Mary Ellen Robinson
Chief Operating Officer
The Christophers wish everyone a joyous end of summer season, and we continue to call for prayers for our Holy Father so that he might be strengthened during these times of suffering and persecution of Christians in the Middle East. And let us join our prayers to his for all those hurting around the world.
Society is in need of leaders now more than ever to step forth and have the courage to demonstrate for others what it means to be active peacemakers. Our Christopher Leadership workshops are a great way to get started, so we encourage everyone to consider spreading the word to those in their communities who might be interested in taking that next step in exploring the call to service.
This month, on Saturday, September 27, we have a one-day Christopher Leadership workshop for parishioners at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Hope in Brooklyn. In October, we have a one-day leadership workshop for course graduates in Troy, Michigan, and in November, we have a one-day leadership workshop at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, NY. Please be in touch with us about attending any of these events.
In his new film, “When the Game Stands Tall,” Jim Caviezel portrays Bob Ladouceur, a high school football coach who understood the call to service and the need his community had for the kind of leadership that puts doing what’s right above everything else. As Tony Rossi writes, “Ladouceur received many offers to coach college or NFL teams and earn a seven-figure salary. Yet he turned them all down because he believed that his high school students needed his guidance and training more than those who’d already made it to the next stage of their sport.”
Tony recently interviewed Caviezel about the film. When asked what qualifies as a good movie, Caviezel said, “A story that has redemption to it, a story that has real love. That’s what Ladouceur teaches: real love, real responsibility. He said to his team, and I quote him, ‘We’re not asking you to play a perfect game. That’s impossible. What we’re asking of you – and what you should be asking of yourself – is to give a perfect effort on every play from snap to whistle, that you can be depended on. Love means that you can depend on me.’ Those boys would look him in the eye [and know] he loves them. That is true authenticity.”
We are so blessed to have leaders in our society like Bob Ladouceur and we encourage everyone to listen to Tony’s interview with Caviezel in its entirety by visiting his Christopher Closeup Blog. Also on our website, be sure to watch Father Jonathan Morris’ video series where the values that underpin great leadership are discussed in a down-to-earth and engaging manner. In his recent talk on humility, Father Morris points out that humility is not about crawling into a hole, it’s about being who we truly are meant to be. He says, “I think there’s a way to prepare ourselves to receive such a great gift as humility, and that is to begin to center our minds, our hearts, and our actions on others.” This is how we really become the leaders that God wants us to be and we encourage everyone to follow Father Morris’ series of short videos for their inspiration and profound insight into the human condition.
We continue to be inspired by the letters we get from our Christopher friends. Upon receiving a gift of our Christopher materials, one prison minister recently wrote: “We will be able to use this for a long time to come. Your information is excellent and our volunteers and the prisoners will greatly appreciate it.” Another person wrote: “Thank you so much for the materials we received that will be used for our widow/widower program and home visits. It is very appreciated and is being enjoyed by those who read them.”
Sister Rosemary Dowd, who has been in prison ministry for the past 30 years, wrote: “Everything the Christophers produce is high quality and helpful. I wish I could send you contributions equal to the wonderful things you send us.” And one longtime friend of the Christophers wrote:
My connection to the Christopher News Notes goes back to Father
Keller. I look forward to receiving them each month. They are
a source of information and inspiration as I prepare for my role
as a bereavement coordinator and a facilitator for a parish faith
sharing group…. Please keep up the good work of the Christophers,
as we continue to pray for this ministry.
It is inspiring to receive this kind of encouragement from our friends. Thank you all for your prayers and we keep you in ours.
Mary Ellen Robinson