Welcome Message

Welcome to my blog about Catholic life and family values.
This blog will center around the beauty of Catholicism and how to raise families, evangelize our faith, and fight the ongoing spritual battles that challenge us daily.

You are invited to share your wisdom on these pages with all the readers. Together we will address important life and faith issues and how to enhance our Catholic identity.

Key areas that you will find me addressing regularly will be about important Catholic doctrine and beliefs and how they help us raise strong Catholic Christian families. My hope is that you will learn, enjoy, and be challenged by my posts. You may be informed, amused, or even annoyed, but I hope it will in some way improve your Catholic faith.

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve birthday

I've always loved my birthday, especially because it falls on New Year's Eve. Friends used to tell me that it must have been rough to have my birthday so close to Christmas.


It's great. I still receive cool presents, everyone celebrates on my day, and I'm very fiscally dated. PLUS...our family gives a birthday week, so I can use it over a two year period!

I've also recently taken a more spiritual look at my birthday. I guess that's what happens when you get older and wiser! It falls right in between the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the Solemnity of Our Blessed Mother. Now those are two of the greatest gifts I can ever receive! It is also a good reminder that another year has passed not only for me but for the world. One more year that was a gift from God and one day closer to eventually seeing Him. Another opportunity for prayer...

My wish for all my readers is for a glorious new year. And, don't forget tomorrow is a Holy Day of Obligation to honor Mary. See you at church!

Vivat Jesus,


Friday, December 28, 2007

Little Things Mean a Lot

Mother Teresa said, "We are not called to do great things. We are called to do little things with great love."

That favorite quote of mine came to mind this morning at my Rotary meeting. During our "Happy Bucks" segment, a fellow Rotarian (Tom) told the story of an employee (Steve) of his who had lost valuable memorabilia from his high school basketball days. It seems that during our recent flooding, water got in his basement and ruined a video album that included memorable clips from his playing career.

Tom went on to recount that somehow word got out and a fellow Rotarian named Michele took action. She had been a cheerleader at the time and also had a copy of this album, so she graciously gave Steve her copy, feeling that it was more valuable to him. Tom's "happy buck" was in recognition of this kind act. Michele also received a small cake as a gift of gratitude as Tom works for a grocery store!

Here is a wonderful example of a "little thing" done with great love. These small acts of charity may not seem significant in the big picture, but I believe in the grand scheme of things, they are simply huge. It makes you wonder what would happen if we all strive to do more "little things" with great love in 2008. My guess is our corner of the world, and maybe the world itself, will be much improved for it.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Being Moses' friend...

Being Moses' fishing pal can be tough. I found this on Steve Ray's blog...

Compliments of:

Vivat Jesus,


Monday, December 24, 2007

It's a Wonderful Life

“No man is a failure, who has friends”.

These simple words written inside an old beat-up copy of “Tom Sawyer” that were presented to George Bailey speak volumes to us. If you’re at all familiar with the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, you remember Clarence the Guardian Angel giving this present to Stewart’s character at the end of the movie. George Bailey had just been shown what life would have been like for his family and friends had he not been born. He came to find out that even though times were tough, he had led a life that impacted countless others.

I love this movie because it truly shows the value of each person. We all create a ripple effect in the world; impacting people around us in so many ways. Regardless of our vocation, the size of our family, or where we live, we are blessed to be able to touch someone else, even without knowing it. You might be a youth coach, a business associate, or even a supportive voice in difficult times. You play an important role to your family and friends and they in return play a great role to you.

Last Saturday, my wife Barb and I went out grocery shopping for the Christmas basket that out local St. Vincent DePaul Society puts together for needy families. It’s one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season. We certainly don’t know the family of four we just provided Christmas dinner for, or why they are in the situation they are in. It doesn’t matter. What we come away with is the knowledge that in a very small way, we were able to give of ourselves that someone might be better off. It reminded me a little of another Christmas favorite, “A Christmas Carol”, when Ebeneezer Scrooge sends the prize turkey to the Cratchit family anonymously. “Mankind is our Business’, right?

Take a look at your life. See all the people who have made a difference you as well as those you have impacted. We don’t have the same chance as George Bailey to see what life would have been without us. However, we should always remember how fortunate we are, whether in good or bad times, that we have friends and family that love and care about us. Every day we have chances to be a positive source for someone. Let’s take every opportunity we have to accept those challenges.

After all, it is a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confessing sins...

Have you ever been guilty of making the same mistake over and over again?

This morning as I jumped in my car to get to an appointment which I was running a tad late for, I remembered why I had planned on getting up earlier than normal. I was out of gas! I knew it the night before and just figured, "Oh well...I'll leave early before my meeting." Famous last words!

On the way, I had to stop and get gas making me even more hurried. The part that angered me most was the fact that as a risk manager, I knew better. Having such little gas put my family at risk if there was an emergency in the middle of the night. What if I had to run to the hospital, but had to stop for gas first because I wasn't prepared? I had done this before...you'd think I would learn.

As I sat in church this evening waiting in line to go to Confession, the irony of the moment made me stop and think. How many times had I confessed a sin (or sins) and had to come back at a later date and confess the same ones. Ever happen to you?

Fortunately for us, God is merciful. Even as we have challenges and failings by succumbing to the same weaknesses, God will continually fill our tank. If you're like me, you've been driving down the road on "empty" many a time. Reconciliation is the ultimate gas station.

When was the last time you filled up?

Vivat Jesus,


Great news! Doug Strauss is going to be my guest for my February conference call. Information will be out soon on how to take part in this call and ask Doug your questions for FREE!

Don't know Doug Strauss? You need to find out. He and his wife Kristen lost their daughter Gloria to cancer in September. She lived a remarkable life of faith and their story is life changing. To learn more about Gloria Strauss, go to their web site and find out!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Is it the Truth?

That’s the first question in the Rotary 4-Way test. Having been a Rotarian for 14 years, I’ve come to lean on that question a lot.

Last week, former Senator George Mitchell produced his expose of the steroid and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. It named names; big ones. Over the weekend, news came out that one of those players, Andy Pettite admitted to taking HGH. Pettite has been a star pitcher for the New York Yankees and Houston Astros for many years. His name being linked to the scandal was a shock. The fact that he’s “coming clean” is very refreshing.

Mitchell’s report included Pettite for just a few pages and never linked him to steroids. Pettite acknowledges that he only used HGH back in 2000 for two days while recovering from injury. He was injected by the man who also “outed” potential Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. Clemens has been implicated in a much larger role for both steroids and HGH, which has put his once lock solid election into the Hall now in jeopardy.

What’s most refreshing about Pettite is that he didn’t waste any time confirming his use of HGH. At the time, it was not a banned substance, so in his mind he wasn’t breaking any rules. His sole purpose was to re-gain his health more quickly, and he had heard HGH could do this. The fact that he came out so quickly and corroborated the story, pledged his allegiance to the integrity of baseball, and issued no bitterness towards the report makes me believe him. That and the fact that Pettite has always been viewed as an upstanding guy only add credence to his statements.

This is in stark contrast to Clemens, who issued a tersely worded statement through his attorney that he never used steroids. The preponderance of evidence, plus the fact that Pettite’s story links the same trainer, makes one lean towards not believing Clemens. “The Rocket” is at an age that seems inconceivable that he his body has held out as it has. He has struggled with injuries over the past years and it makes one wonder what steps he would take to perhaps be considered the greatest pitcher to ever live. Now, regardless of whether you believe him or not, or whether there is any firm evidence, his name has been tarnished and sits alongside Barry Bonds with a mental asterisk next to it.

I don’t know Roger Clemens to judge his character. My gut feeling is he’s guilty. My gut also tells me Andy Pettite is a stand-up guy who wasted little time facing the music. The fact his name surfaced will quickly subside.

Think about the power of honesty in your world – personal and business. Have you ever dealt with people who have been, let’s say, less than forthright? How has that impacted you? The bottom line is that in the relationship driven world we will always live in, honesty is more than just the best policy. It’s the most important one.

Vivat Jesus,


P.S. It's also a truth that time is running out to participate in the Teresa Tomeo interview for FREE. This great opportunity ends in just two weeks! All you have to do is subscribe to my FREE e-newsletter and I will send you the link to the teleconference. Don't wait, register today by clicking here...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Postively Successful

The Seattle Seahawks clinched their fifth straight NFC West Division title on Sunday with a win over the Arizona Cardinals. It was a game they dominated from the start and they finally put to rest all the pre-season talk of another team like Arizona or San Francisco becoming the new “king of the hill” in the division.

What strikes me as special about this team over the past few years is the level of teamwork and unselfishness that they exude. Stories abound about players having to accept lesser or different roles to meet the needs of the team during the course of the season. Shaun Alexander, Bobby Engram and Patrick Kerney were three players named by coaches and teammates. A few years before that, the team had trouble climbing out of mediocrity even though they were loaded with “talent”. What they found was that they had to clean house of some of that “talent” that didn’t have the team attitude and rather the “What’s in it for me”.

Surrounding your “team” with positive and successful people is vital for your success, too. Regardless of whether your “team” is your family, workplace, or a team you coach, attitude is more important than “talent”. Take a look at your relationships. Can you honestly say that the people who surround and advise you are team players? Now, in a family, you may have to work harder at building better dynamics than in a workplace environment. At work, people can be let go, like what the Seahawks did. The bottom line is that for your “team” to function at full strength, the “we” has to be more important than the “me”. When you surround yourself with positive and encouraging people, you will find successes in all aspects of your life.

Think of your individual parish as an example. Do you consider your fellow parishioners, pastor, and staff as teammates? If not, maybe you should. We all play for the same head coach….perhaps if we spent more time working off the same playbook, we could be better players for him. This applies to all of us. Let’s take a lesson from the Seahawks and work together to build God’s kingdom here on earth and be role models for our children.

Vivat Jesus,


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In Need of Noah's Ark

For the second year in a row, I've been down in Palm Springs when my home state of Washington has been devastated by flooding. I've watched in horror and sadness as many people have had tragedies from the rains and floods. My home is safe and for that I'm thankful. The pictures on the news look straight out of Katrina a few years ago. Let's keep all those adversely affected in our prayers and hope for a quick return to normalcy.


Monday, December 3, 2007

What are you waiting for?

Advent starts today. What are you waiting for?

The Gospel reading today is a warning. A barometer to check how prepared you are if Jesus was to come today. Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. Most of us understand waiting, but are we adequately prepared?

I spent most of the afternoon waiting in an airport to fly down for a business trip to Palm Springs. The plane was slightly delayed, so my waiting was extended. Now, as I type this post some 30,000 feet above ground, I am doing another waiting game for us to land. The question now is, what should I be waiting for? Jesus could come to me tonight if the plane has problems. Or, it could be another 50 years. Either way, I’m called by today’s Gospel to be prepared regardless. It’s supposed to be a time of reflection.

Instead, most of us (me included) will spend our time this Advent waiting in lines to buy gifts; waiting in airports to travel; or waiting by the phone for a loved one to call. Jesus reminds us this first day of Advent that we should be preparing our lives for his return…we do not know the place or time, right? We wait this season for the coming of the baby Jesus, who will be our Savior. It is a joyous time for sure, but one that should be cherished with family, friends, and contemplation.

My challenge for you (and me) this Advent is to separate yourself from the noise and chaos of the secular world, and find the peace and deep contemplation of the Christmas creche. That is truly where our salvation lies.

Vivat Jesus,


P.S. Don’t forget to register for my 2008 Teleconference Series opener with Catholic radio personality Teresa Tomeo. For more information, see my recent post with all the details. If you want to learn how to move away from the noise of the secular media, this is the place to be!