Mary Ellen Robinson
Chief Operating Officer
The Christophers joyously welcome this 70th anniversary year of our organization. Father Keller’s mission to share the uplifting message that each person has a unique purpose in life is still going strong. We continue to serve a far-reaching community of courageous leaders through our Christopher materials, radio show and podcast, leadership course, and media awards, which have inspired countless people in the world of communications to reach beyond the ordinary and create works that affirm the highest values of the human spirit.
A topic that was the focus of one of our award winning books this past year has been generating a lot of interest on the web in recent weeks due to a video on the subject that has gone viral. Amid a snowy landscape at the Korean War Memorial, Chris Stefanick of Real Life Catholic narrates this powerful five minute video that touches on some of the high points of the heroic journey of Father Emil Kapaun, the most decorated military chaplain in US history. We encourage everyone to have a look at this beautiful video and to read the in-depth, book-length account of Father Kapaun’s service to soldiers on the battlefield in “The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” written by journalists Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying, whom we honored for their adept retelling of this amazing story.
Please also be sure to have a look at Father Morris’ ongoing video series in which he offers practical advice based on Christian ethics for dealing with the complex problems of the world. We feel so certain that these short videos will be helpful to people in real-life situations that we hope everyone will spread the word and link to them whenever possible. In this series, viewers will explore timeless wisdom that regularly parallels the message of Pope Francis, such as the episode entitled “Seeing Jesus in Others,” where Father Morris recounts a beautiful story of being surprised by the goodness of another person on the streets of New York City. There are countless stories of Pope Francis that are reminiscent of Father Morris’ down-to-earth tale, and these stories serve as a profound example of his human instincts and holiness as a Christian leader.
Our leadership course offerings continue to draw enthusiastic participation, and our Christopher Leadership weekend course at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, is just around the corner in March. Please check back with us for more information and consider recommending this weekend event to your family and friends. It promises to be a peaceful and enlightening gathering for all.
Also continuing this year is Tony Rossi’s Christopher Closeup blog, which is a must read for anyone interested in an informed commentary on our culture. His postings regularly cover a wide range of important topics of the day, from movie reviews to stories of humanity so often missed by the mainstream news.
Lastly, we are so appreciative of the positive feedback this Christmas season from those in the field who receive our Christopher materials, and we want everyone who stays in touch to know how inspiring your words truly are. Two notes from prison ministers were particularly touching this year. One wrote:
The beautiful calendars were waiting for me when I arrived at the
office this morning…. These will be distributed as a Christmas
remembrance to our men and women in our jails/prisons. I am most
grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity. Blessings of the
Christmas season and best wishes for the New Year!
Another prison minister wrote:
You are better than Santa! What a gift! Thank you so much for
the Christopher 2015 Calendars…. It meant the world to us that
you thought of us – again – with such generosity! May God
continue to bless you, your staff, your benefactors.”
We know from other responses that our Three Minutes a Day book and News Notes were popular gifts and stocking stuffers this year, and we want everyone to know that we have some inspiring News Notes planned for 2015.
But most of all we want you to know that we keep you in our prayers and wish you a blessed New Year!
Mary Ellen Robinson