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How To Hack Coincidence

Sonny Melendrez
7 min readOct 13, 2023

Let me tell you a story.

Sister Jo was the art teacher at St. Francis Academy in San Antonio who made a remark one day in May, 1987 that led to my greatest adventure to date.

After delivering one of my motivational presentations at the all-girl school, one of my favorite nuns walked me to my car. In the parking lot she happened to mention that her order of nuns were in charge of the Vatican and should I ever visit Rome, she might be able to arrange an audience with the Pope, His Holiness, John Paul II.

That was all she needed to say for me to find a way to get there.

The Pope was scheduled to come to San Antonio later in September, but going to the Vatican was one of my life-long dreams.

I remembered reading that morning of some Catholic school children in Seattle who were writing letters to the Pope in hopes that he would address their thoughts when he arrived in their city. I thought that something we might do in San Antonio.

Later that evening, while attending the grand opening of a travel agency, I happened to meet a marketing director for TWA (Trans World Airways), who mentioned that they wanted to promote new direct service from New York to Rome. He said if I had an idea for a radio promotion to give him a call.