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Katie’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Latest Journal Update

8/26/2015 Update and Call to Prayer

OUR PRAYER:  Jesus, you made Blessed Mother Teresa an inspiring example of firm faith and burning charity, an extraordinary witness to the way of spiritual childhood, and a great and esteemed teacher of the value and dignity of every human life.  Grant that Blessed Mother Teresa may be venerated and imitated as one of the Church's canonized saints.  Hear the requests of all those who seek her intercession, especially the petitions we now implore...
For full restoration and recovery of all things Katie Schwab from the top of her head to the soles of her feet and everything inside and out especially Katie’s brain, mind, body, life, and spirit. 
For God to rescue Katie from this almost 15-month imprisonment of incapacitation and to release her from the chains of this trauma and injury, so that she may return to a state of restored self, restored health, and restored life as an instrument of God’s joy and light in our lives and in this world.
For God to reverse all trauma in/to Katie’s brain and throughout her body in order to bring full function and normalcy to all things Katie Schwab as she knows herself, as she knows us, and as we know her.
For biblical proportion miracles of spontaneous healing, recovery and restoration, if it be in accord with God’s Divine Will and for God’s Glory.
For Katie to be as God created and intended her to be before June 8-9, 2014 during which time Katie suffered accidental and life-threatening complications related to her Type One Diabetes.
For God’s miracle in Katie to be a source of conversion and salvation of souls – especially for the people closest to Katie who are in most need of God’s love and friendship.
May we follow Blessed Mother Teresa’s example in heeding Your cry of thirst from The Cross and joyfully loving You in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, especially those most unloved and unwanted.  We ask this in Your name and through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and the Mother of us all.  Amen.
 
Blessed Mother Teresa, please pray for us and intercede on Katie’s behalf.  Amen.

Mary, Our Mother of Miracles and Mercy, through your Immaculate Heart, please pray for us (for Katie) and advocate for Katie’s full and spontaneous recovery and restoration in The Most Holy Name of Jesus we ask for your maternal intercession.  Amen.

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us; have pity on us.  Please restore wholeness to our family and to our hearts for God’s Glory by giving us another chance in this life with our most wonderful sister, Katie.  Amen.
 
Please consider reciting this prayer daily from Wednesday, August 26 (birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa) leading up to and on Saturday, September 5 (Blessed Mother Teresa’s Feast Day). We also invite you to say this prayer in conjunction with Blessed Mother Teresa’s “Flying Novena” – the recitation of 9 (nine) consecutive Memorares. In addition, there are several websites dedicated to Blessed Mother Teresa.  Here’s the link to the one that seemed most appropriate to our cause:  http://www.motherteresa.org.  Please consider visiting this site.
                                     
Hello to all #TeamKATIE, #prayingforKATIE, and Katie Prayer Warriors everywhere near and far!  May this new Caring Bridge post find you and your families well and in a place of peace, hope, joy, and love. 
 
I am Jennie Schwab, Katie’s oldest sister.  I am the primary writer God uses to author approximately 85% of Katie’s Caring Bridge Updates. I type not of my own accord, but in prayer to and insight from The Holy Spirit.  Moreover, every “Katie Update” posted here on Katie’s Caring Bridge site, goes through an extensive process of proofing and editing in which all members of our immediate family are involved.  I share this with you, because I feel stirred by The Holy Spirit to do so.  Our family is intentional with these updates about Katie.  It is a daunting task, because Katie’s journey is not a simple story about a 23-year-old Type One Diabetic who got sick and is slowly healing and getting better. Katie’s journey over these last (almost) 15 months has been a journey about faith and family, a journey about conversion, and a journey about our individual and collective relationship with The Most Holy Trinity. Katie’s journey is about God’s Glory as we sit on the sidelines and work in conjunction with the Majesty and Power of The Most Holy Trinity.  Because of this call from God to use our family in a way that none of us could ever totally comprehend or even begin to adequately explain, the words and messages shared in Katie’s Caring Bridge Updates take time.  They take pondering and contemplation.  Most importantly, they take prayer as we filter through pride, anger, and selfishness to hear The Holy Spirit in order to compose what God wants one of us or all of us reading and following Katie’s journey to hear. 
 
For point of reference, it has taken an hour to type everything that you have read to this point.  I mention this for one single reason:  to reiterate that this is a process. These words are not haphazard.  (They are not random.) 
 
Writing about Katie, sharing her journey, witnessing for God, and requesting prayer is a process that we take seriously and with immense intention and obligation.  To elaborate, let me share a recent interaction.  A close friend of Ryan’s visited us here in Notre Dame country a few weeks ago and mentioned the Caring Bridge posts.  I stumbled through a few personal thoughts about the posts that we do.  One of the points I feebly attempted to make is that we never want to lose sight of the messages or reasons for the posts. These messages take balance, because they aren’t always easy to articulate in a way that keeps people reading and interested. Even in my flustered attempt to explain this to Paul, I said we want to remind people that:   
 
1.  God IS at work. We see it. We know it. We are living it whether we fully realize it or not. 
2.  There IS a POWER in prayer, and we are undoubtedly dependent on this Prayer Power. 
3.  We are grateful for the generous and continued outpouring of both care and prayer power that people from all over the United States and even abroad share with us. 
4.  We want and need Katie Prayer Warriors to be praying with fervor, with zeal. 
5.  We want to provide everyone following Katie’s journey with the best information to describe Katie’s progress – which we know to be God’s work in her healing and recovery miracle story – and to do so with justice to Katie, and most importantly, justice to God.
6.  We want to help people realize and appreciate that this story is bigger than Katie and bigger than the Schwab Family.  It goes beyond anything we could explain or imagine.  It is a story about, for, in, and through God’s Glory. EVERYONE reading these posts, following Katie’s journey, and praying for Katie with such vigilance and love is a part of this story.
 
Our last Caring Bridge post was July 8, 2015.  Today is August 25, 2015.  What’s the “skinny on the deets” of these last six and half weeks?  Well, on July 8, we presented a new Caring Bridge post and on the following day, July 9, we received an incredible email from one of Katie’s dearest and closest friends from SMC, a 2013 Belle like Katie.  I haven’t asked for permission to share said email, but I will share my response to it.  I wrote:
 
“Please allow me to greet you with the biggest email HUG possible from all of us Schwabs to you.  Your email has to be one of the most beautiful emails I have ever read.  It is filled with such love, sincerity, truth, and hope.  It captures your friendship with Katie in a way that cannot be duplicated or more perfectly described.  Your words, intentions, and emotion epitomize what is so wonderful about our sister, about your dearest friendship with her, and about who Katie is and what she means to the people who love her most.  I cannot explain to you what it means to me personally, nor would I dare to pretend to be able to express the magnitude of your email in the hearts of the rest of our Schwab family.  Please trust that you have given a priceless gift, and we are so very humbled and grateful.

We are a family of hope, faith, and love.  We cannot promise or guarantee anything about the possibility or probability of Katie being ready to attend your wedding in 65, now 64 days, on September 12, 2015, but we know that God makes and keeps promises of love and healing and restoration and recreation and recovery and mercy and hope.  God tells us that whatever we ask in Jesus' Name will so be.  Therefore, let us - in the spirits of praise and thanksgiving and hope and perseverance - more attentively unite our prayers very specifically with your earnest prayer that Katie be present with you on your and Josh's most special day.  Anything is possible with God and being bridesmaid number 9 for your wedding may be in accord with His Divine Will, and if it is, it will be so.  
 
Let us stay in close contact.  Let us pray together.  Let us walk by faith and be people of hope.
 
May God surround you with abundant blessings in Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.
 
Peace and love to you always from all of us Schwabs - especially Katie who loves you so very much!
 
Hugs and prayers, 
Jen (Katie's oldest sister)
 
PS:  I didn't realize your birthday is June 9.  It is my personal opinion that this fact (brought to our attention at this juncture in Katie's recovery process) is of significance to Katie's journey and miracle story.  More importantly, I believe in my gut that it matters most crucially to God's Glory.  I am in constant and ever-growing awe of The Most Holy Trinity.  Praise and thanks be to God forever and ever!  Amen!” 
 
After replying to Katie’s friend, Megan, I shared with our family a few recent, yet repeated things that had been heavy on my heart and steady on mind.  I wish to share a few of these thoughts with you now:
 
June 9 – the 12 month anniversary of Katie’s Journey
July 9 – the 13 month anniversary of Katie’s Journey
July 13 – the Anniversary of Fatima Apparitions of The Blessed Mother
July 13 through August 15 – 33 Days Consecration to Jesus Through Consecration to The Blessed Mother
August 9 – the 14 month anniversary of Katie’s Journey
August 13 – the Anniversary of Fatima Apparitions of The Blessed Mother
August 15 – the Feast Day of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
August 22 – the Feast Day of Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth
July 22 through August 30 – 40 days to Mom & Dad's 40 wedding anniversary
August 26 – Blessed Mother Teresa’s Birthday (born 1910)
July 14 through September 5 – Miraculous 54 Days Rosary Novena
September 5 – the Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa (anniversary of her death, 1997)
September 9 – the 15 month anniversary of Katie’s Journey
September 12 – the Feast Day of The Holy Name of Mary
September 13 – the Anniversary of Fatima Apparitions
 
Please know that an increase in Marian devotion has threaded in and out of our family conversations since June 9, 2014 (last year).  Regrettably, we are a little lackluster in our efforts and follow through – especially collectively.  Nevertheless, a personal call to increase my Marian devotion kept nagging at me (for lack of a better description), so I reread the book 33 Days to Morning Glory, which facilitates the personal retreat and consecration to Jesus through consecration to the Blessed Mother.  (Side note:  Blessed Mother Teresa is one of the Saints shared in this book as a guide to increased understanding of Marian devotion and consecration in order to better respond to Jesus’ call/cry/plea from The Cross:  “I thirst.”)  I also started the 54-Day Rosary Novena.
 
I include all of this in today’s Caring Bridge Update of Katie because one of us reading it – maybe me, maybe you – one of us – needs to turn his/her life over to God.  One of us, or maybe all of us, need(s) to increase our faith.  I, or maybe you, need to turn my (or your) surface level belief in God into an unwavering conviction of faith and trust.  We are called to conversion.  We are called to surrender to God.  We are called to follow Jesus in the most perfect example of our Blessed Mother.  Someone reading this has given up on Katie – worse, this person has given up on God.  It could be one of us Schwabs.  It could be someone from Katie’s Care Team.  It could be one of Katie’s friends.  It could be you.  So, let me reiterate with as much conviction of heart as I can muster…KATIE SCHWAB IS ALIVE, and SHE NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR BELIEF IN OUR ALMIGHTY AND ALL POWERFUL MERCIFUL AND LOVING GOD. SHE NEEDS YOUR CONVERSION NOW. MORE IMPORTANTLY, GOD WANTS YOUR CONVERSION NOW.

Katie is sick, yes.  She is a prisoner in her own body, yes.  She is in a nightmare state of anguish and unbearable pain, yes.  Her body is racked and bruised, yes. Her current existence is at the mercy of her Care Team in which she is 100% dependent on them for everything. Nevertheless, KATIE SCHWAB IS ALIVE.  My family and I need you to understand and believe this.  Moreover, we need you to believe in God in ways that before today you may have been reluctant to, skeptical of, or afraid of when choosing to believe in Him; when called by Him to believe.

Furthermore, we need you to pray and pray hard.  We need you to pray with vigilance and expectation – and with thanksgiving. Our faith, my faith, your faith, Katie’s faith – all faith is being tested.  The enemy attacks us.  The enemy uses our grief, confusion, anger, doubt, reason, and logic against us, against God.  He exploits our vulnerabilities because we are limited, weak, selfish, and sinful.  Let that be yesterday’s battle.  Let that be yesterday’s obstacle, because God is a God of victory, and God’s Victory is today! God is a God of miracles.  God is a God of mercy and love. God’s Miracles are today! God’s Love and Mercy are now!

God invites each and every one of us – Catholic, non-Catholic, inactive Catholic, fallen away Catholic, Protestant, non-Christian, and atheists alike – to know Him, love Him, follow Him, and BELIEVE in Him.  I need you to believe.  Katie needs you to believe.  More profoundly, God WANTS you to believe.  This is what today’s Caring Bridge post does.  It calls me, and it calls you, to believe with the conviction and fire of The Holy Spirit – not just in words of faith, but with faith in action.
 
The aforementioned dates shared are not new to the world or to The Church.  They are dates I share with humbled intention because God has opened my eyes and my heart to see the role of the Blessed Mother with increased faith, devotion, and awareness.  God calls out my faith and belief.  He asks me, “Is it real?  Is it true?  Is it unwavering?  Is it in and for Me?  Jennie Schwab, DO YOU BELIEVE IN ME?”
 
And like the Blessed Mother, I answer, “Yes, Lord.  I believe.”
 
My gut looks to September 5 and September 12 with great awareness and expectation.  My heart ponders with intensity both our Blessed Mother Mary and Blessed Mother Teresa and their unique, yet combined intercessory roles in Katie’s journey as well as Katie’s role in Blessed Mother Teresa’s canonization and Sainthood.  A second miracle is needed for Blessed Mother Teresa and a biblical proportion miracle is needed for Katie – I cannot help but wonder if God is calling our attention with eyes and hearts and souls of faith to look at Katie Schwab and see His Glory as He invites me and you and everyone reading this Caring Bridge post to conversion.
 
Catholics and non-Catholics alike, I ask that all people reading this post start praying The Rosary every single day – preferably with your families.  I ask that everyone reading this update say the prayer for Blessed Mother Teresa’s canonization, also daily.  I ask that you join our family in praying for Katie by saying the “Flying Novena” – in which you recite the Memorare nine times in a row – and to pray this prayer daily.  Lastly, I ask that you start reading The Bible, that you start attending Mass or a church service regularly, and that you take a moment to evaluate and ponder your own faith journey. I pray that you pray for increased faith and deeper, more sincere belief in God.  For those of you reluctant to do this on your own for yourself, I humbly plead that you do it for Katie.
 
Speaking of Katie, and we know this is the part of the Caring Bridge post people are most interested (and rightly so).  Katie’s blood sugar and vitals are fairly stable and consistent.  Katie uses facial expressions to communicate.  Katie continues to respond inconsistently to directions and commands, however, Katie seems to react to and interact with her environment and various stimuli with consistency at least non-verbally and emotionally.  Katie’s eye contact and tracking are steady and seem to be increasing with accuracy and frequency.  Katie has days of increased movement and activity in which it appears she is trying to re-position herself and get up.  Katie cries – a lot more than she has during this journey (which makes me think that she is slowly becoming aware of her current physical state).  Katie hiccups.  Katie sneezes.  Katie yawns.  Katie hears.  Katie sees.  Katie feels. Katie smells.  Katie has moments where she looks (and non-verbally interacts) like herself.  Unfortunately, though, Katie’s progress is plateau-ing.  She isn’t showing progress in leaps and bounds – especially within the constructs of therapies and insurance mandates.  She remains mildly conscious and 100% incapacitated.  The progress that we do experience with Katie is minuscule and underwhelming when relaying Katie’s current state to outsiders.  For us, however, every teeny, tiny step forward is a miracle and a gift; more importantly, it is a reason to hope!  Our songs of gratitude and praise to God for these teeny, tiny steps of progress are constantly sung with every heartbeat. Our lives need Katie. Our family needs Katie. Subsequently, we know how much this world needs Katie. Therefore, we hold on to hope and many, many, teeny, tiny steps of progress that WE see and experience with Katie. We hold on to the hope and continuous confirmation that God gives us in other people’s miracle stories that cross our lives’ paths. Faith and hope are gifts from God, so we acknowledge and praise Him for finding ways to use other people’s stories to communicate with us about Katie. Nevertheless, there is more that we can…more that we must do better. 
 
Family, friends, and strangers alike, we realize more than words can express that fifteen months is a long time to ask people to pray with fervor and vigilance. We know this because even we Schwabs struggle with fidelity to our prayers and the focus of our efforts.  This is how and why I know that Katie needs our prayers now more than ever before today.  God wants to do more with Katie and for Katie, but He needs us to do our part, and for us to do our part better.  As stated in multiple posts, our part in this test of faith and family is to believe, to hope, to trust, to surrender, and to pray.  Let us be people of TRUE, REAL faith.  Let us be people who live this faith.  Let us believe, hope, trust, and pray together as we surrender everything over to God in faith. Knowing and trusting that God promises to take care of everything. God promises to hear our prayers and to bring good whether we fully comprehend this fact or not.
 
Please stay with us, dear family and friends.  We need you.  Katie needs you.  God wants you.  Let us walk by faith and be people of hope – not just in word, but also in real-life, authentic commitment and practice.  LET US BELIEVE!
 
In gratitude for God’s Love and Mercy and with expectancy in God’s Power and Majesty, we are,
The Schwabs
 
#prayingforKATIE
#TeamKATIE
#ducksflytogetherQUACK
 
PS:  For the “Flying Novena” (to be said NINE times in a row)…The Memorare – Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.  Amen. 
 
Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us and intercede on Katie’s behalf in the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  Amen.

We wish to invite everyone to get a picture of Katie and a picture of Blessed Mother Teresa and place them together by The Crucifix or The Cross in your homes. We also wish to request that Masses be said wherever possible between August 26 and September 5, or on September 12 or 13 for Katie’s health and miracle needs through the intercessions and prayers of Blessed Mother Teresa and The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Thanks in advance to everyone – especially our Priests throughout the Diocese of Steubenville as well as our Priests in Pensacola and here in Mishawaka/South Bend – who are able to assist us with this request.

PPS: The scripture readings from this past Sunday’s Mass ask us “Whom shall we serve?” “To whom shall we go?” Let us make our unified response: “You, Lord God. We serve you. We come to You – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as it is written on our hearts to do.” Amen!

PPPS: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?fr_id=5396&pg=entry – Please check-out this link. It is for the JDRF T1D Walk in September held here in Mishawaka, Indiana. Thank you!
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Comments

6 Comments

Jennifer Schwab
By The Schwabs
I believe in God, the Father Almighty. Amen!

Blessed Mother Teresa pray for Katie and intercede on her behalf for biblical proportion miracles of full recovery and restoration in Jesus' Most Holy Name we pray through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Amen!
Rita Schwab-Knipper
By Hugs and prayers, Rita (Schwab) and John Knipper
Jennie;
I pray daily for Katie to be healed and returned to her family and friends who love her dearly. John and I will have masses said here in Tampa for her September 12 & 13.
Please stay strong for your sister and your family!
JoAnn Smith
By Jo Ann Smith
Thank you Jennie for the wonderful update and outpouring of your love for the Lord, Our Blessed Mother, and for Katie!!!! I have not abandoned Katie, and will continue to be a Prayer Warrior for the full restoration of all things Katie!!! I am so sorry that we have not been able to accomplish her Miracle yet, but we will keep praying, and begging for intercession to The Divine Healer for Katie's Miracle!!!! Love you all, and tell Katie I said "Fight Like a Champion"!!!!! GO IRISH!!! 10 Days!!!
JAMES CLAY
By
Hello Jennie, thank you and the rest of your family for the inspiring letter and update. Faith & family, that is what we share. Praying always.
love you
Anna Walton
By
Dearest Schwab Fam -- We love you and thank you for all your updates -- all the love you pour into those words are welcomed and obvious to us. Thanks! One thought -- do you have a photo you want to post in order for us to place Katie's picture with Mother T's picture together at the cross? Some on this thread may not have her photo, an could benefit from one if you want to add it. We are praying with you!
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Stan Cherry
By Stan Cherry
Jennie and the Schwab family, thank you for being so open and transparent. I had just finished my morning reading and prayer before I saw this update. It's apparent God provides the direction in which you write and share with us. I continue to be reminded His grace is sufficient. Period. Yes, even over extended periods of time. I have faith Katie will be restored, Katie's challenge has and will bring people to be who God has set them out to be, and the Schwab family will be a testament to His protection and grace.
I will continue to pray with you for you and Katie. "Keep loving each other like family." Hebrews 13:1 CEB I also want to remind of this blessing from further in the chapter:
May the God of peace,
who brought back the great shepherd of the sheep,
our Lord Jesus,
from the dead by the blood of the eternal covenant,
equip you with every good thing to do his will,
by developing in us what pleases him through Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory forever and always. Amen.