Tomorrow: Celebrate SQPN’s Catholic Weekend Episode 200!

Tomorrow, Saturday November 30th, beginning around 10am Eastern, we will be recording the 200th episode of the Catholic Weekend show on SQPN, and I hope you can join us!

Catholic Weekend is a community-based show, in which we regulars and our guests discuss what is going on around the world and at home, with a lot of laughter and humor interspersed with our more serious discussions.  During the recording of the program our viewers/listeners get to watch us recording on the Catholic Weekend homepage via livestream video feed.  They can also participate with us and other listeners in a dedicated chatroom on the site, which we often check and refer to during the broadcast.

To mark the occasion, we are asking our listeners and past guests to send in feedback recalling some of their favorite memories of the show over the past 200 episodes.  You can do so in the form of audio files, voicemail, or email:

Audio Files/Email:

Voicemail Feedback Line: (862) 200-SQPN

If you have never caught an episode of Catholic Weekend before, tomorrow would be a great time to drop by.  Even if you are not Catholic, over the last few years there have been a number of very memorable moments on the show, in terms of guests, stories, and even just plain silliness, which you may enjoy listening to.  This anniversary episode will give a great overview of what we try to do at SQPN to create an online community, particularly through this program where listeners and viewers can join in regularly, or just dip into when they have time.  Even if you can’t stay for the whole show, video of the episode will be uploaded to the Catholic Weekend YouTube page so you can watch it later, and the edited audio of the podcast will be made available in iTunes.

I have been tremendously grateful for the opportunity to co-host Catholic Weekend for nearly two years now, as it has given me the chance to meet many smart, fascinating people, who do their best to integrate their Catholic faith into their daily lives.  It’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long already, particularly since I started out just as a listener downloading the podcast and periodically sending in feedback.  I certainly never intended to get involved in putting out a weekly show, but obviously Someone Upstairs had other plans.

So this is a good time for me to take a moment to thank Father Roderick Vonhögen, our CEO at SQPN, and my co-hosts Jeff Nielsen, Maria Johnson, Steve Nelson, and Angela Sealana, for not only becoming my friends, but continuing to prove themselves wonderful resources for fun, inspiration, encouragement, and growth.  It is not easy to be a Catholic in the present age, when practicing the Christian faith is something so much of the world does not like or understand.  Yet knowing there are good people doing their best to struggle along with you, makes this show and the relationships which have grown out of it very special to me indeed.

Thank you all, for the great experiences we’ve shared so far, and Happy 200th to Catholic Weekend!


14,600 Days and Counting

Today is my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. They were married in the Chapel of St. Eulalia in the Cathedral of Barcelona on this date back in 1971.  Being the eldest child, I have been around for much of  the time that followed, and I have observed how they have been through everything – sickness, health, richer, poorer, good times and bad – and are still enjoying being together.

I’ve always been very grateful to have had loving parents in an intact home.  Particularly when, as a result of growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, when divorce and adultery began to become more commonly accepted, I saw so many families of people I knew splitting and falling apart.  My parents yelled and argued sometimes of course, and they still do today. But unlike many of their peers they didn’t throw in the towel when things were difficult, because they took the Sacrament of Marriage seriously and worked on it, with all of their good points and bad, strengths and frailties, to stay together as they had promised.

As I grow older I’m coming to understand more about this aspect of their marriage, and one which I hope to have the Grace be able to live up to when and if I am fortunate to get married myself some day. It’s something which the priest spoke about in the homily of the wedding I attended last weekend.  “This covenant is based on the gift of self-sacrifice,” he noted, speaking of the marriage of my two friends.  And conceptually, the idea of marriage as a mutual self-sacrificial compact is something of which I am very much aware and understand,but for now can only do so in the abstract.

One of the primary reasons that marriage is so threatened today is that it has come to be looked upon as a fundamental right of passage with no permanent attachments, or perhaps at worst a temporary state marked at the beginning and end by expensive parties and swag.  Society has been falling apart since the Baby Boomers took over, of course, and as the children they have raised grow up in a melange of mixed messages with their only guide being, “Do whatever feels right for YOU,” it is no wonder that there has been a wide-spread rejection of the humble self-sacrifice expected of the individual as a spouse and parent, in favor of something approaching self-promotion.  My needs must trump yours, or I will never be “fulfilled” as a person, or some other such nonsense.

That my parents have bucked this trend is all the more to their credit, as I congratulate them today.  They managed to raise four healthy and successful children who love God, their family, their country, and their heritage – not always easy in a bilingual home – and who all still talk to them every day and visit them regularly.  I am grateful that God brought them together and has helped them to remain together for these 40 years, providing me with love, support, and an example to keep in mind as my own life proceeds.  And I wish them many, many more years together to come.

Dad & Mom (far right) the night of their engagement party
at my Grandparents’ house in Pedralbes, Barcelona