The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY Daily Feed

USAVaticanAmericasEuropeAsia PacificMiddle East Africa

Saint of the DayBook ReviewsGuest Columnist

 

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Scroll to bottom to navigate to different departments

'I find God in suffering': The gripping life and death of Kayla Mueller

By Elise Harris and Alan Holdren

Madrid, Spain, May 1, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News) - Kayla Mueller, the young human rights activist who was killed earlier this year while being held hostage by ISIS, was a woman of faith with a heart full of compassion toward those who suffered, her parents say. Now, they intend to carry on her legacy of service to others.

“Some people find God in Church, some people find God in nature, some people find God in love, I find God in suffering,” Kayla’s mother, Marsha Mueller told CNA April 18, reciting a phrase of her daughter.

“I’ve known for some time what my life's work is: using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.”

The Mueller’s shared their daughter’s story during an April 17-20 conference entitled “#We Are Nazarenes” in Madrid, Spain.

The title of the conference took it’s inspiration from the Arabic letter “nun,” which ISIS militants branded on the houses of Christians in Mosul, Iraq last summer to indicate which ones belonged to the “Nazarenes.”

The Islamic State – also known as ISIS – has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months. The militant terror group has established a caliphate and carried out mass persecutions of minority populations, primarily Christians and Yazidis.

Kayla Mueller, who came from Prescott, Ariz. and was 26 at the time of her death, was taken captive by ISIS militants in August 2013 while leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

She had been working to help Syrian refugees along the Turkish border with international aid agency Support to Life, and had gone to the hospital to help for a day. Kayla and some of her colleagues were then abducted while being taken to a bus to return back to Turkey.

On Feb. 6, 2015, ISIS released a photo of a damaged building, naming Kayla and claiming that she had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Raqqa, Syria.

Her family confirmed her death Feb. 10, saying that ISIS had sent them proof in an email. The email held three photos of her body, bruised on the face and dressed in a black hijab – a veil that covers the head and chest.

Kayla’s parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, recounted how their daughter had always been affected by the suffering of others, and that “her heart always broke when she saw suffering.”

From the time she was young Kayla had gotten involved with several volunteer organizations in her hometown, including youth camp.

She was good at speaking, so she got involved with different international groups, and had even been invited to go to Washington D.C. to meet with people as part of the leadership of the groups, Marsha recalled.

After starting her college career in environmental studies, Marsha explained that Kayla felt she wasn’t supposed to stay in school, but wanted to get her degree. She then changed her degree to political science with a minor in international relations and graduated in two and a half years.

Just two months after her graduation in Dec. 2009, Kayla traveled to India to work in an orphanage. When the weather got too hot, she went to the country’s northern border, where she worked with Tibetan refugees and taught them English.

She later went on to work in Israel, Palestine and France, where she studied for a year so she could learn French with the intention of doing mission work in Africa.

Carl Mueller, Kayla’s father, said that she truly shared in the suffering of those that she worked with. British philosopher and writer Bertrand Russell’s declaration that he had an “unbearable pity” for the suffering of mankind described how his daughter was.

That phrase, he said, “explains Kayla in as few words as you can possibly use. She truly suffered when she saw other people suffering and she had to help, she just had to help.”

In one letter Kayla wrote to her father while she was in India, she recounted how she had come home and was so angry about something that had happened that she was shaking.

What she managed to write down at the time was a shock even for herself when she read it later, Carl noted, recalling her words: “I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me this is how I will always seek you.”

Mr. Mueller said that after he received Kayla’s letter he wrote the phrase on a bookmark for her to carry with her in her travels, but she refused to take it. The bookmark now hangs on a wall in the Mueller home, alongside the various other gifts Kayla sent to her parents from abroad.

Kayla’s mother recalled how dedicated she was to alleviating and comforting the suffering of others, and said that her former declaration that “as long as I live I won’t let this suffering be normal,” is evidence of her determination.

“She looked at all people. Kayla was not narrow or selective. She had a real gift to learn from everyone, and she reached out to people that were different to learn from them,” Marsha said.

Despite how deeply she shared in others’ suffering, Kayla was always “fun-loving and joyful,” her mother explained, noting that she was always touched by how people with so little “still had so much.”

Kayla’s decision to travel to Syria rather than Africa, as she had originally planned, was the result of a chance encounter with a Syrian man while returning home from Palestine.

While on a layover in Egypt, Kayla met the man, who was not living in Syria but was visiting on holiday, and told him about the work she did.

Although he couldn’t understand why she would dedicate her life to others rather than looking out for herself, the man was touched by “Kayla’s love for people,” Marsha said.

The two of them kept in touch through skype and email, and once the Syrian crisis broke out the man went back to help his people because of Kayla’s influence, she recalled. He kept Kayla informed of the situation, and because of that she decided to travel to the Turkish border to work with Syrian refugees.

While on the border, Kayla worked with women whose husbands had either been killed, captured or were fighting with the Syrian Army.

Together with a few other colleagues Kayla helped to found an organization called “Dignity” in Arabic, where the women sold homemade baby clothes in order to raise money for their families.

Carl recalled how in one talk Kayla gave in their hometown, she explained that one of the women had asked her “Where is the world?”

“And Kayla, having no answer, said all she could do was sit and cry with them. That’s what she did, she comforted those people and she wanted to be where the suffering was the worst.”

Marsha said the last time they saw Kayla was at the end of May to the beginning of June, 2013 when she had come home for a 10 day visit, just two months before her abduction.

At the end of the visit, Marsha recalled how she sat on the couch with Kayla and held her hand, telling her “Kayla I just don’t want you to go this time, I want you to stay.”

Although the topic of conversation quickly changed, Marsha said that the next morning Kayla came out with a clay hand she had made and let dry in her room, saying “Mom, you’ll always have my hand.”

The expression became the inspiration and namesake for the Mueller’s nonprofit organization “Kayla’s hands,” which they founded after her death in order to honor her and continue her work in serving others.

After Kayla was abducted, her parents received ransom demands from ISIS, including requests for extremely large sums of money and the release or exchange of other prisoners.

The militants had even threatened them, saying Kayla would be killed if they spoke out, “so that’s why no one heard anything for 18 months,” Carl noted, and revealed that not even the rest of their family knew about the abduction for several months.

Marsha said that Kayla had always stayed in close contact with them through letters and skype, and that once they found out Kayla had been taken, she continued to write her daughter, and has 10 full notebooks of her correspondence detailing what was going on at home and “the miracles” they saw happening.

Faith has kept them going throughout the stress of the process, the Mueller’s said. "I don’t think we could have done it without faith.”

After the tension placed on them personally as well as their marriage in the face of making life or death decisions regarding their daughter, their relationship has been changed “forever,” Carl said, “but we have one thing, and that’s our faith. And it keeps bringing us back together and making us strong.”

Kayla’s message to the world, they explained, is that “one person can make a difference…one person with extraordinary faith, extraordinary compassion and extraordinary courage can make a difference, and Kayla has.”

They said that while they are just normal people, their daughter, whom they called “Special K” from the time she was little, was in fact the special one, and they want to continue her legacy.

The couple also made an appeal to the international community to make a greater effort in fighting against ISIS, saying that “If world had gotten together in 2013 when this group really formed, a lot of these kids would be alive, a lot of these families wouldn’t have their homes destroyed.”

“So there was a lot not done; people just kind of kept thinking it would go away,” Marsha said.

Her husband echoed her thoughts, saying that the world needs to band together and “bring this to a stop. It’s not the United States, we can’t police the world…it’s got to be all the countries and they’ve all got to do brave things.”

Past Issues

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

MORE

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Site by Solutio