It is customary at the end of each year to look back and remember important figures who have died over the previous twelve months. But, instead of offering a laundry list of well-known deceased people's accomplishments, for Busted Halo's Faithful Departed feature we asked our writers to reflect on the spiritual impact that people—or institutions, buildings etc.—that passed away in 2008 had upon them. While most of our subjects had no explicit religious connections, their ability to touch souls—testified to in this year's reflections—is beyond doubt. From a sports commentator and a cardinal to a comedian and the "House that Ruth Built," these reflections demonstrate how powerfully alive the sense of the sacred can be in the most unexpected people and places.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.