I had the most wonderful weekend in Tucson, AZ, speaking at their catechetical conference Co-Workers in the Vineyard.
- First, it was wonderful because my wife, Joanne, was able to travel with me for once and we got a chance to visit with her sister, nieces, and god-daughter.
- Second, it was wonderful because we got to see Bishop Gerald Kicanas who hired me right out of college to teach at the high school seminary almost 30 years ago! (see pic below) He is a brillant and holy man and I am proud to call him a friend and mentor.
- Third, it was wonderful to meet so many great people but especially a gentleman named Joseph Michael Enos (BTW, my son’s name is Michale Joseph!), a Native American who told me that he is using my book, Practice Makes Catholic, to teach the Catholic faith on the Reservation! What a thrill it was for me to learn that! (see pic below) He spoke to me about how he is striving to restore a sense of reverence for the sacred among his people.
- Fourth, it was wonderful because, as I was telling a few folks I had met about my Dad’s Pharmacy, a gentleman named Gene Gawlik (I thought I recognized his name) told me he worked for my Dad in the drug store back in the 50s when he was a high school student! I asked him if he had a relative who taught at St. Ignatius College Prep in the 1970s and he said that he was one and the same! I never had him as a teacher but I recall him being on staff. (see pic below)
- Fifth, it was wonderful to spend some time with Carole Eipers who was the Director of the Office for Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Chicago back when I worked there (1997-2002). Another amazing person I can call friend and mentor. (bummed out that I forgot to take a pic at our lunch)
- Finally, it was a wonderful experience because I met so many great catechetical ministers! I did a workshop on the Catechist’s Toolbox for about 75 folks and then did one on Practice Makes Catholic for about 200 folks!
Thanks to everyone in Tucson for making this such a great weekend!