These foundational values continue to guide me today:
• The Catholic Church and the teachings of Christ are everything. Never compromise faith and morals, values and truth. Be honest, humble, just. Pray and offer up our sufferings in union with Christ. Be thankful.
• Work hard and do the job right the first time. Mediocrity is not acceptable. If we have the gift of today, use it for God’s glory and do our best. Today is all we have, make it count.
• Being pro-life is not an option — it is a way of life. It is a constant witness and guide of how we treat every person, born and preborn. My father was an independent union contractor, “a blue-collar worker” in the steel town of Pittsburgh, but when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, he decided that his pro-life beliefs must remain first and foremost — even when voting. So when the party in which he loved now included abortion, he switched parties.
• Take care of those around us. Love family, friends, neighbors and strangers in need. The morning my father passed away, he was on his first day of vacation, but chose to help my best friend’s dad, a physically challenged man, to remodel his kitchen. My dad (and mom) gave me a great foundation and example of how to live — and put love into action.
We each receive gifts from our Father in heaven, especially life itself. As our fathers, both earthly and eternal, look at our lives, let’s pray that we’re living the lives that make them proud; lives that uphold the beauty of the image and likeness in which we were created.
Let us make a commitment that babies in the womb will have the same opportunity as we do — to live. Let’s increase our prayers and fasting for mothers with unplanned pregnancies to say “yes” to life, as our Blessed Mother did. And for fathers of these babies in the womb, to realize that one day their preborn daughter or son will tell them thank you for their life, and how their fatherly influence made a wonderful difference in their lives and therefore in the lives of many others.