It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of my dad’s brother, Alexander Kozlowski. Uncle Al played such a big role in my life and that of my family, it’s seems incredible that he has been gone for three decades.

When I was a reporter in the mid-1980s, I was assigned to do a story about a group of about 10 migrants from Poland who had arrived in my town, Mount Carmel, under the auspices of the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Catholic Charities. A few weeks later, I somehow found myself teaching English to my…

As the priest preached a moving homily on the twofold commandment of love in Mark’s Gospel, the adults and children in the pew showed how that love is lived.

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There was another topic planned for today’s column, but then I noticed that it would run on Nov. 17, my dad’s birthday. Whenever thoughts turn toward Dad, they cannot help but turn toward Mother. She died at age 82 on Nov. 15, 2009, two days before what would have been his 89th birthday.

At the reception on the eve of the wedding, the groom, whom I have known all his life, told me something I already knew — the ceremony at a hotel would non-religious. Then, he added, “But the hotel is next to a church.”

Even if you are not Catholic, you probably still have “informally canonized” at least a few outstanding souls. It is not unusual to hear someone say something like, “My mother was a saint.” Not surprisingly, more than a few people have proposed my wife JoAnn for sainthood for putting up with me.

Quite a few people wear the bracelets with the initials “WWJD.” It reminds them to think “What would Jesus do?” as they ponder what action they should or should not take.

There was something very unusual about the two breakfasts we ate at Malvern Retreat House two weekends ago. The dining room had more than 80 people from our group, yet there was no conversation. Except for discussions among the waitpersons, the only sounds you heard were when the metal flatw…

While spending an early October weekend at Malvern Retreat Center, JoAnn and I were surveying a sylvan scene in front of the impressive grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Elizabeth “Betty” Katona was one of those rare people whom you can know slightly but appreciate greatly. I had known her for more than half a century after being among many thousands of youngsters she taught how to swim in her 40 years at Knoebels Crystal Pool.

Exactly 22 years on this date, Dad died. We were with him when he took his last breath in a bed in the Alzheimer’s unit at Lebanon VA Medical Center. He had been confined in bed there and in the VA medical unit for about a month. It was probably the first time since he learned to walk over s…

Some people are inclined to look down upon the practice of re-gifting. They might not like to receive a waffle iron or blender that someone else got as a wedding anniversary present even if the appliance was never even taken out of its box.

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.” Those words on a sign in a gas station found their way into an inspirational book. Their next destination was my mind as I reflected on them.

When JoAnn and I were married 27 years ago on Sept. 7, the day flew by in a blur. If it weren’t for the videos taken by her Uncle Sam and the wedding photos by Harry Deitz, the Mass and the reception would have been just hazy, yet wonderful memories.

What would have been my mother’s 91st birthday is coming up in a few days, and one of the many words that could be used to describe her is “strong.” She was not physically strong — even though PEPI Exercise classes were among the activities on her busy schedule even as she passed the 80 mark.

It’s nice to be needed, but it’s just as nice when people are there when you need them.

Johnny Maestro’s final performance was captured on an out-of-focus video at a show in Connecticut on Jan. 17, 2010. After a 53-year career as lead tenor who led two groups to Top Ten hits, he would be dead of kidney cancer nine weeks later on March 24 at age 70.

Most of us are probably guilty of holding onto items that we probably should have given away or thrown away years ago. However, there are sometimes treasures among such articles.

We remember our deceased veterans on Memorial Day, think about vets with pride on the Fourth of July and honor all veterans on Veterans Day. However, the other day, just a plain, ordinary non-holiday, I thought of veterans when I was cutting up a watermelon.

I don’t know about you, but there have been days when it seemed that I complained about nearly everybody and everything starting with the alarm clock sounding and not stopping until I went back to sleep that night.

There is no doubt that music can and does evoke strong emotions. Most couples have what they term “our song.” JoAnn’s and my song is the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” Every time we see Elvis singing it in the film “Blue Hawaii” or hear it playing, we cannot hel…

A long-time friend has an abundance of wisdom and good judgment. (His choice of me as a long-time friend is a rare lapse in that good judgment.)

My brother Dave, sister-in-law, Holly, and I looked out the window at my parents’ backyard. It was a sublime scene as candles glowed on the tables where family and friends were celebrating the 40th anniversary of Joe and Mae Kozlowski at a party also staged by my brother Phil, his wife, Hele…

While most kitchens today are equipped with a television, our viewing in that room is limited to the window above our sink. It only gets one channel, but typically the programming we find out the window is of better quality than what we would see by gazing at the TV screen.

Last week was one of those weeks. It was hectic at work. The chores were accumulating at home and the grass was rapidly approaching “amber waves of grain” status. Family obligations were piling up. To top it off, there seemed to be more work than usual in the two online courses that I am taking.

Ever since 1971 when federal law made Memorial Day the last Monday in May so people could have a three-day weekend, most people associate the holiday with cookouts, camping trips, visits to amusement parks and other leisure activities.

“The vocation is truly a treasure that God places in the hearts of some men, chosen by Him and called to follow Him in this special state of life. This treasure, that must be discovered and brought to light, is not made to ‘enrich’ someone alone. He who is called to the ministry is not the ‘…