Category Archives: Catholic Culture

A Story about a COVID-19 Survivor

Frank & I had our marriage validated in the Catholic Church back in 2014. That is when we met Deacon Durr, the subject of this story. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we met him for the 1st time. Surprisingly, both my husband and I were at complete ease with Deacon Durr. He turned out to be such a compassionate, loving, spiritual man that would have a large role in my spiritual journey.

Hospitalized

On March 31, 2020, I read an announcement on his social media page that startled me. Deacon Durr had been hospitalized after testing positive with the COVID-19 virus. He was exposed during his work at Hospice. On account of it taking 5 days to receive the results from the test, the symptoms were getting worse. Of course, I was in shock and started praying for him. I can only imagine what his family was going through. I’ve heard many stories that paint a picture of loneliness and uncertainty when it comes to this pandemic and those affected by it.

The Interview

After things settled down and I was sure that Deacon Durr was well on his way to a strong recovery, I asked him if I could interview him for my blog. I wanted to tell his story.

I think this is God knocking on our hearts to let us know it’s time to get back to family

Deacon Durr

CB: you said you were exposed to COVID-19 while working in Hospice. What symptoms were you presenting that made you decide to get tested?

DD: I started having trouble breathing and my temperature was up. I had the test performed and it took 5 days to get the results back. It was 8 to 10 days after symptoms started before I went to the hospital. When they told me I was positive for COVID-19, they instructed me to go to the ER.

CB: Tell me about the ER visit.

DD: I went form the ER to the ICU on March 31, 2020. Once in ICU, the virus progressed quickly. I ended up with a viral and bacterial infection caused by pneumonia. They gave me the MS drug that is being used to treat COVID-19 but it didn’t work. It was then when the doctors told me I would only make it if I was intubated. My son-in-law’s father, Dr. Tim Finney, did some research on treatments and met with my doctors. One of which was Dr. Frank Rabito, a specialist in infectious diseases, who made the decision on my treatment. I had 15 doctors in all. On the 4th day after the 2nd treatment, I was completely cured. The doctors said it was a miracle.

CB: Wow, were you scared?

DD: I wasn’t afraid for myself, I was afraid for my family. My Patron Saint is St. Francis of Cabrini. I held her relic and prayed. Prayers were coming from all regions of the world! The power of prayers lifted my spirit. It was a true miracle.

CB: what do you remember after you were intubated?

DD: I remember waking up at times and I would see kaleidoscope colors all over the place. I did have a spiritual experience. I was in a large cave, there were people all over the place. They were watching a man and I heard someone say, “that is Jesus”. I saw Jesus’ hands so I knew that it was him. He asked, “where’s Eve?” Then he said “follow me” I can remember thinking that I must have died. Then I thought, Man, I have a shot at this. (meaning he has a shot at going to Heaven)

When Deacon Durr told me that I was taken aback. He is the most loving, compassionate, spiritual person I have ever been associated with. I went home and told my husband about the interview and said If he has trouble getting into Heaven, the rest of us are doomed.

DD: Then I remember hearing someone calling me, “Deacon, Deacon, wake up.It was my nurse trying to wake me. She said they had been trying to wake me for a couple of days.

CB: How did your experience make you feel?

DD: I feel humbled. It was incredible. My nurses prayed with me. Everyone was great. I will tell you that I am dedicating the rest of my life to those that died and to all of the front line workers.

CB: How long were you isolated? It must have been tough not seeing your family.

DD: I was isolated for 14 or 15 days. It was tough on all of us. I was only able to facetime with them a couple of times. It was tough not having my best friend and wife of 39 years with me. You get used to having your family with you and around. Someone to talk to and be with. However, my nurse, Megan, stayed by my side the entire time. She was velvet over steel. I did suffer from survivors’ remorse in the beginning. Many didn’t make it. ICU was full. We were shielded from each other. Before I left the hospital the nurses rolled me through ICU so I could thank the Nurses and Doctors. It was a great moment.

CB: Tell me about your support system.

DD: I volunteer at Cabrini High School. The students were Awesome! They were sending emails, dropping off cards at the hospital. The principle held a virtual rosary prayer session. Word and prayers came from Cabrini institutions around the world. Prayer is what got me through it.

CB: I have to say Deacon, that you are the most caring laid back religious figure that I have ever met. Me and my husband kept you in our prayers and are thankful to have you in our lives.

DD: Well, you know, I never judge anyone. I put myself in their shoes and try to understand them and go wherever the Holy Spirit takes me. I love helping young people.

CB: Do any of your students have nick names for you?

DD: Most of them call me Deacon Durr. Some just Deacon and some call me Big U. Uriel is my first name. It’s great. I am now counseling and marrying some of my prior students. I’m even baptizing their children. I am truly blessed.

Timeline with Homily and Scriptures

Since Deacon Durr inspires me, I decided to look up the Catholic daily scriptures and Homilies to see if any seemed fitting for the timeline.

March 31, 2020-Deacon Durr Hospitalized

God has not left me alone, because I do what is pleasing to him – John 8:21-30-The Homily

April 4, 2020-Deacon Durr was Intubated

Castaway from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. – The verse before the Gospel.

April 7, 2020-Deacon Durr was extubated

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter. -The verse before the Gospel.

April 8, 2020-Deacon Durr wakes up

Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our errors.- The verse before the Gospel

April 13, 2020-Deacon Durr returns home

This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.- The Responsorial Psalms.

As I am proofreading this story, I am shedding tears. Knowing Deacon Uriel Durr makes me want to be a better person. He performed my marriage ceremony. He has prayed for me and my family. I have stood alongside him with my grandson, feeding the homeless. I suddenly realize that I am a better person for knowing him. Thank you, Deacon Durr, for all you do.

Flapper press published Deacon Durr’s story (Be sure to visit the page and like the story)

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Places to Visit in New Orleans/Metro New Orleans Area

Outside of Bourbon St., What else is there to do in New Orleans?

New Orleans is well known for it’s party scene on Bourbon St. and it’s unique culinary, but there are many other areas of sight seeing in the Crescent City that are worth checking out. There are too many to list but this is a start:

Museums

Ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 Attraction in New Orleans, named by USA Today as the #1 Best Place to Learn U.S. Military History, and designated by Congress as America’s official museum about World War II, The National WWII Museum features a rich collection of artifacts that bring history to life.

The National World War II Museum Website

Audubon Institute Featuring

Mardi Gras

Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide contains 164 colorful pages of facts, photos, features, and fun, including more than 50 individual parade profiles and maps. The award-winning magazine includes a history of the event; answers to the 25 most frequently asked questions; an illustrated glossary of Mardi Gras terms; and articles on New Orleans personalities, traditions and happenings. For more than three decades, the city’s top writers and photographers have worked together to create a publication that has achieved genuine collectible status. With more than three million copies sold, Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide is recognized as the program to the event.
Mardi Gras 2019 is March 5, 2019!

Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Website

Cemetery Tours: No, this is not a typo!

Catholic Heritage

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

THE WORLD’S LONGEST BRIDGE OVER A BODY OF WATER

www.TheCauseway.us

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, sometimes only the Causeway,[2] is a fixed link composed of two parallel bridges ssing Lake Pontchartrain in southern LouisianaUnited States. The longer of the two bridges is 23.83 miles (38.35 km) long. The southern terminus of the Causeway is in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The northern terminus is at Mandeville, Louisiana.
Since 1969, it was listed by Guinness World Records as the longest bridge over water in the world; in 2011, in response to the opening of the allegedly longer Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China, Guinness World Records created two categories for bridges over water: continuous and aggregate lengths over water. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway then became the longest bridge over water (continuous)[3] while Jiaozhou Bay Bridge the longest bridge over water (aggregate).[4

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Swamp Tours

As you can see, we have a diverse city with many sites to see, resulting in unexpected experiences when you travel to the city of New Orleans and the Metro New Orleans area. I am not a travel guide; more of a local resident who feels that so much of our Culture is overlooked, because so many people consider our area a party destination only. Don’t miss out! Do some research.

Catherine Bares


 

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#GivingTuesday 2018


 

Happy Thanksgiving!  How do you give thanks?

There is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday.  Be a part of a Global Giving Movement!  Give to your favorite Charities Nov. 27, 2018.  Some of my favorite Charities:

#ThePeaceFund – Donate link

#CatholicCharities – Archdioceses of New Orleans Donate Link

#SecondHarvestFoodBank – New Orleans Donate Link

Not sure what your community needs?  Click here  #GivingTuesday or  Google it!  You know Google; right? (Always verify that your choices are truly a non profit organization with proper paperwork.  It’s unfortunate but there are many scammers out there.)Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
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#The End Will Come

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:9-14

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#Prayer is the Duty of Every Moment

“Prayer is the duty of every moment. We ought always to pray, said our Lord. And what He said, He did; therein lay His great power. Action accompanied His words and corresponded with them. We must pray always in order to be on our guard. Our life, both of body and soul, our natural and supernatural life, is like a fragile flower. We live surrounded by enemies. Ever since man rejected the Light that was meant to show him the way, everything has become for us an obstacle and a danger; we live in the shadow of death.”
— Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 9

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Attitude=100

Having and sharing a great attitude can do wonders for your personal well being and for your team’s well being.  It is contagious and uplifting.

One of my team members shared this with me when she came across it a few years ago.  I introduced it to our entire company team at our next meeting.  It recently circled back to me so, I wanted to pass along some inspiration and provoke some thought in “numbers people”. Do you thinks it is Coincidence or not?  Please leave a comment.

@CatherineBares

@CatherineBares

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