About Me

I’m a Catholic, an adult convert — more about that in “Becoming a Catholic.”

The usual biographical stuff is on this page, under Some Guy Living in Small Town America and Brilliant, Talented, and On Medication.

Calling myself brilliant and talented probably doesn’t sound “humble” in the usual sense.

It’s certainly not the sort of “umbleness” Uriah Heep practiced. Which doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve talked humility and truthfulness before. Also how I see love, neighbors, and trying to act like I believe what I say:

Technical issues in March of 2018 gave me a break from my ‘Friday and Sunday’ post schedule. I figured it would be a good time to do a few ‘back burner’ projects, including a book I’d been meaning to start:

This blog shows how and why I follow Catholic beliefs and practices in America today. It also reflects my interest in science, history and my faith.

Science? In a ‘Religious’ Blog??

(From NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, U of C, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 Team; used w/o permission.)

It’s science that fascinates me, not ‘Bible science,’ or ‘creation science.’

I don’t mind living in a universe that’s much bigger and older than folks thought, a few centuries back.

Even if I did, being offended by God’s work and making up my own version of reality wouldn’t make sense. Not to me:

Faith and reason, science and religion, get along: or should. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 35, 50, 154, 274, 283, 1706)

That’s why I think learning about the universe and pursuing truth is a good idea:

Some Guy Living in Small Town America

My name’s Brian H. Gill. I live in a small town in central Minnesota. I’m married, we have four surviving kids.

One of them graduated with a music degree from Concordia College, Minnesota, and is married. Another graduated from Alexandria Technical College and is now an artist and cartoonist. A third is a writer, and the youngest is a computer geek.

More to the point, they’re all fine people: and know why their parents are Catholic.

I was born in 1951, graduated from high school, and eventually got undergraduate degrees in history and English: with art history, library science, and about two years of computer science on the side. I’ve been an English teacher, a beet chopper, radio disk jockey, sales clerk, researcher/writer, flower delivery guy, graphic designer, employment interviewer, and held quite a few other jobs.

Much more important, from my viewpoint — I have been blessed with a wonderful family, and am learning how to be a husband, father, and, recently, grandfather.

Brilliant, Talented, and On Medication

Brian H. Gill's right eye.;)Getting lost in the crowd hasn’t been an option for me. I’m still not sure whether I stand out, or others steer clear of me, and that’s another topic.

By the time I entered kindergarten, one doctor had used me as a sort of lab rat — without my parents’ knowledge — and another had fixed my left hip.

But I didn’t need replacement parts for nearly a half-century, so I’m a happy camper.

Several decades of undiagnosed major depression, and something on the autism spectrum, kept my life interesting. But my glitchy neurochemistry may be part of a tradeoff that gave me freakishly enhanced language skills, so I can’t complain. Not reasonably.

Assorted prescribed medications, including a powerful antidepressant, make it possible for me to think without fighting the machinery these days. That’s a wonderful change of pace.

I’m fascinated by three things, that which:

  • Exists within the universe
  • Exists beyond
  • Might exist

Research and writing skills developed in an eclectic career — yet another topic — help me share what I’m learning about this wonder-filled universe and Catholic beliefs.

I became a Catholic as an adult, mostly because I insist that what I believe must make sense: no matter how I’m feeling at the moment.

I’ve written about my glitchy neurchemistry before, and probably will again:

A Catholic Citizen in America

Some of my fellow-Catholics share my lively interest in this astounding universe, others do not.

I’m not a ‘typical’ Catholic. After two millennia, and with more than a billion Catholics living around the world, I doubt that there is a ‘typical’ Catholic.

Like I said earlier, I’m a convert to Catholicism.

I love our rich history and traditions: and understand that we are literally καθολικός, universal.

There’s a difference, by the way, between traditions and Tradition.

As a Catholic, I am dedicated to our Tradition.

That emphatically does not mean that I see the customs of some American Catholics of the mid-20th century as the only ‘real’ Catholicism: and that’s yet again another topic. Topics.

Values and my Native Culture

My values are somewhat counter-cultural. That’s because I’m a practicing Catholic who is also an American citizen: not an American whose name shows up in a Catholic parish directory.

America has been a Protestant country, with some tolerance for people who don’t go to the ‘right’ church. Following my beliefs in a system that isn’t quite built around them can be challenging.

Who are Those Catholics?

Of the roughly 7,684,300,000 people alive today, about 16% — about 1,229,488,000‬ — are Catholics.

Of the 332,639,000 or so people who live in America, 20.8% are Roman Catholic. That’s 69,189,000, or thereabouts.1 (April 2014)

You’re not as likely to meet a Catholic in America as you are in Mexico, Poland, Kenya, or the Philippines. But if you live in the United States, the odds are pretty good that you know one, or that someone you know does.

We’re Hispanic, white, black, American Indian, Asian, and other ethnicities.

And we’ve been here for quite a while. Baltimore became the seat of the first American diocese in 1789: and the first archdiocese in 1808.

(Brian H. Gill (text May, 2010, rev. June 2020; photo 2017))

1 Sources: