Has the faith always been a big part of your life?
We were a very Catholic family — that was a key part of my life growing up. In fact, we just lived a few blocks from our church, so we would always walk to church. Back in those days, Mass was never canceled, even when you would get these terrible snowstorms, and my parents were always like, “Aren’t we lucky? We never have to miss Mass!”
What are some of your hobbies?
I really like to cook. That’s really relaxing for me, particularly on the weekends. I really like to read, too. Since this pandemic has hit, we’ve really gotten into board games, especially with our youngest son. It’s been a lot of fun, and I think he’s picked up a lot of good skills from sitting around playing Scrabble.
What has been your role over the past year in promoting the Unite Our Nation Eucharistic processions?
I did a lot of coaching, a lot of consulting with people who were organizing the processions in various places — really, working with the people who were filling out the forms saying they wanted to do this, advising on logistics, security, things like that. Even though we had material on the website they could download — the playbook, ads and bulletin announcements — it’s a big deal to organize a procession. So, I was the person they could talk to.
What has been fulfilling about that ministry for you?
I’ve met a ton of really interesting people and people who are really passionate. Everybody just felt so good about doing something for our country and something for Christ. People really just want that peace.
Any funny stories from your work with organizers around the nation?
Well, in California we had a woman denied a permit by her city hall. They said, “No, we can’t possibly give you a permit for a religious procession,” because they were totally shut down due to COVID. So she said, “Well, what about all these riots we’re having?” And they said, “Well, yeah, you can do that.” So she said, “OK, we’re going to call this a prayerful protest. We’re protesting evil.” And the woman said, “OK, you can do that, sure — as long as you call it a protest.”
What’s new this year with Unite Our Nation — any upcoming projects?
Our latest movement is an offshoot of Unite Our Nation — “CatholicFathersDay.com.” We are working with Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul to promote Eucharistic Processions on Father’s Day, June 19. Our own Archbishop (Jerome E.) Listecki is on board early, as usual. We are blessed by his presence here.
You and Jim have been married for 23 years. What is the secret to a good and holy marriage?
I think it’s important that we’re united in our faith. I don’t want to simplify it when I say this, but it’s good that we can be together and raise our kids that way. I think the other thing is just a good sense of humor. I do think humor is part of God’s plan, too.
What is one thing you’ve always wanted to know?
This is something I’ve always wondered: we have the story of Jesus and his birth, and we know when he was 12, they went to Jerusalem and he stayed back and talked to the rabbis at the temple. But after that, you just don’t know until he begins his public ministry. I guess I would be very curious to know those years in between. And what happened to Joseph, and what was his life really like? Maybe it’s because I like to read so much — I would love to know more about that hidden life there.