All Things Considered (x3)

The real objection to modernism is simply that it is a form of snobbishness. It is an attempt to crush a rational opponent not by reason, but by some mystery of superiority, by hinting that one is specially up to date or particularly ‘in the know’.
 ~ G.K. Chesterton

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Please Listen

Becky Savage is a wife, mother, and nurse. Two of her sons died as a result of prescription opioid misuse in 2015. Since then, Becky has traveled extensively to educate teens, families, and communities about opioid and prescription drug safety. Recently, Mrs. Savage came to speak at Marian High School, and I had the honor of introducing her.

Consider this scenario: You’re dashing into a 7-Eleven or convenience store to grab a donut on the way to school, a pack of gum, or a Coke. As you check out, you notice a plastic container next to the register with a slot on the top and some change in the bottom, maybe a couple bucks or even a fiver.

“Please give,” the sign says, “to help find a cure for…,” say, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. Perhaps an exotic cancer like leukemia or lymphoma – the kinds of diseases you hear about happening to other people.

Sometimes there’s a photo of somebody, usually in the prime of life, and a name – the name of a loved one struck down by this exotic disease, this unforeseen illness, this bolt out of the blue.

Most the time I’ll drop my change in the container – to be honest, not always – but it didn’t always occur to me that the folks who put those containers there were just like me. Those “other people” affected by debilitating and deadly diseases were just like me. I, or someone I love, could easily become those “other people” in a heartbeat, in a flash.

Your speaker today, Mrs. Savage, is a nurse like me. In fact, for a couple years, Becky and I were colleagues at Bethel College where we taught nursing together. Nurses, along with other healthcare workers, know very well that we’re all those other people. Nobody ever anticipates the medical problems that happen to them. Sure, we can do things to lower our risks, but when those diseases and illnesses appear, they’re always a shock. There’s no way to prepare for when we become those other people.

What Mrs. Savage is going to share with you today is like that. Her unspeakable tragedy is one she never imagined would’ve come near her family or her life. But it did. It didn’t happen to other people. It happened to her.

Please listen. Mrs. Savage and her family are not other people. They are you. They are you. And, unlike some of those diseases I mentioned earlier, you can prevent this happening to you or your friends. You can make a difference.

For more information about Becky’s work and how you can help, visit her 525 Foundation website here

Latin: A Convert’s Romance in Three Movements

This ‘one language’…was an expression of the unity of the Church and through its dignified character elicited a profound sense of the Eucharistic Mystery.
~ Pope St. John Paul II

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When a Coach Falls in Love with Religion

“Religion was never on my radar,” says Sr. Gianna Marie Webber, OSF. It’s a surprising statement coming from a Franciscan sister in full habit, not to mention the principal of a Catholic grade school, but then Sr. Gianna Marie’s story is full of such surprises.

The third of six children, Sr. Gianna Marie was baptized Catholic, but her family ceased practicing the Faith when she was 6. Athletics became her passion, and she excelled at basketball, which earned her a scholarship to Ohio’s Mount Vernon Nazarene University. “If you can get an orange ball into a basket,” she explains, “it makes education very cheap.”

About the time she finished her education degree and started teaching (and coaching) high-schoolers in Alaska, her mother returned to the Church and started praying for her children to do the same. “Don’t underestimate the power of a mother’s prayers,” Sr. Gianna Marie says. Her mom’s resurgent faith challenged her to take religion seriously for the first time.

Another challenge came by way of Mother Teresa, whose tireless service to the poor regularly showed up in the news. “All that she was doing for the Man on the Cross,” Sister recalls wondering, “was it worth it?” Concluding it was, she decided she wanted to be a member of Mother Teresa’s “team” as a Catholic Christian.

Once back in the Church, Sr. Gianna Marie considered how she could best serve the Lord. One morning she woke with a mental image of herself in habit rather than as a mom with a brood of kids. “You know how it is when you fall in love,” she says of her call to religious life. “You just…fall in love.”

Eventually, she made her way to Mishawaka, Indiana, and presented herself as a candidate to the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. “I didn’t think they’d take me, but they took me,” she says. “I didn’t think they’d keep me, but they’ve kept me.”

In the course of her formation, Sr. Gianna Marie completed a master’s in educational administration at Franciscan University in 2011. Now fully professed, she serves as principal of St. Matthew Cathedral School in South Bend, Indiana. It’s an assignment that brings together her coach’s enthusiasm, her teacher’s purposefulness, and her Franciscan joy. As Sr. Gianna Marie says, being a principal “takes it to another court altogether.”

A version of this profile originally appeared in Franciscan Magazine, Franciscan University of Steubenville.

A Ditch to Die In: Of Boniface, Battles, and Being Dad

An ‘adult’ faith is not a faith that
follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty….
~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

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Welcome Weekend from the Other Side of the Car Window


It was a striking contrast — the brand-new dorm already filled with brand-new freshmen, and my daughter, the budding medievalist, keeping us connected to our past.

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At the Movies with Campaign 2016


Put not your trust in princes (Ps 146.3).

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From Notre Dame to Wales, an Arthurian Quest Begins


“No ending is final. Whatever is truly right can’t be conquered forever.”

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Always Something to Read: On the Pleasures of Bibliochaos

There is no book so bad but it has something good in it.
~ Cervantes

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3 Short Books for the College-bound Teen


We were always encouraged to read,
and had all the masters that were necessary.
~ Elizabeth Bennet

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