I am a retired college professor. I maintain a fulltime time consulting practice that works with organizations nationwide to develop and implement strategic business plans. I am married to Kathleen Larkin-Kuehn and am blessed with three children and three more grandchildren ... and a golden retriever. I grew up in southern California, but Washington State has been home most of my adult life. I became a parishioner at St. Charles Borromeo 15 years ago.
Why I am Catholic:
The simple answer is I am Catholic because my mother was. She brought me into the faith at birth. And growing up in a small town with no Catholic schools, where my mom was the director of the parish CCD program, meant what I learned about Catholicism came directly from my mother. I later discovered that she had been educated in her faith by an odd band of renegade French Canadians nuns who, even by today’s standards, held somewhat unorthodox views about things like Papal infallibility, women in the priesthood and the sacraments.
As I grew older, particularly as I pursued doctoral studies in sociology, new questions arose about my faith, many directed at filling in blanks or learning alternatives to mom’s French Canadian Catholicism. I am a great believer in the power of human reason and the results of these deeper inquiries made it harder to reconcile some of the Church’s teaching with a personal and professional commitment to think rationally and scientifically. My discovery of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher and keystone of the Scholastic movement, taught me how logic and faith can co-exist.
How my life is shaped and enriched by my Catholic faith:
My faith provides an enduring and constant point of reference at every moment of my life. Answers to questions from the profound to the mundane are framed by my faith. Not answered, but framed - put into context, given a fuller meaning revealing reasonable options.
I’ve never held to the axiom of “what would Jesus do” so much as “what would Jesus think?” Every choice in life has multiple options. Selecting the one that is both functionally correct and ethically right is a challenge. A consideration of my faith allows me to conceptualize what I am proposing to do and to weigh whether the outcomes are consistent with a Catholic view of a faithful life.
At moments of crisis, sometimes confronted with apparently unsolvable problems, the knowledge that Christ is there to guide me has not only offered great comfort in times of overwhelming worry but pointed the way to solutions and resolutions beyond the reach of science and reason.
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