Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Crossing the Boundaries


As common practice and an open invitation to those men that dare, I went to our men’s development program. The program is not for the faint of heart because we cover the hard hitting things in life like husbandry, fatherhood, leadership, purity and chastity, fiscal responsibility, and today’s topic: the hunt.

Nothing could be more exciting that the hunt. Whether it is chasing game for tomorrow’s meal, lobbing a ball at a hoop, hitting a small round ball into a cup, man constantly seeks to come into contact with victory. But today’s topic really didn’t concern man’s hunt, rather it was God’s hunt for man.

It reminded of the Francis Thompson poem, “The Hound of Heaven.” The program reviewed the life of scientist and biologist Alexis Carrel known for “New techniques in vascular sutures and pioneering work in transplantology and thoracic surgery” and Nobel Prize in Physiology. Like many scientists of his trade, he was raised in Catholic France but soon turned to agnostic. His life changed upside the day he met Marie Bailly, a woman dying of tubercular peritonitis. He determined she was likely to die the day he met her from the disease. He was visiting Lourdes as a scientist to investigate the healing miracles that take place there when he travelled there with another friend who needed some healing and met Marie on the train.

While in Lourdes, he saw Marie near the baths and witnessed her swollen abdomen heal after two hours. Without scientific or medical explanation, he spent the rest of the night wondering Lourdes trying to make sense of the healing. This was the start of a 42 year conversion for the atheist.

As he returned to his job, the scientific community disowned him for his explanation and so he made his way to Canada and eventually to the University of Chicago and later the Rockefeller Institute.

I had never heard of Alexis Carrel before this morning, needless to say, I will probably never forget his name now. What a cool series of events.

Below is Fr. Robert Barron's video on Lourdes: