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On retreat except I mean it’s just that…

This is retreat week. The priest giving us priests of the Diocese of Charlotte a retreat is Father Cameron, the Editor of Magnificat. The retreat center isn’t too far from the parish here. Just taking off now.

Part of the retreat is that the priests break up into smaller groups on Wednesday afternoon and go hiking or whatever. This year I’m chasing off with a number of the other priests to do — what else on a retreat? — some shooting at a private range. Just an hour or two, a good time. Anyway…

Please pray for us. I think I need to slow down a bit. I’m racing about way too much.


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“The Guy” sent this: Catholic Patriotic Faith in the Public Square

Perhaps someone knows who “The Guy” is. He’s someone whose example I strive to follow.


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Fairmont WV in Robbinsville NC

fbi fairmont wv criminal justice information systems

Hey! There are no criminals in Graham County, NC. Never! What’s the deal.

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Putting politically incorrect decals on Sassy the Subaru: Yikes!


Dad was commander of the USMC fighter-attack Checkerboard Squadron (312), the gull-wing Corsairs of the abandoned runway off Parris Island (Air Station of Merritt Field in Beaufort, SC). He started off in Guam with a bomber unit, but then went off to the Philippines, Japan, China and […] and — still an issue today — “North” Korea.

He spoke fondly, poetically, of the Korean people, saying that they were what the fighting was all about: they had to be liberated from the communist oppression which had impoverished them to death. For him, the robber government of the North was all about the violence of the arrogance of self-serving power, which never does anyone any good at all. I’m proud of him, and I use these stickers to talk about him and his love for the Korean people. If Kim is going to be taken out, I hope that can be done without innocent blood being shed. They’ve suffered quite enough.

The two Flying Crosses are w/o citation, meaning the missions are still classified to this day. I’m guessing that these are not in reference to the munitions trains and bridges that he took out, but rather to points elsewhere on the compass, you know, […].

Mom was Jewish, as was her mom and her grandma. I lived in Israel for some time and have gone back to visit. I’m Jewish and a Catholic priest.

All this is NOT analogous to that rubbishy COEXIST sticker. The Jews have the same faith as do Catholics. Saint Paul’s talk of a veil is significant: received, but veiled. And remember what Saint Paul (Romans 9:3-5) also says:

“…my kin according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom 9:3-5 NAB)

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Graphene, my “Shadow” and you know, and homilies and technology

  • Graphene Composites Ltd “aims to have a marketable product by the end of this year [2017]. For obvious and sad reasons, this has become a top priority for us.”
  • My “Shadow” says that a neighbor returned to Irma horror with a chainsaw, and helped him out for some hours, meaning my trip down for more chainsaw work didn’t need to be so immediate. Forida-ites here in the parish (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Lakeland, Sarasota and points North…) told me that the highways are crazy going South as people return, and it would be better to postpone the trip for just another little while. Fine. The rest of his mess will still be there. He says there is still plenty to do then, but that’s it’s not an absolutely immediate need. Why do I put this update about my “Shadow” with the point following Graphene?
  • Back to Graphene, some law enforcement and others insist I wear some sort of ballistic vest, but how could I until the Graphene comes out? One long time cop might come with me for my day off so that we might kill some paper tomorrow with the help of some Glock Perfection. We shall see. He laughs at the FBI qualification course. Anyway, if I had the Graphene in times to come, I think I would put it to good use. There are always the repercussions from my “Shadow” to think about, along with the craziness of local riffraff. My neighbors at the hermitage want me to have a chat with the Sheriff across the mountain there about someone who insists on putting a dozen or two bullets in my direction over the past few years, you know, over my head or off to the side a bit, but still. It’s just off target, and so obviously it’s just to scare me. The problem is, I just don’t get scared.
  • I’ve been religiously recording my homilies. That hasn’t been working out too well. Either because I forget to put the flash card back in, or because, many times, the old batteries I’ve been trying to use don’t make it through the homily. Not that the homily is that long! They are ten and fifteen year old rechargeables. After today’s failure again I decided to bit the bullet and get new batteries. My heart sank again and again when I saw the little screen on the recorder go blank right at the start, or not even finished with the Gospel. I think I have it figured out now though. Sorry.


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Charlene’s birthday. Not a day over 39.

Charlene Duline’s birthday was Sunday, August 13. I hear it said that today she’s working on the first full day of her 39th year around the sun. Of course, back in the day, that would have made her the youngest ever diplomat for the State Department. I’m always more amazed.


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When going dark turns on the switch

ford ranger

A blue Ford Wildtrack pk 4×4.

barney fife

This is just one of those boring for-the-record posts which are inside jokes with just a few. Sorry about that. Here’s a hint for the inside-joke crowd: when you’re out in the field and you’ve been depending too much on technology, there’s little “muscle memory” left for actual life situations.

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And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust

house demolition

Sometimes things become so toxic that they just have to be removed. This one is catar-cornered from the church.

house demolition2

Happy to see it gone. There are others. A town can get a grant for 75% of the costs. The trick, of course, is not to let them descend into chemical waste dumps in the first place.

One of our past sheriffs (from the remote past relatively speaking) said that you can’t shut something down unless there is no market for it. Yes. That would be right. And that’s where Jesus comes in.

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Lourdes grotto

That was made in Lourdes, France, but I’m in Hanceville, Alabama, at the Lourdes grotto not far from the Barn. Hey! There’s bandwidth! So, I wish that this were the statue in France…

The last days have been going very well. The meeting yesterday couldn’t have gone better. I have much for which to be thankful including a resolution about the popular version of the thesis. That was inspired by Pope JPII.


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Mothers Day – Latinos vs Anglos? Cats…

dia de las madres

Last night after the vigil Mass, the Latinos got together in the social hall and had a bite to eat. Chicken, pork chops, steak, rice, beans, guacamole (hot), chips, and, of course, cake. There was music and singing and laughter. I really enjoyed the steak in honor of my own mom. She died way back in 1994, a year after my dad…

There won’t be any get together in the social hall after the 11:00 AM (mostly “Anglo”) Mass today, as there usually is almost without fail. The cancellation came about because it was decided that since it was a special day, people would eat at home. I’m all for moms getting breakfast in bed and not having to cook the rest of the day (that sounds sexist doesn’t it? I mean, some men can really cook up a storm, right?). When I was a kid, we would always go out to eat “brunch” after Sunday Mass, which was always the sine qua non of any Sunday.

Actually, this Latino vs Anglo style isn’t really a cultural division though it seems like it. Most of the Latinos are here already, or, if not, they are not going to do any cross-border travelling on Mothers Day, maybe for Christmas and Easter, maybe for a funeral or wedding, but not Mothers Day. Meanwhile, the “Anglos” do travel, but not away, never away on this day. Instead, this is the destination. Mothers don’t travel on Mothers Day, the kids do. The moms retired here in WNC with their spouses, and so the kids come here. It just turns out given our limitations on our little campus that people like to break out into their families instead of attempting to stay all together. But at a glace, it looks like a real cultural division: huge party for the Latinos, all in private for the Anglos. But that’s just not true.

I do think, however, of the widows whose kids can’t come (or simply don’t). The Latinos might have something that provides for that circumstance. That’s worth taking a look at.

Just thinking about this…. I wonder if there is a Cats in the Cradle about moms. Is there?


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The HOGs of the parish. It’s a thing.


One of our LEOs stopped in at the rectory last night with his special edition HOG. Only LEOs are issued the Peace Officer tank plate. He earned it with 25 years on duty. Another new parishioner is joining us after Easter. He’s already toured down from Ohio three times on his HOG. And there’s another. And more. It’s a thing, whatever that is. I doubt if I’ll ever get on a two-wheeler again. But… but… Jenny’s made it up the rectory. Not that she’s a HOG. Much better, she’s a donkey, just with four wheels.

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Update: The arrest: dozens of counts


Example of resisting arrest.

Got him! Ha ha! Dozens of counts. This is not to rejoice in the downfall of another human being, but to breathe a sign of relief that an alleged most violent enemy of a close friend of mine is now out of the way of causing alleged harm.

I imagine these dozens of counts will be used in a plea deal for a downgraded charge regarding an alleged most violent crime for which he is not yet indicted. But the years he may serve in prison would be a welcome reprieve for this close friend of mine. Great!

O.K. Time to move on to the extradition. I would volunteer to be deputized to do the transfer. No charge, not even for expenses. It would take me only four days. 1 1/2 to get there. 1 to do paperwork. 1 1/2 to drive him to his holding cell. No stopping on the way. I would spend the time getting a secular confession and convincing him to plead guilty. Of course, as a priest, I would also try to get him to be contrite before his Maker, and, if he’s a Catholic, after all the other recorded confessions made with no coercion, I would hear his sacramental confession if I could convince him to do that. But, no chance of all that as I’m too close to the case. I wonder if he’ll be able to keep himself alive until trial. I doubt if he’ll get bail as he’s the riskiest of all flight risks with properties around the world and extreme know-how.

got-himHe’s known by the prisoners where he’s headed if convicted. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be killed within minutes of being in contact with any other prisoner whatsoever at any given time for years to come. They will be waiting for him constantly. The prison will be electrified until he’s dead. There are always opportunities for murder: hospital visits, etc. Some lifers don’t care if they murder someone right in front of God and everybody. This is a score that they are well prepared to fulfill. The cheering will be deafening when he’s bleeding out. Sorry to be so graphic, but this is the world in which we live.

I’m stunned at this arrest, as is my close friend. It’s like… Wow… !!! … Just… Wow… !!! …



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Charlie Johnston non-prophet


A few points about what I know or don’t about Charlie Johnston:

  • I don’t know Charlie. So, what do I know?
  • I’ve never followed him. So, what do I know?
  • The one time a very nice person had me look at his website caused me to think that Charlie, apparently, has grave misconceptions about the faith, about apparitions (his own or others which are not approved), about hierarchical structure and authority in the Church. I can’t remember any of it as I didn’t want to remember it. That was a couple of years ago and all of that only took about 20 seconds. In other words, it seems that his writings at least at that time were apparently rife with imprecision. Maybe he did retractions as he went along. So, what do I know?
  • Apparently, he has stepped back from the public square as apparently his prophesies didn’t come true apparently according to his own admission, apparently leaving him flabbergasted. And, if he doesn’t know what’s going on, what do I know?
  • Apparently he has said that he will “come back” if there is an apparent societal meltdown, to which I would ask if people are then more vulnerable to taking in what he has to say even though he has apparently admitted his life project about prophesy was a failure. But, hey, what do I know?

A few other points of my own that I do know:

  • We have Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life.
  • We have the Sacraments and the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity they bring.
  • We have the Sacred Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit, real prophesy.
  • We have Sacred Tradition, the working of the Holy Spirit upon us individually and as a whole.
  • We have the great Magisterial interventions in the ecumenical councils and the ex-Cathedra statements about Revelation, as well as the infallible ordinary Magisterium throughout the millennia.
  • We have the angels, the saints, also, inasmuch as we are with the Lord, each other.


  • If anyone seeks a feeling of security in non-prophets, they are on the wrong path. The emphasis must be on Jesus, who IS WITH US. After all, that is His name: God-with-us, namely, Emmanuel.
  • Our own little apocalypse is happening all the time, and we will know that when we go to meet with the Lord Jesus.


  • Whatever with all that…
  • Go to Confession whether you like it or not (regardless of the priest)
  • Go to Mass (ignore liturgical abuses: be close to Jesus in solidarity with Jesus)
  • Pray for the salvation of souls, particularly the Rosary, do some almsgiving, do some fasting or other kind of mortification.
  • If, after all that you still would like to take advantage for the benefit of your soul of an apparition, check out Guadalupe, Lourdes, and, this year, especially Fatima.

P.S. Say a prayer for Charlie. As Saint Paul says, we’re not against each other, but against the fallen spirits. We have been redeemed by Jesus and we need to be saved by Him. We must support each other by praying for each other.

// After writing the above, I saw this article at the National Catholic Register. In that article, there is this:

To those who took the statement [of the Archdiocese of Denver] as an instruction to “turn off the lights,” Johnston responded, “I am enjoying letting the sourpusses expose themselves for lacking the most basic knowledge of ‘Churchspeak.’”

That sums up why I just can’t stand this kind of thing.


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Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls…


Seen at the “Casket Entrance” at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Robbinsville, NC

I’ve been accompanying a number of couples in Graham County, putting on untold miles. There was a tragedy with one couple. This past Wednesday, the fellow suffered a catastrophic death. He was a catechumen (having worked so far half-way through Matthew Kelly’s book), a veteran, and worked with the firefighters and rescue, was a history buff, and was doing his workaday job mowing the campsites in the national forest. We hope he got a heart attack or was otherwise quickly unconscious. The mower didn’t turn over as was reported. It caught fire. There was nothing left of him but cinders. Just like that. The memorial service is tonight. The funeral is Tuesday at 11:00 AM at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Robbinsville. I will try to make sense of this for them during the funeral sermon by speaking about Jesus. As you can imagine, the widow and the two girls are devastated. Might I ask a prayer for them and the deceased, whose name was Lee Lynnes? Hail Mary…


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That was seven hours of distraction

formThis is one of the cryptic posts for the record. This time, I had to make a report. The form did not allow cutting and pasting. No symbol or special characters. What a pain. Hand entering all that. Seven hours. All day. Anyway, it’s done.


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House fire, Andrews, NC, my neighbor. Was this arson?


Picture of the scene from my backyard.

Cops and fire engines – and chainsaws to cut entrance ways into the burning house – everywhere. Sirens wailing all around with the grunting of the fire engines…

There are a lot of motives to burn down that particular house, none of them good enough for any arsonist if it was arson. This was what was alleged to be a puppy farm in the gossip around the neighborhood. Hopefully, no live dogs were inside, and no human beings, whether dead or alive.

If it was arson, there is someone who is totally, insanely, out of control, who is a danger to him/herself and others.

Arson is a felony offense not only because it is an act of aggression destroying property, but because it endangers peoples lives. Things have been repeatedly exploding in that house as it burns, before and after the chainsaws were running. Firemen and law enforcement can be gravely injured or even die in trying to control a fire in a crowded neighborhood. Smoke from such fires can be extremely toxic. Formaldehyde laden wood, asbestos, plastics… And other houses are put in danger.

I have to wonder if there is a maniac idiot on the loose wanting to burn down a house just for the excitement of it all, you know, the power it gives to oneself to throw people into confusion. Of course, it could just be fluffy, nice rats chewing through wires, not knowing the damage they are doing, just enjoying being fluffy and nice.

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Visit to the hermitage: All is well in God’s country


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