Welcome to Barbara’s Blog!

A warm hello to you! My entries will include all the topics under the Pro-Life umbrella: the sanctity of Life, real Love, a strong Faith and a respect for Family. It seems as if we’re “checked out” in these important areas, we’ll have a fightin’ chance, both here on earth and for all eternity. I’m looking forward to reading your comments, questions and suggestions!

“The Identified Patient”

Another déjà vu of the Columbine massacre: a young gunman dressed in black, 19 year old Robert Hawkins, walks into an upscale department store in Omaha, packing a gun. It wasn’t long; in fact it only took him six minutes from start to finish, to aim his AK-47 to wipe out eight unsuspecting souls from the face of the earth and then to turn his weapon inward toward himself to commit suicide. All this, just days before the Birth of the Prince of Peace!

What prompts a young man to do something like this? The media talks about how Robert “spent four years in drug treatment centers, group homes and foster care after threatening to kill his stepmother in 2002…with the state spending $265,000 on Hawkins.”

On Foxnews.com, Karissa Fox, who knew Robert Hawkins said, “He should’ve gotten help, but I think he needed someone to help him and needed someone to be there when in the past he’s said he wanted to kill himself.” Apparently, the poor kid was a ward of the state for a while and a drug user plagued by depression. They wouldn’t disclose the results of his psychiatric evaluations, citing privacy rules. He was released from state custody in August 2006, entirely on his own, with no place to go. A kind couple took him in. In fact, he called the woman about an hour before the shootings to tell her he’d written a suicide note, apologizing for everything and promising “not to be a burden on his family anymore.”

Now, I for one, don’t know all the details but I’m prone to say, “What family?” A child doesn’t come out of the womb messed up. It takes a broken home, no spiritual formation, a significant lack of attention, affection and affirmation from a mother who’s not around, sometimes forced to be the one to put food on the table, and a significant lack of devotion, direction, and discipline from “a defective dad” to totally ruin a child. I’ve worked with them, counseled them, and have spoken to many young souls in the prison system and out. The story is always the same. Just follow them home.

But yet, this so-called family needs someone to be the “Identified Patient.” This is the kid who turns to drugs, the occult, and only God knows what else and ends up in one rehab after the other, sometimes in one jail after another, has mental or behavioral problems, a computer addiction and threatens to kill his stepmother. This is the “Identified Patient” who is institutionalized, when the real patient is the ENTIRE FAMILY.

My daughter, Colleen, wrote an incredible thesis called, The Polluted Hearth. It is a masterpiece. She wrote, “Who or what do we turn to when the family, the very core unit of our existence, has been polluted and continues to pollute our earthly home?” Colleen believes in the extensive therapy offered in marriage and family counseling, but believes “the spiritual realm must be welcomed back into the doors of the family home, enabling the hearth to be relit and to blaze for all eternity.” I heartily agree.

May we all grow closer to the Holy Family this Lent 2008!

Barbara McGuigan