Poems on autism by Thomas G. Andry

What is it like to have a Child?
What is it like to have a child?
Who has needs severe or mild
Preconceived dreams, hopes and plans
Have slipped through my fingers like grains of sand
What is it like, rare as it may be
To sometimes see someone looking just like me
Brief glimpses of a smiling face
But from a far, far, far away place
What is it like as days pass to years?
There are plenty moments that dry your tears
An appropriate comment from out of nowhere
Tells me that there’s a real person in there
What is it like to look thru my eyes?
Concerns about the future, not times gone by
What’s to be when I’m no longer here?
Who will protect him from the fears?
Of people who do not lend a hand
Or from things he just can’t understand
From places that he should not go
From things that he really should know
From dogs or cats or things that are wrong
From an institution where he doesn’t belong
Why do I doubt and have a care
When I know that God’s hand has always been there
He has selected me for this mission in life
To watch and guard this child living the strife
What is it like to have a child?
Who has needs severe or mild
How blessed I am and how really great
To see God’s “special work” and celebrate.
by Thomas G. Andry
He Danced!
The day was soon to come
The wedding of an elder son
An autistic child doesn’t travel well
And in my son’s case it’s a living hell
He tarnished my thought of wedding music
When I told him he was to be included
A dance of wills began as he tried to undo
The uncertainty that I was leading him to
“It makes my stomach hurt and I’m afraid.”
Are some of the things he repeatedly said.
On my knees was the only place to go
But he could not replace his thoughts of woe
He continued to complain, anguish and cry
“I’m not going, if I have to fly”
And every other reason came to his lips
As he hoped he would make me give up this trip
This dance continued without a pause
As he tried to understand the cause
But I was listening to a different song
For his safety, he had to come along
The day came and the music grew louder
Groom, bride, guests and flowers
Before I knew it, it was done
The groom and bride were finally one
Real music began and not just in my head
I realized my son had enjoyed where he was led
And not just the planes, clouds, mountains and farms
The next thing I knew, he had the bride in his arms
No longer to the music in my head
But this dance was to the prayers I had said
What’s so special about this dance?
For an autistic child it is a chance
In this place full of music, noise and chatter
Something happened that really mattered
He came out of his world of sameness and rote
And entered mine full of joy and hope
That smile on his face as the music was followed
In this room that has now become so hallowed.
What is so special about this dance?
Not just for a bride giving him a chance
But for my son,
He danced
He danced!
by  Thomas G. Andry
weddingdance

Happy Feast Day Mary, Help of Christians

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The history of the devotion to Mary Help of Christians  (from Lepanto to Australia) and also St John Bosco’s promotion of the devotion. 

Advice from St John Bosco:

  It is the office of a mother to give help to her children in all their needs. This title expresses in practice Our Lady’s position as our mother. She has all the help we need and she wants to give it to us, if only we will ask for it.

Call on Mary in all your difficulties with the little prayer, “Mary Help of Christians, Pray for us” and you will never call in vain. “Spread devotion to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are”.

A personal testimony

I have silently said the prayer:

Mary Help of Christians, pray for us,

(and added come to my aid in this situation), while seeing in my mind a picture of Mary Help of Christians in the sky, and below her the sea battle of Lepanto: the famous one in which Mary Help of Christians, helped the Christians gain a great victory, and have found that through this prayer, Mary has speedily sent me help in difficult situations on a number of occasions. Mary Help of Christians is the patron of Australia.

The following prayer was said in Australian Catholic schools for many years.

Prayer for the conversion of Australia

O God Who hast appointed Mary, Help of Christians, St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Infant Jesus, patrons of Australia, grant that, through their intercession, our brethren outside the Church, may receive the light of Faith, so that Australia may become one in Faith, under one Shepherd. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Help of Christians pray for us.

St Francis Xavier, pray for us.

St Therese of the Infant Jesus pray for us.

Special note

St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus were patrons of Australia when it was considered to be a missionary country. They are no longer patrons of Australia. (I think that we need them back) besides I am very devoted to St Therese. (She is one of my all time favourites) and I was married on December 3 (the feast day of St Francis Xavier).

This is:  The novena to Mary, Help of Christians that was recommended by St John Bosco. 

My email enquiries to the Archdiocese of Sydney to find out exactly when Australia was no longer considered to be a missionary country, so as a consequence no longer had St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus as patrons of Australia have so far drawn a blank.

The prayer for the conversion of Australia was taken from a little booklet that was published in 1961.