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.

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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.

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 ‘…