Best of 2019 – #1

January 1, 2020

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer the top post of 2019, a homily posted on June 30, 2019 entitled Beware That You Are Not Consumed by One Another…

I am not a political person and I don’t like confrontation. I am particularly uncomfortable when it comes to calling people out on their behaviors. That being said, in preparing for my homily, I felt like I needed to address the recent firestorm enveloping our Catholic high schools.

I sent a text to Fr. Jim early in the week. I told him what I was thinking about and asked for his input on whether or not I should go there.

To be honest, I was hoping he would tell me to stay away from it. I was hoping he would tell me not to go there. The circumstances make me uncomfortable and I wanted to use Fr. Jim as my excuse to avoid talking about it.

No such luck. He told me it was important to go there. Continue reading

Best of 2019 – #2

December 31, 2019

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer #2, my post on my wedding anniversary date of May 21, 2019 entitled, 36 Years of Marriage to My Complete Opposite…

Since I started my working life as a paperboy at the age of 10, I have had fifteen different jobs. Since I started driving when I was 16 years old, I have owned fourteen different cars. Since I was born, I have lived in eleven different houses. Since I married Carol thirty-six years ago, at the age of 23, I have had one wife. Carol and I celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary today.

I have spent some time recently reflecting on our time together: How much we have grown as a couple, how much we still love one another, and how odd it seems that we have been married thirty-six years, despite being so different. My friends actually had a wager pool going on how long we would last. Continue reading

Best of 2019 – #3

December 30, 2019

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer #3, a homily posted on May 28, 2019. It was the homily I delivered at the Mass celebrating the 50th anniversary of ordination for Fr. Jerry Kirkhoff….

I am honored to be asked by Fr. Jerry to be a part of his 50th anniversary celebration. Fr. Jerry was one of the first people I spoke to regarding my vocational call. He talked me through it and supported my pursuit of the diaconate. I owe him a debt of gratitude for serving as my pastor mentor during the first half of my formation as a deacon, with Fr. Jim Farrell serving in that role for the second half of my formation.

As a matter of fact, the two of them together participated in the vesting ceremony at my ordination. My wife, Carol, carried my vestments and Fr. Jerry and Fr. Jim helped put them on me during the ritual. One of them put my stole over the wrong shoulder and the other put my dalmatic on backwards. With mentors like that, I’m fortunate to be standing here before you as a deacon today.

Fr. Jerry has always been very supportive of the diaconate. He told me my presence here today would send a message about the importance of deacons in our church. I appreciate that and am pleased to be here to represent all of my brother deacons. Continue reading

Best of 2019 – #4

December 28, 2019

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer #4, a homily posted on January 6, 2019 entitled, They Knew Him

Let’s talk about gifts.

Carol and I received a text from our daughter, Laura, on Christmas morning. It included a video. They captured the candid reaction of their 20-month-old daughter, Ellie, when she saw all of the presents under their tree.

As Ellie ran toward the tree with excitement, all you could hear her say was, “Bow…bow…bow!”

She ran to each package and removed its stick-on bow. Once she had them all, she sat down and played with them, sticking them on her pj’s and in her hair.

Laura’s text said: “We could have saved a lot of money. It looks like the perfect gift for Ellie would have been a pair of Elmo socks and a bag full of bows.” Continue reading

Best of 2019 – #5

December 27, 2019

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer #5, a homily posted on March 31, 2019 entitled, Welcome Home…

The following is the story of Amy and Joe, a story of reconciliation:

Joe began: “Near my house there’s a sign that reads, ‘Please do not drink and drive.’ There’s a smaller sign underneath that reads, ‘In honor of Amy.’ Amy was a young lady I killed in 1992 while driving drunk on the freeway.”

After the accident, Joe fled the scene. He was later arrested for second degree murder. In the days that followed, he was overcome by what he had done.

“But God put some people in my life who made me understand what reconciliation was all about,” Joe explained. Continue reading

Best of 2019 – #6

December 26, 2019

Blessing on you this Christmas season!

As is my custom, for the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I will be re-posting the Top 6 posts of the past year. Today I offer #6, a homily posted on August 11, 2019 entitled, Sure and Certain Hope…

Many of you know that my wife, Carol, has retired after working nearly 25 years at St. Pius X School and Bishop Chatard. On that topic, before I begin my homily, I’d like to answer some of the pressing questions I have been asked lately.

With a great deal of concern, people have asked, “How is Carol doing? Is she OK? Is she adjusting to retirement? Any regrets about retiring?”

Let me say this as clearly and emphatically as I can: I assure you, Carol is fine. Please do not spend another minute worrying about Carol and her adjustment to retirement. She has never once looked back. She sleeps well at night and does whatever she wants during the day – so yes, I think she’s “adjusting.”

As a matter of fact, in the history of retirement, I would dare say no one has adjusted more quickly and efficiently than my wife.

Please put your concerns about Carol aside – she is just fine. Continue reading