Student athletes’ prayers, an angels’ intercession and a token of both made a noticeable difference to a Jefferson City police officer, according to Father Stephen Jones, current president of Helias Catholic HIgh School.
Fr. Jones noted that the officer was recently shot twice from point-blank range during a confrontation with a suspect.
“Luckily he was wearing a ballistics vest and survived the shooting,” the priest stated in a Feb. 12 Facebook post.
Although one of the bullets, while not penetrating the protective vest, caused substantial tissue and muscle damage to the officer, the other bullet, just several inches away, caused hardly any damage at all.
“The difference between the two shots? The second one went through a St. Michael the Archangel medal the officer had in his vest,” Fr. Jones stated.
It turns out that several years ago, the Helias Catholic varsity baseball team, under the direction of Coach Christopher Wyrick, had purchased a large quantity of the medals, had them blessed, and gave them to all members of the police department.
“This officer, who is not Catholic, put the medal in his vest ... and it certainly made a difference on that fateful night,” Fr. Jones noted.
The priest pointed out that while Helias and other high schools may seem overly focused on sports, “there is indeed much more that happens in the formation of the athletes who participate in our sports programs.”
“I am thankful for all of our coaches who focus on spiritual and character development in their particular sports!” he stated.