For nearly a year it's been a great privilege for me to be one of the members of the "In All Things" blogging team and I thank America for trusting me with this space. I'm tremendously grateful for everyone who clicks and reads and especially to those who take the time to offer their views or to share experiences. An underlying theme of many columns has been to heighten awareness of psychological suffering—it is everywhere and all around us—to make others aware of this. Another goal has been to pick topics worthy of close examination from disciplines like literature or history that engage the faith with today's world—often in ways that defy simple categorization.

I've been volunteering my services to America as part of a ministry of my own creation. Right now it's the end of the semester and my day job and other responsibilities (inlcluding caring for my son with Down syndrome, always a 24/7 endeavor) make it hard for me to devote full attention to blogging, so I have decided to take a break. I'll be reassessing the direction in which I'd like my writing to go in the future, hopefully expanding some of this to include larger pieces also where I can examine topics in more depth as well as conduct interviews and write lengthier features. I thank all of you heartily, send best wishes for a Blessed Easter, and look forward to us connecting again.

William Van Ornum

 

Comments

Rachel Flaherty | 4/26/2011 - 10:55am
Hi Professor!
I have enjoyed reading all of your postings.  They have truly been inspiring and gotten me to think about things that I may not have ever considered before.  Thanks for all of the good reads; your postings will be greatly missed!
Janice Feng | 4/26/2011 - 1:19am
Dr. Van Ornum,

I appreciate all the postings that you have written this past semester. The variety and depth of the topics you chose to talk about allowed many of us to see into a world or thought that we normally would not have been able to. It was also nice to be reminded of the existence of both psychology and faith in everything that is around us. Thank you.
Anonymous | 4/22/2011 - 10:00pm
Dr. van Ornum,

I feel like an echo.  But thank you, too.  One of my favorite songs from Oliver is

''Be Back Soon.'' 
Lia DeGregorio | 4/22/2011 - 5:22pm
Dr. Van Ornum,
I agree with Allyse, great picture! Thank you for giving so many people the opportunity to open their minds and engage in meaningful discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your postings and voicing my opinions, while still viewing the opinions of others. I look forward to reading what you write in the future. Enjoy your time off and have a great Easter! =)
Allyse Bamonte | 4/22/2011 - 2:32pm
Dr. Van Ornum,
  Great picture :) Thanks for your postings and for sharing them with your students (myself included). I really enjoyed being able to read and comment on these topics/issues that often aren't a part of my education. It was great to see so many viewpoints, and especially your own. I admire your "way with words" and how you inspired so many others to really start thinking. Have a great "break" if you can even call it that. I'm sure you will still be just as busy! Hope you have fun spending more time with your family. Happy Easter! Thank you.
Evander Lomke | 4/22/2011 - 11:32am
Thank you, Bill, for your grace and wisdom, and for your time.
JANICE JOHNSON | 4/22/2011 - 11:25am
Bill,

The 11th commandment....honor thy son.  What a rascal!!  I am definitely not telling my son that one!

No need to respond.
Janice
Leah Jimenez | 4/22/2011 - 9:30am
Dear Dr. Van Ornum,

It has been an honour and pleasure to read many of your writings on various topics ranging from people's rights to gardening.   Thank you for your inspiring words that have helped so many others, including myself and my son in various areas of our lives.  Take good care of yourself and your son and I wish you the best in all your future endavors.  By the way, it is vital for everyone to know, you have been a wonderful friend and teacher to work with and if anyone needs to go into the psychology field, I hope they meet up with you and have you for their teacher for you are among the few best teachers and mentors out there these days.  Thanks again and good luck,

Ranger 
David Pasinski | 4/22/2011 - 8:57am
I likewise simply wish to express my gratitude for your arrticulated sharings and personalized responses.  I wish you and your son and family well and am happy for you in having the increassed time for parenting. Perhaps myself and those who may be a bit too envelloped in the blogosphere at times will take this as the best lesson yet...
Peace and blessings...
Margaret Frenzel | 4/22/2011 - 8:12am
Professor!
Your blog postings have made the semester for me. Even though I don't always find the words to respond with, I do always read your posts. I, too, hope you decide to come back to the magazine and post again someday. Have a great holiday with your family.
Annie
Stanley Kopacz | 4/22/2011 - 7:27am
Bill,

I will miss your posts.  You set an example especially for angry guys like me.  God be with you and yours.

Stan
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:42am
#33 John Scileppi,

John I never doubted that you were reading and thinking! Hope you are enjoying teaching in Florence, it will be great to have you back in the USA. Yet to be written is the story of our trip to Rome, living with nuns for one week, and meeting John Paul II in the brilliant summer sunshine. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:37am
#28 Maria,

My son likes to remind me that I should follow the 11th Commandment, "Honor Thy Son." I think he came up with this himself! I am going to read John Hardon SJ, Servant of God, on my new Kindle-perhaps some day I will teach a class of undergraduates using his catechism. Thanks, bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:34am
#31 Juan,

I greatly appreciate your views in the AMERICA discussions. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:32am
#30 Father Perry,

In sermons and blogs, you have a great talent! Thank you for the very nice thoughts and hope. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:30am
#29 Jan,

You hit the nail on the head-tons to manage. And I need to be clear-headed for our last month of teaching and meetings. A break was required. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:27am
#28 Norma

I am grateful for your kindnesses. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:23am
Alyssa #26,

You are wise beyond your years and your presence in the lives of children and families will enrich them immeasurably! I look forward to hearing about your future successes! bvo
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:21am
David P. #25,

I am truly embarassed that I have been ignorant of Don Giussani (even though we share Crossroad as publisher). I am going to study him carefully as well as the movement. It looks to me that this offers a great deal to young people in the USA also. Many thanks. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:18am
Janice #21,

Glad things are going well. Thanks for your kind thoughts. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:16am
#17 Mike,

Many years of teaching via electronic courses at Marist hs taught me a great deal about blogging, with the students themselves offering a guiding hand.  It is a unique communication form. thanks, bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:13am
David #16,

Thanks for the very kind words in reference to blogging! bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:11am
#15 Jim,

And Happy Trails to you, too...until we meet again! A favorite show of mine long ago. bill
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:10am
#11 David,

Thanks for your many postings. I have taken your advice and ordered the Kindle (after trying out the Mac program). I think it will open up many new things to read. Hasta la vista, mi amigo. guillermo
we vnornm | 4/22/2011 - 6:07am
Ed #10,

Many thanks for your insights...the students really appreciated your insights on marriage. Let's hope they have long marriages! bill
John Scileppi | 4/22/2011 - 4:14am
 Thanks Bill for all the essays you have written over the year. Many times I read them, but felt I couldn't comose a good comment to contribute. I expect there are many others like myself who gained from your insights but who didn't blog back. Perhaps for all these 'silent' readers, i want to say, "Thank You!"
PJ Johnston | 4/22/2011 - 1:40am
Many thanks for your contributions!  I had a look at your book on scrupulosity the other day and it was both very well-done and helpful in any number of ways.
Juan Lino | 4/21/2011 - 11:47pm
Bill - I will keep you and your loved ones in my prayers asking the Holy Spirit to help you discern the best way to service Christ in this new stage of the journey.  Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.  Peace.
Francis Perry Azah | 4/21/2011 - 10:34pm
Dear Bill,
Thanks so much for sharing your faith and experiences with us. You are really a great mind and a gift to the Church, and always down to earth with whatever you do. I have learnt a lot from all that you wrote here “In All Things” and also the manner in which you tried to get back to your readers with patient and tactfulness. I will personally miss your writings, but it seems to me that you are just dying now on this Good Friday in order to resurrect with Christ on Easter with much zeal and vigor to share more thoughts with us. I wish you all the best in the “tomb” with Christ and will feverishly be waiting for your “resurrection”.  Come back Dr. Bill. May God’s blessings be upon you and your family during this Easter and beyond.
 
JAN STIVERS PH D DR | 4/21/2011 - 10:28pm
Bill, I will miss your posts, as well as the responses by your students and many other readers.  Thank you for offering us thoughtful reflections on interesting and important topics, week after week.  I really don't know how you managed it, with a full teaching load, scholarly activities, and family responsibilities, but I am glad that you did.  I will look for your work in other formats, in future issues of America.  Best wishes.  
Anonymous | 4/21/2011 - 10:07pm
That is a very sweet picture of you and your son. Your love for each other seems clearly evident. Thank you for your your lively contributions. They were much appreciated. Blessings on you and have a joyful Easter!
NORMA NUNAG | 4/21/2011 - 9:42pm
I have learned a lot from your pieces.   I sure hope the absence is only temporary.  A blessed Easter to you and your family.
Alyssa Moirano | 4/21/2011 - 9:32pm
I have enjoyed reading your posts over the course of the semester. I have learned many new things and thought about topics that I wouldn't normally consider. I hope to read more in the future!
david power | 4/21/2011 - 7:08pm
Bill,

In keeping with what you described as your goal for future writing I would like to suggest that you read Don Giussani.
He is a very alternative reading on many things and may help you on your path.
He gives a Christian existentialist view and one that can provoke great things in those who  encounter it.

we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 7:04pm
John,

I'll be reading on "the other side." You betcha'. bill
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 7:03pm
Fr. Jim,

Many thanks for your support. You continue to inspire me! bill
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 7:02pm
Tom,

Many thanks and Happy Easter! bill
JANICE JOHNSON | 4/21/2011 - 6:48pm
Bill,
I am saddened reading your  "goodbye for now" and hope it won't be too terribly long before you are back with us.  Should we be on the lookout for another book?  Essays in magazines?  I hope you are able to do all of that.  You give so generously of yourself; your time, talent and treasure and I am very very grateful for the inspiration and learning that you provided for me.  Your blogs were always of particular interest to me as they seemed to have a significent relationship to my own life and history.  I will miss your articles very much.

But, of course I really do understand having experienced working a demanding full-time job and fulfilling the responsibilities of care of my children and all their special needs.  As you put so well, a 24/7 job!  Always challenging and still many moments of pride and joy in their accomplishments.  I just got home a few minutes ago after taking Frank and Kris to their dentist; then dropping off Kris at a mall and Frank at a local college for a baseball game.  There is very good news about Frank.  A few months ago a neurologist told me he is in the early stage of a dementia.  But, a psychologist friend advised me that it is not possible to make that determination now because of all the losses my son experienced.  He was so right.  This is the first time in 2 years that Frank has gone by himself to a sporting event and will take a trolley and bus, home.  WOW!!  My daughter was recentlly given an award as the employee of the year at the AMC La Jolla theater.  So I am a proud, happy mom.

Bill,  that is a great picture of you and the lad.  I hope that you have some train adventures and fishing trips in your beautiful valley, planned.  My prayer for you is that God will grant you the deepest desires of your heart.  God bless you.

Janice
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 5:58pm
Anne,

Thanks for your very thoughtful postings throughout AMERICA. bill
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 5:56pm
Marie,

Many thanks for your many thoughtful contributions, and best wishes to you and your family in the great Southwest. bill
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 5:55pm
Mark,

Many thanks for reading. bill
david power | 4/21/2011 - 5:12pm
Bill,

You personify dignity and respect in both your entries and responses to the commentaries.The recent posting on America about Civility could have just used your posting style as a model.
Thanks for all of your postings and for teaching me a little of how to take a genuine interest in what others think,I will have gone forgotten by tomorrow tho :). 
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 4:50pm
Beth,

Merton's therapy piece is stil incubating and involves Gregory Zilboorg, MD, Agostino Gemelli, MD, as well as Cardinal Mercier. You have a great memory! bill
we vnornm | 4/21/2011 - 4:48pm
Vince,

Thanks for all your good thoughts along the way! bill
ed gleason | 4/21/2011 - 4:30pm
Bill;
thanks/respect for all your work here and at home.. While I'm not denigrating the clerical editors I still say we need more and more Catholic laity like yourself with a family perspective, pushing their way on to the Catholic media. Come back soon..
Thomas Piatak | 4/21/2011 - 2:36pm
I will miss your posts.  A happy and blessed Easter to you and your family.
Anne Chapman | 4/21/2011 - 1:37pm
I just want to add my thanks to you for your contributions.  I think that what I appreciated the most is your willingness to engage at least a bit in direct discussion with those who comment, providing feedback and sometimes greater insight into your views.  That is seldom done by bloggers and writers, and it is too bad.  Sometimes a particular post or article will draw dozens of comments (I have seen more than 150 at times), and yet there is no reaction at all from the author of the blog that was of so much interest to readers.  You took the time to respond, and that is much appreciated.
 Peace.
Marie Rehbein | 4/21/2011 - 1:05pm
Bill,

I am sorry to read that you will be absent, but I hope it will indeed be temporary.  Your topics have always been unique, interesting, and more in-depth than most.  In addition, your engagement with those of us who comment have made them much more civil than most.  If only it were possible to have these discussions last longer and be even greater learning experiences than they already are... the topics you have chosen certainly seem to warrant more time and attention than they get in the fast-moving blog environment.
Mark Harden | 4/21/2011 - 1:00pm
Bill, best wishes. You are one of the most charitable contributors I find among many Catholic blogs. Thanks also for always personally responding to comments from your readers with patience, insight and empathy. God bless!

Pages