Holy Moly! Lost Cell Phone Found

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Last week, we hosted a great friend of ours, Fr. Domingo, an IVE priest on loan from Lithuania, preaching the circuit of the Mission Appeal at the weekend Masses at various churches in and around New York. Since it was Father’s final church appeal assignment before returning to Lithuania, and the church was less than a half hour from our home, we convinced Father to stay over another night and that we would put him on “The Boat” to Manhattan, where he would connect to the subway back to the Bronx rectory that night and then off to JFK.

Since Father knew his way to the ocean, he hopped on the bike and took off for his farewell swim in Rockaway. Unfortunately, somehow, Father lost his cell phone somewhere in his bike ride to our home. Panic set in for all of us! We drove up and down and around…no cell phone. It was after 6 p.m. and the phones were off for the night at the police, first-aid and other offices at Riis Park. Then it was time to pray! And pray we did. We set St. Anthony’s statue (our family’s patron) with a candle on the kitchen counter. We knew we were running out of time in getting Father to “The Last Boat,” so off we went, barely making it to the ramp, fumbling to purchase the ticket in the dark of evening, saved by one of the boat attendants who quickly mastered the purchase.

Next morning, Labor Day, we were so heartbroken that I suggested to my husband,  Ed, to post Father’s lost phone on the Nextdoor App and I continued to pray to St. Anthony… “Please St. Anthony look around …something is lost and must be found.” Denise Scandiffio, from Neponsit, saw the Nextdoor post and placed the notice on the Friends of Rockaway Facebook page. 

With heavy hearts, we went about our day celebrating Labor Day and Ed’s birthday with family at our home and in early evening, Ed received a call from an Ann Walsh, saying she saw the Facebook post about the lost phone and said she found a phone at Beach 142nd Street just two blocks from our home during her morning exercise walk.

We quickly retrieved the phone and identified it as being Father’s but then could not reach Father as the rectory phones were off for the night and there was only a recording to call back the next morning or “Press 7 if someone was dying and needed last rights.” My heart was beating so rapidly that I felt I would need LAST RIGHTS! We knew time was wasting and that Father would be heading from the Bronx to JFK midday Tuesday. Ed finally got a call back from Father’s sister, a nun, who was able to reach Father. Not having a phone, Father emailed Ed at 11 p.m., planning a mutual time to meet at JFK.

Thank you, St. Anthony…and Ann and Denise!

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