• Essay

    A Miracle on Wilson Street

    I did not grow up going to confession.  Frankly, I did not grow up confessing much at all.  The few confessions I can remember always followed getting caught.  Though typically not immediately following getting caught but with a couple attempts at lying and subterfuge thrown into the middle.  There was the time my friend and I shot bottle rockets off the roof of his parents house, hiding behind the dormer when the sheriff drove up.  Or the time that I was a resident alien in the subdivision next door and thought it would be a good idea to join up with a group of 5th grade thugs in throwing a…

  • Essay

    The Tau of Football

    None of my boys showed any real interest in football until Oliver. Oliver loves football. Oliver contemplates the game in a very cerebral way. He has checked out almost every book at the library on the topic of football. I remember one evening Oliver explaining to me that he wanted to learn the “strategy” of the game. He was looking for more comprehensive literature, something that went beyond the facts and figures. He was only five or six years old. Oliver is a die hard Notre Dame fan. I sometimes think that he and Knute Rockne are on a first name basis. Right now, sitting on Oliver’s bedroom dresser, is…

  • Essay

    Why Do Squatters Have Rights?

    We have all heard the term “squatter’s rights” thrown out when someone is trying to justify their possession of some place.   Perhaps it was their favorite chair in the family room. Or maybe they were calling “shotgun” for the ride into town.  But the term “squatter’s rights” has siginificant meaning and a real historical purpose.  The legal name for “squatter’s rights” is adverse possession.  It allows a legal claim to someone who has occupied a property that was not initially theirs.  Think of it!  You own a piece of land and somehow it gets handed over to someone else.  How could this ever be right or just?  It sounds positively un-American!  Yet it…

  • Essay

    After the Election

      In her essay “Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets”( published in On Looking into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society), American historian Gertude Himmelfarb begins with the quote, “No man is a hero to his valet.”  This quote was attributed to the Duke of Condé during the reign of Louis XIV.  Himmelfarb then quotes the philosopher George Hegel who expounds upon the quote, “No man is a hero to his valet, not because the former is no hero, but because the latter is a valet.” In our current age these quotes evoke images from the television show Downton Abbey as the valet Bates brushes lint off the shoulder of…

  • Essay

    Looking back at the day of the Boston Marathon bombing 2013

    It’s Tuesday morning and I am sitting in my hotel room next to my wife.  Just a few hours ago I was afraid I might never see her again.  My memory of the day is a strange contrast of joy and sorrow.  But most of all it was a day in which I felt the hand of God in a very real way. Amy and I woke at five in the morning to get dressed and have our breakfast.  At six we made our way to the subway station next to our hotel for the short trip down to Boston Commons where the buses would be collecting us for our…

  • Essay

    How Steve Jobs Influenced My Life

    In mid the 1970s when I was 6 or 7 years old, Steve Jobs sold his VW van and set to work building the Apple I with Wozniak.  It was a home computer kit that you put together yourself.  By 1978, the more advanced and already assembled Apple II was available.  By 1980 the Commodore VIC-20 was released and many others would soon follow. In 1981 when I was 12 years old, my 13 year old cousin Brian and I pooled our money and purchased a Sinclair ZX81 kit.  We couldn’t afford the fancy pre-assembled machines and although the Apple 1 sold for $666.66 the Sinclair ZX81 kit was only…

  • Essay

    Thoughts on “The coming evangelical collapse” or Why I became Catholic

    This is a response to the article, “The coming evangelical collapse” (capitalization as in the published work) written by Michael Spencer and published in the Christian Science Monitor on March 10, 2009. First, a small disclaimer… If you are Evangelical, Episcopal, Anglican, or other Protestant; please do not be offended by my thoughts. I am making a statement about why I made certain decisions and I in no way believe these are the only acceptable decisions that could be made. I believe I am still in full communion with you and I hope you believe the same about me. In order to understand my comments in context it is important…