Not too long ago, I picked up a biography on Gary Cooper at the parish book sale.
Gary Cooper was an excellent actor and had some outstanding roles in a number of movies, such as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Beau Geste, A Farewell to Arms, and Meet John Doe. (Yes, yes, I know that there are a number of others too.) However, Gary Cooper was a well known "playboy" having affairs with a number of his leading ladies, such as Clara Bow, Marline Dietrich, and Patricia Neal, as well as, a number of lesser stars.
One of the things I did not know was that Gary Cooper was a Catholic. He was raised Episcopalian/Anglican but as an adult was not a regular church goer.
How did this conversion take place? Part of it was due to his wife, Veronica "Rocky" Balfe and daugther Maria. Both were devout Catholics. For whatever reason, they stood by him through all of the affairs - both public and private. But, as his health deteriorated, he began to think about his life and the things that he did. Realizing that he wasn't the best husband and father, he decided to change his life around. He began to attend Church and was eventually baptized.
As we begin the New Year, what type of Catholic role model are you?
Is there a Gary Cooper in your life?