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Blind Faith: A Journey of Spiritual Vision with the Capuchin Franciscan Brothers

In a recent Mass at St. John of God Church in Norwalk, Ryan Rohrich stood before the congregation, reciting Scripture with his fingers tracing over Braille. Blind since a rare cancerous tumor stole his sight ten years ago, Rohrich’s presence at the ambo sparked admiration rather than the usual applause or tears.

“I’m grateful to be proclaiming the word of God,” Rohrich shared, his voice unwavering. “In those moments, I feel His presence with me. I am more than my disability.”

Though his eyes can’t perceive the words, Rohrich’s heart sees clearly his mission to serve. Each day, he navigates the world with dark sunglasses and a cane, trusting in divine guidance. Despite the challenges, Rohrich’s determination remains steadfast.

His journey began at 18 when a family outing revealed troubling symptoms. A tumor behind his right eye threatened not only his vision but his life. Amidst uncertainty, Rohrich and his family turned to prayer, seeking solace in their faith.

Through the trials of surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, Rohrich’s unwavering trust in God never faltered. Even in the darkest moments, he found strength in surrendering his pain for the sake of others.

After the grueling battle, the cancer retreated, but Rohrich faced a new reality: life in darkness. With the support of programs for the blind and the companionship of his guide dog, Twain, Rohrich embarked on a journey of adaptation and discovery.

Returning to his community, Rohrich pursued his passions, including pottery, finding solace and purpose in creating art infused with prayer. In moments of reflection, he felt a divine presence guiding his hands, molding him into something more.

Inspired by the example of Capuchin friars and guided by his own spiritual vision, Rohrich contemplates a vocation as a religious brother. Despite the challenges, he sees his blindness not as a hindrance but as a pathway to deeper empathy and love.

At St. John of God, Rohrich’s service extends beyond the walls of the church, offering prayers and comfort to those in need. His humility and compassion shine brightly, a testament to the power of faith in overcoming adversity.

As Rohrich continues his journey of discernment and service, he remains a beacon of hope, reminding others that even in the darkest times, God’s promises endure.

If you would like to here more about his story, you can read about it here.


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