Listening In: 5 Stories That Lit Up the Internet This Week

Catholic hot takes on the top 5 trends of the week.

Baby Tinslee Lewis at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
Baby Tinslee Lewis at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. (photo: Texas Right to Life)

Here’s a look at the top 5 stories that lit up the internet this week: 


5. Praying for a family, 12-year-old Jonah says his faith in God carries him through life in foster care.

With over 600,000 kids in foster care in the U.S. alone, an interview has gone viral showcasing Jonah, a 12-year-old boy who is currently in the foster system. Dressed in a dapper suit for his big day being interviewed for ‘Wednesday’s Child,’ a weekly TV segment that features children in foster care, Jonah admits, “"Well, I felt I needed to be proper in the most way that I could.”

When you hear him, it’s hard to believe he’s twelve as he seems more prepared and comfortable with himself than I was—even in my college years. Clearly and resolutely, Jonah speaks about the role God plays in rescuing him from his reality, saying, “He's brought me through many, many things. As far as abuse before I came into CPS. He's brought me through a lot. Just a lot overall.”

Now in his fourth year in the foster care system that for many children is a revolving door, Jonah’s relationship with God keeps him calm, cool, and collected. “Waking me up this morning, you know what I mean? Starting me on my way. I'm in my right mind. I know who I am and I'm proud of being the person who I am.”

Not everything that goes viral deserves attention but hearing Jonah’s words of wisdom inspires us all to remember how fortunate we are with what we’ve been given and to count our blessings. It may also move us as Catholics to find a place in our hearts and home for this 9-year-old exceptional boy who is searching for a forever home.

Jonah says, “Reason, why I want to be adopted, is because I know there's a family out there that fits me in the best possible way that they can.”


4. 10 Million Pilgrims visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe marking her feast day.

Record numbers of Catholics made the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Dec. 12, marking the important feast day. The Associated Press reporting at least 9.8 million visitors by as early as 7 a.m. on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Viral photos captured show faithful Catholics on their knees crawling their way to the shrine, many piously kneeling in gratitude for answered prayers. Kneeling on the rough cobbled stones must be incredibly painful but many remain on them until reaching the altar, rosary in hand.  

Within 9 years of her appearance, 9 million Mexicans were baptized into the Catholic Church. The patroness of the Americas and of the unborn, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the reason that Mexico became a Catholic country. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!


3. National Catholic Register blogger gets some exciting mail from Magnolia Farms. 

Catholic philosopher and blogger Carrie Gress took to social media this week to share some exciting news surrounding her new book, Theology of Home. Her publicist at Tan Books had sent her beautiful new book that offers ways to find "the eternal in the everyday" to Chip and Joanna Gaines of 'Fixer Upper' on HGTV. To Carrie's surprise, she received a letter back from Magnolia Farms stating that Joanna, the mind behind all of the transforming renovations shown on the hit tv show, truly loved the book saying: “Joanna loves the vision that has been set with this book that the home is the place we prepare ourselves and our families for heaven...” 

Bravo Carrie for such a wonderful book helping us find ways to bring God closer into our homes and for lighting up the internet with this viral news!


2. Citing his Catholic upbringing, businessman shares the wealth giving $10 million in bonuses to 200 employees.

Christmas came early for 198 employees of St. John’s Properties in Baltimore this week. In a video released by the real estate mogul, couples dressed in holiday garb are seen mixing and mingling, clutching red envelopes. The contents of those envelopes held surprise bonus checks that one employee called "life-changing." Company founder and chairman Edward St. John said they wanted to reward employees in a "big way" because "I steer the boat, but they're the ones that run the boat, they are the ones that make the boat go." John adding, "Without the team we are nothing, we are absolutely nothing."

After the company hit its goal of developing 20 million square feet of office, retail and warehouse space in eight states this year, the company split 10M amongst their 198 employees.The largest bonus given was $270,000 while the smallest bonus of $100 was given to an employee who only started at the company on Monday, CNN reported.

After the news of the generous bonuses, the archdiocese of Baltimore shared via social media the news that Edward St. John has been a remarkable and giving philanthropist, citing his Catholic upbringing. 


1. 10-month-old baby Tinslee is spared having her feeding tube removed. 

In a big win for life, a new judge in Texas assigned to the case of a 10-month-old baby on life support, has granted more time to assess the situation. The ruling came on the exact day doctors had intended to remove Tinslee Lewis' feeding tube against her mother's wishes. This is the second temporary injunction to stop the life support removal. The feeding tube was slated to be removed Nov. 10 after invoking Texas’ “10-day rule,” which is typically applied when a family disagrees with doctors who say life-sustaining treatment should be stopped. Staunchly opposed to this rule, the pro-life group Texas Right to Life has been representing the Lewis family, working indefatigably to find a new facility that will help Baby Tinslee. 

After several surgeries and medical procedures, doctors say Tinslee is unaware of her surroundings and is in immense pain from the slightest movement, even changing a diaper. Tinslee's mother, Trinity, says her daughter squeezes her hand, feels emotion, and even recognizes some of the nurses that are treating her. She describes her daughter as "sassy" and says, “I want to be the one to make the decision for her,” about removing her daughter from life support.

Tinslee has been living at Cook Children's Medical Center since her birthday Feb. 1, 2019. The latest injunction gives the family and hospital until Jan. 2 , 2020 to find another hospital that will take on this challenging case. For now, Tinslee and her family will be able share her first Christmas together and Lord-willing, will be able to find a room at another inn, one that may be able to help this vulnerable suffering child.