Category: Men

Catholic Dad—a Book to Inspire
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Catholic Dad—a Book to Inspire

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Society is schizophrenic on fatherhood. Studies show that by every conceivable measure, children are better off with fathers. Yet the entertainment world often portrays them as bumbling or non-essential. The feminist movement has furthered that notion because at least for some take-charge kind of women, men just get in the way anyways. But it isn’t […]

Building a Better Fatherhood
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Building a Better Fatherhood

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Cultural support for fatherhood has collapsed in the past 50 years, and there are few signs of a renewal. In light of this, how can fathers summon the courage to fulfill their mission? Their mission is two-fold: to love their wives and commit to providing for the total welfare of their child. Each of these […]

The Death of Marriage or the Death of Me?
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The Death of Marriage or the Death of Me?

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I met this young man a few months ago on a flight to give a talk in the Midwest. Ironically, my talk was on marriage and family and the inherent call within each to “man up” or “woman up” respectively. I asked him if he really believed the sad vibe his shirt was proclaiming. “Nah,” […]

The Playgrounds of War I
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When Father is a Wound

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On Sunday, my children and I celebrated my husband on Father’s Day. It seems natural to celebrate the father of my children but as a child, there was too much hurt and damage to even pronounce the word “Papa” to talk about and address my father. When I was able to utter it, my throat […]

A Tale of Five Kings for Father's Day
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A Tale of Five Kings for Father’s Day

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My poor Dad. He made a ton of money his whole life. But he never had any. Instead, he had kids. Lots of them. Of course, when I was younger I never considered things from the perspective of my parents. The good things they gave us, as far as I could tell, were like the […]

Dads Think Different
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Dads Think Different

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Picture this. A newborn lies in a bassinet, wrapped tightly in a hospital blanket, with a cute woolen skullcap covering the fuzz of hair on his head. Mom looks from her bed, exhausted from giving birth but glowing as she gazes at the angelic face of her child, pulling on the heartstrings of love that […]

How I Accepted the Challenge of Christian Fatherhood
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How I Accepted the Challenge of Christian Fatherhood

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Emily and I drove home from the hospital in complete silence. The gravity of the moment eleven years ago hit me: we were responsible for someone else’s life. Gulp. At this time, I had been a Catholic for only three years. Through conversion, I fell in love with the theology and the sacraments. Yet, I […]

Catholic Carolinas
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Catholic Carolinas

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Whether it’s because of the Research Triangle Park near Raleigh or favorable conditions for business or the relaxed climate for retirement in coastal towns, the population of North and South Carolina has swelled in recent decades. And even though the area is still known as the Bible Belt, the Carolinas have seen significant increases in […]

Two Josephs, Both Alike in Chastity
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Two Josephs, Both Alike in Chastity

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With our attention upon St. Joseph today, it might be good to look back at the Old Testament figure for whom Mary’s chaste spouse was most likely named. That would be Joseph, son of Jacob, grandson of Isaac, and great-grandson of Abraham. Joseph is a popular name for Jewish boys precisely as a memorial of this […]

Fathers Needed
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Fathers Needed

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Fatherhood is likely to be a central part of the discussion when the world’s bishops gather at the Vatican this October. Pope Francis has called an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops to consider the “Pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization.” He also has asked bishops to meet in 2015 […]

Getting Your Act Together
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Getting Your Act Together

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During a recent coffee meeting with a friend, he said, “You seem to have your act together on the fatherhood front. What’s your secret?” I was taken aback because I don’t think I have my act together at all. I don’t mean that out of false humility. I pray every day to be a better husband and father […]

Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks
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Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks

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I must begin by saying that Disney has few more intense critics than this writer. I didn’t create an entirely Disney-free household for my children, but those materials generated by that empire that made their way past the threshold were clearly in enemy territory. We made a tenuous peace with some, but refused to be […]

The Challenge of Forgiving Oneself
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The Challenge of Forgiving Oneself

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One of the most challenging parts of the prayer Jesus taught his disciples — The Lord’s Prayer — comes near the end: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That’s not necessarily meant to be a challenge on the surface. At first glance, it actually should bring us great joy. […]

Blood Brothers in Christ
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Blood Brothers in Christ

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Growing up, I always knew what I wanted to do for a living. I also had a ready list of things I would never pursue as a career. Carpentry, for one. I tended to have all thumbs when it came to hammers and saws and wrenches. Schoolteacher, for another. Not nearly enough patience. I wouldn’t […]

Being a Contemplative in the World
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Being a Contemplative in the World

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Sometimes, I find myself aspiring to be a “contemplative.” But looking at the long and somewhat complex definition in the Catholic Encyclopedia, I wonder if that really is possible for those of us who have to live “in the world.” I won’t bother you with much of that entry in the encyclopedia. Suffice to say […]

Who Do We Trust In?
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Who Do We Trust In?

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Like Mount Zion are they who trust in the LORD, unshakable, forever. — Psalm 125 Do you ever think about how much we trust every single day? For instance, every time you turn on your car and pull out of the driveway, you are trusting the people who assembled that car and the mechanic who […]

Attack the Ball!
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Attack the Ball!

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Many have noted that sports can teach young people valuable lessons which are transferrable to life: submission to authority, working as a team, practice and hard work to achieve goals, etc. I was never a star athlete, but I did play on some teams in high school and have done my share of coaching. Whether […]

What Can We Do in the Face of Suffering?
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What Can We Do in the Face of Suffering?

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I remember a couple of years ago seeing some TV reports about a heartbreaking situation in Somalia and Kenya that continue today. The commentator said, “We must warn you. Some of the images you are about to see are quite disturbing.” We proceed to see starving infants and children with distended tummies, crying children who […]

Learning from the Poor
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Learning from the Poor

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During a conversation with my 23-year-old son, he told me that a lot of his friends like our new pope. This isn’t the measure of the greatness of the man, but it is good to see some of Pope Francis’ major themes resonating with the young. Among the most prominent of these themes, something that […]

Dealing with Distractions
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Dealing with Distractions

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I have tinnitus. The more common term for it is “ringing in the ears.” It’s not a disease but rather a symptom of many, many things. There’s no easy way for me to trace what it is that is causing the persistent, high-pitched sound inside my head. It could be my depression and anxiety; it […]

Seeking God's Face
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Seeking God’s Face

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I always cringe a little when I hear people of various Protestant denominations say they belong to a “Bible-based” church and that, as a Catholic, I don’t. They aren’t right, of course. Unfortunately, they aren’t completely wrong, either, when they imply that, generally, Catholics don’t “know our Bible” the way many of them do. I […]

Making it Through the Storms
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Making it Through the Storms

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Sometimes you see the storm coming from miles away. The sky darkens long in advance, the thunder roars loudly from a distance, the wind whips up and turns cool. You expect those storms and can plan around them a little, or at least plan for them. I don’t mind a good storm. You can enjoy […]

Holy Male Friendships
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Holy Male Friendships

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The moment doesn’t last that long. A few minutes, tops. It happens every Saturday morning I’m able to drag my body out of bed at 6 o’clock to join my brothers in Christ at a local Bread Company. Either Larry Boldt or Jim LaVictoire passes out a card to each member of our group — […]

Church Interior
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Inviting Others to Come Home

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One day last summer, I received an email message from Nick, a man who works for the same company as me. I know him a little. I knew his wife, Michelle, better since she trained me in my job before she had her first baby and chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Nick had great news. […]

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