Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

New Message Editor Offers An Introduction Of Himself


Hello everyone.

As you read this, my first week in the Diocese of Evansville will be wrapping up. That week remains a short way off as I write; but I can’t wait for it to start.

God blesses me daily – often with riches of mind, body and spirit. Other times, however, His blessings bring trials that enable me to see His plan in motion … His path for me.

That path started in the coal fields of southwestern Pennsylvania, on the northern tip of a region first called Appalachia in the 1960s. Dad was a coal miner. Mom stayed at home – until black lung and lung cancer stole Dad from us way too soon. I was 14, and an only child. Mom died in 2003, after a long fight against the debilitating effects of a series of strokes.

I suppose if you were to read a list of the things I’ve done in my life, sinful acts would appear as regular bookmarks. To this second, the sin I regret the most involved a phone call and a fleeting thought.

That ringing phone jolted me from sleep in the middle of a Sunday-morning sunrise. I worked at a daily newspaper at the time, and had stayed late Saturday night getting the Sunday edition to press.

Calls that early - especially on Sundays – meant only one thing. Something happened to Mom, and the personal-care-home staff was calling to get me involved.

Struggling out of bed to cover the few short steps to the phone, I vented out loud to an otherwise-empty home. “Why can’t SOMEBODY ELSE take one of these calls … just ONE TIME?!”

I was right about the nature of the call. I was so very wrong to respond that way. I still regret it, even though I know God and Mom forgave me the moment I asked.

As Pope Francis said so eloquently during the Easter season (and I probably paraphrase a bit), “God never tires of forgiving us. It is we who get tired of asking His forgiveness.” I love Pope Francis, by the way – as I do Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Blessed John Paul II and the four other Holy Fathers who’ve led our Church in my lifetime.

Here are some other notes by way of introduction:

Mom was born on May 13, 1918 – the first anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance to the children in Fatima. I was born on April 28 – the Feast Day of St. Louis de Montfort. As soon as I connected those dots, I completed the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Seemed like a really good idea.

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen visited my hometown several times before and after my birth for an Eastern-rite pilgrimage to Mary held there annually on Labor Day weekend. Mom was carrying me when he became the first Roman-rite priest to chant the Eastern-rite Mass in English, during one of his visits to that pilgrimage.

I have personal devotions to Mary and the Rosary; to St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy; to Sts. Gabriel, Michael and Raphael; to my Guardian Angel; to St. Gertrude’s prayer for the souls in Purgatory; and to St. Kateri, who is patroness of our natural environment. I carry a St. Kateri prayer card in my wallet.

The outdoors – hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, etc., are decades-old passions. Dad died before he and I could share much of that.

My amateur (ham) radio license and my telescopes certify my status as a geek.

My daughter, Jennifer, is God’s greatest blessing to me.

Baseball thrills me. Bass guitar thrills me. Photography thrills me.

Nothing, however, thrills me more than the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration.

My grin – yes it’s a grin these days, not just a smile – reveals my joy at coming to Evansville as director of Communications and editor of the Message.


I hope to meet you soon. My wish for you – Numbers 6: 24-26:

“The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!”