—Feast of St. Faustina My youngest son and I went camping with the Cub Scouts last weekend. The weather was spectacular and although the leaves in the forest haven’t turned their brilliant Fall colors quite yet, the air was crisp and the sky was cloudless. On Saturday afternoon, after a morning hike and a lunch of vienna sausages, trail mix, and other camping fare, the boys played organized games in a field next to our campsite. Several of these games… Read more

-Feast of St. Francis of AssisiI’ve written about Pandora Radio before. Through Pandora, an internet service that allows you to create your own radio stations, I learned about Olabelle, now one of my All-Time Favorite Groups.So, I was listening to an Ollabelle-heavy station on Pandora a few weeks back when I heard the unmistakable sound of Ollabelle singing a song I had never heard, “Gentle Annie,” by Stephen Foster (left). That set me on a hard search for the Ollabelle… Read more

   -Feast of Saint Mother Théodore GuérinTyler Clementi’s apparent suicide has become worldwide news. The 18-year-old’s body was found in the Hudson River this week, after he jumped off the George Washington Bridge, which is several miles from his northern New Jersey home. The allegation is his Rutgers roomate had recorded the teenager’s sexual encounter with a young man and transmitted it on the internet.Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls… Read more

I have been wrestling with the angel named Vocation. In August, my wife and I sold our small publishing business, and just this week I completed all but the proofreading for the biggest writing project I’ve ever tackled. Meanwhile, Katie and both of our daughters are on the first steppingstones of new life paths. For our entire family, the future is an open book. The only thing I know is, I have to work.Yes, sadly the publishing business did not… Read more

Today I had to laugh. A reader e-mailed to ask if I was dead. No, I am not dead. That e-mail was the match that lit this post, but Flannery O’Connor was the fuel. Her short story “Parker’s Back,” since I read it over the weekend, like an icon lit by freaky candles, has haunted me. It explains why “Why I Am Catholic” can never be answered satisfactorily. And “Why I Can’t Escape Being Catholic” is an even more compelling… Read more

It’s time for another horse race folks. The four selections in the poll (see left side-bar) are all novels written by Catholics that I would like to read over the next twelve months. So,  I’ve put them together and I would like for you to help me choose in what order we will read them. One book per quarter, or at least that is my intention.Head on over to Amazon and run a query on these selections and then put… Read more

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, also known as Michaelmas. I like the calendar name Michaelmas and that this day used to be a huge festival marking the beginning of Autumn. I actually hope that this day is celebrated extravagantly still somewhere on the globe. Does anyone know?What follows is a brief hymn penned by Blessed John Henry Newman to mark the occasion. Written in 1862, this was published in 1867 in a volume entitled Verses on Various Occasions…. Read more

It’s raining, it’s Monday, and Summer is officially over. That about sums it up for me. The weekend was too short, it’s starting to get chilly, and it would have been nice to sleep in on this rainy morning. I hope it’s sunny where you are! Now matter what the weather is like, try to make the best of it. Here’s what I have on tap for you,Rainy Days and Mondays. The CarpentersMonday, Monday. The Mama’s and the Poppa’sBlue Monday…. Read more

—Feast of St. Vincent de Paul I just finished reading Lou Tseng-Tsiang’s Ways of Confucius and of Christ. In the latter pages of the book, he gives a seminar in Chinese history that I think you may find of interest. Secularization of a culture, the scrubbing away of their religious heritage, is not some new idea. (more…) Read more

Noah built an ark, and Christ built His Church. Hope floats. For a long time, I was a stow-away aboard His Majesty’s ships. But a few years back, I stopped lurking in the shadows, approached the Captain of one of His frigates, and asked to be added to the rolls of His Majesty’s Fleet. “All are welcome,” the Captain said. “Of course, you must swear allegiance to Our King and endeavor to follow His dictates and precepts,  which will change… Read more

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