My Story and God’s Blessings

inspirations for those experiencing life-changing illness

by John M. Samoylo

A Storybook, A Workbook, & A Prayer Book

When John Samoylo’s physical heart took a sudden turn, his emotional heart and his spiritual heart took the turn as well. This is a simple and extraordinary story, and John makes it an American story by sharing one way he found to set aside fear: remembering good things in graphic detail and part of this story is John’s happy 1950s childhood in Valley Cottage, New York: neighborhood baseball games, ice skating on Heaton’s Pond, a big Italian family with big Italian meals….

Memory is only one technique John developed in the crisis. With each chapter, John makes his story useful to the reader’s own journey by asking “Questions for Reflection.”

Above all, what John is gaining through the challenge is a greater closeness to God. He uses traditional Catholic prayers (included in the thorough Appendix), showing how he makes them his own.
see the Table of Contents

Praise from Sister Joan Noreen, OLME

Host of “Eucharistic Journey” on Eternal Word Television Network

My Story and God’s Blessings is intended for persons living with life-changing illnesses. It is the story of an ordinary man who suddenly, in a single moment, found his life dramatically changed by critical illness and its long-term effects. In that sense it is the story of countless men, women, and even children. However, John Samoylo, the man telling this story, had another experience, another life-changing moment. John shares about a single moment that held within it a very simple inspiration that filled his being, an inspiration that became a stepping stone to life-changing inspirations.

His story, the inspirations he shares, and the questions he offers to his readers for reflection are a treasure chest of insight that can become catalysts for living the abundant life (see John 10:10) that Jesus promised, while also living with the long-term effects of critical illness.

My Story and God’s Blessings is an ordinary story made quite out-of-the-ordinary by its gift of inspirations that can become stepping-stones toward hope, peace, and love, a love that can lead to a deepening and very personal love relationship with God and a deepening love for others.

The story is clear, simple, personal and practical. It may help you in your own sufferings and struggles with illness and loss, or it may be something that you can give to others when your words seem to fall short.

My Story and God’s Blessings — Standard Edition— 6x9 in. hand-bound softcover — $17.95English Somerset cover, archival, 2012.

About the Author

John Samoylo taught mathematics for over thirty-nine years at a community college in suburban Philadelphia. He also served as co-coordinator for the mathematics department. John specialized in working with educationally disadvantaged students and co-authored three study guides for mathematics students. He received his BA in mathematics from Providence College and his M Ed in mathematics education from Temple University.

John and his wife Cathy have been active in their parish, the Church and their community. John has served: as a Eucharistic Minister; on the Pre-Cana Team; as track and basketball coach at St. Joseph Church, Downingtown, PA; and on the scholarship committee at St. Peter Church, West Brandywine, PA. John and Cathy have presented on Marriage Encounter Weekends. They are co-founders of Birthright of West Chester, PA, a crisis-pregnancy center. The Samoylos have eight children and fifteen grandchildren.

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