An inspiration to his family and friends, Archer Senft, 17, prepares for a rigorous physical therapy session at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. (Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff)
Venerable priest aiding ‘Team Archer’
While Archer Senft, his family and friends are doing everything humanly possible to further his recovery, they are open to divine help. The teen’s accident occurred on the anniversary of the death of a heroically virtuous Italian priest, Father Pio Bruno Lanteri (1759-1830), and many are praying for the association to go further – that Father Lanteri would intercede for Archer.
“The miracle would not only serve Archer, but would also bless Venerable Bruno with beatification,” explained Father Timothy Gallagher of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, the religious order established by Father Lanteri in 1826.
The title “venerable” recognizes Father Lanteri’s extraordinary virtue; a Vatican-verified miracle would designate him “blessed,” one step from sainthood.
Father Gallagher, who authored a biography of Father Lanteri, said that the priest’s mode of spirituality is well-suited to Archer’s cause. “His was very much a message of the mercy of God,” he said, adding that the concept of being able to “begin again,” over and over, “gave an awful lot of people a lot of hope.”
Diane Beliveau, a parishioner of St. Mary in Annapolis, said she discovered the connection after eucharistic adoration at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson. She said the names of Archer and his mother, Louise Phipps Senft, “crossed her heart,” as did a desire to research the founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. Once she discovered the common date, she said, “I got chills all over.”
She has made prayer cards, which include prayers to ask Father Lanteri to intercede on Archer’s behalf. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Father Gallagher will speak about Father Lanteri at The Catholic Business Network of Baltimore’s annual dinner, May 12 at the Hunt Valley Inn. Click here for more information.