A tribute to my mother on my birthday

I’ve posted this before, but it bears posting again.

Today is my birthday, but it’s also my mother‘s birthday, in the sense that she gave birth to me.  She did most of the work that day.  Birthdays are as much about mothers as children, if you think about it.

Mom is a hard as nails Wyoming cowgirl who became the 1st woman on the Minneapolis Police Department.

This is one of my favorite photos.  This is her graduation from the police academy.  They didn’t have uniforms for women.

In case there any Harris/Biden voters out there, my mother is the non-transgender woman in the center of the front row.  (Sometimes they need a little help.)

1961.  And there were height requirments.  For men.

Will you please, say a prayer for my mother?  Mother of a priest.

I’ve heard stories from other cops about her and what she did that left my jaw dropped.  And, hearing over the years of my youth, about fallen human nature in its worst and rawest, I have eyes open as few do in my collar.

A bonus was: I grew up surrounded by cops.  God love them.  May they be TRUE and blue.

(She isn’t all that tech savvy, so she probably won’t see this. If she did, she would be a little embarrassed but pleased.  And I doubt she’d tell me!)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Annunciata says:

    May God continue to bless you, Officer Z.
    I bet you were an inspiration for future lady Cops.
    And look how determined your son is, no one’s pushing him around!

    PS Happy Birthday Fr. Show your dear Mom these birthday messages.

  2. Dave P. says:

    Sto Lat for both of you!

  3. Chad the Great says:

    Happy birthday, Father.
    God bless your mother.
    May she have many, many years remaining. She did a good job at raising a gifted son.

    My own mother was recently healed of lung cancer, thanks be to God. Having a strong and loving mother is an unmatched blessing.

  4. grateful says:

    May God bless your wonderful Mother on her “birthday”.
    I’m certain the Minneapolis Police Department would benefit by having your Mother back on the force today.
    By the way, if your Mother decides to write a book, it would probably be a Best Seller.

  5. Not says:

    A happy and blessed birthday to your Mom. May Our Blessed Virgin Mary put her blue mantel over her.
    I too am a Mama’s boy. Mama’s boys make the best men and especially Priest.
    We love all you do for us Father Z.

  6. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Many happy returns to the both of you.

  7. Gab says:

    A very Happy Birthday to your dear mother and to you, Father. Ad multos annos!

  8. Jim Dorchak says:

    What a wonderful story about you and your mother. Makes you human to us out here reading and not the wonderful Priest who brings God down from heaven. After all you are just like us, a man.
    Happy birthday to you and your mother. You both are in our prayers! Jim in Chile

  9. KateriK says:

    Happy birthday, both to your wonderful mother and to you! We will most certainly keep her, and you, in our prayers today for many spiritual and temporal blessings. Enjoy your special day!

  10. Tamara T. says:

    Happiest of birthdays to you and your mother!


  11. KateriK says:

    Happy birthday, Father, both to you and your wonderful mother! May you both receive many temporal and spiritual blessings. Be assured of my prayers for both of you as you celebrate your special day!

  12. adriennep says:

    May God continue to richly bless her — first woman, mother, Catholic, and police academy graduate. She should write her memoirs. I would buy that book!

  13. benedetta says:

    Happy Birthday to you Father, and prayers for your mother on this her special day as well!

  14. Sandy says:

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, shower blessings upon Father Z’s mother and on him. I wish the cops knew how many of us pray for them; so needed now. May they stay strong and demand freedom of choice these days!

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    You need a segment “Ask Questions of Fr. Z’s Mom” now, because I have about twenty.
    She’s a unique and independent lady, that’s for sure. I grew up in the 70’s, so the decade after, and even then the fields women went into tended to be teacher, nurse, secretary. Few thought outside that box or were encouraged to think outside that box. It takes some special qualities to do what she did. I’m dying to know what she wore day to day. It couldn’t have been that beautiful dress.
    Happy Birthday, Fr. Z! I hope it’s a happy one. God bless you for all you do, and God bless your Mom for producing such a great priest and also unique individual.

  16. Ms. M-S says:

    Many, many happy returns!

  17. VForr says:

    Happy birthday, Father Z!

    Please thank your mother for her service and for raising a good man.

  18. DeeEmm says:

    Happy Birthday to you Father!! May God bless both you and your mother with good health and many more years. Your life and priesthood is a blessing to us all.

  19. Antonia D says:

    Blessings and hugs to you and your mom on your birthday, Fr. Z! What a great feast day of Sts. Simon & Jude y’all chose for your nativity.

    Your mom must be a phenomenon to raise such a virtuous man & priest. I won’t go on, because it wouldn’t be good for your humility, but you have made *such* a difference in the world with your life. Prayers for both you & your mom, and for your dad.

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    A very happy Birthday to you Fr. Z and your mother. Ad multos annos.

  21. Padre Pio Devotee says:

    Prayers for both you and your mother!!! Have a wonderful birthday! Also, it is my uncle’s (who has been in the NYPD for 20+ years) birthday as well!
    St. Jude, pray for us!

  22. IaninEngland says:

    Happy birthday to you both!

  23. Liz says:

    Aw, she’s so pretty! Pretty and tough, I’m sure. God bless and keep her.

    Happy Birthday, Father.

    We will say prayers for you both.

  24. prayfatima says:

    Happy birthday, Fr. Z! I like the ideas of your mother writing a book someday and starting an “Ask Fr. Z’s Mom” section of this blog. You are both dedicated to the good, she in her past law enforcement work and raising a good son who became a priest, and you in your priesthood. God bless you both!

  25. ajf1984 says:

    Ad multos annos, Reverend Father, and mazel tov to your dear mother! Our mothers are so precious and it is wonderful to see how devoted you are to yours! May our Heavenly Mother continue to shelter you both under Her mantle and draw you ever closer to the Sacred Heart of Her Son!

  26. Diane says:

    Happy Birthday dear Father Z and prayers sent up for your lovely mother too. She looks and sounds like a real gem! Lucky you.

  27. mother undercover says:

    Happy birthday, Father Z!
    May God bless you, Mother Z!

  28. TonyO says:

    God bless her. And you.

    And God bless all the good cops, of which there are many. May they kick the bad cops out of town!

  29. PostCatholic says:

    Ad multos annos, and what a nice tribute to your mother’s extraordinary career. I share the same birth date and month–not year, of course–as my own mom, and your thoughts had a nice resonance with my experience. I had no trouble locating your mother in the photograph despite my voting record.

  30. MB says:

    Awww. Thanks mom! I think it’s cool that of all the relationships that Jesus could have chosen to experience most profoundly in his life on earth, the one he picked was mother and son. I just don’t think there is a tighter bond in any other human relationship. (Just my opinion, of course.) I’m glad you had a great mom too.

  31. Cincture says:

    Seems like quite a “tall” woman to me! Blessing on both days.

  32. Mike says:

    THAT is a great photo.

    Definitely be praying for your mother!

  33. Hb says:

    Happy Birthday &
    May God bless you both.

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