Respect Life Radio
Brian Black: Forming young Catholic men for life and work at Harmel Academy of the Trades

Brian Black: Forming young Catholic men for life and work at Harmel Academy of the Trades

November 7, 2019

"Harmel Academy of the Trades is a men's Catholic, post-secondary, residential trade school in Grand Rapids, Michigan," said Brian Black, president and co-founder of the new school. "It's open to high school graduates — and young men will enter a program that teaches them a skilled trade, and at the same time, they'll continue to be formed in their humanities education and in their Catholic faith. It's meant to be a college experience but with a trades program training in the mix."

The school, on the Kuyper College campus, is named after Leon Harmel, who "was a successful French Catholic industrialist who led a movement to recognize the dignity and rights of industrial workers," according to the Harmel website. The school is encouraging pre-registration interest at this link, in advance of its admissions process for its first class in the fall of 2020.

"The need for well-formed young men working in the trades is very high," said Black. "The timing is good. But really what we're doing is fleshing out a new mission for the Church."

Jared Staudt: Launching Our Lady of Victory High School

Jared Staudt: Launching Our Lady of Victory High School

October 31, 2019

The establishment of Our Lady of Victory High School was "something that was really grass roots, driven by the desire of parents to give their children a fuller education," said R. Jared Staudt, Ph.D., president of the Chesterton Academy of Our Lady of Victory High School. Staudt is also the Director of Formation at the Archdiocese of Denver. 

"We are at the St. Louis school building in Englewood," said Staudt. "We have 20 students, so we actually maxed out for our first year here."

Staudt noted the classical school's emphasis on reading the Great Books and Socratic dialogue, as well as experiential learning, such as the freshman class taking a three-day backpacking trip.

"We really want to emphasize this kind-of hands-on experience of Catholic education, and Catholic culture, more generally. We emphasize spiritual formation, service and the fine arts very heavily," said Staudt of the high school, which is affiliated with the growing Chesterton Schools Network.

"We speak of the trivium and the quadrivium in classical education," said Staudt. "The trivium is just grammar, logic, rhetoric, that is, being able to read a text well and understand it; logic, to be able to think about it, comprehend it, to discern what's true, what's false; and then rhetoric, to be able to talk about it, to be able to write well, to speak effectively. The quadrivium is then applying this logic to the universe. You begin with arithmetic, geometry, extending this into space. Also, music, looking at the mathematical qualities of beauty. And then, astronomy, which is basically the foundation of the sciences, the application of math to the universe."

Made This Way: Authentic Femininity and Masculinity (Oct. 23, 2019 event)

Made This Way: Authentic Femininity and Masculinity (Oct. 23, 2019 event)

October 29, 2019

Respect Life Denver presented "Made This Way: Authentic Femininity and Masculinity | Transcending the established norms of our culture" at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Broomfield, Colo., on Oct. 23, 2019.

Speaking at the event were Deacon Geoff Bennett, vice president of Parish & Community Relations at Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver, as well as the host of Respect Life Radio; Lynn Grandon, program director of the Respect Life Office; and Senite Sahlezghi, LPC, program director of Marisol Health in Lafayette, Colo. 



Tom Martinez: The path to Blind Faith Brewing

Tom Martinez: The path to Blind Faith Brewing

October 24, 2019

While planning to launch a brewery, "a major hurdle was thrown in my way and I lost my eyesight" in 2016, recalled Tom Martinez about his remarkable journey and the creation of Blind Faith Brewing. "When we talk about walking by faith, and not by sight, it's the willingness to take what comes, because you are going to have struggles in life. And sometimes they're unexplainable and you don't know why." Read more about Martinez in this 2018 article in the Denver Catholic

Hear dozens of previous interviews by Respect Life Radio host Deacon Geoff Bennett by going to, with podcasts available on Podbean and Apple Podcasts. Respect Life Radio also airs every week on the Catholic Radio Network in Denver.

Cathy Ruse: Kids as lab rats in Sex Ed social experiment

Cathy Ruse: Kids as lab rats in Sex Ed social experiment

October 17, 2019

"Leftists who run our nation’s public schools love to hide behind the skirts of the APA when it comes to crazy Sex Ed," wrote Cathy Ruse, referring to the American Psychological Association. She also noted, "Children are being used as lab rats in a social experiment."

Ruse, senior fellow and director of human dignity at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., explains on Respect Life Radio the damage being done to kids in schools.

"The lesson plan for 12-year-olds in California forces teachers — this is Sex Ed — to use the term 'partners' because the mandate says that terms like boyfriend and girlfriend are discriminatory because some 12-year-olds may be non-monogamous. God forbid we speak of spouse or husband or wife, that's long gone," said Ruse. "...You have to use the plural 'partners' because we may have non-monogamous, polyamorous relationships from these young teens. It's stomach-churning, really."

John and Keri Ebel: End late-term abortion in Colorado

John and Keri Ebel: End late-term abortion in Colorado

October 10, 2019

"We believe that the people in Colorado are going to become informed about what's happening in our state with the late-term abortions — up to birth, for any reason — and vote to end this practice," said Keri Ebel in regard to Proposition 120, which needs 124,632 valid petition signatures by March 4, 2020, to go on the Colorado ballot in November 2020.

The initiative would prohibit abortions after 22 weeks in Colorado.

"People don't know that Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion, said John Ebel, referring to the 1967 law. "So we feel like this is a perfect battleground. We're going to start turning this around. And this is the time to do it."

John and Keri Ebel are part of the Coalition for Women and Children, which is promoting the initiative through the website "" The urgent need is for people to gather petition signatures, with a training process available to those who sign up on the website.

Respect Life Denver, the office of Catholic Charities that also produces Respect Life Radio, is helping recruit volunteers to gather petition signatures. If interested, send an email to

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, in a recent Denver Catholic column titled "Coloradans have a chance to rescue the unborn," wrote, "I urge all Catholics to get involved in this effort!"

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Build on the rock of the Catholic faith

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Build on the rock of the Catholic faith

October 3, 2019

"We underestimate how rapidly our world is changing, how rapidly technology is just washing over us like a tsunami, and science and mobility. There are so many things buzzing in our world, and unless our faith is grounded firmly, we're likely to get swept away," said Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a Catholic priest, speaker and author. Longenecker is pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, S.C. His blog and other content can be found at

Longenecker referred to the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus Christ contrasts building a house on rock or on sand (MT 7:24-27) and also says to Peter, "...upon this rock I will build my church." (MT 16:18)

"Very clearly, it seems to me, that Jesus is saying: hey, build your house on the rock, Peter's the rock. And the Catholic faith for the last 2,000 years is that rock of stability on which to build," said Longenecker. "If we don't actually build on a secure foundation, then when the storms come, that house will fall flat."

Made This Way: Male and Female (Sept. 10, 2019 event)

Made This Way: Male and Female (Sept. 10, 2019 event)

September 30, 2019

How to address, with truth and Christian charity, the many aspects of transgenderism? That was the subject of "Made This Way: Male and Female," a special event presented by Respect Life Denver on Sept. 10, 2019, at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Centennial, Colo.

Nearly 500 people attended the event to hear Dr. Patrick Lappert, an Alabama-based plastic surgeon and also a deacon in the Catholic Church; and to hear Emily Zinos, a Minnesota-based Catholic mom who compiled the "Parent Resource Guide: Responding to the Transgender Issue," which can be downloaded at

The event was co-sponsored by the Denver Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver, and the Centennial Institute. The edited audio of the event includes extended remarks from Zinos and Lappert, as well as questions to both of them, submitted by the audience.

Video of the event is cross-posted at

Walt Heyer: Transgender push on children is abuse

Walt Heyer: Transgender push on children is abuse

September 26, 2019

"It is categorically impossible to change your gender," said Walt Heyer, a biological male who had gender reassignment surgery in 1983 and later detransitioned. "It becomes sort elaborate Halloween costume with surgery and hormones."

Heyer, an author whose website is, described the current transgender push on children as "medical malpractice, it's child abuse, it's experimental medicine" that will reveal itself in the years ahead. "They're all gonna go, 'Gee whiz. Why did we put this in schools? What were we doing?'"

Heyer traced his own gender confusion to his grandmother cross-dressing him as a four-year-old boy in the 1940s. She "affirmed me and told me how told me how cute I looked, is how that event planted the seed of confusion," said Heyer, who said that led him to be a target of sexual abuse by an uncle. 

Read more of Heyer's story in a USA Today opinion piece.

Honoring veterans in Colorado at “In God We Trust” events

Honoring veterans in Colorado at “In God We Trust” events

September 19, 2019

"They really did give us everything: freedom; freedom for our faith, everything," said Deacon Jim Doyle, referring to military veterans, including his father, who are honored at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colo. There will be a special Mass there on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at an event titled, "In God We Trust." 

"Anybody that knows a vet should invite them to this, and especially a vet that has really turned sour on his faith," said Doyle. "Those are the folks that we want. For some reason, they've had a bad experience in the war and they're thinking that God doesn't love them anymore. So we want those women and men back."

According to a description of the event, "'The Colorado Freedom Memorial in partnership with the Archdiocese of Denver will host 'In God We Trust,' a calling to all veterans to be reunited with Christ at a Special Outdoor Mass, followed by a reception where veterans can connect with others who have served and others who can help us on the journey back to faith."

"Bishop Jorge Rodriguez, Auxiliary Bishop of Denver, will be the celebrant. Please bring a chair or blanket. Complimentary lunch will immediately follow. If you have additional questions, please contact Deacon Donohoe or Amy Vigil at or'"

Also interviewed on this episode of Respect Life Radio is Rick Crandall, morning show host on 1430 AM, who has a longstanding commitment to honoring veterans and is the president of the Colorado Freedom Memorial Foundation.