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Free and undeserved help from God

Despite our lives coming up short, the Lord gives us chances to do more and be more By George Valadie It was exactly one month ago when we sat down for lunch in our living room, Nancy in her chair, me and the dog in mine. It’s how we eat …

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A wife’s visions of how Christmas should unfold

They recall the visions of another mom from 2,000 years ago and how her son’s life would be By George Valadie “ … while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.” Now that I think about it, I have no clue what a sugarplum is and have never eaten one …

Wishing for a tally of lifetime Masses attended

And remembering ‘those who have gone before us,’ even those who may be forgotten By George Valadie Every so often this odd thought comes over me when I wish I had a running tally of the number of lifetime Masses I have attended. Don’t ask me why, I have no …

Remembering prayers he offered for students

Petitions offered by a former principal spanned everything from report cards to final exams By George Valadie Prayer is easy. That’s what Father said. He was speaking to the third- and fourth-graders at their weekly Wednesday morning Mass. Admittedly, Nanc and I should attend daily Mass more than we do. …

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Tears flow when last child goes off to college

Even though that happened 20 years ago, the memory of a daughter moving on remains By George Valadie It was that ugly sort of cry. Probably would have been pretty disconcerting to anyone who happened by, though thankfully no one did. Nancy had run down to the store, and there …

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After years of trying, he can say, ‘I hate golf’

But after some valuable time in the sport spent with his grandson, he may change his mind By George Valadie I hate golf. Again. This is at least the fourth or fifth time. We’ve battled often. I’ve lost every time. Soundly defeated. Vanquished not by an opponent with better skill …

A stroll through family history via school records

Some questions would garner a lawsuit today, but the info gathered was more complete By George Valadie The unexpected text was from my high school alma mater. We stay in touch now and again. Many we know have moved on but not everyone. Turns out one of this summer’s tasks …

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‘Dear Lord, are you wanting me to step away?’

God seemingly stays silent after a prayer of the columnist on retiring from a career in schools By George Valadie Have you ever thought you were right but it turned out you weren’t? I mean not just a little off, but wrong, way wrong? The “I don’t even know how …

No one Catholic school student is like another

Parents and school staffers are sometimes surprised—and relieved—on graduation day By George Valadie Since we’ve retired, the concept of time has taken on an odd sensation. Random days are crazy busy. But others—when there’s not as much to do—feel like they crawl by, hours barely creeping along if they move …

Getting ready for ‘Tornado Season 2022’

Does God get a good laugh watching us prepare our lives for an eternity we know is coming? By George Valadie An-ni-ver-sa-ry plural: anniversaries—1. The annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event, e.g., a wedding anniversary. Happily, that’s most often the context in which we use the word, …

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Remembering ‘James, the French fry guy’

He served meals to students with a smile, never revealing what he was feeling inside By George Valadie Not too long ago, Nancy and I had the opportunity to return to Memphis, where we had spent 14 wonderful years of our lives. There, I had the privilege of serving as …

A retiree enjoys volunteering at the hospital

Driving patients to and from their cars leads to laughter and learning about ‘bonus days’ By George Valadie It’s becoming one of the most enjoyable days of my week: Tuesdays—the day I volunteer at the hospital. Long before I’d ever officially announced my leaving, I knew I had no intention …