UP Catholic 06 16 2017 E Edition Page 4

4 June 16, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org The Marquette Diocese and the Knights of Columbus will give special recognition to couples celebrating their 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th or 51st and above wedding anniversary anytime during this year. They and their families are invited to the Milestone Wedding Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, September 10th at 2 p.m. (ET) at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette with a meal to follow. Widows and widowers who would have celebrated a milestone anniversary this year are also invited and encour- aged to attend, as are newlywed couples married from September 1, 2016 through September 1, 2017. If you plan to attend, please fill out and return the registration form below as soon as possible so that plans can be finalized. Those celebrating their Golden Anniversary (50th) this year are also asked to include, if possible, a recent photograph for publication in The U. P. Catholic diocesan newspaper. Registration form Deadline: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Last name (if your first and/or last name has an uncommon spelling, or if other people often mispronounce it, please include the phonetic spelling) : Use separate sheet if necessary. __________________________________________________ First names:________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Current parish:______________________________________ __________________________________________________ Phone/e-mail address:_______________________________ _________________________________________________ Our ____th anniversary is/was/will be on__________, 2017 For newlyweds: We were married on__________, 2016 or 2017 (circle one) I / We will attend this year's celebration: Yes No (circle one) GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY COUPLES ONLY: This information may be published in The U.P. Catholic newspaper (please include a photo if celebrating your Golden Anniversary this year): Yes No (circle one) For widows/widowers wishing to memorialize a deceased spouse: Name of deceased spouse:___________________________ Return to: Charles Crotty, Knights of Columbus 13 Grove Hill Court, Marquette, MI 49855-9444 Email: cbcrotty@chartermi.net Annual Milestone Wedding Anniversary Celebration set for Sunday, September 10, 2017 DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Ex-QB Ryan working on turning over a new Leaf Perhaps it's only fitting that Ryan Leaf, viewed by many as the biggest bust, i.e. dis- appointment in NFL history, begins many of his inspirational speeches with a light-heart- ed joke about religion. "What's the difference between Ryan Leaf and God?" Leaf asks the audience. "God doesn't think he's Ryan Leaf." There are roars of laugh- ter, but to Leaf, it's no laughing matter when he recalls where he was nearly two decades ago. Once viewed as a can't- miss quarterback prospect out of Washington State, Leaf had an unassuming career that spiraled out of control. That is until he got a dose of reality behind prison bars and finally, perhaps for the first time, listened to some- one else's advice. Selected second overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 draft behind future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, Leaf fizzled out of the NFL in just three short seasons. Armed with a brazen at- titude and ego that stretched the length of a football field, Leaf won just four career starts and threw 36 interceptions (only 14 touch- down passes). He candidly says that when he was drafted, the only things important to him were mon- ey, power and prestige. He treated people unfairly and blew up at reporters. He was a mess, a spoiled brat. "I behaved the same way addicts do every day," he's been quoted as saying. "I was ma- nipulative, narcissistic, deceitful, a thief." His failings on the field led to an addiction issue and in the spring of 2013, broke into two houses and stole prescription painkill- ers near his hometown in Great Falls, Mont. He pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal possession of dangerous drugs and spent 32 months in prison. He survived a suicide attempt. Two years into his sentence, his cellmate, an Army veteran who fought two years in Afghanistan and Iraq, got to Leaf. He told him to quit feeling sorry for him- self. He told him to grow up. He told him that the best thing he could do in prison was teach fellow prisoners how to read. "It was the first time in my life that I was ever of service to anybody but myself," Leaf said in a recent story that aired on ESPN. "I didn't know it was this big, transformational kind of thing. You're trying to do better each and every day. And I knew when I got out of prison, I needed to build a foundation built on service." In short, the humble pie he ate in prison may have been his best meal ever. Slowly, one day at a time, he embarked on rebuilding a shattered life. Today, he's the program ambassador for Transcend Recov- ery Community, a sober-living environment with nine homes in three U.S. cities. He tells others that being great doesn't make them a good person. In essence, his message is about surrender- ing to God. In Matthew 16:26, it says "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Leaf is a living, breathing example of that. Sure, we can choose to make jokes about Leaf; take shots about the bravado he once displayed and critique his dozens of poor decisions. Or, we can applaud him for his humility, for having the courage and strength to admit to his shortcomings. I believe that Leaf's lesson in humility greased the hinges of the door that leads to heaven. It takes a lot for some to admit their shortcomings. Let's hope that in helping oth- ers, he's truly helping himself. Editor's note: LaJoie is a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee. He wel- comes reactions to his column at jlajoie@ charter.net. FROM THE SIDELINES Jim LaJoie OR, WE CAN APPLAUD HIM FOR HIS HUMILITY, FOR HAVING THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO ADMIT TO HIS SHORTCOMINGS Find full issues of The U.P. Catholic online at www.upcatholic.org

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