We Yearn For Peace!

By Bishop Josph N Perry

My late father was a World War II veteran who was assigned 1942-1945 to the European Theatre. That generation of men has been dubbed the greatest generation for reasons of their patriotism, their family values, and work ethic. It has also been suggested that many of the WWII veterans that returned home had been made pacifists by the ravages of experience connected with that war. The sons they spawned turned out the Vietnam War generation – my generation – who fought that war, others of whom became draft dodgers and pacifists, protesters through the streets for an end of a longer than long and lengthy conflict in Asia.

My father would not allow me as a child to have guns and holsters and toys that dealt with war. I was ill-equipped to play with the neighbor kids when they played war or Cow-boys and Indians or pretended to shoot each other. I did no quite understand it back then, only later in my adulthood did I begin to understand what my Father was doing with me that he could not quite articulate.

Ours is a different generation. We have gathered to pray, once again, for a new year safer for our children to travel the streets and sidewalks to school and church and parks and other places. We cannot confine our children to inside the home. It is natural for children to want to be outdoors. Continue to encourage them as you have always done to be aware of what’s in front of them, in back of them, on the side of them. More and more kids travel to school on busses or in cars these days. Yet even then, encourage your children and grandchildren to be vigilant, to speak up to parents and teachers when they see something wrong and where to take refuge if danger closes in on them.

When we were growing up my mother did not allow us to watch certain TV shows that were considered “adult entertainment”. In the 1950s, adult entertainment was Payton Place and The Untouchables. We had to go upstairs while mom watched her favorite TV adult shows. I wasn’t able to watch The Untouchables until I became an adult and then got a kick out of some floozy sitting atop a desk filing her nails while her gang lord crook wearing a gun and holster next to his rib was on the phone bringing booze into the city. Those images were off-limits for children of my time. How things have changed with the tenor of morals displayed on the viewing screen and the troublesome Internet!

Today is different. Notice, the popular video games with which children and teens are engaged. Most of them have to do with rabid violence, high powered weapons cutting down opponents and blood spurting every which way. Kids have these at home and work them with their coins in video arcades and at shopping malls. This is considered innocent youth entertainment. And we purchase these games for our youth. I suggest we should fast from these images and other movies where people like actors Stephen Seagal and Vin Diesel and others act out glorified violence. Unbeknownst to us these images work themselves in the consciousness of our youth getting across the idea that violence and killing are the only ways to be somebody. A gun in the hand always renders one a false sense of power.

Now, I am not saying my parent’s methods of raising us were the best. All I know is that I did not turn out the worse for it. I believe there is something to be said for steering clear of giving birthday gifts and Christmas gifts and gifts in between that symbolize violence and killing so prevalent in our city and other cities across the country. Follow through with the rearing of your kids and grandkids on this. Support your prayers and messaging by fasting from the images and instruments associated with violence. Then, sooner or later, the kids will understand.

Bishop Joseph Perry

JNP2017

Manhood Monday: Living the Word

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Alleluia  HB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Are we willing to place our lives in the care of the God who created us out of love? Or do we know better than God about our needs?

Here are some ways to support living as a Practicing Catholic Man right now today:

Prayer:  Ten minutes each day, tell Jesus how much you love him, and make time to listen to the Holy Spirit speak to you.

Reading:  Subscribe to a daily Catholic devotional or read your Bible.  Tip: Ask God to speak to you, and then open the Bible and start reading the first thing that jumps off the page at you. IT WORKS!!

Virtues:  Read Bishop Perry’s Virtues of a Catholic Man.  Work on one at a time, but make it a goal to work on them.  Okay, some guys don’t like goals, so look at them as solving a problem (to grow in virtue).

Support:  Join or start a Parish Small Men’s Group. Join the CMCS Blog community and make comments (“Follow” here). Be at the next Bishop’s Men’s Forum each year on the Saturday after Easter Sunday.

Click here for the full list of points.

God bless your day.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America Prints | Cards

Whatever your challenges are today, remember to take baby steps towards your goals. Ask God to show you the way. Then let Him.

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back here again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.


Not signed up yet? Click here.

Click here to learn about the annual Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum held on the Saturday after Easter each year. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond are invited to attend.

Living as a Practicing Catholic Man

With some you can do yourself and others we can help, just ask.

Here are some ways to support living as a Practicing Catholic Man right now today:

Kindness: Help each other make it through life.

Prayer: Ten minutes each day, tell Jesus how much you love Him, and make time to listen to the Holy Spirit speak to you.

Reading: Subscribe to a daily Catholic devotional or read your Bible. Tip: Ask God to speak to you, and then open the Bible and start reading the first thing that jumps off the page at you. IT WORKS!!

Devotion: Spend time each day with the CMCS “A Man’s Prayer” and / or “A Prayer for Employment“. (PDF) Let the words speak to you, direct you. Men have said how much these prayers are transformational.

Virtues: Read Bishop Perry’s Virtues of a Catholic Man. Work on one at a time, but make it a goal to work on them. Okay, some guys don’t like goals, so look at them as solving a problem (to grow in virtue).

Support Yourself: Join or start a Parish Small Men’s Group. Join the CMCS Blog community and nurish your spirituality (“Follow” here). Be at the next Bishop’s Men’s Forum each year on the Saturday after Easter Sunday.

Support Others: Donate to your parish first, then to CMCS your time, expertise, money (or subscribe to the sponsored Cell phone service – a great gift for Dad’s & Grad’s – Best of all supports Pro-Life!).

Worship: Worship the Lord Jesus Christ who makes life truly worth living, as opposed to the temporal things of this world – money, sports, food, cars, women / porn, booze, work, etc. – more of Christ, less of you. Keep it all in perspective and moderation, and remove what your conscience says is not good for you, as the Church teaches.

Courage: To be a great leader of people — inspire them to follow you, not your rules.

Giving Thanks. Living In Peace.

Life, and the persons we share it with, is too short.

12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, 13and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. 15See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. 16Rejoice always. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 THES Chapter 5:12-18

I have a confession to make. I have lived through at least seven car accidents while I was the driver. None of them have I caused, just my being in the wrong place at the ‘right’ time. However, all of them caused me to reflect on me asking “why did that happen”?!!

But that’s not the real confession ….

The confession is that all of those accidents revealed my unfinished business in that moment had I died, and how I needed to work on each day to correct things that went wrong ‘yesterday’ … and (do that) for the rest of my life. As a Catholic man, it is my responsibility, as it is yours, to be a spiritual leader for our family and an example of our relationship with Christ!

Our first ministry is to get our faimily to Heaven.

I’m sure if you ask your priest or deacon they will tell you the number of people they see at funerals who’ve gone up to bodies and weeping over unsettled issues. The closer you get to people, the more you have disagreements.

It seems that everywhere you look people want to fight you. And today both online and offline. Conflict resolution involves making right towards others to be at peace with all people – and we can’t change others until we can change ourself first.

Bishop Perry’s Men’s Forum 2018

Every day you and I need to work toward living and being “The Goodness of a Catholic Man”, and a servant leader after God’s own heart. Many times we have good intentions but hide behind, or allow, things that distract us to never take action on our responsibilities: prayers or the Cross, the TV clicker, your fears, gossip, sports, money, pornography, work …. the list goes on.

What do you hide behind ?

If you are married, are you and your wife a “gift” to each other, or do you repay evil for evil? Do either or both of you withdraw from the other to make them “pay the price”? Do you threaten divorce instead of work on better communication, no matter what it takes? If so, what is it going to take for you to look at each other in the eyes and say ” YOU ARE NOT MY ENEMY!!! “

Men – how do you talk to your wife? You may have issues, but she is the ONE (that you married and thus God gave to you), and so treat her like the queen of your household. Because she is!! I have learned, when our wives are unhappy, more often than not it’s because of our selfishness (just saying), by not filling her with our love and affection in the way God that made her.

What about your family members: children, siblings, parents, cousins, uncles and aunts … and even close friends … to name a few? As Father Larry Richards says, “the best way to set people free is with your love, not your judgement”. Yes, sometimes we need to tolerate family or friends, and other times we need to remove persons from our lives because they cause a threat to our health or to our life. But, otherwise, Christ calls us in all things to respect each other as a person, as a man or as a woman, no matter how we feel about them.

The reality is that God doesn’t need you or me to do His work! He needs us to love people and let them experience an example of what it is to be Catholic! To be contagious with our Faith!! Spiritual poverty is very common because of our hard hearts. To become the body of Christ we all need to be renewed in prayer.

Let us bring our questions to Jesus. Let Him show us through this renewal how to witness the way in His love.

…. So, going forward, I challenge you to take the steps needed to take care of unfinished business! You know what it is.

Instead of tolerating those persons or issues, this time tackle them like a football superstar … even if it means to make a stop at confession as a first step. Reconciliation and Forgiveness is not a bad thing. Pride and dictating is. In your position of spiritual leadership in the home, responsibility and integrity matters!

Pray is the best way. God, through our action, will then show us how to do the rest.

Life, and the persons we share it with, is too short. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Frank J Casella

How will you remain faithful to daily prayer this Advent season?

Welcoming Jesus to reconcile the world.

How many times each day do you and I make decisions based on how God sees it compared to what “wins” for me?  I’m reminded how in Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscovering Catholicism he shares a story something like how a family was relocated due to a temporary job transfer, so they decided to rent out their house while they were out of town. 

When it came time for them to return they knew that the renters were in financial hardship due to employment changes.  To avoid causing more hardship on the renters, this family paid to rent another house a block away from their own which cost them to do this, in addition to the renters not being able to pay their rent. Once the renters regained their employment several months later, this family moved back into their own house.  Kelly calls this “the Catholic way”.

People in our culture don’t want to hear that you are a Catholic.  They want to experience what an authentic Catholic is.  Every decision that you make, and action that you example, affects another person’s life one way or another.  The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.

It is a time to “stay awake” and seek how God wants you to be an example of your relationship with Him and His Word while we await His return. It is a time to consider how you (and I) will demonstrate until then unconditional love to help each other make it through life … even if it costs you.

Are you in God’s will or in God’s way?

In the midst of the increasingly hurried, materialistic and stressful pace of the season, Advent is a graced time to slow down and pause in awareness of our more deeper longings. To find more deeply who we are as a person, and the man that God calls us to be.

The readings and prayers of Advent attune and orient our hearts and minds to welcome Jesus, the one sent by God to reconcile the world to friendship with God. The Holy Spirit’s gentle voice rouses us from the distractions and indifference of the world to spiritual alertness so we can respond to Jesus’ call to meet Him in His work.

Frank J Casella

Manhood Monday: Living a Blessed Life

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia MT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The widow is another example of the poor ones in the Gospel today whose detachment from material possessions and dependence on God leads to their blessedness (Lk 6:20). Her simple offering provides a striking contrast to the pride and pretentiousness of the scribes denounced in the preceding section (Lk 20:45–47). 

Likewise, in the scripture verse above, the theme of vigilance and readiness is continued with the bold comparison of the Son of Man to a thief who comes to break into a house.

Do you remember not too long ago when the average person would work for the same company for two or more decades?  It still happens, but not that often. More like eighteen months to three years.

Our paycheck, and identity, and thus possessions, can be taken from us like a thief unless we stay awake with readiness. It is best to be detached from these, and work to truly make Jesus the center of our lives.  And this is the meaning behind the CMCS logo, with the four letters surrounding the crucifix – Christ as Center.

Dependence on God leads to blessedness. It’s not about our good intentions to love God, but how much we offer to Christ to fill our hearts, and He possesses our thoughts and actions, every minute of the day and night.

The CMCS-Team

PS. Thanksgiving Day Prayer click here.


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Click to view larger or to purchase
Photo: ‘In All Circumstances Give Thanks‘ Copyright Frank J Casella Prints | Cards

A Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue in a church hallway, silhouetted by window light.

“Failure is an event, not a person”. – Zig Ziglar

We either succeed or we learn.

When I sit in the presence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and give thanks for life and every breath I take, I realize how much it’s more about the big picture of things and less about me.

“In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thes. 5:18

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you in your inbox again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.

Not signed up yet? Click here.

Manhood Monday: How to be Light to the World

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time.

Alleluia JN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked the blind man in today’s Gospel reading.

Has anyone ever said this to you?  If so, how did that make you feel?

Have you ever said this to another person?  If so, how did that make them feel?

When we reach out to others, as a Catholic man, we do and become the man God calls us to be, and a light to the world through Our Lord.

“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘I Am The Light of the World‘ by Frank J Casella Print | Card

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
JN 8:12

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you in your inbox again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.

Not signed up yet? Click here.