New Castle News

Local News

February 21, 2014

Heaven on earth: Several residents are featured in book on divine visits

NEW CASTLE — Communication with the living and those who have passed away is something Toni DiBernardo truly believes in.

Her experience after having surgery for pancreatic cancer sparked a new book from her friend, Josie Varga of New Jersey.

DiBernardo met Varga, who has written four other books, on a website called “After Death Communications” after she witnessed a divine experience the week that her mother died.

Varga’s latest book, “Divine Visits” features proof of miracles and divine encounters, and also focuses on the stories of several Lawrence County residents including DiBernardo.

Other local people in the book include Anthony “Bo” DeCarbo; Michael Occhibone, whose story is called “A Dream of St. Jude;”  Barbara  Wiley; and Lottie Supples, all of the New Castle area; and Orlando Bartolomeo and Rachelle Rozzo of Ellwood City.

But it was DiBernardo’s story after she was diagnosed with cancer that set the wheels in motion for Varga to write the book.

When Varga learned of DiBernardo’s diagnosis, she prayed for her and sent her friend a cross.

DiBernardo took that cross to the hospital and while there recovering from the surgery, she said she was awakened twice and remembered thinking she must be dead. The third time, she was tapped on the shoulder and saw before her a man who wore a white doctor’s coat but resembled a picture she has of Jesus in her home. According to DiBernardo, he related that he was of Israeli-Jewish descent.

“I told him he had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen and he bent down and kissed me twice on the forehead and told me, ‘You are healed.’ ”

During follow-up, DiBernardo asked to speak to that doctor to thank him and was told there was no doctor who fit such a description. Additionally, the tests came back showing no signs of cancer and no additional treatment was required.

To Varga, who is also a motivational speaker and shares these types of stories with her audience, her friend’s story substantiated what prayer can accomplish.

Varga, a journalist who has cerebral palsy and bilateral hearing loss, also survived melanoma and a breast cancer scare. She prefers to live her life focusing on the positive.

She considers herself a spiritual person and said she experienced evidential after-life communication or visits from heaven, which is the title of another of her books.

“I realized I could help so many people by sharing stories,” Varga said, adding she did research on divine intervention. “People on the other side can communicate with us.

“The fact that so many people from New Castle alone had such divine experiences goes to show you that miracles are not only possible; they are happening all around us.”

Varga used 61 accounts in “Divine Visits,” which is available online and wherever books are sold, but talked to even more people while writing the book.

The accounts are from folks all over the world including the United Kingdom, India and Singapore, she pointed out.

“Toni DiBernardo’s story is a true testament to the power of prayer and the divine,” Varga said.

“I owe everything to my faith and the power of prayer,” DiBernardo noted. “Why with this death sentence was I blessed with life?”



Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • HIShands.jpg Local youths team up with His Hands Ministries to do home repair for those who can’t afford it

    Area youth from various Lawrence County churches started lending a helping hand Wednesday to residents in need. The annual Lawrence County Youth Ministries service event brings together students and adults for three days of volunteering. It is part of His Hands Ministries, an initiative involving local churches and volunteers who split into work groups to perform  home improvement tasks for elderly and low-income homeowners in the community.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blight.jpg Funds would target Lower East Side demolition

    The Lawrence County planning department and New Castle officials are partnering to wipe out neighborhood blight. They plan to start with the city’s Lower East Side.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • movietheater.jpg Overcoming addiction theme of movie

    The movie, “Anonymous People” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. July 30 at Westgate Cinemas.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • BalloonQuest.jpg Balloon Quest ready to soar again this weekend

    The Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest will mark its 25th anniversary this weekend at Union Township’s Scotland Meadows Park.


    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boatlaunch.jpg County pursuing funds for more boat launches

    Lawrence County planners are pursuing funds to complete more boat launches. At their meeting last week, the county commissioners agreed to apply for $74,000 from the Commonwealth Finance Authority, through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, for the matching funds.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road.jpg FirstEnergy announces transmission line project

    FirstEnergy Corp. has announced plans to replace 9.6 miles of overhead electrical transmission line in Lawrence and Mahoning counties.


    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg County seeks safety money for courthouse

    The Lawrence County commissioners are applying for a grant to help enhance safety at the government center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners to meet in New Wilmington

    The Lawrence County commissioners have changed the time and place of their Aug. 29 meeting.

    July 22, 2014

  • money.jpg Treasurer reports tax collection amounts

    The Lawrence County treasurer’s office reported that it has collected $19,606,313 in 2014 county property taxes to date.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasmine.tiff Dog Park dedication memorializes Jasmine

    The memory of Jasmine remains ever-present at the Shenango Senior Care in New Wilmington. Jasmine wasn’t a resident, nor was she a member of the staff, but the Black Labrador Retriever was a beloved regular at the facility.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo