Thoughts from the Side of the House…

That Remarkable Photo from the Grotto at Notre Dame (Part 1)

A stunning photo of a student praying at the Grotto at The University of Notre Dame has gone viral...

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I am an Idiot

Rarely do I cross-post my stuff on Linkedin, but since I'm writing about being an idiot I figured it would be okay.

Farewell, Good Friend. Thanks, Kloska Siblings, for 15 Wonderful Years!

The end of an era comes with a brutal finality that caught even the toughest adolescent boys in our house by surprise. (Be sure to view the video tribute)

Who Today Has This Kind of Audacity?

A chance visit to an old Chicago church reveals how strong the faith was 100 years ago.

You Become What You Think About

As Lent approaches, we all have an opportunity to change what will become of us by directing our thoughts to good and beautiful things. Like God.

My Slight But Personal Connection to the Late John Mahoney

Actor John Mahoney died and I've learned something about him that makes me like him even more.

When I am Weak I am Strong

My current weakness is actually a tremendous blessing. Suffering can be good for you. It is for me. Please read with an open mind.

The Story of Marika Eperjesi’s Straight-from-the-Old-World Goulash Recipe

A chance encounter leads to a man re-examining his own views on goulash and how to make it.

Want to be a Happier Person? Then Open Your Eyes and Think for Yourself

It's EASY to enjoy winter if you just have an open mind and an open heart.

I Just Used an Old Management Adage to Re-engineer my Entire Life

It's not an exaggeration to say that I'm fighting for my life. The wisdom from an old business adage has been one of my best weapons.  Here's how I'm winning the battle.  

The Snowflake Photo One Year Later (Part 7)

A year later, both the mystery and the amazement remains.

When You Live Only 2 Blocks From Notre Dame…

This is the kind of crime neighbors must endure.  

A Big New Catholic Initiative

My friend Gwen O'Brien left her job at Saint Mary's College about nine months ago to help lead a new initiative out of Notre Dame called the Catholic Media Project.

America Implodes on “Black Friday”…. Meanwhile, POLAND Leads the Way Towards Sanity

The Polish people take a step in the opposite direction.

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…

The author and poet Joyce Kilmer was a friend of Father Charles O'Donnell, CSC of Notre Dame back in the early 1900s. He wrote a famous little poem about trees that has often been suspected of being inspired by a... Continue Reading →

The Apparitions of Fatima: What’s the Big Deal?

This past June, I took my sons to Fatima, Portugal. It was one of the best parenting moves I've ever made. I personally was so overcome with emotion that at one point I separated myself from our group, fell to my knees... Continue Reading →

Recognize It When You See It

Romance is great but it has little to do with true love. True love lasts, so it's important to recognize it when you see it.

Who Even Knew This Was Possible?

An old friend gets ordained a bishop. We watch the livestream from 872 miles away. At the end, while he's leaving the church, he shows off an amazing new power of seeing us through a tv screen. Whoah! Mind. Blown.... Continue Reading →

Pilgrimage Ponderings: Are Spanish Dogs Really Cats in Disguise?

A surprising oddity as we hiked the Camino de Santiago de Compestela was the dogs. Yes, the dogs.

A Pilgrimage of a Lifetime

I just returned from Spain and Portugal with my three sons and group of nine other men. We've got some stories to tell.

Spiritual Insight: Put Your Own Mask On First!

Listen carefully to the pre-flight instructions and you might hear a very scriptural insight.

When a Historical Photo Becomes a Visual Metaphor

A striking photo from the battlefield at Iwo Jima amplifies a reality that ALL Catholics experience.

Notre Dame Day Interview About the Grotto Photo (Part 6)

The story seems a little more real when you see & hear real live humans talking about it.

Upcoming Opportunities To Hear More About The Grotto Photo (Part 5)

The Grotto photo will be featured on Catholic radio, a parish talk, and a Notre Dame internet TV broadcast. Some details and thoughts about all this..

Easter Joy: Best Images From My Text Strings During the Past Week

Some family and friends really got into Holy Week text exchanges this week. Fun stuff. 🙂

Good Friday in Plain and Simple Terms

We killed Him. We freaking killed HIM. Today was like a funeral for me. I'm not only sad, but I'm outraged at what we did to Jesus. We? Yes, WE! I was and am still part of the problem.

The Grotto Snowflake Photo: Yet Another Surprise (Part 4)

Every time the story of Our Lady's image in a snowflake seems to be over, another new and unlikely connection emerges.

A Man Who Made an Impact

Dr. Richard C. Boling Sr. was good to me when I needed him. That is something I'll never forget.

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May!

Our son wanted to go to Rome but did not have the money. So what's he doing in Rome today?

Maybe the Tuesday Morning Wedding Time Wasn’t Such a Bad Idea

My grandparents' Tuesday morning wedding reveals a clarity about marriage often lacking today.

Pausing Briefly from Serious and Important Stuff… The Side of the House has a NEWLY RESTORED DOOR!

If you find yourself sipping scotch with me on the Side of the House this summer, you might notice something different.

The Grotto Snowflake Photo: New and Unexpected Twists (Part 3)

The story of Our Lady's surprise at the Grotto at Notre Dame last December just keeps surprising us all.

The Wisdom Story Behind St. Valentine’s Day

The origin of Valentine's Day is sketchy. But don't let that obscure the beauty of the wisdom story that inspired it.

Little Things Are Actually Big Things

Small gestures of kindness can make a lasting impact on the lives of our friends. My basement stairs can attest to this.

Who had a larger crowd? Obama? Trump? (Yawn) Fr. Peyton used to draw a million all the time. The rosary is more powerful.

Why Did Nine Million People Suddenly Turn Catholic?

It's nearly 500 years old. Enemies can't destroy it. Scientists can't explain it. How did it lead 9 million people to Christ? Read on...

A “Selfie” Taken by Mary Herself: Our Lady of Guadalupe

This image went viral before viral was a thing. It is a story so astonishing that it is hard to believe, yet it is the apparition of Mary with the most scientific evidence.

In Praise of Work: The More Kids Hate It – The More They Need It

Our entire family raked our lawn together today. This "all hands on deck" situation only happens once in a blue moon. It was fantastic! What would have taken me 6 or 7 hours working alone was finished in only 70... Continue Reading →

Aquella Foto Extraordinaria de la Gruta en Notre Dame

El 11 de diciembre, publiqué algo en mi página de Facebook que me ha mantenido ocupado con correspondencia por semanas.  Ha sido compartido y recompartido miles de veces en los medios sociales (las ultimas noticias: este “blog” ha recibido 190,000... Continue Reading →

The Waterfall Picture Many Consider Miraculous

For nearly 30 years this inexplicable picture has touched people and motivated them to recommit themselves to prayer. It's time to reintroduce it in the digital age.

If Your Christmas Was More Melancholy Than Merry, Read This…

If Christmas was sad or lonely for you this year, please read on...

The Grotto Snowflake Photo: The Student Has Come Forward (Part 2)

I think I've received around 50 or 60 inquiries about the identity of the student praying in this photo. My thinking was that we did not need to find him because if it was meant to be he would find... Continue Reading →

A Tale of Two Countries

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season... Continue Reading →

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