Picturing Dad

Cubs Game

July 31 is one of those days. If he were still here on earth, my dad would celebrate his 62nd birthday today. Many life experiences have been celebrated since his death --- more babies, his grandchildren, have been born and welcomed into our extended family; deaths and burials of other family members; job changes; marriages; new home purchases; a few winters, springs, summers, and falls. The extraordinary and the ordinary. And the Chicago Cubs still suck. If dad were still living, Joel, the … [Read more...]

Hospice, St. Joseph, and Happy Deaths

Hospice Remembrance Hand Mold

This past weekend Joel and I attended a deacon formation seminar presented by Hospice of Southwest Iowa. The facilitators opened their presentation by asking, “What kind of experience have you had with hospice?” One by one, the deacon candidates and wives shared our stories. A few had little to no intimate experience; several recalled a story of how hospice provided comfort during the final weeks and days of a loved one’s life. The story I shared is a little unique, I imagine. Dateline: … [Read more...]

The Importance of Grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Mourning the Loss of a Child

Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death)? Beginning this Thursday, thanks to the efforts of our diocesan Marriage and Family Life Office, ours will. The first annual Des Moines Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Richard Pates this Thursday, October 11, 7:00 PM at St. Augustin Church (42nd St. & Grand Ave., Des Moines). A commendation … [Read more...]

Healing After Perinatal Loss: How Can You Help?

Do you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or ectopic pregnancy? Many of our lives, either directly or indirectly, have been touched by miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or other such perinatal loss. As with any death, the need for healing in these situations is great. However, many of us fail to reach out to those suffering around us, because we simply don't know how to help. Mercy Perinatal Hospice Nurse and Bereavement Coordinator Ann Valdez … [Read more...]

A Gentle Place to Fall: Healing After Perinatal Loss

Healing from Perinatal Loss

Have you experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or ectopic pregnancy?  Many of our lives, either directly or indirectly, have been touched by miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or other such perinatal loss. As with any death, the need for healing in these situations is great. However, most people don't know where to turn, despite the availability of many good resources right here in the Des Moines metro area. Mercy Perinatal Hospice Nurse and Bereavement Coordinator Ann … [Read more...]

Project Rachel


Cardinal DiNardo Pledges Continued Support for Those Suffering from Post-Abortion Loss The General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets this week, November 14 – 16. It is one of two annual meetings for the bishops to gather together and meet as a full body. For those interested in learning more about what the bishops are discussing, the staff at the USCCB is doing a terrific job of pushing out information via tweets, live streaming and news updates on their … [Read more...]

Love is Greater than Fear

The Empty Tomb

And they waited. And we waited. And we are rewarded. We are rewarded by a love that conquers our fears, a love that achieves our hopes, a love given to us by His grace because we believe. And all because one man, Jesus, had a love for us greater than the fear of suffering; a love greater than the fear of torture and humiliation; a love greater than the fear of death. Our patience was/is much less than the patience of Christ’s followers. We know what we are waiting for, Christ’s … [Read more...]

Lori’s Bonfire

Lori Eoriatti

My sister-in-law, Lori Eoriatti, passed away in January of this year. Lori suffered from aplasitc anemia and was only 38 years old at the time of her death. Written with a grateful heart, today’s entry is dedicated and inspired by Lori. Lori lived an amazing life, or perhaps it is better to say Lori lived life amazingly well. Finding joy in the moment, laughing as loudly and as often as possible, befriending everyone and anyone…that was Lori.    Beautiful inside and out Lori could … [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...]

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...]