I am a married father of two boys, ages 12 and 16. I teach English at local community colleges and enjoy writing, gardening, and fixing things. I’m a convert from the non-denominational Church of Christ (not LDS or United Churches of Christ). I met my wife in 1992 at the University of Central Oklahoma and followed her to Taiwan, her home, where we were married. I taught English in Kaohsiung for about six years, and I spent a couple of years as an editor for an English-language newspaper in Taipei. Both our boys were born in Taiwan during World Cup years, and I’m happy to say they’re both excellent soccer players. In 2003, we moved to Tacoma to be near friends and for better work opportunities for me.
Why I’m a Catholic:
This is a difficult question to answer in one or two paragraphs, but here’s the “Cliff’s notes” version. I’m the only Catholic in my family, and though my conversion last year was not greeted with applause among my relatives, when I entered the Church I gained a giant spiritual family that spans thousands of years and goes from this world into the next. The church I grew up in was silent on all of the rich history that happened after the New Testament became canon. That meant I never learned about any of the people who lived holy lives during that roughly 1,800 year period. No St. Francis, no St. Padre Pio, no St. Therese, etc. Now I have a whole host of saints from every century and every walk of life who help point the way to God, and I can learn from them how they overcame struggles similar to mine. It was always hard for me to understand the Bible, but the saints and my “one holy, catholic and apostolic church” shed light on so many questions that I thought were unanswerable. In short, the Catholic Church made the “good news” good and new again.
I could go on listing literally thousands of reasons I’m a Catholic, but if I were to sum up the main reason, it’s because I encounter Jesus in the Sacraments. Jesus is here, not just spiritually, but physically as well. The Eucharist is a beautiful gift, and I look forward to years of ever- deepening faith through participation in the Mass.
How I live my faith:
I joined the Knights of Columbus and am now a third-degree Knight. Often, my teaching schedule prevents me from attending meetings, but I try to help out with the activities of the Knights. I also have a regular Adoration time on Friday nights and I feel a great blessing from that weekly holy hour in the Lord’s presence. I try to make it to daily Mass as often as possible. I also have subscribed to Give Us This Day, and I try to take time daily to read the Scriptures for Mass and the meditations and short pieces on the lives of Christian heroes.
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