this child to live, I'm prepared to do whatever I must do.'"
Mia survived, but three years later Mantegna and his wife realized something was wrong. Mia was diagnosed with autism.
More from Tony's column on Mantegna:
Recalling that period, Joe says, "I think everybody goes through shock and anger—it's human nature to go through that, but the trick is you have to move past it because you're not doing anybody any good by staying in a state of anger. There's nothing productive about that. So rather than yell at the wind, you try to use the wind you have to fill a sail . . . [my] prayer was granted, but there were obviously some stipulations that came with it. And you know what—it's okay. I look around me and I look at the world and at the suffering that goes on, and I think, 'Why not me?' If this is that thing that we as a family have to deal with, we'll do it. I still feel blessed that we're able to deal with it as best as we can. So I think back on that moment of prayer and I'm convinced that it worked."
Read the full story HERE.