Beatitude Friend Assignment Management

In the years leading up to his death, Pier Giorgio was closest to his friend Marco Beltramo. Marco entered the air force academy late in 1924. On November 4, 1924, Pier Giorgio wrote the following to Marco,

"Congratulations on your exam results... The news made me happy but it also saddened me; indeed, there can be no joy without sorrow, in fact for me it means, alas! your absence and my thoughts strayed back to the happy days spent together on our mountain excursions. The only comfort in these happy and, at the same time, sad thoughts, is the certainty that the unique bond that knows no distance unites us and, with the Grace of God, I hope will always unite us: Faith, the Common Ideals that you will be able to uphold in your career with the means that a military life will offer you and that I, with God's help, will obtain to defend and sustain my future adult life. ... Let me remind you that in three year's time when you finish at the academy, one of the first flights you make must have Robespierre aboard..." (Robespierre was Pier Giorgio's nickname for himself.)

Exactly eight months after writing this letter, Pier Giorgio died and was never able to take a flight with Marco. Marco attended Pier Giorgio's funeral in his military uniform. He can be seen in this photo walking just ahead of Pier Giorgio's coffin. In later years, Marco participated in events marking the anniversary of Pier Giorgio's death. However, he died before Pier Giorgio was beatified.

Author Archive: Kevin Aldrich

Kevin and his wife have seven children. He has a MA in English literature from San Francisco State University and is completing a MA in Theology with an emphasis on Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

He is currently teaching English and theology in a Catholic high school in Central Illinois. He has an extensive background in teaching, school administration, character education, and curriculum development.

He also writes screenplays, TV pilots, novels, and non-fiction books and articles.

His weekly homiletic lectionary-based blog is Doctrinal Homily Outlines.

My Irish Uncle Was a Simple, Just Man Like St. Joseph

Kevin Aldrich • March 3, AD2018

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I’ve heard the Irish use the names of the Holy Family as profanity, not unlike the way many Americans say, “Oh, God.” But on my Uncle Michael’s lips, these words sounded like a prayer of often-experienced wonder at life. Actually, the words were not so much on his lips as in […]

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Fortitude: The Virtue of Courage and Toughness

Kevin Aldrich • February 3, AD2018

Fortitude. Do you see yourself as courageous or cowardly? Are you strong in facing pain or soft and shrink from it? On the other hand, are you reckless or foolhardy, putting yourself in situations you should not be in, doing things that you rightly ought to be afraid of? The virtue of fortitude means a […]

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An Interview With a Priest on the Periphery at Holy Innocents Church

Kevin Aldrich • January 2, AD2018

Fr. Peter Irving is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He has spent his priesthood far from the affluent parishes of South Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Woodland Hills, serving instead in poor, largely Hispanic parishes that were nearly defunct when he arrived. His most recent assignment is Holy Innocents in Long Beach. Kevin: […]

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Monica’s Miseries and Fortitude’s Strength

Kevin Aldrich • December 3, AD2017

These days we hear a lot about “snowflakes.” These are young adults who must be protected from the least slight, whether real or imagined. Fortitude is the virtue that opposes this weakness. In one word, fortitude is strength. But of what kind? Fortitude has two sides: courage and toughness. Courage is the strength that one […]

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Imitate John the Baptist – Friend of the Bridegroom

Kevin Aldrich • November 3, AD2017

When John the Baptist’s disciples are disturbed that Jesus’ disciples are baptizing people and Christ is increasing in importance, they come to their master to complain. John then reveals his role in salvation history. “He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at […]

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Persecution: The Eighth Beatitude

Kevin Aldrich • October 5, AD2017

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. These verses seem to be written as two beatitudes. But they really say the same thing in different […]

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Peacemakers: The Seventh Beatitude

Kevin Aldrich • September 1, AD2017

A peacemaker can make enemies friends. Peacemaking and Friendship Friendship is at the root of everything good. Once God creates a person like you or me, that person is made to live in a state of friendship. And because he is made to, he ought to live up to his calling. But friendship with whom? […]

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Purity of Heart

Kevin Aldrich • August 2, AD2017

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The kingdom of God is where God’s will is fully done by us and everyone else. Our goal and God’s goal for us is full unity with Christ. The kingdom of God and our unity with Christ are what we reference when we use […]

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The Fifth Beatitude: Mercy

Kevin Aldrich • July 1, AD2017

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. For the past five months I’ve been writing about the Beatitudes in order to understand them better. We can hear something hundreds of times without its meaning ever sinking in or becoming knowledge. For a long time the Beatitudes seemed like white noise to me. But […]

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Justice Will Make You Happy: The Fourth Beatitude

Kevin Aldrich • June 2, AD2017

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Good Just Lives Our life is morally good or righteous if it is made up of acts of justice. The first three of the Ten Commandments concern justice toward God. Justice toward God is giving Him what is due to him. Thankfully, […]

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The Third Beatitude: Blessed are the Meek

Kevin Aldrich • May 5, AD2017

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Heartland Each workday I drive thirty miles to and from my teaching job. It’s a pleasant commute, though. Thirty miles of corn, soybean, and wheat fields, with an occasional cattle lot. This time of year, the newly sprouted yellow-green corn blades are beginning to show […]

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The Second Beatitude: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Kevin Aldrich • April 2, AD2017

 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. What do the words of this beatitude mean? We want happiness, so we would say, blessed are those who rejoice. But all of us suffer, some almost constantly. There are countless ways to suffer here on earth and many degrees of suffering. Our suffering can […]

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The First Beatitude: Poverty of Spirit

Kevin Aldrich • February 28, AD2017

This is the first of a series of columns on the beatitudes. Each will consider what one beatitude means, how it applies to the life of Our Lord, how it applies to us, and how we can live it out better. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. What […]

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No Music is Good Music

Kevin Aldrich • February 3, AD2017

Vatican II Music If you read what the Second Vatican Council wrote about sacred music (in Chapter VI in the 1963 constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium) you will wonder what has happened over the last fifty years. By reading the documents of Vatican II, we can learn that the Church considers our tradition of sacred music a treasure “greater than that […]

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More Doctrine for a Better Homily

Kevin Aldrich • January 3, AD2017

Doctrinal Homily Outlines, a lectionary-based aid for homilists, began as this layman’s response to the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI declared for 2012-2013. In Porta Fidei, Benedict’s apostolic letter announcing the Year of Faith, the Holy Father asked each of us to “rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and […]

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The Real Fundamental Option: Living as a Child of God

Kevin Aldrich • December 4, AD2016

The False Fundamental Option In his landmark encyclical Veritatis Splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”) St. John Paul II condemned the erroneous moral doctrine of the fundamental option. Some falsely believe that the fundamental option sets up a division between one’s basic orientation for or against God and one’s concrete moral acts. This false teaching allows one […]

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The Faithful Departed: A Reflection

Kevin Aldrich • November 1, AD2016

You drive down an Illinois country blacktop, passing fields of corn and soybeans, sometimes winter wheat or an occasional cattle ranch or dairy farm. As you approach a country town, you don’t see its white, clapboard homes. You see a forest ahead of you—vigorous maples, elms that have somehow survived Dutch elm disease, and oaks. […]

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Catholic Teen Sexologists?

Kevin Aldrich • October 4, AD2016

Within the past two weeks the bishop of Nashville has come under fire for supporting his diocesan-wide high school sex education curriculum. He apparently has taken the position that parents who wish to opt their high school children out of the program may need to opt them out of the school altogether. According to one […]

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What Are Your Gifts?

Kevin Aldrich • September 4, AD2016

Making the most of the gifts God has given to me. Putting them at the service of God, the Church, and society.  Many Gifts, No? God has entrusted to each one of us many gifts. I invite you to test this claim against your life to see if it is true. Some of these gifts are […]

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Bad Moral Theologians (BMTs)

Kevin Aldrich • August 4, AD2016

There are evil things that some people really, really want to do. There are some people who not only want to do evil things but also want to be justified in doing them. They want others to say their evil deeds would be good. So, what to do if you are one of them? What if you […]

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A Generous Man

Kevin Aldrich • July 4, AD2016

Generosity is “the virtue of giving good things to others freely and abundantly.” When people think of generosity, money often comes to mind, but generosity can also be the donation of time, knowledge, or skills. Lack of Generosity A lack of generosity is meanness or miserliness, the closed fist around the goods one possesses. This […]

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Sam’s Justice

Kevin Aldrich • June 6, AD2016

Justice is simply defined as giving one his or her “due.” It means rendering to people what you owe them. What do we owe others? We owe other persons respect for their persons and responsibility in doing what we have promised. Here is a kind of parable of justice. Sam and “Old Man” Ricketts Sam […]

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Angela’s Orderliness

Kevin Aldrich • May 10, AD2016

Orderliness is an important human virtue. It is the good habit by which a person does what he ought to do, when and how he should do it. It is about properly managing time and tasks. Here is a parable about one person’s experience with order and the vice of disorder. Angela was bright but […]

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Mirrors Darkly

Kevin Aldrich • April 11, AD2016

Truth Truth is what is. Truth is the real. We error-prone and sometimes reality-denying human beings have the truth when what we think about corresponds to what is real. So for us, truth is the correspondence of mind to reality. We would like to know things for sure. How can we be confident? Thomas Aquinas […]

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