October 8, 2015

Positivity: Here’s what it was like when Pope Francis visited the homeless in DC

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Oct 6, 2015 / 12:16 am

Pope Francis’ visit to homeless men and women in Washington, D.C., was “life-changing,” said the head of Catholic Charities in the nation’s capital.

He added that many of those who met the Pope described the event as validating their dignity and showing them the presence of God.

Along with every major speech to a political body during his U.S. visit, Pope Francis also paid a visit to the poor or vulnerable, noted Monsignor John Enzler, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., who hosted Pope Francis.

This was “a juxtaposition of, if you will, power and richness and big voice and money and prestige versus no voice, no money, no prestige, powerless,” he told CNA.

Yet the Pope treated both audiences “exactly the same,” and he even “seemed to be more engaged with those who did not have than with those who did.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 7, 2015

Positivity: Roseburg grandma’s gun shop gives all profits to homeless charity

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Roseburg, Oregon:

10:17 a.m. PDT October 5, 2015

While the killing power of firearms is inevitably the focus in the wake of tragedies such as the mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, 86-year-old Carolyn Kellim is living proof that, in the right hands, guns also can contribute to acts of kindness.

Kellim is a white-haired grandmother who runs KC’s Exchange gun shop out of her home in a quiet residential neighborhood in Roseburg, Oregon.

But she donates all the profits from her business to Casa de Belen, a local charity that provides transitional housing for homeless families with adolescents and homeless teens.

“I’m doing the best I can to make as much money as I can to give to a charity that works with kids and families,” Kellim told NBC News, standing behind the counter in her one-room shop crammed with rifles, handguns, ammunition and hunting accessories.

“That’s so important in today’s world. We have to take care of people that have had a bad luck stroke.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 6, 2015

Positivity: Hero doctor performs ‘MacGyver’ rescue of asthmatic child mid-flight

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From the skies over the Atlantic Ocean:

September 29, 2015

The asthmatic toddler was having a hard time breathing and without his medications — trapped on a transatlantic flight from Spain to the U.S.

That’s when Dr. Khurshid Guru, director of Robotic Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, sprang into action, fashioning a makeshift nebulizer to deliver oxygen and asthma meds to the toddler, saving his life.

The New York doctor made his “MacGyver” device with an odd assortment of items he scrounged aboard the Air Canada flight: a plastic water bottle, a cup, oxygen mask and a small oxygen tank.

The 2-year-old boy was having trouble breathing and his parents told the physician they had put his asthma medication in checked luggage, according to ABC news.

“The child had developed a cold,” Guru told the station. “We were three or four hours into the flight. I think the cold and popping of the ears and crying… He got worse.”

As the young boy’s oxygen level dropped dangerously — 87 or 88 percent — Guru faced a dilemma, there was only an adult inhaler on the plane. That’s when the robotic expert fashioned his improvised device, which delivered lifesaving oxygen and medication to the child.

To create the nebulizer, the surgeon cut up a water bottle and added oxygen to one end and the adult inhaler through a small hole in the bottle. That way the oxygen and medication could be delivered through the bottle’s opening directly to the child.

“As the bottle went near to the child’s face, he pushed it away,” Guru reported to ABC. “I got a water cup and made a hole in the bottle and focused it to his face… told [the parents] to keep it there. Within about half an hour and two treatments he was sounding much better,” and his oxygen level was at 94 or 95 percent. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 5, 2015

Positivity: Listen to your guardian angel’s advice – he is God’s messenger, Pope says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 2:15 pm

From Vatican City:

Oct 2, 2015 / 04:47 pm

Each of us has a Guardian Angel who, acting on behalf of God, advises us and protects us from evil, if we only listen to him, Pope Francis said during his homily at Mass on Friday.

“May we ask the Lord for the grace of this meekness, to listen to the voice of this companion, to this ambassador from God who accompanies us in His name and may we be supported by his help,” the Pope said Oct. 2 during his celebration of Mass for the feast of the Guardian Angels, Vatican Radio reported.

He explained that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, God could have left them to fend for themselves. But instead, as an act of love and mercy, the Lord sent with them an angel to guide and protect them.

The same is true for us today, Pope Francis said. Even when we feel alone or think that we can “hide so many things from God,” our Guardian Angels are by our sides, guiding us and trying to show us the right path.

“It’s like having God’s ambassador with us. And the Lord advises us: ‘Respect his presence!’ And when we, for example, commit a sin and believe that we’re on our own: No, (the Guardian Angel) is there,” he said.

Although we cannot see our angels, we can listen to them and heed their advice, the Pope continued.

“Show respect for (the angel’s) presence. Listen to his voice because he gives us advice. When we hear that inspiration: ‘But do this … this is better … we should not do that.’ Listen! Do not go against him.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 4, 2015

Positivity: God’s dream for creation? The union of a man and woman, Pope says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 4, 2015 / 03:18 am

Pope Francis formally opened the synod of bishops Sunday, telling participants that the union between a man and woman is the foundation of God’s plan for the family, and a solution to the many forms of loneliness in today’s world.

“This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,” the Pope said in his opening Mass for the Synod of Bishops.

He explained that this plan is the same one presented in the day’s Gospel for Mark, when Jesus says “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’”

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.”

Pope Francis’ comments were made during his Oct. 4 Mass marking the official opening of this year’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Set to last from Oct. 4-25, this year’s synod follows the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world,” and follows last year’s extraordinary synod on the family, which focused on pastoral challenges regarding family life. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 3, 2015

Positivity: ‘Hero’ Umpqua Community College Student Chris Mintz Was Shot 7 Times

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Roseburg, Oregon:

Oct 2, 2015, 11:11 AM ET

The student and Army veteran who witnesses say charged the shooter at a community college in Oregon is alert and awake at the hospital as he recovers.

Chris Mintz, 30, was shot seven times during the Thursday rampage, but he says his main concern is about the others who were injured.

“I just hope that everyone else is OK,” he told ABC News this morning.

“I’m just worried about everyone else.”

The man’s actions in the fatal shooting, where 10 people died and seven, including himself, were injured, did not go unnoticed by his peers.

“He ran to the library and pulled the alarms and he was telling people to run, grabbing people, telling them, ‘You just have to go,’” witness Hannah Miles told ABC News.

“He actually ran back towards the building where the shooting was and he ran back into the building and I don’t know what happened to him,” she said of Mintz.

Mintz’s cousin launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for his ensuing medical bills.

“During the shooting both of his legs were broken and he is going to have to go through a ton of physical therapy,” Mintz’s cousin Derek Bourgeois wrote on the page.

“He is a father, a veteran, a student, and now he’s a hero,” Bourgeois wrote on the GoFundMe page, beneath a picture of Mintz and his son. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 2, 2015

Positivity: Pope Francis lauds Archbishop Chaput’s ‘great love for the family’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Sep 30, 2015 / 11:21 am

Pope Francis reviewed his recent trip to Cuba and the United States during his General Audience on Wednesday, calling the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia the “culmination” of his apostolic visit.

“I wish to convey my fraternal and warm thanks to Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, for his commitment, his piety, his enthusiasm, and his great love for the family in the organization of this event,” the Pope said Sept. 30 in St. Peter’s Square.

“At closer inspection, it is no accident, but rather providential that the message, indeed, the witness of the World Meeting of Families came at this moment from the United States of America, that is, the country that during the last century reached the highest level of economic and technological development, without renouncing its religious roots. Now these same roots are asking to be replanted in the family, to rethink and change the model of development, for the good of the entire human family.”

He noted that his trip to Cuba and the United States was occassioned by the World Meeting of Families, and was expanded from there to include the United Nations and Cuba. He expressed his thanks to Cuban president Raul Castro, United States president Barack Obama, and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon for their welcome. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 1, 2015

Positivity: Pope Francis reportedly met with Kim Davis, offered support

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:15 am

From Washington:

Sep 30, 2015 / 08:47 am

Embattled county clerk Kim Davis met with Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. last Thursday, her lawyer has told multiple media outlets.

When asked about the meeting, the head of the Holy See press office, Fr Federico Lombardi, said, “I don’t deny that the meeting may have taken place but I don’t have comments to add.”

Robert Moynihan, editor of the publication “Inside the Vatican,” first broke the story about the alleged meeting. According to his account, Pope Francis and Davis met at the Vatican Embassy in D.C. on Thursday afternoon after the Pope’s address to the U.S. Congress. He offered her words of support – “Thank you for your courage” – and told her to “stay strong,” offering rosaries to Davis and her husband.

Davis, a clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, made headlines this past summer for refusing out of conscience to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, after the U.S. Supreme Court in June legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in its decision, Obergefell v. Hodges.

The district court judge ordered that Davis serve jail time for refusing to obey the law, stating that her conscientious objection was not enough for her to lawfully recuse herself from issuing licenses. Davis served five days in jail.

According to Moynihan, Vatican sources confirmed the details of the meeting. Davis’ attorney Mathew Staver confirmed to multiple outlets that the meeting occurred and told CBS News that the two promised to pray for each other, and that Pope Francis offered Davis and her husband rosaries.

“I can confirm the meeting took place Thursday afternoon in DC,” the Twitter account for Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and attorney for Davis, said on Tuesday night.

Liberty Counsel released a statement Tuesday evening linking to Moynihan’s report. The rosaries that Pope Francis reportedly presented to Davis and her husband were blessed by the Pope and would be given to Kim’s parents, both of whom are Catholic, the group said.

According to the Liberty Counsel statement, Davis responded that she was “humbled” to meet the Pope.

“Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong,’” she said, according to the statement. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 30, 2015

Positivity: Saint Junipero Serra’s canonization an ‘exciting time to be a Catholic’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Sep 28, 2015 / 11:31 am

Last week’s Mass for the Canonization of Saint Junipero Serra, said by Pope Francis, proved to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who participated in it, and a reflection of the excitement for the Pope’s mission.

“I think the Pope has a beautiful mission, which is to bring to all of us the love of Christ, who we grow closer to every day,” Maria, from Maryland, told CNA. Maria and her husband came to the Sept. 23 Canonization Mass along with their two daughters.

The Mass marked the canonization of Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary from Spain who founded nine Catholic missions in the area that would later become California. It was the first canonization performed on U.S. soil.

Kaden, a high school student at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, said he took the canonization and large crowd at the Mass as a sign of “hope that the Catholic faith is still alive and strong” in the United States.

His little brother George piped up that to him, the Pope’s visit “means that he loves and respects us and prays for us all the time.”

Fray Carlos Reyes told CNA that as both a Franciscan friar and a Latino, he thought the canonization on US soil was “a good gesture on the part of the Church” to recognize Serra’s “work and legacy for Catholics.”

“It’s deserved.”

The excitement for the Mass and historic canonization united Christians across denominational divides.

Chloe, a student at Georgetown University, said even though she is a nondenominational Christian, she was excited to attend her first Mass.

“I can’t miss this historic opportunity,” she explained, adding that she was excited “just to be in this holy place with all these people” who had come for the Mass.

The Canonization Mass also had an impact on those who helped volunteer for the Mass.

Gina, a Catholic University of America junior helping direct the crowds at Mass, told CNA “it was incredible” to be able to serve in that capacity. “It was just amazing to help out people and helping at Communion. Being next to the Eucharist was incredible for me.”

The event also had great meaning for other Catholic University students – particularly one from California.

“It’s a really special time especially for Californians … because Junipero Serra is such an important part of our history,” said Dexie, a senior from San Diego – a city that sprung up around a mission St. Junipero Serra founded. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 29, 2015

Positivity: Burglary Suspect Took Off Running After Being Caught Red-Handed by Texas Neighbors — That’s When ‘It Got Really Spectacular’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Dallas:

Sep. 23, 2015 11:07am

After a series of garage and car break-ins that police couldn’t seem to solve, neighbors in Dallas took matters into their own hands and worked together to catch the culprit.

It all began when Lenora Moffa noticed a suspicious person she didn’t recognize opening car doors in the neighborhood on Monday, KTVT-TV reported. When she approached him, the young man closed the doors and took off.

“He starts taking off so I sprinted after him, and this is when it got really spectacular,” Moffa said, recounting the moments her neighbors joined her.

Resident Brenda Williams also gave chase to the teenager, and when he became belligerent, the older woman punched him. Brian Wong, another neighbor, helped the ladies and wrestled the burglar to the ground.

“And at that particular point in time, all of the neighbors just piled on top of him,” Wong told KTVT. “And once the neighbors piled on top of him, he had it. Because somebody was sitting on him from behind, somebody was holding his leg, I had his arm. He couldn’t move at that point.”

“It was neighborhood solidarity,” Moffa said.

KTVT reported that the neighbors kept the 16-year-old subdued until police arrived and took him away. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 28, 2015

Positivity: The Most Touching Father-Daughter Dance

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Seattle (fantastic photos at link):

September 23, 2015

In 2009, Seattle Deputy Sheriff Kent Mundell was shot while responding to a domestic violence call. One week later, he passed away. He left behind a grieving wife, 16 year-old daughter, and 10 year-old son. He was 44 years old.

Last weekend, his daughter, Kirsten, got married.

… His close friend and colleague, Officer Don Jones, walked Kirsten down the aisle.

Kirsten asked Don if he would dance with her for the traditional father-daughter dance.

But Kirsten had no idea what was going to happen next.

Before the song would finish, four Pierce County Sheriffs took turns dancing with Kirsten.

It got more emotional as each officer stepped in. …

Go here for the full story.

September 27, 2015

Positivity: The Martian — How a self-published e-book became a Hollywood blockbuster

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

The UK Telegraph has a long and entertaining article about self-published author Andy Weir (HT Daryn Kagan).

Go there. It’s worth every minute.

September 26, 2015

Positivity: Professor Holds Student’s Restless Baby, Keeps Teaching Class

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Nashville, via Daryn Kagan:

September 23, 2015

Single mom Amanda Osborn received a much needed gift and act of kindness this week.

She says she had no choice but to bring her 2-year-old son with her to class at DeVry University in Nashville.

Fellow parents won’t be surprised that little Xzavier wasn’t interested in staying still.

Imagine Amanda’s horror as her toddler started walking around the class and straight up to Professor Joel Brunkowse.

Little Xzavier wanted only one thing–for the big man at the front of the class to hold him.

Here comes the good part–

Amanda tells WKRN in Nashville that Professor Bunkowse didn’t miss a beat.

He simply scooped up the baby in his arms and kept on with the lecture.

Go here for the rest of her post.

September 25, 2015

Positivity: Pope Francis made surprise stop at Little Sisters of the Poor to show support

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Sep 23, 2015 / 08:39 pm

Pope Francis paid a short visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor community in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to support them in their court case over the contraception mandate, the Vatican’s spokesman revealed.

It was a “short visit that was not in the program,” Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said at an evening press conference during the papal visit to the nation’s capital.

“This is a sign, obviously, of support for them” in their court case, he affirmed.

The sisters had filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its 2012 mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control, sterilizations, and drugs that can cause abortions employee health plans. The sisters have maintained that to provide this coverage would violate their religious beliefs. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 24, 2015

Positivity: Pope Francis — Imitate Saint Junipero Serra, be trailblazers for Christ

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Sep 23, 2015 / 03:42 pm

Pope Francis made history Wednesday by performing the first-ever canonization on U.S. soil, of St. Junipero Serra.

St. Serra, a Franciscan missionary from Spain, founded nine Catholic missions in California, most of which would go on to become the centers of major cities in the state.

The trail-blazing life of this priest, Pope Francis said in his homily at the Sept. 23 Mass of Canonization said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., should be a call to all Christians to never grow complacent, and to always go out to proclaim the Gospel with joy.

“He was the embodiment of ‘a Church which goes forth’, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God,” the Pope said.

Saint Junipero Serra was born in 1713 on the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean. He left his position as a university professor to become a missionary to the New World, helping to convert to Christianity many of the indigenous community, and teaching them new technologies.

The priest’s mission work often took place despite a painful ulcerated leg which is said to have been caused either by cancer or a spider bite soon after his arrival in Mexico. He died in 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Carmelo in what is now the state of California. St. John Paul II beatified Father Serra in 1988.

“Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life,” Pope Francis reflected. “He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters.”

Although some have raised concerns about St. Junipero Serra’s work with Native Americans, Pope Francis joined many others who insist that Serra worked tirelessly to protect the rights and dignity of the people whom he served. …

Go here for the rest of the story.