Tom Ponchak is a husband and father of five girls and one boy. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Carmel, IN. Tom has a degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
He and his wife, Lisa, left the Catholic Church for ten years and were pastors of a non-denominational, evangelical church before returning to Catholicism in 2007.
Tom enjoys reading, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and spending time with his family.

Worthy of the Gospel

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Let’s file this under “things I never thought I’d have to write about.”

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It’s A Great Time to be Catholic!

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“Who knows—perhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?” (Esther 4:14)

The book Esther tells the story of a Jewish girl chosen for the harem of a Persian king because of her beauty. One of the king’s advisors harbors a deep hatred for the Jews and hatches a plot to exterminate the entire race.

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The Kingdom of God is Like…

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When we consider the parables about the Kingdom of God they each provide a different perspective in a simple, yet deeply profound way. Take, for instance, the parables about the hidden treasure and pearl of great price.

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A Marriage Made In Heaven

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “God himself is the author of marriage.” (CCC #1603) This means that the very idea of marriage has its origin in heaven, within the mind and will of our Father. It is from this divine source that marriage is given its dignity as an institution, confirmed by Jesus as a sacrament. Therefore the principles and foundations of marriage extend beyond just the earthly bonds between man and woman.

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Being Ordinary

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Ordinary Time. It’s a deceptively boring label for the liturgical season we now find ourselves in. It’s not “special” like Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter. There are no special, beloved Ordinary Time songs or decorations. No unique Ordinary Time traditions. It’s just ordinary, plain. It’s just like most of my life and yours. We “live and move and have our being” in the ordinary time of our lives, punctuated by special events like birthdays, marriages & anniversaries, job changes, and moving.

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Something Old, Something New…

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My wife, Lisa, and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this month and I’m in a reflective mood. Twenty-five years is a long time, it’s a quarter of a century. I’ve spent more than half of my time on this earth as a married man and father (our oldest is a twenty-four year old honeymoon baby). It’s amazing when I stop and think about the last twenty-five years. 

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Rethinking the Beatitudes

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I believe the beatitudes are a model or pattern for spiritual maturity with one building on another and ultimately looping back again in a continual path toward spiritual perfection. Rather than looking at them separately as if describing different types of people in the Kingdom of God, they lay down a blueprint for how to become a disciple. This seems to make sense within the greater context of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.

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