By Jessica Easthope
Michelle Shacachle and her husband Daniel have 13 children. Her youngest, Michael, is the reason why Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, is one step closer to becoming a saint.
“My journey with Michael has been the most beautiful, difficult journey of my life,” said Michelle.
During Michelle’s pregnancy with Michael, he was diagnosed with Hydrops, a condition that causes fluid to build up in a baby’s tissue and organs. Michelle’s doctor said Michael wouldn’t make it.
“She said, ‘He has a very severe case. There is no hope. He will die,” said Michelle.
Michelle was distraught, having lost five children over the years, she was terrified, Michael, who they were calling “Ben” at the time, would be stillborn like her first daughter, but she insisted on choosing life.
“Is it an abortion if the baby’s not going to live? And then I immediately thought, ‘No that would be an abortion. And I love this baby, and I’m going to fight for this baby,” said Michelle.
In their darkest hours Michelle and Daniel, who sells life insurance for the Knights of Columbus, turned to the order’s founder, Fr. Michael McGivney.
“Daniel said, ‘I prayed to Fr. McGivney, and I said if he heals Michael we’re naming after him, and his name will be Michael McGivney,’” Michelle explained.
They prayed and begged everyone they knew to do the same. A few weeks later Michelle and Daniel went on a scheduled trip to Fatima, Portugal. Terrified the baby had died while they were away, Michelle rushed to the doctor’s when she got home. That’s when the unthinkable happened.
“I said, ‘Doctor, I was told there was no hope.’ And then she looked at me and said, ‘Oh ,you’re the woman that just came back from Fatima. Honey, with God, there’s always hope, and that’s when we changed his name that day,” Michelle recalled.
She was shocked — the Hydrops was gone. Michael McGivney Schachle was born at 31 weeks with Down’s Syndrome and a heart defect, but against all odds, he’s thriving. He’s now a healthy five-year-old.
“I see him daily, my miracle lives and breathes and smiles and says ‘Mommy,'” she Currents News. “It’s a different kind of miracle.”
Now, Fr. McGivney’s beatification ceremony has been set for October 31 in Connecticut. Because Mikey was healed, the Schachles are forever connected to Fr. McGivney.
“Fr. McGivney and I share a birthday. I have 13 children. Michael’s the youngest of 13, and Fr. McGivney was the oldest of 13. God wrote the whole story,” says Michelle.
Fr. McGivney still needs one more miracle before he can be canonized. Michelle says all it takes is prayer, because God is still writing the story.