Ash Wednesday – Corporation YOU © 2017

Today is Ash Wednesday.

For six years, I lived and worked in Southern California, within the bounds of the largest Catholic archdiocese in United States where I attended Mass and services at the parish of St. Finbar in Burbank.

Almost 5 million Catholics work, live, and worship in the Los Angeles community of 11 million people which prides itself on its embrace of multiculturalism.

Oddly enough, when I lived in So Cal, not one Ash Wednesday passed without someone pointing out that I had “something” on my forehead.

The first time it occurred, I was in a Target. The person was kind and concerned as she approached and expressed her concern.

“Excuse me, sir,” she said. “You have something on your forehead.”
“It’s Ashes,” I replied, believing she would then know what I was talking about. She didn’t. “It’s Ash Wednesday,” I continued. Still nothing. “I’m Catholic,” I added. “We put Ashes on our forehead to mark the beginning of the season called Lent.”
“Wow, that’s cool,” she smiled, then walked off.

I have to admit; though I chuckled, I was equally amazed that she didn’t know. The following year, it occurred again.

My wife and I went to have sushi after receiving ashes to meet our holy obligation of eating fish. (And yes, I’m aware that sushi is not the true intended act of penance imposed by the Church to commemorate the day.)

As we we’re leaving the restaurant, the Japanese-accented Sushi Chef called out to us.

“Thank you for coming,” he said. “Have good day.”
“You too!” my wife and I added in unison.
“Excuse me, you have something on you –,” he added, pointing to his forehead.
“Yes, thank you,” I replied. “It’s ashes. It’s Ash Wednesday.”
“Oh my goodness,” he humbly replied seemingly losing his accent. “I’m a lapsed Catholic.”

We chuckled. First at the loss of the shame-filled Sushi’s Chef’s Japanese accent; but also at the fact that it happened again!

I was equally amazed that he didn’t know.

The most noted case of mistaken ashes came when British Sky News reporters, on Ash Wednesday, thought the dirty mark above the brow of then Vice-President Joe Biden was also just something on his forehead.

It’s quite humorous. The reporter, another self-proclaimed lapsed Catholic, finally realizes three minutes and 10 seconds into the broadcast that Joe Biden’s something is, in fact, ashes, and humbly apologizes.

Take a look at it HERE.

In her defense, and the defense of the others, our ashes often lose their intended shape, that of a cross — especially by the end of the day.  (See below)

Catholic Guide to Ashes

Though I no longer live in Los Angeles, I, oddly enough, miss those awkward Ash Wednesday incidents.

I don’t miss them because they made me laugh — even though they did.  I miss them because they revealed, to me, the true nature of the season of Lent that lives in the heart of those of goodwill.

Lent is a season of Penance, yes; but it’s also a season of Reflection.

But what exactly should we reflect on?

Well, how about we reflect on being more Holy, more Christ-like; we can do this by reflecting His loving character more.

In fact, I’d argue that the motivation behind these well-intended interactions were, for the most part, just as Christian as the act of receiving and wearing ashes.

How so?

Then let me start with this question: If Jesus was walking down the street and he saw a smudge on someone’s forehead, what would He do? What would He say?

I think that Jesus would stop, point, and say, “Excuse me, sir. You have something on your forehead.”

So, if today, if you are stopped by a well-intended non-believer or non Church-goer, simply smile and say, “No, that’s not dirt on my forehead. It’s Ashes … but thank you!”

Maybe, you could even take this opportunity to start a conversation — and possibly take the first step in introducing someone else to the Love of Christ.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


Lent Fun Fact:
The Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Friday was the reason for the creation of McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish sandwich.



Why I Love Snow

Snow Day (c) 2017 | Corporation YOU

I just got done snow-blowing my driveway. My very long drive way. Actually, its more like a small road than a driveway.

It took about two hours. (I told you, I have a long driveway.) Like usual, about a half hour after I was done, my neighbor showed up with his plow — but I’m not complaining.

I’m not complaining because I love snow.

Snow slows us down.
Snow gives us time to reflect.
Snow brings us closer together.
Snow makes us think of others.
Snow makes us more neighborly.

But that’s not why I love snow.

Before heading out to take on the snow, I asked my boys, “Do you know why I love snow?”

“Snow forts?” they shouted.
“No,” I replied.
“Making a snow man?”
“Sleigh riding?”
“Hot Chocolate?”
“Catching snowflakes?”
“Snowball fights?”

With each response, I just shook my head.

“Shoveling,” my youngest asked, running out of things.

“All very good suggestions,” I added. “But that’s not why I love snow.”
“Snow days?”
“Close…” I added.
My eldest paused in contemplation — he’s my deep thinker — then he smiled.
“You got it,” I grinned. “Snow leads to snow days. Snows days gives me more time with as Us. Now, let’s go out and play!”

And that’s why I love snow.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


Gerhard Gellinger | Pixabay.com

A few days after Easter, I was resting in my in-laws basement in Gettysburg, watching a 2015 re-run of Last Man Standing‘s Christmas episode.

Tim Allen’s character sent his two son-in-laws off to set up the Nativity scene.  Ryan, Allen’s Left-wing son-in-law, convinced Boyd, the shows loveable air-head, to create something that was multicultural, which wouldn’t often “Jews, Muslims, and Zoroastrians.”

Together, they created the “New-tivity Scene” — an empty creche with a sign that read “put your God here.”

Ironically, nothing says “multicultural” than America — and nothing say “America” more than the Nativity scene.

Think about it.

First, speaking of Zoroastrians, the Magi were priests from the East — and possibly Zoroastrians. Mary and Joseph were undoubtedly Jewish parents, as were all the Shepherds.  The baby grew up to become  one of the revered prophets of Islam — and his mother is revered universally by Muslims.

And on that Holy Night, though the Holy Family technically were not refugees or homeless — they had a home in Nazareth, they were immigrants, as are most Americans.

Further, they were definitely not a traditional family.

With all-due respect to the Holy Mother, she did not plan her pregnancy — just like many American women today.  However, she accepted her predicament giving women throughout history a blessed example to follow.  And Joseph, her husband, was not Jesus’ father; he was His step-father.  I had a step-dad, as do so many of us today.

Because of the love I had for my father in heaven — my biological father in Heaven, that is, I didn’t make my step-dad’s role easy.  However, I can’t image my life today without his wisdom and guidance.

Nearly everybody was represented at the Natitivy — except the powers of the world.

The Nativity offers the birth of Freedom: The Freedom of Religion; the Freedom from Want; the Freedom of Worship; Freedom from Fear.

There’s nothing more American than that!



James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


It often becomes awkward when people discover that I teach science.

First, when someone discovers I teach secondary school, they assume, because I’m a writer, that I teach English. Next, when the discover that I’m a science teacher, they tilt their head and say something like, “How can you teach science and be religious?” — as if one excludes they other.

They do not.

Recently, while preparing to teach my AP Biology class, I read a paper on Fetal microchimerism. It’s a phenomenon involving fetal development that has lead to more questions than answers, but it is still fascinating.

Here’s my layperson interpretation: Though we know that blood cells of the mother and the fetus do not cross the placenta, stem cells of the fetus do. These stem cells can last, circulating in the mother’s system, for almost four decades.

Even more interesting, these stem cells can cross back across the placenta into a future child. So, simply put, unless you are the first born in your family, you have stem cells of your older siblings inside of you.

Wow! Being the youngest Dobkowski, I have my siblings cells inside of me. That’s cool and creepy, at the same time.

Then, suddenly it hit me: That means Jesus’ stem cells crossed over into his mother, Mary.

As a Catholic Christian, I am familiar with some of the Marian traditions passed down through the centuries, such as: The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption of Mary/ Dormition of the Mother of God, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity….

A quick side note: Though many mistakenly believe an immaculate conception is when a virgin conceives a child with a deity minus the act intercourse, well … it’s not. In truth, the Immaculate Conception is a person, the Virgin Mary, who was conceived naturally — just like everybody else — except she was conceived minus the stain of mortal sin.

Many of my non-Catholic Christians have a problem with this Church Teaching.

However, the recent scientific discovery of fetal microchimerism not only scientifically supports the doctrine of this teaching, but it supports the ideology of the Dormition and Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, as well.

If your a non-Catholic Christian, you’ve might’ve heard the phrase, “God cannot be in the presence of sin.” Well, there are many Biblical examples as to why this phrase in technically untrue. However, this saying becomes clearer when shared in the light of Isaiah 59:2.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God….

How could the Mother of God be separate from God who she is carrying God in her womb, if the woman and her womb were not a fitting vessel — meaning without sin?

Using science, anyone could argue against the Immaculate Conception with a strong scientific defense since Embryology soundly shows that a fetus’s blood and the blood of the mother don’t ever mix, thereby  making her womb a fitting vessel regardless of Mary’s sinful nature; and they would be right — before the 1990’s.

But since the 1990’s, we know, scientifically speaking, that the infant stem cells cross the placenta and enter into body of his/her mother. That would mean the cells which were genetically Christ and incarnately God would have entered into His Mother.

That could not occur if her iniquities have separated her from God.

So, therefore, the Virgin Mary’s entire nature to be sinless — or as we Catholic Christians say “Immaculate” or “Full of Grace.”

The scientific discovery of Fetal microchimerism also confirms, for me, the need for Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Think about it…


Even more astounding, a report in Molecular Human Reproduction shows that researchers, who performed autopsies on 26 women who died while pregnant or within 1 month after delivery of a son, found Y-chromosome cells in every tissue cells of the host mother.

Every cell!

That means that Mary body was literally embedded with Christ’s cells!  Since Mary, biologically consubstantial with Our Lord, was also rightfully taken up to Heaven in her Assumption.

The science clearly supports that ideology, also!

Now finally, let’s discuss how fetal microchimerism also further confirms the Church teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

I know this is a hot-bed of contention because the Bible clearly states the James from Jesus’ brother and our Lord had siblings. Or does it.

Regarding the common argument from Matthew 1.24-25 that Christ had siblings, the famous Reformer, John Calvin thought “that no just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the Evangelist, as to what took place after the birth of Christ”

Calvin was not alone among the Protestant Reformers in defending the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother.

known to have been the practice of the inspired writers.”

Calvin was not alone among the Protestant Reformers in defending the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother.

Martin Luther wrote:

“When Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom.” (That Jesus was Born a Jew)

“Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary’s virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that. […] Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that ‘brothers’ really mean ‘cousins’ here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers.” (Sermons on John)

Huldrych Zwingli wrote:

“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, p. 424)

Even John Wesley, in 1749, wrote:

“I believe that He [Jesus] was made man, joining the human nature with the divine in one person; being conceived by the singular operation of the Holy Ghost, and born of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as before she brought Him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.” (Letter to a Roman Catholic)

If Jesus was not an only child, he, a devout Jew, not only broke Jewish Law by handing his mother over to John while they looked up at Him from the foot of the Cross, but He also would’ve natural law was broken, as well.

Let me explain — using science.

As stated above, these fetal stem cells don’t just cross over and dwell inside of Mom as the nourished baby develops and grows, but they also return to the womb and nest inside future siblings.

And since God cannot be in the presence of sin, Jesus’ stem cell cannot be in His brothers and sisters, who had not yet been saved by Christ’s Death and Resurrection.

Remember, the Resurrection has not yet occurred, and the Holy Spirit — which dwells in us — was not yet given to us.

Now, if you’re Catholic, I know what you’re thinking: What about Holy Communion? Doesn’t Christ enter our body when we receive his Body and Blood.

Theologically, no!

When we go partake in Holy Communion, we enter into the Body of Christ which is why we are not suppose to receive Eucharist with the knowledge of committing the mortal sin. That’s what St. Paul meant when he wrote, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11-27).

Yes, God is omnipresent. And yes, He has been in the presence of Satan (see the Book of Job). And yes again, upon His death, Jesus descended in Hell (though many argue he descended only to Abraham’s Bosoom or Paradise, as He called it on the Cross,  and into the bowels of Hell (Gehenna).)

But God could never be encapsulated in a vessel of sin and become co-joined with darkness.  For God separates Himself from sin, and the Light of the World can never dwell in Darkness.

The science is clear, and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

But let’s go beyond the science for a moment.  The answers to all our questions about Mary can be found in the Heart of Christ.

If you were God and you could create your own mother, how would you do it?

My guess would be “Perfect” — just like the first woman I created, who was designed to dwell with me forever and without sin.



James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.



Boddy, A. M., Fortunato, A., Wilson Sayres, M. and Aktipis, A. (2015), Fetal microchimerism and maternal health: A review and evolutionary analysis of cooperation and conflict beyond the womb. BioEssays, 37: 1106–1118. doi:10.1002/bies.201500059



Bravo to Burger King. They just made the best Anti-bullying campaign ever. But I’ll let them tell you about it…

Scrawny. Short. Ugly. Fat. Weird. 30% of school kids worldwide are bullied each year and bullying is the #1 act of violence against young people in America today (Source: nobully.org). The BURGER KING® brand is known for putting the crown on everyone’s head and allowing people to have it their way. Bullying is the exact opposite of that. So the BURGER KING® brand is speaking up against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.

In the BURGER KING® brand Bullying Jr. experiment, more people stood up for a bullied WHOPPER JR.® than a bullied high school Jr. Visit NoBully.org to learn how you can take a stand against bullying.

I originally wrote this essay after Charlottesville.  Since then it has undergone a few revisions — mainly because since then our nation has been hit, seemingly non-stop, with one tragedy after another.

However, there was one part of this essay that remained unchanged overtime. It had to do with a short prayer of unity I’ve developed over the years

You see, though I’m far from perfect, I try to live according to the spirit — not the flesh, and mind things that are of the spirit.*  So, when something or someone gets under my skin,  I try to clear my mind by saying a short prayer for unity.

It goes like this: E pluribus unum.  Amen!

If my kids are with me,  I use these moments as a teaching opportunity about how a lack of understanding can lead to hate and how hate only causes division. 

Then I say a short prayer: E pluribus unum.  Amen!

In Ecclesiastes, we are taught that there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and never sins. With that said, if we look far enough and deep enough, we’ll fine that we are all stained, somewhere in time, by the sin.

So, the question is: When or where do we stop looking?

E. Stanley Jones was a Christian missionary and two time Nobel Peace prize nominee, who authored the book “Gandhi: Portrayal of a Friend.”  You probably never heard of it because it was never truly considered a great literary success.  However, it was read by a young preacher by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  — and it has been said that this little known book inspired Dr. King’s use of  nonviolence during the Civil Rights movement in America

E. Stanley Jones was also known to have coined the phrase, “Whatever we focus on determines what we become.”

Maybe that’s why Jesus told us to love our enemy.  Because if we don’t love, we face the distinct possibility of becoming what we focus on — which unfortunately may be lead us to become our enemy in likeness and action.

Look around.  It’s not so crazy a thought.  Today, everyone seems so focused on discord and have grown so angrily divided.

So, maybe it’s time to slow down, stop casting stones, and start an intelligent dialogue – one that includes listening to people who challenge us and our views, and then lets take the time to teach our children about how understanding leads to respect, and how respect leads to the unity.

If you’re having problems getting started, try praying this first:

E pluribus unum. Amen!


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


Source: Pixabay.com | esudroff

When I come across something the embraces the meaning of my book Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, I try to pass to pass it along. Here’s a very Corporation YOU message I recently received in an email.

Hurricanes peel away our illusions of independence. We rely on each other. Our children are relying on us to pave the way for their future, to be caring adults, to provide physical and emotional safety, to ensure a healthy start and an education that prepares them for independence. They also need the opportunity to help others. These are the Five Promises all children need and deserve, especially those who have been exposed to such trauma.

Look beyond the headlines and try to imagine what the children are feeling. We can anticipate that up to a million children and youth won’t be going back to their homes, schools, and churches anytime soon. Their learning, nutrition, friendships, and playtime will all be disrupted. Their support systems have literally been washed away.

We need to keep nurturing, protecting, listening, and supporting these children for years to come. We will be looking for ways to help. Each of us can make a difference one caring adult and one child at a time.

Starting today through Friday, September 15, send a message of
hope and encouragement to a young person by using #Letters2Kids.

Alma J. Powell
Chair, America’s Promise Alliance


Click to tweet: We pledge our support to each and every young person in and outside of school. Your safety matters. #Letters2Kids

Here are a few ways to join the #Letters2Kids Days of Promise:

Share words of encouragement with a photo and use hashtag #Letters2Kids – See Example

Share words of hope with a short video and use hashtag #Letters2Kids – See Example

Write a short letter of inspiration to a young person in your life, share a photo of it and use hashtag #Letters2Kids. – See Example

Download sample messages and graphics

n class=”_Tgc”>It was a Date Night.

Drink responsibly! Sláinte mhaith.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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