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 […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — John 3:16-17

A Daily Quote From Sacred Scripture “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17) Print this entry

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 […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Lift High the Cross

September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Each year when it comes around, I remember when Sister Carol Marie lifted high the cross in faith. It was late summer in California. The skies were a limpid blue. A balmy ocean breeze blew across the sand. Children were building sandcastles. Windsurfers cut like knives across the […]

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail)
by Sandro BotticelliSt. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

A Testimony to Faith

Deep within each and every one of us there is a hunger and a thirst.  We all experience this yearning of the soul—a heart that burns with longing—but we don’t always recognize what it is for which we yearn.  We can spend years trying to satisfy this yearning, yet never be satisfied. St. Augustine expresses this reality so beautifully: “Thou […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

“Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up […]


The absurdity of the Gospel

I’m a firm believer in seeking out opportunities to observe humanity outside one’s normal daily routine, and whether that means attending a black tie event, the country fair, or a medieval festival, I’m generally game. Last fall I attended my second rodeo, although I have to admit I went partly just so I could tell people, “This ain’t my first […]