November 19, 2021

A special blanket covers a man with the comfort of God and the warmth of others

Tom Yost shows the blanket, a gift from his parish, that gave him a sense of comfort and support during his treatments for cancer. (Submitted photo)

Tom Yost shows the blanket, a gift from his parish, that gave him a sense of comfort and support during his treatments for cancer. (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: The Criterion invited our readers to share the special moments in their lives—or the one thing—that has brought them closer to God. Here are some of their stories.)
 

By John Shaughnessy

For Tom Yost, the blanket on the chair next to his bed is much more than a source of warmth and comfort. It’s a reminder of a poignant time when God was there for him—and so were the members of his parish.

“In the summer of 2018, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and received nine weeks of 45 radiation treatments from September to Thanksgiving that fall,” recalls Yost, the pastoral associate of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Albany.

“Before I started radiation treatments, our parish prayer blanket ministry lovingly presented me with a blessed blanket with my name and the name of the parish sown on it. Each time I received a treatment on the table underneath the radiation machine, I had my blanket laying over my chest and prayed in silence. My God and my parish were with me each time I received a treatment.

“God’s presence and the prayers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishioners kept me calm and confident throughout the treatment. I received a very good report right before Christmas indicating that the radiation treatments were successful.”

In the nearly three years since then, Yost has been going for checkups and tests every six months. He also continues to ask for God’s healing touch every day. And he’s ever thankful for the presence of God and his fellow parishioners in his life.

“Each day of life is truly a gift,” he says. “And the prayer blanket remains near me on a chair next to my bed.” †


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