Hello and blessings! My name is Deacon Tom, and I’m so pleased to be a new part of the Catholic Family ‘effort.’ I don’t know David and Allyson personally just yet. I found them as so many folks have found good Catholic programming on the Internet. In my case, it was through SQPN. A thirteen-year old grandson sold me an IPOD device. It took months to get around to learning how to use it – but now I’m hooked on the SQPN family of Podcasts.
By way of a first-column introduction, I am a Catholic Deacon, ordained by the wonderful Archbishop Charles Chaput in Denver. Following an assignment in an awesome Colorado mountain town, Estes Park, my wife (Dee) and I came to a decision to move closer to one of our family members. We have a daughter and son-in-law and three granddaughters living in Scottsdale, Arizona. So, Dee and I are in the process of moving to Arizona – Payson, specifically. More on that at a later time.
Enough personal information for now. Why do I have a column here? How did it come to be that David and Allyson were willing to let me start this? Do you think it was because we buttered them up? Told them what fans we were of the Catholic Family Podcast? That we liked them as much as we like Blue Bell ice cream (remember that show)? Or perhaps, could it be that we were touched by the gentle experience and holiness of being ‘with them’ when they renewed their wedding vows in Church?
I guess the answer is yes, yes, yes and yes. Ever since we started listening, the Sweeneys have seemed like a nice, Catholic family that we’d like to know better. And if you listen to the shows… if you listen between the lines – you may come to recognize as I have, that Catholic family life is different for them – it’s internal. It’s a part of who they really are. As a married deacon – this is something we’ve tried to manifest in our life. And it is something that I’ve tried to promote as a ‘message’ for those that I preach to. How will we Catholics be ‘known?’ Certainly, Scripture says we’ll be known by our love. But other faith families are loving too. Is there something else that will make us different as families?
Catholicism ought to be a part of what we are as couples… what we do and what we share with the world. David and Allyson are among a group of Catholic ‘broadcasters’ who are sharing day-to-day Catholic faith in action. They are serious about their faith – and yet they can be a little ‘strange.’
But their Catholic faith is manifest in their evangelization effort. It is manifest in the way they seem to live their lives. And so it should be for all of us. A woman who is a spiritual mentor in the Colorado Mountains near us once said to me, “You ought to be able to recognize a Catholic home the minute you enter it.” She said these words as she gifted us with a beautiful crucifix that now hangs on the wall by our front door. And behind the cross is a large palm branch left over from Passion Sunday.
So for my first ‘chaplain’s column’ – I would like to issue this call to reflection and possibly action. How can we be a little more ‘different’ in our family lives? How can we be ‘more Catholic?’
By the way, there is another Catholic family with the name Sweeney. They happen to live in Colorado. They aren’t related to David and Allyson (that I know of). They have a website which is fun… a bit zany. This picture is the ‘front door’ to their website (http://sweeneyland.com/). I’m not promoting their message or approach. But what is interesting is this: they are Catholic and it shows in the images of what they project to others.
Blessings. Love. May the Lord bless you and your family.