Maureen Locher photoAs a mother of four sons, ages 19-24, I found Sean McVeigh’s book, I’ve Got to Change, invaluable. Moms always want to help their kids, but as those "kids" grow older and begin to think that they know it all, it is much harder to reach them, much harder to influence their actions. This becomes the time when most Catholic moms buff their rosary beads more diligently, praying more fervently to Mary, God and guardian angels to watch over their could-be-rebellious children. Praying often takes the place of doing.

Most of what teenagers and young adults see is mass marketed to them through the Internet and video games. The average Joe does not watch EWTN. The average Joe listens to his peers. And we all know how scary that can be.

I first met Sean McVeigh at a Catholic marketing convention. Here was this young man with a mission: to see to it that others would learn from his mistakes and turn from their risky behavior, thus becoming closer to God.

His spiel sold me; I bought his book. I set it on the coffee table telling my four sons that I met the author, and would very much like them to read his book. The book sat there. A few ruffled its pages. It sat there some more. Then I put I’ve Got to Change on a shelf. I’d wanted to ram it down their throats, but they were having none of that. So I waited.

And then one day one of my sons’ world shattered. I knew he’d be fine, but he didn’t believe it. Why would he believe me, his mom? I couldn’t possibly know what he was going through.

But I knew someone who did! I trotted out I’ve Got to Change and put it on the table next to him. He sat on the couch all day long reading Sean’s book. I let Sean do the talking. I was thankful that his words did what I couldn’t do at the moment. I’ve never been a guy! How do I know what guys feel? Sean used a tragedy in his life to begin his conversion, and felt passionate enough about his changes to want other young people to know that they, too, could choose the right path.

Buy I’ve Got to Change by Sean McVeigh, available at, read it and "carelessly" leave the book under your child’s cell phone, next to the gaming system or on his or her bed. Praying is great, but doing is better. Do this for your son or daughter. It’s another tool in your mom arsenal. You’ll be glad you did.

Copyright 2010 Maureen Locher