Category Archives: המוסד

Father Byers: Thank you Nikki Haley! “USA! USA!” and “US-UN! US-UN!”

All of a sudden America is no longer a puppet for Islam.

I love that. I could have written that speech.

Disclaimers: I’m a Catholic priest, and I’m also Jewish, you know, mom, grandma, great-grand-ma… enough for me to be a Knesset qualified Israeli. I’ve lived in Israel. Been there multiple times. I have friends there. Contacts. Dare I say המוסד has always been really good to me. I think Israel has a right to defend itself, has a right to security, has a right not to be obliterated by Iran or others. Moreover, “Salvation is from the Jews,” said Jesus. And Paul:

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

Disclaimers: I also deplore unjust actions meant to antagonize, and I saw really a lot of that while living in Israel and spending really a lot of time all over the West Bank, far North to deep South, West to way to the fence on the East. I raised my voice about injustices to the consternation of many others. Economic slavery only brings frustration and anger and… revenge. There are a million little anecdotes that I heard from friends, but those add up to make a culture, a policy. Also, just to say, anecdotally, a Palestinian man saved me from getting shot by wild IDF gun-fire (spraying bullets just to do it, or perhaps a bit directed). Another saved me from abduction. Another very dramatically stopped me from getting killed. Ironically, it was while I was attending a university in the occupied West Bank that I noted just about half of the student body also wanted peace by way justice, so, I’m not alone in that. I would like to see it be easier for priests and nuns to renew their visas so as to work in the clinics and schools and orphanages that no one else takes care of. I condemn what comes down to a forced removal of Catholics from the West Bank to anywhere else in the world, as the former Patriarch had warned was happening in one of his pastoral letters.

Having said all that: Thank you, Nikki Haley. What you said had to be said. Utterly reasonable. Keep up the good work. I had to laugh out loud at your rambunctious and repeated statement: “US-UN”! Hah! That should be a new chant at all South Carolina sporting events along with “USA! USA!” Let’s shout: “US-UN! US-UN!” Hah! What a great day brightener.

img_20170222_073706Totally off topic (and I ask forgiveness in advance… I put these things up for a reason…). After my sacramental visits on my day off yesterday (some hundreds of miles), bringing Holy Communion, Anointing the sick, and other sacraments, I was able to get off a clip or two from the Glock. It’s been a while. This is really the first time that, instead of aiming so much, I was concentrating on the basics (as I’m a complete beginner), so that with now abandoned Israeli-carry, I was practicing drawing from the holster hot. This is what I did with the bottom corner of a moldy folder from the hermitage (which is still there I’m happy to say). That folder was the only target I had to use. I was aiming to the upper right side of that pattern, so I’m still a bit South and to the left. But still pretty good I thought for this activity.

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Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Military, Politics, Terrorism, המוסד

To המוסד the Institute: You have 5 months to stop upcoming terrorism on 50th anniversary of the 6 day war

star of david

We’re with you in solidarity on every level.

We’ll pray for you. You have our heart.

It’s always on anniversaries. Always. This is a big one. 5-10 June 1967 – 2017.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Terrorism, המוסד

Martyrs and martyrs in making

missionaries of charity-

The assassination of four Missionary of Charity sisters taking care of geriatric patients (all of whom were also brutally murdered) touched me very deeply. I have been very close to the sisters right around the world since I was a seminarian decades ago. Their martyrdom at the hands of Islamicists is a challenge for us all to follow. They lead the way. We ask their intercession that we might be converted to the Lord, walk in His presence, and also be on our way. We are all so very unworthy.

pierbattista pizzaballaMeanwhile, I’ve never once met a Franciscan Friar in Rome or in the region of the Custody who wasn’t tough as steel, exactly the opposite of what soft Catholics in the West think about Saint Francis. The Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land are always in harm’s way, and that is particularly true today in Syria, what with ISIS death-squad freakoids bringing the joys of demonic Islam to all. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is more the Catholic Pope to those throughout that vast region than is the Bishop of Rome (much to his consternation, I’m sure), said:

“Almost all [of our Franciscans] have clearly expressed the view that it is only right to remain in the villages, without consideration for the number of parishioners or the danger involved. A shepherd does not abandon his flock and does not ask whether his sheep are worth much or little, or if they are numerous or young. For a shepherd, all the sheep are important and he loves them all the same way.”

I pray, dearest Father Pierbattista, that in the grace of God I sincerely agree with your anguished expression of solidarity with Jesus’ Mystical Body now making up what is lacking to the sufferings of Christ as time marches on (see Colossians 1:24). I pray that those in your charge remain strong in their resolve of charity, the glory of which was seen on the Cross of Calvary.

And to my readers: I wish I could relate to you two extended conversations I had with Father Pierbattista at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, which had a profound influence in my own priestly life. But I cannot. Not now, anyway. But, I can say this. If I remember correctly, three Friars, I think from France, Germany and Austria, had to drop their lives, literally, on the spot, and take my place at the Custody.

This was catastrophic for them and the Custody at the time. I mean, imagine any priest entrenched in pastoral, administrative or academic duties involving countless others just being ripped out of that life in a second, having to get on the very next plane to Tel Aviv. I fear that one or more of these ultra-talented friars may have made their way to Syria, and are now facing ISIS death marauders.

I carry this with me, and so should those who were responsible for that fiasco that risked disturbing the Status quo of the custody (something which would have had immediate effect throughout the region). I feel left behind, and yet in solidarity with those facing this violence.

Our Lord permits what He permits so as to bring from the midst of darkness and earthquakes and the blasphemy of Calvary the greatest manifestation of love the world will ever know, we witnessing the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father bringing us from grace to grace, and who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Terrorism, המוסד