Convinced of the profound ability of each person to shape the future, Father James Keller, M.M., founded The Christophers in 1945. The Maryknoll priest believed that God has given each individual a special task in life which belongs to no one else.
This sense of personal mission and the power of goodness is the heart of the Christopher message. It is summed up by the ancient Chinese proverb which has become our motto: “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
The Christopher approach to problems is to put hope into action. We use print and electronic media to reach out to men, women and young people of all faiths and of no particular faith with these ideas:
You have a God-given mission.
You are an irreplaceable child of God — with a job for you alone. A healthy sense of self-worth can help you know and fulfill your mission in life.
You can make a difference.
One good deed may seem insignificant, but may be all that’s needed to overcome some evil. All who work with God change things for the better.
Constructive action works miracles.
Emphasize what can be done, rather than what cannot. Complaining wastes time and energy. Things improve when more people build up and fewer tear down. With God’s help, everything is possible.
Be not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
Each of us has, by the grace of God, the power to change the world for the better. Every act of care and concern for others has a ripple effect, touching many lives. The love to which we are called by the Gospel extends not only to our neighbors, but to all who live on God’s Good Earth—today and in time to come. So, go into the marketplace, into a job of your own choosing, without fanfare or flag-waving. Where there is hate, bring in love; where there is darkness, carry light. In other words, be a Christbearer, or Christopher.
The mere fact that you are alive, reading these words, no matter your age, the state of your health or physical condition, means that you have been chosen by God to perform some work that no other person can do. If you wish to leave the world better than you found it, you must be convinced that you have been put here for a purpose, delegated by God to play a part in renewing the face of the earth.
Each of us is an instrument of supernatural grace. We do not have to depend on our own limited ability, but have the whole of heaven behind us, even when we seem to fail. To each of us, individually and personally, Christ is continually saying: ‘As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.’ (John 20:21)
You can do much as a Christopher to make your influence for good felt. You can stimulate one and all to show a personal responsibility and individual initiative in raising the standards of all phases of human endeavor, especially government, education, labor management relations, communications and entertainment. These fields vitally shape the destiny of humankind for good or evil, for time and eternity.
The very presence of even one Christopher in any environment is a blessing, a channel of grace, a step in the right direction – like a tiny pinpoint of light that is greater than the encircling darkness.