Category Archives: Uncategorized

980 miles 14 hours 26 mins return trip in one day: “For you, Father Byers”


People come to the parish from all over the country. It really is very beautiful here. The Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited National Park in the country. The “Anglo” couple that came to the “Spanish Mass” last night, however, were not here for the sightseeing and leaf-lurking now that the colors of the trees are changing gloriously. They arrived at night and left at night. 980 miles 14 hours 26 mins return trip in one day. That’s not as the crow flies, but as the car drives, pretty much, I’m guessing, to the inch, to the second (not counting stops or the Mass), to the pews here at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, NC, all the way from […].

Since we’re the tiniest parish in North America, any visitors stand out.

  • After Mass, I asked: “Where’re y’all from?”
    • […] was the answer.
  • “That’s a really long way!” I exclaimed.
    • “Yes, we just got here and we’re going back right now. We came just for the Mass. All you for, Father Byers. And thank you for the homily. It was good.”
  • “Be safe out there!” I said as they scampered out the door.

They looked alert, but dead tired. Nice couple. The “For you, Father Byers” wasn’t connected with anything I was up to at Mass last night, and surely this wasn’t about the homily. So, that, of course, left me wondering. Theirs was not an easy trip. And they were as old as me, so they would really be tired when they got back sometime on Sunday. I hope they made it back safe and sound.


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My tiny blog shadow banned?

Someone dropped a comment to say that following the blog via email doesn’t work for her because the link in the email notification is corrupted. Anyone else with that problem? This has apparently been going on for many months. Mind you, server names from Google and YouTube are frequently present, spending great amounts of time and going through very many posts, in other words, real people, not just bots. So, what’s that?


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Progress on church renovation


We’re ripping up the wretched carpet perhaps dating to the 1960s. A start:


All gone…


Continuing today with laying down a new floor on the Epistle side. This will include the floors of both sides of the confessional…


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The Day of the Child in this parish. America learning from Mexico.


Besides Fathers Day and Mothers Day, our Mexican friends also have the Day of the Child. The piñata was beaten to death. Very sweet, that.

The suspension rope was attached to the shrine of Mary on the one side, and someone on the roof of the carport of the social hall held the other side, lifting the piñata now and again so that it would be even more difficult to be smashed apart by the blindfolded participant. Wildly swinging a stick much like a baseball bat can be pretty dangerous, but the insurance company hasn’t forbidden it, and, in the end, no one was hurt during this fun. What a good idea, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, AND the Day of the Child.

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יום העצמאות – Yom Haatzmaut – Celebrating Israeli Independence Day

72:1 Give the king Thy judgments, O God,
And Thy righteousness unto the king’s son;

2 That he may judge Thy people with righteousness,
And Thy poor with justice.

3 Let the mountains bear peace to the people,
And the hills, through righteousness.

4 May he judge the poor of the people,
And save the children of the needy,
And crush the oppressor.

5 They shall fear Thee while the sun endureth,
And so long as the moon, throughout all generations.

6 May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
As showers that water the earth.

7 In his days let the righteous flourish,
And abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.

8 May he have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River unto the ends of the earth.

9 Let them that dwell in the wilderness bow before him;
And his enemies lick the dust.

10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute;
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

11 Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before him;
All nations shall serve him.

12 For he will deliver the needy when he crieth;
the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

13 He will have pity on the poor and needy,
And the souls of the needy he will save.

14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence,
And precious will their blood be in his sight.

15 That they may live, and that he may give them of the gold of Sheba,
That they may pray for him continually,
Yea, bless him all the day.

16 May he be as a rich cornfield in the land upon the top of the mountains;
May his fruit rustle like Lebanon;
And may they blossom out of the city like grass of the earth.

17 May his name endure for ever;
May his name be continued as long as the sun;
May men also bless themselves by him;
May all nations call him happy.

18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only doeth wondrous things;

19 And blessed be His glorious name for ever;
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen.

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Ambassador Danon at United Nations: history lesson on Jewish Land of Israel


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Public Schools teaching children Islam

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Explaining Islam to School Board

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Spring cleaning: more bits of the hermitage fly away


27 tonne log-splitter and 250 gallon roof water bucket… gone. There are those who can use them more than me. I said, “Awww…” to express my sadness as a pieces of my life were carted away. The people carting them away laughed at my “Awww…” commiserating with me. Lots of memories:

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 1

Spring cleaning is not what our Lord would consider as almsgiving. He might ask, “What took you so long?” And then add, “Pfft!”, in good humor, of course.

There’s much more and much less to almsgiving than what I did here. Real almsgiving is all about our Lord’s charity and not our mere largess. We are to be so absent from our own almsgiving that our our left hand (recalling “sinister”, sorry lefties) doesn’t know what our right hand (recalling the power of God and even “ben yamin” Benjamin, recently mocked in the Congress of these USA) is doing.

Almsgiving is about the Body of Christ. He draws all to Himself as He is lifted up on the Cross, so that, as Saint Paul says, He is the Head of the Body and we the members, so that we, by redemption, belong to each other, hopefully also by way of salvation.

Question: Do you have things you don’t even use that someone else could really use and you’re hanging on to those things just because there is some emotional attachment? This kind of thing is an easy introduction to almsgiving. Our Lord might say “Pfft!” in good humor. He is so very patient with us, and teaches us about the solidarity we are to have with each other in this otherwise dark world.


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Erasing my mom?

Today I discovered that a recent article about my mom had been deleted. WordPress makes it difficult to trash posts. In the main editor, you have to scroll the sidebar, click the tiny trashcan, and then wait for another screen to come up with a dialog box that is waiting for a confirmation click indicating that you really want to delete the post.

When I noted that it wasn’t there, I went in search of it in the drafts, among those marked “personal” and finally found it in the trash. It’s restored now:

Verbalize your evaluation of your mother, Father George


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Thanks dearest Charlene


Some treats for a happy Laudie-dog and a happy Shadow-dog.

Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. (Mark 10:29-30nab)

Meanwhile I look upon dearest Charlene, retired from the State Department  and long time helper of Father Gordon and godmother of Max… as my elder sister.

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Blocked! I’m suspicious! It is to laugh. So: *Whateevveerr…*

suspicious web page blocked

Not the first time. I can’t count the times with various blogs through the years. The note speaks of phishing and generically of “internet security” and it is not said if the blocking was by way of algorithm or by human intervention, meaning that it can be flagged because of ideological perspectives whether directly or by a thusly tweaked algorithm. Whateevveerr…

I do know that there has been quite a precise interest in a recent post on toxic clouds the other day, you know, by certain agencies. Whateevveerr…

I do know that firstly youtube and immediately after google (linex) [always in that order and in that way] have shown quite a precise interest in a certain recent post on the Congressional grilling of their CEO the other day. Whateevveerr…

At the same time, weirdly, I got a “scam call” with an odd menu, which I just ignored until, in like three more seconds, it hung up. What makes that one particular call among zillions of such calls is that my phone was set to total silence for the sake of not being disturbed at Holy Mass. No notifications. No ringing for calls. Nothing. But it rang for that call. Looking for an oral comment? Whateevveerr… Just a bug inside the phone, I’m sure. “He’s cute!” ;-)


This guy was climbing the church walls. He must be the bug in the system of my phone.

Also, weirdly, at the same time, I got a note on privacy setting changes for just one account I haven’t used or even accessed for like seven years (and that I totally forgot about) that I created specifically to comment on a friend’s blog called jihadwatch something like ten years ago. It has an email address that I also used to bait terrorists and terrorist funding organizations at that time, but not since. That was good recreation. I learned a lot about the Qur’an from the perspective of terrorists as well. I used that for my ecclesiastical thriller novel Jackass for the Hour. I know, I have to get back to that. Anyway, with that account, I learned just how it is that I could easily work up relationships with the worst of the worst. And while people might know the exterior details of that, it’s quite another thing to know the why of it all. That takes something else than mere analysis. Anywhere, whenever you get privacy setting changes for just one of many, it seems that it’s a CYA move on a provider’s part for liberality of actions to the contrary which they’ve already taken. Whateevveerr… I’m sure whoever reads all of that will be inspired.

As I say, my life is an open book. Whateevveerr…


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Another dragon as drama continues


Our parish campus has been shut down from right after I got back from the diocesan retreat for all the priests of the diocese at the beginning of October 2018. There’s about no chance that we’ll get in this weekend, so it looks like were aiming at being at the Community Center once again for the Masses in Andrews. The whole schedule for this weekend is as follows:

  • 4:00 PM Saturday for the Spanish Mass with a baptism at Andrews City Community Center.
  • 8:30 AM Sunday English Mass at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville with Adoration and Confessions previous to that.
  • 11:15 AM Sunday English Mass at Andrews City Community Center.

The state of the plumbing is such that we have dragons appearing…

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A reader sent in the above screen shot adding: “There is something weirdly appropriate about this visual“. Note the URL in the address bar.

Lol. I took down that post because the guy looked up the wrong squadron of the wrong group of the wrong wing originating from the wrong base flying for the wrong people.

No wonder my father didn’t exist where the archivist was looking.

The search continues.

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Dragon in the basement


Dried up dragon in dried up doodoo. Kind of like hell. That’s in the only basement of the church campus, and part of why we closed everything down, the sewerage being everywhere. So…

Vigil Mass in Spanish will be in Andrews Community Center on Saturday 4:00 PM October 27, 2018. There will also be a baptism.

The first Sunday Mass will be 8:30 AM at Prince of Peace Mission in Robbinsville.

The second Sunday Mass will be at 11:15 at the Andrews Community Center.

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Today, I’m a meth head

dung snow

My symptoms are a bit of a headache, a bit of nausea, dizziness, drowsiness…

For the past six hours I’ve been breathing in methane, not that I wanted to.

We had yet another plumbing catastrophe in the church of Holy Redeemer in Andrews.

  • A plumber came over.
  • The town water / sewerage guy came over.
  • The diocesan property specialists were contacted.
  • Advice from diocesan lawyers was had.
  • Suggestions were made.

But it’s the weekend. Nothing can be done until Monday. So…

The Vigil Mass is cancelled as the Community Center is busy on Saturday.

Sunday Mass in Andrews is moved to 11:15 AM in the Community Center about a mile away on the far side of Main Street in town.

We’ll see what happens on Monday. I’m hoping insurance can pay for documenting what’s wrong, for doing the fix, the cleanup, the disinfection. There may just be some routing work, but maybe some backhoe work, maybe some tearing up the concrete floor of the basement.

The good part is we can offer this for the release of the souls in purgatory. :-)


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UFO, Google maps, terror negligence

google ufo drone

There are lots of reports about UFOs these days. Whatever with that, count the floors of the buildings so you know what you’re looking at. Now look at how close the camera has to be to the plane to get this aspect ratio. If it was a satellite, the plane would appear to be a tenth the size in the picture. Perhaps the camera is just a couple of hundred feet up from the plane, an excellent weatherproof camera with lots of storage and battery power and decent engines for its rounds even in turbulent weather. A plane? I doubt that. We’re equidistant between London City Airport and Heathrow in direct line with the runways of both, close to both. Either this guy is just taking off or just ready to land. This camera would have had to have been in a drone, right above this plane. Or, let’s just call it a UFO and then it’s all O.K. once again. You can’t indict a UFO or make an insurance settlement with a UFO. This is really sloppy national security over in England. Does this happen in the USA?


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Dad died June 11 1993

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I was threatened with a possible law suit a while back should I put up pictures of my dad, threatened by someone who, it seems, wants to erase his memory, his very existence. I wonder if other WWII / Korean War veterans families are getting this kind of smack-down. Anyway, should I get the actual descriptive citations for his two Distinguished Flying Crosses, I may be posting even more pictures. One of our “full-bird” Colonels in the parish is making some good progress on this for me. I have a lot of respect for my dad. I don’t think that that’s a bad thing in a time when dads are dissed by all and sundry.

What’s my best memory of dad? you ask. It has to do with the Most Blessed Sacrament and Altar Rails and the Cathedral of my home town. R.I.P. Dad: Best memory…


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“Fr Byers, we think you should read…”

amazon account

In a recent post I mentioned that Father Gordon MacRae said I would do well to read Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, something about the exploits of a counterterrorism unit surely named after the famed Rainbow Division of World War I which would itself inspire the founding of that which was the inspiration for the founding of the CIA.

The polite yet incisive response to that, without exactly dissing that reading recommendation, offered this:

“If you have an amazon account, we can send you whatever we think you should read” (adding a smiley face).

Not being much of a techy, I respond with the link above to a public wish list which for many years has been entirely empty. I’m not sure if people can just put things on that list or not…

Mind you, I’m the most un-well-read priest in the world, in world history. People of all stripes and backgrounds and cultures have been trying to get me to read this and that all my life. Father Gordon is only the most recent. There have been so many priests and bishops, Cardinals, laity… Seminarians at the last place I taught created an extensive “must read” list of pages, categorized into ancient works, poetry of the ages, classics of all kinds, modern, from a century to a handful of centuries ago, all must reads without which I should just curl up and die a most miserable death, utterly useless to all and sundry. This almost broke up a friendship with the most-well-read priest in Australia, who would start every conversation with me with: “Hey! Have you read….?” Grrr.

I am stubborn. But I can try. I can have good intentions. But you’re dealing with a donkey here, with ears laid back, wary, not understanding, eyes glazing over… (add smiley face).

On the other hand, I do have a good example from bygone days. My mom. She was a voracious reader. Read. Read. Read. As a little kid I was dragged along to the library with her, which I dreaded, as I would be tasked by carrying the book bag, in and out, I’m guessing thirty pounds worth each way (that’s a lot for a pipsqueak kid), every week. Of course, if I didn’t tumble down the granite staircase in front of the magnificent library of old, I was also pretty proud of myself. So, I can at least say I’ve been around libraries a lot. Oh, and then there’s this, with me still wearing my crippley boots:


I can handle whatever in English, Italian, Spanish, French. German (unpracticed since highschool) would slow me down quite a bit. I liked it then, but in Rome it was a pain to brush up on. Germans make up words on the fly. I like that, but, still. At this time I would struggle with anything in modern Hebrew, though I’ve been listening to some videos in Israeli Hebrew with its particularly unique pronunciation. Memories! There are other languages, but, be easy on me. If this is about trying to get me to read, make it super easy. Make it English. U.K. English is fine…

Meanwhile I go back to editing Father Gordon’s article for These Stone Walls this Wednesday…


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This Catholic Priest baiting Andrew Jackson Democrats: how Kryptesque

It might be argued that a priest shouldn’t talk about unpleasant topics because that somehow besmirches him, but a priest would be besmirched in my opinion if he didn’t talk about the darkest of humanity’s existential peripheries so as to see about addressing the problem. You can’t solve the problem unless you can name it and address it, right? Saying that priests should just be wusses and stand on the sidelines is NOT the way to go about things.

It might be argued that a priest shouldn’t talk about politics, as he is likely to alienate people from much more important religious matters, and therefore he is risking their eternal salvation for the sake of few banal comments on a few banal matters. This Catholic priest thinks that he has the right to talk about purely banal matters, being a tax-paying citizen, about whether or not, for instance, a road needs repaving before hiring more police, what with arguments about car-size potholes ending lives or lack of police who could have been there to slow people down coming to the fore depending on one’s point of view.

But some matters are both political and moral and therefore belonging both to the natural law and also to religion, God having created nature, after all. Thus, the morality of genocide, for instance, while being supported by politicians on one side of the political spectrum (Democrats, as demonstrated in the video above), is also a topic that a minister can validly address. God will be the judge if one is for or against, campaigns for or against, facilitates or places obstacles over against, for instance, genocide.

Sometimes certain matters are so important that methods of teaching that are out of the ordinary are called for. For instance, read a classic teaching-by-way-of-baiting event in Mark 3:1ff or Luke 6:6ff, when Jesus purposely called into the midst the man with the withered hand, curing him and making the others absolutely livid, furious, inciting their willful murderous intent so that they could see just how bad and evil they already were. Hah! “Oh, but, Father George! Baiting like that is mean! Jesus is a meanie!” No. Jesus was teaching truly horrifically cruel people a lesson. Period.


Recently I wrote a post about the genocide of the Cherokee promoted by Democrat Andrew Jackson. I compared the praise he lavished on those who took the land compared to some of those who took the land, the Scots-Irish. I’m also Scots-Irish, as I’ve redundantly pointed out on this blog (redundant because the name and family clan of Byers is, like, the definition of what a Scots-Irish person is). The baiting was to get a reaction to whatever the reader thought might be important, because, truth be told, I’m quite afraid that the same Democrat Andrew Jackson kill-em-all attitude is still to be found in abundance in this region. But sometimes it needs a bit of baiting to bring it out for all to see, including the people who, even unbeknownst to themselves, are genocidal without knowing it. It’s important to know who’s who. Law enforcement agencies do this kind of thing all the time, say, detectives, say, the FBI, say, the DEA, et alii. All the time. But, hey! You can even bait the baiters…

I would have hoped that it would be agreed that Andrew Jackson’s call for genocide was a terrible mar upon American history. But I thought, rightly, that some might take the bait and, revealing who they are in a comment, demonstrate that the only important thing for them is not that genocide began here, but that some among the Scots-Irish might have been criticized, I mean, like, you know, even the point of name calling, and in their opinion, entirely wrongly. Oooo! Name calling! “You, you, you, human being you!” I need to put up a post I wrote long ago about the name calling wrought by Jesus and His cousin John the Baptist. They’re the biggest name callers of all time because, truth be told, they were right both logically and morally and with integrity and honesty and goodness and kindness of actually taking people seriously enough to tell the truth. I’m not as proficient at name calling as they were, but – hey! – one can try!

Anyway, I won’t approve that one particular comment or reveal who that person is, you know, unless it appears they are going to continue some violence on the Cherokee or anyone not themselves, like the Latinos.

I’ll have to write a post about someone here – super intelligent – who was seriously rationalizing with the most refined moral argumentation the gunning down of Latinos in Graham County just to do it. Think about that. It’s reminiscent of 1920s Germany, you know, the lead-up. But I digress. Though not really. Oh! What’s this:

fbi fairmont wv criminal justice information systems


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