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Mary Ellen Robinson
Chief Operating Officer

May 2017
Dear Friends,

              On May 16, The Christophers will hold our 68th annual Christopher Awards ceremony. Winners of this year’s awards represent a broad spectrum of books, films, and television programs that affirm the highest values of the human spirit: from Hacksaw Ridge, a feature film about a conscientious objector who saved 75 people without firing a single shot during the World War II battle of Okinawa, to Baby Wren and the Great Gift, a beautiful children’s book about a young bird discovering its own unique talent. We look forward to honoring the creators of these and the many other works selected for distinction this year.    

The Christophers bestow special awards each year upon those whose lives embody our motto, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” This year, we are proud to have the opportunity to honor Patti Ann McDonald with our Christopher Leadership Award. When her husband, NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, was shot in the line of duty, she stood by him and inspired him to go on living a life devoted to peace and reconciliation. And our James Keller Award will go to Dr. Chuck Dietzen, a pediatric rehabilitation doctor who founded a global network to bring healthcare to those in need.

 Our latest News Note, Stories of Modern-Day Christ-bearers, is a beautiful reflection on what it means to be a Christopher. Through the retelling of stories about people who have recognized the call to service, this News Note touches the heart and inspires us all to have the courage to take action for the greater good. We encourage everyone to order extra copies to share with friends, loved-ones, and throughout your communities.

The Catholic News Agency recently reported that Christians are targeted for persecution more than any other religious group in the world. That persecution is particularly intense in conflict zones like Iraq and Syria. In his Urbi et Orbi blessing from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for peace to come to conflict zones around the world, and The Christophers ask for all to join in this ongoing prayer.

In his Urbi et Orbi, Pope Francis also spoke about God’s call of friendship, saying, “The Risen Shepherd goes in search of all those lost in the labyrinths of loneliness and marginalization. He comes to meet them through our brothers and sisters who treat them with respect and kindness, and helps them to hear his voice, an unforgettable voice, a voice calling them back to friendship with God.”

The Christophers pray that people everywhere open their hearts to God’s call of friendship during this time of year and that Christ-bearers continue to point others to this friendship through the respect and kindness they show to all.

Many thanks to our donors for giving us the resources to share God’s light with the world.




Mary Ellen Robinson

Vice President/COO