A Grief Answered

This weekend we celebrate back-to-back feast days of two great saints, Monica and Augustine.  There are few saint stories as legendary as this one: the mother who prays for decades for the conversion of her son, who is very intelligent but also very worldly; the son who is the prototype for so many converts as he endlessly searches for truth […]

The Human Side of Mary: Our Lady of Tears

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

I had seen the various mothers in my life cry many times, but it wasn’t until I went to make funeral arrangements with my mother-in-law that I glimpsed a portion of the tears Mary must have shed during her lifetime, especially during Our Lord’s passion and death.  My mother-in-law was making arrangements for the third time, for the third grandson.  […]

Facing the reality of death

I recently had a conversation with a coworker about mausoleums.  I hadn’t experienced a mausoleum until my grandfather died.  It wasn’t the first funeral of a grandparent I experienced, but it was the first time I stood inside a building to watch a burial.  And I’ll be honest—it was strange.  In fact, I had to leave and walk outside. There […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

Pope Francis (neneo /

“I feel many different emotions standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction. Here grief is palpable. The water we see flowing towards that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts. It […]

What I learned from the Sikh Temple shooting

What I learned from having the Sikh Temple shooting (practically) in my back yard… Sunday, August 5 was the date of our first annual parish picnic; little did we know that it would be a date marked on calendars for another reason. As we gathered to begin the 11:00 a.m. Liturgy, an ambulance raced down the street past the park. […]

Buried Treasures

Arlington National Cemetary

Recently, I caught an article in the Milwaukee JournalSentinel that caused me to both chuckle and ponder. It’s about a WWII sailor, Ed B. Thornley, who wrote a set of six letters home to his family about being an eye witness to post-war nuclear weapons tests. Thornley was assigned to the USS Rockingham and, from aboard the ship, watched the unfolding […]