"The book often brought me to tears because of how many challenges Sal and his siblings had to face in their youth. Reading about Sal’s dreams, tribulations, and how he grew and changed as a person was very inspiring." - Majanka, Goodreads
Published: September 19th, 2017
Sal Di Leo returns after 30 years to the Catholic orphanage outside Chicago that he and his siblings called home in 1963.
This is the beginning of a journey of discovery and remembrance as Sal is forced to reconstruct his life as it really happened, including some of his most difficult years at Boys Town in Nebraska.
As an adult, Sal tried to rise above his turbulent past in an aggressive quest for power and money. Successes soon led to failures. Eventually, a wise friend convinces Sal to go back to his roots and look for the good experiences and valuable lessons he learned as a nine-year-old orphan.
I got a phone call the other day from a woman who said she saw me speak about 3 years ago on the ‘Power of Gratitude” and she wanted to know if she could go up to the little retreat my wife and I built in northern Minnesota for people to take time out and re-set their compass in their lives.
I didn’t remember her but really liked her voice on the phone. I decided to meet her and when I did, I was really happy I did. Turns out she is a Nun who is serving the poor and the destitute in the heart of the troubled area in the inner city of Minneapolis.
I found her to be a grateful and loving person. I was touched by her love and her courage in the work she does. I am so grateful we can help her with a little respite and time out.
It is people like these Sisters and so many people along the way in my life that have made all the difference. They do what they do unconditionally.
When I speak to Rotary Clubs and other organizations that are reaching out unconditionally, I remind them that everything they have given has been received, regardless if no-one ever comes back to thank them. I thank them for all those whom they helped along the way and remind them that they are making a difference and I am grateful for all those who haven’t had a chance to thank them.
So, if you are reaching out to others, I am thanking you now. I am grateful for your kindness. A little kindness does make a difference.
I am grateful to those Franciscan Nuns who took me and my three siblings in to the orphanage back in 1963. They gave us chance in life. I am most grateful to them.
About the author:
An entrepreneur who has successfully tackled many challenges in business and in life, Sal volunteers much of his time serving those in need. With his family, he founded St. Francis Lodge, a free retreat center where nuns, priests and others can reflect and rest to enhance their lives and work. The State Fish Art contest, which he started in Minnesota to help kids learn about conservation through art, is now offered in all 50 states and 12 countries. Sal has been actively involved with Rotary and the Lions Club, and he has spoken to service clubs around the United States about his life and the importance of gratitude. His self-published memoir, Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?, rooted in his childhood experiences in a Catholic orphanage, is available worldwide. The proud father of two adult daughters who have successfully left the nest, Sal has been married to his lovely wife Beth for more than 30 years. A longtime resident of Minneapolis, he is a 1977 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.