“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… Read more

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… Read more

Maryknoll Father James Keller, the founder of The Christophers, always encouraged people to use their talents to be a force for good.  He also knew that the entertainment industry had a big influence on the public, so he encouraged filmmakers to create movies with a positive message. One time while he was visiting Hollywood, Father Keller played golf with the writer-director team of Bill Perlberg and George Seaton.  The two men described a story idea they had for a movie,… Read more

Ron Petros asked his wife, Carol, “Why don’t we invite some of the guys here for Thanksgiving?”  The “guys” to whom he referred were homeless men nicknamed Jimbo, Hillbilly, Irish, Capone, and Rocky.  Petros had become acquainted with them when living on the streets himself in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “With long, intensive help from counselors and friends at the New Hope Center Street ministry, [Ron had] given up alcohol and got a job, and he and I had married,” Carol wrote… Read more

One Hanukkah many years ago, Chaim Drizin set out to kindle the holiday spirit in a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Russian Jewish immigrants.  Writing on Chabad.org, he said that many of the immigrants knew little about the particulars of their faith because they had lived under communism. Spotting an elderly man sitting on a park bench by himself in front of a concrete chess table, Drizin approached him carrying the small tin menorah and colored candles he was planning… Read more

Bob Brody never liked his mother-in-law, Antoinette “Nettie” Chirichella of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Though her negative view of life annoyed him, he never lost his temper with her over his 23 years of marriage with her daughter. Then, something unexpected happened.  Brody started listening, really listening, while Nettie reminisced about the challenges she had faced over her 78 years of life.  These challenges included raising his future wife without a husband or much money.  Brody apologized to Nettie for years of… Read more

A Chinese proverb states that an invisible thread connects people who are destined to meet.  Laura Schroff believes that might be the reason her life changed one day in 1986.  The advertising executive was walking on a Manhattan street when she was approached by a boy who asked if she had any spare change.  At first she ignored him, but something made her go back.  The boy’s name was Maurice Maczyk, and he was 11. Schroff had no change to… Read more

Every day, an elderly man came to the same church to pray.  He always sat quietly in the last pew.  One day, the pastor decided to ask him about it: “What do you say to God during all that time you spend in church?” The man smiled and answered, “I don’t say anything.  He just looks at me and I look at Him.  We enjoy one another.” Father John Catoir, former Director of The Christophers, shared that story in his… Read more

Though he was born legally blind, Scott MacIntyre doesn’t consider it a disadvantage.  Encouraged by his parents to focus on his abilities, not his disability, MacIntyre was a child prodigy with a God-given talent for music.  At age 19, he graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University—and at age 22, he became American Idol’s first blind contestant. The biggest challenge of MacIntyre’s life began the day of his college graduation when he learned that he was suffering from stage… Read more

When Justin Horner’s tire blew out on a remote road in Oregon, he discovered he had a spare tire but no jack.   He wrote a sign reading “NEED A JACK,” and held it up.  For three hours, cars and trucks just passed him by. As Horner told the story in The New York Times Magazine, a van finally pulled over.  The Good Samaritan driver spoke no English but his daughter did.  He indicated he could help.  Then, Horner’s tire iron… Read more

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