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Holly Kirby of Weatherford, shows Polaroid pictures she took of the sky while attending Mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. She believes they show a door.

Church busy with photos of "miracles"

1988 The offices of St. John Neumann Catholic Church - originally scheduled to be closed this morning - were busy as secretaries and priests talked to people with photographs of "miracles" they supposedly saw during Monday's Mass.

A weary Monsignor Joseph James, charismatic pastor of the church, said this morning that an investigation by the Vatican into the authenticity of the miracles is possible.

"We were told by Mary to collect names, addresses and photographs for they would be necessary when an official investigation is begun," James said.

Among the miracles reported by some of the thousands who gathered to celebrate the Feast of Assumption were "a door in the sky, bright lights. A lot of people saw the miracles of the sun - that is, being able to look right at the sun for 30, 40 minutes" without suffering eye damage, James said.

Others, James said, saw Jesus in the clouds, still others saw an image of Mary and the baby Jesus in her arms.

James reflected on the success of Monday's celebration, which attracted more than 13,000 people from across the nation to his West Lubbock parish.

"My concern is not the number who were here, but how the number who were here were affected. Mary told us about three weeks ago, I am not preparing you for the Feast of the Assumption. I am preparing you for eternity.' Yesterday makes sense only if seen in that light," he said.

To hear James tell it, his part in the planning that culminated with an evening Mass on Monday was the only failure.

"The things that I planned were blown right out the window," James said. "My plan was to have, every two hours, a rosary in the church with time for healing prayers. ... That was my part of the plan for the whole thing and it didn't work.

"The rest, we were told to do by the Blessed Mother," James said.

Day before the celebration there had been talk of miracles. After Mass ended late Monday, there were many more such claims and, James said, "They're going to be as varied as the people who were here.

The A-J Remembers The Most Important People in Lubbock's History
 
 


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