Why I named my son after a Pope and a 6th century monk.

Benedict!My dear wife and I welcomed our new son to the world back in July, and his name did not come to us easily.  With our daughter, her name came easily by comparison.  We had it figured out months ahead of time, were both comfortable and confident in our choice.  Not so this time around.

We did what most expectant parents did: we made a list.  We whittled down the list to a handful.  I proposed ridiculous (by modern sensibilities) names that I heard during the Liturgy or my theological reading to watch my wife’s reaction, usually this resulted in The Look.  Fun fact: Eusebius is not a favorable name… but I digress.

The big day came and our son was born, but we still weren’t sure about his name.  After some deliberation, and after waiting for the good pain medication to wear off, we made our selection.

We named my son Benedict.

Yes, yes, we know… there was that one guy from American History.

In fact, my own father was quick to point this out seconds after walking into the hospital room.  “They’re going to call him Arnold, you know.”  My father-in-law feels the same way, in an interesting coincidence.

Yes, I know all about Benedict Arnold… but let’s just say we were shooting higher.

via Flickr user Papist

via Flickr user Papist

Is he named after the Saint, or the Pope?

Both, actually… and here’s why.

I have a strong admiration for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  I started writing this blog as part of the Year of Faith and to participate in his call to the New Evangelization.  He will likely go down in history as one of the greatest theologians of our time, and he wrote 68 books, 3 encyclicals, and 3 apostolic exhortations.  He is a defender of the Liturgy and of Catholic doctrine, and literally followed in the footsteps of a saint.  If you haven’t done so yet, check out his Jesus of Nazareth series.  It is mind-blowing.

Medal of Saint BenedictOver the last year or so, I have found a growing affinity to Saint Benedict of Nursia.  His golden rule of ora et labora (pray and work) is a great, simple way to live life.  Saint Benedict lived an inspiring monastic life, authored a Rule that formed the foundation for Western monasticism, worked miracles, and was known to possess the gifts of sanctity and strong character.  His sacramental medal depicts a well known event in Saint Benedict’s life when his enemies attempted to kill him by wine.  He became aware of the plot as he blessed the cup, and it shattered.  It also contains a rebuke to Satan, commanding him to drink the poison himself.  The medal itself wards against evil, poison, temptation (all of these things through Christ).  He is considered to be the patron saint of exorcists, a pretty impressive pedigree… the man was basically a religious superhero, what boy wouldn’t want somebody like that as a namesake?

Both men provide stalwart examples of living an authentic life in Christ, and in different ways they provide some help for learning to live this way… it seems fitting to name my son after men such as these.  Our hope is that when he is old enough, Ben will look to the writings of these men for inspiration and find the examples set by their devout life a template for his own.

There’s at least a little sci-fi in there, too…

Sort of a role model?

Sort of a role model?

My wife and I enjoy multiple layers of meaning to a name, and while the above outlines the primary choices… we also really like Benedict Cumberbatch (from the BBC’s Sherlock, The Hobbit, and other great roles) and Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi (Star Wars). This also seems to help our non-religious friends to relate to the name after their eyes glass over when I explain about the pope/saint connection.  Does that count as New Evangelization?

And yes, we are calling him Ben (and sometimes, Benny).  I had a woman at Church implore me to not call him Ben or Benny, because Benedict is just too awesome of a name.  I’m glad to hear that some people get it!


Blessing with Epiphany Chalk

Epiphany Blessing of our doorway!

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany!  Our priest encouraged us to do a blessing one’s home with a chalk inscription, as you can see above.  At Mass, the priest blessed the chalk according to the Bishop’s Book of Blessings.  It was distributed to parishoners along with a prayer to say while writing the inscription, which I have reproduced here:

Blessing with the Epiphany Chalk

Chalk is used because it symbolizes the dust of the earth from which we were made.  The Chalk is used to mark the following letters and numbers over the main door of your home.  The following blessing may be used as they are written by one of the parents as the other writes:

20 + C + M + B + 13

The numerals consecrate the new year.  The initials remind us of the legendary names of the magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar – and also stand for the Latin motto: Christus Mansionem benedicat, which means May Christ bless this house.

Let us pray:
Lord, as we begin a new year in this home, we ask your protection and seek your guidance as we welcome others into our hearts.  May our visitors always find the presence of Jesus in our home especially as we welcome the stranger who seeks to know Christ among us.  Bless our home and all who join us.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

I had never heard of this type of blessing before, but I think it’s a nice way to consecrate the home and the new year.  After doing some reading, it seems that this is a more traditional observance and more common in Europe.  Here is more information via CatholicCulture.org.


Who will you follow?

photo (25)

The new calendar year is upon us!  This is the usual time of year for resolutions and refocusing on the things that should be important in our lives.  As I sat down to reflect on which resolutions I would attempt this year, I kept being reminded of one of my favorite Bible versus from the Book of Joshua:

But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15 (Douay-Rheims Bible)

Resolve Differently

I came across this verse unexpectedly several years ago at my great-aunt’s Christmas party.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted my name on something on the floor of her living room as I was breezing through to get a drink for my wife.  This was right at the beginning of my inklings about investigating my faith further, and it seems as if this stonework decoration was placed here just to get my attention.  I stopped dead in my tracks and read the verse over several times, trying to commit the chapter and verse to memory.  Then I remembered: I had my new iPhone in my pocket so I snapped a picture.

This felt like (and literally was) a sign for me, marking the beginning of my deeper dive in my spiritual life.  I resolved at that point that I would try better to serve the Lord, and I had absolutely no idea what that meant.

Something’s Happening Here

In time, I read this entire verse in the context of the rest of the chapter.  This is Joshua’s clarion call, his prime question to the tribes of Israel.  They had continued worshiping the false gods of their fathers or the local gods of the territory they resided in.  Joshua reminded the tribes of all that almighty God had provided for them and then offered them a stark exhortation to put away these old, false gods and follow the Lord.  He concludes with the powerful verse quoted above.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see a corollary in today’s society which places the false gods of wealth, social justice, and creature comforts before just and true service of the Lord.  I see even well-intentioned Catholics and other religious friends often making choices or placing more focus on these things instead of their own spiritual development.  It’s not about the rights and wrongs of what your fathers did, or what society is doing, or what is fashionable, trendy, or feels good.  It’s about obedience in understanding and following God’s Will.

Further, I am reminded of this verse each time someone has harsh or derisive comments to make in regards to religion.  If it’s so bad to be religious and follow God’s Command, that’s fine… you have your choice.  I am proud to echo the sentiment of my much greater namesake: as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Wherein an in-flight movie improves my life

Imagine my surprise to see this verse show up again a year later.  I was on a long business flight from Germany to the US and I remembered my mom’s recommendation for a movie called Courageous, because it reminded her of the That Man Is You! program that I had just started participating in.  Luckily, this film was on the in-flight roster of movies that we could watch for free.  It tells a story of a group of men who  make a contract to be better husbands and fathers, and this verse is central to their deeper spirituality as well.  I won’t ruin any of the film for you, but suffice it to say that I identified strongly with it.  Do yourselves a favor and watch it.

I began this article talking about resolutions.  I challenge everyone out there to ask themselves this question when you set your resolutions for the new year: “Who will you follow?”  From there, simply ask “How?” a few times and see where that takes you.  If you need further inspiration, grab a copy of Courageous… it should fire you up.

Lastly, I want to thank my Great Aunt Shirley for putting this decoration in a prominent location in her living room.  I’m not quite sure where I would be if she didn’t.


Advent reflections…

The wonderful season of Advent is well underway!  For me, Advent is a time of celebration, hope, and enjoying life while anticipating the celebration of the birth of Our Lord.  As I write this article, I am sitting in a quiet house visiting my family in Illinois.  I enjoy using the Advent season not only to do the normal “Christmastime” secular activities like buying gifts, but also to refreshing the oft-neglected relationships in my life.  I have spent the week catching up with various friends and family members and visiting some of my favorite hometown haunts, remembering the good ol’ days and lamenting how challenging it is to stay in touch give the hustle of modern life.

Lately, this has made me consider my priorities in life.  After I began writing this article I came across this article at the National Catholic Register outlining an op-ed article that the Holy Father wrote himself suggesting we all do the same.  This reflection has led me to one main discussion point: what is my life all about?

Ahead of this trip back to my family, one of my cousins asked that I “tone down” the religious conversations because it was too weird last year ad the change that I’ve undergone has been jarring to him.  It is clear to him that my life is no longer about idly whiling away evenings drinking beers and throwing darts, not to say that I don’t still enjoy either of those things within reason.  But his perception of me is changed, and he has basically asked me to change it back.  I wrestled with this conversation for quite some time.  On one hand, I am blessed that I have a family member that is so close to me to both see this change and point it out to me.  It was very difficult to hear that someone so close to me was upset with these changes that have been occurring in my life.  On the other hand, I have no doubt that I have made positive choices over the last few years and my actions reflect my deepening faith in a visible and ultimately good way.  This is hard for my friends and family to fully understand, especially for those that preferred my previously cavalier attitude and actions.

For Advent this year, I am giving myself the gift of peace.  I am choosing to live closer to Christ and the Catholic Church because I believe that this is the best path for me.  Ultimately I will have to answer for how I am choosing to live my life and I don’t want to come up short with those answers.  I know that many of you wrestle with interpersonal conflict at this time of year, especially when it comes to matters of Faith and family.  As our attention turns to celebrating the coming of Christ, I ask you all to heed the Holy Father’s advice and reflect on what the Advent season truly means in your life.

I pray that you all have a blessed and happy Christmas celebration this year!


The mystical Body of Christ

The week of waiting before we knew the ultimate fate of our pregnancy and Tasha’s health was terribly hard.  After she went to the emergency room, I stayed close to home in order to keep close tabs on her condition.  The one exception I made was for my Friday morning men’s fellowship, for no other reason than I was so wrapped up in concern for my wife and unborn child that I neglected to arrange someone to cover me.  After checking on Tasha’s condition and ensuring that she would have her phone nearby in case something happened, I headed off to Church for the two hours required to do the session.

I had my phone at the ready, and before the session began I informed the group that if I received a phone call from my wife it was urgent and I might have to leave immediately.  Unsurprisingly, they pushed me for more details so I told them that Tasha had a very serious situation going on and if I got a call it could be life threatening.  I wasn’t ready to share with them that we were pregnant let alone that the pregnancy was at risk, because we weren’t sure at that point if anything was wrong or if this was a big false alarm.

I was taken aback when one of the men in the group suggested that we start the session with a prayer for her, so I croaked out an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be before heading back to my chair.  Before I was done with the last prayer, I noticed the man I was sitting next to fiddling with something around his neck.

As I sat down, he leaned over to me and pressed his chain of saint medallions into my hand, along with a laminated prayer card with a relic of Our Lady of Garabandal (a Marian apparition).  He told me that he would be praying for my wife and for her to keep these things with her and pray with them until she was healed.

At this point I was holding back tears.  For one, this man is a very traditional Catholic and very orthodox in his practice of the Faith.  These items are very dear to him (as my own medallions that commemorate my favorite saints are to me) and for him to quickly give this holy items away in order to ease our pain was jarring to me.

Later in the day I got a phone call from that same man.  He wanted to check on Tasha to see how she was doing, and wanted to know if it was possible to drop off a few things.  He showed up around twenty minutes later with a bottle of water from Lourdes, citing the tradition that bathing in and drinking the water has presented miraculous cures.  He also brought a card indicating that he had already had a Mass said for our intentions.

It was clear that my friend was pulling out all the stops to heap graces on my family, in hopes that our pain would be removed from us.  His prayers, and the prayers of many of our other friends and parishioners helped us immensely through this challenging time.  Never before has it been so evident that the human members of the Catholic Church truly do comprise the mystical Body of Christ.  These people are not my family by blood, some of them aren’t even close friends.  Tasha, Jude and I had a veritable army of people praying for us.  At least two priests said Mass for us.  The outpouring of support and love was astonishing, humbling, and truly made me thankful to God for our Faith.

Some of my skeptical friends might be asking the obvious question: “well, why didn’t those prayers work?  Why weren’t you healed and your baby saved if these things were so holy?”  Valid questions.

I honestly believe that through these prayers and the intercession of Mary and the Saints that our desires were presented to God.  I am confident that he listened and that the way this situation played out was a result of his Divine Will.  The exact reason for this is a mystery that I may never know the answer to, however it has shown me more clearly how supportive the Church can be in a time of need.

I thanked my friend profusely a few weeks ago when I returned his prayer card and medallions.  Throughout this process, he was very supportive and mourned with us at the loss of our baby.  He was distressed as he told me that he was sure that we would have had a happy ending and he wished it would have ended differently, and I told him that God’s Will was done and we can take some comfort in knowing that.  He should take some comfort in that too, since his actions helped us further our understanding and relationship with God.


A terrible loss…

This sad story begins on the morning of October 30th, with some happy news: my wife Tasha and I found out that she was pregnant with our second child.  The test itself showed only a faint positive line, but a second test confirmed the result.  From there, things progressed normally (albeit quickly) into the normal nausea and fatigue that accompany early pregnancy.  I was surprised to receive a phone call from my wife around 11 am on Tuesday, November 6th: she was experiencing sharp pain and cramping and I could tell from the tone in her voice that she was scared.

I rushed home from work and took her to the emergency room, where they opted for a sonogram to check to see if there was anything visibly wrong.  Unfortunately they could not see anything because it was too early in the pregnancy.  They also checked her pregnancy hormone levels via a blood test to get a benchmark level and they wanted to test it again in two days.  By the time the doctors had finished their assessment, Tasha was already starting to feel better and the pain was subsiding.  The doctor agreed that this was encouraging, and that we should diligently monitor her condition in case the pain returned or worsened.  At the follow-up blood test, they discovered that hormone levels were not doubling every 48-72 hours as they should be at this phase.  They warned us that it could be an ectopic pregnancy, or it could be nothing at all wrong.

A grueling week of close monitoring my wife (due to the threat of a possible ruptured tube) and worrying about the fate of our child culminated in some very bad news: last Monday we found out that the baby was located in my wife’s left Fallopian tube and was still growing.  This placed my wife in serious danger, so last Thursday she had the operation to remove the damaged tube.  Tragically, there was no way that the baby could survive.  My wife is still recovering from the surgery but we both thank God that we detected the condition before it turned life-threatening for her.  This leaves me in the difficult situation of being both grateful that my wife is safe and devastated the loss of our second child.

I must admit that I have sat down to write about this experience several times over the past two weeks, recounting the whirlwind of emotions and fears, the comfort of unexpected support, and the deep sorrow of loss… but frankly the pain is just too near right now for me to do a reasonable job at it.  One thing that I can capture now, is that I know that God is working in my life.  Four weeks ago – before our positive pregnancy test – I was preparing to write the first of a handful of articles that I was concerned would be too controversial.  It was regarding facts about abortion, the fifth of which outlined the Principle of Double Effect.  When researching that article I thought it was important to refresh my understanding on what is morally acceptable and what is not from the Catholic point-of-view.  I had no clue that less than a month later my wife and I would have to execute on this new knowledge.  God was preparing us for the road ahead.

I can tell you this with certainty: doing what is morally right and licit is difficult.  Devastatingly difficult.  But over the last two weeks, Tasha and I have received great comfort from friends, family, and faith.  Through this tragedy I have gotten to see God’s work in new ways.  As I work through the grief, I want to capture the impact of these experiences in order to honor that little life that ended far too soon.



What being an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion means to me

Back in February, I was mandated as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC, otherwise known as Eucharistic Minister).  I decided to participate in this ministry after much prayer and after reading the book Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz.  The book outlines miraculous occurrences surrounding the Blessed Sacrament, but the section of the book that I found most moving described the role of the Eucharist in the lives of the saints.  The true devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the fervent reverence shown by various saints are ultimately what moved me to action.  It was only a few short weeks after I finished the book that the Time and Talent sheets got circulated around the parish, and before I knew it I was signing up to find out more information.

A few weeks later, I was mandated by our priest and trained by another EMHC.  During the mandating and the blessing, the priest remarked that I would be required to help distribute the Blessed Sacrament when needed at the parish and I may be asked to distribute to the homebound or infirmed of the parish.  In extreme circumstances, I may even be called upon to administer Viaticum (Eucharist to the dying).  Fair enough.  The priest joked with me after the mandating was complete that most people don’t know that they sign up for all of that, but not to worry… all of it is voluntary.

Fast forward a few months, and I find myself taking the Eucharist to the homebound of our parish.

Two weeks ago was our annual training meeting, where we get together and work through the logistics of arranging ourselves around the altar when it was time for Communion and the like.  Our priest took a few minutes to speak to us about the important privilege that we have to be able to announce to the communicant that what we bring to them actually is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, and that when we elevate the host and say the words “The Body of Christ” we are not only informing them of that fact but also reminding them that they comprise the Mystical Body of Christ as well.  As EMHC’s, we get to proclaim and remind them of both of these profound mysteries.

When I think back through the accounts provided in Eucharistic Miracles, I am constantly reminded of the prayer “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” because frankly, I’m not worthy.  When I take the Eucharist to the homebound, I see reflections of this saintly reverence on the faces of the communicants and I go through the prayers and bring the Lord to them.  I see the relief and thanks in their eyes when the service is over.  Getting to experience the Eucharist through the eyes of these people, some of whom have been suffering with illness or loss for years, has brought me closer to the Lord as well.  I get to see the grace that these people receive, the relief they experience, and how truly important the Lord is during their time of need.  It has taught me to respect the Eucharist in a new and quite profound way, and to not take it for granted.

I consider it an extreme honor to be trusted with this responsibility.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve the Church in this way.  The experience of being an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion has been a wellspring of grace for me, and as the Year of Faith continues I will share a few additional stories in some detail.



At one of my That Man Is You! group sessions, I was recounting the story of why I began looking to deepen my understanding of the Catholic faith.  I explained that I did not feel equipped to answer the eventual questions that would come from my children, let alone the questions I got from full-grown skeptical, educated adults.

One of the men in my group suggested that I look into apologetics, specifically the Catholic Answers Live radio program.  After some blank looks, he explained that apologetics means “to speak in defense” of something and the program is a structured call-in show where priests, theologians, and other special guests answer questions about the Catholic faith.

A few weeks later, I found myself bored of the music on my iPhone so I punched up the Catholic Answers podcast.  I was in luck… it was a Q&A Open Forum for Non-Catholics.  That’s right… these guys take calls from non-Catholics and answer very tough questions with rational answers.  Sometimes they used Scripture to justify the answers, other times a long thread of historical teachings that pass down through the line of popes to Christ himself. It was eye opening.

As time went on, their podcast quickly became part of my day.  When I have desk work or programming to do, I turn on Catholic Answers.  In time, many of the exact questions that caused me doubt were asked repeatedly by many callers.  With each new guest answering the question, I got new Bible verses, Magisterial (from the teaching authority of the Catholic Church) documents, and perspective.

Now I love Catholic apologetics.  I love it when people ask me questions about Catholicism… What’s the deal with X?  Why does the Church teach Y?  Why do you Catholics do Z?  In fact, I welcome anyone reading this blog with a burning question to contact me and ask it.  I may try to answer it in a future article.

If you’re looking for some great Catholic apologetics right now, allow me to direct you to a few of my favorites: Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, and Patrick Coffin.


That Man Is You!

In my first article, I mentioned that my wife and I began regularly attending Mass around the time we began thinking about having children.  After several months of this, many big questions began to dawn on me about aspects of my life where I was falling short – partly from ignorance and partly because I foolishly thought I had things figured out.  After Mass one day, a man named Tom came to give some announcements about a new program they were starting at the parish: That Man Is You!

He explained that the program was a men’s fellowship, which focused on helping men to become better husbands, fathers, and men after God’s Own Heart.  He closed his speech by saying that he was going to be in the back answering questions, and that he was looking for help to coordinate the program.  Sitting in the pew, I felt a strong sense that this was going to help me answer some of those tough questions and might equip me better to know the faith.  I leaned over to my wife and said that I wanted to find out more about the program.

I found out that the program’s founder, Steve Bollman, presents a different class each week focusing on a different aspect of the faith.  After the 30-45 minute DVD session is over, the men are encouraged to break up into small group sessions to discuss the topic, share their experiences, and dive a little deeper into each topic.  The topics covered in the first year ranged from a discussion about a man’s role in the family and how he can practice his faith in a more meaningful way.  The lessons were all framed by looking more closely at Scripture, Biblical examples (and counterexamples), and modern examples of authentic leadership in action today.

Quickly thereafter, I had volunteered to help Tom coordinate the program largely because I had the necessary skills of knowing how to operate a DVD player.  I mused to the priest that I had never volunteered to actually do anything outside of normal Mass attendance before.  He remarked that it was the Holy Spirit that urges us to get up and participate, and that many people ignore that nudge.  He praised me for being willing to help out.  More than a year later, I’m very glad that I did.

The best parts about the program for me is the discussion groups that form after the DVD lesson completes.  It was there that I got to sit and listen to life-lessons from men in their 70’s and 80’s, different perspectives from men in their 40’s and 50’s, and I gained some friends in the process.  It helped me to get to know some of the people within our parish much closer, and again… this was something that I never really got to experience before.  In my past, the people I knew at Church were my family members and maybe a few Catholic friends that I went to high school with.  It was (and is) refreshing to have that situation change.

The That Man Is You! program started our second year’s worth of classes last month.  I am pleased to report that things are going very well, and we have started a second session on a weeknight so more men can participate.  If you are interested in how to participate, you can search for a parish near you running this important program.

Also, I want to take a second to thank my friend Tom for allowing me to help him coordinate and run That Man Is You! at our parish.  It has been a great blessing to my family!



The baby made me do it.

Before we begin, I should share with you a little background.  My name is Josh and I am 33 years old.  I am happily married and have an 18-month old daughter, and that baby is the reason why I am at this keyboard typing right now.  No, my child is not some web design guru or computer science prodigy (at least, not yet!)… but she was the catalyst that would lead me to explore and deepen my faith.

I am a cradle Catholic, born and raised in the faith.  Like many other children of the 70’s and 80’s, I attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes as a child.  While these classes are designed to provide a basic foundation of Catholicism for kids, I don’t recall taking them particularly seriously.  I did continue to receive my First Communion and Confirmation, but shortly thereafter I became somewhat disinterested and inactive in the practice of my religion.  I attended Mass sporadically throughout high school and even less in college, and the more I withdrew the more doubts I had about the truth of the Catholic Church.  It is safe to say that I had fallen away from serious observance.  As my girlfriend (now wife) and I prepared for our wedding, we both got more serious about attending Mass, but even then I was still struggling with motivation.  There were many reasons, but we’ll get to that in the coming months.

When my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first daughter, we agreed that it was time to begin attending Mass regularly again.  Only a few months later did I begin asking myself some hard questions… once this little baby arrived, I would have to decide whether or not to get her baptized and raise her up as a Catholic.  It was time to man up and answer those nagging questions that made my own practice of the faith weak and timid (and by this time, there were many).  I decided to put aside the interpretations of the Catholic Church that I heard from others, from the media, and from those around me.  I had to dig in to the source and find the truth of the matter… what the Church actually teaches and why.

The big question was this:
Do I believe in Catholicism wholeheartedly enough to raise my little innocent child in the faith?

You are reading this article today because that answer is a resounding yes.

What This Site Is

Today marks the beginning of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Year of Faith”, where he calls all Catholics to participate in the New Evangelization by sharing their faith with others.  I began this site so I can narrate for you the path that I took from skeptical, ignorant, semi-observance to a strong understanding and rich participation in the Catholic Faith.  My hope is that by sharing my experiences that I can bring you closer to Christ.  I can tell you this for certain: it beats the way I was living before by a long shot.  I am striving for at least one article each week during the Year of Faith.  I may fall short of that mark, or I may beat it by a mile.  Stick around and find out.

What This Site Is Not

This site is not guaranteed to be accurate.  I am not a trained theologian.  I hold no fancy degrees in theology, religious education, or anything else that qualifies me to teach in this field.  However, I do intend to enter into topics of Scripture, doctrine, and perspective on controversial topics.  Whatever I say, I do try to fact-check to as much rigor as I can afford but understand that in some cases I may be wrong especially when I share my own interpretations.  I apologize up front if this happens.  I am merely a Catholic layman sharing my faith the to best of my ability.

Comments are open, but I ask that you read the Feedback page.

Welcome to This Catholic Man!

With that, I welcome you to the site.  My prayer is that you find something here to help bring you to a closer relationship with Christ.