Tuesday, April 28, 2015


World events unfolding in the past few days can suck the hope right out of us. The tragedy in Nepal is unfathomable to me. Ancient temples reduced to dust. Lives snuffed out in the night. Parents losing children. Children losing parents. People on the trek of a lifetime wiped out in an instant on a mountainside. And then there is Baltimore. Our own citizens fighting one another on the streets. Racial tension on the rise once again. One of our iconic U.S. cities under curfew. Where is the hope?

Well, I got a little ray of hope over the past few days. Usually I do not single out nor name the folks who work here at World Library Publications. I walk a fine line sometimes because I am "the boss" around here and also someone who loves and cares for his "people" so deeply. Ah, the Catholic manager!

At any rate, as many of you know, nearly two years ago, our marketing director, Jennifer Odegard, lost her husband, Charlie, to pancreatic cancer. Our little family here at work grieved deeply for Charlie and our hearts were broken for Jennifer and their families.

Keith Kalemba, one of our music editors, and a composer himself, has been working on a musical tribute to Charlie to mark Charlie's upcoming 50th birthday. The piece, still needing some minor tweaking, is now complete. It is scored for cello and piano. We had arranged for a marvelous cellist here in Chicago to play at Charlie's funeral Mass, so there are echoes from that day of celebration of Charlie's life in the piece. Keith posted a photo on Facebook last night, which I am sharing here, with his permission:

You know, it's stuff like this, the creation of a composition written at the piano in a small house in a village outside of Chicago, that pierces through the darkness of despair and bursts into a dazzling ray of hope in my own eyes. John 13:35 in action in our little corner of the world: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Look for the hope today. It's probably all around you, just waiting to be found.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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