Let’s get this out of the way up front: I have no formal training in theology, the Catechism, or even Bible studies in general.

I have wandered a good bit in my faith. Baptized Catholic as a child, I rejected the Church at age 14, got ensnared by the charisma of a couple of Televangelists along the way, was baptized again as an adult into a magnificent, non-denominational Protestant, evangelical church where I made truly wonderful friends and enjoyed great fellowship, and then found myself right back at the Church some 41 years after leaving it – primarily because of Francis, but he’s really just a part of the story. I as often find myself at peace during daily Mass as I feel stressed, tired, irritated, and isolated. So please be patient. I’m still kind of new here. And still in need of much grace.

I can’t promise that I understand or can explain Catholic doctrine perfectly. In fact, I can’t. For a layman to layman explanation, I’d look first to a Professor Peter Kreeft or a Jimmy Akin before I’d ever look to me. In fact, I do. But I have read a good deal and lived a bit more. I promise to keep reading, thinking, learning, observing, and growing, and trying to communicate what I know as best I can. As I say on my blog banner, this is a “faith in progress” so bear with me.

You should know that I am very interested in politics. Did I say obsessed? I probably should have. I ran for the New York State Assembly many years ago. By the fact that I haven’t been indicted, you can probably guess that I wasn’t elected, so that’s a good thing. I am also interested in current events, my family, my country, and my job – yes, I’m a lawyer but don’t hold that against me – but as they say, not necessarily in that order. To the extent that you’ll be able to discern my political bent in anything I write, you’ll find me mostly, but certainly not exclusively, somewhat right-of-center. But God before politics, so any personal political conflicts will be decided in favor of the Church. That’s just the way it is.

I have embraced Pier Giorgio Frassati as a kind of personal role model. If you don’t know who he is, I sincerely hope that you will look him up. You will be overwhelmed by just how extraordinary one ordinary man can be. Start here.

Acknowledgement: Pier Giorgio – we’re on a first name basis – is the climber portrayed on my blog banner. I’ve also adopted his maxim: Verso l’alto – “to the top.” He’s affected my life.

I’ll no doubt make mistakes along the way – but I’m sure that one of you will let me know when I do. I’ll correct them. I won’t always be as articulate as I would like to think that I am, but I will always try to share something of value. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Comments, although moderated, are always welcomed. Even negative ones. Maybe especially negative ones. Say what you will, say it with directness, sincerity, and in truth. But remember to say it with some degree of love, charity, and kindness. We are all just doing our best here. And know that if you become unapologetically abusive towards me, the Church, or anyone else, you may well find your posting privileges revoked. But I know you, so I know that that won’t happen. And yes, this policy is subject to change without notice.

Finally, contact me at tzampino@gmail.com if you simply must tell me something that you can’t otherwise share on these pages. I’ll read all of your messages and I’ll do my best to respond.

Let us go forth now, together, in peace. And thanks for reading! Verso l’alto!

Oh, in case you’re interested, here’s my “official” Patheos bio:

Tom Zampino is an attorney in private practice in New York City who makes his home on Long Island.  He and his beautiful and accomplished wife have raised two fantastic daughters, four cats, two dogs, and various other domesticated creatures over the past three decades.