Over 800 children fleeing poverty, political persecution, and genocide in other countries are welcomed at the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, Israel.  The Christopher Award-winning documentary Strangers No More follows three of those students whose skilled and compassionate teachers provide them with a solid education, and the help they need to move beyond their tragic pasts to create a better tomorrow. The film’s directors call the school “an extraordinary place where one can experience a sense of humanity so rich… Read more

When Janet Sahm, co-founder of Verily magazine, was in college, she took a summer job with an elderly care program in Indianapolis.  Though Sahm grew up Catholic, she’d become disconnected from her faith as she got older.  Her interest in reconnecting with Catholicism coincided with her new job. Before she was trained, Sahm got an emergency call to take the overnight shift caring for a 97-year-old infirm priest named Msgr. Richard Kavanagh.  “I was scared to death,” she recalled on… Read more

When Michael Peters of Omaha, Nebraska, was an infant in 1996, his parents heard the distressing news that his heart was terribly weak.  He would need a transplant in order to survive.  Their spirits were lifted once a donor became available. Michael and his parents still honor the two-year-old heart donor and her family whose gift gave them hope and life. “When I think about her now, I feel blessed,” said Michael.  “Because of what they did, what she did,… Read more

As a child, Ann Curry, the NBC television journalist, would ask her father what she should be when she grew up.  His answer was always the same: “Whatever you do, do something that is of some service to somebody else, because if you do, you’ll know that it mattered that you were born.” That message, Curry admits, propelled her into a life of traveling the world, seeing people in great need with her own eyes—and doing something to help. “What… Read more

In the mid-90s, New York musician Sean Forrest could be found “hanging out in pubs, being on stage, [and] getting ready to party,” but he couldn’t find fulfillment.  “I just knew that wasn’t what God was calling me to do,” Forrest said. He converted to Catholicism and started a nonprofit called Movin’ With the Spirit, which uses retreats and music to minister to teens and their families.  In 2009, Forrest expanded his work to include outreach to Haiti’s poor and… Read more

We may think the slave trade was abolished in prior centuries but tragically, it exists to this very day.  “80 percent of today’s slaves are women and girls; 50 percent are children,” writes Mark Hanlon, an executive at Compassion International, a Christian organization that works to free youngsters from poverty. “The nature of slavery may differ from country to country —from enslavement in the sex trade to child abduction by rogue military organizations—but nearly all enslaved children share a common… Read more

America’s Medal of Honor is usually given posthumously, but Sgt. First Class Leroy A. Petry, who survived his combat experience, received his award in a 2011 White House ceremony.  He became the second living medal recipient from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. During combat in Afghanistan, Petry, an Army Ranger, was shot in both legs.  Then a grenade exploded nearby, wounding several of his fellow soldiers.  When a second enemy grenade landed close to them, Petry threw it away… Read more

“At all times cultivate silence.” These words in a chapel’s stained glass window made Judith Valente realize that although she led spiritual retreats for busy professionals, she had forgotten to nourish her own soul. Writing in USA Today, she said, “What I lacked were moments of silence and solitude when I could simply be. Without them, I was losing drop by drop the inner resources I needed to do my work well and cultivate an inner life.” Valente was on… Read more

On January 2, 2009, Kevin Wells—a healthy 40-year-old husband and father of three— had just gone to bed when a malformed tangle of veins and arteries in his brain suddenly burst.  The sharp pain from the blood and other fluids that were filling his head grew worse as he and his wife waited for an ambulance. Wells was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage, and given emergency brain surgery.  His situation remained dire for the next few weeks, so he came… Read more

The Irish are known for their way with words, so here is a special wish for St. Patrick’s Day. “May there always be work for your hands to do / May your purse always hold a coin or two. / May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane, / May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. / May the hand of a friend always be near you, / And may God fill your heart with gladness to… Read more

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