The Our Lady of Lourdes rosary that led to my becoming Catholic
Reflection posted on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary October 7, 2014
On Saturday, September 6, 2014, I was privileged to speak before the Apostolate of Fatima after the First Saturday Mass about my conversion to Catholicism. Because I was giving my story to an organization devoted to Our Lady and because I became Catholic through a rosary, I focused my talk on my conversion through the rosary and my relationship with Our Lady. But because I wanted those in attendance to get more out of my talk than listening to me talk about myself, I also applied the talk to how a relationship with our lady helps us to get through life and to grow in spirituality. We are all on our own personal journey and the Blessed Mother helps us along the way. Pope Francis has said, “If any Christian does not think of Mary as his or her own mother, then they are an orphan.” The Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary, draws everyone to the family of God. What follows is a very short summary of the points I made (or was going to make because time was short).
Mary is a perfect example of doing God’s will. She received her mission from the angel at the Annunciation, she first asked, “How?” and after being told, simply said, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Each of us has our own annunciation, our mission from God, and while ours probably will not be delivered by an angel, unlike Mary who was on a spiritual level that allowed her to readily receive angels into her life (we would probably be terrified!), we are being called for a specific mission and role that involves our own individual talents and abilities in a way that no one else can. She can help us to discern God’s will for our lives, to listen to that voice inside our hearts, so that we can find out what our mission is and how we are to lead it out.
Reflection during Diocese of Pittsburgh Deacon and Spouse Retreat September 12, 2014
Tonight I went alone to the chapel to pray before Night Prayer was scheduled to begin. As I entered it was very dark, only two faint lights in the rear of the chapel and the sanctuary candle in front near the tabernacle were the only lights available. I had come from the evening social in the bright dining room to the chapel where I found myself stumbling to find a pew in the dark. But I did settle in place for what I thought would be thirty minutes or so of me feeling uncomfortable and alone in the dark.
However, as I began to pray I noticed that I was not alone, there were other human forms around me!
Christ the Savior by Deacon David Miller
Pictured here is an icon of Christ the Savior that somehow through the grace of God came from my very hands (and the help of Sister Rosaire!). This is the story of my brush with God, how I came to paint an image of Jesus and how the process deepened my relationship with our Lord.
After Mass one weekend Gerogette Belobrajdic, a parishioner of Holy Sepulcher Parish, asked me to bless some icons that she had brought with her. I love icons and after blessing them I complimented her on their beauty and asked where she had purchased them so that I might get one for myself. She informed me that she had painted them herself at an icon class she had taken with Sister Rosaire Kopczenski at the Sisters of St. Francis in Millvale, just outside of Pittsburgh.
The Journey Home set with Karen and host Marcus Grodi
The Journey Home is a program on the Catholic network EWTN that each week features a guest who tells their journey of faith into the Catholic Church. This coming Monday, July 28 at 8 pm ET I will be appearing on the show to tell my story of entering the Catholic Church after growing up a Protestant Lutheran. The story involves a rosary, a robbery, and a number of important people, most of whom I forget to mention, and just about everyone I actually do mention, I forget to mention by name (including my wife Karen!).
Dianne Machesney is the chair of the St. Teresa of Avila Parish (Pittsburgh, PA) Pro-Life Committee and about 12 years ago she started doing a monthly newsletter of pro-life issues for the parish bulletin. The newsletter has expanded to include other Catholic parishes and non-Catholic churches to educate and keep life issues on people’s radar.
If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter for yourself, your parish, or your church you can contact Dianne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the most recent editions in PDF Format:
Here are a few reflections that I have on the film Son of God having seen the movie at the theater this week. This is not a review of any sort, we know the story and how it ends after all, and obviously if we are Christians it is a movie that we should see, if more than anything so that Hollywood makes more movies about faith and the Bible, but I thought that I would write just a few of the themes that struck me as I watched the film, such as God, love, joy, prayer, forgiveness, Mass, and Gospel.