To my Catholic pals…

To my Catholic pals conflicted about the recent Supreme Court ruling–feeling the pride but also worrying about betraying their faith–I respectfully ask you to consider:

1. It wasn’t long ago that hellfire awaited those who ate meat on Friday. The Catholic Church changed.

2. For a long time, the church mandated Latin for services. The Catholic Church changed.

3. The whole mandatory celibacy thing for priests is drifting into the history books. The Catholic Church will have changed and survived.

4. Paul and Peter had a knock down/drag out over whether or not circumcision was the way to go (Still waiting for the movie version of “Incident at Antioch” Come on Hollywood, get on it.). Okay, the Catholic Church may not have actually changed on this one, but it indicated that its leaders could disagree fiercely about something and still survive.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I’m no theologian, but I do know that no religion that has survived hundreds of years practices its faith–and holds to the exact same beliefs–as it did when it was founded.



Father’s Day, 2015

I became a father when I caught my first sight of Emily, the pioneer kid in the Harry quartet. I won’t pretend to try to describe that feeling. Her arrival in my life changed the way the stars looked.

butterfly search

with Jonah

And, boy, did she make me smile. Still does.

Then came Katie. Maggie. Jonah. Magnificent creations all, and all grew in love and chaos, teaching me that the heart, an amazing metaphorical muscle expands and expands and expands.

But the world, well…

I lost my father when I was young. I lost my daughter, Maggie, when she was young. So Father’s Day, it’s a roller coaster for me.

Because the brain, a stubborn mound of stuff, can hang on tighter to the times you think you failed as a father. “What about me?” say the successful moments, raising their hands to get a bit of attention. But when they get called on and try to speak, the failures rudely talk over them. Loud and relentless.

Mags on the BCR


I’m sure I’m not the only father who, every day, tries to come to terms with the life he’s led and the lives he had a part in launching.  And every year, here comes Father’s Day–a day devoted to those of us who stumble, walk into walls, and accept an honor we often feel we don’t deserve. We lose sleep, find truth, dance,  cry, and see the universe swirling in the hair at the top of tiny heads. Father’s Day underlines, boldfaces, and italicizes our feelings about what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, and what we could have done a helluva lot better.

Having a father around to say “you’re doing okay” would have been nice. If you’ve got a kid who is also a parent, consider doing that some point soon if you haven’t recently.

greek trio

Katie and Em with son-in-law Benj

The greatest honor of my life has been being called Dad. And the greatest challenge has been trying to deserve it.