Family and Kids

I never knew my Great Grandmother Frances Picard. She was originally an O’Grady. They had a deep spirituality and she converted to the Catholic Church later in her life. (By the way, this was all new to me since I never knew – in my childhood – that I had several lines of Catholic ancestors.)

My Great grandmother is bottom right

They were literate people back in those days. Detroit was in it’s glory days (oh, how it has fallen). The culture still believed in God; they still had a sense of honor, morality and natural law – all honoring Nature’s God.

During some cleaning and organizing we dug through dusty old books gathered from family archives and attics. I am the family archivist now working on genealogies and digitizing old photos.

We came across a tattered and brittle piece of paper, yellowed with age. It was buried in the binding of an old book. On it was the handwritten script of those who learned great penmanship – before we lost it after the keyboard was invented. On that page and in the lines of poetry I can step back in time and meet my ancestors and get a whiff of the world as it was – better times in many ways.

Here are a few lines from a poem she loved entitled Prelude to the Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell Lowell. I read it aloud to my wife Janet and we were for a moment whisked away. Notice especially stanzas 9 and 10. What is free when everything else has a cost?

Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
We bargain for the graves we lie in;
At the devil’s booth are all things sold,
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking
‘Tis heaven alone that is given away
‘Tis only God may be had for the asking;
No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.

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My Grandpa is a Biblical Detective

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.”

So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since.

Was there really a man named Jesus?
Or do the Catholics just try to tease us?
I went to the places,
Studied books for all traces,
And discovered he’s real which should please us.

A Limerick just sent to me from Darrell, a new convert, in response to the limerick I just posted:

There once was a man in much doubt,
What his Protestant faith was about.
Then a great guy named Steve
Helped the man to believe
In the Church that his Savior laid out.

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Five Years Ago My Father Died

by Steve Ray on August 2, 2017

Please pray for the repose of the soul of the best father in the world – Charles Robert Ray. He was 95 years old.

It was five years ago we said Good-bye and I have no doubt at all that he is enjoying the joys of heaven and making intercession for all of still here on earth.

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(Pictures: Dad with four generations: Me, my son Jesse and Josh and Sam; Fr. Bob Roggenbuck praying for dad a week before he left us. My dad’s response to Fr. Bob was, “I love you, thanks for praying with me.”)

Here is the blog I posted at his death here. My son compiled a nice memory video and I wrote a eulogy in his honor. He was very much in love with Jesus Christ and looking forward to meeting Him face-to-face. THAT is the thing that most explained and defined my father.

Mom is now almost 96 and doing well though she misses the presence of her husband of 73 years. God bless her!

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1st Picture of Grandbaby #14

July 5, 2017

Proud of Charlotte and Wes. As soon as they adopted a baby after years of infertility – – guess what? She’s pregnant :-)

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Beautiful Homeschooled Family

June 10, 2017

Enjoying ice cream with our son and his family after Holy Trinity Sunday Mass in St. Charles Illinois. (Excellent priest and exceptional homily too!)

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Today is our 23nd Anniversary as Catholics!

June 4, 2017

Pentecost Sunday 1995 our family of six along with friend Rob Corzine entered the Catholic Church with tears and new friends. We lost all of our Evangelical friends within two weeks but it was a small price to pay. Here you can see two pictures of that momentous day — our family on May 22, […]

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Am I Sick? Naw, I Don’t Think So, Just Feeding the Turkey Vultures

May 15, 2017

The lady at the pet store told me I was a sick individual. I didn’t think so, but then again I am biased and think I’m OK – and my wife tends to agree with me. The whole thing started because of a small hobby of mine. When I was a little boy my dad bought […]

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Steve Ray’s Conversion Story up on “Why I’m Catholic”

April 29, 2017

This is a great website with conversion stories from every religious tradition imaginable to Catholic. The Why I’m Catholic website should be passed around to family and friends. It is very well done, beautifully laid out and full of great stories. Our story was posted this week. You can read it HERE.

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2 Minute Audios: Steve’s 6 Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends

April 7, 2017

People always ask, “What do I say to my husband…?”  or “How do I get my kids back in the Church?  or  “I am getting no where trying to tell my friend about my Faith.” Well Steve came up with Six Rules to help you deal with non-Catholics – especially family and friends. They are […]

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Messy Parenting, Podcasts from Parents of Ten! Great Stuff with a Huge Following

March 30, 2017

  I am happy to call Michael Hernon a highly respected friend. He is also a successful husband and father of TEN! And yes, he has a great sense of humor, a lovely wife — and a great podcast for Catholic families — practical, biblical, funny, Catholic and easy to listen to. He and his […]

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

February 14, 2017

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. This is for my mom. My dad died almost six years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom… Mom, I know it is important to you since […]

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The Story of the Birth and Adoption of Baby Charlie

January 23, 2017

 Now that my daughter and her husband Wes have received the new baby and begun to learn the fine art of changing diapers and bathing such a precious human life, she has taken the time to write the story of the incredible experience. We were able to “live through it” with them though the marvelous […]

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We Welcome Grandchild No. 13 Adopted Today by our Daughter Charlotte – What A Cutie!

January 13, 2017

After finding out she had endometriosis our beautiful daughter Charlotte and her soon-to-be doctor husband Wesley decided to adopt. After praying, working, reading, fund-raising $40,000 today culminated with a dream come true for our whole family! The paperwork is done and it is final. Yahoo! We welcome Charles “Charlie” Thomas Sorrill into our loving family […]

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Daughter Charlotte to Receive her new Adopted Baby any Minute!!

January 12, 2017

Daughter Charlotte waiting for adoption mother’s c-section to see and hold her new baby boy for the 1st time. As soon as the baby boy is born they will bring him directly to my daughter so she can be the first to hold and feed him. She is so excited, the whole family is excited. […]

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Short Story of the Ray Family Conversion with Pictures

December 27, 2016

A while ago I decided to write a brief story of our conversion story. It is easy to read in about 15 minutes, about our coming into the Catholic Church. Janet and I converted to the Catholic Church in 1994 but it still seems like yesterday. It has not grown old and we are still thrilled […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

October 28, 2016

Contributed by Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting… I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. […]

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