September 5, 2008

I think it is qute natural to think of Christ’s passion and death as a death in a family takes place as Lent and the Easter season’s approach.  Two deaths related to friends of mine brought this point home recently.

Mike Aquilina’s brother-in-law Jim died and Amy Welborn’s husband Mike Dubruiel recently passed on. I pray for their families and  hope they are looking at life with eyess of faith and realize God’s grace will get them through.

May their souls’ and souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace.



September 4, 2008

On September 3rd when Sarah Palin steipped to the plate at the Republican Convention she hit one of the park. She gave this wonderful speech::

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election… against confident opponents … at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions … and met far graver challenges … and knows how tough fights are won – the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

I know what having a friend in the White House could mean. Both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act have made a big difference in ny life, therefore when she stated:

 To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.

I hope she is true to her word.




September 2, 2008

I am excited by the Republican for Prsident and Vice-President. The fact that Mother &  Daughter have stood for life in tough circumstances have only made the ticket more attractive.

Sarah Palin is setting the bar high for those of us who profess to be pro-life. It will be hard to live up to her standards. I am proud to support her nomination as Vice-president.


SARAH PALIN is 44 years and will be able empathize with Mothers on many levrls. She will know the hardships of sending a son to wae, the heartach of and joys of taking into to consideration the triumphs and setbacks of a disabled child. 

I hope she won’t be forced to stepdown for she has a great chance she has been given on the workd stage. She needs our prayers and we need her!


August 12, 2008

A visit made today special. It lifted my spirits like no pill could have done un irs own. It is great to have family that cares.


August 10, 2008

I recently spent a week at the shire, Ocean City, NJ. Two of the hughlights visiting a longtime neighbor and having a former Pastor visit me and bring lunch for the two of us. What a gift!

The week also brought out the gift of family and our interdependence on one another; what a gift!  

Contact someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in sometime. Let them know what they meant to you.


July 16, 2008

Baseball  has one of the worst Commissioners of any sport. No way should an exhibition game in the middle of the season decide who host four games in the sports Championship Series. The concept is outrages.  What was wrong with alternating ever year? 

Starting time for the game itself was late for East and Central eimezone viewers. The pararde and pre-game festivaties could have brgun in late afternoon. This is true of playoffs and World Series too. Come home to watch those playoff and World Serirs helped me become a fam amd srudent of the gane’s hisstory. The youth of today will lack that love of the gamr!


June 17, 2008

This weekend reminded us as a people the importance of family; after all, we celebrated Fathers. I was given time to spend the weekend with a sister, her three children and her husband. We celebrated their oldest child’s birthday.

The weekend was capped off by attending a minor league baseball game. A great was had by all! Family is the key to nation’s survival and we must start taking stalk!


June 14, 2008

My Arms, My Legs, My Hero


The Story of a father’s sacrificial love for his disabled son


 Shortly before my Father’s death in March of 2001, I found a T-shirt at the bottom of his dresser drawer the shirt that my family told me aptly described the type of relationship I had with my father. The discovery took me back to a summer by the sea many years ago and opened the floodgates to a host of memories.  Those memories were shared on my last visits with him as a Eucharistic Minister days before dad’s death on March 17 of that year.


I am the third oldest of nine children and was born with spastic cerebral palsy. Throughout my life, I was always physically dependent on my father. Dad was thirty years my senior. Throughout much of my life dad was my arms and legs. I have always needed others to bathe, shave, and dress me.  For most of my life, dad took the responsibility for that care.


One year while our family vacationed at the New Jersey shore, my brothers and sisters bought me a shirt that said it well: “When I’m in trouble, I call Dad!”  The gag gift really hit me hard.  Reflecting on my total dependency on my father, I seldom used the shirt. As I often put it “Who needs a constant reminder of one’s dependency on anyone all day long?”


However, I eventually came to realize, and I have reminded myself after some thought, “In many ways we all need these reminders.” My disability has allowed me to recognize our heavenly Father in my dad’s actions each day. I state with conviction, “The reality is that none of us could so much as lift a finger if God didn’t give us the ability to do so.” 

My Invincible Dad


Like many kids, I grew up believing that my father was invincible. In my eyes, Dad was a hero.  Although I couldn’t play baseball myself, dad made sure that I felt a part of my brothers’ Little League teams. I laugh as I recall this thought, “I often brought a building block to the baseball game and pretended to broadcast the game. The block was my microphone, and my brothers and most of their teammates humored my role-playing as I ‘interviewed’ key players after each game.” Continuing my recollection, “Dad knew that this role-playing was a great way to develop my language skills and speech.” 


As a child, I hoped to become the next Vince Scully, the sports announcer who anchored major league baseball’s “Game of the Week” on the NBC television network for many years. Dad coached my brothers’ teams when he could, and for many of those games, he dragged me, his disabled son, along. Eventually, my grandmother brought me a tape recorder, which I took to these games and continued to “broadcast.”


My father enjoyed watching baseball on TV, but he wasn’t too enthusiastic about driving to Philadelphia to watch the major league games in the ballpark. I remember, “Both the limited parking and the crowds bothered dad.”

This is why I will never forgot one occasion when I was ten-years-old; it was the summer of 1964.  Philadelphia Phillies that fall would break the hearts of every Philly fan young and old alike as they lost the National League Pennant by one game to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards won 93 games and lost 69, while the Phillies finished the season with 92 wins and 70 losses.


Nonetheless, this is the story of one game that summer which illustrated a Dad’s unconditional love and sacrifice for his family. It is not about the fact that the team lost a 6 and 1/2 game lead with 12 games remaining in the season.         

Routine Sacrifices.


Dad had purchased tickets for the family to attend a Phillies game that summer. Late that season the day arrived to use the purchased tickets. Our seats were high above in the top row of the stadium, and I recall with love and amazement 44 years later, “Dad, physically carried me to my designated seat. I wore braces on my legs then, and it couldn’t have been easy for him to carry me that high.”


In telling this story I must conclude by saying,” this was just another example of the sacrifices he routinely made for me and the rest of the family.” My eyes sparkle as I recall this memory. I hope the enthusiasm I have in sharing this story matches the warmth in my heart in telling it.


Lastly, the day of Dad’s funeral, March 22, 2001 our Blessed Lord gave me a rare privilege. I, the disabled son whom he covered nightly, pulled the blanket to my  father’s shoulders before his coffin was closed and we celebrated a Mass of Christian burial for this loving husband, father of nine, and now grandfather of 16, great-grandfather of one, uncle, brother and friend to so many. At least on that day, I finally saw our roles reverse.


June 15th is Father’s day. It has given me pleasure to share this story with you, my readers, and wish all the men who take on the role of Father a “Happy Father’s Day!”


June 12, 2008

Dear Bill,
I’ve just finished reading your column once again. And I just had to write to you. I enjoy your articles so much! Your perspective is so inspirational. I truly admire you, and your humbleness. Thank you for sharing it because I believe that your humbleness always humbles me (which I know I need every once in a while!). I pray for you that God continues to allow you to inspire others, including myself, through your ministry. God Bless!
Thank You! 
Anna Barnes
P.S. I read your column in the Sooner Catholic, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Father’s Day is this Sunday. I wrote a feature that is scheduled to run in several newspapers. This was a respomse to that column.


May 29, 2008

Some lives were made better as the payoff of Mom’s inheritance went through. I pray the bickering ends. Mom and Dad were selfless people. They shared all they had with those who needed it.

Our door was always opened to those who needed a place to stay.   This is how they lived thrir faith.  What better examples to follow? 

We have many wounds that hurt. We need to give and ask for forgiveness on various levels. We are a broken people, but this an awesome day and we have an awesome God!