BALTIMORE — Candida Montilla came across the lady she describes as her guardian angel accidentally — actually.
“What Karen did, the sacrifices she made to assist us, it’s unbelievable,” Montilla stated. “I assumed we have been going to die, however she cared for us, and located assist for us. I simply thank God that once we bought in hassle, it was at a blessed place.”
The place was St. Anthony Shrine in Emmitsburg, Md., the place Karen Davis serves as a secretary. Late afternoon June 11, as violent thunderstorms wracked central Maryland, Davis bought a name at residence from a parishioner alerting her to an auto wreck on its campus.
On a street simply previous Mount St. Mary’s College, Montilla’s Dodge Caravan hydroplaned off the street and onto the shrine grounds, taking out a portion of a fence earlier than coming to a cease.
One in every of her passengers was her husband, David, who has used a wheelchair for mobility since 1985, when a swimming accident left him paralyzed.
Davis arrived on the scene because the Frederick County Sheriff’s Workplace filed paperwork. She let the distraught Montilla and her grandson, Brandon Burgos, into parish places of work to scrub up. When she walked them again to their van, Davis met David Montilla and stated her “coronary heart broke in
The Montillas deliberate to spend the night time of their broken van whereas they waited on their insurance coverage firm, however that may not do for Davis, who shortly mobilized parish and city sources.
She bought in contact with a parishioner with a mobility van and volunteer firefighters transported the household to an area resort for what was a five-night keep.
Davis additionally organized for native collision heart, owned by her sister and brother-in-law, to get the Montilla’s van towed and repairs began.
“I can’t clarify how good these individuals are,” Montilla stated from her residence in Temple, Pa. “For me, it is all a miracle from God. I really feel like Karen is my sister.”
The Montillas, who emigrated from the Dominican Republic in 1974, couldn’t have discovered an individual extra suited to coming to their help than Davis, whose roots within the parish go deep.
A lifelong parishioner of the shrine, she began working there in 2017, a couple of months after her husband, Rex, grew to become its upkeep man.
“Earlier than my father handed away, it was his dream that one in all us would work for St. Anthony,” stated Davis, who had a 30-year profession within the banking business.
“My ancestors helped construct the church. My grandmother, Alma Seltzer, who helped my father increase us, was within the choir and the organist and used to scrub the linens on the seminary. She is the rationale I’m who I’m,” Montilla stated.
Like her grandmother, Davis cleans the linens and decorates St. Anthony Shrine.
The Montillas, who worship at St. Peter the Apostle in Studying, Pa., have been on a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Nationwide Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington when the accident occurred.
In lieu of Washington’s nationwide shrine within the nation’s capital, earlier than leaving Emmitsburg they stopped on the Nationwide Shrine Grotto of Our Girl of Lourdes June 16, on the suggestion of Davis.
However first, Montilla delivered a bottle of wine and a hug to Davis, who stated the assistance she gave was a part of a workforce effort.
Father Collin Poston, her pastor, stated it additionally included a better energy.
“This occurred on the weekend once we have a good time the feast of our patron,” Father Poston stated, since June 13 is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua.
“We erected a statue of him at our cemetery on the hill that day,” he stated, including that he believes “St. Anthony was interceding all through, preserving the household from hurt.”