July 14: A Servant of Justice

Eighty-one-year-old Msgr. Marvin Mottet of Davenport, Iowa, received the 2012 Servant of Justice Award in Washington, D.C.  It came from the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors. According to a story carried in Catholic News Service, Marvin Mottet’s exposure to social action dates back to childhood when he saw his parents helping others during the Great Depression—sharing food with strangers, or waiting for payment on milk deliveries. As a seminarian and then as a young priest he became more… Read more

July 13: Gentle Healing

A pig named Biscuit, a pony called Bonsai, and a goat named Sophie share a bond with the troubled youngsters who visit the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, California. Ranch founder Ellie Weiner told New York Times writer Karen Jones that she was abused in childhood, but found comfort caring for stray animals: “[They] saved me and healed me.  If they could do that for me, then they could do it for others.” Youngsters who visit the Gentle Barn hear… Read more

July 12: The Memory Project

What would lead Madison, Wisconsin’s, Ben Schumaker to visit an orphanage at the base of a volcano in Nicaragua carrying 62 pounds of painted portraits?  A labor of love—one he started in college called The Memory Project. Schumaker told CBS News that he wants to give the orphans “a sense of personal heritage” since they have no parents to give it to them.  The orphans’ photos are taken by someone in their area, then those pictures are sent to Schumaker… Read more

July 11: IntenCity Summer Service

For most school-age children, summer is a time of rest and rejuvenation.  For 31 middle school students from Indianapolis, the summer months also included volunteering at the IntenCity Summer Service Camp.  Established by Tyler Mayer, the student life director at Bishop Chatard High School, this camp consists of four days of service at various charitable organizations like soup kitchens and centers for those with special needs. “There are a lot of students who have time in the summer, and we… Read more

July 10: The World Needs Leaders

In his book Developing the Leader Within You, author John C. Maxwell shared several character traits we should all keep in mind if we ever find ourselves in a position of leadership.  He wrote: “The world needs leaders… “Who use their influence at the right times for the right reasons; who take a little greater share of the blame and a little smaller share of the credit; who lead themselves successfully before attempting to lead others; who continue to search… Read more

July 9: Love is Stronger than Death

Sophie Caldecott relishes the bedtime stories her father read to her when she was growing up—stories by authors like Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis—because they taught her not only about right and wrong, but about love.  In 2011, the now twenty-something Caldecott’s understanding of love reached a deeper level after discovering her father had cancer. Writing in Verily magazine, Caldecott says, “Life seems so fragile back in that hospital waiting room, but I have come to realize that, in fact,… Read more

July 8: A Bronze Medalist’s Heart of Gold

If someone told you that an Olympic bronze medalist was selling her medal, you might assume that athlete was dissatisfied with her third-place finish.  Nothing could be further from the truth for Zofia Noceti-Klepacka from Poland. Noceti-Klepacka, who won bronze in a windsurfing competition at the 2012 Olympics, plans to sell her medal to help a five-year-old girl named Zuzia whom she’s known since birth.  The youngster has cystic fibrosis, a potentially-fatal lung disease. Noceti-Klepacka has witnessed the financial difficulties… Read more

July 7: Communion on the Moon

Did you know that the first foods consumed on the moon were the communion elements from a church service? Before his Apollo 11 mission, astronaut Buzz Aldrin wondered whether it might be possible to take communion on the moon.  His pastor enthusiastically supported the idea, and arrangements were made. In 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the lunar surface, Aldrin was carrying a special container.  It held a bit of bread and tiny chalice of wine that he… Read more

July 6: Learning for Life

There are many appealing aspects to summer vacations from school, but there may also be downsides.  Educators now believe that students lose their academic edge during long summer months when classes aren’t in session.  The problem is often more acute in lower-income homes. “Unfortunately, far too many children leave the classroom for summer vacation, and also leave behind access to regular breakfast and lunch, educational materials, and technological tools,” writes Debbie Rambo, president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of… Read more

July 5: Faith-Filled Runners

Currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base near St, Louis, Missouri, Lieut. Col. Pat Castle wanted to combine his love of athletics with pro-life work.  In conjunction with his friend, Rich Reich from Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, he founded LIFE Runners (LIFE stands for “Living In Faith Exchange”). The group’s 154 members, located in the U.S. and abroad, participate in one half or full marathon a year.  Money raised supports women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. In addition, LIFE Runners… Read more