Courage & conviction: how a young Catholic saved 2,500 kids

The social worker with the shy eyes and round baby face stood 4-feet-11-inches and possessed an unblinking courage Irena Sendler was 29 years old when Nazi tanks slithered into Warsaw, casting a shadow of fear over the town and slicing it apart with a walled-off ghetto for the Jewish residents. There was no way she…

An epic love story atop the family tree

Helen and Joe combated the stresses of life with Mass, weekly confession and nightly rosary It had an echo of Nicholas Sparks to it, but it was real life, and the story went viral: an Ohio couple married for 73 years died just 28 hours apart. Reporters across the globe culled bits of Hollywood drama…

Light the candles, pour the wine: the Catholic call to celebrate

Grace Osterbauer was a 24-year-old bride-to-be when she took her first cake-decorating class, and the impulse compelling the Texas woman to make that $35 investment remains today, now a 40-year-old mother of eight. “I wanted to make the Catholic events of our lives super special,” she said. Grace and her husband, Paul, are both frugal,…

Art among us, art within us: honoring the ‘divine spark’

In a 1999 letter, St. John Paul II made a connection between art and gratitude Looking back, the son that was born to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart on a Tuesday evening in late January seemed to arrive with fully formed symphonies bound up in his tiny body, waiting for ink and instrument. At age…

Self-reflection in the age of selfies

What goes on the blog and what stays in the private journal? What do you share with a close friend, a group of online followers, the World Wide Web, God? Lena Dunham is not done confessing. That’s the headline of the New York Times Magazine profile just published about the actress-turned-memoirist, and it couldn’t be…

The 20-something decorator: Creating beauty at home

We were fashioned in the image and likeness of the Creator, and so we are called to create When my cousin Emily moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood this June, it marked her 10th home in five years, a residential whiplash involving sweat, tears and 11 roommates. But it was also…

Identical twins answer the call to priesthood

Twenty Something By Christina Capecchi Agnes Koenigsknecht had the look of an air-traffic controller, the one that strikes so many mothers of the bride. “We need one round table on the stage,” she instructed on a Friday morning in June, the eve of the big day. Her legion was in full force, a swirl of…