About This Site

Paul

Welcome to my blog, Making All Things New. My name is Dr. Paul Gallagher, and I’m really glad you’re here! Through your visits to this site, I hope you will come to realize that God has a plan for you, body, mind and spirit.  Although I know everyone will benefit by what they find here on these pages, I have a specific audience in mind.  My goal of Making All Things New is to provide a framework by which people dealing with chronic illness, especially obesity and Type II diabetes, can improve their lives through consistent, daily application of practices rooted in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556).

By integrating the spiritual practices you'll learn more about as you read this blog, amazing transformations are not only possible, they’re probable, and you can trust that God wants to making something new with you.

That’s what’s happened to me, and it can be the same for you! My hope and prayer is that Making All Things Newwill be your roadmap to the transformation that’s waiting for you. Enjoy!

My Story

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln

Originally from California, Maryland has been my home since 1989. I’m the youngest of eight, and after my father died when I still an infant, we were raised by our mom. She was an amazing woman of faith and perseverance.

I moved to Maryland to attend Johns Hopkins, where I earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. In subsequent years I earned a Master’s degree in Theology, and most recently, a doctorate (D.Min.) from Catholic University of America. In addition to my blogging, I work for Loyola Press as an Educational Consultant and also coordinate adult faith formation at my parish.

So, what led me to start Making All Things New? In April of 2009, I had a doctor’s appointment that changed my life (for the better). I went to see him the week before because I was having a back problem, and I mentioned that it had been a long time since I had my blood work done.

A couple of years earlier, I had been diagnosed with a thyroid problem, which seems to hit members of my family in their early forties. Anyway, he sent me off to get my blood drawn, and afterwards, I pretty much forgot about it.

I was surprised when he called me on a late Friday afternoon and left a message telling me to contact him first thing Monday morning. When I got back to him, he told me he needed to see me because there were some issues with my test results. What kind of issues, I asked.

First, the dosage of my thyroid medicine was way too low. He asked me why I hadn’t been getting that checked on a regular basis. I responded that no one had ever told me I needed to. Big mistake.

Second, the results showed that I had developed Type II diabetes. Even though my mom had this disease, she had done a great job and keeping on top of it and it never seemed like that big of a problem. Not so.

When I finally got in to see him later that week, I got the details. My diabetes had been detected early, and my glucose levels, while in the diabetic range, weren’t that bad. He wrote me a prescription and sent me to a diabetic education center at our local hospital. I’m sure they mean to scare you at these kinds of places, and I can assure you they were very successful that day.

They told me about not being able to eat my favorite foods any more, of a slow progression of one pill after another, heart disease, kidney failure, and sawed off limbs. Nice life, if you last that long. As I stumbled out of my first diabetic training session, I could hardly breathe. I had to do something.

Because I consider myself a pretty prayerful person, I turned to God. The day after my meeting at the hospital, I headed to a place called the Grotto in Emmitsburg, about thirty minutes from home. It’s where I run when I’m struggling with something serious.

After a push and pull kind of conversation with God, I felt like I had some answers. No instant cure was coming my way. Instead, I was going to become a better person because of this chronic disease. I needed to get myself together, body, mind and spirit.

In the past, I emphasized one over another rather than consistently working on all three. That had to change, and it was going to start with the body component of who I am.

When I returned home, I put on some shorts, my running shoes, and began walking about forty-five minutes a day. I’ve been walking/running pretty much every day since.

I picked up some books on diabetes written by Dr. Neal Barnard and the Lifestyle Center of America. After some initial struggles, I moved to a plant-based diet. I stayed with this diet for several years, eventually moving away from it, then moving back to it recently.  Right now, I'm reading and following the work of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, especially his book The End of Dieting.

Lastly, I got back into a consistent rhythm of prayer that I should have been faithful to but hadn’t been. Through friends, I learned about a style of praying based upon the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

When I got these things into place, my whole life started to change. Within a year, I had lost 65 pounds, my blood glucose levels were perfectly normal and well below diabetic levels, and my relationship with God was better than ever. With His help, I was able to turn my biggest challenge into my greatest strength. I know with all my heart it can be that way for you too.

I could go on and on, but that’s it in a nutshell. My goal in creating this blog is to tell my story, with the hope that maybe people who desperately need some help, encouragement and guidance will find it here.

My life has been transformed through dealing with a serious issue. We all face them from time to time. Serious issues are a part of all our lives, especially now in these tough times.

My hope is that we could help each other move through our challenges, and be transformed into the people we are meant to be.

About This Site

The name of my blog comes straight from the Bible. In Isaiah 43:19, God says to the prophet, See I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Later, in the Book of Revelation (21:5), the Lord says, Behold, I make all things new.

Through this blog, I want to share an amazing story. It’s a tale about how I, like so many in our contemporary American culture, are experiencing more and more health issues directly related to our lifestyle. I was lucky and corrected my problems early! But to overcome my issues, I had to make some radical decisions. Well, they were radical initially, but now they’re easy :)

Making All Things New focuses on three areas: Body, Mind, and Spirit. It chronicles my transformation from a diabetic, overweight couch potato into a fit, energetic, spiritually lively fifty-something who reversed his diabetes and looks forward to the challenges that each new day brings.

Weekly:

  • I write on at least one of these three areas, and on Saturday, I post a simple vegetarian/vegan recipe for you to try.

More Specifically:

  • I write about key Ignatian Spiritual Practices, focusing specifically on: Pilgrimage, First Principle and Foundation, Daily Examen, Mediation/Contemplation, Rules for Eating, Decision Making, Finding God in All Things, and The Magis (doing more for God). 
  • I write about  obesity and Type II diabetes and how changes in diet, nutrition and physical activity can greatly improve a person’s long-term prognosis and help them enjoy a better quality of life.  The goal of all this is so that we can do more for God.
  • I write about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Who would have guessed vegetables could taste so good?
  • I write about the importance of having a personal and ongoing relationship with God.
  • I write about overcoming obstacles, enjoying life, having fun, trying new things, and keeping a positive attitude.

The Key Theme that links everything together is Transformation. I define transformation as a profound and radical change that orients a person in a new direction and takes them to an entirely different style of living.

If you are looking for specific examples of what transformation means in practice, take a look through the archives on this blog.

The Essence of my philosophy is:

  • God wants to make something new with each and every person.
  • We can find God in all things, both the good and the bad.
  • Life is more than food.
  • By taking care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us.
  • When we are healthy in all areas of our lives, we can and should do more for God, each in our own way.

The Reason Why:

Just before I stared this blog in 2009, I thought I was doing pretty well in life, but in reality is was out of balance and my body was hurting. When I began taking care of myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, a life-changing transformation occurred. I want the same for you :)

After I had lost 65 pounds and was in great shape, I was out for a walk in my neighborhood. I passed the house of one of my friends, and I saw she was out working in her garden. She came over and we began a conversation. She said, Paul, we see you out walking every day, rain or shine. What’s going on?

I told her that several months earlier, I had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, and I was trying to do something about it. She responded, I was just diagnosed too. She asked what I was specifically doing? I gave her my routine and she said she was going to give it a try. I wished her well and got back to my walk.

Fast forward four months. I was working in my office and my neighbor appeared at my door. She asked if she could come in. As she sat down, I could see here already tearing up. I asked her what was the matter.

She said, I took to heart what you said in the summer, and I started doing what you’ve been doing. Two days ago, I went to the doctor for a check up. He told me my blood tests came back so good that he was taking me off my diabetes medicine. Her tears were tears of joy!

Later that night, as I reflected on my friend’s visit, I realized that I could help a few people face to face, or I could help a lot of people through a broader platform. And that, my friends, is how Making All Things New came into being.

I want to help you too! I’ve come to realize that, no matter what issues we face, there is a way through them. Are you ready for your own transformation to begin?

One powerful way to get your transformation underway is to attend one of my retreats.  My doctoral project and eventual writing was focused on the retreat framework and the forty-days of on-line follow up.  I generally lead three retreats a year.  The cost is reasonable, the location wonderful, and the positive results in the lives of those who have previously attended are too numerous to count.  Please join us this November!


Upcoming Retreats

Making All Things New Retreat 
November 17-19

Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center - Marriottsville, Maryland

$220 before 9/17/17, $240 after

This Retreat will focus on providing you with tools to improve your health, deepen your faith, and enjoy life to the fullest.

LEARN MORE / REGISTER

Join our Email List

Get email updates about my latest blog posts, recipes, retreats and more directly to your inbox. Just sign up below:

Join our Email List

Get email updates about my latest blog posts, recipes, retreats and more directly to your inbox. Just sign up below:


Upcoming Retreats


Making All Things New Retreat
November 17-19

Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center - Marriottsville, Maryland

$220 before 9/17/17, $240 after

This Retreat will focus on providing you with tools to improve your health, deepen your faith, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Learn More / Register

Join our Email List

Get email updates about my latest blog posts, recipes, retreats and more directly to your inbox. Just sign up below:

Join our Email List

Get email updates about my latest blog posts, recipes, retreats and more directly to your inbox. Just sign up below: