Category Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

Catholic priest Father Byers says “Aujourd’hui je suis membre de la First Pentecostal Church de Holly Springs”

“Bet You Stay Home Now Hypokrits”

Is a church burning worse than Governor Cooper of North Carolina making it a criminal misdemeanor and then jacking that up to criminal felony offenses to attend religious services? I think not.

I think it is a much worse crime being committed by Governor Cooper than that of the arsonist burning down the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs, Mississippi, whose members dared to worship the Lord together.

Note to idiot arsonists: leave those Pentecostalists alone and come to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews, NC and go ahead and try to burn us down with all your bombs and matches and stupidity. After all, I think we’re one of the very few Catholic parishes with a full schedule of normal Masses, etc. Make an example of us. Let our Law enforcement make an example of you. Much better us and you than the poor people down in Mississippi.

Today, Je suis membre de la First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs

Actually, I don’t blame the arsonist guy for this so much as our politicians who scare people so badly that they commit acts like this. It’s these liberal anti-religion politicians who are especially to blame for such violence. Arrest the perp and throw him in prison? Sure. But do the same with the anti-Constitution, anti-American, anti-God, anti-neighbor politicians who single out religious institutions for discrimination as if religion is to blame for things like the coronavirus.

P.S. I love the biblical spelling of hypocrites that this guy uses: ὑποκριται = hypokrites = hypocrites. Of course, maybe he’s writing in Luxembourgish.

Je suis? A play on Charlie Hebdo horror. I’m still Catholic. I’m just saying that I’m totally in solidarity with our Pentecostalist friends down the way.

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Exorcism & LEO accompaniment :-)

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When becoming Pastor of this Catholic Parish of Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC, I immediately asked our great Bishop for permission to provide the Exorcism of a Place for dwellings in my parish and those in other parishes in the diocese as long as those pastors gave me permission. Granted and granted again, always and immediately.

The most recent exorcism of a place was just the other day up in Graham County, a house newly acquired by new parishioners moving in from way out of state. They had a good reason for this specialized house-blessing and it wasn’t that everything everywhere was smothered in thick poison ivy:

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The house is a wreck, and not just because of mold, having been uninhabited for quite some time. It seems this was a druggie house, and a satanic ritual house. I didn’t take pictures of the “artwork” provided by the druggie satanists. Awful. But I did take a picture of that graffito up top of this post… um… edited… but you get the idea.

Of course, druggies, in all of their coolness in acting against society and any authority such as the police, die of overdoses, and that also happened there. Horrible.

But, the house will be gutted physically just it has now been of any presence of Satan because of the exorcism.

Just a coincidence, but I was immediately escorted, if you will, by Law Enforcement from this house all the way back to Andrews (which is in another county). Thanks, guys.

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Mass schedule vs NC Governor Cooper; Communion style; LEO accompaniment

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The Catholic Parish of Holy Redeemer (HR) in Andrews, North Carolina, covers the north-eastern half of Cherokee County (Valleytown township), the north-western half of Macon County (Nantahala township), and the entirety of Graham County, which boasts of its own “Mass center” called Prince of Peace (PoP) in Robbinsville, North Carolina. We border the Diocese of Knoxville for more or less 20 miles.

Here’s our present Mass schedule (with Confessions before all Masses and Last rights, etc., anytime): 

  • 6:00 PM Saturday – Vigil Mass in Spanish (HR)
  • 6:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (HR)
  • 8:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (PoP)
  • 8:30 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (PoP)
  • 11:00 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (HR)

Weekdays Mass, given other things going on:

  • Monday – 12:00 Noon (HR)
  • Wednesday – 5:30 PM (HR)
  • Thursday – 12:00 PM (PoP)
  • Friday – 12:00 PM (HR)

Accompaniment by law enforcement already some weeks ago:

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I like that. I’m sure there’s a story behind it. Nice guy, I’m sure. :-)

Regarding Communion on the tongue: we do that, and that’s the norm. We border a certain diocese which does not permit that – against the universal law of the Church and against science (hands being horrifically worse than the tongue). Anyone visiting from that diocese or anywhere else will not be refused simply because they want to receive on the tongue (all things being equal, as in they being Catholics who are in good standing).

To Governor Cooper: You’ve demonstrated yourself in your specious legislation about enforcement of Covid-19 regulations to be discriminatory against the free exercise of religion, singling out religious institutions with draconian policies compared to leniency for state owned profit-making endeavors like ABC Liquor stores, or compared to private essential companies such as Lowes and Walmart, which are allowed up to 20% and 50% of the maximum capacity imposed for whatever buildings by the County Fire Marshall. This is not true for religious institutions, which – no matter the capacity even of a megachurch that would hold thousands – are limited limited to, say, a minister and nine other people, you know, for a quorum of ten like for a synagogue. That demonstrates bad faith in leadership, an abuse of power to please constituents, you know, Democrats who have outlawed God in their platform. Kick the faithful in the face and get votes! What was it, 5 out of 100 counties that voted you in to “power”?

I’m good with cooperating with national emergencies, national security, etc., when there isn’t any blatant anti-free-exercise-of-religion legislation. I think I can prove that cooperation in a court of law by subpoenaing a long list of witnesses right up the chain of law enforcement.

Speaking of the chain of law enforcement, Bill Barr of the Justice Department is demanding that ordinary citizens like me rat out politicians like you, Governor Cooper, so that overreach oppressing religion can be smashed down hard. I would welcome a legal challenge from the likes of you Governor Cooper. You’ve threatened for a long time now the imposition of a second class misdemeanor for a first “offense” of praying, which quickly turns into – if memory serves me – class “I” and “H” felonies for repeat offenses. I would love to do a lightning appeal to the Supreme Court to kick your policies where the sun don’t shine.

And, by the way, a note to LEOs: Just because the Governor has pretended to give you arrest powers for any free exercise of religion, he has no authority to do this, and he cannot support you; you also will be brought to court for upholding wrongful law, that is, you personally, as well as your department, town, county and state.

Here’s the deal: every time we’ve seen a politician suppressing religion in a discriminatory manner throughout human history – going back for last number of decades, going back for last number of centuries, going back for the last number of millennia – what we’ve seen is not just some tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths from any virus, but instead we’ve seen genocides on a grand scale, what with the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot… on and on. Hundreds of millions murdered. It’s all about POWER. Oooo! Power! Hmmm… the weighing of thousands of deaths over against hundreds of millions of murders. And it’s like clockwork. And it takes no time at all. And it’s frequent. And it can happen anywhere, anytime. Just ask people in the countries where it’s happened. Oh, right, they’re all dead already, starved, shot, incinerated…

So, over my dead body, Governor Cooper. Sure, my dead body might be because I die from Coronavirus – a horrific death I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but maybe that will stand in witness to protection of the free exercise of religion.

So, go ahead Governor Cooper. Let’s see your worst. I’ll bring you to the Supreme Court, along with any law enforcement individuals, towns, counties or State which try to enforce your anti-God, anti-neighbor, and anti-Constitution policies.

Methodology of proceeding:

Holy Mass is offered by myself at the altar in the sanctuary of the churches of the parish, during which time the doors will be open. I do not request anyone to come. I tell people that it is imprudent and dangerous for them to come. I make rather intense appeals to those who are elderly or health compromised to stay away, saying that I will bring them Communion at home, and I do. I tell people that if they do wander into the church at the time I’m there that I think it’s a good idea for them to wear a mask, do social distancing, etc. There is no shaking of hands. The fact is, when I had to get a MethylPREDNISolone shot and a DosPak of the same because of the “worse case of poison oak seen in Cherokee County”, I had no immune system and I did not offer Mass publicly at that time. Having said that, and now back to public free exercise of religion:

  • I am NOT a minister of justice of the state
  • I am not in the employ of the state
  • I am NOT going to attempt to police any would-be non-compliance from the altar as if a minister must police imposed anti-constitution policies. Ain’t gonna happen.

If you don’t like this rebellion against your anti-American policies, Governor Cooper, a rebellion coming from the smallest parish in these United States of America – so tiny, so vulnerable to your power – then, by all means, shut us down, you know, with all the Law Enforcement in your power (which is a lot). Send in the National Guard. Send in SWAT teams of the State Bureau of Investigation. Call in emergency assistance from anywhere and everywhere. As I say, I’ll have you in the Supreme Court so fast that you’ll be a good example of what not to do. But if you do that, just have me arrested. Don’t be a cruel jerk and raid the church, throwing kids through the windows and smashing the elderly to the ground, giving people heart-attacks and causing injuries. I’m a model of quiet and peaceful compliance. Just throw cuffs on me and stuff me in the cage in the back of whatever vehicle and cart me off. But anyone else who happens to be present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass… let them go; let my people go. Don’t be a jerk, Governor Cooper. Just make me the target of attacks on religion, the free exercise of religion.

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Filed under Free exercise of religion, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus: Pope’s Missionary of Mercy Beach Day on Divine Mercy Sunday

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Yours truly took this picture early Monday morning after sleeping over at the Kure Beach beach house of some good friends to which I arrived at about 12:30 AM Sunday night. I was told to go right in to the second floor of that house (which is up on stilts, of course), and then head up to the third floor, go the end of the hallway, and use the bedroom suit that I will find with pictures of Pope Benedict and Saints John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

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That means that I had to have left the rectory in Andrews, NC, at least some eight hours previously, Sunday afternoon. Indeed, after Divine Mercy Sunday Mass, and while doing up a ride-along with the PD as chaplain, a call came in requesting my presence at the beach. Great! Off I went in Sassy the Subaru.

The picture below is taken from the exact same spot as the picture on the top of this post, just turned to the South. That’s the pier just north of Myrtle Beach, which brings back many memories with mom and dad. We all walked down the pier together some thirty years ago. It would only be a few years later that they would both have passed on. I’m so nostalgic…

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Those good friends? She’s a prosecuting attorney, and he, after a spectacular career in law enforcement, enjoys providing consultation presentations all around the world to assist in strategies for the most difficult logistics in law enforcement and incarceration and parole. He was home because of… of course… the Coronvirus lock down. Here’s what I found on the other side of “my room” for the night:

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Scandalous! Absconding from duty! A priest going to the beach while there is a declared State of Emergency (read the government notice in the top picture)! What about taking care of the Lord’s little flock? What about providing the Last Rites to those in need? And worse, using pious pictures to cover over such cowardice, leaving the flock untended!

There’s always two sides to any story, right? Well, here’s the truth of it:

After these good friends provided me with coffee and scrumptious scrambled eggs early the next morning, after just a few minutes of catching up, the pastoral plan they had hatched with me hours earlier on Divine Mercy Sunday afternoon went into action. My Google Maps feature on the phone was locked in, and away I went to another residence which sports this massive well-done statue out on the road (reminding me of The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark +1965, a book my mom made sure I read so long ago):

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You have to know that the Director of Liturgy in that far away diocese has draconian policies on the provision of sacraments in this time of Coronavirus. This is public knowledge. Horrific. A nightmare for the faithful who want to the sacraments. Some of the reaction of some of the priests of that diocese are less than beneficial. It seems one would not provide the proper sacramental formulae, just saying something invalid for any sacrament, such as Have a nice day. Another just left a message saying he’s unavailable at this time. Another does up sacraments, invalidly, over the phone.

So these great friends of mine called me, who am not quite a 900 mile round trip away. We have a mutual friend, a close friend, who could not find a priest to do what any priest should do, even with him now leaving this life to be on his way to the next. I dropped everything and got there as fast as I could.

Don’t think I’m virtuous in doing that. Not at all. I absolutely love racing about as a Missionary of Mercy, as Jesus’ priest, and doing what any priest should do. I have great neighbors who watch over the house and feed the dogs. I had an absolutely wonderful time racing back and forth at night on pretty much entirely empty highways and entirely empty back roads. Fortunately, it was a day after a fierce rainfall, and the fallen trees had already been pushed out of the way by bigger vehicles than mine:

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That’s on the way back, early Monday afternoon, at the start of the one-lane gravel road up Holy Souls Mountain, though still a few miles from the Holy Souls Hermitage. At the house of the neighbor to the hermitage I picked up fully seven October Beans which had been set aside for me to plant. That’s a lot. I am most grateful. More on that later.

The neighbors there weren’t home and I didn’t need to stick around for more Last Rites. They were at the doctors, which should tell you something in these times of basically zero face-to-face meetings with any medical personnel if at all possible. As it is, all reports of a zillion invasive tests came back with the best outcome possible. No Last Rites – again – were needed. I’m very happy with that. Thank you, Jesus.

Meanwhile, I do have a standing invitation to “go to the beach” any time I want. ;-)

Sometimes, honestly, I think I have way, way, way tooooo much fun as a priest. I’m totally happy watching Jesus be the priest, with me just going along for the ride. :-)

When I got back, I did up some grocery shopping for the elderly health-compromised in the parish, delivered those groceries, also delivering bacon to some good friends that I had picked up on the way back (10 pounds!), and then got back to the rectory once again. It’s now Tuesday morning. How did that happen so quickly? In just a few minutes after I publish this, Father Gordon MacRae is going to call for an hour or so, as I missed the usual Monday morning call. So I better end this here. Glad to be back.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Vocations

Coronavirus: Question *after* fetching Oils of the Chrism Mass on Last Rites, Confessions, “essential” priests

COVID-19

Just before midnight, Monday night, stretching into early Tuesday of Holy Week – the usual day for the Chrism Mass in this Diocese – I was assisting at an urgent situation that included someone presenting with a persistent slight cough (I noticed), and who – hours later on Tuesday trundled off to get tested because of sharply increased symptoms for COVID-19. Of course, since we are in a healthcare desert, any test done here doesn’t take five minutes. The results can take four to five days or even longer. Yours truly was within six feet of said person for perhaps thirty minutes or more all told. Said person later Tuesday evening informed someone who, about 10:30 PM that same Tuesday, just 23 hours after the “proximity incident”, informed yours truly.

Meanwhile, Tuesday afternoon, before that information came my way, on way way back home after retrieving the Sacred Oils after the Chrism Mass in Charlotte, I stopped to see some friends to drop something off – this taking only seconds and with me wearing my N-95 Mask. I then repeated this a few hours later, at 8:00 PM, leaving another package with another friend, with me wearing my N-95 Mask and already being in the car before that friend came outside. So, both of these stops were in less than a day of the “proximity incident.” As I understand it, it takes more than 48 hours to begin to start “shedding” Coronavirus molecules. All are safe and sound.

So, now, as of this writing, now late Wednesday morning, some 58 1/2 hours have passed since assisting in the midst of that “proximity incident.” That’s about the time, right now, that I would start to perhaps begin “shedding” Coronavirus molecules, regardless of whether or not I myself developed any symptoms. I could turn out to be a “carrier.”


Should I quarantine myself, or self-isolate? Let’s review the technical terms and the regulations regarding same that were in force until Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2020:

  • “According to the CDC, quarantines are meant to restrict the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These individuals are asymptomatic but have either traveled to an area with an active outbreak of the virus, or have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. Self-quarantining allows health officials to closely monitor the development of symptoms, if any, while preventing further transmission of the virus. Those who are asked to self-quarantine will be told to stay home and avoid contact with others for 14 days.”
  • Isolation, meanwhile, refers to separating those who are already sick from the rest of the population. Self-isolation provides individuals the opportunity to recover from the virus without spreading it to others. Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate until the following:
    •  

      You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

    • AND other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
    • AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. The decision to stop home isolation should be left to healthcare providers and local health authorities.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2020, at the usual presser, that advice was somewhat changed,  to wit (from PBS):

The federal government has released new guidelines for when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus. The guidance pertains to essential critical workers who have been exposed to COVID-19. For those individuals, the guidelines advise:

  • Take your temperature before work.
  • Wear a face mask at all times.
  • Practice social distancing in the workplace as work duties permit

The guidelines advise individuals not to:

  • Stay at work if you become sick.
  • Share headsets or other items used near one’s face.
  • Congregate in the break room, lunchroom, or other crowded places.

Employers are asked to:

  • Take the employee’s temperature and assess their symptoms before the employee starts back at work.
  • If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately.
  • Increase the air exchange in the building.
  • Increase the cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
  • Test the use of face masks to ensure they don’t interfere with workflow.

[…] The CDC defines a potential exposure as “being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”

The new guidance apply only to workers in critical infrastructure jobs. That category has been defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (part of the Department of Homeland Security), but only as an advisory list, not a federal standard.

By CISA’s reckoning, the category includes certain workers in healthcare and public health, law enforcement and first responders, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation, public works, critical manufacturing, financial services, communications, among other sectors. […]

Redfield said the new guidelines are for workers in critical roles who “have been within six feet of a confirmed case or a suspected case,” so that they can go back to work under certain circumstances. […]


So, will this priest continue to offer Confessions and Last Rites, and will he continue to assist as Chaplain to the Law Enforcement family? There are essential roles to play even in the eyes of an atheist, such as suicide prevention and death notification. Wicked, horrifically violent crimes continue to happen even in this small hamlet of Andrews, NC. Hearing Confessions and giving the Last Rites are protected under the First Amendment, even under the Federal, State, County and Town restrictions. And they are essentially important. I can’t imagine the despair and the chaos that might well ensue if this was all to be taken away as well. I will continue.

By the way and just to say, CISA, mentioned above, is a rather serious player in all this. I just met with a close friend who is a member of CISA, who “does stuff” for CISA, who carries a “pass”, if you will, that has all check point law enforcement wave him right on through when he gets to the check point. He has no problem with me doing all that I am doing. :-)

Oh, and also, as of this writing, as of this publishing, I have zero symptoms. Regarding temperature, since I started Keto last November 1019 – losing now fully 63 pounds (and this is common) – I am no longer at 98.6 F, but hover around ~97.6 or ~97.7. For now. I mean, I never get sick, until I do, right?

Having said all that, I would like to stay put for the next days to see what happens. I am semper paratus for the Sacred Triduum to begin later this evening.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood

Corornavirus: day-in-the-life-&-death

COVID-19

It’s 12:37 PM and I just woke up from a nap, wakened by a phone call for last rites, this time a 200 mile round trip. Then possibly delivery of this person to a hospital in Charlotte as the hospital in Asheville threw this person out, although at death’s door on so very many levels, not that this person has Coronavirus, but was triage out, not because of not being in extreme need, but because triage now refers to keeping the young and otherwise healthy. These are also the victims of COVID-19. Crazy. A prayer for this person, very dear to me. I’m just about to rush off as this person will soon be home once again…

The reason I just woke up from a nap is because I spent a good part of last night doing up the Police Chaplain thing. The Chief told one of the officers to give me a call – 1:00 AM – so as to do up my first Death Notification to family members of the victim. I can’t say the details. Let’s just say it was bad. Real bad. Such violence. Such death. Please say a prayer for them and the repose of the soul of the victim. One family member was someone I also consider to be a good friend. Doesn’t make it easy. The reason I also put this incident under Coronavirus will have to be dealt with in another post, but I think the stress of COVID is somehow giving a self-perceived permission to sociopaths to put their sociopathy into action. I have very many examples. Be situationally aware, people.

It’s now 12:50 PM. I must run to do the priest thing. I love being a priest, COVID times or not. Thank you, Jesus.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood

Coronavirus: Criticize priests without need? People won’t go to Confession…

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I heard some very cynical people the other week presenting their views to the world on the internet, you know, when lock-downs were being announced. They were saying that there are priests – OF COURSE! PRIESTS! – who will think of this time as a vacation and go off and enjoy themselves, carefree, happy to forget about their flocks.

Really? A generalization, that? Calumny of a entire class of people, that? It used to be that people would notice ever so many canonized saints severely warning people not to criticize priests unnecessarily. It seems that they are purposely selectively ignoring canonized saints so as to promote a generalized anti-clerical agenda.

The reason canonized saints insisted on not criticizing priests unnecessarily is not any double standard. It seems like it is a double standard, for we are not to criticize anyone unnecessarily. Why make not criticizing priests unnecessarily a thing? Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote at length of fraternal correction, and said that sometimes we have to criticize priests and bishops publicly if they are egregiously publicly leading people astray, etc. Great! But still, why the emphasis by canonized saints on not criticizing priests unnecessarilyThat would be a sin, as it would be for anyone, but more so. Why?

Sin… That brings us to the reason for insisting in a special manner that we are not to criticize priests unnecessarily. If people do that, what do you think the result is going to be? The result will be that people who desperately need to go to Confession will use this unnecessary criticism as their excuse that they cannot go to Confession to such a terrible, horrible priest.

Let me give you an example. Someone came up to me in church a while back (whom I’ve never seen before) and with very dark face and with grave concern told me that I was losing really a lot of weight, and that this was alarming, and that I needed to somehow stay alive.

I mentioned this to someone else who immediately said that, yes, of course, that other person surely thought that I had AIDS, because, you know, I’m a priest and all that. Actually, that was also my thought about what the first person was thinking. I mean, it could be that I have cancer, right? Or, might it just be that I’m ever so happy on my Keto diet?

To the point, with that kind of nuanced gossip going around, how many people who are desirous of integrity and honesty are going to want to go to Confession to me? Probably zero.

For the record, yes, I’ve lost a lot of weight. Today it’s just over 60 pounds I’ve lost since November 21, 2019. For the record, I don’t have cancer. I don’t have AIDS. And as far as I know, I don’t at all have any Coronavirus. It’s the Keto Diet. I recommend the Keto diet for those who are not diabetic and who have good kidneys and who can and will drink plenty of fluids every day, and who are willing to face the gossipers and all their unnecessary calumny and grave concern. I don’t know if that’s what the first concerned person meant to do, but… whatever the intention, that kind of thing doesn’t help. Not at all. And certainly the seemingly malicious group prejudice of an entire class of people is not good for the Sacrament of Confession.

Having said all that, know that there are plenty of great priests out there and that you can and must go to Confession. Look, even a terrible, bad and evil and even entirely faithless and atheist priest still gives a valid absolution. It’s Jesus who is at work in the working of the sacraments: ex opere operato and all that. That’s what you want, right?

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Those who unnecessarily criticize priests are risking judgment upon themselves for all the people who would have gone to Confession but didn’t based on that unnecessary criticism.

Now, will I be attacked as if I didn’t say “unnecessary,” as if I said never to criticize any priests at all no matter what? Sigh. But, that’s fine. I signed up exactly for this, you know, the beatitudes and all that. I’m good with it, as long as people go to Confession more than ever. And what’s more to say, in this diocese we have great seminarians, and this is exactly what they also signed up for. Bring it on. We’re happy to face the unnecessary criticism for others.

This is not about pleasing others the frantic criticizers.

This is about bringing souls face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Confession, Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Saints, Vocations

Coronavirus: Provision of Sacraments. How to be joyful, at peace, in mayhem. Update!

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Apparently, the Diocese has forbidden the celebration of pretty much all the Sacraments except in the danger of death. Ha ha ha. I didn’t get that message until after the famous Monday, 30 March 2020, in my parish. Ha ha ha.

Late on Monday, there were four people in church:

  • Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
  • Yours truly
  • A young couple

What did we do, you ask?

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Mass with First Holy Communion
  • Their natural marriage then was transformed to a Sacramental Matrimony

Elsewhere, also on Monday, same day, before sunrise, down in the hospital, I did up these Sacraments:

  • Confession
  • Last Rites: Anointing

And all that was putting Holy Orders of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ into action.

So, enacting my priesthood with the provision of six other Sacraments. Not bad in this time of Coronavirus if I do say so ever so snarkily myself. ;-)

Looky here: An order from the Diocese not to provide the sacraments except in danger of death would not be given unless people were nervous that we are in a time of generalized danger of death, right? I don’t think the intention is to make it difficult to go to Confession. That, I think, is an exception. And anyway, I did all this before that particular directive was given. And anyway, I’m sure no one is wanting at all to suspend me a divinis or to excommunicate me. I’m not in trouble. Far from it. That’s not how things work in this diocese. This is the best diocese ever. We have a great Bishop and a great Vicar General. I have a great Vicar Forane. I’m ever so happy.

Happy Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown GIF by Peanuts - Find ...

I mean, you know:

byers dance paul vi audience hall

Actually, what I’m looking for before the “peak” of Coronavirus hits with mayhem, is to have people come to the parking lot – staying in their spaced-away-from-each-other vehicles – to give them an instruction on General Absolution (the Third Rite permitted by the Church in emergency situations) upon permission of the Bishop. The conditions to receive that absolution with integrity and honesty, avoiding sacrilege, are as follows:

  • Done with the permission of the Bishop
  • The candidates must have contrition for ALL of their sins
  • The candidates must have the intention to amend their lives so as not to sin again
  • The candidates must have the intention to go to individual Sacramental Confession with a priest as soon as this is possible if they survive

At this time, anyone at anytime can come over to the rectory and bang on the door and I will don my PPE provided for my work with the PD and hear the Confession in the driveway. Yes. Easy peasy. All with joy. Be at peace. Perhaps dance for joy.

Humourous UPDATE!

That was sent in by a reader…

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Humor, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus falling through the cracks: church fundraising or taking the hit?

oliver twist

Tons of emails coming in from some of the higher-ups about strategies for doing up alternatives to the usual passing of the hat, as it were, during church services, you know, appeals through email blasts, hard-copy letters, use of the phone-call prayer chains, etc.

This is ridiculous and, I think, wrong-headed. Not now. Not at this time. There are more important things, especially in a tiny parish (the smallest!), where there are some well-to-do parishioners who are, btw, sending something in of their own accord – but there are so very many who are dirt poor who are such good souls that they would literally send in the widow’s mite and then having nothing to eat after that. I ain’t gonna ask for that. No.

Instead, I think we should be more concerned that “Oliver” gets “More gruel, please.”

Look. We don’t know how long this is going to last or how bad it will get, or not. We just don’t know. Because of that, I don’t want to deplete peoples’ resources that they might need just to survive.

It’s not about church buildings. It’s not about being served. It’s about serving. Do we remember Jesus in all of this? He’s the One. He’s the only One.

Just to be clear: this is NOT an appeal for funds. This is about appealing to all to do up the principle of subsidiarity wherever you happen to be, namely, taking care of what and who you can take care of where you are in your house, in your neighborhood, in your parish and town. At the moment, this parish in the backsides of the beyonds on the far side of the peripheries is doing just fine. Think of those you can assist where you are this very day.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus sheltering-in-place: Exemplar Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog

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Dunno if you can see it, but Laudie-dog, as usual, has a smile on her face. Always content. Doing what she was created to do by God our loving Heavenly Father. Is she oblivious to the Coronavirus pandemic and panic? Sure. So she’s happy. But we who do know what’s going down should be as serene and incomparably much more joyful inasmuch as our Lord intends to bring us to heaven forever. By the way, you see that she looking to me, not to my visitor to my left. She’s already figured out that guy.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog always has his guard up. Yes, he does smile, but with watchful eyes on that visitor, a law enforcement officer to the rectory driveway. He doesn’t care about any law enforcement credentials. He’s going to protect me regardless. Shadow already knows the officer and is friendly with him. Nevertheless, the guard is up. And so should our guard be up with the Coronavirus.

But having your guard up doesn’t cancel out the hope that what we’re all created to have as we walk humbly with our God, in thanksgiving, with joy that God intends us to be taken out of this world and have us in heaven forever. Hope is essential for life. Hope carries with it a joy that opens unto life eternal.

So why did such a good God create such a dangerous world?

  • Let’s not forget what original sin was our choice, crushing our integrity and honesty so that instead of absolutely dominating the universe, including viruses[!], helping each other, we instead, selfish idiots, don’t cooperate, become secretive, and even inflict such viruses on each other.
  • Let’s not forget that God didn’t forget about us and the consequences of our own bad and evil choices. He stood in our place, the innocent for guilty, and took on the death we deserve because of original sin and whatever rubbish of our own sin so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, truly offering us mercy based on this justice, so that He – the Author of Life – might bring us to life once again, this time united with Him, this time in life eternal.

So, I’m as happy as a Laudie-dog, and so very enthusiastic that I can continue to be on guard against, say, the Coronavirus, and not be all depressed and despairing, but rather, in His grace, retain the hope that leads to heaven.

We see lots of bashing of those who BOTH faithful and reasonable and prudent and who are of service. If those self-righteous bashers who bash entire categories of people would spend even half that energy on doing something to be part of the solution, we would have a much better world as regards both physical and spiritual health.

  • Let’s pray for each other.
  • Let’s help each other.
  • Let’s be joyful.
  • Let’s be of service in whatever way we can.
  • Let’s be an occasion for others to get hold of that hope which our dear Lord holds out to all of us with great solicitude for our eternal welfare.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus: 2,500 miles in 2 1/2 days

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How strange. The neighbor to the hermitage reported to me a compliment I received from a common friend, who said that I would go half way across the country so as to give someone the last rights. Reported by him, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. As it turns out, like clockwork, that’s exactly what happened. Sassy the Subaru did up about 2,500 miles in 2 and 1/2 days. I blame my Guardian Angel for removing otherwise impossible barriers so that I could get the job done. Thanks, Guardian Angel!

The above picture was Sunday evening. The picture below was further North the next day:

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Then, later that day, a picture of where I would do up absolutely crazy extreme sports:

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Then, after driving all day and night once again, half way back to the parish in WNC:

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Not the usual picture of the same site as the top picture, going 55 mph on the spaghetti highway system. If you can’t get it, the call letters of the local radio station is advertised at the top of a high rise office building. Another hint, if you have good eyes, the spire you see is the Catholic Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France.

  • Start: Sunday afternoon.
  • Return: Tuesday evening.

Yes, I do know the person involved, though I haven’t seen that person for many decades. It’s just that my present circumstances in life can get me places where the usual priest cannot possibly go in these times. And yes, I do have CDC provided Coronavirus precautionary devices. It is what it is. I love being a priest.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Calm quarantine strategies, not panic

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First  of all, we are not in any kind of stage of a quarantine of any kind. San Francisco called for a State of Emergency, but that was just a cynical move to release Federal monies they otherwise can’t get at this time for sanctuary cities. It has nothing to do with any COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. No. Demoncrats are self-centered jerks and want to cause panic.

And I don’t say we are any kind of stage of a quarantine YET. No. That also would be to panic. See above.

Having said that, let’s take the worst case scenario – a declared pandemic – so as to point out how to avoid the worst case scenario, which would not refer to any medical condition (more people dying from the flu or smoking or car accidents…), but rather panic, which would be the logistical cause of death for hyperbolically more cases of death. So…

  • The other week a reporter asked POTUS Trump whether or not plans were already in place for the quarantine of entire cities if the need arises. He answered yes.
    • I’m sure that if this were to be effected it would be done so by the National Guard before anyone knows, including all law enforcement, who will likewise be quarantined in place in their cities.
    • Immediately after the National Guard is in place for a no one in-or-out scenario, health officials and law enforcement will be privy to policies and enforcement and rules of engagement.
    • It would be extremely helpful if in the same announcement it was said that food delivery trucks to supermarkets will have drop off locations at the border of the quarantine and that other trucks from inside will later come to pick up that food and deliver it to local supermarkets.
    • Gasoline deliveries? I guess they would have to be made when the stations are otherwise abandoned.
    • It would have to be stated that utilities will continue.
    • Extremely severe penalties for price gauging and looting would have to be stated.
  • demon panThe worst possible thing that could happen is panic. In that case, there will immediately be home invasions of idiots looking for food, not because there is any lack of food, but just because of panic. This will be done by those who have already been spending all their money on drugs. And they are well practiced with home invasions. Not good.
  • Panic in this sorry world of ours – the mob mentality which eliminates all “inhibitions” like reason and goodness and kindness and courage and fortitude and justice and mercy – the eliminator of all that is good in the chaos of panic is the demon-god Pan. This is not the too-cute and effeminate Peter Pan of Disney, but rather the ancient demon of all demons, Satan, who, as Jesus says, is a murderer from the beginning. Panic is the worst thing that can happen.
  • What is most needed in a Pan-Dem-ic is to not cave into panic, to not cave into Pan-Demon-ium. Get it? Pan in Greek means all or everything or everyone: “Everybody’s panicking!!!!!!!”
  • To panic is to give reverence to the demon-god pan. Panic makes one a worshiper of Pan. Panic makes one a pagan, an idol-worshiper. “Oooh! Pan told me to worry and have anxiety and to panic, so, therefore, of course, ever-obedient to demons, I will! I will panic! I will! I will! // off sarcasm.
  • So, an examination of conscience is in order. What or who is the most important thing, person, during a pandemic? Christ Jesus. If we have our spiritual lives squared away, if we are actually looking forward to going to heaven, trusting in the mercies of our Lord, we will not cave in to panic, we will not worship at the feet of Pan.
  • For atheists who mock faith in the time of crisis as the opiate of society, know this, the only ones I’ve ever seen help each other out in desperate times are believers. This is especially true in Socialist/Communist/Marxist countries. You know that’s true. I’ve seen it first hand. Believers have extraordinary strength of love and reason because of the love and truth they carry about within them coming from God Himself.

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  • Where is God in all of this? Look for those who are trying to be helpful in all of this. Look at Jesus’ good mom holding God in her arms…
  • But why did God let this happen?
    • Let’s call to mind that original sin opened us up to all of this sickness and death and weakness of mind and weakness of will and emotions all over the place.
    • Let’s call to mind that God so loved that world despite our use of free will that He sent His only-Begotten Divine Son Jesus – basing mercy on justice – to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on the punishment we deserve so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
    • Let’s call to mind that God thus knows all about suffering, and all about combating panic and the horrific demon-god Pan.
    • Let’s call to mind that Jesus does give us the grace, His friendship, to be reasonable, to be calm, to be good and kind, not to panic, but to be helpful, pointing people to Him who is that love which is stronger than sickness, stronger than any pandemic, stronger than death, strong enough to bring us to eternal life, to our eternal home, where love and peace reign supreme. Heaven is our home and we are now – in this hell – in exile away from home. But we do have a home in heaven, and we right now carry about the way to that home, grace which St Paul says will turn to glory.

So, no worries then! Jesus, I joyously trust in You.

JESUS I AM

Meanwhile, I’ve lost 52.xx pounds on Keto so far, and I’m going off Keto soon, transitioning over to something more high protein and not neglecting carbs. Trundling off to Walmart grocery to stock up on non-Keto items, I noticed lots of almost empty shelves, just a few packages of oatmeal, a packet or two of lentil beans, that kind of thing. It looked like panic buying. That’s O.K. Those panic buyers are all set now and won’t be emptying out stores in panic buying. Don’t panic. Instead, drop off real dead weight that holds you back. Go to Confession!

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Filed under Confession, Exorcism, Jesus, Law enforcement, Medicine, Military, Missionaries of Mercy, Spiritual life

COVID-19, beards, attending church

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The above chart is actually from 2017 and gives advice about respirators in general. It wasn’t generated in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). How long the virus is able to survive on surfaces (for days or weeks) or in aerosol form (hanging in the air from breathing for minutes or hours traveling in the breeze) is all unknown.

There are scare-tactics used by some on the one side, and the near hysterical smashing down of scare-tactics used by some on the other side. Scare people and it spreads faster as people run. But don’t tell the truth of virility of the virus and people are not careful to take precautions as simple as washing your hands on the other hand.

My own beard and gas mask story. From about the end of June 1989 until about the beginning of February 1990 I was living at the Pontifical Biblical Institute across from the King David Hotel a stone’s throw from the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. Saddam Hussein was lobbing scud missiles at Israel that contained – he said – biological weapons of mass extermination. We were all issued gas masks to avoid breathing in aerosol laden poisons or biological horrors.

I liked having a beard mostly because I was too lazy to shave every day. We were told to tape up our windows to avoid glass shattering from exploding missiles, so I did that. Likewise, we were told to tape up cracks between the doors and the walls of our little rooms, so I did that. We were all ready, with rolls of tape at the ready, to tape up the opening between the door and the door frame the moment a scud missile exploded nearby. The missiles were dropping all over Israel. We had a room that was especially well-sealed and stocked with food and water into which we could seal ourselves for a day or two if need be, if we had the chance to get there before some of the more nervous members of the Biblicum community locked late-comers out of the room much like submariners caught in a leaking chamber are sealed off from escape by their friends so as to save the rest of the crew members in the rest of the submarine.

Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is Islam’s third most holiest site in the world. We were very close to that, and stupid me, I was trusting in warfare technology of 1990, and, stupid me, I was thinking that Saddam wouldn’t dare throw missiles that would drop around those living near the Temple Mount. I thought that until a scud missile exploded between the Biblical Institute and the King David Hotel, near enough to shake a car outside my window, setting off its alarm, but the tape on my window held.

So I tried to shave my beard, only half successfully, but not good enough for a seal to be made between the gas mask and my mug of a face before the rest of the community were yelling at me to get into their special room.

Now, that’s a different set of circumstances, right? Well, that’s controversial. Those in danger areas are wearing total-seal hazmat gear from head to toe, looking like aliens in space suits. Why oh why would they do that, I wonder. Why would the CDC make a statement against all previous policy for all other viruses and say that the spread of COVID-19 in these USA is inevitable? It’s not the beard chart that surprises me, but the “inevitable” statement.

The Italian government has been cracking down on meetings of people, you know, in churches. Hardly any Ash Wednesday Masses in Italy at the beginning of this Lent. Scare tactics that are political in nature, as there is no crack down on going to stadiums or supermarkets.

Meanwhile, with great malice, the Demoncrats have been playing up scare tactics as a way, they think, to hurt any re-election of Donald Trump. That’s a fright, because scare tactics only encourage faster spread of the virus.

Having said all that, I should also be the priest and say what I always say, people should have their souls in order. Our Lord can call us at any time. Confession! For myself, I’ll go to Confession again later today if I can as the Smokey Mountain Vicariate of the Diocese is meeting up down the road.

If the CDC’s out-of-character statement about “inevitability” comes into play, this priest will be at particular risk:

  • I’ll attend to the sick and dying with the last rites as long as I’m not forbidden by hospital staff. That would be tough for them since the kind of volunteer level that I enjoy is actually at the level of employee status for our local hospital.
  • I’ll still accompany our local law enforcement as Police Chaplain. I can only imagine that unstable people will cause trouble with increased home invasions if the inevitability thing closes down supermarkets. It would get a bit chaotic. Can you imagine being on corpse-removal-detail? Blech. I hope any respirators have odor controls.

Having said all that, I have not shaved my beard. Life goes on. I do what I always do. Take note of a recent development – as reported some hours ago – that there may be a way around a year and half wait for a vaccine. It was said that there may be a way to fight this with an anti-viral found to have great success in animals and which may be able to be used forthwith. Maybe. But – hey! – maybe!

Here’s the deal: We’re no longer meant for this world. Our home is to be in heaven. We’re in exile here. Worst case scenario with COVID-19 may be a ticket to heaven. Not bad, that.

But what about Church attendance here in the USA? Yesterday, a reporter asked POTUS Trump a question about any contingency plans for locking down cities. He said that those are in place and being refined. Lock downs enforced by Martial Law can happen overnight. That includes shoot-to-kill curfews. I must say, I’ve never in my life heard talk of such things in public in these USA. I’m NOT indulging in scare tactics. Don’t be mad at me. I’m just noting was the CDC has been doing, and what the advised policies are regarding mentioning any of this kind of thing in public. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Now, after all that chaos, I have a question:

Should I shave my beard?

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Filed under Law enforcement, Medicine, Missionaries of Mercy

Just for nice, because God is good

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This was seen recently whilst racing through round about the winding roads of the back-ridges on the far-side of this parish that I love so very much. Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Smokey Mountains National Forest. I love it. So beautiful. I love those who are here, the criminals, the good people, everyone. Our Heavenly Father does. Jesus does.

Sure, there is – oooh! – this thing wrong in the world. Sure, there is – oooh! – that thing wrong with individuals who put themselves on a power trip in the Church. Yep. Jesus knows all about it. If we get all hyper anxious like “No one is doing anything about all the hell going on!” we might just lose sight of our Heavenly Father sending His only-Begotten Divine Son into this world so as to stand in our place, the Innocent for guilty, redeeming us, and, if we so choose in His grace, saving us. Our Heavenly Father has done and is doing something about it. Jesus took the place of the guilty, us, taking on the punishment we deserve for sin.

Is the beauty of this world passing away like the flower of the field, as Jesus says? Sure. But we can praise our Heavenly Father for this “first memory” of the beauty of creation (as Ratzinger in 1990 had it in Dallas) should we have a “second memory” of re-creation. That second memory – “Do this in memory of Me” – has to be first in our experience before we again begin to see, as it were, the memory of the first creation, the beauty. We have to be courageous enough to see the ugliness of the wounds inflicted upon the Divine Son of the Living God so as to see the beauty of the love of the One bearing them for us.

You see those trees in the picture above? Is there an analogy to help us see them? To be able to see them our robes, our bodies, must be washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb. We see the beauty of nature created by our loving Creator through the Blood of the Lamb.

If not, we are bound not to see any beauty, and then dump rivers of trash down the mountainsides (which can absolutely happen here in Western North Carolina). If not, we are bound not to see that we are to be tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, you know, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb, and therefore dump rivers of trash of sin down into our souls.

Go ahead, join Jesus in anguish for the redemption of mankind and the salvation of those who want it while He prays in the agony of the garden. Go ahead and don’t fall asleep like the other apostles. Go ahead and don’t deny Jesus like Peter, or betray Him like Judas, or run away like all the other apostles. Be brave! Sure. But know this, you’ll only be able to do that, you’ll only be able to come back as did John to stand next to the Cross, next to Jesus’ good mom, if you yourself are the simplest (in a good sense), smallest child of God able to thank God with joy for His gracious creation.

Can you see some good in the murderous druggy criminal? No? Then you don’t get it. What we are to see in everyone is that God has loved us while we were yet sinners so as to get us out of that state and bring us to be His good children, looking to Him in humble and joyful thanksgiving. None of us are better than anyone else. We all fall short of the glory of God as Saint Paul says. We are have needed to be cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb. None of us has anything to brag about regarding our own salvation. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

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Filed under Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Nature

Keto-ing Police Chaplain Pope Francis Saint Thomas More Prayer!

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One of the ladies in my parish gave me this prayer card yesterday. She knows that:

  • I’m a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis
  • I’m doing up the Keto diet
  • I’m always talking about simplicity of soul (purity of heart and agility of soul)
  • I’m a police chaplain and have my sights on evil more than I ever did
  • I’m obstructed by “I” if I look to myself for strength
  • I only have a sense of good humor and can take a joke and can discover a bit of joy and share it with others when I know that Jesus is the One, the only One.

Thanks, Thomas.

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Prayer, Saints

Second Amendment vs COEXIST?!

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I had some business to take care of at the now internationally famous Cherokee Guns in favor of the coexistence of my ballistic vest and a compatible holster.

It’s the provocative advertising that Cherokee Guns often indulges in that has caught the attention of the MSM worldwide. Their input at the top of the picture above is rather low-key, but it was already enough for anonymous socialists in the area to offer a response with the quotation from socialist Helen Keller.

(1) Note the hypocritical statement of these socialists. In fine print at the top of their presentation they have this to say:

“PAID FOR BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF MURPHY”

“Citizens…” Why are they so anti-undocumented immigrants?

(2) Also, notice their use and abuse of Helen Keller, implying that she was all about smashing down all religions and points of view with homosexualist violent bullying, with “tolerance” meaning equal opportunity destruction of all truth and morality. Um… No… That’s not what Helen Keller was all about. As they scream “tolerance” they become so broadminded that they become flatheaded. I think it was the Venerable Fulton J Sheen who said something like that. There is good tolerance in the respect of people, but that doesn’t extend to any necessity of saying that error must be affirmed by those who are truthful. Also, and to the point, tolerance is NOT about letting violence take your life. Tolerance and defense of the innocent compliment each other.

(3) Now, it might seem that I’m being rather aggressive in my rhetoric, enough so that a dialogue becomes difficult. I mean, calling people names such as “hypocrite” and “flatheaded” is no way to be inviting and consensus building. But, here’s the deal: these “concerned citizens” have unilaterally redefined my religious Judeo-Christian existence through their all INtolerant lens of homosexualism, hijacking the rainbow as they do. I think that their aggressive hypocrisy should and must be pointed out to them.

 Piotr Młodożeniec, the guy who came up with spelling COEXIST with symbols, might well have a copyright not only on his own twenty year old artwork but on all would-be derived works. So instead of writing COEXIST, there’s just a jumble of symbols.

Anyway, the response of Cherokee Guns, less wordy than myself, was simply to write out – correctly I might add – the word “COEXIST” with their own symbols that are not insulting of religion and offer all people regardless of religion or not the God-given inalienable right of self-defense against the aggressive fascist intolerant violence of the socialist leftists. The possibility of self-defense does lead to coexistence. Of course, there is more to it than all that. We are to love our enemies, right? Yes. And in not letting them hurt themselves more by such inhuman intolerance is also to love them.

By the way, this post is also categorized as “Deescalation.”

Why is that, you ask?

Because truth is deescalation.

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Filed under Deescalation, Guns, Missionaries of Mercy

Fr Gordon opines on old chainsaw pic

GEORGE DAVID BYERS CHAINSAW PICTURE

This was taken some nine years ago. Fr Gordon MacRae thought this was by far the best picture of me, as it perfectly described my hermit life at the time. There’s Mass and prayers – and a million priestly things to do when no other priests are around – but also hard physical labor, the ol’ ora et labora motto of Saint Benedict: Work and Pray. The winters are long and cold and when heating with wood you gotta get wood to burn.

But in my last phone call with Fr Gordon, he said that picture would have to be replaced as it is no longer the best picture. Little did he know that I would have another chainsaw picture just some hours after that phone call. A very large bug-pine had been knocked down in a recent storm above our church parking lot, right into the neighbor’s yard and that neighbor asked if I might have it removed. To me, this kind of thing is great recreation, and I was happy to rev up the old chain saw. It started immediately, happy to oblige. It was already super sharp, ready to go. Bit of gas. Bit of oil. Vroom! 2 1/2 dozen big logs. 2 1/2 dozen smaller logs. All the wood was given to an elderly gent who heats only with wood and is well into his 70s. Bug-Pine, by the way, does little to manufacture creosote. It’s weird that my neighbor to the hermitage mentioned that I should cut some wood for the elderly poor just a few days ago. Not just a coincidence methinks.

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Anyway, the picture Fr Gordon now wants to say is his all time favorite of yours truly is this one below (about which I wrote in a previous post):

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My personal favorite is this one below. I’m the little one getting baptized:

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Do you have pictures of your baptism? Do you celebrate your baptism day each year? We find our identity in Jesus, for He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have to be all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

Having said that, but not inconsistent with that, I have lots of good times as a priest.

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Isn’t that Father George driving a Police Dodge Charger Pursuit V8 ?!

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No, I don’t do this on a regular basis. This was a once off as a favor because of an unrepeatable, unforeseeable circumstance. Things happen. You do what you gotta do. It is what it is. Happy to help. Any citizen would have done the same. I happened to be there.

The ballistic vest says “POLICE CHAPLAIN”. It’s Level IV multi-hit ceramic-polyethylene composite that can handle such as a 30-06 of a deer hunter, or an AK 47 7.62×39, or similarly, an AR-15 5.56×45. You do what you can do to make it home, and ask the angels to do the rest in those contingencies that might well arise more than ever these days even during the “typical” traffic stop. A direct hit with a rifle, even with a plate, even with no back-of-plate deformation, can throw your heart out of rhythm, meaning you’re basically dead unless you can get the defibrillator to work, if you have one…

The picture was not my idea. An Officer jumped at the chance as I was pulling into the parking lot. What could I do? He knew it was rather out of the ordinary. Having said all that, I think it was a great idea. The police are receiving little support from anyone right around these United States, and any show of support is, I think, just what is needed.

I’m hoping to get some narrowly focused law enforcement chaplaincy training coming up soon. People ask what Police Chaplains do, sometimes with an only lightly veiled negative attitude (which reveals a lot about the one asking, right?). Those with a positive attitude already understand and could already give a job description of a chaplain better than I could, they usually having benefited from other chaplains, say, on other front lines scattered about the globe or close to home. Some of our Law Enforcement Officers in the towns and in the county were ministers of the local churches, as was our Sheriff.

For those with a negative attitude for Police Chaplains, I think the best answer is for them to do a ride along. One of the recent ride-alongs I was honored to be on – though specifically as Chaplain – involved an operation analogous to that of a special weapons and tactics team (SWAT), which we don’t yet officially have in our fledgling department. Should people see all the terrible immediacy of life and death situations all at once, it might open some eyes. Experience often kills negativity.

Take for instance, those who are entirely anti-Second-Amendment. You have them go through a concealed carry course – not because they will ever carry a gun – but to be introduced to what it’s all about. The experience very often kills the negativity. They then see the endless background checks on every and all levels, all the fingerprinting, the large stack of papers to fill out, all the release forms, etc. It’s quite the ordeal, taking very many months until all is said and done.

I found out that I only have two or three viable fingerprints. That’s interesting.

Anyway… It’s just me, just my opinion, my ♬ feelings ♬, but sometimes I think I have waaaaay toooooo much fun as a priest, such as driving a Charger Pursuit, even if only for two or three miles. Then there’s this:

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The statement I’m trying to make with that picture is that I think that police chaplaincy is an integral part of my priesthood consistent with everything that priesthood is all about.

The gear on the vest itself consists of some helpful things, a couple of tourniquets, because when things go bad, they really go bad, a small but powerful flashlight (from 300 to well over a 1000 lumens), my phone (because it’s handier there when wearing a ballistic vest). No taser, no pepper spray, no handcuffs. But an IFAK came in the other day for use with anyone who needs it on the rounds. My EMT neighbor is going to prepare the contents of that for me. One of the courses I want to take at BLET is first-aid.

  • I’m not a law enforcement officer. No. I’m a Catholic Priest, a Pastor of a parish.
  • But I’m a priest who supports law enforcement officers. Yes.
  • I’m part of the police family, if you will.

P.S. Yes, I do wear proper liturgical vestments for Holy Mass, Adoration, Confessions. And, for those concerned with rubrics and directives and such, there are two crucifixes, one on the altar and one on the wall above the tabernacle. That’s true, and it seems to be a liturgical aberration to have two. But until we can have Mass ad orientem the priest has no visible crucifix in his line of sight if he is versus populum. Have pretty much all priests forgotten that the Last Supper is all about Calvary? Yes, they have. So, what’s up with that? So, the Church wants a crucifix where the priest can see it. So there it is. Sorry liturgical purists. Salus animarum suprema lex and all that. It is what it is until better times prevail.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

You have heard that it was said: “Popes come and go.” Well, so do priests.

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I haven’t been able to blog much, but that’s not because I’ve been smacked down by Pope Francis. I only say that because sometimes that’s what people think when I’ve not posted for a while. Our Lord has put many things in my path that need priestly attention.

That cut-out of Pope Francis is at a mission of the neighboring parish where I was at for a funeral the other day, a 50 mile round trip over a few serious mountain ranges. I think they got the cut-out from the Eucharistic Congress. I had the great privilege and honor of being able to sacramentally assist the gentleman who died, many times in fact. They weren’t far from Shootin’ Creek. I love that name. Anyway, he was a 4th degree K of C, as am I, and a large crowd of the Knights were there. What a wonderful family.

I miss not keeping up with the blog. Writing is a kind of exam of conscience for me, or helps me figure out things, whether daily events in my life, or philosophical, moral, religious, or political, or, coming up, some psychological questions. It’s also a way to vent, to rant, which is a good way to let off steam, but hopefully with at least a bit more reflection than if I were to keep things bottled up, and that’s doubly true for writing in my own name without a pseudonym.

Meanwhile, I greatly appreciate how the Amazon Synod turned out. There are still a lot of questions, blah blah blah, but I’ll take the good where I can find it. I think that’s part of what Pope Francis is up to. I think Saint Thomas Aquinas paved the way for such a modus agendi. It’s politically incorrect, to be sure, as the ultra-self-righteous say that even an Aquinas is absolutely to be condemned because “he shouldn’t have baptized Aristotle” [sic]. The Common Doctor’s method of taking up truth where he can find it is certainly the most reasonable way to reflect on the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. I recall that he would dictate to his many secretaries, and while they were busy catching up, he would run off to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel only to return for another round of dictation and running off to the Blessed Sacrament. I’m thinking he set a good example for us with his piety and his academics.

I still pray for Pope Francis and ask that others do so. I believe this is our duty to be in solidarity with the Holy Father. That doesn’t mean that we agree with everything he says, but that we pray that he is personally close to God and that such be reflected in his pontificate. And that’s a good thing, right? Jesus is the One. The only One. Knowing that makes this priest a happy priest.

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of Pope Francis

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The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of the Holy Father FRANCIS to the People of God and to All Persons of Good Will, of 12 February 2020, has nothing about female deacons or priests, nothing about non-celibate priests. :-)

Pope Francis: as your Missionary of Mercy, if I can make brave to speak on behalf of the entire Church, we all thank you.

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis