New York City Church Replaces Retired Groundskeeper with Sheep

The groundskeeper at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Manhattan told the pastor there, Monsignor Sakano, that he was thinking about retiring. How, he wondered, would the priest tend to the grass and bushes when that came to pass. “I’ll get sheep,” responded Msgr. Sakano. And so he did. They’re named Mulberry, Elizabeth, and Mott [Read More…]

Fairy Tales, Deeper Truths, & Illustrating God’s Love for Children (and the Young at Heart)

(All photos and artwork property of Katy Betz Studio.) Like a lot of kids, Katy Betz grew up admiring the illustrations she saw in popular books like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Berenstain Bears,” but it wasn’t until a trip to Europe as an 18-year-old college student that she realized she wanted to [Read More…]

Appreciating Our Elders in a Stay-Young-At-All-Costs World

The following is the text of the Christopher News Note “Appreciating Our Elders” (which was written by a freelancer). If you’d like a pdf or hard copy, see the end of this post: “A people that does not have care for [the elderly], that does not treat them well, has no future: such a people [Read More…]

How an Elderly Nun Brought Hope, Purpose and Joy to a Young Man at a Crossroads in Life

At the age of 31, John Schlimm was at a crossroads. He had spent his 20s working in public relations for the White House, and then, for country music stars in Nashville. From a worldly perspective, he had it made. Yet, he felt restless and empty, as if there was something deeper that needed to [Read More…]

Christmas in June: Win DVD of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas”

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Martha Williamson were kind enough to donate DVD copies of their Christopher Award-winning movie “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas” for our gift bags at the awards ceremony last month. We have a few DVDs left so I wanted to give our blog readers and fans of the show the opportunity [Read More…]

How the Murders in Charleston Reflect Two Ways of Looking at the World

(Photo of Rev. Clementa Pinckney from website of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.) The nine murders that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charles, SC, on Wednesday shocked the country and the world. The fact that they occurred in a house of worship during an hour of prayer and Bible study just [Read More…]

Faith, Redemption, and Survival Highlighted in Trailer for Upcoming Movie “Captive”

When I interviewed writer/producer Brian Bird a few months ago about his Hallmark Channel series “When Calls the Heart,” we also discussed his upcoming feature film “Captive.” Starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo, it tells the true story of Ashley Smith, a young mother who was taken hostage by escaped murderer Brian Nichols in 2005 [Read More…]

Helping People Live and Die with Dignity: A Look at the Film “The American Nurse”

Inside the Villa Loretto Nursing Home in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, Sister Stephen Bloesl gathers the staff in the room of a dying woman whose daughter sits by her side. Everyone, from nurses and administrators to those who mow the lawn and deliver food, circle around her bed and begin singing the hymn “How Great Thou [Read More…]

How an Angry Letter to a Priest Led to a Life-Changing Friendship and Job

Can an angry letter to a priest result in a friendship that also has a positive impact on the world at large? Yes, it can, and it’s part of our history here at The Christophers that I just learned about. This year marks the 70th anniversary of our founding by Maryknoll priest Father James Keller [Read More…]

A Military Family Fights to End Stigma Around Mental Illness & PTSD After Their Son’s Suicide

(Photo of retired Major Gen. Mark Graham property of U.S. Army. Other photos property of the Graham family.) “I knew our son was sad, but I didn’t know he could die from being too sad,” recalled retired Major General Mark Graham about his son Kevin’s suicide on June 21, 2003. Kevin was an ROTC cadet [Read More…]

Real Hope Isn’t Happy Talk; It’s a Force Born Out of Suffering

(Picture courtesy Paul Schneck. l to r: The Christophers COO/VP Mary Ellen Robinson, POV Communications Manager Brian Geldin, Directors/Producers Jason DaSilva and Alice Cook, The Christophers’ Tony Rossi) The word “hope” gets tossed around a lot, and some people may see it as a saccharine sentiment or unrealistic happy talk. In some contexts, that may [Read More…]

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love” Brings Romance, Comedy & Wisdom

(Moderate spoilers ahead) On an old episode of “Cheers” in which Sam and Diane consult a relationship counselor before getting married, he tells them to call off the wedding because they’re too different. They respond with the old truism that opposites attract. The counselor, played by John Cleese, responds that the only thing opposites attract [Read More…]