Give Thanks!

St. Paul teaches the Thessalonians, “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who follows my blog! And thank you. It has been my joy to offer my reflections (some brief, some not so brief) on the readings of the day. Thank you for your comments, as they are very encouraging. Quite a lot  has happened in this past year so this blog post will help to serve as an update on what’s happening in my life these days.

First of all, our family is now back in good ‘ol Turlock! We bought a house in a great neighborhood and Jill works just a few blocks away, at Julien elementary school. Our two boys, Mark and Luke (now 8 and 6) attend 2nd grade and kindergarten there. I’m teaching Junior level Theology (Sacraments and Morality), and Senior level AP Government and Economics at Central Catholic High School, in Modesto. This has been such an amazing blessing in my professional and family life. My return to Central Catholic has been well received and I am absolutely loving this great school.

For the past five months I’ve been doing quite a lot of writing for Saint Mary’s Press, in Winona Minnesota. We  have developed quite a good relationship. They have published two of my three Scripture study tools, The Journey Begins!, and have embedded videos of me and other teachers in their E-book curriculum. Most recently, they asked me to help write a teacher’s edition for their Junior High textbook, Catholic Connections Handbook. It’s a great book for introducing the basics of the Catholic faith. I started the project at the end of the last school year in Salinas, worked on it while living with my in-laws in Modesto (what an amazingly generous and loving family my wife has), and have now just this past weekend finally finished it while living in Turlock!

I continue to offer lectures and retreats in both the Monterey and Stockton Dioceses when ever I am called upon to do so. If you’d like to see my speaking schedule, it is now up to date on my blog, and if your parish or group would like to host an event, just shoot me an e-mail.

Now that I finally have some time, I’ll be offering more reflections on the readings of the day. A great blessing of being here at CCHS is the morning prayer service, where we take turns offering our reflection on the readings of the day. I will be sharing those reflections with you more often.

I haven’t been using Facebook, but I’m thinking to reconsider that decision so that the message might be more widely received. Please look for it and feel free to pass it along (with all the political and social cartoons, of course).

Okay, I think that’s about it! Enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends. Share, pray, laugh, love, and give thanks! God Bless.

Stephen Valgos

Catholic Evangelist

By Deacon Stephen Valgos