The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthdays and more...

Today is my father's 100th birthday. John McCarthy, born July 24, 1909, almost made it all the way but returned to the Father a few years short of the century mark, dying at the age of 95. (My mom, Martha Cavanaugh McCarthy, who would have turned 100 a month ago on June 28, died in 1977.)

Mom and Dad enjoying a beer in the 50s

For some reason, this quiet celebration of my parents' 100th birthdays is a bit of a shock to my system. When you realize your parents would be 100, you know you're getting old. But I'll shove that thought onto a back burner, and focus instead on my dad.
Dad giving a speech in the 1960s

John McCarthy was a remarkable man whose accomplishments could have filled multiple lifetimes. He was so many things: a self-made, self-educated expert in sales, marketing and management; an author of highly acclaime
d books on these same subjects; and a successful businessman and entrepreneur in a number of industries.

Dad with Governor John Volpe

He was a member of the "greatest generation" who served his country with distinction in World War II and beyond (he retied as a colonel in the Army Reserve); a teacher who trained and motivated tens of thousands of business people; a public speaker who delivered thousands of speeches to business, civic, governmental and political groups for over 40 years; a public servant who, during his tenure in state government, brought a rare honesty and accountability to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But more importantly he was a man of deep faith, whose generosity knew no bounds, and a loving husband and father. And throughout that long, distinguished career he had the loving support of two remarkable women: my mom, Martha, and Dad's second wife, Barbara.

We all miss him. Dad and Barbara on their 25th Anniversary

Happy Birthday, Dad. Rest in peace.

Coincidentally, tomorrow, July 25, is the birthday of John McCarthy's eldest great grandchild, Pedro Santa Ana. Young Pedro, a genius among his eight-year-old contemporaries, already shows signs of being made of the same right stuff as his great grandfather. Happy Birthday, Pedro.

Dad (93) and Pedro (1) chillin' in 2002

Catholic Charities backs Obama Health Plan

The head of Catholic Charities USA, Fr. Larry Snyder, has in effect come out in favor of President Obama's health care reform plan. In a letter sent to legislators, Father Snyder, although he does not specifically mention the president's plan, clearly shows support for the reforms it advocates. Unfortunately, he does not mention the pro-abortion elements of the president's plan, despite the fact that Catholic pro life organizations are working hard to get those elements removed. Read more here.

It reminds me of a meeting I had with a diocesan Catholic Charities director a few years ago. She was waxing eloquently about our then US representative and his strong support for comprehensive immigration reform. "We're really fortunate to have him as our congressman," she told me. When I reminded her that he had a 100% pro-abortion voting record, she responded by saying, "Oh, yes, I guess we'll have to talk to him about that."

One step forward, two steps backward...

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