Giving Thanks for Guardian Angels Oct. 2
September 21, 2023
The following are stories shared by readers around the diocese.
From Gary Knoll                                                              
I was about one and a half years old. My parents lived in an attic apartment with a long flight of stairs and a baby gate at the top.
My aunt came to visit, and didn’t latch the gate properly.
I pushed on the gate and fell down the stairs. I remember that something told me and helped me raise my head. I went down on my tummy like a toboggan.
At the bottom, something told me to duck my head or ducked it for me. I did a little flip and landed on my back, perfectly intact. I remember thinking “I’m not hurt, but I’m thinking I better cry.”
How I remember it, I don’t know. But I do distinctly remember it, like it happened yesterday. To raise and lower my head at exactly the right time — the answer is my guardian angel. What else could it be?
From Robert C. Caron
In March 2022, my wife, Shirley, and I decided to pick up our daughter, Michele, and travel to the nearby town of Mt. Morris to run some errands. We always start our travels with an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
We were northbound on Chana Road where it goes up a small hill to a stop sign. On both sides of the road is a steep ditch. Traffic on the cross street, Hwy. 64, does not stop.
As we approached the intersection, I observed a red 18-wheeler semi-truck with his right turn signal flashing. I noticed his approach was too fast to make the turn. He headed into my lane.
At that point, everything went slow motion. I looked out the driver side window and saw the front of the truck just sitting there, not moving. I noticed the driver waving his arms at me, and then I saw an image of a person standing on top of the truck looking down at me. He was wearing a braided cap with a battlefield-type of jacket.
The next thing, he was driving my Jeep and said to me, “I’m going to steer the Jeep on to the gravel off the road and go along the side of the guard rail.” Then he said, it was “okay, everything will be all right.”
My wife and daughter also felt the Jeep swerve to the shoulder of the road. After a pause, I looked out my window and saw red metal going by really fast, taking up my entire view. The metal looked like it was under heat pressure as small bubbles were forming at the edges.
The next thing, I’m turning left onto Hwy. 64. My daughter and I noticed a pickup truck across the road sitting at the other stop sign. The driver and his passenger were just shaking their heads in disbelief that the truck missed us. Michele says that during the event, I was just sitting there.
We were saved by my guardian angel. Shirley and I celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary on June 18.
From Dolores Jean Therese Fontana
On one Christmas Eve, my mother was in a hospital, in what I didn’t know then were the last few weeks of her life. After our visit, while driving home on a snowy, slippery road, I approached a small downtown area. Traffic increased on the narrow, two-lane street. 
Though driving slowly as the road took a sharp turn, I lost control of the steering, and the tires veered toward a drop down a slight hill on the right. My hands tight on the steering wheel, I felt it jerk hard to the left. Within a few seconds, the car pulled away from the edge of the road, darted across the left lane in time to avoid oncoming traffic, perfectly aligned with the entrance to a side street! 
Within a few feet, I was able to brake and stop in a parked position next to the curb. After taking a minute to calm down, I was able to drive home safely. 
No doubt for me — my guardian angel maneuvered my car that Christmas Eve. 
From Philip Meyers
I’m 81 years old and can recall several incidents where, I believe, my angel influenced me to a good outcome. But, let me state just one.
I was stopped at a red light. Cross traffic was a highway. Generally, when the light turns green for me, I drive on. 
That particular morning when the light turned in my favor, something strongly alerted me to look both ways before entering the intersection. Just as I glanced to my right a semi-truck came through the intersection at 55 mph as though the driver never saw the red light.
Had I driven on when I got the green light, as I usually did, I would have been broadsided by that truck.
Lucky? I don’t believe it was luck. The prompting to look both ways was too strong to be anything other than a guardian protecting me.
From JoAnn P. Heller
Back in 1995, I would go up to an office in Elgin in the evening to do taxes and would always leave at exactly 9 p.m. because there were a couple of stores in the same complex that were closing and I would feel safer going out to my car.
One evening, it was time to leave, but when I started to close down the computer, a man’s voice said very loudly, “Not now.” I jumped and looked around but no one was there. I decided to finish the return and closed up about 10 minutes later. On the way home on Rte. 25, I saw lots of flashing lights.
 There had been a head-on collision! To this day I feel that (voice) was my guardian angel keeping me from being in that accident.  
From Rosemarie Fausey
It was my first day of kindergarten. My mom took me to school and told me that when class was over, I should stand at the front door of my classroom and wait for my older sister Marie to 
come get me.   
Well, being an impatient 5-year-old, I waited one minute and panicked that Marie forgot me. I started walking with tears pouring because I had no idea where I was going. I remember thinking of the statue of a guardian angel that hung over our bed at home. I prayed to her, and sure as heck I recognized the grocery store we kids ran to whenever our grandma gave us a penny for sweeping the back yard. 
I just know my guardian angel was with me.
From Cynthia Hopp
When my friend and I were in second grade, we decided to go down by the Algonquin Fox River on the north side of the dam to fish. Of course, we didn’t have any fishing equipment and were using sticks and vines found on the small sandy shore.  
I should say that my parents told me NEVER to go down by the river.  
As we were enjoying ourselves, I got a bit too close to the water’s edge and fell into the river.  Immediately, something raised my hand at just the right time to grab onto a rock on the shore’s edge. The river in that area was flowing as to make its way to the dam. 
I climbed out and tried to dry myself in the sun to no avail. We decided to go home where I was severely punished.  
To this day, I think about the goodness of guardian angels. I’m 66 years old and nothing in my life currently would be here without their help.  
From Katie Rokusek
This past July, my boyfriend and I were traveling north back home and were in a bad car accident due to another driver’s careless and reckless actions. During this accident, my car flipped over several times into the grassy ditch in the middle of the highway, with my boyfriend and me luckily sustaining minor physical injuries. 
The moment before my car started to flip, my boyfriend and I have discussed and agree that we felt the presence of our guardian angels surrounding us. It was a feeling of security and relief that we were going to be okay. 
What was a horrible accident has led us both to be even stronger in our faith, knowing that our guardian angels are always watching over us and will be there to protect us when we need it most. 
From Father Max Striedl
Back in July of 2008 I was assigned to three wonderful parishes in the western part of our Diocese, residing in the rectory of St. Joseph Parish in Lena.  
On the evening of Oct. 24, I turned on the heat in the rectory for the first time. The next morning when I awakened, I noticed right away that I had a splitting headache and was very unsteady on my feet.  I presumed I was coming down with something, but needed to get to St. Ann in Warren for the morning Mass.  So, I started to get ready for the day.  
But after finishing my shower, I was exhausted, and barely had enough strength to even pick up a towel.  Confused by what was happening, I stumbled into the hallway and passed out. After a while (I later calculated about 20 minutes or so) I came to, got back on my feet and returned to the bathroom, only to feel myself passing out again and falling to the floor.  
It was an odd sensation, as I was in no pain whatsoever, and totally peaceful. Beyond exhausted (and obviously not thinking clearly) I thought to myself: “I’ll just take a short nap here, and then head to St. Ann for Mass.”  
It was at that moment that a voice audibly spoke to me, both calmly and urgently at the same time, saying: “No, Max! It’s carbon monoxide. You have to get up right now! Get up! Get up! Get up!”  
Startled into wakefulness, but still oddly peaceful, I got to my hands and knees, cracked open the window, somehow got down the stairs without falling, and turned off the thermostat. With the little strength I had left I stumbled into my office and collapsed in a chair.  
Lo and behold, on a small table next to the chair was my cell phone.  I opened it up and just randomly hit a button to two. Somehow, I reached my secretary, 
Louise Kloepping, and asked her to call an ambulance.  
They put me on oxygen right away and took me to the hospital. For some reason it was another three hours before they finally tested me for carbon monoxide.  
Sure enough, the levels in my blood were still border-line fatal even after being on oxygen for all that time. They kept me overnight, and I made a complete recovery. 
A few days later I ran into one of the EMT’s, who told me that given the levels in my system at the hospital, undoubtedly when they picked me up those levels were well beyond survivable. In other words, I shouldn’t have lived.  
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was my guardian angel who spoke to me and saved my life that morning, and I say prayers of gratitude every day that our Heavenly Father allowed my angel to act on my behalf! Praise God! 
That same day we discovered that the chimney which vented the boiler had become blocked, and had the problem fixed right away. 
Note: Not all submissions were printed. The Observer thanks all who contributed. 


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