A Christmas Miracle
Called by God to Serve His Country and Church and Experience His Miracle!
Deacon Patrick Constantino | Photos courtesy Deacon Pulido ‘Ohana
Deacon Cornelio Pulido was born in the town of Pangasinan, Philippines to Prudencio and Marcelina Pulido on September 16, 1946. Deacon Cornelio worked at HC&S Company for twenty-seven years as a Shop Superintendent and at Maui Pineapple Company as a machinist. His parents came here as Sakadas in the 1940s to work on the plantation.
He served in the Army National Guard for twenty-one years and was on active duty in Korea for two years. He retired from the Army National Guard as a Sergeant First Class. Thank you, Deacon Cornelio for your service.
Cornelio was ordained as a Deacon on July 13, 2001 and still is assigned to Christ the King Church for twenty-one years. We are very proud to have served on the Core Team during Deacon Cornelio’s Diaconate Formation. At this time, I’m proud to present Deacon Cornelio and his wife Linda’s Miracle Story.
Cornelio: Twice a year we visit our children in Washington … summers and winters. During the summers we go camping, fishing, crabbing and pedal boarding. About twice a week we go as a family to my son’s cabin which is only twenty minutes from Mount Baker, a snowy area. It’s about 25–30 miles to Vancouver, Canada. All of them go snowboarding and skiing, except for Kai who is five years old. It is our job, my wife and I, to watch him.
On December 16, 2021, we attended the first Misa de Gallo at Christ the King and left for Seattle. On December 17, we arrived in Seattle. After we got off the plane, we took the tram to the luggage area. There, after we got off the tram, is where I fell, according to my wife. The last thing I remember is riding the tram.
According to my wife, someone asked if I’m having a seizure. One of the leader groups and their companions started praying for me.
Linda: After they said that, they kept him in prayer. Thank God, so many in the medical field did CPR right away. Security Police put me to sit close by and comforted me and stayed with me all the time. Then I called my son Stephen who was waiting at the parking lot to pick us up. When the security heard, he told Stephen to stay put and he would pick him up. When my son and the security police arrived at the area, Cornelio was already crowded with medical people, so they placed a barricade around him. Stephen went to look for his dad but they would not let him until he said he is the son and a doctor. He couldn’t do much because they were all trying to revive him, so he came to me and later he saw a medical person running with the oxygen and he said that’s the sign of reviving him after about forty-five minutes.
My son stayed with me to comfort me until they took us to the nearest hospital, Saint Anne’s, by ambulance. Cornelio stayed there for two and a half months. Two months in ICU in a coma and on life support. They later moved him to another room close to the ICU and he stayed there for another two weeks. Two months later, he woke up and started talking, so we used ZOOM to talk and to see him. He was in the ICU about two or three days when Bishop Silva called me saying, “Sorry for what happened to Deacon Cornelio.” After talking to me with comforting words, he said, “Let us pray” on the phone, we did, and I felt better.
About five or six days later, Cornelio had another attack and he had to be revived again. The doctors asked if they wanted me to allow them to keep doing this to him because some of his ribs were already broken. Stephen recommended they put a stent in but they didn’t do that procedure at Saint Anne’s.
They brought Cornelio to the University of Washington where they specialize in heart procedures. After only one day of the procedure, Cornelio was brought back to Saint Anne’s.
About a week later, I visited him at the hospital. Visitations were limited due to COVID. The doctor called the three of us together to visit him. I was worried and thought that was the end of him because they normally allowed only one person to visit and see him. Instead of thinking negatively, I prayed and asked for a miracle. When the doctor heard me asking for a miracle, he said “There’s no miracle.” When he said this, I prayed more and talked to the Lord … that there is nothing impossible, there are miracles, and to show this doctor that God can do everything!
While I was there, I talked to my daughter and her two sons, Jayden and Kai. I woke up early in the morning, made coffee and then did my rosary asking Mother Mary to intercede for us to her Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Whenever time permitted, I am always praying the rosary. That was my routine while I was staying at my daughter Joy’s home.
Cornelio: After two months, I started talking to my family through ZOOM. I shared with my wife three things I remembered while I was in a coma. (I don’t know if this is just my imagination.)
First, I dreamt that I’m going to die, that I’m hanging by one hair. So, I prayed and asked God to give me more years to be with my family, to continue my ministry as a Deacon, and to help the church and our brothers and sisters. Right after I prayed, I surrendered myself and said to God, “Let your will be done.”
Matthew 26:39. Jesus prayed. My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.
Second, I dreamt that there was a voice that said, “I did not call your name.” (I don’t remember if it’s the same day or the same night.)
Third, I dreamt that I was laying down, holding a baby girl, about a year old, jumping on my stomach, saying, “Papa … Papa!”
When my son heard about my dream, he was surprised because at that time, he already knew that his wife, Amber, was pregnant with a baby girl. (Praise the Lord! Another prayer answered!) I didn’t know that Amber was pregnant. Stephen asked me if the baby had red hair, since Amber has red hair. I answered, “I don’t know … I didn’t notice.” And jokingly I said, “Maybe it was green or purple.” My son just laughed.
Again, a prayer is answered! My wife and I have been praying for Stephen and Amber to have a baby because they have been married for five years and have no baby yet. But here she is … a baby girl named Aurea, after my wife, Aurealinda. Stephen told us that he cannot name his daughter, ‘Cornelia’ … doesn’t sound too good.
While I stayed in this room for another two weeks, I met a lot of people and made good friends: doctors, nurses, therapists, housekeepers. I was attached to all of them and them to me. When I was moved to another room, they even hugged me! Someone said, “I wish we could keep you here.” I answered, “No way, Jose!” While I was in this new room (one door down), some of them still came to visit me to say, “Hi. How are you doing?” They gave me hugs before leaving.
Linda: When Cornelio awoke and spoke, I said, “Thank You Lord! Praise you and glorify Your Name!” I remember one of the doctors saying, “Not too many people survive after being revived for forty-five minutes, and if they live, it’s probable that the brain is affected, or they can’t talk.” I came to realize that it’s all God’s plan. We can plan, but the outcome is in God’s hands. It’s a blessing that his heart attack did not happen in the airplane.
Cornelio and Linda: We stayed in Washington in time to witness our granddaughter come into this world. It’s good to have our son bring his dad to his doctor checkups. We returned to Maui on October 8, 2022. Stephen, Amber and baby Aurea accompanied us to Maui. We will all leave together to go back to Washington. It looks like we are going to be dual residents of Washington and Maui. I already have a Washington driver’s license. A Washington license gives me six years compared to two years in Maui when you’re a senior citizen. We have a car in Washington, but we are not planning to drive to many places because we may get lost. What’s important is that we go to church and get groceries. So again, we say, prayer works all the time! Many people prayed for me. I thank everyone but most of all to our loving God! Alleluia!
Deacon Cornelio and Linda have touched our lives by sharing their story. They also astound us by their way of life and faith through Jesus Christ! And showed us what it looks like for Jesus to live through their actions, words and priorities with love. They have shown us actions what it means to go from death to new life. This Christmas, our newborn King brings us a new prospective in renewed life, hope, faith and love for our Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Him who gives us life here on earth and promise us to be with Him in His Kingdom! God is good! Ti Apo ket nasayaat. All the time! Nga kankanayon. Merry Christmas everyone! And Happy New Year 2023! May God bless you all! In the Name of the Father and of the Son and Holy Spirit! Amen! Jesus, I trust in You! Apo Jesus, Agtalekak Kenka!
On July 1, 2022, Patrick Constantino retired as a Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i, after serving for thirty-five years and becoming on June 18, 1987, the first Deacon of Filipino ancestry for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i. For twenty-two years, he served as Administrator at Holy Rosary Church in Pā‘ia, St. Rita Church in Ha‘ikū and St. Gabriel Church in Ke‘anae. His last assignment before retiring was at St. Joseph Church in Makawao.
Prior to his ordination, Constantino was in government—first appointed in 1966 as Assistant Sergeant of Arms by the Speaker of the House Elmer F. Cravalho. When Cravalho became Maui’s first Mayor, Constantino became his Executive Assistant—the first of Filipino ancestry. Later, Constantino became the first County Treasurer of Filipino ancestry and the first County Grants Administrator and Risk Manager of Filipino ancestry.
Constantino is married to his lovely wife Corazon for sixty-one years.