Men of Faith


The Joys and Challenges of Modern Fatherhood

Sometimes I can almost imagine myself as a great father to my children… then I do something to mess it up. I vividly recall a past October when the boys and I welcomed my wife home from a five-day trip to California where she had been visiting her sister. What started out as my great adventure with the kids at […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Francis (neneo /

How Well Do We Carry the Catholic Brand?

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Letter to My Sons

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.—2 Timothy 4:7–8 Have you […]

John-Paul and Annie DeddensJohn-Paul and Annie Deddens

A Chat with John-Paul Deddens of Pray More Novenas

I love novenas…and I hate novenas. I love the focus of them…and I hate the fact that if I forget a day, I’ve forgotten something HUGE AND BIG. Or that’s how it feels. And at this season in my life, I’m finding it’s easier than ever to forget or ignore things that are important, like novenas I want to pray. […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Redirecting my Gratitude

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up last Tuesday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons Dads Need to Teach their Children

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

Father and SonFather and Son

On Fatherly Influence and Practical Lessons

I was blessed to grow up with great parents. We didn’t have much, but my parents made sure my sister and I had love, discipline, faith, strong values, and an appreciation for the value of hard work. My mother played a vital role in our family, as all mothers do, but I find as I grow older that I am […]


How One Child Transformed His Dad

Fathers make a difference. When they go missing, suffering is inflicted upon the family which then bleeds out into the community in so many ways.   Children also make a difference in the lives of their fathers. Science has even revealed that fatherhood actually changes a man’s brain when he is an active caretaker. Neurons make new connections and hormones increase […]


A Courageous Young Man and a Loving Parish

On a Sunday not long ago, I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. A seventeen-year-old man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at the 7:30 a.m. Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]