Dec. 7: A Ball of Wishes

A cafe owner was thinking about a way to give his customers the holiday spirit.  He wanted full houses for the music-artists who performed each weekend, but he also wanted to make the season more than just about money.As he unpacked his shop’s Christmas decorations, he had an idea.  A clear ball ornament held the answer.On the first Sunday of December, while a cello player performed, his wife distributed pens and strips of brightly colored construction paper.  “Write down your wish for th … [Read more...]

Dec. 6: Secret Santa Saves

It’s become an annual tradition for CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman to visit with “Secret Santa,” an anonymous businessman who travels the country at Christmas time randomly handing out $100 bills.  The accompanying news stories highlight our power to help others.For instance, in 2011, “Secret Santa” gave money to 30-year-old Thomas Coates, a drug addict who “hocked his own son’s toys for drug money.”  Coates’ girlfriend had recently asked him to say a prayer to God asking for help.  He … [Read more...]

Dec. 5: Brothers and Sisters

After managing liver disease for 15 years, Dennis Fearn of Long Island, New York, began losing weight and feeling sick.  His doctor told him he’d need a new liver, but the wait could be eight years to obtain one from a deceased donor.  It would be possible, however, to obtain a portion from a live donor because the liver regenerates.  When Fearn’s sister, Susan Brown, heard this, her eyes lit up and she said, “I’d like to do that.”Explaining her reason to the New York Daily News, Brown said, … [Read more...]

Dec. 4: Church Bulletin Laughs

Church bulletin bloopers are always good for a laugh.  Here are several that were cited in the National Catholic Register:▪ “Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.  Bring your husbands.”▪ “Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.”▪ “Smile at someone who is hard to love.  Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.”▪ “Don’t let worry kill you off; let the Church help!”▪ “P … [Read more...]

Dec. 3: Won’t Back Down

Two weeks after he was beaten and robbed in St. Margaret of Scotland’s parish rectory, Father Daniel Mallette, an 80-year-old priest on the South Side of Chicago, was back on the job, saying, “It feels great to be back.”On December 6, 2011, Father Mallette was awakened at 12:30 a.m. by two men who broke into the rectory and forced him out of bed.  They demanded he open the church safe.  He was hit in the face and kicked; several ribs were broken.  The men took $600, but not before one of the … [Read more...]

Dec. 2: A Hockey Team’s Heart

Eleven-year-old Zach Bennett of Albany, New York, was born with neurofibromatosis, a degenerative disease resulting in tumors on his nerves.  He has endured constant pain, and 20 operations, including amputation of both legs.  The local hockey team, the Albany River Rats, had always been a source of joy to Bennett.  “Hockey means life to me because it makes me motivated,” he told ABC News.After his second leg was amputated, Bennett’s mother asked the River Rats for help raising his low spirit … [Read more...]

Dec. 1: The Perfect Christmas Gift

“To experience 80 years and rejoice in each new day is his singular joy,” writes syndicated columnist Christina Capecchi about her grandfather, an artist who recovered from a heart attack at age 70 and thereafter, continued learning and growing.  At age 73, he taught himself to play clarinet and is now writing a book called Life Begins at 70.While she was hosting a fun-filled but hectic Christmas party, Capecchi was called aside by her grandfather.  “Look, what do you see?” he asked, encourag … [Read more...]

Nov. 30: A Mother’s Love

Kris Miccio, a law professor and Fulbright Scholar, has been fortunate enough to know the love of two different but equally caring mothers—her biological mother and the “Mom” who adopted her through the New York Foundling hospital where she was left as an infant.After 18 years of searching, with the aid of her adoptive mother, Miccio finally located her birth mother and three half-sisters.  Together, she and her newfound family celebrated her 59th birthday in Ireland.  Miccio cannot be more g … [Read more...]