April 27, 2016

Positivity: ‘Can You Follow Me to Walmart?’: This Father Was Expecting a Ticket When He Got Pulled Over — but He Got Help From the Officer Instead

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:11 am

From Westland, Michigan:

Apr. 26, 2016 12:09pm

LeVonte Dell thought he was about to get a ticket for having tinted windows when he was recently pulled over, but he was in for a surprise from the officer.

“My heart dropped in my stomach, I thought I was going to get hammered with tickets, more stress, more bills,” Dell told WJBK-TV.

During the traffic stop, Westland, Michigan, police officer Joshua Scaglione noticed that Dell’s 3-year-old daughter was in the car without a car seat.

“I asked him, ‘Why do you have your kids in the back without a car seat,’ and he’s like, ‘I can’t afford it,’” Scaglione told WJBK. “So I took him out of the car, separated him from his family and asked him what’s going on. He’s like, ‘Bills are building up, overtaking my income and I can’t afford a car seat right now.’”

So Scaglione decided to help.

“He looked around and said, ‘Can you follow me to Walmart?’” Dell said.

Dell and Scaglione walked into Walmart together where the officer purchased a car seat for Dell’s daughter.

Dell said that the officer left before he was able to thank him or even learn his name, so he wrote a viral Facebook post in an effort to find him.

The post caught the attention of the Westland Police Department, which replied, “It was difficult to identify the officer responsible as he had not told anyone about what had happened.”

“It is clear that his sole purpose was to assist the driver, not to receive recognition,” the department added.

Go here for the rest of the story.

The people obsessed with tagging cops as racists are going to ignore this, because LeVonte Dell is black and Joshua Scaglione is white.

April 26, 2016

Positivity: 40 Years Ago, Baseball Player Rick Monday Snatched Old Glory From Would-Be Flag-Burners

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

It happened on April 25, 1976.

It’s considered one of the top 100 moments in baseball history (it’s #107 here, but many items in this list of 200 aren’t plays, but are milestones), and it wasn’t even a baseball play (HT Powerline):

Despite having a solid 18-year career as a player and hitting a deciding home run in the 1981 NLCS, Rick Monday might best be known for a play that didn’t involve any live game action at all.

In 1976 the American spirit was strong. The Vietnam War was in our rearview mirrors and the country was proudly celebrating its bicentennial.

Despite the rampant patriotism, a protester and his 11-year-old son ran out onto the Dodger Stadium outfield and tried to set fire to an American flag.

Monday, a veteran himself who served in the Marine Corps Reserve, realized what was happening and made a dash to save the flag as the protesters fumbled to light their matches after dousing the flag with lighter fluid.

Monday, then a member of the Chicago Cubs, handed the flag off to Dodgers’ pitcher Doug Rau after the incident, but the flag was eventually given to Monday as a memento.

Monday is still in possession of the flag and frequently brings to to appearances to support causes in support of American patriotism.

April 24, 2016

Positivity: A step closer to sainthood for Dorothy Day

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

Apr 20, 2016 / 11:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new stage has begun in the process toward possible canonization for Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has opened the canonical “inquiry on the life” of Dorothy Day, the archdiocese announced April 19.

Starting this week, the archdiocese will interview some 50 eyewitnesses who had firsthand experience with Dorothy Day. Their testimonies and other evidence will be collected, examined to determine whether Day lived a life of “heroic virtue,” and will eventually be presented to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Saints and to Pope Francis.

In addition, Cardinal Dolan will appoint experts to review the published and unpublished writings of Dorothy Day, considering their adherence to doctrine and morals.

George B. Horton, liaison for the Dorothy Day Guild, noted that this will be an extensive project.

“Dorothy Day created or inspired dozens of houses of hospitality throughout the English-speaking world, but she was also a journalist who published The Catholic Worker newspaper,” he said.

“Her articles in that paper alone total over 3,000 pages. Add her books and other publications and we will probably surpass 8,000 pages of manuscripts.”

Born in Brooklyn and eventually raised in Chicago, Day was baptized Episcopalian at the age of 12. She displayed signs at a young age of possessing a deep religious sense, fasting and mortifying her body by sleeping on hardwood floors.

Her life soon changed as the 1910s brought about a stark shift in the U.S. social climate. A key turning point in her life and personal ideology came when she read “The Jungle,” Upton Sinclair’s scathing depiction of the Chicago meat-packing industry.

Day dropped out of college and moved to New York, where she took a job as a reporter for the country’s largest daily socialist paper, The Call. After fraternizing with the Bohemians and Socialist intellectuals of her time – and after a series of disastrous romances, one of which included an abortion that she later deeply regretted – Day fell in love with an anarchist nature-lover by the name of Forster Batterham.

She eventually settled in Staten Island, living a peaceful, slow-paced life on the beach with Batterham in a common law marriage. Conflict arose, however, when Day became increasingly drawn to the Catholic faith – praying rosaries consistently and even having their daughter, Tamar, baptized as a Catholic. Batterham, a staunch atheist, eventually left them and Day was received into the Catholic Church herself in 1927.

She returned to New York City as a single mother where her deep-rooted and long-standing concern for the poor resurfaced. Along with French itinerant Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933. Living the Catholic notion of holy poverty and practicing works of mercy, the two started soup kitchens, self-sustaining farm communities and a daily newspaper. In the course of her 50 years working among the poor and marginalized, Day never took a salary.

Her legacy lives on today in some 185 Catholic Worker communities in the U.S. and around the globe. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 23, 2016

Positivity: Jesuit Father Raymond Gawronski remembered for witness of priesthood

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Denver, Colorado:

Apr 21, 2016 / 10:22 am

Father Raymond Thomas Gawronski, S.J., professor of dogmatics at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California, died in the closing hours of April 14 of complications from cancer, at the age of 65.

He was remembered for his love of Christ, formation of seminarians, and witness to the beauty of the priesthood.

“Certainly he was an excellent classroom lecturer, but it was his real interest in the (seminarians), and their spiritual development, and his desire that they have a real relationship with Christ – that was his constant theme,” said Fr. Gladstone Stevens, the rector and president of St. Patrick’s Seminary.

“He was such a great witness to what priests could be.”

Fr. Stevens told CNA that while Fr. Gawronski had not been at the seminary for very long, “when you think about the disproportion between the time he was here and his impact, it’s just incredible: he was such a presence here, in such a positive way.”

Gawronski was born in Brooklyn Sept. 9, 1950, to Stanley and Blanche Gawronski, a family of Polish heritage. Growing up in New York and New Jersey, he graduated with a degree in philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. In 1971. He later earned a master’s degree in world religions from Syracuse University, where he studied under Dr. Huston Smith.

In 1977 Gawronski joined the Society of Jesus. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 22, 2016

Positivity: No one is beyond conversion, Abby Johnson tells Georgetown students

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Apr 21, 2016 / 04:54 pm

No matter how deeply someone may be entrenched in the culture of death, they are never beyond the loving reach of Christ, said former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson to a group of Georgetown University students on Wednesday.

“I’m standing in front of you today as a testament to the power of conversion,” Johnson, a former Texas Planned Parenthood clinic director who later converted to Catholicism, said in a talk scheduled the same day as Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards’ address to students on Georgetown’s campus.

Reflecting later on Richards addressing students earlier in the afternoon, Johnson said, “I just kept thinking you know, I believe that one day – I have faith – that one day it won’t be me standing here speaking and defending the sanctity of human life.”

“I believe that one day it will be Cecile Richards standing here.”

Johnson’s speech was part of Life Week 2016 at Georgetown. A pro-life panel led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), chair of the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood, spoke on campus Tuesday evening. The group Students for Life organized a protest of Cecile Richards’ speech on Wednesday, before Johnson’s pro-life talk that evening. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 21, 2016

Positivity: The pain – and surprising beauty – of hospice care for babies

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Apr 21, 2016 / 03:01 am

They’re the last words any expecting parent wants to hear. But though it’s rarely discussed, thousands of couples every year get the news: that their unborn child has a severe, life-threatening condition.

And what’s more, few receive the resources, support and information they need to carry their child to term.

“In your mind you have this outcome that you’re going to have a baby,” said Dianna Vagianos Armentrout, “and then you find out you will have a baby, but it’s going to die.”

Dianna’s daughter, Mary Rose, died shortly after her birth in 2014.

Although the process of her daughter’s pregnancy, birth and death was difficult and painful, there was still beauty and even joy, she told CNA. In talking to other parents who offered counsel and to Isaiah’s Promise, a peer support ministry for parents facing difficult prenatal diagnoses, Dianna found peace.

“The way that they acknowledged the unborn child and the way they gave us permission to still be joyful, even though the child would probably die,” she said.

“If I could give one thing to a pregnant woman it would be that it’s going to be okay,” Dianna said, offering her own advice to parents facing a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis for their child. “The baby’s going to do what it’s supposed to do.”

“For everyone I know (in the same situation), the baby has died so peacefully.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 20, 2016

Positivity: Musical Theatre Lovers Create Incredible “Opening Number” To Their Wedding

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

Watch — very cute, and clearly the product of a lot of work (HT Daryn Kagan):

April 19, 2016

Positivity: Check out this Eucharistic miracle in Poland

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:03 pm

From Legnica, Poland:

Apr 18, 2016 / 02:59 pm

A bleeding Host that “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle” was approved for veneration in Poland over the weekend.

The announcement was made by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica on April 17.

On Christmas Day 2013, a consecrated Host fell to the floor, the bishop said. It was picked up and placed in a container with water. Soon after, red stains appeared on the host.


April 18, 2016

Positivity: The girl born with half a heart — Two-year-old who survived major cardiac surgery defies doctors to celebrate birthday they never thought she’d see

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Wales (HT Life News):

PUBLISHED: 04:05 EST, 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:22 EST, 14 April 2016

• Harriet Summerhill, from Wales, was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia
• The condition means no blood can flow from the right side of the heart
• She was not expected to reach her second birthday, but has hit milestone

Harriet Summerhill was so poorly in the womb that doctors had offered her devastated parents an abortion.

But the bouncing toddler has defied medics’ expectations to become a happy two-year old.

Emma Summerhill, 38, and her husband Leighton, 35, from Pontypridd, South Wales, were told at their baby’s 20 week scan that she had pulmonary atresia – a deadly congenital heart defect which meant the right side of her heart hadn’t formed properly.

The parents-to-be were given three heart-breaking options, to terminate the pregnancy, to allow their girl to die naturally after birth or to risk open heart surgery.

Devastated, they opted to give their baby, who they had already named Harriet, a chance at life.

Now two, she has hit all her milestones including walking and taking – something the pair feared they’d never witness.

Mrs Summerhill, a helpline manager, said: ‘It was just after our 20 week scan that the consultant confirmed that our baby would be born with half a working heart.

‘When we were offered a termination or to allow our girl to die naturally after birth – or to put her through major life-threatening surgery when she was just hours old – that’s when I realised the seriousness of her condition.

‘I was terrified, all my hopes and dreams for my baby had been ripped away in an instant.

‘There was no way we could have our baby terminated, we needed to give our baby a chance despite only half of her heart working. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 17, 2016

Positivity: One diocese is collecting hundreds of First Communion outfits; here’s why

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Newark, New Jersey:

Apr 13, 2016 / 06:59 am

For many Catholic families, the day their child receives the Sacrament of First Holy Communion marks a pivotal moment in their journey of faith.

The Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey wants to make sure that financial hardship doesn’t stand in the way of that experience, by collecting First Communion outfits for families who might not be able to afford a suit or dress for their child receiving the sacrament.

“It’s a unique idea and you wouldn’t think there would be a need, but these suits and dresses can get pricey,” said Kelly Marsicano, a public relations specialist at the Archdiocese of Newark.

“This is a special day for the kids to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and now they are able to do that from these donations,” she told CNA.

For the past three years, the Archdiocese of Newark has been gathering new and gently used dresses, suits, shoes and veils for children preparing to receive their First Communion. This year, they have collected more than 500 dresses and over 200 suits for families in need.

“We receive calls from people needing one dress or one suit, to a parish needing 25, to a parish saying they will take whatever they can get,” said Lynn Gully, the Associate Director of Development at the Archdiocese, who also spearheaded the donation project.

The idea all started when the archdiocese received a call from a boutique asking if they would accept some donated First Communion dresses and suits.

“I was carrying the dresses into the building after picking them up, and there were people who were asking what was going on and if they could bring in their daughters,” Gully explained. “It just kind of spread from there.”

Now, the majority of First Communion garments are donated from families who do collections at their parishes, but Gully said they have also received unexpected packages in the mail with brand new outfits. Children at a nearby parish started to make veils over the summer to donate to the campaign, and they have also received donations of socks, tights, purses, ties, and belts.

This year, four parishes in the archdiocese have participated in the donation program, and they already have additional parishes lined up for next year.

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 16, 2016

Positivity: Bishop Tobin shares birthday celebration with 106-year-old parishioner

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Providence, Rhode Island:

Apr 13, 2016 / 05:21 pm

As part of his birthday celebration April 1, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., had the privilege of meeting and sharing a birthday celebration with a very special woman, Claire Sharpe, who turned 106 that day.

Sharpe is a member of the first graduating class of St. Paul School, Cranston, a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, and is the oldest resident of East Greenwich, R.I.

She remembers growing up in Rhode Island in the early 1900s. In those days, her family did not have indoor plumbing — the children took baths in a galvanized tub in the kitchen, and often before going to bed, she would heat a brick to keep her warm, wearing her coat as she slept. Sharpe recalls not having electric heating until she was 19.

“We were very poor,” she said. “We didn’t have a cent. But, I learned that pennies don’t count, human beings count. We didn’t have much, but look what God has brought me today.”

And for her 106th birthday, God certainly brought her a full house. On Friday, Sharpe’s home was filled with friends and family, handmade birthday cards and gifts, stories and singing, all for a woman who has lived a life centered on the faith. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 15, 2016

Positivity: How a sketchbook led one Chinese woman to the Catholic faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rome:

Apr 6, 2016 / 03:02 am

Yan Xu is an artist from the central China city of Wuhan. What she drew one day would change her life.

Confused about her future after resigning from a job in 2003, she found herself at an unlikely place.

“At that time, I used to carry a sketchbook and pen with me, and spent all the day time on urban sketching,” she told CNA. “I like to sketch the classical buildings of the city, and this is how I found St. Joseph’s Cathedral, which is built downtown.”

She said she found the Church to be “magnificent, beautiful.”

“I stayed there and then came back there to sketch my painting,” she said. “On the third day, a Catholic priest came and talked to me about the Catholic faith. For years, I had not cared about religion, and I wanted to know more about faith.”

“I attended the Mass every Sunday, and prayed to the Lord that he show me the way, even though I was not Catholic.”

It took her nearly seven years to be baptized, and she came into the Church at St. Joseph’s Cathedral during the Easter Vigil of 2011.

Yan said there is a sense in China that “more and more people are looking for a way, and for real life… the true life that is meaningful and filled with mercy and the glory of God. So, praise be to the Lord.”

“China is far from Rome, but Catholics in China always pray that the Pope will visit our land someday in the future,” she said.

Being a Catholic in China, however, means being part of a minority. Out of 10 million people in Wuhan, just 30,000 people are Catholic.

“The People’s Republic of China is a socialist country. Most of the people have no religious preferences,” Yan said.

However, the faith is lived in a very lively way. “I love my Church, there are so many wonderful young Catholics,” Yan said. “We often attend Mass, pray the Rosary together… the Catholic Faith makes me a better person.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 14, 2016

Positivity: The blessing of a lifetime — 5-year-old girl going blind meets Pope Francis

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Apr 6, 2016 / 11:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When Lizzy Myers was diagnosed with a condition that could result in complete blindness, her parents, Steve and Christine, went to work on a “visual bucket list” for their daughter.

Today, Lizzy got to check something off: meeting Pope Francis.

The five-year-old, along with her parents and three-year-old sister Michaela, had special seats for the general audience with the Pope on Wednesday, where she was able to meet him in person. She gave him a gift – a piece of meteorite from an observatory she had recently visited – and he gave her a hug and blessed her eyes.

“I felt an overwhelming sense of peace” when they met, Christine Myers said at a press conference following the meeting. “Since the beginning of all of this, this is the first time I have felt peace.”

As for Lizzy, “She was awestruck. She just stared at him, she had totally big eyes,” Christine said.

Lizzy attends a Catholic Montessori school back home in Ohio, and was excited to meet Pope, whom she refers to as the “big guy in the white hat.”

When she first heard the family was going to Rome, where the Pope lived, she asked if she could knock on his door.

The family is in Rome courtesy of Turkish Airlines, whose general manager heard her story and offered the family free plane tickets to anywhere in the world. They chose Rome because of their Catholic faith, and because of all the beautiful art and sights Lizzy could see there. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 13, 2016

Positivity: How a simple idea helped 7,000 homeless pregnant women

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

Apr 11, 2016 / 02:39 pm

Christopher Bell was in his twenties and living in Times Square when he heard something that sounded like the voice of God.

Bell had been working with homeless and runaway kids in New York City, when he encountered pregnant women with young children who had no homes. At the time, Bell said there were no long-term programs that were ministering to pregnant women with other children.

“I thought there was a need to have longer-term housing for mothers and babies, but I didn’t know what to do,” Bell told CNA.

“I was close to Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and I complained to him, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something to help these young mothers and children?’”

Fr. Groeschel, founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, told Bell that he would help him start the ministry that would eventually become Good Counsel Homes. Hearing those words from Fr. Groeschel “sounded almost like the voice of God and it was a great encouragement,” Bell recalled.

Good Counsel Homes was founded soon after in 1985 with the goal of helping women with children get off the streets and find stability through work or education.

“As soon as we opened on March 10, 1985, we were getting calls from women who were pregnant and women who were pregnant with other born children… So we responded to the need and took in the mothers,” Bell said.

Since 1985, Good Counsel Homes has aided more than 7,000 women at their residence homes and have expanded to four additional houses in New York and New Jersey. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 12, 2016

Positivity: Who’s the chaplain behind college basketball’s new champion?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Apr 10, 2016 / 03:04 pm

He had a courtside seat to a historic college basketball game, but Fr. Rob Hagan has actually witnessed many games over the years – and more importantly, has ministered to many players.

He’s the basketball team chaplain at Villanova University. “The whole reason I’m here is because I’m an Augustinian priest,” he told CNA in an interview, noting the university’s Augustinian roots.

“I owe so much of everything that’s happened in my life to the Augustinians, and that foundation that started with me as a student here at Villanova, myself.”

Fr. Hagan graduated from Villanova in 1987. He’s been the basketball team chaplain since 2004, and also serves as an associate athletic director at the school, overseeing compliance with the National Collegiate Athletics Association as well as sports medicine and health and safety.

During the recent NCAA men’s basketball tournament, an animated Fr. Hagan could be seen during Villanova games encouraging the team from the end of the bench. He got a front-row seat to Kris Jenkins’ historic three-point shot to win the championship game at the end, the first title-winning buzzer-beater in over 30 years.

He admitted his courtside seat was a big perk of his chaplaincy, as well as “the thrill of being with them (the team) during such an exciting journey” during the March tournament. However, his work – and his story – runs far deeper than a basketball game. …

Go here for the rest of the story.