Sunday, November 18, 2018

An Inspirational Football Story about a Female Coach in WWII

This weekend’s leisure reading was When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis. Lately, there has been a great increase in the number of works about little-known women who changed history in both big and small ways. I enjoy reading about these historical figures and learning their stories. 

This tremendous story of courage and perseverance features Tylene Wilson who became a high school football coach during World War II. She learned the game of football from her father when she was a little girl and had a lifelong love of the sport. In 1944, she was Assistant Principal of a high school in Brownwood, Texas. When the coach leaves to fight in the war, there is no one left to lead the team. Tylene tries to find a male, any male, to coach but none are willing. 

The general feeling is that the season should be cancelled, but Tylene knows that football is the only thing standing between the seniors and signing up early for the fight. She knows that they will most likely need to go to war, but she wants to give them one last year before they have to face that battle. Desperate, she takes it upon herself to coach, facing a great deal of opposition in the process. 

The author, who was deeply inspired by Tylene’s story, has been a beat writer for the Dallas Cowboys as well as a member of the Texas Wesleyan University football coaching staff. 

This is a short book, perfect for enjoying in a weekend (I love those kinds of books!). If you enjoy football or inspirational stories of courageous women, you’ll enjoy When the Men Were Gone.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Laboure Society - Helping Those Called to Religious Life

I recently posted a prayer for vocations. Our Church is in such desperate need for young men and women to answer the call to religious life.

But, in today's world, even after a young person answers God's call, there is often another impediment to entering the seminary or novitiate: student loan debt. The Laboure Society helps these young people raise the funds to pay off their debts so that they can be free to enter religious life.

The society's vision is "a world where Catholic priests, sisters, and brothers exist in adequate numbers to fill the world's needs, where young people everywhere who feel they are called to the priesthood or religious life have the opportunity to pursue that calling."

Find out more at: The Laboure Society

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Ghosts of Faithful - A Catholic Ghost Story

Just in time for November (the month the Church remembers in a special way those who have died) comes a ghost story by Catholic fiction writer Kaye Park Hinckley.

Carroll O’Murphy founded the town of Faithful during the Great Depression. The Ghosts of Faithful takes place 75 years later with his daughter and granddaughter suffering under the weight of secrets. Carroll’s daughter Kathryn just kicked out her husband for a decades-old indiscretion. Kathryn’s older daughter Cornelia is trying desperately to keep up appearance despite her world crashing around her, while younger daughter Izzy has never recovered from the trauma of something that happened to her when she was fourteen.

To make matters more complicated, Carroll’s widow Rose still talks to Carroll as if he is in the room with her. She also claims to be taking care of an invisible seven-year-old girl.

The Ghosts of Faithful is an interesting story about the veil between life and death, the burden and consequences of sin, and the power that our secrets can hold over us.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Prayer for Vocations

Liturgical Year 2019 is the Year of Vocations. My Diocese of Springfield, MA will be praying the following prayer at all Masses beginning in Advent.

Lord Jesus, please provide our diocese with many vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially from our own parishes. 

May the men and women you call respond with joy and courage, and may their families and friends support them wholeheartedly as they seek your Father's will.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Vocations. Amen.

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