Faith in Action

Faith in Action

Let me preface this blog by saying I hate when my kids have group projects. I hate them because somehow it always seems that their projects somehow become my projects.

That’s what happened last weekend when on Saturday night my 13-year-old daughter, Maddie, informed me that her and her group needed to finish their project by Monday. And by finish she meant they had to buy groceries and deliver them to our local Ronald McDonald House.

So I shelved my plans for Sunday, dropped my other kids at my sister’s house and toted six 7th-grade girls to the Ronald McDonald House … begrudgingly. When we got there, we handed over our bags of groceries and filled out the necessary forms. As we were about to leave, someone asked the girls if they’d like a tour. Before I could protest they all answered an enthusiastic “yes.”

There goes the rest of my afternoon, I thought. Our tour guide, Ned, led us to the living room area. And that’s when I saw him. The adorable little blond-haired boy sitting on the floor with his mom. He looked about two or three.

“He had a bone marrow transplant,” said Ned. He must have noticed that I was mesmorized by the little guy. We moved on and walked past the resident’s rooms. On the doors hung pictures and signs telling the stories of the families behind the doors. For a little under an hour, Ned showed us examples of the staff and volunteers efforts to maintain this home away from home.

Maddie and her friends display the bracelets and connection they made at Ronald McDonald House.

Finally, our tour complete, we headed for the door. On our way, a Girl Scout troop who were doing crafts with the kids invited us to join them. When I sat down at the bracelet table, a little girl came up to me and asked if I would help her make a bracelet for her mom. I saw her mom and dad sitting at a nearby table. I recognized them from when we were on our tour. The little girl’s sister was at the hospital.  I finished the bracelet I was working on and gave it to the little girl. She ran it to her mother, who held the bracelet to her heart and kissed her daughter. “Thank you,” she mouthed to me.

A father and his son joined us at the table. They were from Croatia and had been at the house for quite a while, Ned had told us. The father quickly got to work with the beads. Suddenly it began to take a familiar shape. I watched him run his fingers over the beads he had put in place.

“A rosary?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said in broken English. We exchanged smiles.

Before long, I gathered up the girls and headed for home certain that today I had witnessed Christ in action. That evening I said a prayer–both for the families and in thanksgiving for the many volunteers who give of themselves and their time, including Maddie and her friends. And I said a prayer of thanksgiving that I had been blessed enough to be a part of the experience.


About the Author

By day, Susan Hines-Brigger is the managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger. By night, she and her husband, Mark, are the caretakers and social directors for their four kids: Maddie, Alex, Riley, and Kacey.
  • Salmon

    My family had the pleasure of staying at a Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia while our 2 month old son was in CHOP for open heart surgery in 1995.  I can’t begin to express in words the love, joy and relief that we experienced.  When I was given the tour, by the end I had tears flowing down my cheek.  All my worries were dispelled. Even though it was one of the scariest times of our lives, we were surrounded by love, joy, and peace. My husband and I were able to focus on God, our son, and our other little boy.  Even a day care center in the area was willing to take our older boy in for the several days that we were there.  For us, Philadelphia was truly a city of brotherly love!  Paise and Thanks be to God for all the blessings we and many other families have received through the kindness and generosity of the Ronald McDonald House and all those who donate their time and money to help families in need.  May God continue to have mercy on, bless and protect all those who support this ministry and those who have benefited from it.  AMEN

  • Inhouse84

    Please post AMERICA blogs in a larger font

  • Traci

    It SHOULD be an easy decision for Catholics.  Please get out and vote Republican for President.  Every vote is going to be needed this time to get Obama out of office and protect Religious freedom and the unborn. 

  • Joeskicos

    As a Polish American I proudly remeber how the church in Poland never “caved” to the Communists. I hope to God American Catholics have that same resolve to reject this attack.

  • Leah

    Excellent treatment of a sensitive subject, Sharon.  Thanks for having the courage to write about it.  :)

  • Jzarick

    Great thoughts to keep in mind during Lent. Thanks, Sharon

  • Monnaleeyounger

    Forgiveness. I agree with your Blog. How can we pray the Our Father prayer and not forgive those who trespass against us?! Who are we to judge? Good Blog, Sharon Lape.

  • Kathy Wandstrat

    Ah so true.  Many families are torn apart by members not forgiving one another.  Will say special prayers this lent for those needing to forgive and be forgiven.

  • Sanorared

    Great blog, Sharon…and an even greater idea to “give up” what is most weighing us down this Lent.

  • Sr. Mary

    Very well written! Wish we all  could practice this.

  • Hlasita


  • Greg

    Thanks for the nicely expressed blog posting. It’s really very hard to give up those feelings of anger and resentment when we’ve been hurt by others.