Home Page
Catholic Faith
Bible Study
Pickard Family
The Blog
SRE Bible study
Chuck's Catholic Site
Home Page

Chuck's Catholic Site, welcome to my Homepage

          Holy Scriptures

                   Search the Holy Scriptures 












Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary





























That Catholic show "Video"  these are great for teaching SRE or CCD classes

























      Chuck's  Catholic page  





Image


Image




The Catholic Answer Bible (OSV) and This Rock Magazine (Catholic Answers) were used extensively in the making of this page.

















Apologetics
I believe that we as Catholics are called to share the truth of our faith. To do that we must first know it and live it. With a history of 2,000 years we can learn something new everyday about this Jesus of Nazareth and this church he formed.To know him is to love him.The best way to get to know him is by prayer the way to understand his ways is by study.
                    Always be ready to give a explanation to anyone
                           who ask you for a reason, for your hope
                                    (1st Peter 3;15)






my online life
Pope John Paul II, a few years ago called on all Christians to evangilize the internet.There is so much bad on the net. We are called on by the succesor of St.Peter to take to the internet and make it our own so many people can be reached, many who might  never have been reached if not for this resource.This is just my little way of helping Mother Church defend herself and helping those with questions find answers







Jesus formed one church

 

(Mt 16: 18-19)     (Mt 5:14-16)         (Mt 18:15-17)          (Jn 17:21-23)

 

(Acts 20:28-31)   (Acts 1:20)          (Acts 8 :14-24)         (Acts 15:1-29)

 

(Rom 16:17)       (Rom 13:13)        (1 Cor 1:10-13)           (1 Cor 12:12-27)

 

(1 tm 3:1-4)        (2 Tm 4: 1-5)       ( 1Pt 5:1)   

 

 

The Eucharist  why we believe it to be the Flesh and Blood of Jesus

 

(Jn 6:51-56)        (1 Cor 11:27)         (Mt 26:26-28)            ( Mk 14:22- 24)

 

(Lk 22:19-20)      (Lk 24:30-31)         (Jn 6:46-66)              (1 Cor 10:16)

 

(1Cor 11:23-30)    (Eph 4:3-6

 

 

 

 

Confessing sins to a priest

 

(Lv 19:20-22)             (Nm 5:6-7)               (Ps 32:5)                     (Prv 28:13)

 

(Is 43:25)                 (Mt 3:5-6)                 (Mt 16:19)                    (Mt 18:18)

 

(Mk 1:5)                   (Lk 15:18-19)            (Jn 20:21-23)                (Acts 19:18)

 

(2 Cor 2:10)             (2Cor 5:18-20)           (Jas 5:16)                     ( 1Jn 1:8)

 

 

Purgatory and prayers for the dead

 

(Tb 12:12)               (Eccl 12:14)               (Is 4:4)                         (Mal 3: 2-4)

 

(Mt 5:22-26)            (Mt 12:32)                 (2 Mac 12:40-46)           (1 Cor 3: 11-15)

 

(Lk 16:19-31 & Eph 4:8-10 & 1Pt 3:19-20)                                     (1 Cor 15:29)

 

(2Cor 5:10)              (2 Cor 7:1)                  (2Tm 1: 16-18)             (Heb 12:14,29)          

 

 

The Seven Sacrements

 Baptism (Mt 28:19) *(Mk 16:16)   (Jn 3:5)  (Acts 2:38) (Acts 16:15-33) (Acts 18:8) (Acts 22:16) ( Rom 6:3-4)*(1Cor 1:16)*(1Cor 6:11)*(Col 2:11-13)*(Titus 3:5)*(1Pt 3:21)*

Confirmation

(Wis 9:17)*(Acts 14-19)*(Acts 13:3)*(Acts 19:1-6)*(2 Cor 1:21-22)*(Eph 1:13)* (Heb 6:1-2)

Eucharist

(Mt 26:26-28)*(Mk 14:22-24)*(Lk 22: 19-20)*(Jn 6:46-66)*(1Cor 10:16)*(1Cor 11:23-30)

Marriage

(Gn 1:26-31)*(Gn 2:18-25)*(Mt 5:31-32)*(Mt 19:1-9)*(Mk 10:2-12)*(Lk 16:18)*(Rom 7:2-3)*(1Cor 7:1-24)*(1Cor 7:39)*(Eph 5:2,  21-33)*(Heb 13:4)*(1Pt 3:1-9)

Reconciliation (Confession-Penance)

(Ex32:20)*(Lv 19:20-21)*(Nm 5:6-7)*(Nm 14:19-23)*(Nm 17:11-13)*(Mt 16:19)*(Mt 18:18)*(Luke 15:18-19)*(John 20:23)*(Acts 19:18)*(1st Cor 5:3-5)*(2 Cor 2:6-11)*(2Cor 5:18-20)*(Jas 5:16)*(1 Jn 1:8-9)

Anointong of the sick (Mk 6:5)* (Mk 12-13)*(Lk13:13)*(Acts 9:17-18)*(1st Cor 12:9)*(1st Cor 12:30)*Jas 5:14-15)

Holy Orders

(Mt 18:18)*(Luke 10:16)*(Luke 22:19)*(Luke 24:47)*(Jn 13:20)*(Jn 15:5)*(Acts 6:6)*(Acts 15:2-6)*(Acts 20:17)*(Acts 20:28)*(Acts 21-18)*(1st Tm 3:1-7)*(1st Tm 4:14)*(1st Tm 5:17)*(2 Tm

1:6)*(Ti 1:5-9)*(1st Pt 5:1)

Matrimony

(Gn 1:26-31)*(Gn 2:18-25)*(Mt 5:31-32)*( Mt 19:1-9)*( Mk 10:2-12)*(Lk 16:18)*(Rom 7:2-3)*(1st Cor 7:1-24)*(1st Cor 7:39)*(Eph 5:21-33)*(Heb 13:4)*(1st Pt 3:1-9)




My Favorite Places



                                       Favorite Links




The Church was gathered and the faith believed before ever any part of the New Testament was even put into writing , and what writing was or is true scripture is known by the work of the Church even Luther and Tyndale must believe that.





                                     The precious piece of Clay ( a prolife story)
Jeremiah 18 tells us the story of the The Potter and the Clay. I had read this story, I had even taught this story in class; but on December 17, 2009, God made it personal and this story became a huge part of our lives. You see the Lord had a beautiful little piece of clay, and this clay was precious in God’s eyes. The Lord knew that this wonderful piece of clay was going to fall off the potter’s wheel and that he needed someone who was going to be able to help pick it up and place it back on the wheel and return it to him refined and perfected. Now the Lord God had heard the prayers of Mike and Molly but he had withheld the gift of fertility from them, but like Sarah and Abraham; Mike and Molly prayed. So the Lord created this precious clay and gave it to his daughter Lori, and for nine months she loved and cherished the clay. Then the Lord placed this beloved gift into the hands of Mike and Molly and they molded, they shaped and they gave the clay back to God in Baptism. The Lord was pleased and he answered their prayers and multiplied what they had given him times seven fold. Mike and Molly continued to shape the clay, when the clay would fall they would dust it off and place it back on the wheel. The little piece of clay would be loved and would become a part of them. After twenty three years that little piece of clay was perfected, it had become refined and shone with splendor, and the Lord was pleased. God had also heard the prayers of his daughter Lori for she too loved this precious little piece of clay and for twenty three years she had lamented the loss of it. The Lord listened to Lori’s prayers, for he had not forgotten that she too had given back to Him this precious little piece of clay. So the Lord decided to reward her faithfulness and he gave His little piece of clay back to Lori so that she may share it with Mike and Molly for all eternity. Then the Lord blessed Lori seven fold.        

 

By Lisa Fipps/Kokomo Perspective/ The Potters hands Lori and Chuck Pickard were high school sweethearts who started dating when they were 16. But by the time they were 20, their relationship was falling apart — and that’s when Lori found out she was pregnant.“I became an idiot and decided I wanted to party with my buddies,” Chuck said. So when Lori told him that she was pregnant, he acted as if the baby wasn’t his. He knew in his heart that it was. “I figured I’d give myself a few more months to party and then go and do the responsible thing and help her raise the baby,”Chuck said.Lori, who was working one job and going to school while living with her parents, assumed her mom and dad would help her take care of the baby until she could stand on her own two feet. But they were nearing retirement. They said they couldn’t help. Lori was hurt. She was angry at the world. No one was there for her when she needed them the most. She was forced to give up her child for adoption.From then until the minute the person with the agency handed Lori the pen to sign away her rights to the little girl, Lori hoped that her parents would say, “We’ve changed our minds and we’ll help you with the baby” or that Chuck would show up and help her raise the child.Her parents didn’t change their minds.Chuck didn’t show up.After giving birth, Lori held the little girl in her arms and cried as she told her how much she loved her, how she didn’t want to let go of her but had no choice, and how she would always stay in Kokomo so her daughter could find her when she grew up. She wrote page after page in a letter to the baby to explain everything and asked the agency to make sure she got it. She wanted the baby to know she never, ever wanted to give her up for adoption, but she just didn’t have any other option at the time.“In the letter, I gave her all the information about me so that when she went to find me it wouldn’t be hard,” Lori said.Lori would later learn her daughter never received that letter.When Chuck finished partying, he returned to Lori and was shocked to learn the baby had been given up for adoption. The two got back together, married, and had children of their own. Eventually, they got back into church, too, and are active in their Parish, St. Patrick Catholic Church.They didn’t keep the adoption a secret from their children. And every year when Lori bought a new calendar, the first thing she wrote down was “Baby F’s birthday” on April 5. F stood for Federspill, Lori’s maiden name.For the first five years after the baby’s birth, every April 5 Lori and Chuck would drive to nearby towns — Marion, Elwood, Tipton, anywhere nearby they could think of — where they assumed the baby lived with her adoptive parents. In each town, they would search through newspaper classifieds where people placed happy birthday notices and pictures of children. They were looking for their baby girl.They talked about her all the time. They never stopped thinking about her. They never stopped crying over the loss. They lived with regrets.“I didn’t let him forget it,” Lori said. “I was so angry that he hadn’t been there for me. I put him through hell. I cried every Mother’s Day and on her birthday. I told him I would never leave Kokomo.”“I even turned down jobs because she wouldn’t leave,” Chuck said.“Every time I saw a little girl who looked like her and was about her age, I wondered, ‘Is that her?’  Every time  there was a story on the news about a child being harmed or missing, I wondered. I had nightmares. Night terrors. I used to dream I’d find her and she would reject me. It was horrible from that time until Dec. 12, 2009, when she found me,” Lori said.On that night, Chuck received an e-mail that said, “If April 5, 1986, means anything to you or your wife, e-mail me.”Chuck yelled for Lori to come into the room. They read and re-read the e-mail. They replied back. “Yes.”In an instant, after 24 years, mother, father, and daughter Carolyn “Callie” Rose Bunch were reunited.“I couldn’t move!” Callie said. “I got the e-mail on my phone, and I was holding it very shakily and yelling for Jon, my husband. I was like, ‘They wrote me back. I can’t remember how to work my phone!’ Then when I read the message that verified that Lori was most likely my birth mom, I had no idea what to write back.”As it turns out, although Lori and Chuck had been searching for Callie for years, using a variety of avenues, and she had been searching for them, it turned out that all that was needed was a simple Google search.Callie typed in her birth date, St. Joseph Hospital, and Kokomo. Lori had posted information about the adoption and her search for her daughter on www.adoption.com.Although she had been searching for her birth parents for some time, Callie was nervous about finding them.“I was mostly scared that no one else knew about me and I would surprise people or ruin something for my birth mom,” Callie said. “I was also scared that she had tried to forget about me and I would ‘rip the Band-Aid’ off. But when I saw that Lori had posted on the adoption site back in 2003, I realized she had been looking for me for a while and I knew It would be amazing!”Callie, Lori, and Chuck switched from e-mailing to instant-messaging. The first thing Callie wanted to know was why. Why was she put up for adoption.“She said, ‘And please don’t tell me it’s because you loved me,’ ” Lori said.Lori told her everything. Then Lori asked the question that had weighed on her all of those years: “Were your adoptive parents good to you?”After all, all Lori had to go on was a list of possible parents. She had to choose who would raise her daughter based solely on words on paper. Lori wanted the parents to be Catholic, for the mother to be a stay-at-home mom, for the dad to have a job that didn’t require him to be out of town a lot, and for them to have a place in the country, where it was quiet and safe. She had just a few minutes to rank her choice of parents based on the handful on the list given to her.Callie assured Lori she had wonderful parents.“I am the luckiest girl In the world to have two sets of amazing parents!” Callie said. “And my adoptive parents are so supportive and excited for me. That makes it so much easier!”As it turns out, Mike and Molly had been Lori’s No. 1 choice.“If we would have looked  through thousands of families and couldn’t have picked a better family,”Lori said.Then Lori mustered the courage to ask the question: “Will you ever forgive me for putting you up for adoption?”Callie’s answer came quickly. “I already have.”Lori, Chuck, and Callie stayed up until 5 a.m. chatting via the Internet. Then they talked by phone.Five days later, on Dec. 17, Lori and Chuck drove to the outskirts of Toledo, Ohio, to meet Callie. When they got there, she was there — along with her husband, daughter, twin boys, adoptive parents, Mike and Molly, and Callie’s six siblings. (Mike and Molly had tried unsuccessfully for years to conceive before adopting Callie; after adopting her, they were able to conceive and had six more children.)“I was excited but scared to death,” Lori said. “But when we got there and saw her, it was easy for some reason.”“Callie made a bee line to Lori,” Chuck said.“And we haven’t shut up since,” Lori said, noting they call or instant message daily.“I always wondered if my birth mother remembered my birthday and wondered what I looked like or if I was something she wanted to forget,” Callie said.Her sister and brother, Lori and Chuck’s other two kids, Taylor and Adam, could easily answer that question. They told Callie that “Baby F’s birthday” had been marked on every calendar. They said they grew up hearing about her and always felt like their older sister was very much a part of the family but just away at college or something all of this time.Callie’s photos line the walls of Lori and Chuck’s home right beside their other two children. Not only are the parents of three, but the grandparents of three.“I can’t stop staring at them,” Lori said, keeping her eyes on the photos of all of her children and grandchildren during the interview and smiling all the while.When Callie came to Kokomo for Christmas, it was then that Lori realized how difficult all of these years had been on her parents.“I forgave them years ago, but it never dawned on me how hard it was for them to tell me to give her up for adoption,” Lori said. “That had to be rough for them. When I told my mom we found her, she cried and cried and cried. Then she said, ‘All of those Rosaries paid off.’ ”Although Lori and Chuck had regrets all of those years, they’re still happy those chose adoption over abortion.“For all of those years, I had hope that I’d be with her again,”Lori said. “Abortion kills that hope.”“We participate in the Life Chain every year,” Chuck said. “From now on, I’m going to make sure we hold the sign that says, ‘Adoption is a loving option.’ ”“Lori and I are  great examples of why pro-life is the only choice,” Callie said. “Think if Lori had chosen another option. I wouldn’t be here. My beautiful children wouldn’t be here, and the purpose that God created us for would never be realized.”“When we met Callie and her family the first time in Ohio, one of her brothers’ came up to us and said, ‘Thanks for giving Callie to us.’ ”“And I said thank you for giving me Callie,” Lori said.“It’s been perfect,” Chuck said. “We couldn’t have scripted this any better.”“I think every single aspect of this is God, from the circumstances of Lori getting pregnant with me to now. My adoptive parents wanted a child so much, so God used Lori to give them that gift! And then he planned for the exact right time for us to re-unite.” 




Hail Full of Grace

 

        Hail full of grace the Lord is with you blessed art thou amongst women, when we hear this reading from Luke at Mass we generally picture the angel hovering over Mary as if he is making a proclamation. The language used would suggest otherwise. The “Vines Expository Dictionary” states that the word Chairo is the Greek word translated into the English ‘hail”; the “Vines” goes on to say that this word is used in the Gospels as a salutation. Salutations were used for royalty, such as “Hail King of the Jews” or “Hail Caesar,” by usage of the word Chairo it is implied that Gabriel was more likely in a kneeling position when he addressed Mary as “Hail full of grace.” The angel wasn’t making a proclamation he was showing Mary homage. This is the only time in the New Testament where an angel interacts with a human and the angel is the one giving the honor, instead of receiving it.  According to Catholic apologist Tim Staples, the Greek words used for “Hail full of grace” were Kecharitomene, Staples explains that the word is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning to fill or endow with grace. Mary wasn’t she who had been graced, and she was more then just highly favored, Mary was “full” of grace. You and I have been graced and we are highly favored at times, but we are not full of grace. Imagine walking out of the confessional doing your penance and then receiving the Eucharist immediately afterwards, this is the closest that you and I will ever come to being full of grace. Now imagine Mary being in that state her whole life; twenty four hours a day seven days a week.

        One of the sadist verses in the bible is in the book of Judges; speaking of Samson scripture says “and he did not realize that the Lord had left him.” Think about that “the Lord had left him” imagine how heart wrenching that must have been when he finally did realize it. If that is one of the sadist verses then Luke 1 has to be one of the most joyous. “The Lord is with you” imagine the joy you would feel if you heard these words being spoken directly to you. Now imagine that it is an angel who is saying them. “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you” Gabriel wasn’t telling Mary she was full of grace; he was in awe of her being full of grace. Gabriel had seen Abraham and Moses and Elijah he had witness the holiness of Sarah and Rachael, but he had never seen a creature that was “full of grace” and remain in that state. When Gabriel became aware that he was going to visit one that was full of grace, the words “the Lord is with you” were a natural response. To be full of grace the Lord must be with this woman, for she has been perfected in grace, Gods master piece.

        Blessed are you among woman. Eve was blessed with pureness she was truly blessed. Born sinless Eve was the example of what all women were suppose to be, when we think of women who were blessed Eve must come to mind. But envy got in the way for she wanted to be like God. Blessed was Sarah to have given birth in her old age, but only after she had a lapse of faith and had given her servant girl to her husband. Rachael the matriarch of the twelve tribes of Israel was also blessed but she too had sinned, for jealousy had filled her heart towards her sister. All of these great women had been blessed, but there was only one who was to be called “blessed of all women” for only this one had not sinned, the bible records the sin of all of these women except the one that was “full of grace,” for there was no sin to record. There was only one woman whose voice alone would cause the babe to leap within his mothers womb, only one that the angels would show homage, only one that would be worthy of the highest honor possible, to be called Mother of the word made flesh.

        Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Gabriel never tells Mary she is blessed because of that which is in her womb, instead he tells her that her seed is blessed because it, is in her womb. Of all women possible it is her that has been chosen, it is her womb that contains the Holy One. Mary was not made holy because of the prize she carried for nine months no she was made holy before that. Just as the Ark of the Covenant was consecrated and made holy before the contents were placed within it so too was Mary the New Ark, consecrated and made holy before the living word was placed into her womb. Here we have a woman full of grace and then “Grace” himself is seated into her womb, I would imagine her soul overflowed with grace.

        What was to become of this woman, who so much honor and respect had been bestowed upon? Revelations tell us of a woman in heaven clothed with the sun (son) with a crown upon her head, an image of a queen, our queen. Why does John use this image of a queen when referring to Mary? It is because of an ancient tradition in Israel, the tradition of the Gevirah, the Queen Mother. King Solomon instituted the honor of the queen mother for Bathsheba his own mother and this continued with succeeding Davidic kings. We can see how it was perfected by the “King of Kings” who fulfilled the role of the Davidic kingship. Like all other Kings in the Davidic line this one too would have his mother setting at his side as he reigned in his glory. Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, and who is it that sits at Christ right hand? John and James requested this spot, but our Lord told them that the spot was not His to give, not even Peter was worthy of it. In the davidic kingdom the Queen Mother sits at the right hand, and Christ fullfilled the Davidic kingship perfectly. We that are blessed to be a part of “The Kingdom” are set apart as the only heirs to have a spotless King and Queen presiding over our homeland. Christ is our King and Mary our Queen, and we the lowly peasants are adopted sons of the Father; that makes Christ our brother. If Christ is our brother, then what is our relationship to His mother? That would make us adopted children of Mary. We the people within the kingdom reflect the type of royalty that sits upon the throne, may our lives give honor and glory to our Blessed Lord and our Blessed Mother, our King and our Queen. Amen      






Born and raised in the Baptist faith, I watched as the church of my youth under went division. One week we were Missionary Baptist the next week we were Southern Baptist; it ripped our tiny church apart. My brother was a Deacon at our Church; my mother had taught Sunday school and my sister in-law had taught youth group, as for me I sat there week after week filling a spot in the pew. After the death of my Father, less then a month after my 15th birthday, I decided it was time for me to quit “Church”. I didn’t like it, and never felt that I was truly a part of that church. There always seem to be something missing. There was so much infighting within our small church. I don’t think anyone knew where the authority was; that’s the problem with “bible only” folks, with a church of 200 people you have 200 people reigning as the authority, and sole interpreter of scripture. The pastor might be a nice guy but if his interpretation of scripture is different then yours then he’s wrong, and looked upon with suspicion. There was just too much chaos, listening to the pastor read from the book of Acts and talk about the Church that Christ had formed and the teachings of the Apostles seem so different then our church. The Apostles had laid hands on men and ordained them, in my church we voted on who was going to be our pastor, I don’t recall ever reading in the bible where the congregation hand picked their own pastor; something was amiss. Figuring that all of Christianity was in the same position that we were in I gave up on Christianity.
    Like most poor kids that grew up in the 70s and 80s I turned to alcohol and drugs when I was 15. One night while in an alcohol and drug induced haze I met the girl I would eventually marry. Lori came from a large Catholic family, and had invited me to Christmas midnight mass two weeks after we met. The only thing I knew about Catholics was that they were not Christians and they had a strange attraction to Mary. Catholics had Mary statues in their yards and spoke in a strange language; they did things different from us Christians. As I walked up the front steps of the gothic style Church at midnight I was a little nervous; would I understand what they were saying, I knew they knelt and wondered what was I suppose to do during that time. As we walked into the church I was immediately in awe, the smell of incense, the candles, the statues, and all the people. We had arrived about forty five minutes early. Why? What do we do for forty five minutes? As we entered the pew Lori knelt and began to pray, I had never dated a girl who had prayed in front of me, was I in over my head? I couldn't get involved in "church" it conflicted with my new way of life. Besides what would my friends say? Then I sense it, the presence, there was something, someone in here that wasn’t in my old church, there was a holy presence. I had never felt the presence of Christ like I did that night. I was hooked. I had never witnessed the liturgy before, I was blown away the book of Revelations came alive. In my old church we prayed but this was different, the priest was actually talking to God not at him or about him, but directly to him. I needed to slow down I wasn’t the church going type; I was the funny guy, the party guy. I wasn’t ready to give that up even though I knew at that first mass that some day I would become a part of all of this. Lori and I continued to date for the next few years, when my drug and alcohol abuse had reached a peak, I choose to end my relationship with Lori, even though I always knew in my heart that she would one day become my wife. It was during this time that God had tried to grab my attention; Lori became pregnant and was forced to place the baby for adoption, partly due to my unwillingness to step up and take responsibility at the time. I had planned on stepping up to the plate on my time; I soon learned God’s ways are not our ways.
    Lori and I were married a few years after high school, the drugs and alcohol continued and Lori became lax in her faith; mainly due to me not wanting to get up on Sunday mornings, because of a Saturday night hangover. We attended Mass on Easter, Palm Sunday, and Midnight Mass Christmas eve. 
   January 1990 God done the only thing he could have to get me off drugs, he gave me a son. A month after the birth of our child I walked away from the drugs and a few friends walked away from me. That’s the way it works, you want to loose friends get married, you want to loose more, have kids, you want to see them all walk away from you dedicate your life to Christ. My Mother died New Years Eve 93, I immediately felt her prayers, but still I ran, God hounded me, trying to save me from myself, but I refused to listen I just wasn’t ready. Late in 93 Lori suffered a miscarriage, I now believe we needed to go through this pain to help us along on our journey. I felt an immediate connection to this child and knew that I had a “new” prayer warrior in heaven the communion of saints was becoming a reality.
    Taylor Nicole came kicking and screaming into the world in 1994, and it seemed that my child in heaven and my mother’s prayers were now being combined with my mother in-laws prayers. In 1995 I began to feel that God was once again calling me, why didn’t he understand that I wasn’t ready for this, I complained “lord I’m not the kind of guy you need leave me alone please” apparently there are times when God doesn't listen; thanks be to God for those times. 
    During the time between 93 and mid 95 I had three different jobs, two factories I had worked at, had closed and I had begun working at a third. At the first factory I had worked with my mothers assistant pastor (yea God's like that) and at the second factory God had placed me on afternoons working with James, who just happen to be a Jehovah’s Witness (talk about God having a sense of humor.) Things were heating up, God was now sending in troops. 
    I started working at the Pottery in 95 and you guessed it, this time God put me beside a Pentecostal preacher, the factory known for its good ole boys was the last place one expects to encounter the almighty. I stumbled upon a prayer meeting one day while at lunch; invited to “hang out” and eat lunch with the guys I accepted and began meeting everyday with my new friends. God had done it he had finally got me to listen. I started reading my bible and was starting to get excited. My new friends were great, we prayed together sometimes right in the main isle, when one of us had a problem the other guys would come together and pray about it. My new Christian friends were teaching me that I needed to sit under a good bible preacher, I needed to join a church and I needed a study bible. I had been using the Living Bible that my mother in-law had given us as a wedding gift. I was naïve, and when I went to a used book store and bought a New American Catholic study bible, my new friends were not impressed, and when I told them that I had found a church and was going to join they were dumbfounded. They had done everything in their might to get me to see the errors of tradition, and liturgy. Some of my “new friends” even proclaimed that the Pope was the antichrist and that the church was the great whore of Babylon. 
    I was confused, these guys had been so supportive but now they seemed to be angry that I was joining a church the very thing they had recommended. I started to wonder, what if these guys are right maybe the Catholic Church isn’t for me. One day as I was rummaging through one of our closets I came across a book that had been tossed in there while moving into the house in 1990. I looked at the cover and I recognized it as "the other" book that my mother in-law had given us as a wedding gift. God has impeccable timing, “The Faith of Millions” was my first experience with Catholic apologetics as I began reading the book my mind came alive it made so much sense, I had never understood anything this much in my life. I started to subscribe to “this Rock Magazine” and apologetics became my passion. I decided to join the RCIA classes; my new friends were concerned one of them even came to one of the classes in the hope of “saving” me from Rome. On April 6th 1996 at the Easter Vigil I was to be baptized, I searched the pews for some support from my “new friends” to my disappointment none had shown up, this was one of the most important moments in my life, and no one from the prayer meetings at work had cared enough to show up. It was at this point that I knew my life was going to get tougher. I was beginning to understand Christ words, “You must pickup your cross and follow me.”
    I had helped Lori walk away from her faith and that was going to come back to haunt me. The closer I got to God the further away I got from my wife. With my “new” friends unwilling to listen to me discuss my “Catholic” faith and my old friends gone, I entered into a very dark place. Lori and I both were terribly lonely, she wondered why we just couldn’t go back to the way it had been, and I didn’t understand what the big deal was, why wouldn’t she come to Mass with us, after all it was her faith, she had introduced me to it. I think we both felt betrayed. Lori wasn’t interested in hearing about my new found faith, and I wasn’t willing to discuss anything else but my faith; our marriage suffered. At one point we had called the realtor to put our house up for sale and had even looked at separate apartments, divorce lurked around the corner. We just didn’t see any other way out. I desperately needed someone to talk too I was bursting with joy but I couldn’t show it at home, it was just too painful. It was during this time that God introduced me to a few of His friends, the saints. 
    I began devouring the lives of the saints, and it wasn’t long until I saw how easy I had it, I wasn’t being threatened with death I was being lead through the desert. These great saints had died for their faith I was getting a little sand in my shoes. God was using me to forge this path for my family, and I had to stay the course. 
    Adam and I had been going to Mass by ourselves for about three years (Lori and Taylor went with us on “special days”,) and then God sent us Father Ted. Father Ted was a priest fresh out of seminary, the whole parish fell in love with him, Lori included. We began attending Mass together as a family for the first time. Father opened up a perpetual adoration chapel, and to my surprise Lori signed up before I did. It was announced one Sunday that the church was in need of Religious ed teachers, and again to my surprise Lori suggested we take the job; I have continued to teach religious Education the last few years with Adam at my side. Today we attended Mass as a family every Sunday, and the first thing we do if we are going out of town for the weekend, is to find a Church so that we can go to Mass. God is good. Looking back I see Gods hand at work during our entire marriage, in 23 years of marriage we have never lived more then five minutes from our parish. Both kids have served at the Altar, and Lori and I both attended Christ Renews His Parish retreat weekends, while life can be difficult living with a convert, Lori seems to have accepted my flaws and over enthusiasm the same way she always has, with patience and love.
    
I have been a Catholic for 14 years now and I still feel that joy I felt that first Easter Vigil when I received my first Eucharist. I thank God daily that he heard the prayers of two worried mothers, a “little” saint and continues to listen to them to this day. Without their prayers it’s hard telling how far the two of us would have strayed. I thank God for remembering this little Baptist kid and for helping him swim the Tiber to make it home, to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. To be a part of the Church and to receive the Eucharist when I’m in a state of grace is my passion, and the cause of my joy. In December 2009 our daughter that had been placed for adoption was reunited with us, and like us, Callie was on her own journey of faith. The Lord had waited for us all to be active is our relationship with him before bringing us together. Callie brings with her a wonderful husband, and 3 beautiful children and a wonderful extended family. Another factory has shut down and God has me going in a different direction, it is not a path that I would have chosen for myself; Gods ways are not mans ways. 
As I go down this path I know that my wife, my family, my parish and three very special mothers are praying for me, and I know that one day as a result of their prayers I will become the saint that I was created to be. As I look back I see the hand of God at work, just as it has been my entire life. Thanks be to God, for his mercy endures forever Amen


If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and the Tabernacle is a temple for the real presence of Christ, and the Church building is a Temple of the Father, then when we walk into a Church are we not gathering in the presence of the Trinity? Yes we are, so when we are inside of a Church we need to be prayerful and respectful. How could we not be in awe.


 



the ad’s at the top of the page are in no way sponsored by myself or by anything on this page