May 21: Blessed Are Those Who Bring Bliss

Because of his cerebral palsy, 15-year-old Alberto Zambrano of Queens, New York, spends a lot of time in his bedroom.  That’s why the transformation accomplished by the nonprofit Blissful Bedrooms brought him to tears.Run by husband and wife Alex and Martha Dvoryadkin, the charity relies on volunteers and small Internet donations to help redecorate the bedrooms of severely disabled children.  “If they’re going to spend all of their time in their bedroom, we want it to be a sanctuary,” Martha … [Read more...]

May 20: A Beautiful Warrior

In 2004, Eric Strauss, an ABC News producer for the network’s Primetime series, traveled to Texas to profile Bridget Kelly.  Two years earlier, at age 24, Kelly had been the victim of a brutal attack in which she was kidnapped, raped, shot repeatedly, and left for dead.  She miraculously survived her ordeal and became an advocate for victims of sexual violence.Kelly eventually left Texas to attend New York University.   One day, she and Strauss met for a friendly lunch.  Their friendship soon … [Read more...]

May 19: Living With Grateful Hearts

Living with Grateful HeartsHow many times a day do you say “thank you?”In Uganda, East Africa, being thankful goes far beyond politeness—it is a way of life.According to Sister Mary Margaret Lavonis, the ideals of gratitude are ingrained in Ugandans at a young age.  This principle is known as “webali,” or “an expression of gratitude for all God’s gifts, no matter how big or small.”After learning about this tradition, Sister Lavonis admitted, “There are so many things in life I jus … [Read more...]

May 18: Hospital Food People Love

A new popular dining spot in Warrenton, Virginia, Bistro on the Hill, offers good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player.  It’s also the cafeteria of Fauquier Hospital.“We believe that food is nurturing,” says Zach Erickson, Fauquier’s director of nutrition services.  A trained chef, he and his staff go to a lot of trouble to keep the meals as healthy as possible.A “culinary healing garden” just outside the Bistro provides fresh produce, which is supplemen … [Read more...]

May 17: Tweets to Save Lives

Eleven-year-old Bailey Browning of Roanoke County, Virginia, admires the heroes on the action-adventure TV series Chuck, but she herself is a real-life hero for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.The middle schooler first got involved with raising money for the Tennessee hospital six years ago when her kindergarten teacher, Joy Watson, launched a St. Jude Math-a-Thon on behalf of a student with leukemia.  Participants earn donations for every math problem they finish.  The mon … [Read more...]

May 16: Letting Go of Grudges

In his book That Your Joy May Be Full, Father John Catoir, former Director of The Christophers, shares a story about Catherine Marshall, author of the best-seller Christy.  She and her husband decided to make a concerted effort to practice forgiveness the way Jesus called us to.Each day, they wrote down any grievance they had against anybody, read those grievances aloud, forgave the persons involved, then destroyed the papers.  The practice, they found, helped cleanse them of r … [Read more...]

May 15: Bossy Best

According to Inc. magazine, the best managers share a similar understanding about workplace, company, and team dynamics.  Here are just two of those core beliefs.▪ A company is a community, not a machine.  Good bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose.  They encourage their employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community and the company at large.▪ Motivation comes from vision, n … [Read more...]

May 14: Garden Retreats Nurture Hope and Faith in God

Do you feel like you want to grow closer to God?  Benedictine Sister Angela Jarboe suggests planting a garden.She has led numerous garden retreats at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana, with positive results.  She explains that witnessing the growth of various flowers rejuvenates both the body and soul.“Everything God creates is unique,” Sister Angela told  David Shaughnessy of the Indianapolis archdiocesan newspaper, The Criterion.  “Everything has a life cycle.  In our … [Read more...]