Our Lady of the Way

Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Way! Also known as Madonna Della Strada. She is patroness of the Jesuits and my own personal go-to when life is full of changes. Madonna Della Strada Chapel at Loyola University Chicago is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I was lucky enough to spend…

A Holy Triduum in Prison

On Wednesday of Holy Week I visited prison with some friends from a group called Bethany. They are made up of lay people and the most extraordinary women of the Sisters of Charity Leavenworth, who have been ministering to men in prison for over 20 years.   Because the men will celebrate Easter Sunday on…

This Great Mess

Yesterday I was running with my son’s stroller, empty, on my way to pick him up from his grandma’s (I repeat, the stroller was empty). I was careening down a hill when the front wheel began to wobble, and just as a car was passing me and in front of a host of utility workers,…

For Gramps

Dear Gramps, We’ve had a lot of great conversations over the years, I remember chatting with you in my old truck about your time in Washington DC and Chicago. You seemed so mythical back then, an eternal patriarch that had seen and done it all. When I followed in your footsteps and went to Chicago,…

The Resurrection is Everywhere

In the face of violence, obscene politicking, and all our seemingly insurmountable divisions, I propose no solutions. It is all above my pay grade. I cannot think a way out of any these disasters. In the face of a world gone mad, for now, I can only be silent. I can only try to see with clear…

The Frontier of Fatherhood: Mirroring the Mystery

Holding my baby boy in my arms a mere 4 hours after meeting him, I started crying. Not because of his awkward little dimples, not because of his tiny toes, not because of my same blue eyes staring back at me from within his tiny little face. I started crying because I realized how all the little…

The beauty of blood sucking things

Perpetually ruining that wonderful time of evening when the baby is sleeping and a cold cocktail rests in my hand is the thought, “I wonder what happens if a stray bullet flies through the nursery window?” My heart races, chest gets heavy. A midnight creak must be a burglar or serial killer downstairs who specializes in families. Or maybe it’s mouse,…

William, William, and the Beautiful Sadness of Summer

Update: Last night,  my beloved Grandpa William Joseph Rakers passed away. . Although he lived a long good life of 99 years, we feel a great loss. I wrote this five months ago and now as the leaves fall and the weather changes, it rings especially true. Last night I went home and snuggled up to…

On donating bone marrow, or, the small man learns a lesson

I never really got the Feast of Corpus Christi. Sure, I’m a big fan of the Catholic sacraments and all, but it just seemed unnecessary. Don’t we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ every Sunday, even every day? But it finally clicked a few weeks ago. I was prayfully considering donating bone marrow, as…