Love Your Neighbor

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  • Patricia’s Papito*

    by Julie Rattey

    It had rained hard during the night, and in the village of La Realidad, El Salvador, Santiago was thanking God his house didn’t have a leak. It was 5 a.m., and he was about to set off on his 15-mile journey to Santa Ana for another day selling … read more

  • My mother, my hero*

    by Julie Rattey

    Neema ran through the Tanzanian bush, her school bag bumping hard against her. As soon as she had seen the lion, its mane shining a wild gold in the afternoon sun, she had carefully laid down the firewood she had gathered and crept out of sight before making … read more

  • Fatmatta’s Escape*

    by Julie Rattey

    It was midnight when Fatmatta woke up with a start to the sound of banging at the front door of her family’s house in Sierra Leone. She blinked in the darkness. Silence hung, precarious, like a water droplet from the tap. Abdulai, her husband, … read more

  • A second family for Pierre

    by Rick Stoff

    It was a simple photograph that changed two families’ lives.The face in the photo was that of a young African boy named Pierre. He might have been any other happy 11-year-old, except that cruel curves in his spine, caused by scoliosis, made it … read more

  • A project for Luis*

    by Julie Rattey

    “Here,” hissed Samuel. “Put this in your bag.” Keeping a sharp eye on the cashier, Samuel, 13, furtively shoved a bag of chips at his best friend Luis and began slipping a bottle of soda into his own pouch. Outside the tiny convenience store, the… read more

  • Patrícia's Stories*

    by Julie Rattey

    Patrícia, 10, was sitting in her accustomed spot behind the altar, hands folded tightly on her white altar server’s robe. Mass this Saturday night was just the same as always, and yet for Patrícia it could hardly be more different… read more

  • Andrew finds room at the inn

    by Julie Rattey

    “I hate our school.” Andrew, 13, lay facedown on the floor of his friend John’s** bedroom. The piece of charcoal in his hands was filling his sketch pad with strong, dark lines that seemed desperate to jump off the page and never come back… read more

  • Brayden's Christmas: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital*

    by Julie Rattey

    Brayden, honey, wake up. It’s Christmas.”Brayden, 8, opened his eyes to see his mom, Brenda, leaning over him. The sun was up, and Brayden could hear 3-year-old Brynnan warbling along to Christmas music in the living room.“This is a… read more

  • The Boys in the Kitchen*

    by Julie Rattey

    "More corn meal."As he leaned over the campfire, Mubanga, 15, tossed a handful into the pot of boiling water as Evaristo, 16, stirred. The boys' lanky teenage arms and hands seemed to gain grace and purpose as they worked over the pot. Around them was… read more

  • Ginging and the Kidnapped Priest*

    by Julie Rattey

    "Benito! Come quickly!"Ibony's voice was tense as she called her husband from across their one-room hut. It was 5:30 a.m. on Good Friday, March 29, 1991, and the hot sun was just rising over the forest where Ibony, her husband Benito, who was a hired … read more