An old expression that you don’t hear much anymore is, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Ironically, I should have been telling that to myself last week.

This column has featured quotes from a variety of books of the Bible, but never one like this one: “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.” For those of you who never misspent their youth watching cartoons, that is from the Book of Popeye (the sailor man).

Ruby Nell Bridges and I were born five days and a world apart in September 1954. My elder by less than a week, she was born to an African-American family in rural Mississippi and I to a white middle-class family in the coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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It is a strange but not unusual phenomenon that once in a while we are surprised and filled with wonder at something we look at countless times but don’t really see. This happened to me a few weeks ago on my way to work early one morning.

Think of how much of life is based on trust. It lies in the background of numerous activities we do and with many of the people we deal with every day.

Reading a book by Father Joseph Esper entitled Saintly Solutions to Life’s Common Problems, I had an opportunity to see how well I could put that advice into practice.

Sometimes the lessons we learn in elementary school aren’t just about reading, spelling and arithmetic. I learned a lesson of another kind one morning when the school district’s dental hygienist visited my second-grade classroom. (This was a long time ago. There are dental hygienist schools,…

One of the fellow members of a church group and I have a running commentary on who is the worse singer. However, it’s not what you might think. He claims that he has a worse voice, while I claim that “honor.” Despite our lack of vocal talent, we both do our best when the group sings hymns in…

There was a time when the churches of town would hold a Sunday afternoon ecumenical service to mark the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. When the service was held in a Catholic church, there would be a Protestant minister as speaker and vice versa.

JoAnn and I were among the last patrons in the dining room of the Penn Wells Hotel on a weekend stay in Wellsboro. As the other customers finished their meals, paid their bill and left, the staff quickly moved in to clear and clean tables in order to reset them for those soon to be arriving …

It was an ending that could have only been scripted by God.

Like many in our area, I only knew Anna Flynn and Myron Moskowitz casually but greatly admired them and their commitment to God and their communities. Moskowitz, a Shamokin attorney, passed away Sept. 13 at the age of 93 and Mrs. Flynn, a pillar of the Mount Carmel community, died Dec. 4, ju…

A recent experience was a vivid reminder that the incarnation of Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human, as a baby in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago is still affecting people’s lives and will continue to do so until the end of time and beyond.

Jesus Christ being incarnated, fully divine and fully human, as a baby in Bethlehem to Mary, is the ultimate love story.

Even the most casual sports fan is likely to wonder why anyone would want to be a coach. When you see that top-level college football coaches can get multi-million-dollar buyouts when they get fired after less-than-successful records, you think that money might be the reason. You would be wrong.

Even the best persons have “one of those days” when frustration boils over into anger. Saints are not even immune from this.

When we were growing up, our parents told us that “please” and “thank you” were the “magic words.” These days, it sometimes seems that those words truly are magical — people seemed to have made them disappear.

Faith enables us to see coincidences, both large and small, illuminated by the light of God. This is true as we observe the 10th anniversary of the death of our Mother, Mary P. “Mae” Kozlowski.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a program about adverse childhood experiences and learned the tremendous impact these can have on a person throughout the rest of his or her life. They can have a major effect on a person’s health and opportunities for success, as well as having the …

Sometimes we don’t know what the seeds of faith will grow.

A few weeks ago on our quiet street on an even quieter Sunday morning, there was a scene that Norman Rockwell could have painted. A young father was pulling his toddler son in a wagon.

Last Sunday, John “Jack” Sadusky was inducted to the Jerry Wolman Northern Anthracite Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. It culminated an athletic journey that was even longer the chapter’s title.

There are many people who seem glad to see you. Some really are. Parents seeing their children, old friends getting together, spouses returning home from their respective jobs almost always are. Those trying to sell you something, borrow something or ask a favor of you may be genuinely glad …

There are a variety of ways to celebrate a person’s birthday, including the ever-popular party featuring cake with candles. But how to you observe the date of a loved one’s death?

What would you sacrifice for someone you love? One couple in India sacrificed themselves.

A young guy and a senior citizen meet in the greeting card aisle at Walmart. No, this is not the start of a bad joke. It was what happened when I went shopping for a wedding anniversary card for JoAnn. As you undoubtedly guessed, I was not the young guy.

When we reach age milestones, we have an opportunity to ponder what they mean but seldom do that. When we attain school age, we don’t think about it. We’re too busy exploring a new adventure.

If someone asked me what was the most joyful day of my life, I would answer immediately that it was on Sept. 7, 1991. That’s when JoAnn and I were married at 1 p.m. I’ve been writing about our wedding anniversary every year since then, either in this spiritual column or in my humor column.

Hercules, of Greek mythology, had to perform the Twelve Labors. He got off lightly. We all have countless labors, both great and small, we perform every day both on the job, in school or at home. Many of us often find ourselves daydreaming what it would be like to lead a life with nothing to…

There are various times for new beginnings. Many try to acquire good habits or get rid of bad habits by making New Year’s resolutions. However, few resolutions survive long into the new year when the resolvers realize just how long a year is.

What do most people want out of life? Money would be at the top of many people’s list. Fame and its first cousin glory would be up there. Many would give anything to be a great athlete. I’m optimistic that many would want someone they could share their love and life with.

William “Bill” Leavens’ voice will no longer be heard in this life, but the way he lived will continue to speak to anyone who knew him about what faith in God, love of family and joy of living truly mean.

We start off life dependent on our parents for everything — food, comfort and, most of all, love. However, it doesn’t take long before we try to assert our independence. Our first words are often “mama” and “dada,” but our favorite word soon becomes “no.” Our first sentence is typically, “Me do.”

Once, I had an unexpected reunion with a former student. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, but I recognized him immediately. I don’t have a great memory, but I did have him in my ninth-grade English class two years in a row.

It was a bit confusing when they would page “Walter Kozlowski” on the PA system at the school where the “other” Walter Kozlowski and I work. It is even more puzzling that the two of us bearing the same, not-so-common name could grow up and live much of our lives less than a mile from each an…

We were truly blessed growing up. Not only did my two brothers, sister and I have great parents; we had terrific aunts and uncles and cousins. We also lived relatively close together. Aunt Jane and Uncle Al and their four sons were less than three blocks away, while Aunt Catherine and Uncle …

We haven’t worked together from anywhere to a few years to over a quarter century, but we still enjoy to get together. Once or twice a year, we meet to see how everyone else is doing and to recount memorable people and incidents from our days as reporters and editors.

Ellen Whalen once gave my mother, her first cousin, a framed photo of Ellen’s dad, Vincent Kleman Sr., who was then around 90, using a baby’s bottle to feed a tame doe. That ah-inspiring photo of Uncle Vince came to mind when we learned that Ellen had died at age 78. (No matter how long a go…

It is often a matter of perspective. That insight occurred as I drove by the home where my family lived for more than 50 years. It was where my two brothers, sister and I grew up.

It was a tale of two trips. I did the driving Wednesday evening with my friend as a passenger. The roles were reversed Saturday morning.

Wisdom is not necessarily restricted to seniors. When a friend of mine gave a brief spiritual reflection, he focused on the advice of his 12-year-old son.

Whenever JoAnn and I would go next door to visit Mother and found her holding the phone and laughing uproariously, we didn’t have to ask who was on the other end of the line. It had to be old friend and former Penney’s co-worker Jean Kovaleski.

If you drive through many area communities, you will see banners honoring members of the armed forces who have been dubbed “hometown heroes” as a result of their service to their country.

The Sunday Mass readings about the Good Shepherd brought to mind of some of his assistant shepherds.

As Mother’s Day approached, I suddenly realized that it would be the 10th one that has occurred since I don’t have my mother with an earthly address to which I could address a card.

It was a situation that would have been mathematically impossible 20 years ago. There were three, two-way conversations going, but only four of us in the car. Before you start thinking in terms of fractions, I should explain.

Unfortunately, family feuds are not limited to the popular game show. Sadly, there are many families where parents are estranged from children, siblings are not on speaking terms with other siblings and there are a variety of dysfunctional family combinations that have separated from each fo…

In my 65th springtime and Lent, I am hard pressed to recall a single Good Friday that was not overcast or an Easter Sunday that was not sunny. Now, I’m sure it would not take much research into what the weather was on those days from the spring of 1955 until the present to prove me wrong.

It is easy to get caught up in your own problems if you aren’t careful. You have a busy week when you don’t seem to have enough time to do everything you need to do and you can’t get anywhere near the amount of sleep that you need. You’re feeling under the weather and you feel that the world…

It is often easier to help someone than to ask for help. Likewise, it is less difficult to tell someone you will pray for her and his special intention than it is ask to someone to pray for you.

Looking through the shoe clearance rack at a department store, I was suddenly transported back to my teens and my first pair of “athletic shoes,” as opposed to my customary and much more reasonably priced sneakers.

There’s no mistaking when an infant is hungry and wants her bottle. Smoke alarms can be drowned out by the cries of a hungry baby. It’s time for food and that’s all there is to it.