“I Can’t Believe It. God Planned It this Way”

On 26 September 2015, Chuck and Kristin Keating and the Bishop Shanahan High School Band, of which Chuck Keating is the director, were at the Philadelphia International Airport to greet Pope Francis. Pope Francis shook hands and started to leave in a car, but he saw the Keatings’ 10-year-old adopted son, Michael, who has cerebral palsy, and stopped and went over to him and kissed and blessed him. Kristin Keating said, “I feel so blessed. I couldn’t be happier.” She added, “I didn’t know what I could say for what the Pope had given us. So I just said, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you so much.’ And he reached out and grabbed my hand and gave it a little squeeze, and then immediately grabbed my husband’s hand and did the same thing — and then put his hands on Michael again.” Chuck Keating said, “When he stopped the car and got out, that was unreal.” Michael’s grandmother Johanna Keating said, “I can’t believe it. God planned it this way.” All of the Keatings’ three children are adopted, Michael; his identical twin brother, Chris; and his sister, Katie, age 13. Chuck Keating said that he and his wife have never regretted adopting Michael: “He’s brought us closer together. We understand the importance of a hug and a kiss. What Michael has given us has far outweighed the challenges.” He added about Pope Francis, “I think it’s the greatness of this man. He’s just so real. He lives his faith and it’s really catching on.”

For Further Information

Michaelle Bond, “Pope stops, turns around to bless disabled boy.” Philly.com. 26 September 2015

http://tinyurl.com/q9qbrgm

TRACY CONNOR and JOHN BRECHER, “Family Overjoyed by Pope Francis’ Kiss for Disabled Son.” NBC News. 26 September 2015

http://tinyurl.com/njc82kl

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