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Allow Me to Introduce Myself


My name is Greg Gillen. I received the gift of life on May 11, 1952.

No, that’s not the day I was born. That happened a couple of weeks earlier. That was the day I was baptized at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in San Francisco. I heard Bishop Carlos Sevilla, S.J., say on more than one occasion we should always remember the date of our baptism and thank God for it.

Christine Watkins asked me several months ago if I would post on Queen of Peace Media’s blog page. At the time I said no. I’m not a blogger. The other night I sent her an email asking if the invitation was still open. I ended my email by saying, “If you have changed your mind, I will pretend this email was never sent and quickly and quietly slip away.”

She called my bluff.

I will be posting some essays I wrote many years ago along with newer essays. I hope you will find them at least interesting. It would be even better if they caused you to pause and think.

Why I write these essays:

My motivation – evangelization.

I wrote some of these essays in 1999 and 2000 and posted them on a website I created and hosted for my parish in Novato, CA. I wrote them using the pseudonym, philneri. At the time I was still working and preferred people I was investigating not know anything about my personal life.

St. Philip Neri was the saint I chose for my Confirmation. I thought using the whole name was too formal. philneri was a simpler name.

Although not a saint, I also like Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. I have always had a fondness for Zacchaeus because I also was a tax collector/investigator for over thirty-six years.

I also have a fondness for Zacchaeus based on the book by Thomas H. Green, S.J., “Come Down Zacchaeus.” In the introduction to his book, Fr. Green states, “[Jesus’] call to each of us is personal and unique. Peter, John, Andrew and the other apostles were called to leave everything to follow Jesus. Apparently, though, Zacchaeus never heard their call. For this reason I chose him as the patron of our reflections on lay spirituality.”

He was called to discipleship and to holiness while remaining in the world of his ordinary life.

I hope you find some value in these essays. Please share your thoughts with me. I would appreciate some critical feedback.

And, of course, your prayers.


© 2024 Greg Gillen

Photo Credits/James Tissot | Brooklyn Museum | Public Domain

4 Responses

  1. Welcome Greg!!! Filled with joy to be introduced to you! And especially looking forward to reading more of your journey!
    God Bless You, Anita

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