Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve


A Blast of Trumpets

The design of our parish draws heavy inspiration from the great Italian basilicas. A large dome binds together the transepts, and the oversized sanctuary, adorned in stone, creates a huge, open space with the altar perfectly centered. It’s the kind of design that elevates the mind; beauty that shocks the faithful out of the routine of our daily lives and reminds us of the specialness of this place.

To accompany the breathtaking architecture, we also have a robust liturgical music department. At many Masses throughout the year, guest instrumentalists join the organ and choir to truly elevate the music. A few weeks ago, a trumpet and trombone played at Mass on Mother's Day. The musicians are seated right up front, off to the right, but where the expansive sanctuary meets the dome. The result, in addition to the acoustically friendly building materials, is a church-filling sound that resounds throughout the entire space.

It’s been many years since I attended a parish where Mass was a standing-room only occasion, where young families like mine filled the pews, and where songs were sung by more than just the cantor. Add to the mix the sound of brass and stringed instruments, and it’s hard to not get taken up in the transcendent experience.

I’m grateful to Fr. Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press for their Bible in a Year podcast. It was just a few years ago that I completed the journey, and I find myself frequently reaching back to what I heard and learned that year. Having that grasp, that context, of the Bible is enriching to my daily life. Hearing the brass horns blaring at the Mass is one of those times.

We go to Mass weekly, sometimes more often, and that can have the effect of lulling us into complacency. Our encounters with the Divine are expected, scheduled, and presumed. But when you are at Mass, and the entrance procession is welcomed with a trumpet blast, your mind is immediately pulled to Psalm 47 or St. John’s descriptions in Revelation. It becomes so easy to imagine the triumph of Jesus Christ mounting His throne to the fulsome blasts of trumpets. You’re instantly reminded of what it is that you labor for, and why we don’t just give up our values and drift mindlessly through life like most of our friends and neighbors.

When I stand there, surrounded by my family, the blast of trumpets reminds me who I am, Whose I am, and where I want to be. It’s enough to shake me awake, to get back in the game, and to keep fighting for that day when I hope to be admitted to the Heavenly Mass, where the trumpets never stop blasting.

Mercy, Not Justice

Yesterday was the Feast of Divine Mercy, a holy day that Jesus Himself requested in His apparitions to St. Faustina. Mercy and grace are talked about frequently in Christian discourse and music, but it strikes me that many lack the comprehension of the completeness of God’s mercy.

In St. Faustina’s diaries, she records how Jesus describes His mercy. He uses words like “unfathomable” and “torrents.” The true meaning of these words is so deep that it’s beyond our comprehension. It’s akin to contemplating the depth and size of space, but even then, God’s mercy is beyond even that.

We receive God’s mercy for our venial offenses at the beginning of Mass, but to truly encounter the torrents of God’s mercy, we approach Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

On the evening of Easter, when Jesus appears to the 10 Apostles in the Upper Room, His first words to them are the first absolution. Despite their intimate years spent traveling around their region with Him, seeing all the signs and wonders He performed, and living with Him, at His passion they all abandoned Him. So, when He appears in their midst, He forgives them, “Peace be with you.” He then establishes the Sacrament by granting to them to power to bind and loose.

Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the torrents of God’s mercy are unleashed on the repentant sinner, and even those mortal sins that have suffocated their relationship with God and destroyed sanctifying grace in their life are forgiven. Like Lazarus, they are brought back from the dead and restored to the life given to them at Baptism. That is truly complete mercy.

In the early days of her encounters with Jesus, St. Faustina brought these experiences to her spiritual director. Seeking to test them, to ensure that they were truly Jesus, her director instructed Faustina to ask Jesus what sins he had confessed in his most recent confession. The next time Jesus appeared to Faustina, she posed to Him that question, to which Jesus replied that He had forgotten. Complete mercy.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is not a sacrament of justice, but of mercy. In a true encounter with the risen Christ, out of total love for us, He forgives our worst failings so that we might be with Him forever. That is an unfathomable mercy.


There are an infinite number of ways that COVID changed the way in which we live our lives. Though we find ourselves four years removed from the initial outbreak, and more than two years from the return to normal, visages of those early days are still with us, regrettably even at the Mass.Read Article

The Genius of Mass

Most Catholics ignore their obligation to go to Sunday Mass. Their reasons are myriad, but it’s a big mistake. Sunday Mass represents the most brilliant and disruptive hour of the entire week.Read Article

Plese Destroy

I took my son to Confession this weekend. He’s still pretty new to the Sacrament, so each time he goes, I print an Examination of Conscience for him to pray through.Read Article

Universal Church

To prepare Benedict for receiving his First Communion and Confirmation, Alison and I thought he should go to Reconciliation the week before. It’s not a hard sell for Benedict. He’s seen me go regularly for years, and every time I invited him to come, he always accepts.Read Article

Sacred Treasure

Benedict is about to receive his First Communion, and he’s very excited about it. We’ve prepared for nearly a year, and the time is almost here.Read Article

Examination of Conscience

Last month, my son received his first confession. As he was preparing to receive the Sacrament again last weekend, I sat down for a few minutes to help him do his examination of conscience.Read Article


Our vacation plan for this year included a trip to the Great White North to enjoy a week of snow, play, and skiing. Driving north, the landscape turned from winter browns to gleaming white. Unfortunately, flurries and snowstorms met us along the way, as well as road salt and ice.Read Article

Simple Truths

A common assumption is that children, because their minds are still developing, can’t process complex ideas. In trying to convey a point about something, we try to reduce it to the lowest common denominator. It’s true that children need help grasping complex subjects, but in my experience, they’re capable of much more than we give them credit for.Read Article


The Fourth Week of Advent is here, and our time of preparation is coming to a close. We’ve spent nearly a month awaiting the arrival of the King, and our waiting is nearly done.Read Article

Pandemic Confession

I’ve made no secret that I’m a frequent recipient of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Once or twice a month, I leave my house on a Saturday afternoon to renew myself. Despite years of this spiritual practice, I still find myself in need of a regular spiritual tune-up. I’m grateful to have a confessor locally who is both patient and gentle with me. This year, as with everything, things have been different.Read Article

First Communion

I made my First Communion more than two decades ago. In that time, I’ve rarely been more than seven days without receiving the Eucharist. As I sit here at my desk in early June, it’s been over 90 days since I’ve been to Mass and celebrated the Sacred Liturgy in person.Read Article


Last week kicked off Spring. Not many of us are feeling the usual cheerfulness and refreshment that this change of season brings. Instead, we find ourselves trapped in our homes, separated from the Sacraments, and coming to terms with the fragility of our world.Read Article

Connecting While Isolated

Difficult times for Catholics are here. From the founding of our Church, community has been a central aspect of our faith. We gather, from our many walks of life, on a daily or weekly basis to celebrate the Eucharist, together. Increasingly, civil and health authorities are recommending the suspension of large gatherings. How do we celebrate our communal faith when we’re precluded from gathering in our parishes?Read Article

Let Us Go to God's House

I spent a few hours on Saturday morning at a men’s retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was “faith alive.” As a part of Morning Prayer, we prayed Psalm 122. In that Psalm, the people are rejoicing because they are going to God’s house.Read Article

The Joy of the Season

In the blink of an eye, the end of 2019 is just over a week away and we’re at the threshold of the Christmas season. What better way to crown the year than with the joy of Christmas. The joy is so complete that a single 24-hour time period cannot contain it. We’ve spent four weeks in hopeful anticipation and will celebrate the feast for nineteen days.Read Article


There’s something natural about self-criticism. We see ourselves in pictures, and we instantly focus on our faults and imperfections. In many ways, those pictures don’t align with the way that we see ourselves. I had an incredible experience of taking a picture that I felt perfectly captured me. I saw in that image the physical transformation that I’ve undergone this year. It reminds me of the overwhelming power of redemption. No matter how far gone we are, there’s always a way back.Read Article


Seven years ago, Alison and I started our life together. Captured so perfectly in the photograph in the banner of this website, the years have passed by with a considerable amount of joy. Our home is now filled with three bubbly children. They play, laugh, and interact with one another. We’ve grown, changed, and continued to get to know each another. In many ways, our marriage reflects the work of our engagement.Read Article

Taking Kids to Mass

It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Mass on a regular basis without my kids. When Alison and I just had the one, and he was an infant, it was a great experience. We even had to work out a schedule for who got to hold him during Mass. As he got older, and our family grew, things became more complicated.Read Article

Dear Father

I’m the youngest of three kids. Before I had my first child, I didn’t know anything about kids. I understand that my little ones may be confusing, but there’s something that I want you to know.Read Article

Controlling Kids in Church

Taking kids to Church is hard. There’s getting everyone fed, cleaned, dressed, and out the door on time. Then, of course, there’s the issue of noise. Kids aren’t very self-aware, and if yours are like mine, they enjoy the echo of their own voice in Church.Read Article

21 Years

Confession is the gym of Catholic Sacraments. We rarely go, too sheepish to confront the reality of who we are. It’s difficult, embarrassing, and humbling. Of course, there’s the problem of a lack of confession times. When we do muster up the courage to go, we wait for 45 minutes at the back of an endless line of little old ladies who apparently just finished up a serious crime spree.Read Article

Integrating the Bible into Your Life

I want to share something with you that made an outsized impact on my life last year. For me, 2017 was full of change and new circumstances. In the midst of all of that instability, I noticed that I placing my hope for happiness in the wrong places.Read Article

The Impact of A Great Confession

Each time I move to a new place, there are two people that I need to find. The first is a great barber and the second is a great confessor. Finding these two critical people in my life is never easy.Read Article

Offense and Defense

In any sporting event having a strong offense or defense is seldom enough to ensure a victory. If you run up the score on offense, but let the opponent do the same thanks to your weak defense, you’ll likely lose. In the same way, you can only win by scoring points, so having a strong defense isn’t enough. I’m learning that having a balanced approach to any problem is the key to success. This method is a timely resolution with the new year in the air.Read Article

The Three Stages of Every New Marriage

Today's the ultimate Throwback Thursday. Alison and I are celebrating our four year wedding anniversary. We’re a different family than we were on that day, and different people, too. I can see now how each year has progressed and the different stages that we have moved through. The early stages of any new marriage can be tumultuous. I fear that we give newlyweds and engaged couples the wrong perspective. They’re sold on the idea of a honeymoon phase that I don’t believe is real. I see three distinct phases that every marriage goes through.Read Article

Sin Drags You Down

I’m never more keenly aware of the physical effects of sin in my life than right after confession. I walk out of the Church with a great sense of relief, perhaps even a bit lighter. Truly I feel freed from that which was holding me back. This feeling, replicated each time I go to confession, leads me to wonder, how much does sin really drag me down?Read Article

We're Too Comfortable

When it comes to fallen away Catholics, it seems that each person has a singular event that pushed them over the edge. More likely than not, it was a harsh encounter with a religious. A nun yelling at them or a particularly brutal confessor, the trauma that resulted sadly caused them to leave their home. Like a young runaway, they found themselves in a strange place, cold, alone, and hurting with a possible return truly doubtful. I think that so much of that hurt comes from an experience that didn’t reconcile with their vision of the Church. The Church, and Christians in general, are supposed to be loving, kind, and gentle people, while being compassionately firm when correcting one another. Those in the religious life are supposed to epitomize those characteristics. So when one has a difficult encounter with a religious, they can understandably question the entire system.Read Article

The Danger of Despair

There are many obstacles to living a holy life. We must overcome our environment, our past choices, and even our own natural inclinations. While our “fight or flight” nature defaults us to looking after our own self interest, the Christian life demands that we look outward first before tending to our own wants and desires. Perhaps the most difficult obstacle that we must overcome is to dispel the false nature of despair.Read Article

Discounting the Eucharist

In my previous reflection on the intimacy of the Eucharist, I started to write about the insidious nature of complacency in the Catholic life, but realized it would be better to explore this topic separately. The fact is that we all have times in our lives when we don’t give the Eucharist the prayerful respect that we should. It’s a part of our fallen nature to not be able to fully recognize God within us, or even to go to the extreme of viewing ourselves as a god.Read Article

Eucharistic Intimacy

Your faith life has the potential to be the most intimate relationship in your life. It’s a relationship that you have 100% control over. God is waiting for you, unmoved, yearning for you to come out and greet Him. At the center of this relational treasure trove is the Eucharist. Its humility is unmatched and, while the Eucharist presents itself in simple terms, it’s anything but simple.Read Article

A Rich Spiritual Life

What does it mean to have a rich spiritual life? What would your day need to look like in order to achieve that life? We have daily needs in our spiritual life that need to be met in order for us to keep making forward progress and in order for us to live truly free.Read Article

In Heaven Together

One of the best theological explanations of the Mass that I've ever heard is that when you're at Mass, you're drawn up into Heaven. When you go to Mass as a family, for that hour, your family is together in Heaven. Incredible! That explanation revolutionized my perspective of Mass and even today still blows my mind.Read Article

A Powerful Confession Strategy

I try to go to Confession once a month, but sometimes my schedule conspires against me. In early September, I was overdue and itching to go, which landed me in a parish half an hour away on a Tuesday night. Confession was preceded by a Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which was something truly beautiful. Afterwards, both priests assigned to the parish heard confessions. Even though it was after 8pm, the lines were quite long.Read Article

Why Mass Matters

I don't bother to read the surveys that pollsters do of Catholics. It turns into an exercise in, "I'm more Catholic than you," and the number of people who self-identify as Catholic is way too high. Honestly, if you consistently miss Mass, it's time to stop self-identifying as Catholic. It’s like being a vegetarian who eats meat four times a week. However, one thing that every survey does show is that the frequency of Mass attendance directly correlates to agreement with the Magisterium.Read Article

Priests Are Superheroes

If I were a priest, the standing weekly appointment that I'd most look forward to, and at the same time most dread, is Reconciliation. Confession is a beautiful, necessary, and needed Sacrament. Yet, for the priest, it also means that he must stand in the place of Christ, already a challenging role, and receive the burdens of everyone. I imagine that experiencing the fight for good and evil in such a real way can be an emotional challenge.Read Article

The Forgiving and Perfecting Eucharist

It’s easy to fatigue on Catholic cliches. We use them ad nasaum until something beautiful and profound becomes trite. The thing is, while I'm tired of them, I recognize that we need these platitudes. Our faith has truths that surpass our understanding and these turns of phrase bring the mysteries of our faith within our grasp. Although they may be common to us now, they carry within them the beauty of our Catholic faith.Read Article

The Gift of Private Confession

I'm thankful for private confession. If I had to confess my sins publicly, in front of my own community, I probably wouldn't seek out God's mercy. Instead, the Sacrament draws me in. I can go to God directly, ask for His forgiveness, and gain the graces to do better. It respects my dignity and allows me to work through my weaknesses without bearing a heavy burden of public shame. We're lucky to have private confession!Read Article

Stop Sin in its Tracks

In aviation, all mishaps, crashes, and fatalities are the result of a chain reaction of decisions. Each link in the chain contributes to the overall accident, and yet, breaking a single link is all that would have been required to avert disaster. The same is true in our spiritual lives. Sin doesn't just happen. Rather, it's the culmination of bad decision making and missed opportunities to choose a different outcome.Read Article

Try A Different Mass

We all have personal preferences. Our personality usually shows forth when we choose to act on those preferences. For example, when it comes to loading the dishwasher, I have a very specific way that I like to have things organized. It's partly because I like order and partly because I’m incredibly inefficient when I don’t load as I normally do. Our personal preferences even show forth at Mass. Each Mass has its own culture, so if you don't like the atmosphere at your Mass, try a different one.Read Article

Dress Up for Mass

Growing up, my family always dressed up for Mass. Though I recognize how expensive it must've been for my parents to dress three growing kids in nice clothes for Church, my brother and I always had on slacks and occasionally a blazer while my sister wore nice dresses. These days, Sunday is just about the only day during the week when I dress up. As my small business has me mostly doing web design for clients during the week, I'm typically wearing a graphic t-shirt and some plaid shorts. There's something really nice about Sunday morning putting on a suit, tie, and some nice shoes.Read Article

Embrace Confession

In what I suspect is a universal experience among Catholics, I always get nervous in the Confession line. Despite my years of frequenting the Sacrament, there's always a bit of a pit in my stomach that eases the moment that Confession is over. While this pre-Sacrament anxiety is a momentary discomfort, I’d hate to think that it alone is keeping people away from the grace of Confession. When you consider the power of the Sacrament, what's the worst that could happen?Read Article

Nocturnal Adoration

When I was in Middle School, my Mom and I signed up for the local chapter of the Nocturnal Adoration Society. Once a month, we'd get up and go to a Holy Hour in the early morning hours, I believe it was around 2am. Since then, I've been a member of multiple parishes where 24-hour adoration was offered. There's something really special and still about scheduled Adoration at night.Read Article

With Your Help

I'm not God. I didn't rise from the dead of my own volition. I didn't save countless souls from Hell, open the gates of Heaven, or defeat sin and death. If I'm not God, and if my track record confirms that reality, why would I ever have an expectation that I'd be able to defeat sin and amend my life of my own accord?Read Article

Sublime Forgiveness

The struggle with the Sacrament of Confession is a lifelong one for Catholics. Our struggle is a deeply human one in that the Sacrament requires us to look at our lives and voice our failings. We're not perfect people, and Confession is a stark reminder of that. We love the feeling of cleanliness after Confession, but we struggle with comprehending God's great mercy.Read Article

Out of Sight Should Be Kept in Mind

A few weeks ago, Alison, Benedict and I attended my sister’s wedding in Pittsburgh. Maree’s wedding was particularly special because of its location. She was married in the historic St. Anthony’s Chapel. St. Anthony’s has the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican. There are over 6,000 individual relics of saints housed in ornate reliquaries and stored in glass cases surrounding the altar. As I was at the Wedding Mass, it hit me. This is the reality of the Mass!Read Article

Starting Fresh

We all love a fresh start. New beginnings are always full of hope, excitement, and promise. We feel refreshed, able to take on the world and whatever challenges life sends our way. Fresh starts can be hard to come by. In relationships, past hurts get in our way. First impressions are lasting impressions and, if you make a mistake, it can be extremely difficult to overcome. What if there was a way to get a true fresh start? What if there was a reset button you could press that would wipe the slate clean and get you back on track?Read Article

Disbelief with Faith

As a part of the Catholic Church, we are members of an extraordinary community. We routinely have miracles happen within our group. We have relics that not only share our story, but also facilitate God’s grace. Sometimes, it’s almost too incredible for our minds to comprehend.Read Article

Why Do You Go to Mass?

Why do you go to Mass? In our lives, the intent behind an action is sometimes more important than the action itself. What are your motivations?Read Article


The fear of Confession is deadly. It’s healthy to have some amount of fear of the Sacrament. That fear means we know that we’ve seriously hurt God and we need to make amends. However allowing your Confession-phobia to keep you from the Sacrament will leave your relationship in shambles and will prevent you from living the life that God wants you to live.Read Article

Mass Journal

What would it be like if at every Mass you attended, you had a breakthrough moment? What would it be like if at every Mass something impacted you in a way that you really needed. Perhaps it would be some inspiration in a time of darkness or some encouragement for your life? Adopting the habit of a Mass Journal could be the game changer for you.Read Article

Kids At Mass

There’s an ongoing debate in the Catholic Church about what should be done with children who make noises during Mass. To some, it’s a needless distraction when kids can be taken to the cry room. To others, it’s important for the kids to have Mass as a regular part of their lives. To those who think that kids making noise should be immediately removed from the Sanctuary, let me save you some time, you’re wrong.Read Article

Get Off the Broken Road

Our spiritual walk is a marathon, not a sprint. That means that there are going to be a lot of times when you’re doing things right, and a lot of times when you’re not quite on point.Read Article

My First Eucharistic Procession

Sharing our faith boldly with those around us can be challenging. You can’t just be chillin by the coffee pot on Monday morning and lead with, “Hey, how was your weekend? I encountered the Risen Christ through the Holy Sacrament of the Altar and now I’m a living tabernacle."Read Article

Stop Treating Mass Like a Drive-Thru

Our lives are busy. We have work, family obligations, and personal goals that we’re trying to balance. With this time overload, we look for ways to be more efficient and corners to cut. Unfortunately, sometimes during this schedule review, we try to find ways to cut our time at Mass short.Read Article

The Transition

Today is an amazing day. Today is March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph. One year ago today, Catholic Husband launched.Read Article

The Benefits of Regular Confession

Every 3 months or 3,000 miles, you’re supposed to take your car in for routine maintenance. It’s a normal routine to keep your car in tip top shape. If you ignore it long enough, your car can experience bigger problems which end up costing you big money.Read Article

Blessings At Mass

Sunday Mass is a beautiful thing. It neatly wraps up one week and begins the next, all in one giant prayer. It’s a time for us to be safe, away from the world, refocusing our life on the One who loves us most.Read Article

To Avoid Whatever Leads Me to Sin

There are many things that society has decided are weak in men.Read Article

Reflecting Christ's Love to the World

When you get married, you take on two responsibilities. First, you take responsibility for the care of your wife and any children you may be given. Second, you take on the responsibility for reflecting Christ’s love for the Church.Read Article

Confessing to Christ

I have made no secret that I believe that the Sacrament of Confession is critical to your success as a husband. We fail. A lot.Read Article

Going to Mass Together

Going to Mass as a family is important. As a married couple, together you form a domestic Church. The center of your family’s life is the Eucharist. The Church asks us to attend Mass every weekend not for Her benefit, but for our own.Read Article

The Church Sustains Us

The election of Pope Francis earlier this year was exciting. I was sad to see Pope Benedict retire, but there was a magnetism about Catholicism. All of the media and blogs were talking about the Church again.Read Article

Keep Holy the Sabbath

We all hate Mondays. I get it. But, do we really have to?Read Article

When to Go to Confession

Going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is hard. It’s not that it’s inconvenient, it’s that it is uncomfortable.Read Article

Traveling Mass

I travel a lot for work. While exploring new towns, I like to find the local Catholic Church while on the road. I can't go far in any direction without seeing a parish.Read Article

The Secret to Getting Up After You Fall

We have a deadly disease. It's a disease whose effects rage throughout society; the symptoms are everywhere. Pride strikes us all.Read Article