Joyful Sadness

August 26, 2020

Lately, I have seen many pictures posted on social media by parents as they drop their kids off at college. It’s a tough time for parents, eliciting a range of emotions. The following is a reflection I wrote 10 years ago (Wow, I’m getting old!) when we dropped off our youngest for his freshman year at Rose Hulman.

Carol and I took our baby to college last Friday. We loaded two boxes, “everything he needed” according to Robby, into our car and headed for Terre Haute and the campus of Rose-Hulman. It should be noted that we needed to drive two cars when we took our daughters to college. Robby, or Rob as we discovered he is now calling himself, is the youngest of our four children. We had been privately dreading this day. Not because he wasn’t ready, he has been ready for a long time. He is goofy and a bit of a homebody; but he is reasonably mature, very intelligent, and somewhat independent. He is focused on his future.

Continue reading

Feast of St. Lawrence

August 10, 2020

Today is the feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Please offer prayers for me and my fellow deacons on the feast of this prominent deacon in the Church!

The following is the prayer I began my day with today, asking for the intercession of St. Lawrence:

St. Lawrence, who in your youth suffered and died for the faith, hear my prayers. Obtain for me deep faith, strong hope, a sincere love of God and neighbor, and humble obedience. 

Inspire me to come to the aid of the poor, the needy, the sick, and the afflicted. Lead me in the path of conversion. May God’s Kingdom spread far and wide on earth.

Intercede for my prayers for today: For the repose of the souls of those that lost their lives in the explosion in Beirut, for all of the schools trying their best to provide for the needs of their students during the challenging times, for the homeless, for those impacted financially by the coronavirus, and for a personal intention I hold in the silence of my heart.

Finally, grant that I live as a worthy person of God.  



Before Choosing a “Side”…

July 4, 2020

As we celebrate July 4th and the birth of our nation, a few thoughts for your consideration:

I have tuned into the nightly news and followed social media ad nauseam in recent months, watching events in our country unfold: the ups and downs of the pandemic and the arguments and conflict that have ensued; the passionate fight for the rights of all Americans; and the organized effort to address the issue of systemic racism in our country.

It seems that it is human nature to quickly choose a “side.” These types of challenging situations are very seldom viewed objectively, as topics to be presented and discussed. Society instead views tough situations subjectively; strong emotions and the intense desire to be right overrule any inclination toward open dialogue. Continue reading

Daily Prayer for Support

June 25, 2020

I have had several requests for the daily prayer I quoted in my most recent homily. I am happy to share it:

Walk with Me Today – Daily Prayer for Support

My God, walk with me today.

When I am on the right path, affirm me.

When I come to a fork in the road, guide me.

When I am lazy and unmotivated, push me to move forward.

When fear stops me in my tracks, assure me of your presence.

When I fall, help me up.

And when I am so tired I cannot take another step, carry me…

until I am once again renewed in Your love.

Let all things I do today be done to glorify You.


 Written by Deacon Rick Wagner

8 Years a Deacon!

June 23, 2020

Today marks the eighth anniversary of my ordination!

Before deacon formation and ordination, I went about my business: I went to work, went to Mass on Sundays, and prayed occasionally. However, I always had a nagging feeling that something else was expected of me. I felt like I was supposed to be doing more with my faith life, more for God.

Since ordination, I go about God’s business: I pray the Liturgy of the hours daily, assist at 2-5 Masses per week, preach regularly, baptize babies, witness marriages, assist at funerals, write a daily blog, visit the sick, work with the homeless…in addition to my paying jobs.


The fact is, since ordination I have never been busier. At the same time, I have never felt more fulfilled. I am more in love with Carol. I am a better father and grandfather (I think). I have a stronger faith. I care more about others. Most importantly, I have better relationship with God and am more open to His love.

Ordination is a gift I do not take for granted. I love being a deacon.

Happy anniversary to my sixteen deacon brothers who were ordained with me on June 23, 2012. Please keep us all in prayer today.

Shameless Plug (on behalf of my wife)

My wife, Carol, is a very gifted artist. We are in the midst of getting a website set up for the sale of her work. In the meantime, I thought I would offer a sneak preview.

She is offering ten cards – blank on the inside / with envelopes – for $25.00 (this includes shipping). With your order, you’ll also receive a free copy of my first book, Remember What’s Important. (I know…how amazing is that?)

If you see anything you like, just click on the “Pay with PayPal button” next to the desired card.

Please pass this along to friends and neighbors you think might be interested. I will be sure to alert you when her full website is up and running. The website will include original works of art, prints of those works, and more cards.


God Needs Storytellers “Show”

June 15, 2020

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings – live at 7:00 a.m. – Carol and I will be presenting “God Needs Storytellers.” We will be sharing uplifting stories of God’s interaction in our lives…those times we have felt God tapping us on the shoulder to remind us He’s there for us.

Each morning’s reflection stories will run for 15-30 minutes – just a way to start your day with a reminder of His loving Presence.

You can join us live on M, W, F at 7:00 a.m. on the St. Pius X Facebook page:

If you are unable to join us at that time, each session is recorded and posted immediately as a video on the same page.

Here is this morning’s inaugural “show” (a little longer because we were introducing the premise):



My Apology to Black Americans

June 9, 2020

I am a 60-year-old white man with my fair share of personal baggage. Over the last 15 years, thanks to my formation as a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, I have evolved. My perception of the world and how God intends for me to interact with it has evolved as well: I am much more reflective and introspective than I used to be. I have a much better idea of who I am and who I am called to be. I am more in-tune with my gifts and am humbled by new insights into my personal weaknesses. I am more inclined to see the world as it really is, although I am not as cynical as I used to be. I am more compassionate and empathetic. I am more accepting of the viewpoints of others. I have a genuine desire to be a good and loving person, and to help others in their efforts to do the same. 

I share all of this as a backdrop to my processing of recent events in our country. Since George Floyd was killed on May 25th, I have spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on my own attitude toward race, considering what I have done or not done to contribute to the systemic racism that exists in America. Continue reading

Appreciating the Trinity

June 7, 2020 – Feast of The Most Holy Trinity

My pastor, Fr. Jim Farrell, once described the Feast of the Holy Trinity as “the Church’s attempt to explain God.”

I remember the course we took on the Trinity during my deacon formation. At the end of the weekend long session, the sixteen of us looked like we had been put through the ringer. We looked dazed and confused, some even disoriented. The Trinity is a mind-blowing theological concept. Begotten, consubstantial, tripersonal God, tritheism, and more. We had difficulty wrapping our minds around all we had learned. The thought that parishioners might come to us to help them understand the Trinity left us a bit unsettled. It proved to be, as we had always been taught, a mystery.

Also from Fr. Jim: “The Trinity is a mystery to behold, not to be solved.”

It is always worthwhile to spend time studying, digging into, and asking questions about our God and our faith. Such efforts keep us engaged and active; but we should be careful. Our tendency may be to get so caught up in trying to understand Trinity, that we do not appreciate Trinity.

The Trinity is our creator, our human example, and our voice – one God, three gifts.