When in Rome: "Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

Date 05.03.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


This was a day of total satiation for all of us.

We visited all the major basilicas around Rome, viewing spectacular chapels, artwork, statuary, altars, tombs…we were simply dumbstruck and stumbling around bleary-eyed before we were able to have lunch.

The only comparison I can give - and that still doesn't really do this justice - is something like the feeling that you have if you have toured the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago for the first time – so many things assaulting your senses at once, we just can’t take it in!

We were able to go to another delightful restaurant for lunch with their traditional courses of pastas and meat, then a really smooth and lovely cheesecake with tiny chocolate chips on top.

We chose to “ditch the group” and just wander through Roma along the sidestreets to see all the tiny shops.

The city is still brimming with pilgrims – we enjoy listening to the shop owners trying to yell greeting to people in different languages, to attract business, all with thick Italian accents…pretty funny when they’re attempting German, English, Polish, Japanese, etc.!

The shopping can be so intense in some shops that they will not let you inside – they’ll ask you to choose something from the outside – then they run in and get it for you.

Absolutely crazy.

If you want to observe the jet-set crowd, there is a street by the Spanish steps that has every single high-end brand name store that you could imagine. Sunglasses for over $300 anyone??!!

~ Lynn

 

 

 

 

When in Rome: "The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

Date 05.02.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


hills of monasteryA visit to the Monastery of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica.

I did NOT know that these two saints were not only brother and sister, they were twins!

That was quite touching for me as the mother of twin girls.

This is a beautiful monastery up steep slopes of thick green trees, absolutely packed with pilgrims because of the canonization.

You can see some original manuscripts from earlier centuries and actual black and white photographs of St. John Paul 2’s visit.

This place is filled with frescos, you’ll get a sore neck from looking up in amazement!

Also amazing is another INCORRUPTED Saint – St. Chelidonia. She died in the 1100’s , was uncovered 500 years later, and her body had not decomposed.

I’m showing you close up photos of her body which is behind glass – if you look closely you can still see the veins on her feet.

These saints’ bodies were another one of the incredible reasons that I HAD to embrace the Catholic faith – who in the world can explain this phenomena?

I’m also enclosing a lovely icon and a painting of the Last Supper pre-Michelangelo, with Jesus seated at the far left with John hugging him.

last supper

Another sculpture is Benedict in the cave where he spent so much time.

What a privilege to be here as well!

~ Lynn

 

When in Rome: "The Big Day"

Date 05.01.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


Our tour owners originally had talked about leaving the hotel at 6am to get to the canonization – then they changed it to 0330, then to 0130!

A number of people bowed out at that turn of events, so I opened up our room for folks to watch on Italian television, to include our computer broadcasting EWTN so that we could hear the English commentary.

Everyone tried to go to bed, but the adrenaline was high!

Sure enough, a brave band, including my husband headed out at 1:30 in the morning!

By the time they reached the vicinity of the Vatican, there were already massive crowds pushing and pressing.

The bodies became compacted, one of our women became ill, one was short and her husband feared for her safety, another began to cry...

They realized that these were the types of crowds where people could be trampled...so, by 5am, they decided to leave and come back to the hotel.

My husband and another brave woman of 70 years decided to persevere!

They ended up being smashed along up to within one block of St. Peter’s square by daylight.

We all enjoyed the beautiful Mass!

He said that each time the JumboTrons would show Benedict, the crowds would erupt with joy!

There was so much garbage on the roads that street cleaners would come through to clear them for the PopeMobile.

Those of us watching were in amazement – we really didn’t talk much amongst ourselves, just stared at the television, many with tears pouring down our faces.

Some of us loved seeing bishops that we recognized.

Our two brave souls were able to see Pope Frances within a few feet as he drove down the road!

This is truly the Catholic church – so many, many nations represented, so many people thrilled to pieces to see the Successor of Peter!

So much for the Romans trying to kill off Christians and to stamp out Christianity!

How amazed they would be to see the millions in their city today, full of joy, singing with all their hearts in the streets – visiting the holy sites and churches in droves – it’s just too wonderful!

~ Lynn

 

When in Rome: "The Coliseum"

Date 04.30.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


front of coliseumThis was to be a free morning, so some of us conferred to see what we might be able to accomplish on our own.

The hotel at which we are staying is about 30-45 minutes south of the main parts of Rome, and my husband is acutely careful with our funds...so, we decided to walk to the Metro.

Some comedy here, for if you ask a local how far away something is, they’ll inevitably say, “Oh, just-a five-a meen-oots!” for nearly everywhere.

So, the walk to the Metro was a good hike, but it took us all the way to the Coliseum – which is jaw-dropping to see for the first time!

We took a tour and learned that the ancient Romans had tickets that indicated at which arch they were to enter, and then another number indicating where their seat was – wow!

I’ll also show a picture of what it originally looked like.

drawing of coliseum

The floor is gone now, so you can see down into the lower levels where all the gladiators, animals, etc, were kept.

Some of us were discussing that if we’d been there 2000 years ago, we’d be lion food!

We also discussed what kind of conversations the early Christians must have had as they approached their deaths in front of such a huge group of people.

One of our women joked that she would have asked a gladiator, “Could I please have the lion with the least amount of teeth?”

Speaking of gladiators, there are some in costume around the entire area – who try to get you to take a photo with them. They are known for roughing people up to try to get more money for pictures…and they have swords, so many don’t argue!!

inside of coliseumWe returned for an incredible night with Bishop John Magee, former Private Secretary to Pope Paul VI, Pope JP1 and Pope JP2, as he discussed fascinating and intimate moments from throughout his lifetime with these great men.

Everyone is discussing what we’ll do regarding the Canonization tomorrow, in view of cautions that have been voiced – stay tuned to find out what everyone ended up doing...

~ Lynn

 

When In Rome: "A side trip to Assisi"

Date 04.29.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


courtyard Assisi ItalyToday was amazing!

We traveled by bus to Assisi.

How fascinating to see where St. Francis and St. Clare lived.

Their lives were such true examples of simplicity and humility, surrounded by beauty.

Assisi is up on a hill, so their view of the valley below every day was so serene.

After the hustle and bustle of Rome, there were birds singing and a real sense of peace.

Then, what a surprise, we looked up in an iron barred window and who should we see but a group from Denver traveling with Dr. Tim Grey from the Augustine Institute! That was astounding!

We were all hugging like school children and made plans to meet up for dinner later in the week.

Our group then continued on a walking tour of the city, which was absolutely packed with pilgrims.

The streets were hard to navigate, and one of our men had his foot run over by a crazy driver! He was knocked to the ground as well – what a fright.

assisi Italy churchThankfully, his brother, also in our group, was a physician and he checked his foot – no broken bones. But the rest of the day we all marveled at the treadmarks across the top of his shoe!

We’ve been blessed that some of our frail pilgrims are really doing well, considering all the walking on cobblestone streets and the jostling crowds.

Another delightful sight is large groups of pilgrims all wearing the same clothing, hats, scarves, etc., waving banners and singing together as they’re walking!

We even saw a group of Africans that had fabric designed with the two new saints on it; they had hand-sewn their own clothing with that fabric!

What world-wide love is evident here all around us for these two new saints!!

~ Lynn

 

When In Rome: "Exploring Vatican City"

Date 04.27.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


After heading to bed late, we were all up early for 0630 breakfast to catch the early bus to the Vatican- hoping to avoid the crowds. 

There were media crews everywhere laying out massive amounts of transmission cording all over the square, blocking off areas where they would erect platforms for production and many jumbo trons for the crowds that they expected. 

We were led to a chapel underneath the Basilica where we celebrated a Mass next to many other chapels – you could hear Masses being offered in other languages, and people would join us when they realized our Mass was in English. It was a beautiful and holy time together. 

After the Mass, we exited around the Basilica to a small street where we were able to participate in a Scabia Tour. 

altar saint peter basilicaThis was extraordinary – there is an area even farther underneath the Basilica, even underneath the chapels, that was discovered by accident by a workman. 

He realized that he had hit the top of a sculpted ancient building…which led to excavation of an entire Necropolis – a “city of the dead”…a long street of ornate mausoleums where Roman families would go to honor their deceased family members. You should go online and observe the findings – it is remarkable. 

Also, directly underneath the main altar in St. Peters, the bones of St. Peter are located and we were able to see the sarcophagus.

Everyone then enjoyed a guided tour of the Basilica, explaining every chapel and its significance. 

The size is truly overwhelming, and everyone was walking about with gaping mouths and cameras in hand – every inch of every wall and all the ceilings are ornately decorated – it is a visual feast and you leave emotionally exhausted!

The group then walked many blocks to a well known Roman restaurant – where we had pasta, then ravioli, then meat, then salad, then fried potatoes, then dessert!

Everyone was groaning and longing for beds in the next room to take a nap!

But we all moved on to enjoy a museum and a walk through the Sistine Chapel. 

We were surprised that it was quite dark inside, photos are not allowed, and the guards were yelling , “SILENCIO! (Silence!)” because there were large groups of students and the sound levels were enormous.

It is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, and is worth seeing…but one must be prepared for the social disappointments.

coin tossYou would think after a day like that, that sensible people would head back to their room and collapse – but being the fools that we are – we headed out by cab with a delightful couple from Denver and went to the famous Roman fountain to throw coins backwards. 

Then, of course, we had to eat a bit of something at an outdoor café. 

We sat next to a couple from England and the wife was half Swedish – of which I am ¾, so we were able to exchange a few fun phrases and some laughs – truly wonderful. 

Good heavens, we didn’t get to bed until around midnight with another full day round the corner – we’re squeezing every bit of delight out of every moment possible here!

~ Lynn

 

When In Rome: "Arrived!"

Date 04.27.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


This was an amazing time as we all gathered at the gate together to meet people from a number of states. 

What a sense of joy! 

We even had 3 people from our former parish in Illinois where we served before moving to Denver. 

We all flew to Dulles in Washington D.C. for a 3 hour layover.  Entering the plane we immediately saw Archbishop Wuerl from D.C. who greeted my husband!

And when we reached our seats we saw, two seats in front of us, Raymond Arroyo from EWTN’s Catholic TV Network – how fun is that?!  After our dinner, we tried very hard to get some rest, as we knew we had a full day of nonstop activity upon our arrival. 

But I must show you the incredible sight out my window when we were awakened in a few hours as it was morning in Europe. 

mountain alpsThese are the Alps in the morning sun – you could hear everyone gasping and taking pictures throughout the plane – what a blessing to awaken to such a breath-taking display of God’s power in creation. 

Upon landing, we had some challenges with personal belongings of some of our pilgrims, which caused our schedule to be delayed – already an opportunity to be gracious and patient as a witness to our faith and lifestyle.

We stopped at the hotel to pick up the rest of our group, a number of people from Hawaii! 

Then, on to Roma! Our first stop: a gigantic church – St. Pauls Outside the Walls. 

This is where the tomb of St. Paul is located. We were able to have our first Mass in the morning in a side chapel dedicated to St. Stephen, the first and young martyr.

There was an incredible statue behind the altar which had Stephen’s right foot placed on a pile of stones (he was stoned to death) – it was hard to hold back the tears. 

What an honor to see such a magnificent church erected to honor the man who brought the Gospel to the Gentile world – which included our ancestors. 

It was profound to realize that St. Paul was originally Saul – who stood and held people’s coats while they stoned Stephen to death.

This same man had such a dramatic conversion that he, too, died for the same Christ, who rose from His throne in Heaven and stood up to welcome Stephen to Heaven as the first martyr.

saint stephen statueStephen was able to see that scene while still alive, and told everyone around him before he was stoned.

What kind of impact must that have had on Saul?! 

And here they both are, honored centuries later for their great faith. 

The scend really reminds me of a small plaque that hung in my childhood home, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past – Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

~Lynn

 

Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

Date 04.25.14

Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

(This edition of Call to Charity appeared in the April 23, 2014 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

Mother's Day falls on May 11 this year and it is the 100th anniversary of this occasion in the U.S.

Create Mothers Day Basket ButtonLook back much further, nearly two millennia, to when the Blessed Virgin Mary said yes to God. She was a teenager who found herself pregnant and alone in a society that stoned women who found themselves in that situation. And yet, Joseph, through his honor and kindness, protected her and shielded her. They raised Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, and was resurrected for us, to save us from our sins, to bring us back to life.

So let's celebrate Mary—and all the mothers in our lives—throughout the Marian month of May, culminating in the feast of the Visitation on May 31. Say thank you to your mother, your sister, your wife for their yes to life and remind them how much you love them.

We are doing that at Catholic Charities and we invite you to join us. Starting this week, donors are making Mother's Day baskets for moms with children who are experiencing homelessness and beginning to rebuild their lives. The baskets will be delivered to homeless shelters throughout northern Colorado: Samaritan House in downtown Denver, Father Ed Judy House in south Denver, Guadalupe Community Shelter in Greeley and The Mission in Ft. Collins. The baskets may contain beauty items, gift cards and other goods.

With each basket will be a Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, plus a prayer card that states, "O sweet and lovely Mary, holy Mother of God, queen of all mothers, pray for us!"

This is our prayer. What is yours? How are you going to honor the women and mothers in your life? Will you teach your sons to respect, love and defend women, to appreciate everything they are and the amazing things they do? This is what we are called to do.

---

See a list of upcoming Marian eventsincluding donations of Mother's Day baskets.

When In Rome: "Before we depart..."

Date 04.22.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."


Hello! My name is Lynn.

As a staff member for Catholic Charities, I oversee our Respect Life Resources Office, as well as our Lighthouse Women's Center in Denver.

I also serve as the Archbishop's Healthcare Liaison and on the Board of Directors for Divine Mercy Supportive Care.

Beyond those hats, I'm a wife, mom of 6 children, convert to the Catholic Church - and a professional musician. So, this blog may take a number of fun twists and turns as I observe everything happening around me!

My husband and I will be traveling with approximately 30 people from different parts of the U.S.. Some of these pilgrims have never been abroad before. But they are all deeply excited to be a part of this historic occasion as we honor two of our Church's most incredible and courageous popes!

Personally, the writings of Pope John Paul II (whom I'll affectionately refer to as "JP2" from here on out) left me dumbstruck, particularly his Theology of the Body.

After spending the greater part of my life immersed in the medical care field, I had never, for one second, considered many of the points he had made in the first few pages of that masterpiece. I can guarantee that this realm of thought will most certainly be mentioned as we travel together!

What must be said at the very beginning of this journey is that I have now learned that to be truly joyful and fulfilled, we must give of ourselves to others - when we feel like it, and when we don't.

For certain, this mentality is completely opposite to the cultural attitudes in America right now. Instead, America says: "You deserve...[fill in the blank]" and "What's in it for ME??," etc, etc...

As co-leader of our group of pilgrims, I will be constantly looking for ways to be of service and a blessing to others.

In solidarity with these two incredible soon-to-be saints, my traveling mantra will be:
      "May we be a Light and a Witness to all we encounter!"

Arrivederci!

~Lynn

 

Marys show up monthly for homeless moms

Date 04.21.14

Holy Name parishioners pray, support Father Ed Judy House

 
Every Tuesday morning, a group of women from Holy Name Parish in Englewood meet to pray the rosary together. They call themselves “The Marys.”

Pat Beierl, a longstanding member and respected leader of the group, describes their mission.

“We consider ourselves first and foremost a prayer group. But our mission is both prayer and works of charity.”

For over six years now, The Marys have developed a special love for Catholic Charities Father Ed Judy House, which serves single moms and their children as they struggle to overcome homelessness.

During their first meeting of each month, Pat takes up a collection. She then calls Father Ed Judy House to discuss diaper supply – a constant need for its resident and alumni families.

Soon after, she arrives at the shelter on behalf of The Marys with two large cases of diapers in whatever size is needed most.

Pat explains the group’s attraction to the shelter.

“It’s the fact that it’s not just a giveaway; [these moms are] trying to get stable. We like to see them achieve independence.”

Volunteers throw baby shower at Father Ed Judy
Pat Beierl (far right) and fellow members of The Marys enjoy a baby shower for one of the moms at Father Ed Judy House.
Photo used with permission

The Marys certainly help support this independence, especially when it comes to infants and young children.

Beyond their monthly diaper donation, The Marys began throwing baby showers for resident mothers who were pregnant.

“A lot of us are grandmothers,” Pat says, “so the baby showers are especially fun.”

The majority of the group’s membership are in their 70s, and while Pat identifies herself as the eldest, she shies away from calling their group ‘elderly.’

Pat’s leadership and The Marys’ invaluable charity prove that volunteers can truly make a difference, no matter what their age or circumstance.

“Words cannot fully express our gratitude for The Marys,” says Theresa Miller, the shelter’s volunteer coordinator. “Their consistent monthly support of our ministry, combined with their willingness to adapt their philanthropy to whatever our greatest need is at any given time, is a God-send to the mothers and children we serve.”

Calling all Prayer Warriors

Date 04.09.14

Click here for information and registration for Savers of Souls. Here is more background on the effort to pray for an end to abortion.

Call to Charity: Time for brave hearts

Date 04.01.14

(Larry's column appeared in the March 26 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

"We treat Jesus and refer to him all the time as if he's just a woman, feminine all the time: he's weeping all the time and he never picks a fight and he certainly never wins any, and he's just so nice, like a greeting card...No! He is a lion, he is fierce. There is a reason that every single man I have ever met on the planet loves the movie 'Braveheart.' And every single normal woman I have ever met on the face of the earth loves every single man like that."

That's Gianna Jessen, who spoke to 850 people March 8 in Denver at the Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope Gala for Lighthouse and Women's Services. Jessen is an abortion survivor who says she has the "gift of cerebral palsy" and refers to herself as "God's girl." The gala raised more than $500,000 for a range of women's services provided by Catholic Charities, including the Lighthouse Women's Center, which offers a lifeline to women in crisis pregnancies, right across the street from Planned Parenthood.

Following Jessen on stage, I remarked that the new face of poverty is a single woman and her child, and that the thing that is missing is men. They're just not there.

We need men to focus on their families and to provide an example, to stand up and be counted as the Christian men that we are, to not be afraid to use the word 'Jesus' in a daily conversation, to bring our faith into our daily lives.

This is an era of absent men.

It takes a brave man to be charitable and to put his family first. Because society tells us to put yourself first. To be a steward, to be a warrior for Jesus, a man must defend and protect his family. Are you loving your family and raising your sons to be honorable men, to love women, to defend women? Are you raising your sons and daughters to be chaste and—if called to marriage—to seek a spouse for lifelong marriage? Are we open to God's gift of children and not mangled in the false promises of contraception and abortion?

It's time for brave hearts.

With three weeks left in Lent, resolve to write down your answers to those questions, one each week.

---

See videos and a media gallery from the Lighthouse and Women's Services gala.

2014 Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest inspires local youth in creation of prize-winning masterpieces

Date 03.26.14

Hundreds of local youth participated in the 2014 Archdiocesan Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest. The contest coincides each year with the Feast of the Annunciation - this year, March 25, which commemorates Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Sponsored by Catholic Charities' Respect Life Resources office, middle school and high school students were invited to submit entries in either, or both, of two categories:

  • An original essay on an issue of his or her choosing that articulates a pro-life view
  • An original drawing or painting that represents the Annunciation - the day of Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Grand Prize
by Sophomore Hope Hecker

 
[View High Resolution]

Grand Prize
by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin

 
[View High Resolution]

Judges selected this year's four winners - one for each category from each age group - from among 121 pieces of art and 101 written essays.

Winners were announced at the end of a special Mass celebrated March 23 by Msgr. Thomas Fryar, Vicar General, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The 2014 Winning Entries

Grand Prize Winners

Grand Prize Artwork - High School
Pictured at right
Submitted by Sophomore Hope Hecker of Heritage High School

Grand Prize Essay - High School
"The Affliction of Abortion" [PDF]
Submitted by Freshman Mitchell Brinton of Holy Family High School

Grand Prize Artwork - Middle School
Pictured at right
Submitted by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Grand Prize Essay - Middle School
"Rachel has a right to life" [PDF]
Submitted by 7th Grader Joseph O'Hagan of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Additional Prizes for Artwork

7th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Adrian Quintero, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Demitra Loukopoulos, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Megan Hilbert, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

8th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Dylan Devlin, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Jack Staib, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Elizabeth Magolske, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

6th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Ginger Jacobs, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

2nd Place: James Alaimo, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

3rd Place: Maggie Brady, St. Joseph Catholic School (Fr. Collins) 

Additional Prizes for Essays

6th Grade Essay Contest Winner

1st Place: Brigid McNamara, Good Shepherd Catholic School

7th Grade Essay Contest Winners

Tie for 1st Place: Joseph O’Hagan, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Tie for 1st Place: Owen Noland, Good Shepherd Catholic School

8th Grade Essay Contest Winners

1st Place: Jorge Paredes, Good Shepherd Catholic School

2nd Place: Ben Beauvais, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

 

Foster family opens heart, home to hospitalized newborn

Date 03.25.14

Foster family opens heart, home to hospitalized newborn

Baby Peter was a special boy, in need of a special family to love him.

In the weeks after his birth, doctors discovered serious health problems.

Peter had been exposed to drugs in utero, and the poison had taken its toll.

He remained under the care of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit throughout his first month of life, as they struggled to help him eat the food he so desperately needed.

Mike and Carol Geller had recently completed their application as a Catholic Charities Foster Family and, at four weeks old, Baby Peter was placed in their loving care.

They immediately fell in love with their precious foster son, dedicating all their efforts to his healing.

They carefully observed the doctors, as they used special equipment to feed Peter.

And when they realized, soon after arriving home, that that Peter was also deaf, they made immediate efforts to learn sign language.

Now three months old, Peter is growing beautifully and, according to his doctors, meeting all of the traditional developmental milestones for boys his age!

When asked, Mike and Carol describe Peter “as the joy of their lives” and tearfully describe how “blessed [they are] to be his parents.”

*Names have been changed and stock photos used to protect privacy of our clients.