Catholic Vitamin Z: ZEST

Our interesting (and truly helpful) guest for this show on ZEST is Michael J. Rayes. He is a cradle Catholic, college graduate and he married his childhood sweetheart, Laura. They have seven children and they live in the greater Phoenix area in Arizona.

Mike is a soft-spoken man – but he has a lot to share, whether on marriage, ZESTful rebirth of marriage or your faith, or raising motivated, well-behaved Catholic children. You can see (below) information on his two family and child-rearing books. But wait, there’s more! He’s also an author of mystery novels set in a Catholic setting — roughly based on the Hardy Boys mysteries of years ago!

A little more about Mike: He has a strong devotion to Mary and the Eucharist, a vast interest in theology and history, and he exclusively attends the Traditional Latin Mass. He recently began a master’s program to follow his heart’s passion, which is counseling couples and families. He has a year left and then he’ll be a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Mike’s background is secondary education and computer technology and he was a high school teacher, and also a computer network administrator. This May, the Rayes’ celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They married pretty much right out of high school.

Here is contact information for Michael J. Rayes:

His website is

Mike has a relatively new and spartan Facebook page. You can find and friend him at:

Mike has written a book, called 28 Days to Better Behavior: How to have attentive kids at Mass and peace in the pew. The news release for the new book is found at:

Mike’s other marriage, children and family-oriented book is Well Adjusted: Raising Children From Hearth to Heaven. It’s an easy, short read but packed with invitation, challenge and common sense.

And the mystery book that Mike wrote some years ago is entitled Bank Robbery! — Volume 1 in the Spencer Family Mystery Series. It features teenage detectives, a sleuthing priest and high-tech investigations.

The publisher for Mike’s books is Rafka Press:

Thanks also to our friend and technical advisor Bryan Murdaugh for his gift of music. We closed the show with a song from his latest album TWENTY NINE. Bryan is available for youth events, confirmation retreats and other events in parishes, chanceries and other renewal efforts.

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