Lent: Fortitude

As you will see, I confronted Fr. Dave about some rumors I heard about this mistreatment of the stuffed Grogu in the Friary. Sadly, these rumors seem to be true!

Then our conversation turned to a far more serious matter, the crisis in the Ukraine. It is hard to feel so helpless when injustice is clearly being done.

We conclude with something we are planning to do each of the seven weeks of Lent, and examination of the seven virtues. This week we look at “fortitude.” I hope you are blessed by it!

Countdown to Lent

This weekend I went to the NBA All-Star Game with my son, Bobby, and daughter, Elliana. It was SO MUCH FUN! This was a “bucket list” thing to do, and since All-Star games seem to only come to Cleveland every 25 years I figure the next time it will be within driving distance will be when I’m 75! So I had a lot to say about basketball, and Fr. Dave was suspiciously quiet about baseball and the impending strike.

We spoke a bit about the situation in the Ukraine, but we really didn’t have much to say except how we are all so worried about it, and are keeping the people of that country in our prayers.

We ended with a challenge to prayerfully prepare for Lent! Our next 7 episodes we are going to offer reflection on the seven virtues and how they connect to the Lenten season. So enjoy this last week of Ordinary Time!

A Whole New World

Coming back from vacation lets you see the world in a whole new light. Or, at least, that what happened with Fr. Dave. He began by noticing that I had a goatee, but refused to believe that I’ve had it for weeks. I had to show him video proof that just a few weeks ago we were sitting, right across the table from each other, and he didn’t notice. It escalated from there.

Though Fr. Dave was dismissive of it, the actual World Champions of Football are Chelsea F.C, which is my favorite “soccer” team. Oh, and something happened with American Football this weekend. Hard to keep up with all those regional sporting activities (unless, of course, the Buccaneers are involved). As usual, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about sports.

My favorite thing about this podcast was learning about a new saint (or at least “new” to me), St. Margaret of Corona, who was a Franciscan Third Order Regular (which is the order that Fr. Dave is a part of). Really inspiring!

Tommy Boy

It is a good thing we didn’t have a podcast last week, because the emotion would have been too much. Of course, I’m talking about Tampa Tom Brady leaving the Buccaneers. I like to think of him as “Tampa Tom,” a free loving guy who did YouTube videos by an inflatable pool and threw the Lombardi trophy off a boat. Way more fun than “New England Brady”, no offense to New England fans. That Fr. Dave was the first to notify me of Tampa Tom’s retirement was just insult to injury.

I’m sure we talked about other things, but to be honest this episode is an emotional blur.

Dos Amigos

I turned 50 yesterday! I’m sure I’ll blog about that more in the future. In this episode I got to share about his birthday/anniversary trip to Mexico that I went on last weekend. Fr. Dave brought up the issue of transgenderism in sports. And we closed by talking about a good friend who was just named a bishop. Enjoy!

BTW, we aren’t having an episode next week, but will be back Feb. 9th.

Nicoli Djokavich?

Words can’t express how happy I am that Fr. Dave is finally getting into The Mandalorian. But you’ll just have to hear more about that in the episode. I’m on an early anniversary trip with my wife and I’m trying not to “work” too much, so here is this week’s episode. Enjoy!

Sleeping At the Movies

Well, it was a bit delayed, but Fr. Dave and I finally got the chance to see Spider-Man: No Way Home together. It was my second time, Fr. Dave’s first.

Man, I love that movie. But I agree with Fr. Dave’s assessment: it really works for geeks who are into Spider-Man (and the many movies that were brought together in this one), but doesn’t “stand alone” as well as some of the others (like Spider-Man: Homecoming).

As you can tell by the title, Fr. Dave fell asleep during a key moment. I won’t spoil it here, but be aware that we do have spoilers in the podcast. Sorry, but it was the only way to truly make fun of him.

We also talk about how to stay hopeful even though COVID is still lingering around, as well as what is beautiful about Ordinary Time.

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Death Is Not the End

I’m feeling better today, and have to laugh at how I looked when I recorded this on Monday! I’m sure I just rolled out of bed. After dodging the first two variants of COVID, it would seem Omicron finally caught up to me. Thankfully, my symptoms like a moderate flu. Glad to be on the recovery part of it.

The main focus of this episode is about the passing of Fr. Dave’s dad, Bob Pivonka. Please keep the family in prayer, especially his mom. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child a year ago and then a spouse. It is beautiful to hear Dave share about how God has been present through it all.

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Home for Christmas

Fr. Dave’s dad, Bob Pivonka, passed away on Monday. Let us keep the Pivonka family in our prayers this week. Fr. Dave wanted everyone to know that his dad was “home for Christmas,” which is a beautiful thought. Still, there will be an empty seat at the table for them this Christmas, and so let us all pray the Holy Spirit would give them peace and consolation during this time.

Though I forgot to mention it on this episode, I also had a “homecoming” last week when I got the chance to speak at my home parish (or one of them, at least) at St. Issac Jogue’s Catholic Church in Hinsdale, Illinois. It was really such a blessing to be back there, and such an honor to be there as a newly ordained deacon. That was my first speaking event as a deacon, and I will never forget it. How wonderful I got to share that joy with my hometown! Thank you for all who braved the windstorm to come hear me that evening.

I played a song at that event that I had just finished that morning! It is called “Divine Inheritance,” and I decided to close this They That Hope episode with it (it is at 23:24). The folks in Hinsdale seemed to like it and I hope you will, too.

Also in this episode is my spoiler-free review of the new Spider-Man movie. I’ll take Fr. Dave to see it when he gets back in town.

Fr. Dave and I will be back in the New Year, though I’m not sure if that means January 5th or (at the latest) January 12th. You are all in our prayers as we celebrate Christmas and welcome 2022.

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Rejoicing Always

Squeaking this out at the last minute! It is about 10 PM on Tuesday as I’m writing this, just finishing up the edits in time for tomorrow’s release. As you will see (and the video works!), Fr. Dave is at home with family right now. My impression is that he has a 28.8 modem. But praise God, it worked!

Please pray for Fr. Dave, his family, and especially his father, Bob. He is in very bad health, perhaps close to death. So when Fr. Dave shares about how to rejoice in the Lord, even amid difficult circumstances, you know he is trying to live what he preaches.

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