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A Penny from Heaven!

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freeimages.com / Penny Mathews

A penny is a penny, right? Not if you’re a penny pray-er or a penny finder!

For many people, finding a penny means saying a prayer. They turn the words “In God We Trust” on the coin into a personal plea for divine help. Other people who say a prayer and then find a penny believe the found penny is more than “coin-cidence.” It’s a sign from above that all will be well.

It was no “coin-cidence” that Edward, a professional sports photographer in Kansas, found a penny before a big photo shoot. Here’s his story:

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A Gift of Peace

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(Photo by Marion Amberg)

It’s a traditional Nativity scene. Christ Child. Angels. Wise men. Shepherds and sheep. What isn’t so traditional is who made it: German POWs incarcerated at Algona, Iowa.

The story begins in 1944 when Sergeant Eduard Kaib was captured in France and shipped to Camp Algona, a base camp in north-central Iowa that housed 3,200 German POWs and oversaw 34 branch camps in Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas.

Suffering from war injuries, Kaib was also mired in depression. He missed deeply his homeland, family, and German Catholic religious traditions. One day, the radio operator had a divine idea.

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Evenings with Bishop Hank

“Dominus vobiscum!” I called as the white-haired gentleman opened the front door.

“Et cum spiritu tuo!” answered Bishop Hank, his dark brown eyes laughing.

Reciting this ancient Latin greeting was a ritual with us. Thankfully, we never prayed the Kyrie asking for God’s mercy. I felt guilty enough about telling the good bishop fibs.

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freeimages.com / James Goneaux

Bishop Hank had dementia, and maybe I did, too. Sometimes I’d forget he wasn’t a real bishop. For three years, I had been staying with Hank in the evenings while his daughter was at work. Like many caregiver situations, this one began with a scare. One wintry night Hank was found wandering the streets looking for his deceased wife, Betty. For his safety, he could no longer be left alone.

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Holy Land of America!

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No passport needed to visit this “Holy Land”–it’s right here in northern New Mexico! Long called the “Holy Land of America,” this land is like no other: inexplicable miracles, a weeping statue, prophecies and revelations, and rock formations that resemble scenes right out of the Bible. But holy doesn’t mean stuffy. Legends never are! Northern New Mexico is blessed with charming stories of Continue reading “Holy Land of America!”

The Homeless Jesus

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Photo by Marion Amberg

He sleeps on a park bench, shrouded in a blanket. Even his head and hands are covered. As the bright New Mexico morning sun begins beating down on the bench, located outside St. Thérèse of the Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Albuquerque, passersby might wonder, “Is he ever going to get up?”

The answer is no. He’s waiting for you to come to him.

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