Cross Catholic Outreach’s Box of Joy ministry is gearing up to put Christmas smiles on the faces of more than 70,000 children, all of whom live in dire poverty in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. In its fifth year, Box of Joy is adding another country to the list of nations where children will receive boxes of little Christmas gifts packed by families, churches and individuals who take the opportunity to help children experience the joy of Christmas in places where gifts are rare or nonexistent due to poverty.
Our Lenten journey is underway! The church has been dressed in violet and our promises to God for these 40 days have been made. The chants for the season speak of hope, transformation and a return to God. In the monastery, it is traditional to simplify life, not only in our work but also in our attitudes and our eating.
Everything I own fits in 5-foot-tall, 2-foot-wide, 1-foot-deep locker. Of that space, about 1 square foot is devoted to my clothes. I’ve been wearing the same pair of sweats for three years. I’ve finally decided that I need to buy another pair of sweatpants so that I can work out in the cold and not get my sleeping pair dirty. The main thing holding me back is that I don’t know if I have enough room in my so-called closet.
[This article originally appeared in the October 6-19, 2017 issue of the National Catholic Reporter.]
Brian Doyle — poet, essayist and novelist — died too young from what he called “a big honkin’ brain tumor” at age 60. He was “arguably” (as critics say) one of the best Catholic writers of his generation.
We were once lost and now we’re found; blind, but now we see. I vividly recall the turning point for me, my darkest hour, which in retrospect was the beginning of a new life in the light.
In the Drunk Tank
I don’t belong here! I don’t belong here! The thought kept repeating itself in my impaired brain as I sat propped against the cold, concrete wall. My head was pounding, my stomach churning. I’m the father of three children, a leader in my community, a radio and television personality. How could this happen to me again?