Sunday, April 3, 2011

Molly McHugh's Irish Pub Theology on Tap

Burst on the radio: Thirty-minute Radio interview with "Christopher Closeup" host Tony Rossi's show out of NYC and an hour-long Burst-talk with "On-Call" host Wendy Weise on Relevant Radio

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kevin live on Al Kresta's national radio show

Kevin comes on after approx. 6 minutes. . .

A very special BURST book review

Kevin Wells '86 read from his book 'Burst: A Story of God's Grace When Life Fall Apart' before a nice crowd the other night in our Alumni Lounge.  Kevin will be interviewed tonight at 5pm on the Al Kresta Show on National Catholic Radio  (1160 AM in DC).

Dr. Daniel McMahon '76, Principal, wrote this review of Kevin's book, which he read before introducing Kevin the other night:

Burst: A Story of God’s Grace When Life Falls Apart
By Kevin Wells
146pp, Servant Books $11.00

Disclaimer: I was fortunate to teach Kevin Wells when he was a student at DeMatha.  I wish I could take credit for contributing to his skill, his passion, and his faith—but I can’t.

          Kevin Wells’ Burst: A Story of God’s Grace When Life Falls Apart fits comfortably on the shelf alongside other works of spiritual autobiography, but its great strength is in its contribution to the literature that investigates the purpose of human suffering and our response to suffering—both in ourselves and in others.  In brisk, plain prose Wells begins his story with the evening where he almost lost his life as blood began leaking into his cerebellum.  Those frightening moments of confusion and pain, the immediate response of his wife Krista and assorted medical personnel and the notification of his extended family are rendered straightforwardly with an expert reporter’s attention to detail.  Like all good reporters, Wells has sunk the hook and he circles back to tell his life’s story to that point—and then to go from that frightening night to the present day.
          Unlike so many rite-of-passage stories wherein characters have a confrontation with death or face some sort of trial that causes them to fundamentally change their lives, Wells’ story is of a life of remarkable consistency and steadiness, built on a foundation as strong and secure as the masonry work done by his family.  Wells recounts the importance that prayer plays in his life at all the stops, not just when the going is easy or when life is hard.  By weaving prayer in to the fabric of his life Wells is, perhaps, uniquely qualified to face trials that might break another person.
          Using the significant events in his life as bricks in the edifice of his narrative, Wells conveys his parents’ wonderful influence, the finding of friends and jobs, his courtship and marriage to Krista, their subsequent problems conceiving children, the joys and tribulations of adoption, and the wonders of parenthood.  Wells’ rendering of his life-long admiration for his uncle, the great priest Monsignor Tommy Wells, is particularly touching.  In face of Kevin’s and Krista’s own pain they are devastated by the news of Msgr. Wells’ horrific murder and they find not so much that their faith is tested as that their faith is a lodestone keeping them on a path of discernment that has them question at all points how they might best fit their lives to God’s plan—not bend God’s plan to fit their lives.  This is considerably more difficult than it sounds, for one has to be willing to listen for the voice of God whispering for our attention amidst the cacophony of modern life and our own desires.
          We live in an age that does its best to demystify the miraculous and in some ways miracles are always conditional.  They are events that we cannot explain away given our knowledge.  In this case, Wells’ healing is a miracle—his brain heals itself in a way no medical professional could predict or explain.  Wells’ good friend and the best friend to his uncle, Fr. Stack, has a healing ministry and comes to pray over him.  And countless others from all the communities that he and Krista touched are also praying for him—and Kevin is healed.  But perhaps few people have done so much to deserve—if it can be phrased that way—a miracle.  Throughout his life Wells has sought to be a faithful servant to God and to “love his neighbor as himself.”
          Despite its deep spirituality, Burst is not somber or pedantic or preachy.  It is leavened with amusing anecdotes that range from the vicissitudes of rooting for favorite baseball teams and interviewing childhood heroes to parental gaffes such as failing to tell your wife where you are going and engaging in too much horse-play with your kids when you are not well enough to do so—mostly because their sense of play is so contagious that you need to play with them.
          In a particularly lovely passage Wells goes to Lourdes and, by digging deeply and with ruthless honesty into his own life, he manages to find connections to others, to realize in the words of another author that “brotherhood begins in shared pain.”  The lack of self-pity displayed by several profoundly damaged people is inspirational to Kevin who refuses to ask “Why me?” in response to the God’s request that he carry his particular cross.  As Kevin is inspired by his fellow travelers at Lourdes, we are inspired by him. Wells’ quiet insight is that all of us are broken in some way, that we need each other and that, if we are candid, hopeful, faithful, inquisitive, caring, and loving that we’ll discover many miracles in our lives—not the least of which is to render Jesus incarnate as we gather in His name.
God Bless.


Maureen Looney
Office of Development

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Tuesday at DeMatha High School from 7-10 is Irish Night w/Kevin Wells

- DeMatha will host a Night of Celtic Literature & Song on Tuesday from 7-10pm to kick off the month of March.  There is no fee to attend.  Nominal fees for beverages.  Alumni, parents, and friends welcome.  This is not just for men.  The evening will include speakers Joe Carroll, Dr. Daniel McMahon '76, and Kevin Wells '86 will read from his book 'Burst -- A Story of God's Grace When Life Falls Apart.' The publication is one of the best selling Catholic books in America as we speak.  Attendees will be able to buy the book and get it signed.
We would like to have some idea of what to expect crowd wise.  You can make a reservation by e-mailing .

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Relationship

 As a typical Wells, I'm still not comfortable sharing on a blog - but also as a typical Wells - we like to share, so ...
 Burst, the book I've written, is selling very well, according to my publisher. I guess the kind consequence is being asked to spread its message at talks, retreat and in interviews. February and March will be busy months. In two hours, I will be speaking to a group full of men (and haven't prepared a thing to say as of yet!)
 What I'm getting at is this - without the Holy Spirit now, I can't speak to these men well. I can't do anything very well, really.
 In these busy days of balancing my day job at busy Wells & Associates and spreading the message of Burst, it seems to me, prayer is needed more than ever.
 Instead of squeezing it out because of time limitations, I will squeeze more in.
 Last night, while Krista was at Holy Hour, the kids and I spent a good chunk of time in prayer - or for as long as it took for Sean not to start making crazy eyes at 3-year-old Shannon. What I noted in my kids, once again, was how much they changed during prayer. Their breathing softened, their muscles relaxed and their rapid heart beats seemed to slow. I could see the action of them thinking through exactly what they wanted to say to God. Their innocent earnestness in wanting to get their own personal messages of love and their desires to this invisible God was clearly evident. They are just now learning to depend on God, to love Him.
 They showed me, again, how beautiful the relationship can be.
 Without prayer, there is no Holy Spirit. There is no relationship.
 So as I stay busy, more prayer will be squeezed in.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Faith & Family Live! : Burst!

Faith & Family Live! : Burst!

Upcoming Sunrise Morning Show appearance

Hey folks,
 Figured you might wanna know: This Tuesday, I'll be a guest on the "Sonrise Morning Show" - a solid coast-to-coast EWTN radio show. I'll be interviewed at 7:45 a.m. on 1160 WMET (if you live in Washington D.C. area). If you're out of town, you can listen live on the the link below.
 Also, if you're a lovely lady, the lengendary, ubiquitous, No. 1 Bowie Booster - Ms. SAM - and Fr. Larry have invited me to speak at a Holy Hour at SPX in Bowie this Monday at 7:30 p.m. Let's pray the Holy Spirit fills me with something.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Prison wisdom on a skillet

Pride, virtually each Jessup prisoner in our Tuesday group will tell you, is the reason they're on the wrong side of the razor-wire fence. They're locked up for beating their wives, using crack, dealing crack, armed robbery, auto theft - the list runs on.
 Daily, they eat cold food, find themselves in minor fights with inmates, get shunned by guards, sleep 24 inches from a snorer, pick trash (gloveless) on roadsides, get mocked for their faith by radical Muslims and look for letters from loved ones that never come.
 They are the luckiest men in the world.
 Most will tell you that.
 They are being humbled.
 They know Jessup is precisely where God wants them.
 "I'm like a choice piece of steak on a skillet in here," said one enormous inmate with a booming smile recently. "God's the chef and he keeps checking on that steak of his, saying: 'Nah, not quite ready yet.' He knows when I'm cooked to perfection. He knows when his steak's just right. He knows when I'm ready to face the world." 
 Every day at work I meet with bricklayers, builders, architects, laborers, truck drivers, contractors. And on Tuesday night when I meet with 20 or so of these inmates, I am reminded of their heightening, jaw-rattling wisdom.
 Pride, they will tell you, was the root of their offense. They'll tell you pride had gotten into their bloodstream and they'd become an empire of self. Their rotten paradises - that seemed to have such high standing as they shucked and jived on the outside - doomed them. Pride was their killer.
 Satan, I believe gets high off our pride - more than anything else.
 Because he knows the cocky stridency of our dyed-in-the-wool humanity will eventually manhandle, degenerate and humilate us. He knows our pride can send us to hell.
 That's why these guys are so lucky.
 They're learning to be humble.
 As St. Augustine once asked: "Do you wish to rise?"
 "Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility."
 These 20 prisoners who keep coming back for scripture, the Eucharist, fellowship and animated talks, know that humility will be the key to lead them back to proper oneness with Christ. They know it's in reversing their pride that they can, alas, begin to reverse the damage they've done to their wives, friends, former bosses, strangers.
 Lucky, they'll tell you. Lucky.
 They're scratching and clawing to get back to God.
 And his graces are taking root. I see it. It's the coolest thing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book sighting/signing

This time two years ago I was in neuro ICU just starting a comeback after an arteriovenous malformation (my brain blew up one night) started to leak blood into my cerebellum.
Almost died.
Didn't die.
Prayers from thousands.
America. Middle East. Ireland. The Vatican.
From you.
God listened.
Lights. Popping. Everywhere.
Uncle Tommy lighting up the room again.
Well ... yesterday, I was handed my finished memoir - "Burst" - as a matter of fact, I was handed 150 of them - at a book signing the nice folks at the National Shrine arranged for me. Seated next to rock star Pro-Life padre Fr. Frank Pavone, I signed 80 or so books for family, friends, strangers and new friends who were in town for today's Pro-Life March. The store manager, Lee, said "we sold way more copies of your book than we thought we would. We were surprised."
 It was the first time I saw my book. It was wonderfully put together by my publisher, Servant Books.
 It was rather embarrassing signing my name on my memoir, but the promotions director from Servant has encouraged me to set up as many of these book signings, readings and radio and TV interviews as I'm able. "If you believe in your message in Burst - spread it. Everywhere," he said.
 And I do believe in the message: God speaks to us in our sufferings, perhaps more so than at any other time. And it is in embracing our crosses, no matter how large, that we will eventually find peace. God's postcards from heaven sometime land on us like manhole covers. Ironically, though, it's because he loves us. Ferociously. He just wants to be in better alignment with his will for us.
 Six people have told me they finished the book. Each has told me they cried and laughed. Three people said they picked it up and didn't put it down until it ended. I asked why they were lying. And they said they weren't lying. Man.
 Drawing emotion is a good thing. That's what I was taught early on in writing classes.
 God bless. Time to say prayers with Gabby, Sean and Shannon - we'll pray for all those unborn kiddies, among other things. Amen.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

National Shrine book signing on January 23, 2011

                                                    Kevin signing his book
                                                      Kevin and children

New York Times best selling author Fr. James Martin's endorsement of Burst.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book signing this Sunday

Kevin will be signing a limited number of books this Sunday, January 23 from 11-5 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Basilica is located at 400 Michigan Ave, Northeast, Washington, DC. Please come out and support Kevin and be one of the first to get a copy of his book!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Burst" Released Tomorrow - Jan 17, 2011

Hi folks,
 First-ever posting - a little wobbly here.
 A book I've written while recovering from brain surgery (I was bored while laying in bed) will be released by Servant Books tomorrow. I hope you'll see that "Burst - A Story of God's Grace When Life Falls Apart" is not a big boo-hoo session, but rather a memoir rich in (attempted) humor, animated story-telling, baseball, love, terror, laughter, Ireland, a giant named Tommy, a savior named Krista, graces and graces and graces - and a big, fat miracle at the end. A real miracle - not one of those, "Oh my goodness, it's a miracle! I found Sparky hiding in the basement after vanishing for 20 minutes."
 Christ's presence is on every page.
 For 10 years I was a sportwriter. Now I like to write about God stuff and my walk in my Catholic faith.
 I was an inch from death a short while ago. But God stretched out his arms and pushed back.
 I'm indebted. ...
 By the way, if you're in Washinton D.C. this Sunday (Jan. 23), the nice folks at the National Shrine have set me up for my first book signing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book coming:

Burst: A Story of God's Grace When Life Falls Apart

About this book: When a vine of vessels in his brain burst one ordinary evening, Kevin Wells' life took an unanticipated turn. The former sports journalist had dealt with infertility, adoption fraud, and the murder of his beloved uncle, Msgr. Tom Wells, but this was a new low. Wells fought back with good humor and persistent faith and offers hard-earned encouragement for those struggling through hard times and looking for a reason to hang on.