John Cullen of the U.S. Coast Guard was a World War Two hero you may never have heard of. A  Daily News obituary reported that Cullen, who died at age 90 in 2011, was a “baby-faced 21-year-old” sentry on a Long Island, New York, beach when he came upon several Nazi saboteurs posing as clammers with boat trouble. The New York native didn’t trust these so-called fishermen.  Actually, they had been dropped off by a German submarine in the waters… Read more

When Janice Sparhawk, 72, fell behind on the mortgage payments of her Wisconsin home, her 12-year-old grandson, Noah Lamaide, raised $10,500 in one month to save it from foreclosure.  He accomplished that goal through his website, Noah’s Dream Catcher Network, by telling potential donors of all the wonderful things his grandmother had done for others.  He had started the website at age nine when his mother challenged him to complete one community service project a year. Noah’s passion for helping… Read more

Bankruptcy and divorce were just two of the problems with which a member of Father Peter Daly’s parish—St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick, Maryland—had to deal. After being forced to retire from his job, this man took a minimum wage job at a local motel.  The meager salary wouldn’t allow him to pay for the oil that heats the water in his home during the winter.  When this man went to see Father Daly, they prayed together, “Lord, make a… Read more

“I think we identify with people who can’t help themselves.  I never realized that until Virginia died,” said Diana Costine, RN, an emergency room nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital featured on ABC’s reality TV series NY Med. The “Virginia” referred to is Virginia Dunn, a homeless woman Costine calls a “frequent flyer” because she’s been coming to the ER for 20 years with drug and alcohol problems.  Dunn is the type of person most of us would do our… Read more

Olympian Shawn Johnson’s first gymnastics coach at age five told her mother that the youngster had no talent.  Thankfully her mother transferred her to a new coach, Liang Chow, whose training led Johnson to the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she won one gold and three silver medals. Though Johnson was proud of all her medals, she reveals in her memoir, Winning Balance, that she was shocked to discover reporters referring to her as a loser when she won silver—as if… Read more

In light of all the people struggling to find jobs so they can support themselves and their families, here is a prayer for employment from that you or someone you know might find helpful: “God, our Father, I turn to You seeking Your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. “I need Your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in… Read more

“I have fears…big ones, little ones, medium ones…served up like different size fries you order at McDonald’s,” wrote singer/songwriter Brooke White on her blog. The former American Idol contestant and current member of the band Jack and White revealed that one of her medium-sized fears has always been singing the national anthem at a sporting event.  “Not because of a lack of patriotism,” she explained.  “Indeed I’m proud to be an American.  [But] I’ve always believed I lacked the capability… Read more

Bob invited a large group of friends to dinner at his home, and asked his wife, Mary, to cook up a feast on very little notice.  The night of the dinner arrived and everyone was having a wonderful time as they all sat down to eat. At the table, Mary turned to their six-year-old daughter, Katie, and asked, “Would you like to say the blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” Katie replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,”… Read more

The Character That’s the Strongest Prior to his death in 2001, actor Carroll O’Connor’s final role was in the film Return to Me, a comedy written and directed by actress Bonnie Hunt in 2000.  One of O’Connor’s lines in the movie stemmed from something Hunt’s father used to say before he passed away: “It’s the character that’s the strongest that God gives the most challenges to.”  O’Connor could relate, having been devastated by the loss of his son, Hugh, to… Read more

For 16 years, blogger Elizabeth Scalia, her husband and their two sons thought of their border collie, Alle, as another member of the family.  That’s why it was so painful when Alle passed away in July 2012. Scalia recalled how insightful and loving the dog was, noting that “[Alle was] the one who knew when any of us was sick, and came to lie with us.  The one who watched at the window as we left, and ran to the… Read more

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