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Guest Columns

  • O death, where is thy sting?

    For me, last week began and ended with funerals.
    On Monday, I attended the funeral of Mary Zawalich, whom I’d never met, or maybe I have and I don’t remember.
    About a month ago, she called me. She told me her name and said she was 92 and she was dying, but that it was OK, that it was a “happy death.”
    She had called to say that she’s been a reader of my column and that I’ve been a “wonderful part” of her life. She called to thank me, to say that she admired me, that she has loved me.

  • The joy of being a sinner

    Every once in a while, like 20 or 50 times a day, I wonder if I’ll ever get better.
    I wonder if my faith will ever grow deeper or stronger, if I’ll ever have more passion for God, more desire for holiness.
    Sometimes I think I must surely be the sorriest excuse for a Christian in the history of Christendom.
    Sometimes people ask me when my next book is coming out, and I tell them probably never. I explain that the publishing market has changed dramatically, which is true, and that people don’t buy books the way they used to, also true.

  • Senate awaits action on House budget

    As March rolls along, we are near the end of our work in Frankfort for this session. Although we did not have session on Monday due to the wintery weather conditions, the Senate continues to work on bills to make governmental processes more efficient, clean up statutes and save taxpayer money.

  • Juvenile issues, medical decisions studied by House

    The week may have been cut short by a day because of another round of winter weather, but the Kentucky House of Representatives didn’t let that stand in the way of approving a broad collection of bills.
    Those ranged from the relatively simple – helping sheriff’s departments fill vacancies – to the morally complex, which in this case would build on the current directives people have regarding what life-saving measures, if any, they want taken.

  • General Assembly nears halfway mark

    One of the country’s great success stories over the last several decades has been the steep and steady decline in highway fatalities.
    It’s a welcome trend that has been especially pronounced here in Kentucky.  According to the state’s Office of Highway Safety, you have to go back to 1949 to find a year that had fewer than the commonwealth had in 2013.

  • Hornback’s communication infrastructure bill gets nod

    This week in Frankfort, the Senate passed key pieces of legislation that help our students and school districts, provide economic development and access to better communications, and give law enforcement time-saving investigation procedures.

  • State’s education gets attention of General Assembly

    With more than half of state government’s revenue dedicated to education, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many of the bills considered by the General Assembly every year are also centered on the subject.
    That was certainly the case last week in the Kentucky House of Representatives, which sent to the Senate several pieces of legislation designed to improve different facets of our schools.

  • Who are the ‘church people’?

    Recently, someone passed on a bit of gossip to me.
    This person said, according to reliable sources, a certain person at a certain local church did something that, while doesn’t technically violate the letter of any of the Ten Commandments, is unseemly for, as this person put it, “church people.”
    That same week my pastor said someone came to him and informed him that a certain person who was attending the pastor’s class with the intent of joining the church was, indeed, not a very nice person, maybe even a despicable one.

  • Kentucky a leading state in workforce development

    Whenever corporate leaders scout for new locations to expand or re-locate their business, they consider such obvious things as infrastructure, government incentives, taxes and the cost to build.
    Above all else, though, they look at the quality of the local workforce, according to annual surveys done by Site Selection magazine, a national trade publication that tracks economic development.

  • When perfect isn’t enough

    A few weeks ago, I watched a movie on TV called “The Perfect Family.”

    Right away, just by the title, you know they’re not perfect.

    The main character is Eileen, the mother of the family. A devout Catholic, she attends Mass every day, and at confession she confesses every sin she can think of down to her gossipy thoughts.

    She serves communion and delivers food to the homebound. She’s careful to pray before meals and keeps a family altar in her home.