Mad for…Jason

Vocations are born in prayer, and prayer, and only in prayer can they persevere and bear fruit. (Pope Francis)

Today, I’d like to depart, ever so slightly from my typical format. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m still planning to point you to an awesome human whose name is Jason Diebolt. That said, I’m humbly requesting prayerful action from my readers today.

First, however, let me tell you just a little bit about Jason. Peaceful, kind, and friendly are the first three words that come to mind when I think about this young man. He’s an affable kid who graduated from Guerin Catholic High School in 2016 with my oldest son, Nick. His is simply a beautiful soul. There’s just nothing at all that’s notably disagreeable about Jason, and since the moment I heard his name mentioned by my oldest son, the word used in conjunction with his name the most was “faithful”.

It was no surprise to me, then, that Jason chose to take the road less traveled and explore a priestly vocation after his years as a Golden Eagle, where he roamed the halls with his completely charming twin sister, Jenna. He’s been studying for four years at St. John Vianney Seminary in Minnesota. I ran into him briefly during a school break some time back when he joined our Gospel of Life Council members for a meeting or two. He and a fellow seminarian wrote a beautiful Novena for Life that the folks at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church (his home parish) prayed last year and again this past October during Respect Life Month.

As we enter into Advent this year, preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ, I can really think of no more beautiful time to pray for all our seminarians. I’d like to request that all who feel so disposed please stop and join me in praying during this time, especially, for a character and integrity filled young man named Jason, that he may hear the Lord’s voice and follow it bravely and joyfully. Our prayerful support is powerful aid, and I feel confident he will feel it in a meaningful way.

Good and Gracious God,

I pray that Jason and all our seminarians will grow in faith, hope and charity. May their hearts overflow with your compassion, understanding, and generosity. May their desire to serve you inspire others to answer your call. Lord Jesus, give Jason the grace to follow you more closely this day and always. AMEN.

Mad for…Oliver

Life is so much easier with a sense of humor.

It was a colorful car ride to St. Luke’s Catholic School that sealed the deal for me on one Oliver Harmon. It had long been abundantly clear that this young man with the colossal personality was both a force to be reckoned and just….well…a hoot! However, listening to him break down all of his favorite sports teams while razzing his cousin and my sons in the back of my minivan was pure gold. When we arrived at the gym, the Rams were at the tail end of a 5/6 “C” team game, which Oliver proceeded to call as if he was doing both the color and the play-by-play for ESPN from the back row of the grade school bleachers. I wasn’t sure whether I should attempt to “shush” him or just embrace the hilarity with which he was doing his work. I went with the latter.

Warm, sunny and welcoming, Oliver is a University of Dayton graduate who originally hails from South Bend, Indiana. He’s the brother of two great guys named Christian and John, and his little sister Lucy is a beautiful young woman. His parents are kind humans named Joe and Julie Harmon. Oliver now lives in Chicago where he works maybe for an engineering firm if my information and my memory are accurate? I feel confident that the Windy City is a brighter place for his presence.

Likability is Oliver’s strength area. His full up to his eyebrows with hot air, but you can’t help yourself and you just smile when he’s around. This is a kid I just have always liked from the minute I first met him. He’s got the gift of gab, has never met a stranger, and every sighting of this young man leaves me smiling. He greets me with a smile and a big hug, and those are two of my most favorite things!!

Today, I learned that this super young man recently suffered a torn ACL (or some other pretty serious knee injury) that is going to require both surgery and a long period of rehabilitation. This will be challenging for such an active guy, so his aunt Julie (Ferrucci) asked me to please put him on my prayer list. She knows I have a soft spot for this kid.

Oliver, I want you to know two things today! First of all, I am LONG overdue to tell you what an outstanding young man of character that I know you to be! Second, I am nothing if not a reliable prayer warrior, and you are officially on my list. Your great sense of humor will be a terrific asset to you during this rehab. It won’t be easy, but BEHAVE, and GET WELL QUICK! I am praying for you kiddo!!