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…

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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.

The shadow of the cross that Jesus bore and that bore Jesus casts a shadow backward over Lent. Sometimes, our own crosses cast shadows over our lives that seem to block out the light of God completely.

It was an unexpected sight. When dropping my wife off at work, I noticed a gentleman from our parish braving gusty winds and sub-freezing temperatures to go to the chapel for daily Mass. It’s not that unusual except that this particular parishioner is in his early 90s and had to walk about a…

“Never think that distance of place can ever separate souls which God has united by the ties of His love.” St. Francis de Sales’ advice in his “Letters to Persons in the World” was written about four centuries ago, but it proved true today even though the world is a much different place.

When JoAnn’s aunt, a Felician Sister, died, the auxiliary bishop of her diocese came to pay his respect at her viewing. He not only offered condolences to her biological family and her religious family, the bishop stayed for the funeral Mass.

Every year, a large crowd gathers in Punxsutawney to see if a large rodent who goes by the name of “Punxsutawney Phil” sees his shadow, predicting that we will have six more weeks of winter.

I first became acquainted with Francis nearly 35 years ago. I have been in contact with him and his faith on a daily basis for at least a quarter of a century. The odd part is that Francis died about 332 years before I was born, and while he spoke French, Italian and Latin, he was not conver…

Sometimes, food can make your eyes water as well as your mouth.

The holiday season could easily be known as the “too much season.” Warming up with the great food of Thanksgiving, many of us are in overindulgence overdrive for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

This year has been one that we would like to forget at times, but it has also been memorable for good reasons.

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.

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.