Monday, July 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


There's nothing like a classic Beatles' song to shed some light on a contemporary issue...

Here's one of my favorites growing up that seems to be relevant more than ever. Enjoy:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Architect

Did you ever look up at the vast expanse of the night sky and wonder at God's unspeakable power and intelligence to have created such a wonder? Now turn your gaze from the cosmos above to the microcosm that exists on the cellular level within your own body. Every cell is an intricate mechanism lovingly crafted by Our Lord to support and sustain us in life.

Take a look at this amazing video that illustrates some of the operations that we know go on in cells - there's plenty more about molecules, atoms, neutrons, and quarks (uh oh!) that we don't know yet. Our scientific knowledge has progressed incredibly, but many realities that are still mysteries to us are crystal clear to God - He created it all. Buen provecho.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Irish Lad's First St.Paddy's Day

For a moment I thought of sharing a green Guinness with my man, but my new-found parental instincts kicked in and decided against that...for this year. I know this picture looks like he's already had a couple Guinnesses, but really it was just a regular nap.

Killo is doing great. He's completely off the oxygen and all his sensors, has grown to 9lbs 7oz and is a happy little guy.  His personality is definitely shining through already as he is generally laid back most of the time, but when he gets fired up (when he doesn't get his food), that Irish temper gets going!

Hope you all had a great St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Open Letter to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Several days ago I sent an email to the office of Sherrod Brown, the Democrat Senator from Ohio who remains in support of looming healthcare bill. I received an automated response which is all that I expected to receive, but a few elements of that letter set me off. Below is an open letter to the Senator which I have also sent to his offices.

Let's continue to pray and do all we can to stop this bill from passing.

Senator Brown,

Thank you for the reply to my earlier message about the proposed health care "reform". I understand that your office is flooded with communications of all sorts which makes it impossible to respond individually to each one, nevertheless, the automated email your office sent me inadvertently (I presume) provided shining examples of how you have entirely disregarded a large part of your constituency in favor of your politic future with those currently in Washington.

Allow me to explain. You state in your email, "As Congress moves forward on health reform, I will certainly keep your views on this important issue in mind." Emphasis added was by me to show that you have no intention of doing anything other than pressing forward, ramming this obscenity of a bill down our throats and burdening not only us but our children and grandchildren with an unsustainable debt and entitlement program. The majority of Americans do not want this bill. The latest Rasmussen poll shows that 53% of American voters are squarely opposed to the proposed health care bill, with 46% strongly opposed. Only 26% strongly support it. Far from wanting you and Congress to move forward, most Americans want you to stop and start fresh.

What's more, you said that you would keep my views in mind. An article in the Washington Times this morning illustrated that my views, and those of 53% of the populace that gave you a job, vanished from your mind as soon as you were in the presence of President Obama in Cleveland. I quote from that article, "[Sen. Brown] said his office has been flooded with letters, e-mail and telephone messages from Ohioans who have lost their insurance and want the Democratic-led Congress to act." Did the thousands of emails and phone calls your office has received from those opposed to this legislation just slip your mind? Looks like a pony show to score buddy points with power players in DC rather than true representation of the citizens of Ohio. You listen only to those few people (and they are the minority by far) whose opinions are most expedient for you right now.

Let me tell you from personal experience that the present health care system is by no means perfect, but it is the best in the world. I have lived in Italy, and spent considerable time in other parts of Europe and Latin America, and I know firsthand how wretched the socialized-medicine experience is. I currently have an insurance plan that I purchased on my own for my family. This past year my wife delivered our son three months premature and he spent the next several months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, undergoing multiple interventions. My wife also had a couple procedures during that time for complications from childbirth. Both are doing well now, thanks be to God; but I also have our health care providers to thank for the expertise and technical skill they provided, as well as my insurance provider which covered most of our costs once we hit our deductible. Yes, our premiums have already increased and will only go higher next year, yet thought it is a lot of money, that sum pales in comparison to nearly a million dollars in medical expenses that were covered for us. The system is not nearly as run down and evil as you make it out to be, but then again you've been on your Cadillac plan with Congress for so long that you might have lost touch. Serious problems do exist, and we all want to make insurance as available as possible to all Americans, but creating a massive bureaucratic entitlement program is not the solution.

Lastly, you bring up the issue of a women's right to choose whether to abort her child or to keep it. I know this email will not change your stance on abortion, but I would like to at least point you to something that I hope you would take the time to read. If you really do have an open mind about this and are willing to engage in an informed and objective conversation about the topic rather than spouting cliches and meaningless cultural platitudes, then you will look at Bethesda Post Abortion Healing Ministry. They are entirely non-political and purposely stay out of the public eye so that they can work one-on-one with the women and men whose lives have been devastated by the loss of their children to abortion. They do not proselytize - those wounded by abortion come to them seeking healing. In your misguided effort to be "pro-woman" you only set women up for suffering, depression and regret. Granted, not all women experience those things, but most do. Abortion is not a solution to a problem - it's a problem that needs a solution. Peer reviewed medical studies show that suicide rates among post-abortive women are drastically higher than among the rest of women. Shouldn't that be enough to make one pause and think? Again, are you really pro-woman or do you conveniently ignore this vast community of real women deeply wounded by abortion?

I have looked at your website and I appreciate your invitation. I will continue to return and hear what you have to say throughout this legislative process. I hope that you have the courage to not be swept away by the tides of political expediency in Washington, but rather to boldly represent your fellow Ohioans and their views. I'm sure it was pleasant to fly on Air Force One with the President amidst all the trappings of power, but in a week or two you will have to board another plane and return to the citizens of Ohio. Please make a decision that we can be proud of and one that we can live with. Vote no on the current health care proposal.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

All the Beautiful People

The Disturbing Truth of Abortion

The horror and tragedy of abortion has never really been a secret, but sometimes we catch glimpses of the motivation of those who inflict this suffering on vulnerable girls and women. The clip below is an upcoming documentary that tells that story and gives and inside look at the multi-billion dollar industry abortion has become. This movie is intense and contains some graphic pictures related to abortion, so be forewarned.

After having experienced the pregnancy and birth of my son, Killian, all these issues hit home much more than ever before. More than ever, we must double our efforts in defense of the unborn and in outreach to those who have been harmed by the lie of abortion providers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Misdialed call connects woman who had scheduled an abortion to pro-life help

.- An Indiana woman who inadvertently dialed a pro-life group instead of a Planned Parenthood clinic about her appointment for an abortion instead found the support she needed to decide to bring her child to term.
The story was recounted in a March 9 report from David Bereit, National Director of 40 Days for Life.
A young woman in Indianapolis, Indiana, named as “Erin,” had sent her children to school and childcare at a friend’s house when she noticed she was late for her abortion appointment at Planned Parenthood.
Though she thought she was calling Planned Parenthood to see if she could still have the abortion, she misdialed the number and instead called the cell phone of 40 Days for Life Indianapolis.
Joseph, the man who answered her call, tried to calm the woman. He took her name and number and said that a counselor would call her back.
The counselor, Elizabeth, called back and begged her not to hang up. She told Erin she had not reached Planned Parenthood and asked if she was a Christian.
When Erin said she was, Elizabeth told her God’s grace was at work in the “wrong number,” 40 Days for Life reports.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"And the Word was made flesh; and dwelt among us."

A few years ago in college seminary, one of my classmates introduced me to the song "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe. I'm not a big fan of "praise and worship" music, but this song in particular helped me to appreciate more deeply one of the most stunning, yet often overlooked, realities of our lives as Catholics: Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.

This song is a reflection on what it will be like to enter the heavenly presence of God after a life of serving him here on this earth. The awe, the excitement, the humble gratitude for Christ's redemptive sacrifice on the cross, the overflowing joy...What a glorious day that will be.

But the lyrics should lead us to reflect on what our sentiments are every time we come before Our Lord in the Eucharist. Though veiled behind the species of Bread and Wine, Jesus Christ is truly present there before with all of his Divinity, just as in Heaven. Are we flooded with wonderment, reverence, love, joy, excitement? We don't really have to wonder what it will be like to enter the presence of God at the end of our lives, because we have that experience every time we come before him in the Tabernacle.  This period of Lent can be a great time to grow closer of Our Lord in the Scripture and in the Eucharist. He's has given us the chance to experience here on earth what it is to enter his presence.

The real questions before is whether that encounter with Him after our death will be one of long-time friend whom we saw often, or rather that of a long-lost acquaintance we hardly knew. Let's get to know him now.

Go visit him and see for yourself what it will be like to come before your Lord...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A New Kind of Bishop

Here's a fantastic article about St. Ambrose of Milan, the saintly bishop and mentor of St. Augustine. His life, his qualities, and the story of his journey are just as much a motivation for all of us as they are simply amazing. The lessons of humility, sacrifice, and love for Christ are well suited to the current liturgical season as we strive to grow closer to Jesus.

Enjoy this tidbit and happy Lent!

St. Ambrose marked a new era for church and state relations.
The crowd that gathered in the church in Milan that day late in a.d. 374 was confused, fearful, and angry.
The Christian community in the city had been bitterly divided for decades between the followers of Arius, who taught that Christ was not divine but merely a creature, and those who defended the teaching of Rome that Jesus was both man and God, equal to the Father in all respects.
Earlier in the year, the bishop of Milan had died after nearly twenty years in office. He was a committed Arian who had secured his position by political appointment, not through the customary election by the people and clergy of the city. His tenure was marked by such oppression of orthodox Christians that many of the faithful clergy had left the city.
The governor of the area, a man by the name of Ambrose, was very concerned that rioting—and perhaps even violence—might accompany the election. He believed it was his duty to keep order as best he could, so he decided to speak to the assembly to urge them to be peaceful.
In his few years as governor, Ambrose had won broad admiration and respect for his wisdom and fairness. Though an orthodox Christian himself, he was trained in law and had remained aloof from theological controversies. Apparently, while he was speaking to the assembly, a young voice rang out from the crowd, “Ambrose for bishop! Ambrose for bishop!”
The effect was electric. Spontaneously, people on both sides of the theological divide recognized that Ambrose was the solution to the challenge they faced. Those who held that Jesus was both God and man knew that he and his extended family were staunch, if quiet, supporters of this truth. The Arians knew that, whatever his views, Ambrose would treat them fairly and not seek revenge for the abuses of his predecessor.
To his shock and utter surprise, Ambrose was elected bishop of Milan by acclamation. No one knew it then, but this was one of the most important episcopal elections in the history of the church.
No Looking Back. Certainly, it was a completely life-altering event for Ambrose. Until that day, he was a young man on the rise, a man with an almost unlimited political future. He came from an aristocratic family, had the right connections in the imperial court, and was a brilliant lawyer. Remarkably, he set all that aside. Accepting his new office without regret, he immediately set about making himself into a bishop.
His biographers tell us that he took two early steps that had profound consequences. First, he gave away his money. While this may sound simple and commonplace, it was not. Ambrose was a wealthy man and heir to a wealthy family. At that time, some men sought episcopal office because it often brought opportunities for building a fortune. This was nowhere more true than in Milan, which was one of the principal cities of Italy, having replaced Rome as the seat of government. For Ambrose to embrace a simple life spoke volumes to his people and provided a new model for the clergy.
The second thing he did was to begin an intensive, lifelong study of Scripture. Like many lay Christians, then and now, Ambrose had a general acquaintance with the Bible and with theology. He was humble enough to acknowledge that this was not adequate for the bishop of Milan. And so he became a student of sorts, not only reading widely in the Bible itself but also absorbing the lessons of the great scholars of the day. What he learned, he shared, not only by educating his clergy but also by preaching to his community.
Master of Humility. We know little enough of the details of Ambrose’s first months and years as a bishop, and almost nothing directly of his personal struggles. Even St. Augustine, who knew him fairly well and claimed that it was through Ambrose that he was brought to God, said that he knew nothing of Ambrose’s private trials and doubts. Instead, he saw someone widely admired as an exemplary bishop and a Christian who seemed “a very happy man.”
But Ambrose’s own writing reveals something else. Later in his life, he wrote a long essay for his priests on the demands and responsibilities of ministry. One of its themes—a theme that emerges in his sermons and letters as well—is the importance of humility. The priest must take Christ, the “master of humility,” as his model, Ambrose stressed. From this humility flow the modesty, chastity, and good manners that characterize the man of God. Indeed, Ambrose admitted that he refused on two occasions to admit men to ministry because their physical mannerisms showed that they lacked humility.
It is not difficult to see here something of Ambrose’s personal spiritual challenges. He was a man bred to rule, highly educated, trained in the law, and naturally adept at commanding others. It would have been easy for him to be arrogant and demanding, yet St. Augustine and others described him as being gentle and patient, a bishop who impressed them by the countless hours he spent counseling and comforting his people. This genuine humility could have been achieved only by deliberate effort and through conscious sacrifice.
Scripture Comes Alive. St. Augustine, no mean speaker himself, tells us that he was in awe of the eloquence of Ambrose’s preaching, which was widely renowned. Ambrose undoubtedly had formal training as a public speaker, but he was quite successful at adapting these skills to the pulpit. We do have edited copies of a number of his sermons, but unfortunately, these plain texts are somewhat ordinary and do not convey the presence and power that so impressed the people who saw and heard Ambrose in person.
His preaching often focused on the Old Testament, for he loved to tell and comment on the great stories of the men and women of the Hebrew Bible. One of his favorite themes concerned the virtues and the ways in which these stories illustrated one virtue or another. He admired the wisdom of Joseph and the courage and justice of Job.
Unlike some other teachers of the early church, and perhaps because of his former life, Ambrose was not inclined to use his preaching for lofty theological speculation. Instead, the figures of the Old Testament became real men and women in his sermons.
Once, for example, he wondered aloud why Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit. Especially after eating it herself, she must have known that it was sinful to do so, Ambrose said—but surely, she could not have given Adam the fruit to harm him, the man she loved. He speculated that perhaps Eve did it because she realized that she could no longer remain in paradise, but she could not bear to be parted from Adam!
Whether or not this is a compelling interpretation, no other preacher of Ambrose’s time had such sensitivity to human frailty.
Best of Bishops. But there was another side to Ambrose, a much sterner side. He took his responsibilities as bishop very seriously, and some of those responsibilities required him to defend the church and the faith.
After his election, the Christian community in Milan remained in factions. The Arians were strong and had considerable support in the emperor’s household. There was also a powerful party that was opposed to Christianity and favored a return to pagan worship. Ambrose was invariably a leader among the bishops of Italy in defending the church against both of these groups.
These, however, were not the only challenges. In Roman culture, religious practice and worship were elements of civil society. One responsibility of government was to support the temples and ensure that worship was properly conducted for the good of the state. And so, when the emperor Constantine became a Christian early in the fourth century, the natural assumption was that the church would enjoy the protection of the emperor but would also be subordinate to him. By the time Ambrose became a bishop, it was clear that this old pattern could not be continued. In order to be faithful to the gospel, the church had to be independent of imperial control.
No one was more responsible for defining a new relationship between church and state than Ambrose. He was canny and diplomatic in his relationships with a series of emperors, but adamant in witnessing to the gospel. When the great emperor Theodosius, a pious Christian, suppressed a rebellion in the east by slaughtering thousands of women and children in a fit of temper, Ambrose quietly and firmly wrote privately to him to say that he could not attend Mass until he had done public penance.
The emperor’s admiration for his bishop was so great that he did the penance—no small tribute to Ambrose’s holiness and pastoral skill. Indeed, Theodosius later said, “There is no bishop in the empire worthy of the name, except Ambrose.” And several years later, it was Ambrose who preached at the emperor’s funeral.
Ambrose died quietly on April 4, 397, after serving as bishop in Milan for nearly twenty-three years. The ancient church in the West recognized him as one of its four great teachers, or doctors. Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great are the best known, but Ambrose deserves to be remembered as well. By his wholehearted embrace of God’s plan for his life, he not only set a model for bishops but also showed what all Christians are called to be: humble, loving, and courageous lifelong learners in the school of the Lord.
Robert Kennedy holds a PhD in medieval studies and teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Open Wide the Doors to Christ

For the past 18 months I have a had the pleasure of serving as Administrator of Bethesda Post Abortion Healing Ministry here in Columbus, Ohio. Bethesda is a wonderful group of people who provide safe and confidential place of acceptance and healing for women and men who have been wounded by the tragic experience of abortion. Our Founder and Director, Judy Schlueter, has been involved in the pro-life movement for many years and put her numerous talents to good use in organizing this effort to reach out to the wounded and grieving. She is a licensed counselor and brings a tremendous amount of professional insight to the topic, but Bethesda works more on the personal and spiritual level where the healing is most needed. As one woman tearfully said after her abortion, "It's my soul that hurts!" Judy wrote a manual "An Experience of Hope" as a tool for those women looking for forgiveness and healing after an abortion that is used in Bethesda's group sessions every two weeks. Unlike some of the other post abortion programs available, Bethesda is a continuous program that allows women to be involved as long as they need. We have people available 24/7 on our support lines and help these women along the arduous path of healing and reconciliation.

At times it seems that our efforts in the pro-life movement focus exclusively on the issue of preventing abortions. That is very good and very needed, but in order to be promoting an integral pro-life mission, we must also tend to those that have been shattered by the choice of having had an abortion. The last thing we should do is demonize the women who have, unfortunately, killed their baby. Too often they grieve for years in silence and sorrow, ashamed of what they have done and even more ashamed should someone find out about it. They must know that there is forgiveness available to them in the welcoming arms of Jesus. We must be those arms of Christ reaching out to them.

Several years ago a young Dominican priest named Fr. Martin Martiny came in contact with Bethesda and became convinced of the program and it's power to touch souls. He went on to be a missionary in Kenya where he serves today with an amazing missionary zeal. He recently sent us a letter that I would like to share with you all. This priest's energy and desire to help souls is immediately evident. But so too are the terrible conditions and influences that are leading many young women to chose having an abortion. He notes that several of the girls came to him for counsel for the abortion but were "paralyzed by fear" and went on to have an abortion they now regret. That is often the case, not just in Kenya, but here in the States and everywhere else for that matter. These girls are left to feel as though they have no other alternative and that if they don't abort their baby, that their lives will be ruined - they have nowhere to turn. They are lied to and duped into believing that abortion is their best course of action, only to be left afterward with the "heart-shaped wound" that it inflicts. There may be people like this that we will run into or even people in our own lives who face a situation of this sort.

Be sure to equip yourselves with the information and resources to refer them. Know of priests like Fr. Martin in your local area that can counsel women in dire situations like this, be familiar with groups (like this, this, and this) who can help pregnant women and, of course, now you know of a place you can refer women who are grieving the abortion they have already done. These are real souls in need and lives at stake. We don't have to go to Kenya to witness it. 1 in 4 women in the United States has had an abortion...let's make sure they know the door is always open.

2 February 2010

First let me apologize for being so out of touch for so long.I remain the terrible correspondent that I have always been.

I would like to write to you that I am never in need of your post abortion healing manual; sadly, I now using it more than I have at any time since I came to Kenya. We do not have the group sessions because the archbishop is suspicious that the people will not respect confidentiality and too many could be wounded by betrayal. Other than group sessions, he pretty much allows me to do  whatever I think appropriate with respect to post abortion counseling.

At the moment, I am counseling five girls individually. Two of them came to me before the abortion; but were so paralyzed by fear that I was unable to make any headway in changing their minds. Now they are paralyzed by regret and sorrow.

The home brewed liquids are still in use for inducing labor or the expulsion of the uterine lining. One girl's grandmother gave her a green potion made from herbs in her garden. It worked in about 30 minutes. Later the doctor to whom I took her said that the chemical had caused a complete removal of the uterine lining. When he did an DNC, there was nothing for him to do. He told the girl that these liquids are powerful enough to kill the woman taking it.

Another girl went to a dirty, smelly abortion clinic and got into an already used bed for a mechanical abortion in a room she described as smelling of putrifying blood and flesh. She is still struggling with the physical consequences, as are all the others. Of course, they are all struggling with the emotional and psychological ones.

Your manual is proving to be of great assistance to me and I am most grateful to you for sending me the copies. I am hoping that I will never have all of them in use at the same time. Abortion, however, is either growing in acceptance and practice or I girls/women are now more willing to seek help after the event or maybe more are aware that I am willing to help those who have been victimized. Thanks again, by the way, for your donation to assist in our work. I did not even realized you had sent it for some time afterwards. I have made good use of every penny/shilling of it; but, as I have noted, the victims are growing in number. Obama is the wrong person in the wrong place for this issue, especially here in Kenya.

Our school, Our Lady of Grace, although always on the ropes financially, just expanded to nursery and seniors in high school. If we go broke, we will do so will all the grades in place. The auxilliary bishop dedicated the school on January 16th  and the archbishop will dedicate our Sacred Heart Chapel on February 10th. We will be the only school in the archdiocese with a chapel with the Eucharist in repose at all times. We will be able to have adoration as well as just quiet meditation before the tabernacle. I am confident that this will make a great difference in the atmosphere of the school.

The Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of the Philippines will soon---before July any way---send us 4 sisters to be a presence in the school. They are not going to take responsibility for running it; but being here will be an enormous gift for us. At the moment, I am the acting principal of both the primary and secondary sections while still holding responsibilities as postulant director. So please pray for us and me in particular for the grace of prudence, counsel, and patience.

Hope all are well and that Bethesda is still a vibrant force for healing.

God bless and Happy Feast of the Presentation of the Lord,

Fr. Martin, OP

Monday, February 8, 2010

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

As long as we're on the topic of athletes and examples of virtue, take a look at this video of Olympian Derek Redmond at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He had spent countless hours training and toiling to the point of exhaustion in order to win that gold medal, only to suffer an excruciatingly painful hamstring tear. One cannot help but be moved, not only by his tragic fall, but even more so by his heroic determination to finish the race, and by his dad coming out of the stands to literally carry his son across the finish line. The sight of this man hobbling along, sobbing on his father's shoulder in pain and disappointment while his father supports him and encourages him to continue serves as a powerful image for all of us - especially the sons and fathers among us.

No matter how trying, difficult, painful or long our trek in the valley of tears may be, Our Father is carrying us on his shoulder, giving us the graces to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Other Super Bowl

All of us are getting ready for this year's epic Super Bowl between the Who Dat Nation and Peyton's Colts. There's a lot to like about the match-up and the drama surrounding it - everything from the quality of the teams that are going head to head, to some of the individual men on the squads (read Peyton Manning et al.). With two of the most explosive offenses in the recent memory on the same field for 60 minutes, this has the makings of a classic shoot-out that will be blast to watch.

But before you tear into the beer and bratwursts, let me draw your attention to another Bowl that will be taking place: "Faith Bowl III". Ever wonder what it's like to a good Catholic and a professional athlete? I know, every guy out  there (including me) is saying, "It would be awesome!" but the reality is that there are countless challenges to living a moral and devout life in that arena.

Faith Bowl, now in its third year brings you several all-star athletes who give you an inside look at how they are able to balance being the best athlete they can with being the best Catholic and family man they are called to be. All of them are premium athletes, and also fantastic role models. I had a chance to talk with Bobby Keppel last year for an interview and he is great guy.

The program starts at 5PM, so you have plenty of time to get your warm-up routine in before kick-off at 6:28 in Miami. If you live in one of the areas mentioned below with service, tune in and get a dose of faith with your football. Below is some information sent out by Catholic Athletes for Christ. Check it out!

Faith Bowl III

Watch "Faith Bowl III" on Sunday, February 7, 2010

Faith Bowl IIIa half-hour, round-table discussion by sports celebrities about the challenges of living the Catholic faith and the challenges to family life amidst the public arena of professional sports, will air on several Catholic television broadcast outlets and networks Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. This is the third consecutive year that Family Theater is producing Faith Bowl in collaboration with Catholic Athletes for Christ and the Knights of Columbus.

This year's program features:
Catholic Athletes for Christ

Mike Piazza, a retired catcher after a 16-year career in Major League Baseball, mostly with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a 12-time All-Star and the 1993 National League "Rookie of the Year."
Mike Sweeney, a designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners in 2009, a 15-year MLB veteran and five-time selection to the All-Star team as a Kansas City Royal.
Bobby Keppel, a relief pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. He appeared in 37 games in 2009 and was the winning pitcher of the Twins' playoff game with the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central Division title. He is the Faith Bowl III moderator.

Among scheduled broadcasts on Feb. 7 are:


CatholicTV, Boston at 5:30 and 10 PM (EST/ 2:30 and 7 PM PST) airing on cable systems throughout New England

Nationally on Sky Angel IPTV and its website:

Catholic Athletes for Christ_sm
About Catholic Athletes for Christ

Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) provides an integrated network of sports oriented clergy and lay people to serve Catholic athletes, coaches and staff in the practice of their faith and to utilize the unique platform given to them to reach the world for Jesus Christ and His Church. CAC is based in Alexandria, VA.  More information is available at

Monday, February 1, 2010

"The Lord Is My Shepherd"

This picture that was recently sent to me showing a beautiful crucifix still standing amid the tragic rubble of Haiti's capitol city serves as a poignant reminder of God's unfailing love and providence in our lives. Even in the midst of harrowing circumstances or painful events that we struggle to understand, God is there. In fact, God is most especially there. He provides the strength to carry on when we are weak and weary. "Commit your ways to the Lord; trust that he will act." (Psalm 37)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home

January 14th (exactly three months after Nina went into labor) we were all finally at home together. Killian was a trooper and fought his way through numerous medical conditions to win his triumphant homecoming.

Just bringing him home has been a faraway dream of ours for months in the midst of so many uncertainties, so many unexpected events, so many prayers... Now, our little boy is home us. In fact, as I write this blog entry, Killian is contently sleeping next to me on the couch with a full tummy and an angelic half-smile that comes and goes. With Nina on the other side of him, I can't remember any moment in my life when I was happier. At long last I have both my wife and my son safe and healthy at home with me. God is so very good.

All strapped in for the trip home

Killian was such a good sport for the trip home. He slept the entire way home and didn't make a noise, though he flashed an occasional smile at Mom who was sitting next to him.

Getting Ready for the Trip

Our little peanut weighed in at just over 7lbs after three months in the hospital and was more than ready for the trip home. Here he is waiting for the final preparations to be made.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Killian is Coming Home Soon

It's hard to believe, but Killian's stay at the hospital appears to be almost over. The past couple weeks have been ones of significant improvements for our little boy and the doctors think that perhaps some time next week he will be ready to come home at last! Nina and I are thrilled.

He seemed to pick up on the whole "feasting" part of the Christmas celebration as he rapidly gained weight to arrive at his present 6lbs 7oz - just shy of three times his weight at birth. He will be coming home to us on oxygen (you can see his nasal cannula in the picture above), because his lungs have been damaged too much from the trauma of prematurity. The good news about that is lungs naturally repair themselves with time, and he should have no serious problems in the long run. He made several valiant efforts to come through when the medical staff tried to wean him off the oxygen, but it was just too much for his little body right now. They anticipate he might need it for another 2 weeks to 2 months.

He worked out the problems with his glucose levels on his own and did not need any serious intervention. Looking back, the doctors believe it was his body adjusting to the rapid and unanticipated growth being out of the womb. One of the nurses that has been with him the longest commented that he likes to touch on every chapter in the Book of Preemies - he doesn't go very far into them, but he wants to make sure he at least glances at each one.

So, we are joyously making the final preparations for bringing our son home for the first time after nearly three months of having to leave him every night at the hospital. We will be immensely happy to soon be all together at home, as a family. God is good.