I AM A FATHER TOO…And I have the links and pics to prove it:)

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This has not been the easiest Father’s Day for me, having lost my dad from this world just over 2 months ago, and having no earthly descendants to celebrate it with me. Not exactly anyway.  But far from the worst either.

In the last couple months as I have been healing from the events of this winter and spring, I wrote two articles in tribute to my father. One was in regards to my relationship with him and in particular in connection to SSA (same-sex attraction) issues, and I was privileged to have this article first posted in Public Discourse, an outreach and arm of the esteemed Witherspoon Institute, and, just today, in ChurchPOP, a Catholic collection of many different articles, news items, quizzes and other just-for-fun stuff. Read it in either place (if you haven’t already that is), but be sure to in any case peruse them both. There are tons of other articles in both sites that I am confident you will enjoy and be blessed with, and in order to be sure you do not miss out I am placing both links just below, which also list other articles I have written for each site:

ChurchPOP–http://www.churchpop.com/author/richard-gerard-evans/

The second article dealt with the death experience itself, and, while that may sound morbid to some of you, and I will never say it was not tough stuff, it was also unexpectedly beautiful. The other site I write for is Catholic Stand, and they recently published that particular tribute, as well as linking it to the Big Pulpit. Both are the brainchildren of one Tito Edwards, who does most of his great work through the National Catholic Register, the nation’s oldest Catholic news publication, and now owned by EWTN. Again the link below will come from my author page, as I had a number of other items on that page, but the one on “happy death” was my latest, and certainly a lasting tribute to the good man who was my earthly father.

Catholic Stand–http://www.catholicstand.com/author/richard-evans/

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                                      My dad and me in December, 2014

Lastly, a FB (Facebook) friend shared with me some of the most touching words possible last night when we were chatting online. I have not met this young man as of yet but hope to in the future. His name is Andres, and he lives in Mexico.  Here is what he said to me:

“Happy father’s day for you, I love you lots my brother and your baby is very proud of you… Your papa is holding him on his arms and he is very happy seeing him smile, as I smile for you.”

The backstory on that comment is this–My former wife Shirley and myself had 4 miscarriages in the early 1980s. We have therefore four “30-something” children in heaven. Andres, whose first language is Spanish, wrote this when my dad initially passed away, in fact on that very day. It is both simple and powerful:

Andres–“Now you have mama and papa praying for you in heaven.”

Me–“Yes I do. Amazing.”

Andres–“And now your papa met your son :)”

I have not met my unborn children, although I briefly held the first one for a few moments, as the amniotic sac had not broken. But this young man recalled me speaking of them and wanted me to know that they now had grandparents in heaven. Pretty amazing for a young man I have never met.

Finally last year I became a godfather for the Catholic baptism of John Paul Xavier Millegan, the youngest son of my friends Brantly and Krista Millegan. ChurchPOP, mentioned above, is Brantly’s brainchild. So, as I heard it said recently on the radio by a man in a similar situation, I have 5 children, and one I can hold. I am definitely a dad. And a proud one too. Although he is definitely  “bigger and badder” now, here is pretty much my favorite picture so far of the recent one year old:

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                                      My godson John Paul Xavier Millegan

So yes, I am a father too. The links and pics prove it I think. And a very proud one at that!!!  Happy Father’s Day to all men out there, whether you have co-created any children or not. It’s your day so enjoy it.

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My Mother’s Own “Journey Home”–Mary Elizabeth Evans

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Mary Elizabeth Evans–

1922-1991

 

 

 

 

 

Today (1-9-15) would be my mother’s 93rd birthday, and after her passing in 1991, we came across some poetry she had written.  Particularly after my last posting, I wanted to share this one about her journey back to the Roman Catholic Church:

 

This morning I knelt

As my soul sought release,

I heard Jesus’ voice

In the words of the priest

 

How I longed to go back

To the Church I had known,

Within her still walls

To kneel and atone

 

I thought I could leave her

My Mother disclaim,

Forget that she loved me

And called me by name

 

Oh the scenes I remember

Within Her sweet fold,

The farewells to loved ones

The memories I hold

 

The times that I knelt

At the altar and prayed,

The joy of Communion

The vows that I made

 

I ne’er could forget her

The Church of my youth,

Too long have I loved her

Her beauty and Truth

 

Though far did I wander

From her in my pride,

In longing, my spirit

With her did abide

 

This morning I knelt

To pray and atone,

My heart filled with joy

At last I was Home!

Written By Mary Elizabeth Evans

8-20-1970

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This is the Nativity of St Mary Catholic Church, in rural Waseca, MN.  My mother was baptized and received the Sacraments of Initiation (First Communion and Confirmation)  here, and I too was baptized here on December 31, 1955 on a cold MN winter morning just over 56 years ago. The building later became a historical landmark, and then was inexplicably torn down a number of years ago.  After I returned to the Church in 2006, I visited the spot where it stood with my godmother Mary Burns and two of my sisters.  Many others in my family were baptized, married, and buried through the ministry of St Mary’s.  This picture is courtesy of the Waseca Historical Society.

Church of the Nativity of Our Lady (in front) ...

 


 

January 1st, 2015 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (catholicjules.net)