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Mary Ellen Robinson
Chief Operating Officer

July 2017
Dear Friends,

           This month we celebrate Independence Day and give thanks for our God-given freedom to pursue all that is good in our lives. We pray that freedom continues to be safeguarded in our nation and give thanks for the sacrifices of those who have laid their lives on the line and continue to do so to keep our country safe.

            We also celebrate some amazing saints this month, such as Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, the patron saint of spiritual retreats, and an important patron of soldiers. We pray for his intercession in the lives of all military families, that they have peace of mind in the sacrificial calling they answer daily for our nation. We celebrate Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first canonized Native American, whose gentle soul continues to touch the hearts of those who seek her intercession. And we celebrate Saint Paulina, a Brazilian nun of Italian origin who is the patroness of diabetics. We pray for her intercession for all those suffering from this debilitating disease, that they find healing and solutions to allow for a full and happy life.

             The Christophers have received many requests for copies of our recently released News Note “Caregivers Need Care, Too,” and we are grateful to our donors for making it possible for us to distribute this important message of hope to those who give their time to help others in need. We have also received much feedback on our News Note “Recovery From Addiction Through God and Service,” which beautifully articulates how the road to recovery is rooted in the realization that God is calling each one of us to utilize our talents to serve others. And we encourage everyone to read and meditate on our patience magnet, which can be found in our online shop. It is a great reminder of the grace God will grant us when we take time to experience the stillness of soul that allows for discernment of the right path in life.

            Also available in our shop are two new books that explore the teachings of Pope Francis. One is Bill Huebsch’s group reading guide to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel,” which provides insight into Francis’ vision for how to share our faith with others in the modern world. The other beautiful book inspired by Pope Francis’ thought is titled simply, “Praying the Rosary with Pope Francis.” Quotes from the Pope accompany short readings that illuminate the mysteries of the rosary in this pocket-sized reader that will be indispensable to those wishing to grow closer to God through the intercession of Mary.

            In a recent address, Pope Francis called on all people to realize God’s call to make a difference in the world, saying, “And to us today the Lord says the same: ‘Get up! Look! Hope!’ He tells us that it’s not time to put our life in closure, not to close our story, not to compile our story. The Lord tells us that our story is open, still: it is open until the end, it is open with a mission. And with these three imperatives tells us the mission: ‘Get up! Look! Hope!’” What inspirational words these are and what a powerful witness Pope Francis gives us by living a life devoted to answering God’s call to act for the greater good.

            Lastly, we’d like to share that the Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church Eastern U.S. hosted its first Christopher Leadership Course at the St. Aphrem Center in Paramus, N.J. on May 30th and 31st for their annual clergy retreat. It was a soaring success and we are already looking forward to offering future leadership training with Syriac Christians of the U.S. They represent a culture that has survived much persecution in the Middle East; we are proud to support their efforts to keep their culture alive here, and we pray for the safety of their loved ones who are still in Syria.

            Thanks to our donors for making all we do possible. It is only with your support that we continue to “Get up! Look! Hope!” together for the greater good.

            May God bless you and your loved ones always!

    

Joyfully,

  

Mary Ellen Robinson

Vice President/COO