Suicide Prevention 1

March 22, 2018

The following is my weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard HS parent community:

To our Bishop Chatard parent community:

We face a sobering reality that the number of suicides among teenagers has steadily increased in the state of Indiana since 2007. The situation is such that the Department of Education is requiring that all teachers and administrators be trained in suicide prevention beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

Thanks to Social Worker Becky Wilde, and Principal Joe Hansen, Bishop Chatard is getting ahead of the requirement by engaging our staff in this training now. It will be completed in two sessions, the first having taken place this past Monday morning, the second on this upcoming Monday. The presenter is Carlabeth Mathias, MS, LCSW, LMHC from Mathias Counseling and Consulting.

I thought it might be helpful to share the information we received and discussed in those sessions. Informing you is yet another step we can take to help our youth.

The suicide prevention training is called QPR. This is an acronym for Question…Persuade…Refer. Continue reading


Loving as Jesus Intends

March 21, 2018

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me… (John 8:41)

The Gospel of John is packed with references to love. What does it mean to love Jesus? How does He intend for us to love?

It is a challenging thought, loving in such a way as to please God. It might be easier to wrap our minds around loving acts. We love as Jesus intends through loving acts done for others.


I get in an argument with a co-worker and we are angry with one another. I may not be ready to hug him or invite him to lunch right away, but I can love him as Jesus intends through the loving act of forgiveness or tolerance.

I choose to go out and serve the homeless twice per month. When I do that, I am not only loving those I serve. I am loving as Jesus intends. Through the loving act of of serving the homeless, I am loving all of the homeless, the poor, and the disenfranchised, many of whom I will never meet.

The loving act of prayer allows us to love as Jesus intends. We may feel like we cannot touch the lives of all who suffer, so many who need our love – but we can pray for them.

We can’t put an end to war on our own. We can however, exhibit the loving act of peacefulness.

It is incredibly challenging to love as Jesus intends us to love. Breaking the challenge up into small loving acts may make it more manageable for us.

In the Highs and the theLows

March 20, 2018

But with their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (Numbers 21:4-9)

In the time leading up to this grumbling, God, working through Moses, had delivered the Israelites from over 400 years of slavery, spared the lives of their firstborn sons, parted the Red Sea to allow them safe passage, destroyed the Egyptian soldiers who were pursuing them, made quail available for them to eat in the desert, and dropped manna from the sky.

Each time God saved them, the Israelites sang His praises.

But how quickly they forgot these many blessings from God. Now, when they did not like the lunch menu, their praises quickly became, “But what have you done for me lately?”

The mistake the Israelites made, and that we often still make today, was in thinking that God was only involved in the extremes of their lives. They only recognized His presence in the highest of highs, and considered Him absent in the lowest of lows. They praised Him for the highs and cursed Him for the lows.

They paid Him little attention otherwise. Why should they? After all, God is really only a factor in our time of need. When those times pop up, we call on Him for help. Sometimes He delivers and sometimes He doesn’t.

Is that how we view our relationship with God? He is only with us in the highs of our lives and abandons us in the lows? Where does He go in-between? Where is He hiding?

What we often lose sight of is that God is always with us. There are countless moments in our lives when God reveals Himself to us and is truly present.

Feast of St. Joseph: Obeying God’s Will

March 19, 2018 – Solemnity of St. Joseph

The following comes from the website, The Catholic Gentleman

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers and fathers, a simple carpenter who obeyed God’s will immediately and completely—and God was glorified.

Twice Joseph’s gut told him one thing, but when God’s will was the polar opposite, twice he obeyed. Joseph intended to divorce Mary. But instead, he followed the angel’s instructions to marry her and to raise the Christ child as his own (Matt. 1). Even though it didn’t make any sense, he obeyed immediately and completely. Joseph then worked hard to provide for his family. Yet he heeded the angel a second time, and moved his family to Egypt, even though it didn’t make any sense (Matt. 2:13-18). Joseph obeyed immediately and completely.

And God was glorified.

We can look to this patron saint of workers and fathers to help us go about our business in obedience to our one true Father in Heaven. We can learn from this carpenter how to trust God with the measurements when it’s time to make a cut. Like him, we can live in such a way that the word “did” will be highlighted.

Saint Joseph. The man who did. And God was glorified.

Saint Joseph pray for us, that we may obey God’s will immediately and completely, so that God may be glorified. Holy Spirit, come. O most adorable Jesus, give us obedient hearts so that, like Saint Joseph, we may join you in bringing glory to the Father in Heaven. Amen.


Written on Our Hearts

March 18, 2018 – Fifth Sunday of Lent

I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

I love the image of God writing on our hearts. There is such an intimacy to it.

I picture God forming us in His own image, and just before breathing life into us, writing “Be Mine” or “Friends Forever” on our hearts.

God has claimed us as His own by writing on our hearts. He knows us inside and out and accepts us for who we are. All He asks in return is that we hold a place for Him in our hearts.


Prayer of St. Patrick

March 17, 2018 – Feast of St. Patrick

The Prayer of St. Patrick
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.



Into the Face of Each Person

March 16, 2018

When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from. (John 7:25-30)

John’s words from today’s Gospel offer us a gentle reminder not to judge others.

We have a tendency to lump people into categories based on how they look, talk, or act. We really haven’t changed our thinking much since high school, when we identified fellow students as cool kids, losers, or nerds. The problem with this, of course, is that you never know what may lie beneath the surface.

If we look with love into the face of each person we meet, we will see the face of Christ. If we don’t, we may judge that long-haired preacher to be one of the losers, and miss His message entirely.