Last year I had a chance to interview Tony Rossi about The Christopher Awards, and how they emphasize how Christ is borne in the stories, these awards bring to our attention.
The latest awards have been announced, and they’ll be presented in May, but over at his blog today, Tony features one of the honored books, Kisses from Katie: a Story of Relentless Love and Redemption, and what an inspiring, humbling story it is!
A few years ago, the Tennessee teen served as class president at her high school, enjoyed shopping for shoes, and planned to attend college. But Katie had also grown up admiring Mother Teresa and the radical love with which she served the poor. At the age of 12, she started taking her Christian faith more seriously and slowly realized that she felt called to back up her beliefs with action.
On her 16th birthday, Katie told her parents that she wanted to spend a year doing mission work before going to college. They reluctantly agreed to let her volunteer at an orphanage in Uganda over winter break of her senior year, thinking that might get her new goal out of her system. Instead, Katie’s convictions were confirmed.
You have to read this story! After high school, Katie Davis went to Uganda and never looked back. Now 22 years old, she is mother to 14 children, and the founderess of Amazima Ministries, which feeds and educates 2,000 Ugandan children. Davis’ blogposts, here are irresistible reads, and one cannot help but consider her life — and her astounding witness to the stubborn love of God for his creatures — and then look around at our first-world obsessions and think, “really…we need to get our priorities in order!
Think of it. While Western parents helicopter around their children, determined that they should be denied nothing — not even an Easter egg — and plot out lives oriented for maximum success, measured by the acquisition of more and more stuff, this young woman following the promptings of the Lord, eschewed all of that, preferring love over luxuries.
And look at her real wealth of joy!
I know I’ve already mentioned our dear patron and friend Saint Philip Neri, today, but I must say that in her transparent and luminous joy, Miss Davis reminds me a little of Philip, who fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the sick and imprisoned all while gently joshing with his brothers and neighbors, “well then, when shall we begin to do good?”
And yeah…humbled. And inspired to do something, today, for someone who could use some help. To begin to do good.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen: Faithfulness in the Little Things