Rainbow after the 2020 WA March for Life was not a coincidence

The super- faint by then, but it’s there rainbow over the Temple of Justice in Olympia, WA after the conclusion of the Washington March for Life on January 21, 2020.

On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, I attended my first Mass for Life and March for Life as a correspondent for Northwest Catholic. Here’s my article.

It was quite an amazing experience to see more than 5,000 people gather in the pouring rain and driving wind on the steps of the State Capitol in Olympia, WA to show that they truly care about life. It was a group that spanned all ages, including the young woman holding the sign in the picture. On the reverse side of her sign, it said “Forgiveness is for everyone.” I really wanted to know her story, but she really didn’t seem like she wanted to be interviewed, so I’m letting her sign speak for her.

In fact, I spent so much time looking for parking that I didn’t really get a chance to interview many of the participants before the March for Life began, and besides, most of them were just trying to stay warm standing out in the crazy (even for Western Washington) rain. I followed a group who went in afterwards and got to speak with their Senator, as well as aides from their Legislators. Any time you see actual citizens go in and have face-to-face meetings with their representatives, it is extremely heartening. Did they change the heart and mind of their pro-choice state Senator? Probably not, but, as Sean Stewart, with the Legislative Advocacy Group at St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Renton said, “Our goal is to plant seeds. I could see that maybe a few got sprinkled on the ground and might be taking a little bit of root, we’ll see. It’s a long-term effort here, and I think we surprised him… we deliberately took a different tack this time based on something he told to us previously which was ‘Let’s find common ground.’”

Depending on the media you consume, you may feel that the pro-choice crowd has the upper hand at the moment, and perhaps they do. During the March for Life, the rain was coming down really hard and the wind threatened to rip away the tent over the podium where the speakers rallied the crowd. Yet, as the march concluded, I witnessed the rain let up for a few minutes and a faint rainbow appeared over the Temple of Justice across the way from the Legislative Building. That was a real, unmistakable message from someone who approved of what the Marchers were doing.

“Still, not my will, but yours be done.”

This past Sunday at St. Alphonsus Church in Seattle, Fr. Richard Klepac, in his homily for the Second Week of Advent, talked about the graces of the Holy Spirit and praying to God to give yourself over to His will. Not what we want to be doing, but what God wants us to do. Praying for this is very dangerous, Fr. Richard warned us, and I am thankful that he is right.

This past March, I began to write once again for Northwest Catholic, the magazine of the Archdiocese of Seattle. I had written for them in 2014-15, but my writing for them trailed off after I got another job. The last article I wrote for them became a cover story and ended up winning a 2016 Catholic Press Award. I framed it, and, while not quite forgetting about it, the award became just another thing on the wall in my office.

My 2016 CPA award. A tad bit of the frilly award edging is cut off, but you get the idea.

I continued to write, mainly on a novel that I later shelved and nothing for public consumption. During this time, I began to have experiences that drew me closer to Jesus and deeper into my Catholic faith. I often thought that it would be great to finally start writing again about Catholic stuff, but a little voice kept reminding me that I don’t have any theological training.

Eventually, I left that job, and my faith was a rock before, during, and after the transition. Once things had calmed down a bit, I started to think about writing for Northwest Catholic once again. Luckily, the editor that I worked with before was still there, and she was happy to have me back, so I began to write again.

They say you’re onto something career-wise when you don’t consider what you are doing to be work. I’m really enjoying the opportunity to travel around the Archdiocese to interview lots of great people about the great things they were doing and to write about it. Is this type of writing- dare I say it?- my charism?

This brings us back to the homily. As I sat there in the pew, I realized that I have done just about everything except give myself over to the path that God has been pointing me towards.

Yet, the little voice continued, and continues as I write this: Surely He can’t be calling me to write for Him? Well, why else would he have given me this gift? Maybe He didn’t want me to write the type of science fiction that I had been writing with little success (hint, hint), or anything else, except about Him.

So I prayed that dangerous prayer and ended up creating a Twitter and Facebook account for this site. I don’t know where all of this will take me, except to say that I hope it is in the direction where Jesus wants me to go. I will start providing more substantive content starting next week, and I hope you will find it interesting.

NW Catholic: North American Martyrs Parish celebrates first mass in its own church

A statue of Mary watches over the new home of North American Martyrs Parish in Edmonds, WA.

Here’s my latest article for Northwest Catholic about the blessing of North American Martyrs church in Edmonds, WA. North American Martyrs parish is a Latin Mass parish (FSSP) that has been looking for a permanent home since 2008. I wrote an article over the summer when they announced the purchase of the property and it was amazing to see the beautiful transformation of the site in just over three months.

The power of prayer manifested

A few weeks ago, Fr. Richard Klepac gave a homily at St. Alphonsus Parish in Seattle that touched on the power of prayer and its efficaciousness. One thing that he mentioned in particular that stuck with me for the rest of the day was to develop a habit of saying a prayer every time you hear sirens to pray for the person in need as well as for the first responders.

Later that evening, I heard a siren and started to pray a Hail Mary. As I prayed, the sirens got closer until finally I could hear them outside. I opened the front door and to my left I could see a column of flame shooting up into the night sky. There is a construction project going on across the street from our house and there was a fire right next to it. The firefighters were able to put it out, but if they had not arrived when they did, the new building would have probably caught on fire.

I asked the firefighters what had caused the fire and all they could tell at that point was that it had started in a plastic container. The next day, my daughter and I checked it out and found the remains of a port-a-potty and what looked like some clothes.

Abstract art, or the remains of a portable toilet that could have caused a huge fire?

I wanted to share this story because it is such a simple and profound example of the power of prayer.

God is listening. God answers our prayers. Most of the time, they will be answered on His own time, but sometimes He gives us clear, immediate responses that make you feel His presence in that moment.

Viva Christo Rey!

NW Catholic: Almost a million meals served to those in need!

Here’s my latest article for Northwest Catholic, which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Sunday Dinner at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle.

New Look for 2020

I repaired this toaster. I’m repairing this website.

I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again- I’m refreshing this website. This time, however, I have decided to focus on writing about a particular topic rather than being a personal blog/website/ineffective marketing tool.

Details to follow.

NW Catholic: Kent parish shelters homeless women

Holy Spirit Parish in Kent, WA hosts a homeless shelter for women for six months of the year. The parishioners and members of the community make meals for the women, who stay overnight in the parish hall. Read the full article here.

Back at Northwest Catholic!

I know that I have been remiss with providing new content lately, but I assure you that I have been writing. I have started a new novel that I am over 20K words into, and I started writing again back in the spring for Northwest Catholic.

My latest article is about two students at Christ the King school who were part of a team that developed an award-winning anti-bullying video game.

I have updated my Northwest Catholic portfolio page that has links to all of my articles that I should have been letting you know about when they were first published. Rest assured that I will let you know when I have any new articles published in the future!

I’m adding a new post.

Back in business

Hello everyone! The site was down for a few weeks because, well, it was hacked. How and why, I’m not sure (yet). Rest assured, this brief interlude has made me aware of a) how much I missed this site, and b) how much more I need to learn about my own online security. This is one of the subjects I will be expounding upon now that I have my virtual soapbox up and running again.