Mar. 18: The Grace of Brokenness

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 to lean on his faith to find physical and spi … [Read more...]

Mar. 17: Irish Blessings and Good Wishes

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 cheer you.”Next, a bit of Irish wisdom:“It's easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song. / But the man … [Read more...]

Mar. 16: Compassion Class

At St. Vincent Academy in Newark, New Jersey, students learn more than just school subjects.  “Learning compassion is a major theme of our school,” explains the administrative director, Sister June Favata, S.C.“We must pay attention to the ‘soul and heart’ development of the young women who are students at our school,” she adds.Toward that end, the high school has a “Students-in-Community” service program.  In one activity, freshmen and sophomores welcomed more than 100 special education … [Read more...]

Mar. 15: Harnessing the Sun

OB-GYN Laura Stachel left her Berkeley, California home to investigate why so many women in Nigeria were dying in hospitals while giving birth. She discovered hospitals there lacked reliable electricity.  “I watched [cesarean sections] where the lights would go out and the doctors literally finished with my own flashlight,” she says.Stachel turned to her husband, who was familiar with ways to create solar electricity. He designed a simple suitcase containing solar panels that convert sunl … [Read more...]

Mar. 14: Blindness Leads to New Vision

In 1996, 23-year-old David Bigoney was shot in the head by his stepmother, who also killed his father and then herself. Undiscovered for seven hours, Bigoney survived, but was left completely blind.  Initially unable to navigate his home without bumping into walls, he began training for Iron Man triathlons to give himself purpose. He finished his first event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, just minutes before the 17-hour deadline.Bigoney was surprised to hear he inspired others. “Inspire you?  I … [Read more...]

Mar. 13: Aging Faith

Krishna Roy, 83, lives outside of Washington, D.C.  She has worn many hats in her lifetime—working for the Indian government, the United Nations and a community-based health care clinic, to name but a few.As she ages, she sees faith as critical to facing life.  “I feel that I have been tested several times, and the kind of faith I grew up with taught me that hope and love are the most important aspects of my life,” she explains.Roy recalls times when she even fought with others, but faith … [Read more...]

Mar. 12: Everything Changes

A professional musician, Marie Bellet sings about what she knows—as a wife and mother of nine.  “A lot of my music is trying to find the supernatural meaning of what we’re doing every day at the grocery store, in the laundry room, at the dining room table,” explains the singer-songwriter to Catholic Digest.The title of Bellet’s fifth album, Everything Changes, has a deep meaning for her as well.  She says, “We have to constantly be open to being transformed.  Your life changes constantly.  Yo … [Read more...]

Mar. 11: Can Hollywood Forgive Its Own?

Actor/Director Mel Gibson’s public indiscretions and offensive outbursts have been well-documented by the press.  Some wondered if he would ever work again.  In 2011, at the 25th Annual Cinematheque Award Ceremony, he presented an award to actor Robert Downey Jr. at Downey’s request.In his acceptance speech, Downey made a stirring plea: “I asked Mel to present this award for a reason.  When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith.  It didn’t hav … [Read more...]