Roxane B. Salonen
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the 24-hour bus ride home from our nation's capital, where she'd participated in the 45th Annual March for Life, Shanley High School junior Michaela Doescher was still processing the personal nature of this year's march theme, "Love Saves Lives." "I'm lucky to be alive," she shared through a microphone at the front of bus three, noting that her parents, teens who were young and fearful at the time of her pregnancy, had considered aborting her.
The column about my father had been submitted, but then something happened that had me changing courses. They're calling it the "Minneapolis Miracle," and I know if Dad, an avid football fan, had still been around, he'd have happily celebrated, too, this moment that had half the country screaming in shocked delight.
FARGO — As a young boy in California, John Klocke remembers heading outside in December with his large, musical family into the grass-speckled neighborhoods to spread some Christmas-caroling cheer. "There was no snow to work around," he says, chuckling. His wife, Jan, originally of Enderlin, N.D., also came from a musical family of nine children. "I started playing organ for Mass in the seventh grade," she says, noting that her mother, a pianist and singer, introduced music to the whole family.
FARGO — Many in the Red River Valley connect Austen Schauer with the former television reporter and anchor who, for three decades, gave them their dose of daily, local news. But few know the interior of the veteran media man — that he grew up a preacher's kid in California, found Christ at age 9 and as a teen, discovered a passion to mentor youth. "I've always been actively involved in the church and in ministry to kids — that's always been my heart," Schauer says.
WAHPETON, N.D. — The diamond jubilee for Sister Margaret Mary reflects that "diamonds" are truly rare. The occasion highlighting the Carmelite's 60 years as a cloistered nun point to a simple but extraordinary life of prayer, labor, living with grace in community, and singularly seeking God. Though she entered Carmel of Mary monastery at 18, Ottilia Sticka first heard the invitation in eighth grade. "The Lord gave me an inspiration to be a contemplative nun."
When Peter Mehl checked his blood pressure shortly after arriving in the Ukraine on May 11, something seemed off. "He had me take mine, because he wasn't sure it was reading right," recounts his wife, Jill, co-founder of Russian Harvest Ministries, a Christian outreach the local couple founded 25 years ago. It would be their last conversation. Just as Jill turned away to check her own blood pressure, Peter stood up, and collapsed. An autopsy showed the 61-year-old died instantly.
FARMINGTON, N.M. — Krisxan "Krickitt" Pappas Carpenter can tell you about the day her aunt nicknamed her based on her wiggly ways at age 2. "You're like a cricket," she'd said of the tiny gymnast. But don't ask Krickitt to offer details about her wedding to Kim. "I can't remember marrying my husband," says the wife and mother of two, who, after a car accident following her 1993 wedding, lost all memory of her courtship and marriage.
Last Saturday, I spent the day with over 600 other ladies for the Fargo Diocese's Redeemed Women's conference. The event centered on the reality that our identity as women comes not from what we do, but in who we are: beloved daughters of the Father.