Update on diocesan Nicholas Black Elk Canonization process
By Kathy Cordes, Diocesan Archivist and member of the Black Elk Working Group
Currently, the Black Elk local working group is looking at the events surrounding a rambunctious 2-year-old little girl who was born prematurely, weighing 2.5 pounds. She had a heart valve issue and three holes in her heart. At the time, doctors did not think surgery was an option and she was only expected to live two weeks.
A prayer group in the eastern part of the United States which is devoted to Black Elk immediately began praying for Baby Faith when they heard her case.
“We prayed to Black Elk for his intercession for this baby’s healing,” said Bill McMahon, head of the Shalom prayer group.
In addition to prayers, the group embarked on a pilgrimage to the Black Hills in 2018. While at Black Elk Peak, the group collected water from a stream running through Black Elk Peak. Along with a parish priest, the prayer group blessed Baby Faith with this holy water and, to this day, continues to pray over Baby Faith through the intercession of Black Elk.
Today, two of the holes in her heart and the open PDA (the vessel connecting the pulmonary artery to the descending aorta) have closed without the need for surgery. The third hole has healed enough that surgical intervention would not be needed.
Baby Faith’s mom believes these healing prayers worked for her daughter and the prayers through the intercession of Black Elk are working. “Baby Faith defies the odds and proves that there is power in prayer,” she said.
“We did not pray for the healing of her chromosome problem at the time because we were only made aware of the heart problem which the Lord healed through the intercession of Black Elk,” said McMahon.
In addition to her heart condition, Baby Faith was to have surgery to correct her crossed eyes, but her ophthalmologist said the condition was slowly correcting itself. She also underwent chemotherapy for cancer, which she has since beaten. This past January, celebrating the feast of the Birth of our Lord, she ended chemo on her 2nd birthday!
“Faith can move mountains” (Mt 17:20).