A Short Autobiography

Short autobiography

  I don’t know if you remember, but at TJ during our Jr and Sr years I had a little button I wore (what a fad that was, all those little political buttons!). The button looked like a traffic sign that said ONE WAY, but instead of pointing left or right, the tip pointed up and the words were arranged vertically, a little like this one, but not quite.

At that time I was also actively involved in an organization called Christian Endeavor (CE) and usually also wore a CE pin – especially if I was wearing a suit. Many people thought I was going to be a minister – and I did, too, because I felt I had been called – and in a way, at that time the One Way thing was my ministry.

But lots of things happened after that. I went to Hope College in Holland, MI thinking I was pre-seminary. I was set on being a pastor. I came back “liberated” by knowledge and experiences that re-ordered my thinking. Long story short, I followed the path many took in the 60’s, dropped out, turned on, tuned in, and moved on – but even in that, the friends I had during those heady years (pun intended!) called me a Jesus Freak, not a drug freak. My mission continued; I was a witness – messed up witness, but a witness nonetheless. Time rolled on, Viet Nam was a reality chasing me down. I finally had to confront it when I got drafted. I opted to join the Air Force. That pretty much reshaped my thinking again, but did not reshape my mission.

Then an amazing thing happened after I finished Basic and got assigned to Medical Technician School and Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX. I was put into a class with 12 other people, half-and-half male and female, and all of them were active Catholics. I had developed an interest in the Catholic Church during my Sophomore year when I read the whole 200 Section at the University Hills Branch Library – that’s the section on Religion. I really found something very “meaty” in what I read. Again, jumping ahead many months, my classmates became my new-found (and lifelong) friends. That is where I met Crucita – in that class. She tried to pawn me off on all her girlfriends, but nothing worked. I made the choice to choose her. I had to propose three times!

Then an extraordinary moment came. We had found a cute little furnished house in San Antonio. We were just days away from the wedding. We were so excited about this little place! One morning the landlady called. She said there were hippies camping out in the yard of the house. The hippies said they were looking for me. We went to see what was going on. It was three of my friends. Two of them tried to convince me that [1] I could not and should not become a Catholic, and [2] I must not forsake my calling to the ministry. THE CHOICE was them or Crucita. I chose Crucita. And the ministry I had prepared for all my life went away with that choice.

In the forty-plus (FIFTY in 2019!!) years since then, I have had thousands of joyous experiences as an active and zealous Catholic. I’ve taught 4th and 6th graders about their faith and about the Bible. I’ve worked with my wife, Crucita, and brought adults and children into the Catholic Church through the RCIA process. I’ve sung in choirs, done the Bible readings during the Mass, served Communion, enjoyed tremendous Christian fellowship, and even seriously considered becoming a Permanent Deacon – sort of an ordained “assistant-to-the-Priest.” But there was no ministry other than these opportunities to serve.

In 2005 I started writing weekly greetings to a handful of people. I used the care2.com website to send e-cards, and each e-card had a little bit of news, or an inspirational story. Again, closing up time with just a few words, the practice became to write longer messages, add more details, take out a lot of the family news, and really get into the Word. The people I sent the messages to were The Moon Beam Network; see the history of that here. Then a friend who is also a dear brother in Christ suggested I get on Facebook and post my messages there. It wasn’t long after than when he offered to create and host a blog for me. My ministry was returned to me after 40 years, and it is good to be back!

In those intervening years – and even before that – I have not always been such a good person. God has not let me forget that nor does he let me forget he also forgave those things. Those who know me best know that I can be pretty hard to be around. The only good things come when I am not “me” but “his.”


Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Comments are closed.

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect