On August 13 My Father Died.
This is My Tribute to Him.
He was the best of men and fathers. I have no doubt of his destination. He is now with the angels and saints worshiping God in heaven. Being a Christian was his whole life. One cannot discuss my father without recalling that Jesus Christ was the heart of his life.
I remember as a boy he would buy two ice cream cones, walk out and sit on the sidewalk next to a poor man. He gave him the ice cream and said, "While you enjoy that, let me tell you about Jesus." That was the heart of my father.
When Ford Motor Company wanted to promote him he would ask, "Would it mean working more hours and Saturdays?" They said, "Yes." He then responded every time, "I am sorry I have to decline. I have three boys at home and they need me more than Ford Motor Company does."
Saturdays were always for us boys. Dad's hobby and sport was the family. He worked, took us to church and the rest of his time was with the family.
He bought us a pony, built a 15 foot tall swing set and tree fort, put up a pool, built a little barn, worked in our garden, watched the birds, took us for endless walks in the woods and more than anything else he read us books. Every evening he read us books and told us stories.
Pneumonia hit him two weeks ago today and antibiotics couldn't whip it. He was too weak. We had three priests come in to pray for him and anoint him. I prayed along with them and said, "Lord, if he is deficient in anything, give it to him now through the hands and words of your priests and through his faith and the Catholic faith of his family."
We have no doubts about his love for Jesus and in the end, when he could only whisper, he pointed up and struggling to speak whispered, "I believe now more than ever."
Charles Robert Ray died peacefully August 13th at 4:20 AM in his own bed with my daughter Emily holding his hand, singing to him about Jesus and praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Janet and I were in an airplane heading home and arrived shortly after he died. But we had a blessed two hours with my mom and my kids and my siblings. We hugged and kissed him as his body grew stiff and cold. And then they zipped him into the vinyl bag and took him away.
He taught me how to live, and now - how to die. He will be missed. Thanks Dad for being a real father, for loving us, working hard without ever complaining, caring for us, being an example and leading us to Christ. He was adored by his grandkids and great grandkids. I am who I am today because of my dad and mom.
In the dedication to my first book I wrote, "To my parents, Charles and Fran Ray, who raised me in a godly Evangelical home, who taught me to love the Lord, who spent untold hours praying for me, and who gave me a passion for truth and learning (see 2 Timothy 3:15)."
Reflecting back on the funeral my son Jesse said the whole event reminded him very much of the birth of one of his children. "The long hours at the hospital, the labor experienced during the dying process, and the gathering of family and friends." Indeed it is a blessing when the passing from this life into the next is filled with peace, warm embraces, and joyful expectation of heaven.
I would like to thank all of you who prayed, sent consolation emails and cards, and offered Masses. These difficult days were filled with so much Grace, and I attribute this to the tremendous amount of prayers sent up for my family.
Many said that my dad's funeral was the most joyful, and even "Fun" funeral they had ever attended. One of the highlights was the candy in his jacket pockets. This was his trademark for decades. He would give it generously to everyone who asked. Kids at church would just walk up and reach in his suit coat pocket with smiles on their faces. His pastor said one of their biggest challenges was how to clean up all the little red-hot candies that kids dropped in the creases of the pews. At his FUNeral everyone got to reach in and take out a few last red-hots before the coffin was closed. We have a special Facebook page in his honor here.
|Is the Holy Land safe? What's it like to travel there with Steve & Janet? Click the video link to learn more about our Holy Land pilgrimages and hear from the actual people who have traveled there with us. |
Please tell your friends about our upcoming pilgrimage January 28- February 6, 2013. We will be joined by Fr. Bob Roggenbuck, and January is during the low season so there should be fewer crowds to contend with.
Our trip through the continent of Asia
The people we consider "poor" in America would be considered privileged in these places. Barefoot children are left to play in dirty streets and scavenge, finding food in dumpsters. Catholics make up a severe minority and in many cases they are sought after by aggressive protestants and other religions for conversion.
Our joy is to educate the Catholics found in the cities and villages about the beautiful truths of the Church. I have had reports back from friends about a young girl who had heard us last year and also watched our Footprints of God DVDs. She went to a religious debate, and earned the respect of all there because of her skilled defense of the Catholic Church. As we return to the mission field please pray for our safety, strength, and most of all that God would help us meet all the divine appointments He has in mind.
For More Information
about Pilgrimages Call
Corporate Travel Service
| www.InviteSteve.com |
Dates in 2014 now being booked.
Toledo OH, Blessed Sacrament10/05/12
Cincinnati OH, Riverboat Cruise
10/7-9/12 Clare MI, Parish Mission 10/13/12
Ontario Canada, Men's Conf. 10/14/12
Beach ND, Parish Mission
10/18/12 Petosky MI, Martinus
10/19/12 Boyne Falls MI, Marian Conf
11/10-12/01 India, Asia Speaking Tour
01/09/13 Grand Blanc MI, Holy Family
01/14/13 Batavia IL, Holy Cross
02/17/13 Denton TX, Parish Mission
02/23/13 Rochester Hills MI, Bravehearts
03/23/13 Baton Rouge LA, Legatus
03/23/13 Lansing MI, Young Adult Conf.
Exclusive Pilgrimage to Rome
with Father Frank Pavone, Teresa Tomeo & Steve Ray
The Vatican extended a special invitation to Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life to attend the Gospel of Life event celebrated in Vatican's Year of Faith.
You are invited to join their official U.S. pilgrimage to Rome next June with
Fr. Pavone, Janet Morana, Teresa Tomeo and led by Steve Ray and Rome's most sought after guide Elizabeth Lev.
You'll have an audience with the Pope, excellent accommodations, and engaging tours of the city. Please call Suzanne & Jean at (800)727-1999x121 or click here
for more info.
30 Second Mystery:The Case:
"Lucky" Jim is a world-class runner. While the world looks on, Jim wins his most important race, but trips and falls just past the finish line. Jim is quickly rushed away in an ambulance. The next day a woman shoots and kills him. Given Jim's fame, his death was front-page news. Although the authorities know who killed him, they make no efforts to arrest or charge the killer. The Mystery:
Why wasn't Jim's killer charged with Murder?
for hints. Answer: HERE
A little boy was trying to sit still through an unusually long homily. Suddenly the red light beside the tabernacle caught his eye. Tugging at his father's sleeve he whispered, "Daddy, when the light turns green can we go?
A Jewish couple has a son who is a holy terror. When he gets to be of age, he's kicked out of every school they put him in. Finally desperate, the father goes to the Rabbi for advice and the Rabbi says to put him in the Catholic school. Shocked, the father does as the Rabbi suggests.
After quickly registering the boy at the new school the father leaves his son in the care of the nuns. When the boy returned after his first day there was an immediate difference in his behavior.
"Good afternoon Papa, good afternoon Mama," he said, and quickly began his homework. The father was amazed and finally asked why he was behaving so well. His son looked up and said, "Papa when you left, the Mother Superior told me that they did not allow rowdy boys, then she showed me around. Papa they mean business! They've got a man nailed to a Cross in every room as a warning!"
Footprints of God DVD
We need your help to complete the DVD series.
We have hosted two successful fundraisers but we still do not have enough funds to begin the filming in Iraq for Abraham.
Please pray that we can earn the funds we need to begin filming in the lands of Abraham soon, while we still have access.
Please help by making a tax-deductible donation here.