Advent Week 1 Reflection: Staying Awake!

Advent Wreath, Week 1

It’s sounding a lot like Christmas around here with Christmas songs playing everywhere I go. When I hear the classics like Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry, or anything off the Carpenter's Christmas Portrait, I travel twenty-five years back in time to my childhood. Music has a way of triggering memories tucked far away, doesn’t it? For me, I was reminded of my Dad, a great family man who had what many coin “the Christmas Spirit”. He was the Dad who … [Read more...]

The Holy Paradox

King David in S. M. Maggiore, Rome

November 21, 2010: The Solemnity of Christ the King Jesus is a shock to the senses. One doesn’t have to read the gospels long to find Him challenging existing authorities, breaking social norms, and generally turning convention upside down. The last shall be first; one must lose his life to save it; etc. This past Sunday, just as He did nearly 2000 years, Jesus hung on a cross, flipped our notion of what it means to be a king on its head, and destroyed death itself by dying. A King … [Read more...]

The Shroud Meets Its Match

Holy Face of Manoppello

Have you seen the face of God? Paul Badde has. In the The Face of God: The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus, best-selling journalist, historian and author Paul Badde, embarks on an exciting quest to discover the truth behind the Holy Face of Manoppello, a relic recently rediscovered and rumored to be the “veil of Veronica.” Vatican correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, journalist Paul Badde was intrigued when he heard of a mysterious image in a remote Italian village — an … [Read more...]

Detonating a Charity Bomb

Iowa National Guard 734th Agri-Business Development Team

St. Martin of Tours helps refine our understanding of who a soldier is. Editor's Note:  Today we are reprising our original Veteran's Day post from last year. You'll be happy to know that Eric, the man about whom I wrote below, is now back home safe with his family, as is his son Brady who was also deployed at roughly the same time. Both continue to adjust to being back home, leaving the continuous anxiety and intensity of life in a war zone behind. Along with the intentions below, please also … [Read more...]

Input Needed!

When people ask: "Are you born again?" How do you answer? I'm collecting responses for a new blog entry I'm writing based on my experience at funeral yesterday. I could use some inspiration--humor is always appreciated! Leave your thoughts below or on our Facebook page which can be accessed by clicking the link to the right. … [Read more...]

Happily Ever After

Our Lady of Salvation, Baghdad

November 7, 2010: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time The “afterlife” is an interesting topic. Bring it up with enough people and you will get responses ranging from reincarnation to rapture and everything in between, including nothing at all. What do you believe? This was the subject of the past Sunday’s readings. Maccabee Martyrs. In the first reading, seven brothers and their mother were brutally tortured and executed for refusing to renounce … [Read more...]

A Shout out to!


I recently became aware of a terrific online resource called, an online apostolate whose goal is to provide a place where teaching is easier and learning is fun for students of all ages (adults included!). has over a dozen online interactive learning games which can be played in teams or individually with scorekeeping systems built into the site. While there is a membership fee for most portions of the website, offers a free section with a … [Read more...]

The Calling: Songs for Seminarians

Support vocations. Purchase your copy today!

I was honored beyond all belief when asked to be a contributing vocalist on a recent CD project organized by Bob Weast and the Serra Club of Des Moines. The Serra Club is an organization of lay Catholics working to foster vocations to religious life. Proceeds from The Calling: Songs for Seminarians, will financially support the growing number of seminarians in the Diocese of Des Moines. The CD features magnificent songs of faith reverently performed by twenty-five musicians found from … [Read more...]