Mike Hopkins was born in a Protestant family. But, his marriage with a Catholic woman proved providential as it paved the way for his embracing Catholic faith. He says that he always felt ‘something missing’ in him. The quest for that ‘missing something’ eventually led him to become a Catholic. Their children were also brought up as Catholics.
But, the decision of his authorities to send him to space for 24 weeks as an astronaut put him in dilemma. The reason for his dilemma was not that he was away from his beloved family, but that he would not be able to receive the sacraments.
It is true that he couldn’t celebrate Mass or do Reconciliation without a priest. But he would be able to receive the Eucharist if he took consecrated host with him to space. This thought consoled him and strengthened him.
Thus, with the help of Fr. James H. Kaczynski of the St. Mary Church in Texas and with special permission from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston he was allowed to carry 6 consecrated hosts in a pyx to the space. He could divide the 6 hosts into 4 pieces and was able to consume it once a week while on the International Space Station.
The presence of the Eucharistic Lord was a great comfort to Hopkins. “Those events can be stressful,” Hopkins said later about his experience in the space: “Knowing Jesus was with me when I stepped out the door into the vacuum of space was important to me.”
“When you see the Earth from that vantage point and see all the natural beauty that exists, it’s hard not to sit there and realize there has to be a higher power that has made this” Mike marvels.
മരിയന് ടൈംസില് പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിക്കുന്ന വാര്ത്തകളും ലേഖനങ്ങളും വീഡിയോകളും മരിയന് ടൈംസിന്റെ മൊബൈല് ആപ്പിലൂടെ നിങ്ങള്ക്ക് നേരിട്ട് ലഭിക്കും.