Why a Website? Why now?

WELCOME FRIENDS to my newly created website.  A websiteWhy?  Many of you know me.  Some (but not all) of you know what I have been working on in recent months.  It is that project which has led to this website. A book.  I wrote a book.  It’s about Catholic history and the saints who made that history. I am thrilled to have a publisher — Our Sunday Visitor Press (OSV), one of the oldest and most respected Catholic publishers in the country. I have a contract with them and am embarking upon the editing stage. OSV has scheduled publication for spring, 2023. As this process winds its way toward publication, I will have much more to say about the book.  In fact, I plan to put up some preliminary blogs drawn from the book very soon.  Beyond the book itself, the research into it has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for many saints throughout history and the world they lived in and helped to create.  I expect to share their stories and reflect on the influence they have had.

I retired after a career as an attorney in the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office in 2017.  On the one hand, I had spent 38 years there – longer than all but one or two people.  On the other hand, I retired at age 65, about 30 years younger than most lawyers do.  (Or so it seems.)  Why would I do that?  I loved my career, especially the last 12 years as “Chief Assistant,” which essentially was Chief Operating Officer under the elected Prosecutor, David Leyton. 

But, as a passionate Catholic, I had other dreams.  I wanted to serve Christ in some way more directly while I was still healthy, and perhaps a bit wiser than when I was younger.  I anticipated working in my parish, Holy Family in Grand Blanc and I have been doing that.  But things have taken a new turn.  Here’s the backstory:

I got my Bachelor’s from U of Michigan a million years ago (1974 actually) and graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1977.  (I may write someday about the unique experience of having gone to these two schools back-to-back.  Spoiler: the fan bases hate each other.  One reason is these two wonderful but flawed schools have much more in common than either group of alumni would ever admit.  They are like two quarreling siblings, or at least second cousins.)  These two schools set me up for my career.  But my third and latest degree is impacting me now in my retirement years.

I always wanted to get a Masters degree in Theology.  A friend had started to pursue one about 20 years ago and encouraged me to follow suit.  I did – through Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, a fabulous and “passionately Catholic” institution.  It was a slow process of 20 courses over many years, but I finally earned the degree in 2018.  Now what?  My original dream of teaching high school religion faded away as not practical.  But I have always loved to write (even writing a 500 + page novel about 12 years ago) and I spent my career researching and applying the law in my job.  

I put the two together after retirement and began exploring the marvelous story of the history of the Catholic Church.  Lots of great histories are out there but, I noticed, they tend to be lengthy and academic.  Few delved deeply into the spiritual side (perhaps limited by the demands of academia) and, interestingly, only some recognized the extraordinary role of the saints in driving the Church’s history.  The light went on.  That’s the book I have been writing the last two years:  a history of the Catholic Church of concise, readable length that seeks to recognize the role of the Holy Spirit and focuses on the saints as makers of that history.  In this sense, it’s also a saint book.  But unlike most saint books, I put the saints – over 150 of them – in their historical context, chronologically. I present history as the grace of God in action, spurred on by his most faithful servants, the saints.  It has been a marvelous journey for me and I’m excited to share it.

So that’s what I have been working on.  That’s what I will be talking about much of the time in my future posts on this website.  But I need to emphasize that what I have been learning – the extraordinary twists and turns of the history of the Church, the tremendous way that divine providence has stepped into that history time and again, and the incredible impact that the saints have made in making that history – has moved me to share these stories with you even if I had never written the book at all.

As intellectual pursuits go, this book project has been the most significant endeavor I have undertaken since retirement.  In a sense, it has “replaced” my time at work.  Time to pursue opportunities such as this was one of two reasons for leaving my career while still “a baby” in my 60s.  The other was to have more time for family.

My wife Elizabeth and I are now empty-nested parents of our five kids, who are scattered about the country raising their families. We try to bridge the distances to see them and our 15 grandchildren.  As many of you know, grandkids are a blessing.  

I hope this explains why I now have a website.  We shall see where God may take it in the days ahead, beyond what I have conceived so far.  Be assured I am also very much interested in you, your family, and all that you are involved with as well.  Another hope for this website is that we can communicate, that I can stay abreast of what you are doing, and that I may gather your feedback on my posts on the saints in history.  And let me know what you think of this website’s design and of ways to improve it.

God’s blessings!

Randy Petrides

January, 2022


  • Andy Cocagne Posted February 20, 2022 5:54 pm

    After reading your discription of this book I am very excited to read it. I love history and tying it to the church’s teaching and evolution is right up my alley. Whenwill I be able to get a copy?

    • Randy Petrides Posted March 7, 2022 7:06 pm

      Thanks Andy. The book is due out in spring 2023. RJP

  • Jim Garland Posted March 3, 2022 11:54 pm

    Looking forward to more Saint stories from your upcoming book, Randy!

    • RP Posted March 30, 2022 11:39 pm

      Thanks for checking out the website, Jim. Norm’s handiwork!

  • Rachel Belprez Posted March 4, 2022 3:25 am

    This is exciting! I’m happy to hear about this big adventure for you and I would love to read it when it comes out!

    • RP Posted March 30, 2022 11:39 pm

      Thanks Rachel!

  • hooted Posted April 16, 2022 12:07 pm

    Ι’ve been browsing online more tһan three hours today,
    yet I never found ɑny interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the net will be much more useful than ever beforе.

  • https://iloveroom.co.il/room/דירות-דיסקרטיות-בחיפה/ Posted May 11, 2023 5:17 pm

    I was excited to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you book marked to check out new stuff in your web site.

  • https://aaisharai.rocks/categors/Discreet-apartments-in-Acre.php Posted May 21, 2023 7:31 pm

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Liz Knuth Posted June 12, 2023 1:51 pm

    Hi Randy, so excited to learn about your new book on Catholic Connection today. Our daughter was blessed to have your lovely wife Elizabeth as a piano teacher. Sara attended St John Vianney school and that’s how we connected. We were also parishioners there.

    I love your focus on how history was changed by great saints and look forward to reading it.

    Regards to you both,
    Liz Knuth

  • https://www.israelxclub.co.il/ Posted June 12, 2023 8:03 pm

    Itís difficult to find experienced people for this topic, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *