Apr. 3: The Impossible Gold Medalist

Swimmer Katie Ledecky, 15, was the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in London.  A well-liked and humble student at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland, she told The Catholic Standard newspaper that she prays before each race, and goes to Mass every week because it helps her “reflect and connect with God.”On August 3, Ledecky swam a challenging 800-meter race.  Nobody, including NBC announcers Rowdy Gaines and Dan Hicks, expected the first-time Olympian to … [Read more...]

Apr. 2: Hope for the Future

On August 16, 2008, a small private plane carrying popular “mommy blogger” Stephanie Nielson and her husband, Christian, crashed in Arizona, exploding on impact.  Though Christian was injured and burned, Stephanie bore the brunt of the explosion with burns over 80 percent of her body.  Near death, she remained in a medically-induced coma for 10 weeks.Despite Stephanie’s grueling recovery and lingering scars, she maintained her positive attitude.  She chronicled her journey of healing on her b … [Read more...]

Apr. 1: Looking For God

Two of Jesus’ followers were traveling to Emmaus on the first Easter, when the risen Lord approached them and joined them in their journey.Unrecognized, He discussed the events of the last few days with them, explaining why it was necessary for the Christ to die and so enter into His glory.When they reached the village, the two invited Jesus to stay with them, which He did.  St. Luke explains how He broke bread and gave it to them—and how they suddenly recognized who their companion actu … [Read more...]

Mar. 31: A Defiant Song

Following the movie theatre massacre that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012, Denver-based preacher Nadia Bolz Weber considered canceling her weekly Friday night “Beer and Hymns” gathering.  In the end, she held it anyway.Weber wrote on her blog, “We sang our prayer to God, and in our singing I heard a defiant tone.  The sound of a people who simply will not believe that violence wins, a people who know that the sound of the risen Christ speaking each of our names drowns out all o … [Read more...]

Mar. 30: Carry the Peace of God

Jesus is dead.  He lies in the tomb.  He died that you might live, proving His love for you to the last drop of His blood.His request to you is to continue what He began.  He died for all.  He wishes to continue to live here in the souls of men and to carry on His work through your cooperation.In His first appearance to His disciples after the Resurrection, Christ gave His followers the sublime and thrilling mission of bringing peace to the world: “Peace be to you!  As the Father has sent … [Read more...]

Mar. 29: One Father’s Love

There was only one thing that could get Rick Van Beek of Midland, Michigan, to finally quit smoking and get in shape: his daughter, Maddy, who is unable to walk or talk due to cerebral palsy.  Van Beek isn’t even sure that Maddy can see, yet he’s ensured that the now 13-year-old is living an active life.Van Beek told the Midland Daily News that the one thing he knows Maddy enjoys is being outdoors.  Since 2008, father and daughter have competed in more than 70 half-marathons, triathlons, and … [Read more...]

Mar. 28: A Life of Fortitude

Father Francis Ford, one of the first four Maryknoll missionaries in China, traveled there, eager to share his faith but also cognizant of the challenges ahead.  His first prayer on arriving in China was, “Lord, make us the doorstep by which the multitudes may come to worship Thee.”Ordained a bishop in 1935, he worked for years starting schools and churches, helping people in need and training the native clergy.  George Weigel, telling Bishop Ford’s story for the Ethics and Public Policy Cent … [Read more...]

Mar. 27: Jesus Wrecked My Life

Katie Davis believes that Jesus “wrecked” her life.  In her eyes, however, that's a good thing.A few years ago, the Tennessee teen served as class president at her high school, enjoyed shopping for shoes, and planned to attend college.  But Davis had grown up admiring Mother Teresa and the love with which she served the poor.On her 16th birthday, Davis told her parents that she wanted to spend a year doing mission work before going to college.  They reluctantly agreed to let her voluntee … [Read more...]