When most of us think of leaders our minds conjure up images of presidents, kings, generals. Even the most “Kingdom Focused” among us would summon to mind popes, saints, or pastors. What makes these people “leaders” in our vernacular is that they have followers. Our very definition of leadership depends upon the notion that some group has decided this is the way to go and this is the person at the head of the line. That definition applies to the first lemming as well, and I am not convinced of his or her leadership qualities. So here I am and here we all are who have chosen to join this journey, following a 7 year old girl to who knows where. Clearly, Catie has become a leader. But unlike the leaders most of us think of when we hear that word, her leadership does not exist because of a position or title. In reality, the truly great leaders, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Pope John Paul II have more than just a title or a position, they “get it”. They know that the greatest leader that ever walked upon this earth was a humble carpenter born in abject poverty to simple parents in an occupied country. Regardless of your own personal beliefs about Jesus, the legacy of His leadership and the scope of His short ministry is without equal. Why? He had no position, no title, yet He was the greatest leader ever. I would suggest that if we accept a new definition of leadership all of this will make sense. Leaders are people who influence the actions and thoughts of others. Isn’t that the essence of what He did when He walked this earth? Doesn’t that definition mean that we are all in positions of leadership every day. When was the last time you thought about being a leader as you honked your horn at the person who cut you off in traffic? Leadership is about moments of influence. King Solomon, already the wealthiest person on earth asked God to grant him more blessings. Kind of greedy right? No, he asked for the additional blessings so that he might use the influence to help more people.

Back to Catie. As rare as her condition is, there are other kids battling cancer and while her prognosis might not be as promising as most, her current condition is miraculously better than most. Catie has embraced the definition of leadership that focuses on influence. Think of some of the stories we have shared with you about the simple yet powerful changes that have occurred since this little girl has begun to lead us on this journey. The fathers who have hugged their children and opened up their hearts in ways they have not done in years. The married couples who have begun to pray together and the difference it has made in their marriage. The children who have reached back to an empty nest and come home not for a place to do laundry or score a free meal, but to thank their parents for the head start on life that they had been given through their mom and dad’s sacrifices. Or the thousands of people who have rallied to our side to share what they have and to join us in prayer. Here are 2 more such stories. A woman contacted Christine yesterday and let her know that her husband who had not been to church in years was back and that their son who had never been baptized is being baptized next month. A married couple who became disillusioned after the scandals in the church and stopped practicing their faith have now rejoined their church and are back to the sacraments. Talk about influence. Thank you Catie! As parents, we know that all of our kids are special and unique and we love them all as the beautiful gifts they are. I think Catie is pretty special, but I am her father and about as biased as I can be. When others meet her however, they relate back to us that although they had been following the story, they are drawn to her, they fall in love with her, as I did when I first met her 7 years ago. Catie has a grasp on her condition and her treatment and is able to explain it and carry on a conversation that engages others in where she is. God has a plan for all of this and it is my belief that God created Catie with this year in mind. I look forward to where she, in following her Father’s plan for her, leads us next.

In the near term, her next moment of influence will be Tuesday the 9th. She and Christine will be heading to DC to the Washington Redskins facility to meet with Jason Taylor, (Defensive player of the year, NFL Man of the Year, and Dancing with the Stars runner up) to film a commercial for ALSAC, the fundraising arm for St. Jude’s. Please pray for her to be relaxed magnetic Catie so that she can get through her lines without her shyness. She is loving school as are the others and we continue to be awed by the blessings we experience each day. Her bandage changes are still emotional and tearful experiences preceded by apprehension and followed by exhaustion, but the area itself remains infection free and her lines have not developed any clots. Thank you Christine for doing such a great job.

May God continue to bless you, keep you in His embrace and give you the strength to share His love with those you love.

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly and M.E.

The Catie’s Cure event for the 14th tickets at St. Columbkill will not be available after masses this weekend. However, they are available in 3 ways for our friends at St Columbkill. They are on sale after all of the masses at St Al’s this weekend. They are available at the St. Columbkill parish office next week, or they can be obtained by sending an email to

megan@catiesstory.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We want to be able to fill the room at the Convention center so even if you have not purchased your tickets yet, please let us know that you plan on attending by contacting either
megan@catiesstory.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
, or

heavenly115@msn.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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