By Joe Holden

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (CBS) — We’re hearing from the family of a beloved Delaware County priest about his valiant fight against COVID-19. He’s been hospitalized for several weeks.

It’s been a difficult road for Father Gus Esposito. His family says he has a 50-50 shot, at this point, of making it. But they have faith in him and in a higher power that things will turn out okay.

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Days before Christmas, the family of Augustinian Priest Father Augustine Esposito made the decision to go public with his desperate fight to beat COVID-19. On Wednesday, he’ll mark two weeks on a ventilator.

“He means the world to so many people, especially to all of his family. We love him and we miss him so much, and I just want him to come back to us,” said Theresa Scanlan, Esposito’s sister.

Scalan, Father Gus’s sister, says since posting about his illness, she’s been bombarded with stories of his days as a professor at Saint Charles Seminary or while president at Monsignor Bonner Archbishop Prendergast in Drexel Hill.

“He has done every sacrament for every one our kids — our kids and our grandchildren. He’s there for every birthday, everything, and they just absolutely worship him. They adore him,” Scanlan said.

A Darby, Delaware County native, Esposito earned his Ph.D. in Spanish literature. He is a beloved Augustinian friar who’s been a powerful force over the vocations of many young men.

His family says he quarantined a number of times in trying to keep safe from COVID-19. It’s unclear how he caught it.

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In such trying times, Father Esposito’s family has sung the praises of the nurses and doctors at Bryn Mawr Hospital, thanking them for their care and compassion.

“They are the extension of our hands and our arms. I feel like the nurses’ arms and hands are ours as they wrap him and take care of him so I’m so grateful to them. I’m just so grateful to the staff at the ICU of Bryn Mawr,” Scanlan said.

Scanlan says she has spoken to her brother for hours on end and says nurses on their lunch breaks will join and pray with them at her brother’s bedside.


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