Mary Ellen Robinson
Chief Operating Officer
The Christophers wish everyone a happy and blessed Independence Day. It’s a great time to contemplate the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women for the United States of America. Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom, and we pray for renewed commitment to the values that will keep us strong.
During this month of July, we also celebrate the feast of Blessed Junipero Serra. He is the Franciscan missionary to Native Americans on the West Coast who will be canonized by Pope Francis during his visit to our nation for the World Meeting of Families in September. Blessed Junipero braved tremendous hardships to found his missions and defend the rights of Native Americans.
Wishing to revitalize the kind of missionary spirit exemplified by Blessed Junipero, the Pope regularly sets his own example of outreach to the poor and disenfranchised. A recent account details his meeting with a group of juvenile detainees in Turin, Italy. They were reportedly astonished at his invitation, and shy at first, but eventually became more comfortable and put many fascinating questions to the Pope.
The Christophers take great inspiration from the example set by Pope Francis, and we know from our outreach to prison ministers like Deacon Peter André of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida, that the print materials we distribute to juvenile detainees work wonders in support of effective counsel to change people’s lives.
Our upcoming News Notes include Appreciating Our Elders, which is a wonderful way to remember how important it is to look to the wisdom of our elders in order to stay in touch with those values that lead to lasting happiness. And we are currently working on a News Note on the importance of caring for God’s creation, which picks up on Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the topic and offers concrete examples of how a love of nature can improve our lives.
For our Christopher Closeup radio show and podcast, Tony Rossi recently interviewed author John Schlimm about his book Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship that Answered Life’s Greatest Questions. The book is a beautiful memoir about Schlimm’s friendship with an 87-year-old nun named Sister Augustine, who ran a ceramics shop on the grounds of Saint Joseph Monastery in Saint Mary’s, Pennsylvania. Schlimm was at a crossroads in his life when he met Sister Augustine, so she shared with him much of her wisdom about God, purpose, and finding joy in life. Her insights can be taken to heart by all of us and are worth listening to in this thoughtful interview.
Also in the works is our 2016 Three Minutes a Day book, which is volume 50 of this classic begun by our founder, Father James Keller, M.M., and beloved by so many for the inspiration it provides on a daily basis. We are so heartened to hear of how our mission has touched lives, and we encourage people to write in during this 70th anniversary year to share their Christopher stories.
A special thank you to our donors for the support you give us all year long and for the wonderful suggestions for News Notes. We love your feedback.
As always, be assured that we are praying for you and your loved ones…and for peace throughout the world.
Mary Ellen Robinson