In honor of our twenty-first birthday as a congregation, we asked you to share your stories of hope with us. Whether it was a tale of hope coming through during a dark time or just poignant nuggets of where you find hope each day, we were touched by your responses. Below, we’ve shared just a few of them (for brevity’s sake, we’re not able to share them all here). To see the full array of hope responses we’ve received, check out our Facebook page. Thanks for sharing your hope with us and for making this birthday one for the books!

Did you miss our #HappyBirthdayHope campaign? We’d still love to hear your response! Tell us what gives you hope in the comments below and you might see your quote on our Facebook page.

Hope is something I never realized I had, but, as I have aged, I realize that it was hope that underlined an ability to hold on, cling to whatever seemed well grounded in a life defined by strong currents and some raging waves. AND I remember seeing/hearing hope incarnated when in Venezuela for a philosophy of liberation conference. Electricity went out while we were deep within the Salt Cave and the Latin American philosophers began shouting ‘agua’ and laughing. Only later I learned that is what people would shout before emptying the chamber out of the second floor window!”

-Kate Lindemann

“I begin my day and hope is around me. Where? I see Hope in the elderly, those that are so sick with the rosary dangling from their frail hands. Mothers that have to work leaving little ones in daycare. The young, the old, the frail, and so on. Above all, their hope in God keeps them going each new day.” –Etta Oliver

I am a Criminal Justice student in college and I work with my homeless youth at a shelter downtown of Kansas City. They come with all their brokenness, hurt, and anger. No young person should ever say, ‘I am hopeless,’ but we do hear it and sense it from these kids. Most of the time, they have no control of how they ended up in the shelter.

My kids are my hope. Having a deep love for the Dominican Spirituality and of St. Dominic, it is through the Dominican spirit that I bring hope daily to their young lives. To contemplate and to pass on the fruits of our contemplation is the way that I reach these kids. I bring hope to them with the truth of the Gospel that all is loved by God and hope is everywhere. -Joachim Francis-Xavier Seelos

“As a career Air Force officer, I always hoped I would get home alive and in one piece whenever I flew in harm’s way. God realized my hopes.” –Tom McLuckie

“What gives me hope? My sisters and brothers in prison giving witness that God’s love has the power to heal and renew lives that have been deeply wounded.” –Ruth Raichle

“Yesterday, I watched 200,000+ teens at World Youth Day; they are our hope!!!” –Patricia Lohmann Shanny