Here’s what people are saying about The Christophers and all the different things we offer - from Three Minutes a Day books and emails, to News Notes, to Prayer Cards, to podcasts and radio shows, to our annual Christopher Awards, to our Youth Contests.
I am the chaplain at a mental health facility. A few months ago, you sent me some brochures and several Three Minutes a Day books, and I have been using them with the patients.
I just wanted to give you a quick update on the success of the materials you sent me, particularly Three Minutes a Day. In June, I started using the daily selections as a basis for spiritual reflections in our juvenile ward. About two weeks ago, I started using selections from the book to lead reflections in the adult wards as well. The reflections have been very well received. I want to thank you for your help and support.
Peace and Blessings to you in your wonderful ministry of hope.
Thank you for the package of The Christophers: “Hope for Prisoners” prayer cards which arrived yesterday AND were mailed out yesterday to our vital prison ministry team at the Orient Road Jail in Tampa, Florida. I make note of the date in this letter – for it is only the 10th of January… and yet – as always, the compassion and generosity of The Christophers continues to make a difference to offenders and (ex) offenders attending spiritual re-entry programs throughout our five county Diocese of St. Petersburg.
What a blessing your support has been to us!
Please know that you, your personal intentions, and those of The Christophers Family and Benefactors, remain remembered in our daily prayers.
It is our hope, wish and prayer for you, that 2019 brings you the gifts, blessings and graces of good health, happiness, peace, comfort, freedom from fear and anxiety, and profound affirmations of God’s abiding love and constant presence in your life.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Deacon Peter André, Director of Prison Ministry
Diocese of St. Petersburg
We are excited to share what amounts to a BUNCH of good news with you. You might already know that on January 4, 2017, the Diocese of St. Petersburg welcomed Bishop Gregory Parkes as our new shepherd. Bishop Lynch had served us faithfully for 22 years, but it was time as his health had been declining. Bishop Parkes comes to us from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, whose sprawling geographical area contains more prisons (including death row inmates) than any other Diocese in Florida. So he’s very ‘pro’ prison ministry!
Another piece of good news is that we have recently recruited and welcomed new volunteers to our juvenile detention center ministry. These men and women have been Heaven-sent for they come with a wealth of gifts and talents from their chosen careers which will help them to reach the juveniles on many levels. We are going to expand what the JDC calls our ‘church’ service to include life skills, peer skills, self-esteem building, just to name a few.
As always, Christopher News Notes remain a staple in our curriculum. And with sincere and humble gratitude, we acknowledge your generous, long standing partnership. That is why, if your resources permit, we are hoping, please, that you might be able to send (any amount of) Christophers’ materials suitable for teens?
We have been told that, upon occasion, God will permit us a ‘peek behind the curtain’ when ministering to our incarcerated brothers and sisters in Christ. We plant the mustard seed but more often than not, never see it begin to bud – let alone bloom! But our prison ministry volunteers are given this opportunity thanks to your generosity… for when we see eager faces reaching out for a pamphlet of prayer or inspiration… When we see offenders realizing a saint’s prayer card was their saint’s name at baptism or confirmation, or a card of hope and encouragement… there it is – the faith to heart connection - it was always there, but buried, dimmed, diminished due to the baggage and debris picked up from bad choices and poor directions in their lives.
Will the desire to grow in God’s presence last? That we may never know while on this earth. But to be able to share what we know about our Heavenly Father, His Son, Our Blessed Mother, is in itself, God’s gift to US. Thank you for being a partner with us in ministry, in this time and in this place. You were sent to us as an Angel. May you continue to be showered with blessings for your work spreading the Good News of our Faith and the power of prayer.
Your ministry friends in Christ,
Deacon Peter André
I’m 95 years old and in our Diocesan Nursing Home...I share your flyers so others can benefit from them. Keep up the good work. Pray for me.
Thank you for the beautiful birthday prayer card. Means more because my BD is Oct. 9th. 81 years old or young - depends on the day and my body.
I had a stack of the original Christopher news notes 50 years ago in Plum City, WI, then we moved so a lot of things had to go. I don’t know who sent them to me now but I’m happy to get them. I enjoy reading them, there’s always something that hits home.
Thank you and God bless you,
Thank you so much for your inspiring messages, they are a soothing balm to my wounded soul. By our Lord’s wonderful providence your [prayer] card “Birthday Blessings” came to me on my 80th birthday – a happy but scary day. I am grateful to God for the gift of life and for all His graces to help me live it for Him and for souls. I rely on His mercy more and more, as well as the goodness and kindness of others. I thank you for binging that to me through your ministry...The Lord bless you and keep you. You remain with me in prayers – please pray for me. May we always remain receptive to His loving ways.
With love in Christ,
Dear Christopher Friends,
I was recently honored by the fourth-degree Knights of Columbus Pope John Paul II Assembly 2461 in Lawrence, Kansas. They wanted to give me a gift, but I declined as I’m blessed in so many ways.
Undaunted, they asked what my favorite charity was and they’d give a donation there instead. Now, that I could agree to!
I’ve been a Christopher monthly supporter (I think!) since my ordination to the priesthood in 1981. I’m a firm believer in the printed word and have been the editor of our archdiocesan newspaper, The Leaven, in Kansas City, Kansas, since 1989. Your dedication to the printed word continues to be an inspiration for me.
May this donation help you to continue to light one candle for many years to come.
Father Mark Goldasich
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Today we received confirmation from Jon Clanton, Senior Chaplain at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution in Zephyrhills, Florida, that the ‘calendars and books have arrived…and are very much needed and appreciated!’
We’d like to warmly echo those sentiments of gratitude or in the past three months alone, we have reached out to The Christopher’s with several last minute requests—which is not how we normally act towards our benefactors, the answer has always been yes. The Christopher’s have provided beautiful prayer cards to the men at the Orient Road Jail in Tampa, calendars and books to the men at the long term men’s prison, ZCI (see above) and both calendars and 3 Minutes a Day books to the men and women at the Westcare Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, a court ordered substance abuse program through the Pinellas County Jail.
Your candle burns brightly! Thank you for sharing your witness, your ministry, your generosity with the men and women served ‘behind the wire’ by our Diocesan Prison Ministry.
“I need to stay in the Light of the Lord, for if I don’t, surely I will be lost. I will fall into a deep, dark, crevice, and His Light would not shine upon me. With my eyes wide open, looking up to Thee, I will never get lost in any darkness again...” In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
(Ellen JL – almighty’s child – in recovery since 2001)
Yours in Christ,
Deacon Peter André, Director of Prison Ministry
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
I can’t thank you enough for generously donating the latest edition of Three Minutes a Day and Prison Ministry Calendar. My apologies for sending out this Thank You letter to you so late but I just started my new role as Chaplain here at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (BHCF) a few weeks ago replacing the wonderful Sister Mary Ann Collins. At BHCF, we have approximately nine hundred women inmates. God’s presence is felt throughout the halls of this maximum security prison for women. We celebrate Mass every Sunday morning and during the week, we provide a weekly Eucharistic Service and it amazes me how the attendance at both of these services continues to grow. Yes, God is in it all!
We provide Bible Study programs and we have our Rosary Prayer Group which meets every week but we still have so much more to do.
Please let the wonderful folks at The Christopher’s know that by their efforts they have “made a difference” to my incarcerated sisters here at BHCF.
Once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God continue to fill you and your wonderful organization with His love.
Blessings to you all!
Deacon Clifford Calanni BCC
Sister Dorothy Maxwell OP
I just finished reading the stories included in the month of January from the Three Minutes a Day book. Some of the stories almost brought tears to my eyes, as I recall acts of kindness that I have witnessed from caring individuals;
I feel that there is hope for humanity, after all.
From my friend, Nelson A. from the Bronx, NY
“I would very much appreciate receiving a .pdf copy of [the Christopher News Note] "Finding Serenity in Silence". I mourn the loss of silence that I had in my younger years. Perhaps Wisdom is calling be back and FSiS will be my guide.” Ed
“Thank you for this offer [of the Christopher News Note “From Sinners to Saints.”]! I pray this will help me with my husband, who thinks he is too bad for God to forgive.” B.F.
"When I was a child I saw these little clips on TV. Now as I am edging into the (ahem) golden age... I am 59, I have just read a little book by Father Jonathan Morris and have renewed listening as much as possible to the radio and these Christopher tidbits.. Love them!!!!" D.C.K.
Dear Christophers, On behalf of the men incarcerated at the Valley Ridge CIT (Center for Intense Treatment) in Norwich , NY, I thank you for the donation of a generous number of Three Minutes a Day [books]. I had the opportunity to present them to our men in attendance at last week’s Christmas Communion Service. Tomorrow I’ll begin guiding them in the use of the daily stories that will resonate with many of them. [Your staff] made the gift of these books a reality for our men. Once again, thank you and may God continue to bless your ministry. Deacon Jim McNerney, Diocese of Syracuse.”
Thank you ever so much! The pamphlets are very enlightening and encouraging for me, and my family.
- The Peter family
“Thank you for the latest Three Minutes a Day, Volume 50. I am passing it on to a dear Church friend. I have several editions over the years. I’m sure she will enjoy [it] over the year, like I do. Blessings and prayers to the staff at The Christophers.” A.G.
“I wanted to thank you for your help in having Father Morris as our celebrant and speaker at our October 30th breakfast. He was very much appreciated by those present at the Mass and the Breakfast. We also appreciated the books, which I distributed to everyone present. I read mine daily except for Saturday and Sunday which I read on Monday. I’m amazed at how appropriate the stories are.” R.A., Catholics in Construction
“I would like to take the time to thank you for your generosity and your support of our ministry. You gift of the beautiful Christophers calendars was very well received. Many of the women were actually looking to us for calendars with a combination of scenery and scriptures and lo and behold your calendars arrived! In addition, we have put your “3 Minutes a Day” booklets to good use and even the volunteers who frequent the facility have expressed their interest in the booklets…As always, we feel very blessed to have loving friends like you…Your thoughtfulness and your giving spirit permeates to the women as they realize that others remember them. You and your wonderful organization are an inspiration to us all.”
- Sister Mary Ann Collins, O.P., Chaplain, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
“Thank you so much for the [Christopher News Notes] you sent. It was a great surprise. I truly appreciate them and they are a great tool in evangelization in our day. The message is clear and well written and in keeping with the needs of our time. May God bless you and give success to all your endeavors…You will be remembered in all our thoughts and prayers.”
Sr. Elizabeth M. Morales
Sisters of St. John the Baptist
“Thank you so much for sending me the work prayer. I enjoy listening to those precious moments on the radio. They remind me to keep praying during the day . May God continue to bless you and may your prayers touch so many more.”
- Sincerely, Lucy
“The people at Holy Family By The Sea Catholic Chapel are consistently generous in their weekly offering. As a result, we are able to support a number of worthy causes. The Christophers, is most deserving of our support.”
“I wish to thank you for your inspirations you give me to write articles in the newspapers, by means of your Christopher News Notes. Dear friends, continue to be the light of Jesus in a dark world and continue to get closer to the Holy Eucharist and Mary, so you remain faithful to your vocation. Your mission is essential, because ‘It’s better to light a Candle than to curse the darkness.’ it’s better to do something positive because the world gives us negative messages…Your brother in Christ.” – C.C., Malta.
Your Three minutes a day meditation carries me through the day. I start the day with it and often write the relevant verse in my journal to memorise and think about. I feel a connection with the people you write about. I am a secular Franciscan and making connections is important to us.
- Thank you!
“At age 86-7 years, I’m a bit ‘out of it,’ so bear with me. Looking through my check book, I was shocked to discover that 2015 passed without my donation to The Christophers! Going through my folder I found a letter dated to 10.25.62 signed by Fr. James Keller, thanking me for a $2.00 donation, wow!! Growing up in N.J., we were blessed with T.V. that gave us Fulton Sheen and Patrick Peyton!! Here in L.A. I haven’t found this on network [TV]. This makes me sad. But on the other hand, I have Christopher News Notes (#583 to date) which I’ve given to churches, schools, offices, etc. Your current Focus on the Good book mark ‘lights a candle.’ Thank You. Keep up the good work.” Mary F.
“For many years through the kindness of Brother Tom Fernando I received Christopher News Notes by post - read them, re-read them, circulated to friends..and grew spiritually mature through the efforts of all who took the time and effort to write, compile, edit, print and mail them. I retired as a Secretary on March 8, 2013. Clearing my desk I came across a stack of Christopher News Notes which I duly packed in a carton. Today, three years later, searching for some documents, I came across the stack and decided to write straight away. Much love and unity to all at The Christophers.” L.P., Mumbai, India
"I, like the Christophers, have just turned 70. I have never forgotten the meeting I had with Fr.Keller in 1964. I had just moved to New York City to attend Acting school. I had been an avid watcher of the Christopher's television Program and I sent a note to Fr Keller to express my admiration and told him how I hoped to keep his message in my heart. To my astonishment, I received a phone call from Fr. Keller soon after I arrived in the City. He suggested I come over to the office for a chat. I'm sorry to say I don't remember everything of the meeting but I do remember it was a busy office. Fr Keller was encouraging and he had a quiet but riveting personality...Thank you for continuing his work." Joanne M., FL
“Thank you so much for your most recent donation of News Notes and the prayer cards ‘Healing Life’s Hurts.’ We will most certainly put them to good use as they will provide wonderful reading material for those attending daily groups and services in the Chapel… Thanks to generous, kind, thoughtful and compassionate friends like you, we are able to meet the goals of our ministry by providing the women with basic needs. You and your organization are truly one of kind and a great asset to us here at Bedford Hills [Correctional Facility for Women]. Please know that the women continue to pray for all of you in their weekly Rosary group in the Chapel. May God continuously bless you all.” Sister Mary Ann Collins, O.P., Chaplain
“Thank you a million times for mailing me the two books “Three Minutes a Day.” I started reading the book immediately and never put it down. I read in 2 days. What a great book to have in our family library! Coming from an Armenian family my parents lived through the genocide [in] 1915 in the dark desert and taught us their children that beautiful saying ‘It’s better to pray or light a candle than to curse the darkness.’ It was their prayers that kept them alive. I am 93-years-old and in very good health and shape. We live our religion every day by our prayers…Sincerely with God’s love and prayers, Margaret A.”
“Thanks so much for the copies of Volume 51 of Three Minutes A Day. That volume number alone speaks "volumes." What a tremendous accomplishment! Know that they will be put to very good use - certainly so much "food-for-thought." I will share these with members of my Faith Sharing Group. We meet regularly on our monthly Retreat Days, spending time in prayer, meditation and discussion -- how ideal are these daily readings and prayers -- they suit our purposes just perfectly…May the good Lord continue to bless you and the entire organization of The Christophers for your exemplary evangelization efforts. I am convinced that it is because of outstanding Christians like yourselves that our global society, despite its shortcomings, is still making a positive impact on the world. God love you! Sister Josepha”
“Three Minutes a Day and the Christopher calendar are my daily companions. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.” Mrs. G.S.
“That prayer you sent me, ‘Prayer of Gratitude’ is absolutely beautiful. I’ll be saying that the rest of my life!” Mr. J.T.A., World War II veteran
"Thank you so much for remembering us yet again. The new edition of 'Three Minutes a Day' was very well received and your donation of prayer cards and beautiful calendars will also be put to very good use...The prevailing feeling among some of the women is that God has abandoned them but you are living proof of God’s presence among us. Most women here have a deep desire to walk with God even though they may find very little comfort in prayer. Through this ministry, we encourage them to stay the course and you are instrumental in that process...You have grasped the importance of our responsibility to others and your good will help promote harmony, fulfillment and peace. The women will pray for you and your wonderful organization in their Rosary group every Friday in the Chapel. May you all have a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. " - Sister Mary Ann Collins, O.P., Chaplain, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
"I would like to thank you for your gift of rosaries for the inmates at Sing Sing Correctional facility and Metropolitan Correction Center. Praying the Rosary can touch people very deeply and transform their lives. A good part of our mission is to see and respond to the needs of people today, 'to seek and to save the lost!' Please know that the rosaries will be put to good use by the inmates. You are a part of our spiritual family and please know that you can call upon us anytime you are in need of prayer. May the Passion of Jesus Christ be ever in our hearts!" - Father Edward L. Beck, C.P., Passionist Missionaries
“Our hearts are FULL TO BURSTING with gratitude for your generous—beyond generous—gifts to our ministry to be used exclusively for the special Christmas Eve Masses taking place at Pinellas Safe Harbor and Pinellas Hope.
“It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit is working at these two shelters! Their leadership, Sgt. Zach Haisch and Rhonda Abbott, are passionate about providing safe, affirming places to live for the poor, those suffering from mental illness and addiction. Rhonda was our city staff person for homeless services and both sit on the Homeless Leadership Board for the City of St. Petersburg. When we reached out to them to ask permission to come outside of our regular schedule…their answers were a resounding—YES! And the same answer was given when we asked special permission to distribute your books; Three Minutes A Day and the bookmark on gratitude…both Rhonda and Sgt. Haisch never hesitated to approve this—expressing their own gratitude that gifts were to be given.
“The Christophers’ 2017 Calendars are also a very special gift to be sent directly to the staff chaplain, Jon Clanton, at Zephyrhills Correctional, the long term men’s prison in Zephyrhills, FL. They are very much appreciated by these men for whom time hangs heavy on their hands. They offer inspiration, prayer, encouragement, hope. They are reminders of how beautiful life can be.
“The generosity of the Christopher’s is simply amazing and deeply, deeply appreciated by us, and the inmates/shelter clients, in our special care. May you know only grace and blessings in the New Year! God bless you, your work, your staff, your benefactors.” - Deacon Pete André, Director, Office of Prison Ministry, Diocese of St. Petersburg
“Just a word of appreciation to you and the Christopher's staff members - also to the outstanding generous donors and sponsors - for all the fantastic work that you do and the inspiring materials that you provide to our prison/jail ministries. Our inmates, as well as our facilitators, are highly grateful and very well pleased to have received the uplifting Christopher News Notes and the 2017 calendars that are excellently tailored for inmates…Truly, you folks are a God-Send and proof that God will never be outdone in generosity. Again a huge thank you and May God Bless you and keep you all safe. In Christian love always, B. Sylvain, Prince of Peace Prison Ministry.”