Monday, June 23, 2008

A Mother's Love

The heart of Cate: June 23, 2008, 8:26 am
To those who battle & to those hope,
I must begin by first addressing that by my calling I am a wife, and a mother, but a teacher by trade. So, with that being said, it is no surprise to many that my “bedtime reading” with Cate (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) comes with a character analysis. Hang with me here… in Narnia; there is a deep magic that goes back to the dawn of time…

In Chapter 10, Father Christmas arrives bearing gifts for the children. For Peter (a.k.a. Charlie), Son of Adam, he presents tools not toys. He said, “…the time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well.” With these words he handed Peter a shield and a sword. For Lucy (Baby Cate), Eve’s Daughter, Father Christmas gave her a little bottle that looked like glass and a small dagger. “In this bottle,” he said, “there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends are hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is only to defend yourself in great need.”

“…Peter did not feel brave, indeed he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do. He rushed right up to the monster and aimed slash of his sword in his side…and Peter’s tired army cheered and the newcomers roared, and the enemy squealed…then they found Edmund, he was covered with blood, …and then almost for the first time Lucy remembered the precious cordial. Her hands trembled, and she looked eagerly and wondered if the cordial would have any results. When at last…she found him standing on his feet and not only healed of his wounds but looking better than she had seen him look….”

And there you have it…Charlie, our Peter, stands guarding and protecting our family and our hearts, his shield and sword are ready to face the battles and defend us all. We know his strength through the Lord will prevail, no matter what befalls us. And then Cate, our Lucy, is the one who really saves the story. She is the one that is restoring all of us. Her little life is restoring us in our faith and in our hope in the Lord. Her dagger is ready when the greatest need emerges.

And so, to steal a few lines (and paraphrase them ‘cause I like it better this way…no offense St. Paul) from Ephesians…We, as a family, have put on the full armor of God. We are rooted in our Lord’s faithfulness, and we stand firm with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. We have each taken up our shields of faith and our swords (or daggers) of the spirit. We remain steadfast in his truth and vigilant in our hope.

The day has already begun for Cate, she begins her daily exams at 4:00 am, and her doctors have already started their rounds. We, also begin our day praying for her, waiting for her, and waiting on good news.

In the midst of waiting come the struggles of the anger, frustration, and true sadness, yet there is still joy and goodness to be found. She does continue to improve slightly some days, and we continue to be encouraged by those moments of progress. I couldn’t help but rest my head on her bedside a few days ago after her mornings procedure and sob uncontrollably, I miss holding her and rocking her to sleep, and what I wouldn’t give to have her cry at three in the morning and stumble downstairs for a bottle. Again, I take comfort that she can hear us, early a few mornings ago, before Charlie had arrived, I went to her room and as I began to whisper to her she opened her eyes and looked at me, I cried instantly. I wept because there is a longing that comes from being a mom and in finally surrendering your children… blindly, with no guarantee of return.

Charlie and I do find support in other parents of heart patient children and we lean on each other in moments of “humanness.” A very cool eclectic mom gave me a rhinestone heart pin …oh yes, you heard me a pin, you know the kind that your first grade teacher wore with her denim jumpsuit, layered socks, and white canvas Keds…yeah that kind (no offense to any teacher, I too, have worn my share of the cheesy “teacher gifts”)! But you know the beauty of the pin was that it spoke of the common bond of our children, and that we are all in this together. God really is good…even if he does show up through red rhinestones.

Thanks for remaining with us, for praying with us, and for battling with us. Now…You boys go get your swords…we girls will get our daggers (and our rhinestones), and we will meet you at the battle lines and march onward to the prize!

my love to you all, Ali


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jennifer swanson said...

Thank you for sharing your experience as her mother. And on behalf of other moms, let me thank you also for giving us the gift of a special appreciation for our children during this trial. We have grown immensely, loved more deeply, and felt pain for you.
We'll continue to pray... May today be a good day for Baby Cate and all of you.
Jennifer Swanson

John Ray Perkins said...

Ali and Charlie~

It is great to her from you Ali, no offense Charlie, but your wife is awesome and we miss her dearly! My sword is in hand and Alesha's dagger is with her.

Alesha speaks of you constantly Ali, always praying for you. We love all of you dearly.

I told everyone last night that I would post the "Prayer for the intercession of Blessed Elisabetta Renzi" on this blod. Bld. Renzi is the patroness and founder of teh Congregation of Our Lady of the Sorrows. She is one miracle away from Canonization. Let's give her a that miracle for Cate.


Lord Jesus Christ, you chose Blessed Elisabetta Renzi to show the world the joy of knowing, loving and following you. Fill my
heart with love as great as hers for all people, an with an ardent desire to proclaim everywhere the good news of salvation, so that all may come to know, love, and
follow you, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Through her intercession, if it is your will, grant me the special grace that I humbly ask of you, who live and reign forever. Amen.

Pray 3 Glory Be's....

PS. Just this morning Baby Cate was compared to Charlene Richard the little Cajun Saint. SHe has already done so much for so many. Even her Parrain and Nanny - Godparents for those of you who are not from Louisiana.

Parrain and Nanny

Anonymous said...

Yvette Muller sent me the link to your blog; you were one of her boys youth leaders. I pray for Cate throughout the day, thank you for the daily updates. I keep a blog for my little boy and I was wondering if I could mention Cate and post a link to your blog? My hope is to get even more people praying! My blog is and my email is I am humbled and encouraged by your faith during this struggle - thank you for being so honest and speaking truth so boldly!

mandy miller said...

I am here with all of my "teacher pins", praying... constantly for Cate to be healed by God's wonderful power, through the intercession of His Mother, Mary. Praying for strength for you and Charlie. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the battle.
Love, Mandy

Anonymous said...

Okay toots, you sure do know how to make another mom and friend tear up. I taught that book to my students 2 years ago and am very familiar with it. I think it is a great reading for Cate--she is so intelligent.
-Ali, you may not think so, but your faith and love gives us all strength. We women also know that behind every good man (Charlie) is a powerful, strong, beautiful woman. Mary is right by you and you personify her greatly. This mother is praying very hard for you and your family.

Much love,

Rebecca Orillion

Kimberlee said...

Thank you for sharing your mother's heart with us. It is so hard. Truly it is when we watch our own children suffer so and our mother heart is pierced that we can begin to glimpse Our Lady's sorrows. I hope and pray you continue to find comfort and peace in your private chats with Aslan.

Lila Lambert said...

Oh, Ali, how beautiful...we ache for you, as all mother's we put ourselves in your place and share your pain...but in my Magnificat readings of a few days ago speaks of Cate's heart and it's purity...

Blest are the pure of heart,
For they shall see God;
The secret of the Lord is theirs;
Their soul is Christ's abode..

And for His dwelling and His
throne He chooses the pure of

We seek your presence, Lord; This grace to Cate impart: She is a temple fir four You...a pure and lowly heart... God bless you all, with Love, Lila Lambert

Anonymous said...

Sweet Ali,
I know of no one that is more genuine than you. I feel so blessed to have met you. You started out as Ainsley's art teacher, but you are much more than that. I feel for you every day when I pass in front of your house. I pray for baby Cate every morning after I drop off Ethan at Mrs Mary's. On my way to work I pray and know that you and Charlie deserve so much more time with a healthy Cate. I have learned that Ella and Ethan will be in the same Pre-K class in August. Sometimes we need to look through the fog of sorrow and see the light of God shining upon us....still giving Cate oxygen. We need to have that strength of parents, which is very hard. Parenting is a job. You have soooo many faithful people throughout the world praying for your sweet little angel. I remember holding her at LGMC when you came to pick up her films from the Echo lab and she just didn't look like a "sick" baby. She was pink and full of life. Her little spirit is fighting and we are all hoping you will be home soon with your entire family of Cantrells. I know life seems to be at a stand still right now, but your FAITH will shine through.
Much Love,
The Garys (Jennie, Stephen, Ainsley and Ethan)

Anonymous said...

Ali, it is so good to hear from you. Our prayers are with Baby Cate and the entire family all day and every day. She is a true blessing from God, all of you are helping renew my faith in the Lord. I have believed and strayed from his path and your dedication to him and Baby Cate have put me right back on track. Thank-you! we will pray for blessings of God today and renewed strength for you and your family.
Love, Selina

Anonymous said...

Good Morning!
You all are in our thoughts and prayers. I am friends with Tonya Godchaux and she has asked us to pray for you. I will be in touch with Fr. Manny as soon as he is back from his pilgrimage. He should be home very soon. I have asked some very holy women to pray for your family. Many people pray for their petitions and Cate has been on their list since last week.
In Christ,
Danielle D.

Melissa said...

I have my daggar and rhinestones ready for battle. I too am a teacher and understand the importance of reading and character did a great job with that. How beautiful that she looked at you when you whispered, another sign that God is present. Continuing to pray!
Fighting for Baby Cate,
Melissa W. Douet
Lafayette, LA

Lila Lambert said...

"A temple fit for you...excuse my typos, I type thru tears...Lila

Shannon said...

you have my prayers...

Anonymous said...

How refreshing to hear from Ali!! I was really getting bored with Charlie's blogs. Obviously, I'm kidding. My thoughts and prayers are with yalls beautiful family today!

Kelly Clark

april said...

Thanks for being such an inspiration. You have definitely kept your ability with providing such moving words a secret - who knew a girl from the little hometown of Rayne could be so compelling with her words!! Cate is blessed to have you as a mother, along with Ella and Dude of course! and to Charlie as a wife. Your thoughts and words are beautiful and have prompted me to make sure I don't take my sweet little ones for granted.
love always

Mary Hindelang said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,
Your journey has been truly inspirational. It is amazing to see your outpouring of faith and hope in such a trying time. You have helped us to take a step back and to love our own kids with a new found appreciation and gratitude to God for the gifts they are. As a mom, I am on my knees hoping with the both of you - Thank you for taking the time to share Cate's story, she is making me a better mother!!!!!
In Christ,
Mary Hindelang (Mom of Eli, James and Cecilia)

Jenny Menard said...

Ali you are such a great mother and we are here with our swords and daggers. We are not going to give up. We love yall.

Jenny Menard and family

Kate Lesnefsky said...

That is so beautiful, Ali, thank you for sharing your heart with us. Cate is healing us all through this. I love you!

Anonymous said...

WOW is all I can say. The girl I work for was just in my office talking about what remarkable people you both are. I have given all my fellow employees, friends, etc. Cate's blog and have asked them for their prayers for Cate. My heart goes out to you-your faith has made my faith stronger, has made me appreciate things that I normally take for granted more, and has touched me in ways I could never express.

I love you and Charlie as if you were my own children. You both are SO VERY SPECIAL to me. When I talk about the two of you to my friends, I get frustrated because I can't find all the words to describe how wonderful you both are. I am always thinking "if they could just meet you two and be around you they would be inspired. Now they are getting to know you through Cate's blog and they are seeing what remarkable people you are.

We continue to pray hard for Baby Cate and her whole family. Baby Cate could not possibly have a better mom or dad. We love you all dearly. Thanks for your posting.

Much love and God Bless,
Cathy and Bill

Anonymous said...

Your words are so beautiful. There is no heart like the heart of a mother. Too long to hold your child in your arms and hug and kiss her until her cheeks are red, is something that can only be filled by the child that has your heart. Even as they get older, you still long for that precious child, to hold her and when she hurts take the pain away. I continue to pray for you, that you will very soon be able to fill that longing to hold your precious baby Cate. My heart and prayers go out to you, Charlie and Cate. Just know that we are with you all day, everyday hoping and praying.

Rayne Catholic Administrator said...

Thanks for being a Wonderful example for all of us to follow. I am so glad to here from you. As mom's we always feel and see things in a different light and just know that we all behind you with our daggers ready to fight with our prayers and love for you and your family. I hope you don't mind but I have made it our school mission to get Ella ready for school at RCE. We are working on making sure that Ella will have all the uniforms and supplies that she will need. So if she tells you that some "Crazy Lady" measured her at the Pouch it was ME! I figured this was one way we could take care of something for you! We love you and never stop praying or thinking of you!

Love and Prayers,

PS Kyle, the girls and I attended the Rosary at the depot last we night ---It was awesome that Cate could bring soooo many people together! It was a very prayful and wonderful experience for all of us! My girls asked to keep the candles last night and put them on our dinning room table ... so when they see them they will remember to pray for CATE! WOW! I was proud to be thier MOM!

Mimi said...

"...there is a longing that comes from being (a parent)and in finally surrendering your children… blindly, with no guarantee of (how they) return."
Thanks Ali for your insight! It's so heartwrenching to see your child in pain or distress of any kind. I took a page from your "book" by paraphrasing your words and attribute them to our gracious Lord. He "loans" us his children, wanting us to return them as caring, responsible and faithful. With faith and hope, He will keep Baby Cate with us for some time to come.

Because of Baby Cate, I now walk for a longer period of time in the mornings-I can now walk two miles like my 93 year old walking companion-Thanks Cate! I started out with the extra half mile for Baby Cate-she's motivating people to do all kinds of things!
Love you guys, you remain in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Your words are so beautiful a mother of a heart baby I understand what you are talking about. I sent Charlie and email for you both to read. It was something someone told me when my baby was fighting for her life. It helped me so much to, just see things in a different light. I love my children (3 girls), but I never truly knew a Mother's Love until Mady was so sick...and and I never truly knew God's love either. But now I know both...and from you and Charlie...and Cate so does everyone else. You are an inspiration to everyone. I am honored to be a part of Cate's Prayer Warriors.
Love, Stephanie Johnson

Anonymous said...

Your message was so beautiful and meaningful, especially to all of us mothers!!! Thanks for speaking and opening your heart and soul...thanks for setting such a magnificant example of a mother of FAITH and love for our Lord! From now on when my own little Katherine wakes up at 3am for her bottle, I will think only of you and Baby Cate and offer up prayers of thanks and healing!!
Love always,
Breyan and family

Anonymous said...

I just returned from Steubenville South in Alexandria and I'd like to let you know the amount of prayers that was delivered on Baby Cate's behalf was incredible. She was in my thoughts and the thoughts of many others during the entire weekend, including Friday and Saturday night adoration and Saturday and Sunday morning mass. 4,000 teens stormed the gates of heaven this weekend and prayed for Baby Cate and your entire family. I assure you, she will continue to be in my prayers and the prayers of many others. I'd like to leave you with a reading from the BEST book of all time, the Bible - Psalm 16, "A Prayer for Confidence." I came across this reading one day when I was frightened and stressed. All I did was open my Bible and the reading was right there. It's amazing how God speaks to us and gives us whatever we need. All we have to do is ask. Thank you so much for continuing to share Cate's story with us. I will continue to pray for her and the rest of your family.
God Bless,
Laramie :)

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,
We are praying hard for all of your family!! We love & miss ya'll. Charlie & Ali you are such an inspiration to us all!!

Love, Lisa, Mark, Jade, Allie & Bailey

Crystal said...

Thanks for the inspiring message Ali, you and Charlie have great strength. Both of your hearts are so powerful and full of love for your family and friends. I feel very blessed to know the both of you. Keep up the hope and love for baby Cate and we will continue praying for all of you!!!

GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!

Rachel Istre said...

That was a beautiful story Ali. I have been thinking of you often, wondering how you handle everything with such grace and dignity. I remember when you were young and Phil was sick. Even then you were special, so giving and loving, even when you were suffering so much. God has truly blessed you with a gift. I am in awe. I will continue to pray every second of the day for you and your family. Trust the lord and all will be well.


Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
What else can we say. I have been working on all the orders I need to place for Baby's 1st Furniture this morning and 3 hours ago I began from where I had left off last night - the letter C - and I sit here 3 hours into it and I am still on the letter C and the company Creations. I am overwhelmed! I have been praying and thinking of you all morning. It hit me with such power that how ironic I am still on the letter "C" (FOR CATE?) and the vendor CREATIONS - how powerful!
God is speaking to all of us, each in a way that affects us personally - and He said it loud and clearly to me today!

You 2 are wonderful. God has asked a huge sacrifice from you that he is revealing very slowly bit by bit - ever since Cate was in utero. We are praying that you remain strong and hopeful to carry out his wishes. When he feels Cate has done her work and He is satisfied by the thousands of hearts and souls that have been touched by her all over the world, we pray that this will be the time that her heart will be healed - after she has helped heal so many others. You are chosen ones, as you have such wisdom for ones so young, and the power to affect so many. We love you and your little daughter, and will continually be in prayer.
Yvette M

Anonymous said...

No words can express how touched I was by your post son had heart surgery last year and I experienced the ache of not holding him, the happiness/sadness of his little stare, and the desire for a return to normal life.
I could not help but think during everything that this was only a small portion of what Our Lady felt in her own sorrow.
I continue to pray, as a part of your spiritual family, as a mom of a heart baby, and most especially as one of Cate's Crusaders!
Love and prayers,
Christie N.

Bartas in Texas said...

Amen, Amen! Thank you for sharing your heart, Ali. I'm sure you're blazin' in those red rhinestones.

We remain confident that God is not nearly finished with Cate or the Cantrell family in this battle. Too much good is going on right now...and we are confident that it will continue. Onward we fight!

from our hearts,
Jeremy & Courtney

Anonymous said...

Your words from your heart are so touching. I remember when Taylor and Kabby were little or even as they have grown....if they were physically ill or hurting in any's as if I literally felt pain myself. I wish I was there to give you a big hug and to be able to sit and pray with you. That being said, I just want you to know that my heart truly aches for you and Charlie. I've been praying so hard and passing the word about prayer for Cate in any way I can.

I was reading the God Calling message for today and wanted to share it with you. It is entitled "Cling To Me".

Cling to Me...until the life from Me, the Divine Life, by that very contact, flows into your being and revives your fainting spirit. Become recharged. When weary, do as I did on earth...Sit by the well. Rest. Rest and gain power and strength and the work too will come to you as it came to Me. Rest until every care or thought has gone, and then let the Tide of Love and Joy flow in. - God

I know that the emotional atmosphere there is not conducive to "rest" but my visual prayer for you today is one of our loving Father holding you in his lap, just as a father would hold his little girl. His hands are stroking your hair and he is whispering into your ear things that bring a feeling of peace to you.

Love you all more than you will know and praying with all my heart for some good news today.

Jane W

Anonymous said...

I love you and have my daggers and "plastic sparkly princess jewelry that our girls find so beautiful" since I am not a teacher and have no rhinestones.
Thank your for courageously posting today.

Anonymous said...

Although I am always moved by what Charlie writes, you touched my heart in a special way with what you wrote today. Thank you for sharing your "mother's heart" with us because it reminds us to be thankful and cherish ALL of the time that we spend as a family...even what at times seem to be the everyday, mundane ones. Those are the times that I know you long for right now. As our youth group makes final preparations for Steubenville on the Bayou this weekend, we will keep Cate, you, Charlie and your family in our prayers. Many or our guys remember the men's session that Charlie did last year and feel a connection to your family. If anyone can storm the gates of Heaven, it's a bunch of rowdy teenagers lifting their voices in prayer!
Much Love,
YSIC...Lisa Templet

Anonymous said...

Ali - how blessed is your precious little family to have you as Mom, wife, and friend. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. We are in this with you girl. Thanks for all the inspiration. And baby Cate, little warrior princess...keep it up, keep fighting! We love you all - Jesus, we TRUST IN YOU!
Much love... Missy

Anonymous said...


You are an amazing lady. Cate is so blessed to have you as her mom (and Charlie as a dad). My heart breaks for the both of you. The strength of your faith and love is an inspiration. You, Charlie, Cate and your entire family are in my heart and prayers during this time. I pray and envision that God's healing light is on Cate's little heart.
My rhinestone dagger is in hand!

Much love to you and Charlie,


"For God does not give us the Spirit of fear but of power and love and of sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

I have never met either of you, but your story has been introduced to me by a mutual friend. As a mom of one little boy, I think of you as I share my day with him and hope that you will be able to spend the time together that most of us take for granted. Thank you for helping me remember to pause and thank God for the blessing that is my son. I'm thinking of you and your entire family constantly.

With love and strong hope,

Katie Byrne

Poppa Jim, Linda, Blair and Hannah said...

Prayer to St. Rita, Patroness of Impossible Cases:

Dear Rita, model wife and widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help, full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid for the relief and cure of Baby Cate. To God all things are possible; may this healing give glory to the Lord. Amen.

Always in our thoughts and prayers,
Poppa Jim, Linda, Blair and Hannah Alleman

volpecircus said...

thank you for sharing that. my arms ache just thinking about what it must be not to be able to pick up your beautiful little baby. may Our Lady wrap her arms around you today and comfort you in her motherly embrace and especially let you know how blessed your little girl is to have a mama of such great faith. our prayers are with you.

Cayouette family said...

Dagger's in hand - ready to do battle!!

With love,
Amanda Cayouette

the perrys said...

Your words speak to my heart and my heart aches for all of you. We continue to pray that you can remain strong and faithful in your love for Christ. We don't understand what he puts before us but must remain ready for the battle. Below I have included Steven Curtis Chapman's lyric to God is God. It helps me to understand the bigger picture when it all seems to be a black cloud ahead. We love you all.
Blessings and Prayers,
Chris and Denise Perry

God is God by Steven Curtis Chapman

And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

And the sky begins to thunder
And I’m filled with awe and wonder
‘Til the only burning question that remains
Is who am I

Can I form a single mountain
Take the stars in hand and count them
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me
He is first and last before all that has been
Beyond all that will pass

Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge
How unsearchable for to Him and through
Him and from Him are all things

So let us worship before the throne
Of the One who is worthy of worship alone
Great is the Lord! Holy Holy!

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you. I am a mother also, and this entry you made today reminded me to lean on God more and not to worry about the small everyday problems.

This entry has moved me, and helped me to slow down and enjoy every minute with my own daughter more. Thank you for sharing with us. I know Cate will be healed, because we serve an awsome, powerful, and loving God.

As always Cate is in our prayers.

Danyelle Lantier

Anonymous said...

Before I was a Mom

"Before I was a Mom, I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry about whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom, I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom, I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom, I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom, I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom, I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much.

Before I was a Mom, I didnt know that someone could love me for all I am in its most simplest, purest form, and that I could do the same in return."

-author unknown

Danielle Cramer Ronkartz said...


I have to agree with Jennifer Swanson and her comment about how you and Charlie have given us the gift of a special appreciation of our children during your trial. Although it may be hard to believe or understand, but your struggle and pain and great LOVE and FAITH have deeply and emotionally touched many of us in a very special way.
I have written a letter to Sister Marie Theresa - formerly know as Natalie Hebert. She is a cloister nun at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alambama (Poor Clares - Mother Angelica) and asked her to offer up prayers on behalf of Baby Cate and your family. I figure that Sr. Marie Theresa's (Natalie)lips are pretty close to God's ears and I know Natalie will be overjoyed to honor the request for prayers. I mailed Natalie a letter but you can also visit the Monastery's website at and submit your own prayer request.
May God's force continue to guide you,
Danielle Cramer Ronkartz & Family

Anonymous said...

Ali, ya'll are such good writers! I look forward to reading the blogs everyday. I just read your entry with my, your words are so powerful and encouraging. We will continue to pray for ya'll. Thanks for sharing your story with us......and thanks for helping me to appreciate my family and the love of God. Ya'll will foever be in my heart. May Cate grow stronger today and may you and Charlie have the energy to continue forward!

Katie Prather :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Ali,

Aaron just read your entry aloud and we both cried through it and drank in your amazing words. Thank you for 'teaching' us right now through all of this! Man, we love you and we are, too, being lifted up by the little, mighty warrior, Baby Cate the Great.

In Hope,
Aaron and Kate

Anonymous said...

we love you!!1 keep putting on that armor!! lets fight the good fight, with our eyes fixed on jesus...

ben, maria, hannah, michaela, helena and gem gem

eliza said...

Beautiful. My heart breaks for you, Ali, and then fills with hope for you and your sweet family. I come back to your and Charlie's blog several times a day holding my breath that good, good news will be on the page. No matter what though, I know I'll read a genuine reflection of what God's people look like in this life while walking through the shadows as He walks beside them and comforts them. Thanks for sharing that with us.
And Cate is beautiful.

Anonymous said...



Danielle said...

We are praying and 'fighting' with you for Baby Cate. I was on the speaking team for Steubenville, High School Youth 2 conference this past weekend- you were in our thoughts and prayers throughout. Thank you for sharing your story with us. May God's infinite grace, peace and blessings be with you all today.
Danielle Chodorowski

Anonymous said...

Our whole team continues to plead with Heaven for her miracle,so we may all dance like two year olds blessed by God Almighty!

'The Chosen One'......... Not just any child could walk this up hill road... These children walk it everyday carrying this heavy load... They show us Height of courage that we may never reach. They show us what it is to fight a fight you cannot teach.. We stand beside them knowing there is NO Guarantee. Except the one we started with... To LOVE them endlessly. They are the Special Chosen Ones, God knew it from the start. He picked each child by measuring their heart. The ones that measured biggest would someday face a test. The challenge is to understand, God LOVES them MORE not LESS. He's using them to move our hearts closer to his own. Teaching us to trust his plan and fear not the unknown. For GOD Can move a mountain, and part the raging sea... He wants our struggles offered up to thee. He smiles upon the chosen ones before they are even born. and he blesses them with courage to walk thru any storm. His love for them surpasses ours and cannot be denied, For in the dark of suffering his Light will not subside... no Matter what the outcome.. there is the greatest peace.. In knowing that deep inside their hearts, His love will never Cease

Teresa said...

We are still praying here in Dallas - thank you so much for your sharing.
Teresa W.

Anonymous said...

THank you for your sweet words and reminder (as Jennifer Swanson said) of helping us moms appreciate our children. Off to the adoration chapel to pray for you and your family.
Remember, God is big enough & miracles can and do happen.
Woodbridge, VA
(just another sister in Christ)

Anonymous said...

Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

~ Proverbs 30:5
We stand with you and your army!
Hugs, Kisses, Tears, Prayers and love,

Anonymous said...

I am friends with Jane "W" and she has requested prayers for Cate. Just to let you know that Cate is now on a prayer chain in 3 churches in addition to what you already have. Your strength and faith is admirable. I know your faith helps you realize that no matter what God is in control. Look at the many lives Cate has already touched. May God be with your family and Cate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. One of my favorite quotes is: "A woman is like a tea never know her strength until you put her in hot water."
I stand in awe of your strength as a mother and wife. We will continue to pray for you and your amazing family.
Love and Prayers,
Tricia (Thriffiley) and Wayne Phillpott

Pat Broussard said...

Your new red pin will match Ella's sparkly red shoes that she so loved several years ago and wore with everything.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your heart. Mr.Ted and I have our sword and dagger and will fight with you.

Cinco Owens said...

God Bless you for having the courage to share such intimate thoughts and feelings with us. Your words and those of your husband are so inspiring and I know that I'm a better person for having read them and I'm a better mom for having them touch my heart. I continue to pray for strength and peace for your family. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU! YSIC, Melanie

Erin said...

I cry every time I read both of your hearts. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I am lifting you up every chance I get and you are forever on my heart - and the hearts of those I see and talk to on a daily basis.

I'm with Rebecca and John Ray... its so good to have your motherly, sisterly, womanly words. From one feminine heart to the other, I affirm your unbelievable surrender and I am so so praying for you.

-Erin Hawkins

Ps- I think I am going to decorate my dagger with rhinestones... dedazzle it probably... that way I have it all together in one!

Anonymous said...

I am weeping with you. Simon Peter Emmanuel Summers was born with Prader-Wili syndrome 25 years ago. We were in the Philippines. He could not suck and was really sick. That whole time was super special, but a mother's heart is so tender in those moments. I have been specifically praying that you all would know that she hears you and knows you are vigilantly at her side.

Jesus loves the Cantrell's and so do we.

Britt said...

Thank you for being such a witness! Be assured of my prayers!

Anonymous said...

We are holding little Cate as well as your family up in prayer
God is still there

Anonymous said...

My dear Ali:
I do not know you, Charlie or sweet Baby Cate personally, but I feel as if I do. All of you have had numerous prayers sent your way from the Theresians around the world, and your friends at St. Laurence in Sugar Land. All of you have a Faith that keeps on going, and you are wonderful. I am sure that Cate's big brother and sister are sending out their love to their baby sister. May God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand, and my He bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,

I don't have connections with the Pope but Cate's blog was shared with Bishop Jarrell this morning. He will join in prayer for a miricle.

I think it was me that checked the site 8,000 times. I didn't realize that anyone was counting...sorry.

I love you guys and I'm praying.

Kim James Boudreaux

Analisa said...

I offered Mass for your family yesterday. <3

Analisa Roche in Ft. Worth (found you via a link from another Catholic mom blog, reading eagerly every day)

Anonymous said...

Dear Cantrells:
Through Theresians, I have been following Baby Cate's battle. I join you in prayer. I hope it helps you to know that, through Theresians, legions of women all over the world are praying for you and your precious baby.

May God bless you and keep you strong.

Peace and love,

Kathleen Middleton

maureen said...

your blog counter is about to max out. seriously.

we got contact with a bazillion different countries today.... prayers from around the world coming your way!

Anonymous said...

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

Hold tight. You are strong.

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
You two are truly amazing people and I am so happy and proud to be able to call you my friends....
Praying every minutes for yall....
love you,
Kristi and Eric

Anonymous said...

I've recently learned about you and baby Cate through a co-worker of mine. Your words are so powerful and inspire me to stay strong in my own faith for God. I am praying for you and your family and that Cate makes a speedy recovery. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world.

Angelle Adams

Gina said...

With tears in my eyes and the mighty strength of The Spirit in my heart, I have my dagger in hand and am on the front lines with you, Charlie and Baby Cate. The battle belongs to the Lord and so we press in and press on until the battle is won!

Loving you in Jesus through Mary,
Gina Borbas+

Anonymous said...

The Fletcher family continues to stand with you.
Thomas, Bridget, Brilyn, Caeli, and Presley

Amy said...

WOW! Ali I thought Charlie was the writer in your family; but, you give him a run for his money. Thank you for being so courageous and giving us your words from a mother's point of view. WE LOVE Ya'll and continue our prayers! As a mother, fellow teacher and close friend I admire you in so many ways. I also have one of those cheesy rhinstone heart pins (sorry for the student that gave it to me) but for some reason instead of tossing it out, I placed it in the back of my jewelry box. Now, it has so much more meaning than a cheesy heart pin. Girl, I am styling with Cate on shirt, Thanks! My daggers are ready to climb on board for the biggest battle ever.
With all my Love

Perks said...

We're there with you in faith and prayer...believing in the great Healer.

Anonymous said...

Ali we don't know each other, I went to FUS with Charlie but I have been following this blog so closely my five year old knows when I head down to our basement I will be checking on news of Baby Cate. I want to thank you again for sharing your struggle and reminding us that we do have to let go of things and let God be in control. The phrase that keeps going through my mind today is "A touch of faith, then abound in hope." I don't know why but I just kept thinking it and wanted to share it with you! I will be praying and know that your journey is important to all of us!
Teresa Clark

The Hickman Six said...

ALI!!!! Why did you have to make me cry at work?
Sword in hand! Slaying Giants!

Anonymous said...

Ali, that was soo beautiful! my family and I continue to pray for Baby Cate everyday! and i know there's not much that we can do except to pray and pray hard and this may not be much but if whoever is keeping ella and dude need a break or anything, i would love to hang out with them. just call and i'll work something out. love ya'll and praying for ya'll return home.

Anonymous said...

Ali, I love you, Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Ali, so great to hear words from mom! How many times I have ached for your own heart, my own heart in putting my self in your shoes. Know that we ARE truly walking with you guys (as much as we can) in this journey. Thanks for taking us along. God bless your motherly heart, your determination to battle within the mystic of motherhood. All our thoughts and prayers for some good news today.
The Bosters, Sara & Nate

Anonymous said...

Ali -
I posted this morning about the people who are praying for your family. I have gotten prayer requests from different sources. There are so many praying for your family. Here is an email from one of the very holy ladies that I mentioned...
"Dear Danielle, yes, i did realize it was the same little girl. I forwarded this to my Bishop. I did go to the web but only read a little because I wanted to forward it. I'm going to post it to our web site. I don't usually do this but feel I need to."
This is there website:
Love and Prayers,
Lafayette, LA

Anonymous said...

i know this is dorky....a friend of mine just had a baby and i was looking up what her little girl's name meant in my baby book...wondered what cate's meant...catherine is in there, but so is cate! loved it

Cate: Innocent/Godly Example
Francis: Free/Victorious
Isaiah 65:24 It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

isn't that the truth? just beautiful

love y'all and still praying

Anonymous said...

love y'all and still praying

the bermans

Yvonne Broussard said...

Ali & Charlie,

Today I was introduced to Baby Cate's progress, through Papa Jim and Linda. The entire time I was reading,this quote just kept popping up in my mind.

Jeremiah 1:5
" Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart for my holy purpose. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations"

W O W Cate was set apart for HIS holy purpose !!

Before she was born HE thought about and planned for her. So when ya'll feel at the end of your ropes, remember that GOD has ALWAYS thought of ya'll and Cate, as valuable and HE has a purpose in mind for each of you !!

Remember the rainbow,it's God promise. Hope you see a rainbow every day as you gaze upon your daughter's face.

God Bless you, Ali
God Bless you, Charlie
God Bless you , Cate

Yvonne Broussard
(Papa Jim's sister)

Anonymous said...

We continue to watch and pray ... thank you for the updates they help us to feel connected....


chris, mitch, travis, baby cana said...

Ali girl...I'd like to think that the tears i cry for you keep you from having to cry them all yourself. I ask God to let all of US carry that burden for you so that you may be strengthened and not grow weary. May our shoulders bear the load, so that yours is lightened. Court mentioned you mentioned us at dinner and i was awe that we would even cross your mind in your hour of need. Thank you for that gift. We love you. We stand arm in arm...can you just see it?!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for allowing us to pray for your beautiful baby girl! I just came across your blog today, and have now read your entire story from the beginning. Your strength in sharing this journey with the world is AMAZING (and you both have quite a gift for writing!)! My heart breaks for what your family is going through, but have faith that God will restore your little girl's health and send her home with you. I have forwarded a link to your blog to my MOPS group at Chandler Christian Church in Chandler, Arizona and want you to know that the 80+ women in this group will hit their knees and pray with passion for precious Baby Cate!!

In Him,

Chandler, AZ

Anonymous said...

Ali, that was beautiful. You are beautiful and courageous. And I must tell you that ever since Charlie brought his sword to CoveCrest, my husband has wanted a sword. "But Charlie has one, why can't I?" I have offered to buy him a sword for Chrismas, but he said that he has to be the one to get has to be MANLY. Charlie and Ali, that you for all your ministry...before Cate came into your lives, and now. thank you.
Betsy, Trey (the one who wants a sword like Charlie's), and Fenton(who will one day want a sword like daddy's)
P.S. Charlie, the talk on being a man of God that you gave that night at CoveCrest, still echoes with my husband and teens. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

You are in my thoughts, prayers and in my heart. I love you all so much.


Anonymous said...

Sidney sent you a message.

Re: Prayer for the intercession of Blessed Elizabetta Renzi

said the prayer. Not that you needed to know for it to work, but i figured for documentation purposes when the Vatican needs proof of a miracle. :)

God Bless,
Sid Savoie
I thought this was really awesome! I don't know why, but I am so amazed everytime I see God move. It's almost like I expect that he would not or something. We in this modern world have numbed ourselves to his majesty, and explained and rationalized so many things away. Praise God that he has chosen to move and shake up the world through this tiny little life, and may every grace and blessing be poured upon her parents at this sweet time of surrender. Though you may not have chosen this hardship, he has chosen you, and you battle magnificently protecting the messenger. Both of you. May all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to renew you in faith, hope and love.
Wendy Lantz

Chris Farley said...

Hey Charlie and Ali-
i've been interceding from my heavenly van down by the river. Keep lookin' up.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I am pulling out my dagger and putting on my should always be prepared.


(And my entry above is supposed to say, "Thank you for all the ministry that ya'll have done, before Cate and now.")

Mike Patin said...

Know I bring your family to the grotto at Notre Dame this week.

Pity won't work here; faith will.

Our question is not, "Why?" but rather, "HOW?"

How as people of faith are we to live in this?"

Prayers are offered.

Mike Patin

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a story! Thanks for sharing your heart. I hope you get to hold her soon. I am babysitting one of my grandchildren, 20 month old Hunter, and today we prayed with Mother Angelica and her team via television, the rosary. Hunter innately knew that it was important that he quietly listen as I prayed and he even joined in regularly, with his own attempts at the prayers. God listens to the children, so I'm sure he heard Hunter today as he prayed with me for Baby Cate!
Praying, hoping, loving, and waiting for updates!
Marie Duplechin

Anonymous said...

(Latin: mirari, to wonder)

An effect which causes admiration because it cannot
be produced by any natural agency but only by the
power of God. It is above the natural law, as when one
dead is restored to life; contrary to this law, as when
Moses caused water to gush from a rock; independent
of the law, as when something that might be done by
natural causes, e.g., the immediate cure of a dangerous
malady, is effected without the aid of physician or medicine.
Granted the existence of Almighty God, since He could
create the universe and establish its laws, there is no
reason why He cannot alter its course and interfere with
its laws. There is every reason why He should do so if He
wills to conflrm some truth or fact by miraculous manifestation
of His power, as did Our Lord and His Apostles when it was
hopeless to expect men and women, as they were at that time,
to accept the teachings of Christianity without such evidence
of their Divine origin as miracles.

in love... Praying <>< !!!!

Claire said...

You've left me speechless, there are really no words, but I felt I should leave a comment for you, since I've left so many for Charlie's entries :-)

After reading your post I began to realize how much you resemble humble, surrendering your baby for God to work through.
It reminded me of that song "Mary Did You Know," I think Reba McIntyre sings it. Especially the first verse rings true to what Cate has done and continues to do for us.
"Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that youve delivered
Will soon deliver you."
There it is...replace the word "boy" with "girl" and that's Cate. Your little baby is Jesus in the flesh. Already she is walking on water--she was already a miracle in the womb, Cate is surely saving us all, and making us new, by renewing our faith and our relationship with God, and that little baby is delivering us all closer and closer to the Kingdom of God.
Cate couldn't have been blessed with better parents.
Know that we are all still praying and won't stop!
Much love to you and Charlie,

Anonymous said...

I am silenced in awe of the God's grace and beauty in the unjustifiable suffering of your family. Your outpouring of truth gripped me and lead me to a even deeper prayer for Cate, you and Charlie.

You both are teaching me so much.
Shannon Deitz

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts are so beautiful...your faithfullness radiates through your words...I remember when you were my Steubenville group leader and I was just amazed at the depth of your faith...and so I am not surprised at how Baby Cate is touching so many lives when I see who her parents are...She is only following your footsteps!
Praying Praying Praying for Baby Cate's healing and your strength!
Jackie Drilling
St. Laurence

Anonymous said...

Adding my prayers and hopes in NYC!

Carol Z.

Jamilah Hicks said...

I don't think we officially met, but my name is Jamilah Hicks, and I teach kindergarten at J. Wallace James. We probably only passed each other by with a simple "hello" in the copy room, but I was absolutely shocked and devasted to hear the news of your precious baby girl while on the Bernstein conference with some of our co-workers. You and your family have been in my prayers ever since. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through! My husband and I have a 10-month old son, and I don't think I could be as strong as you have been throughout this painful ordeal. It's obvious that you have a strong Christian faith. Keep leaning on the Lord and trusting in the power of His might. Remember, all things work together for the good of those who love Him, and He will never give you more than you can bear.

Jamilah Hicks

Anonymous said...

St Gerard is the Patron Saint of Mothers and I have asked His assistance many times over the years. He has taught me many things, and relieved my heart many times. Thank you for sharing your Cate's life with all of us. I will ask St Gerards assistance again on behalf of your preciouse Cate.

Mathews Louisiana

Claire Rose said...

Dear Charlie, Ali and Cate, We send our love and prayers from our hearts to you for the last week. We have forwarded the call to prayer to our members, priests, religious and laity around the world. One of our members in England is visiting the oldest Apparition Site of Our Lady in England at Walshingham, to pray for Cate. Be assured of our continued prayer. Peace, Claire Rose Champagne & Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity, Theriot, LA

Anonymous said...

Ali -
This was forwarded to me from Mrs. Claire Rose (Brides of the Blessed Trinity) from Patricia Mary in England. People from all over the world are praying for y'all.
Lafayette, LA

"i am blest to be going to englands national shrine, our lady of walsingham, for a day of prayer in honour of our lady of guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, and i will light a candle for this family and all the 'brides'
god bless patricia mary, england"

Kathy said...

I've just learned about baby Cate tonight and have now read through all your entries. your love, strength and realness have touched me deeply. I hold my newborn son closer tonight as I pray for your family and precious little Cate.

Anonymous said...

We were 'introduced' to Baby Cate through another blog - and have followed your blog since. Our prayers are with you all and we will continue to offer up our prayers. All our best wishes for you, your family, and your sweet Baby Cate.

Michelle Boyle

Anonymous said...

Hotel Accomodations: A relative said to contact the Hilton Houston Medical Center: Travis Street. Should be located next to the hospital: call 713-313-4000. Explain the family situtation. They sometimes will offer discounted rates.

kay firmin said...

Charlie, You do not know me although I think we probably went to school together at Park Vista Elementary. I am a friend of Cheree Connors. She turned me on to your baby girls site and I have been keeping up with her and praying for her and your family ever since she sent the first bulletin. I will be lifting you and your family up in my prayers from this day forward and I will be adding her to all the prayer lists I can get her on. I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through. I cry daily trying to imagine what you are going through. Your poor wife has to be miserable. I too had a baby that started off in the NICU so I do know what it is like to long to hold your baby. Tell her to hang in there and one day she will be able to hold her baby girl again any time she wants. We love you guys and say prayers for you daily. Hope all is well tonight since we have not heard anything since this morning. Take care of yourselves as much as you are trying to take care of Cate and your other two kids. They all need you two as well. God Bless! Kay Humphries Firmin

Anonymous said...

My three boys and I stood in agreement in prayer for Cate to receive a miralce. We are believing with your family for God to work wonders. He is mighty and all powerful.

Stacey Judice

Tara said...

Ali- You are so beautiful. I am trying as hard as I can to unite all I have in my heart to yours. Please know that I am praying for you so much and I am in complete awe of your strength and beauty. We are putting on our armor. I love you- Tara

Gretchen said...

Thank you for sharing your tender yet fierce feminine heart. Thank you for reminding all of us who are married to take our places in the body of Christ, under the protection of our husbands. You are an amazing wife and mother! Charlie, Cate, Ella, and Dude are so blessed!!!

We pray for the continued intercession of our tender yet fierce blessed Mother; all the angels and saints. Hoping and praying for Cate's complete healing. Much love from all of us!

Erin Beckemeier said...

This might be long so bear with me. I just got the link to your blog tonight and feel compelled to share our miracle story with you. We too have a heart kid. He grew and did great and then had some big complications after a very technically challenging surgery at the almost 6 months of age. After 41 long days in Michigan (we're from Missouri) we brought him home. We didn't bring home the same kid by any stretch. This new baby was even fed through a tube now. Shortly after, our parish held it's annual mission. For three nights we had a priest from the Vincentian Missions talk to us about miracles and expecting a miracle. Someone from the church office had mentioned our story to him and in the middle of his talk the second night he said, "If Connie's mom is out there, I want to to keep praying for the miracle. You don't give up. You expect the miracle. " It really renewed my prayer life and I decided right then that I didn't have to "settle" for what we were getting . Fast forward to this Easter. It was the first time out for our little guy (you know, you can't take them anywhere all winter for fear they'll catch a common cold) since his surgery and out of the blue after mass a man we've never met and haven't seen since comes up to us and says that during mass the Lord spoke to him and told him it was time for our son to be healed. He said that God told him to lay hands on Connie and he did and said, "In the name of Jesus, be healed." I was expecting his scar to disappear or something, which to my dismay didn't happen. But little by little, over the next few weeks he began healing. First he had a cath that showed he wasn't going to need a new valve. That leak had improved (they said it wouldn't). Then they told us his conduit will last another 5-7 years. Then he started eating and gaining weight and stopped using the tube for feedings altogether. Now he's cruising the furniture and starting to talk. This is a kid that was pretty much in a vegetative state for most of his hospital stay and one that we expected to have severe delays, sensory issues and even blindness. Miracles DO happen. Expect the miracle. PRAY for the miracle. The Vincentian Mission priest said that many miracles have been proven to have happened after people prayed this prayer. I have to admit, I didn't pray it as often as I probably should have, but we did get our miracle. Here it is:
Divine Savior, transform me into Yourself. May my hands be Your hands. May my tongue be Your tongue. Grant that every faculty of my body may serve only to glorify You. Above all, transform my soul and all its powers, all my memory, my will and my affections, may be the memory, the will and the affections of You. I pray You to destroy in me, all that is no of You. Grant that I may live but in You, and by You, and for You, and that I may truly say with St. Paul, "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me."

God bless the Cantrell family and Baby Cate.

Erin Beckemeier

Anonymous said...

Ditto to what John Ray said. It really is so good to hear from you Ali. The bad guy can't mess with a mother's love and her dagger. I never got to tell you how much courage you gave me at one point in life and why I am where I'm at right now because of you. Hopefully one day I'll get that chance. Erika and i are in constant prayer. Love you guys!


Lisa Roy Sheppert said...

To Ali, Charlie, and Bill and Cheryl: Heard of your news thru Robin and've got prayer warriors from around the world praying for Baby Cate. Be reassured that I lift you up in prayer during this challenging time and will keep stormin' the heavens on your behalf! May God hold you all in the palm of His hand.
Much Love, Lisa Roy Sheppert - your piano teacher :)

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
Your baby is beautiful. We will be praying for Cate and for you. May God bless you and strengthen and heal baby Cate in the richness and power of HIS MERCY. May His healing flow through every cell in her body and restore perfect order.

Julie said...

I will be praying for your family and the I am embracing your strength. I just found heard of your blog for the first time and It stole my heart. I just gave birth nine weeks ago to a healthy baby boy, but to our surprise he was born without his left hand. I was beyond concern with his health and what may be associated with this, but he appears to be well. But I have had to come up with a strength I never knew was in me and I as I read your blog, you have a strength you never knew you had. Although I am beyond blessed with these two amazing boys, I still have a worry and fears for him. I know that I am not in your world whatsever, but I know that feeling of being blindsided by something and being so worried about one of the people you love most. And you will agree with me when I say these are the children we were born to have, God chose us to have these special, amazing and beautiful children. Hang in there and God Bless. Baby Cate will be in my mind and in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Your soul is beautiful Ali. Thank you for posting. It is so good to hear from you!


Jamie said...

WOW - So great to hear a mothers point of view. My faith is growing because of you sharing your story - your journey - your baby with all of us. It's an Amazing story being written everyday. Thanks again for sharing your faith - praying for you always
Jamie Breaux Fonseca

JoJo said...

So after gettin on myspace and seeing Luke Carey*s status that said pray for Cate Cantrell I thought wait a minute I know a Cantrell and then I finished reading it and it said and pray for Charlie and his fam!...I immediately sent him a message asking if it was you but I couldn*t wait so I did a search on myspace and found you!! I am in the middle of a flying novena and I will add Cate and your family to the novena for the rest of the 9 hours! It*s amazing how God works Charlie and I am more than sure that he will answer your prayers! Here it is just in case ya*ll want to do it! God Bless and ya*ll will remain in my prayers!

Love and Blessings,

aka The Storm Novena or The Flying Novena

(pray for 9 days or 9 hours straight)

Jesus, You said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Through the intercession of Mary, Your holy Mother, I knock, I seek. I ask that my prayer be granted. (state your specific request or intention here!)

Jesus, You said, "All that you ask of the Father in My name, He will grant you." Through the intercession of Mary, Your holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask Your Father in Your name that my prayer be granted. (state your specific request or intention here!)

Jesus, You said. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass." Through the intercession of Mary, Your holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted. (state your specific request or intention here!)

I prostrate myself before Thy Holy Image, O most gracious Infant Jesus, to offer thee my most fervant thanks for the blessings Thou hast bestowed upon me. I shall incessantly praise Thine ineffable mercy and confess that Thou alone art my God, my Helper and my Protector. Henceforth, my entire confidence shall be placed in Thee! Everywhere, I shall proclaim aloud Thy mercy and generosity, so that Thy great Love and the great deeds which Thou dost perform through this miraculous image may be acknowledged by all. May devotion to Thy Holy Infancy increase more and more in the hearts of all Christians, and may all who experience Thine assistance persevere with me in showing unceasing gratitude to Thy Most Holy Infancy, to which be praise and glory forever. Amen

Thank you, Infant Baby Jesus of Prague and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for granting my request. I will always be dedicated to You Dear Jesus and have faith that You will always be by my side. Your faithful servant (state your name).

Anonymous said...

I love your analogy. After having ups and downs, only hoping for what I thought was perfect, Noah went Home to be with our Lord and I had to learn that my idea of "perfect" was not the answer. Life is difficult and definitely not what any of us pictured.

I'm praying diligently for Baby Cate that God will give her the strength to improve and live a long full life. Know that many are here for you. Please let me know personally if there's anything I can do.

Many prayers and hugs,
Corrie Stassen
(National President, It's My Heart)

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

I am thinking of you and will send positive thoughts your way and pray for Cate. I hope that your next post comes with good news. So many people are here for you.

Pam C
Fresno, Ca

c shawn pujol said...

Charlie and Ali, I do hope that the countenance of Cate remain a source of joy in your time of struggle. Thank you for sharing your lives in a blatantly truthful and spiritual way.
I am humbled by the courage of all of you, and pray for the victory you so deeply desire.
May this week be a time of great triumph!
C. Shawn

pwest said...

What an amazingly beautiful family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Patty

Team Pisano said...

That was beautifully written and very touching Ali.

It truely is amazing the "work" that Cate is doing by uniting us and bringing us all closer to God.

Most of us have never even met Cate and yet some probably find that they are praying so much and so hard for this little girl more than they have ever prayed before or more than they have prayed in a long, long time.

Some may stop and wonder, why is that? Why do I feel this strong urge to pray so hard for someone I have never met before?

Someone commented about the modern world we live in today and the numbness that we feel toward our beliefs or something along those lines. Well, I can tell you that things are shaking up now and breaking up the numbness. I feel this force it is hard to explain but it is like it empowers me and it takes me over and no matter what I am doing I have to stop as I feel a constant need and longing to pray for Baby Cate and your family.

As a busy mother of 3 I needed a good "shaking" to get me back to where I needed to be with my genuine prayer time and I thank Baby Cate for that. Thank you, sweet girl!

She is such a special little girl and God CHOSE HER, a part of YOUR FAMILY... with parents full of faith to carry out his plan.

We continue to pray for Baby Cate and for her to be completely healed and for both Ali and Charlie for their strength and hope to continue on this journey.

We stand by all of you praying, hoping and believing... The bond is growing stronger as more and more people join in praying for Baby Cate and we will not tire and we will remain strong praying together.

God bless,

Aimee Pisano

amy gorman said...

i heard about baby cate on facebook and have been praying for her ever since. we entered her in the prayer intention book at ucla's newman center. stay strong cantrell family :)

Anonymous said...

Cate's fight for her heart and you and Charlie's faith gives me such hope. You see, my marriage is under much attack and is failing miserably, and I'm also expecting our first child. I'm posting this at 3:30am because my husband walked out yesterday (out of frustration that "I'm just too much to handle") without any word of where he was heading and simply has not come home yet. Of course there is no sleep for me tonight as I stay awake wondering how to hope in something that seems so lost, and then I thought of Cate. If you and Charlie can hope in hope day after day through the pain...if Cate can fight day after day for her heart...then I believe I can too. So I will offer my suffering for you guys this morning, really early this morning, as I bring you and your with me into prayer. Charlie is right; Cate is such a little evangelist! Her heart gives mine strength right now.
I will pray for your miracle today.
In Him,
a fellow youth minister and one of many prayer warriors for baby Cate, but mainly a fellow wife and mother

Anonymous said...

Hi Ali and Charlie,
Hi... Im certain this note would come as a surprise coming from a stranger halfway across the globe, your friend from La fayette, Ms. Mary B, forwarded the blogsite to me... No, Im not a mother yet, but I am quite touched by your blog...
I know the feeling. many times, my mom would relate to me how she sat guard in the ICU when my life was almost taken away, .. and no hope was given on my survival she talked with God and allowed His Spirit to console and bring joy to her, despite her remorse and her sadness, the daily mass filled her with inspiration and answered her prayers, until at last she surrendered to God's Holy and most beautiful will.

Im so happy and thrilled on how this sad experience with Baby Cate, only serves to strengthen your faith in Him, How this experience bring you all closer and tighter to each other and to people who really cares for you and your baby...

I know that God has a purpose in everything, and God would never ever forake a faithful heart that calls to Him, His answers may not always be what we wanted but they are always for the Best. and knowing how positively this whole sad experience brings out the best in you and your faith, Im certain that God's purpose is working out wonderfully...

Your baby is really quite an angel to accept those sufferings and sacrifices for the sake of all the people who love her and inspire people who do not even know her (like me!) :)

When I was reading your write-up Ali, there is just one thing that comes to my mind over and over again... for I realize how triply hard it is for a mother to see her baby "walk the calvary"...

I will pray for a miracle for baby Cate and for both of you her parents , and most of all for you Ali....

May you be as strong, humble and patient as our Mother herself, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who submitted herself to God's will.. in the end was rewarded to be with her son and play with him forever.

May you be as strong and obedient to God's plan to Charlie...
If you can get from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish a copy of the novena to Saint Arnold Janssen, I am certain this will help you understand better the meaning and merits of sufferings.. :)
All the Best. God bless you All.

always in prayer,
Pamela Avellanosa

Anonymous said...

Good morning Ali and Charlie
I tried to write you last night and the blog was not accepting letters. I have tried four times to write and I just think this computer is illerate. . .HaHa.
The Canvas you have painted all of us bloggers is absolutely the most beautiful piece I've ever read. I love you both. Stay in tune to that miracle at hand. God will take care of you all.
Love Ms. Ellaine

alison breaux said...

You are a source of strength in your faith and love, a love that is unique to a mother. I am in awe.
Know that the prayers continue, the love is steadfast and your hope inspires us all to remain on the battlefield.
Thank you for your grace.
love you, Alison

scmom (Barbara) said...

I posted a prayer for Baby Cate and a link to your blog. I will continue to remember Cate in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali:
Although I've been praying for you ever since I heard about Cate through Hudson Carnes's family, last night you all were really on my heart. I could not sleep and spent probably an hour or more lying in bed lifting you all up in prayer. The thought that kept coming to mind was that I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that our gracious and loving God has Cate cradled in His arms. God is not fettered by the trappings of medicine -- the wires and limitations of Cate's bassinett pose no issues for Him. Know that your precious child is being comforted and loved by the almighty God who created her. He is the only one who loves her more than you, and she is in His care. I trust that He is giving her His peace through all of this, peace that passes all our understanding. I hope that being reminded of this gives you both some peace and comfort as well.

Stay stong in your faith and continue to use this situation to do God's work here on earth.

In Him,
Lori Baker

kellysuch said...

Just got the blog address from Lesley. Know that our prayers make their daily travel to Houston everyday from here in Maurice. We look forward to the day y'all come home with Cate and we can all get together with the kids and look back on this and thank God for all that he gives to us. Love y'all.
Kelly, Bart, Lindsey and Hayes Stewart

Anonymous said...

May Gods light shine on all of you and on Baby Cate. Our thoughts and prayers are on all of you. linda

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your incredible witness. Though we haven't met, know that I will be meeting you at the table of our Lord there lifting you all up in prayer and you will remain in my daily prayers.
in <><,
Kristi Talbot

Anonymous said...

I have just read your blog for the first time. I will keep you and your beautiful family in my thoughts and prayers. It is amazing how much we can learn from the strength of our amazing children and from people like you. God bless you and thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

mary said...

Ali...your words are so beautiful...thanks for sharing your heart with all of are an inspirtation to me and so many others. We continue to pray hard for you and your beautiful family. Even my 6 little ones pray the the Guardian Angel prayer with a lit candle everyday before and after their nap. Lea is here today helping me and she sends you a message..."I miss y'all and hope you come home with Baby Cate soon and I hope she gets well soon."
Much love, Mary Reed & Fly.

Anonymous said...

The Regitz clan in Houston is praying.

Grace & Peace be with you!!!


Anonymous said...

Ali-So good to hear your "voice". I'm so sorry I am not as well written as most of your comment writers.. I know you know that without words that my whole heart is with you as it has been all of these years. So it all goes without saying that I am hear praying daily, yearning to hear your childrens laughter through the fence across the street, for the waves to each other as you load up your car and I head to work. And honestly I am angry and my heart is breaking that your family is having to experience this kind of hell AGAIN. I just want you to know that I am praying but I am mad too and there are days I get so mad that its hard to pray but then I come back to reality and pray harder because God is the only one who can heal Cate but I wish he would speed it up already.....We are here waiting for you all to come home and will be here for anything you need...even if its just a friendly morning wave. Love you, Mandie K.

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

As a mother of 3 and a PICU nurse, I have seen God's miraculous powers. I have seen families at their lowest points. Keep your amazing faith and let it lead you through this time in your life. I have seen God do amazing things both in my life and in the lives of my patients and their families. God has a plan for His little Cate, He has amazing things in store for her. Keep fighting and let God lead the way! Ali, we are all praying for you and your family.

Sarah (Johnson) Prevost and family

Anonymous said...

Sword in hand!

Stay Strong,
a friend in DC

Marsha said...

My entire family is there with you right now in spirit. With much love, Marsha

Chief Carroll Stelly, Diane and Joshua said...

Your sharing is a reminder of just how precious a gift from God we recieve when we have a child.

"The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth an inhabited garden."

What a wonderful feeling to know that you have so many people praying for Baby Cate and your family, we all feel so close to you.

Praying each and every day and sending blessings to all of you.

With love from,
The Stelly's

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

Tommy and I are both steadfast in our prayers for Cate. I opened my God Calling book this morning and this is the passage that followed...

ATTACK FEAR - "Learn daily the sublime lesson of trust and calm in the midst of storm. Whatever of sorrow or difficulty the day may bring, My tender command to you is still the same - Love and Laugh.

Love and Laughter, not a sorrowful resignation, mark real acceptance of My Will. Leave every soul the braver and happier for having met you. For children or youth, middle or old age, for sorrow, for sin, for all you may encounter in others, this should be your attitude. Love and Laugh.

Do not fear. Remember how I faced the devil in the wilderness, and how I conquered with "the sword of the spirit which is the word of God." You too have your quick answer for every fear that evil may answer of faith and confidence in Me. At all times, wherever possible, say it aloud. The spoken word has power. Look on every fear, not as a weakness on your part due to illness or worry, but as a very real temptation to be attacked and overthrown." - God

My prayer today is that you all are being energized by the prayers of so many but most importantly by your very own faith and confidence in our God, who is right beside you...only a breath away.

Love you,
Jane W

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your e-mail. Please know that the Nuns have been praying for Cate,ever since you e-mailed. They will continue to pray for the next 30 days for 24 hours a day in front of Jesus in the front of the Blessed Sacrament.

God Bless

EWTN Response

Joshua 1:9-Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful writer you are. We heard about your family on the Its My Heart yahoo group. I'd like to share a poem that a friend wrote for our daughter when she was at TCH for her first heart surgery in Febuary.

They say your heart is broken, but I don't think thats right.

The strength of a heart is measured in its effect on others, not ones self.

Your heart inspires LOVE. It has inspired love in many others for you, the love between your mom and dad, and the love between your family and God.

Your heart inspires JOY. It has inspired immeasurable joy in your mom and dad when you were born.

Your heart inspires LOYALTY. It has inspired loyalty in family, friends and your doctors.

Your heart inspires PRIDE. It has inspired pride in your mom and dad when simply talking about you.

Your heart inspires TRUST. It has inspired your mom and dad to trust in your doctors and have faith in God.

Your heart inspires LEARNING. It has inspired your mom and dad to learn about how your body works, what is being done for you, and how God will use you.

Your heart inspires CARING. It has inspired caring from hundreds of people who read your parents words.

Your heart inspires ANXIETY. It has inspired anxiety in your mom and dad as they stay up all night, wait for news from the doctors, or simply try to get you to eat.

Your heart inspires STRENGTH. It has inspired strength in your mom and dad that they didn't even know they had.

So you see, you don't have a broken heart. You have the strongest, most inspiring heart of anyone we know.

We are thinking of your family and praying for you.


Emily Schaffhausen

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali, We are praying. I have been telling everyone I know to pray so hard. Several of my coworkers here at Memorial Hermann Southwest have been asking for updates. One of them added her to the prayer list at her church. Count on our prayers and we are counting on yours for us! God Bless! --Allie Millette

K.H. said...

My little one was born three days before yours, prematurely and with suspected kidney problems. We had so many people pray so many Memorares and through Mary's powerful intercession, he is fine. Completely healthy, praise the Lord.

Because of the miracles we received, I have started a Memorare campaign for little Cate. It can only help ... God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Ali, Charlie and Cate,

Still praying for ya'll! I know that a fund has been set up for you all, but is there anything else you need? Gift certificates to local resturaunts, Subway, Starbucks, parking passes, etc. Please tell us so we can help. Even if it's just dropping a care package at a front desk with magazines, books, or something like that, it would be an honor to do it! All of our thoughts and prayers are with you. Through your words and your faith, you have given so much to all who have read your blogs, let us give back to you!

Mindy Volney said...

Ali and Charlie-
I just want you to know that our prayers and thoughts are with. We are here for you and your family.
Mindy, Karl, and David Volney

joyous said...

God Bless you all. Thoughts and prayers from Colorado....



Jana Broussard said...

Charlie and Ali,
I just wanted to say that while I was driving this morning, I was praying for all of you and on the radio played one of my most favorite songs "Shout to the Lord"...thru my tears I was able to rejoice in the power of the words, "my comfort, my shelter, tower of refuge and strength...." How great is our God that in the midst of pain so profound that we are able to take his word and find a strength that is clearly not our own! Ya'll are amazing!

We are praying constantly for you ...We miss you guys and all we can do is let you know that we are here...and NOT giving up faith!! We love you
Jana Broussard

Robbie said...

Ali and Charlie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I found out about about baby Cate through her Aunt Marsha and have kept up with it since last Monday. I just want you to know that you and your family are in our hearts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cate's parents,

I'm a Polish priest and I'm a friend of Anne Gabor's. I'll celebrate Mass for your Kate at 7:00 a.m. on June 25th (Wednesday).
May God give you the strength to go on! I believe there's much joy ahead of you.
I greet you wholeheartedly
Fr. Andrzej

Erica Berg said...

I remember stumbling on Matt Smith's blog years ago, and for some reason this week it popped into my head that I should look it up again. I read his latest posting and followed the link to your blog. I feel the hand of God in that so strongly and believe I was directed there so I could pray for your Cate. My daughter was born exactly one week before yours and for some reason all week I've had it on my heart to pray for people who have lost a child or are struggling with the sickness of a child - probably because my love for my daughter is more intense by the day and I can't imagine the pain of losing her. Picturing it has made me pray for those who are face-to-face with that possibility, or that reality. I will pray for you, fervently, that Cate gets better and outlives you both by decades. She is beautiful and blessed to have you, as you are to have her.

Love from Erica (and Elsa) Berg

Barbara Koenig said...

I just wanted to let you know you are in my prayers. I met your mom and dad at the hospital while I was waiting with a friend for her son's surgery. Baby Cate is beautiful. I am praying for a miracle for her and we know that through God all things are possible.

kkhirtz said...

Dear Cantrell family,
My name is Krissy Hirtz. I learned of your beautiful family and lovely Baby Cate this morning.
Our son Shepherd has spent more than a few days and nights in the CvICU. My family has walked through many of the painful valleys that you all have endured. It is my privilege to pray for you all and Cate. Hundreds of people have prayed for us though our times of pain and joy. Our family will do the same for you.
With hope, prayers and the greatest gift of all, Gods love,
Krissy Hirtz

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
I have started a St Therese novena for little Cate. Thinking of you all everyday. Many prayers are also being sent out from Vermilion parish and around Acadiana. We are awaiting some good news today. You both deserve the best. I know Jesus is shining his light on baby Cate today.
Much love,
Jennie Gary & fly

crystal judice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Troxclairs said...

I wanted to let you know how strongly I believe that you were right in saying that baby Cate has brought people back to Christ. What an amazing legacy for a little girl. I have been following your blog and am fighting back sobs after hearing that she has gone on to heaven. While we all pray for eternal life with the Father, I know how hard her loss will be for your family. I will continue to pray for all of you. I just wanted you to know that your powerful messages of faith have really touched me and my husband. Especially your blog on awareness last Friday - it was truly inspirational. Although, I have never had the privilege to meet baby Cate, I certainly feel closer to God just by having known OF her and her struggle through your words. Please stay strong in your faith through this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I'm praying for Baby Cate...every day, every hour...checking this blog regularly, waiting to see the move of God for which the faith of so many shines so strongly.

Anonymous said...

my heart is hurting, and now there is an angel in heaven. May God's mercy be shown at this time.

~Alissa Roberts

marsha said...

Cate has touched so many people in her short lifetime. And that is because of her parents....Charlie and guys are such an inspiration as people, as family, as friends and most of all as parents. That little baby girl enjoyed every day of her life just because you were her parents. You loved her to the fullest capacity each and every day. Your love made her so strong and so brave. It made her capable of becoming one of God's little angels. May you find comfort knowing she is in Heaven watching over all of us and protecting us. I know that MawMaw Della welcomed her with open arms. They are probably sitting together munching on MawMaw's famous fig muffins. I love you guys so much and I am here for and forever. Give lots of hugs and kisses to Dude and Ella from me. Love, Marsha

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.
Barb from Washington State

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali-
Please know that our prayers continue for you and now Cate joins in the prayer for your family.

Anonymous said...

Ali, Charlie, Dude, Ella, and all of your family,

We know what a joy Cate was to you each. We know that all that could be done was done.

You have our sympathy, prayers and love

Please let us know what we can do for you.

The Bernard Family Lewis, Charlene, Julie and Gabe, Eddie and Angela, and Johnny, Juhye and Jindallae.

Anonymous said...

She is in Mary's arms feeling her mantle of love. Mariah Faith will show her around heaven. I know there are no words. Baby Cate did a powerful job for God while on earth. May we all reflect for a moment of silence and follow her example. I love you all.
Lois G.

Anonymous said...

Words cannot even begin to express how truly sorry we are for your loss. We have been through it and know the pain you have in your hearts right now. I hope you can take comfort in knowing that your family has a guardian angel that will be with you and your children forever. Our deepest sympathy.

Bryan & Christi Ticknor

Emily Peschier said...

We do not know each other very well, I teach with Ali At J.W.J, but I have to say that you have touched my life. I have been praying for Cate and you guys for a few weeks now, but today was my first visit to your blog. After reading of your journey from day one ( I have been glued to the computer for the past hour and a 1/2) I am truly inspired. Your committement, hope and faith are an amazing thing. I will continue to pray for you all. May your faith in God continue to bring you strength everyday.

Emily Peschier

Anonymous said...

My love, my prayers, and my sympathy go with you at this time. It seems that God needed a little angel more than he thought we did. We have to trust that he knew what was best for Cate.

Love you,
Marie Duplechin

Anonymous said...

Ali, Charlie, Ella, & Dude..
There are no words I can say to you..I only have tears....May God wrap His loving, and gentle arms around your family during this time. My love & prayers are with you.
Stephanie Johnson

Anonymous said...

When I just heard of Baby Cate's passing away.. First thing that came to my mind was : Shes definitely in heaven now. I know she went straight there. Now shes praying for all of us and for all of her family. Charlie and Ali you have an angel and she will always be there with you in your hearts. May God Bless you all and our prayers continue with you all.

Anonymous said...

I have been praying for Baby Cate and for your whole family as I've followed your blog for some time now. I pray especially for you now, that our Lord's peace and comfort touch you in this time of loss. Baby Cate, through this blog so beautifully done by you, her parents, brought me closer to rediscovering my faith. I'm eternally grateful. Cate had a remarkable impact during her short life, you must be so proud to be her parents.

Amy - Louisiana said...

Praying that God wraps His arms of comfort around you and you children. I have see two miracles before my own eyes and yet lost my own child as you have. It is difficult to understand God's ways. Remember during your grieving to place you broken heart in God's hand - even when you are angry. He is always there. Never will he leave you. Your Cate was a beautiful baby. She is being held in God's arms. She is out of pain - no more struggling to breath - laughing and playing in a place we are all striving to go to. God have heard ALL of your prayers and ALL the prayers that were offered up for Cate's healing. God can heal and will heal again. He gave Cate the ultimate healing. Many Many Many prayers for you all.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Ali, Ella, and Dude,

I am praying so hard for you to feel the grace and peace of God surrounding your hearts. Your dear Cate changed hearts and lives around the world, literally. Your surrender and journey is the most profound thing I have ever been a part of - thanks to you being so vulnerable adn such a witness.

My prayers for you all will continue on forever...

meaganmontez said...

you set my feet a dancin you set my heart on fire in the presence of a thousand kings you are my one desire...WE STAND BEFORE YOU NOW WITH TREMBLING HANDS LIFTED HIGH...BE GLORIFIED!

we ache too...i pray our angela and maria's will hope and moriah dance with her before our Father...


Love, Prayers and Hugs...
Meagan and Toby Montez

Lucy said...

No words can comfort you now. But I want to thank you and Charlie for sharing your lives and your journey with me and many others. Through your love for Christ and for Cate, you have brought many people before the Lord, you have been a source of strength and inspiration to thousands of people. I admire your courage and your steadfast dedication to God. Know that He walks with you still, and know that Cate's life has not been in vain. She is an angel, and always will be. Love to you and your family...Lucy

Anonymous said...

Ali and Family,
You have our prayers and have consumed our thoughts! We pray every day for baby Cate and for your family.
God Bless,
Olivia (Franklin), Matt, Analise and Ezra McManus

Danielle Cramer Ronkartz & Family said...

Charlie, Ali and Family:

The words from Eric Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven" come to mind at this time: "Beyond the door, there is peace I'm sure, and I know there will be no more tears in heaven". No words of mine could possibly comfort you at this time. My heart is broken for you and your family.
May your beautiful angel wrap her loving arms around your family and may you feel her warmth and strength through this most difficult time. Phillip now has a playmate and I am sure he welcomed her in the gates of Heaven with open arms, hugs and kisses. May those kisses be showered upon all of you!
May the Blessed Mother bestow peace and grace on your family now and always,

Danielle Cramer Ronkartz & Family

Cinco Owens said...

There are no words now, only prayer and a hope for your family. Your angel brought so much to so many, you are blessed and your family will always be blessed to have her on your side. I continue to pray for strength and peace for your family and I can almost see your angel in Heaven in Mary's lap clapping and sending kisses to you. You will forever be in my heart and your daughter will not be forgotten. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU YSIC, Melanie

stacey said...

I am so sorry Ali and Charlie for your loss!
I know she is with God in heaven dancing and not in pain.
Thank you for allowing us to walk this journey with your family.
I keep your family in my prayers and know that Baby Cate is a special little girl that brought many people to Jesus.
Stacey Maturin

Anonymous said...

by the way, the reason why Mary is holding Baby Cate in my earlier post is cos God has His arms outstetched to you and Ali. Go to Him and seek comfort.

The Dunbar's said...

Charlie & Ali,

I know you'll hear it over and over, but we are truly sorry. We've lifted you guys up in prayer ceaselessly, and we will not stop. We're just getting home from daily Mass, and as I'm sitting there, asking God "Why?," here was the answer he gave me: Today's First Reading (pasted below). God spoke to me, as though this was Cate's prayer right now, and I hope it can give you a small form of comfort.

Kristen Dunbar

Reading 1
Is 49:1-6

"Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."

Gretchen said...

Charlie and Ali,
We are overwhelmed with sadness. We will never forget Cate or the impact her little life has had for the Kingdom. We love you all and are here for the long-haul. Our prayers will go on as our hearts cling to Hope Himself.

meaganmontez said...

wow...reading that reading from today gives my holy spirit goosebumps...God is so awesome- what an amazing promise!

ask and i'll give the nations to you o lord thats the cry of my heart
distant shores and the islands will see your light as it rises on us!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Ali, Ella, and little Dude, My most heartfelt cries of saddness call out your in your name tonight. I just got the call about precious Cate. You will continue to be in my prayers and thoughts. I know there is nothing any can say or do for you now except pray. We love you and your precious family so much!

Damon and Christine LeBlanc

Connie Brooks said...

love yu - Aunt Connie & Uncle James
Our hearts are with you all and we regret we never knew Cate-the-magnificent, but hear she was all about love. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
I first heard about baby Cate this past weekend at the Youth Retreat up at Franciscan University. Paul asked everyone to pray for baby Cate. I looked up your blog today to find she has gone to be with our Lord. We, my husband and I, have felt the same loss you are going through now. I'm writing to you because after our Thomas went to heaven, we received cards and letters from people telling us that they too had a child pass away. (I really don't like using that terminology, because it sounds like they passed into thin air, when we know exactly where they are.) It helped a little to see that these people were functioning, even smiling in this world after such loss and pain. Father DePaulma, whom we had never met before, met us on a snow covered hill, at Elizabethtown Cemetary, in Angel Fire, New Mexico. After he introduced himself, he said he wanted to speak to us before we proceeded. Again, we had never met him before, because we lived in North Carolina, and only had a vacation home in Angel Fire. We are in the Military and don't really have a place we call home, but knew we would always go there. He proceeded to explain that before he was a priest, he was married, and had also gone through the death of not one, but two infant children. He told us that he knew the pain that we were going through, and had great empathy for us. He continued and said,"For whatever reason, in God's infinite wisdom, He thought it necessary that we have a little Saint in heaven praying for us." Cate is not an Angel in the literal sense of the word, but Saint Cate, who now is interceeding for you in a powerful way. God's ways ARE way beyond ours! Pax Christi, Karen and Chris Seymour

Sarah said...

I found you by chance and my heart is filled with love and prayers. Sweet baby Cate will be on my mind, no doubt, for a long time. Stay strong in the Lord's love. (((HUGS))) and ++prayers++ from Sarah in Youngsville, LA

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,

I don't know what to say - no words are sufficient to comfort at a time like this. Your baby girl has gone home. She fought hard though and, in the process, has brought countless souls to God through prayer and sacrifice.

My soul celebrates knowing that she is in her Father's arms at this very minute...but my heart aches for your tremendous loss.

Reading the scripture that Kristen posted really gave me chills. It truly is the story of her short but important life. God used her in a most profound way...some we may have already witnessed and some we may yet to witness.

We lift you all up in prayer tonight and will continue to do so. We love you.

Jane W.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you both, as well as Ella and Dude. I will continue to pray for you. Please know that Cate has changed me life these past days and she will not be forgotten.

Much love to the Cantrell family,
Lisa Templet

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
I just wanted to say I am truly sorry for your loss. My family and I are praying for yours. If there is anything I can do, just let me know.
Casey Reyes

Anonymous said...


You are loved...we mourn with you...we rejoice in HOPE with you for being reunited with our daughters in Heaven...our prayers will remain with you. You are not alone...Keep your eyes on HIM b/c He is the only one who can get your family through this...we love you so much!! Thank you for welcoming this precious child into the world, and now for giving us all a Saint to intercede for us...

ben, maria, hannah, michaela, helena, and gemma

Lori & Willie said...

Ali, Charlie and Cantrell Family-I read Ali's comments yesterday with my baby Anna in my lap, taking a bottle. I can't imagine your strength and courage. I have a link to your blog on Anna's blog so my friends across the country can see Cate's progress. I continue to pray for all of you, the medical team and your extended prayer family.

Love you all and don't even know you,
Lori T



Ashley and Jeff Wagner said...

We are praying for you and your family during this time of loss. We take comfort in knowing that your precious angel is with our Savior where there is no pain or sickness or sadness. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. You family has been an awesome inspiration of faithfulness to God.

Claire Rose said...

Dear Ali & Charlie, I just got home from a cousin's funeral & went straight to my computer to get today's news about Cate. Nothing there! I knew in my soul. My heart grieves with you but more important, Mary's Heart is crying with you even as She holds your special child. Having lost 4 great-grandchildren in three years we understand & hold you in prayer even tho' we may never meet until Heaven. May God's Peace fill your souls. Blessed you were to have her for 7 months. Love, Claire Rose

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you guys are okay. There has been a lull in the blogging. Just know my prayers have intensified in your silence. God be with you! Sara Boster

they call me the boss said...

Even though we have never met I have been so touched by your family, especially Baby Cate. Thank you for allowing us all to grow in our love for HIM through you.

Darcy said...

Charlie and Ali,
Cate's beautiful heart, though weak in the earthly sense, was so strong and brought so many back to prayer. What a blessing to have a little saint intercedeing for you. Know that God has chosen her to be with Him, just as He chose her to do great things while she was with you! You and your other children will continue to be in my prayers.
Love you!

Anonymous said...

There are some things I will never understand and this is one of them. We just have to have faith and give Cate to God, He needed her to be with him in heaven. She will be your guardian angel and watch over your family until you meet her again. I love you both so much, I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain, just know you will be in my prayers. Love, Erin Dawson

Anonymous said...

As a neonatal nurse practitioner who sees God at work daily, I know that your sweet baby was truly a miracle. She touched many people during her short life. I was just able to read her blog today and her story has affected me deeply. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. As you send Baby Cate home to our Father, draw strength from her life.

Broussard said...

Dear God Please hold this family in your arms right now...

I am so Sorry...
Ben and Jana

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