Tag Archives: Autobiography

TEOTWAIKI – Holy Souls Hermitage – Closing of another chapter in my life

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 1

It’s late in the evening of 31 August 2016. I just got a phone call saying that the property on which Holy Souls Hermitage was built is now being sold with a rather extreme urgency. That means I have to move definitively everything out of the hermitage and then that’s it.

I confess that I am weak, and very much tend to nostalgia. I think of the purposely oriented to the East ad orientem chapel of the hermitage. Our Lord is good and kind in all seasons, as are the angels and saints. I have so many memories of Spring and Summer and Autumn and Winter…

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I think of the baldacchino lovingly painted by a search and rescue family out East…

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

So many good memories… But no time for memories… I’ll have to move quickly…

TEOTWAIKI feeling I got was fierce and immediate, as if the entire world is right now passing away, and, of course, it is. To be attached to this world is vanity, vacuous, villainous. So, no. If the hermitage was anything at all it was about our Lord and His blessed Mother. I had set out to write something about our Blessed Mother and I was successful in writing some few but important pages about Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Conception. I think I might have given her a few flowers at that time as well:

flores hsh

I think of the umpteen times I had defied death while building the hermitage (some heart stopping moments), while curing wounds of some 25 serious brown recluse bites (I recommend the Sawyer’s Extractor for however many times for however many weeks it takes), while being around bears and panthers and wolves, while suffering time and again from serious smoke inhalation deathly far from any hospital, when the draw of the fire was no good what with the shell of the hermitage not yet complete, and me then, woken up by my guardian angel, and then sitting outside, freezing and wet and choking for hours, and loving all of it through the tears and not wanting to change anything for anything if only my guardian angel would be with me. I think of many benefactors for whom I still pray. I think of the gymnastics I accomplished doing somersaults down cliffs with a running chainsaw in trying to get wood for winter, or in flipping into a dumpster at the soup kitchen in town for some treasure to eat, I having slyly manuevered myself into being in charge of the dumpsters.


The good ol’ days! I will miss them, truly. It was all a great experience for me. I think I’m better for it all. But I think I need to stop thinking with such nostalgia. It’s time to clean up and definitively move on to the next chapter of my life. I’ve kind of been hanging on to the hermitage as much as I could. But this is it.


Filed under Father Byers Autobiography

(4) Father Byers at 12 years old: world-class kiddie-porn star

north junior high school

The necessary preface: this series of articles is written with specific people in mind, the string pullers and those who manipulate them, those who are one and two steps beyond the corruption mentioned by Pope Francis, those who are lost to a corruption of the corrupt, and beyond that, are brought into a kind of tangible evil. It is evident that these articles make their way into the hands of some few of this targeted group. The purpose is to offer them forgiveness, even after all that will be related here about those much more insignificant in the scheme of things than they are themselves. After all, those who are more important, the string pullers and their manipulators, take on the guilt of everything that goes on under their influence. I hope that thought puts the fear of God in them, and that they repent, for the Immaculate Conception’s Divine Son, Christ our God, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Here’s a list of the preceding posts in this short series:

pinocchio stringsRight away I have to say that the title of this post is misleading, the bit about kiddie-porn, for this is about the filming of young and naked teenage boys evidently for the use of older homosexual men. But I’ll leave the title as it is for the sake of the main stream media mentality we have in this world, which calls even the abuse of adults “pedophilia” with the malicious intent of not ever speaking about the stats regarding abuse, that it is largely homosexual, that is, involving (post)pubescent young men. That would interfere with certain aspects of social engineering, of certain aspects bringing about a persecution of the Church. That social engineering is itself a symptom of the crisis of the identity of men after the total rejection of their fatherhood by society and by so very many in the Church as contraception and abortion and self-abuse and porn and homosexuality were condoned by the so-called pastórally minded among the clergy and episcopacy of the 1960s and 1970s. But then, as I say, then there are the ones I’m aiming this series at, that is, a certain class among them, a group which has learned to pull the strings on a global level, involving manipulators even more interested in money and power than they are. They are really quite few in number.

just me climbing treeAnyway, the swimming pool at North Junior High School would be a source of trouble time and again. When I was eight and nine years old, the older neighborhood kids were saying that swimming trunks were not allowed by the gym teacher. Everyone had to swim, and swim naked, saying that this had already been going on for some years. I would soon be towards the end of my twelfth year of age, and would be attending there myself. Many schools were starting to do this I was told, so no adult questioned it in what was now a Woodstock society. But don’t be fooled, all the kids hated it, at least at the beginning. They thought that the instructor was going after the boys. But I thought that I could handle myself, and there was no question that I had to go to school, and to that particular school. When the time came, I did go.

camera reel to reelWhat I found, at twelve years of age, was that the teacher’s office, with its large bay window overlooking the locker room, was always jam-packed with naked boys, whom he seemed to be totally ignoring. But then I saw a very expensive movie camera – very professional looking – set up on a large tripod facing the bay window from the locker room, with its on-air light lit up. He was filming the whole thing. The boys, so eager to be around him, were part of a “secret club” that – as one boy told me as if I were entirely stupid – could only be opened up to membership by the gym teacher himself.
Poor kids. They fell for what they thought was the excitement of immodesty and the sense of belonging to a group. I was disgusted by the kind of spirit that seemed to have blinded them to all but a tiny set of arrogant, self-centered emotions, which were lit up so brightly in them that they were blind to everything else, having no agility of spirit whatsoever. They were like deer willingly mesmerized by their own headlights, being shot down by an unscrupulous hunter. I knew that something was terribly wrong with all this, and was taken aback by the very public nature of it. It was the old trick of flaunting it like its normal so that people will think that it is normal. It worked in society then just as it does today. Some few of the kids didn’t fall for it. Neither did I. But what could a little kid do back in those days, so very different from today? Of course, there will be those who blame me for the whole thing. There’s nothing I can do about that. I thing those perpetrating the crimes should be the ones to be blamed, not the kids. Just my opinion.

studio camera 1960sI could try to avoid that camera. But the cameras were everywhere. There were more cameras throughout the locker room, with heavy cables all over the floor. There were cameras in the open room showers, and out in the pool area. There were very large movie cameras, Hollywood cameras I would call them, up in the empty swim-meet bleachers high above the pool, lights blinking away, another in an open storage room at the end of the pool next to the locker room door, and, it seems, below, inside the underwater window at the deep end of the pool. A mafia operation with the school being paid off to turn a blind eye? I think so. The gym teacher made everyone march around naked, sit in certain areas facing certain ways, sit in groups on the diving board, dive from the board in certain ways, and so on, like scripted scenes that would fit some sort of porno story. He even had us swim to the bottom of the deep end of the pool two at a time in order to fetch a block of heavy rubber matting, asking us to fight for it underwater. That’s where an underwater window was located.

just me 04He must have taken thousands of large reels of film over the years that this continued, from the mid-1960s into the mid-1970s. I can only guess that this was a fraction of the operation, another part of which was surely the “secret club” of the gym teacher’s naked boys. I can only guess that the fellow with the Cadillac Limousine mentioned in a previous article was financing all this. I can only guess that the school and police and the Feds had all been paid off to keep quiet. I can only guess that these films still make up by far the largest source of “kiddie-porn” still circulating among the perverted until this very day throughout the United States and around the world, with enough footage for millions of still photos, uncountable DVD’s, pay-per-views, and a multitude of internet formats. In other words…

just me 03I had been prostituting myself and didn’t even know it. I was a kiddie-porno star and surely I still am so today, with dirty old men doing unspeakable things while gaping at images of myself and all those other boys. It only hit home when it was too late. Abuse of minors is always abuse, because, no matter how worldly wise they are, or however much they think that they can take care of themselves (with me being in first place in that category), still, when one is going through a situation as a kid it really is hard to imagine the immense evil of some adults. Sure, I saw the cameras. Yes, I knew they were rolling. So did everyone else. But we just could not imagine for what reason. It just didn’t make any sense. None of us could fathom the depths of the evil at hand, and so mindlessly went along with it, especially because it all seemed condoned by the most trusted adults, the teacher and the school’s administration. I had told my parents about it. I think my dad tried to do something. But the power behind this operation seemed to be beyond anything he could do anything about.

pool lifeguard chairThere was some grumbling among the boys, but only one bit of real, though only momentary rebellion. The occasion for this was one boy being singled out. I felt so sorry for him, and angry and confused right along with him, as did we all. He was made to climb up an inordinately tall life-guard chair and stand there, naked, standing, the gym teacher insisted, with his hands to the side. This boy noticed the cameras up in the bleachers, and mentioned them, pointing to them. You could see the scars of hatred being seared into his heart, as if someone was dragging a dagger right through his chest, deeply, right through his very soul. Overwhelmed, he threatened to jump from the chair so that his head would hit the tile edge of the pool below, breaking his neck, smashing his skull open, killing himself. “No! Don’t do it!” we said. “No!” We just couldn’t believe what we were witnessing. We almost lost our voices. He didn’t jump, thanks be to God.

With that, the “game” was over for the day, even though there was still some twenty minutes left for this “class” in the school schedule. The gym teacher knew that if he didn’t let us go now, he himself was going to pay a heavy price. He let the boy climb down. I don’t know how the boy didn’t fall while climbing down, so much was he shaking with anger.

There was a big difference, thought I, between this gym teacher/kiddie-porno-film director, and my friend with the switch blade in an earlier post, though both may have had similar histories. I want to think my friend had remained with a shred of hope in his soul, even in his darkest moments, a hope which manifests the power of the grace of God in the midst of the hell some live through on this earth. The kiddie-porn director, instead, had chosen not to have any hope. It is how low the human soul can sink. But I will insist, even this kiddie-porn operation isn’t the lowest of the low. The Mafia isn’t the lowest of the low.

Sorry, but I insist: there are always others pulling the strings, and manipulating those who are pulling strings. Those are the ones I’m aiming this series at. And, yes, after all that, I tell them that mercy is theirs for the asking. No one can commit any sin which is so great that if one sincerely asked for forgiveness it could not be forgiven. Let this be a sign to you: I forgive you if you want that forgiveness. Don’t bring that offer with you to hell, which always comes sooner than later, much sooner than any time later. When you face all of eternity as you enter hell, you will know what I mean, and my words to you now will haunt you for eternity. Now’s the time to change your ways and go to Confession.

Now, having said all that, back to the more local culprits. I’m sure the statute of limitations has run out, or not? There are hundreds of witness to what I speak about here. So very many in the “secret club” of which I, however, was never a part. Would they know also of any murders, disappearances of kids? Time for them to come forward, but to what, if everyone was paid off, if this involves the big names in the Twin Cities and elsewhere? What I would like to hear is that huge stashes of kiddie-porn have been destroyed, with whole networks of abusers being brought down with all their servers brought down. That would be really cool.

Also, just to say, there were a number of kids in the area who went missing at that time. Open up those cases, my FBI friends, or are you afraid? Maybe I can kick-start the thing by writing a story for the local paper, and get a local reporter to interview whoever of the survivors of those years then comes forward to speak about it…


Filed under Abuse, Father Byers Autobiography, Mafia

(2) Father Byers recalls being almost murdered and “gay” raped at 7 years of age, then stopping attacker’s suicide with angels

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About 7-1/2 years old. I’m on the right, holding two snakes. This is on Burnt Island, on the Canada/USA (Minnesota) border, in the Lake of the Woods. Those fish tasted mighty good around the fire on those cold Summer days, better than snakes, which, fried up, taste just like chicken!

The purpose of this second installment of bits and pieces from my autobiography (1) is to demonstrate how it is that just because bad things happen to people, it doesn’t mean that they have to be controlled by those bad things, and doesn’t mean that they are “damaged goods” (as they horrifically say in Queen’s English), necessarily turning into what they have experienced; and (2) it is to show any doubters, any atheists, any string pullers and manipulators, anyone involved in social engineering because they themselves are in despair because they in fact did become “damaged goods” as it were, that God is in charge, and will lead the way to heaven for those willing to go to heaven, so that they can leave the “damaged goods” bit behind. As with the other posts in this short series, this is all aimed especially at some people who should know better, for their conversion, as was mentioned in Flores for the Immaculate Conception (utterly inappropriate edition). So, let’s move on to some preliminary comments, and then jump right into the attempted murder and rape, and then the revelation from the angels. Like my vocation, these things have nothing whatsoever to do with me.

Just to say: however knocked about I have been in my life, however stupid I have been, I have never lost sight of the greatness to which each individual of whatever age or circumstance is called. Each child bears within himself, within herself, an entire universe of wonder and greatness, and more, so much more, needing to be filled to bursting with the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, being able to rejoice in all humble thanksgiving in the enthusiastic friendship of Jesus with them.

Just to insist: children are bearers of the weight of the glory of God, called to love with God’s love, with that love I first knew consciously at 28 months old when I received my vocation to the priesthood (see the previous post in this series: (1) Father Byers’ vocation: 28 months old). It is this love – greater than all the heavens and earth, a sovereign, personal love – which gave me hope, which gives me hope, for myself, for others. God is so good and so kind, however much people can otherwise be just so very evil. It is such a crime to shatter innocence…

I say that about my friend, whose innocence had been ever so violently shattered, perhaps by his own brothers, his own father. The Lord does permit real evil to happen to us, though only so as to draw an incomparably much greater good out of the evil, all for our benefit and that of others. But I find it amazing that my innocence had not been shattered then, even as this friend later tried to murder and rape me. This wasn’t a coping mechanism which the angels brought to me. It was, instead, simply an active recognition of their presence. Love cuts through the mind-games of evil.

So, here we are, in media res of a friendship of a couple of years. In that time I came to know very quickly that there was something tangibly scary about his brothers and father. I had never even met them, nor his mother, no one from his family, besides him, ever. But I was warned again and again only to come there when they weren’t around. This friend of mine was always on the lookout for their arrival, and would grab me frantically, telling me to run with any noise he heard, his eyes filled with fear, his very self shaking with fear. I was scared, but I didn’t want to abandon him. Friends don’t abandon friends, do they? This was all so foreign to me, but I stuck with him.

We were the same age, though I don’t ever remember seeing him at any school. I asked him about that once but he just mumbled something incoherent and I thought I had better leave it alone. At any rate, whenever we would go on an expedition to look for innocent trouble, so to speak, climbing the steep banks of the Mississippi or investigating construction zones or rummaging through airport hangers, he would erratically run away. Perhaps he was afraid of being punished for making trouble. Perhaps he was afraid of real friendship.

bike stingray schwinn

He once stole my little Schwinn Sting-Ray – perhaps to run away from home – but then he returned it two weeks later, letting it drop on the driveway in a heap in front of me, under his feet, almost as a kind of challenge, looking at me defiantly. He insisted with a strained, high-pitched and loud voice that he wanted to go to our basement. “Basement…” thought I to myself. I hesitated, noting a sort of madness in his eyes, a madness I didn’t give much heed, however, since I wanted him to see I was looking indignantly at the condition of the bicycle. He ignored this, as if nothing material in this world had any relevance to anything. He was incredulous that I would waste time on the bicycle. Odd for a 7-year old, thought I, 7-year old that I was. He was hardly able to contain himself, glaring right into my soul, almost shrieking that we had to go to the basement… now! This scared me. I was hesitant.

toy chestBut, O.K., I told him to follow me, never having had experience with such behavior. He had never been inside my house, much less the basement. It was our custom to make trouble outside, after all. I must say that I didn’t trust him in the least at that moment. My adrenaline levels were maxing out as I led him down the steps, trying to think of how I would flip him if he should jump me, trying to knock me down the rest of the way. I pointed to the small chest of toys that I myself hadn’t looked at for a number of years, to make fun of it, but he didn’t even look in that direction. He was scanning the room for something else.

pianoI opened the cover to the keyboard of the small upright piano we had, explaining that some of the keys didn’t work. He slammed the cover back down shaking his head in disbelief at my lack of comprehension. He was mumbling something, but I couldn’t understand. He was wild-eyed. As he scanned the room again, I had a sinking feeling that something very bad, very evil was about to take place that very instant. I tried to ignore this, stupidly, opening the cover to the piano once again to see if there was any damage. That’s when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, that he was reaching out to the light-switch (what he had been looking for) with one hand, even while taking a switchblade out of his pocket with the other, flipping it open, lunging for me at the same time, wildly swiping with the blade this way and that.

windowThank God there was a tiny window high up in the adjoining laundry room, which let in just enough light to enable me to evade his slashing. What kind of life did he live that I didn’t know about that he was already so handy with a switchblade? thought I. Although I would often fight with my older brother (though only once sending him away in tears), this was something altogether different. If I ran, I would get stabbed in the back. That was certain. Going into battle was the only way. But I didn’t know how to jump into this fray without getting killed.

switchbladeAs he lifted the knife to his shoulder so as to plunge the blade into my chest, with both hands I somehow grabbed his knife hand, and immediately commenced smashing the back of his hand which still clenched the knife against the metal corner of the chest freezer we had next to the piano. This went on for some minutes and I was using up all my strength. He would switch from hitting me with his free hand to using both hands on his knife so as to try to stab me. He had an iron grip on the knife, the point of which, incredibly, he turned in on my forearms even as I continued to smash his knife hand against the corner of the freezer. I thought I was a dead man, that I was going to die right then and there in a pool of blood, and was asking God and the angels for help. Had I let up for one second, even he wouldn’t have been able to stop the knife going through my heart and out the back of my chest so great was the strain. I couldn’t believe I was holding my own, but I was dismayed that he didn’t seem to be tiring at all. Although I had to keep on fighting, this was secondary compared to — how to say it? — an evident awareness of the encouragement of my guardian angel. And I was encouraged that I would not die, that my angel was making sure of at least that.

freezerAt one moment, when he was punching me with his free hand, with me seeing stars, he dropped the knife on top of the freezer with the other. I must have fractured quite a few of the bones of his hand on the corner of the freezer by this time. I managed to push the knife behind the freezer, but that made him go into an absolute frenzy of hitting and punching, at least with his one good hand.

This wasn’t about wanting a sparring partner. I did that with my next-door neighbor to learn techniques. I’ll say it plainly: in the midst of this, he tried to rip my jeans off. At first, I thought he was after the few coins any seven-year old might have in his pockets. But then I was utterly stunned. This fight was not in the least about fighting, though I think he would have repeatedly stabbed me, right to death, if he had had the chance. This was, instead, about something that, at that time, I could not understand.

I was completely flummoxed. I listened, but I could not believe my ears. He was begging me again and again – with such a hellishly despairing desperation in his voice – begging me, half mumbling, half shouting, half shrieking, half crying out for help, begging me to hit him even as he continued to flail away with incredibly powerful punches. I mean, I thought I was holding my own pretty well, though I was stunned into hesitation not because of the violence, but because of this beastly spirit inside of this, this… 7-year old. What in the world had happened to him? Who was this? Despite all my naïveté, I understood that this was about the trauma that was happening to him at home, that he was somehow having me role-play himself while he played the part of, I don’t know, his brothers and/or father. This was crystal clear to me, at 7 years old. He was a predator in the making, right then, right there, at 7 years old.

And yet, he realized this as well, and hated it. He was fighting for his own life, flailing away in trying to get my attention as he was doing so. He was trying to let me know that this was his last-ditch effort to be understood. He was at the end of his life right then, right there. He knew it. He was screaming for help. Screaming. For help. He could not go on anymore, not like this.

In all of this – however filled with adrenaline I was, however stressed all my muscles, however turbulent my emotions, however many stars I saw under the continuous rain of blows – I continued to be immediately aware that my guardian angel was going to get me through this, that I wouldn’t die right then and there, that I needed only to persevere in the fight. The Lord let the horror take its course even while preparing to draw such good out of such evil.

Since the knife was now out of reach, I tried to back off and run up the stairs, which took another few minutes, during which escape, he tried to rape me – a 7-year old trying ever so violently to rape another 7-year old mind you – though he had never succeeded in pulling my jeans off nor did he ever lower his own trousers. This wasn’t about sex. Of course not. It was about him trying to figure out what happened to him at his own house. This was about his having been violently raped for the umpteen zillionth time surely just minutes before coming over to my house. Though a  predator in the making in this way, it seems to me that he was wanting to know if goodness and kindness was possible in this life, if mercy was possible, if hope was real, testing someone he trusted to know the answer, showing his worst to see what would happen. We’ve all done that, by the way, crucifying Jesus with original sin, with our own sin. Should you doubt that hope is what he was really looking for in all this mayhem, just keep reading. Meanwhile, I escaped.

I waited at the top of the stairs for him, utterly exhausted, not a little upset at such an experience, regardless of any feeling of security I had coming from my guardian angel. I was in pain with so many punches to my head. Some minutes went by. I was afraid for him. I was angry for him. What happened to him at home? But, all the same, he was the way he was, and I didn’t want to let him find his knife, but there was no way I was going down the steps again. My only objective now was to coax him outside of the house. I was on edge in anticipation of his coming up from the basement, but this time I had no fear. I had survived and knew I could do it again. He, of course, was trying to face what he had just done, terribly bewildered I’m sure. And I knew that. Eventually, he emerged from the darkness, asking, incredibly, to take the bike again as I ushered him to the outside.

His question about taking the bicycle angered me for some seconds and I let him know about it, asking him if he remembered what he had just done. But then, as we got outside… it happened… a terrifying-in-a-good-way rush of understanding, an enlivening dread terror before the magnificent, awesome, crushing weight of the glory of its truth, ripping me up into heaven even while shoving my face into the reality of man’s horrific situation before God all the more violently, a new kind of extreme sport for me. It was not a brightness. Yet, it was. The only way I can describe this glory is by praising the agility this truth had in letting itself be carried in all charity right into the midst of the hell I now saw. The living truth is powerful. It cannot be lessened, cannot be weakened. My guardian angel, it seems, was enlightening me about how he saw things.

The turmoil of the past few minutes was nothing compared to what I now beheld in front of me. Looking at this friend of mine, into his eyes… oh my… I can see them now, absolutely wide open, and him, sitting on the bike… disheveled, bleeding a bit, holding on to the handlebars of the bike with but one hand, holding the other hand, badly injured, in front of his chest that was heaving with hoarse, deep breathing, silent tears screaming with emotion streaming down his face, his whole body shaking quite violently, he being scared out of his mind at the hell he was facing in his life and the inadequacy of his own reaction to that hell, literally cringing away from himself as he sat there. He was suffering all of hell’s minions attacking whatever hope he had left. I hadn’t noticed his face so very much when he had arrived, being more interested, as I said, in the condition of my bike, which now I could not care less about, the same attitude he had when he had first arrived. Looking at him now just as intently as he was looking at me, I realized that I was afraid for his life as much as he was.


His words about riding the bike, with his one remaining good hand, into the front of a speeding eighteen wheel truck just one street over as soon as he left me added nothing to what I could already see of his spirit. He was utterly shaken – a mere shell of a little boy – at a loss now as to how to keep any shred of conscience he still might possess, at a loss of how not to take his own life. And he was looking pleadingly into my eyes.

My sudden understanding in such horrific circumstances did not come from a been there, done that, condescending projection of self as is always hailed by psychologies of the lowest-common-denominator of self-referential stupidity. Instead, I understood because, then and there, I was drawn to put all this before the love of God that I had already known for years. God always uses our experiences – and I also had suffered some bad things – but what God uses is not anything that we suffer, but the hope we have gained in being brought into His love and mercy, perhaps also in conditions of suffering. He has us put others before that love and mercy, before that hope, not before our own ineptitude. This friend of mine knew all of my idiocy, and could not have cared less about that. He saw something else in me that he was trying to get to understand. The living hope which guides us is not distant, not cold, not ideological, not a mind game, not a coping mechanism, but is ever so personal, so… true, so… alive... It is a friendship with God that cannot but be manifested at such times despite ourselves. God wins out. Every time. If we are at all with Him.

We ended up in a long, but halting discussion, full of awkward silences, about family life and encouragement. The silences seemed so graceless precisely because they were filled with grace, leading, as they did, to honest, if only half completed remarks, which were cut off by his heart almost visibly being jammed hard into his throat with such a roller coaster of emotions.

It was one of the single most painful conversations I have had in my life, truly excruciating, because every word of understanding and advice that I was offering was coming to me for the first time, second by second, and not from me. I was very conscious of my inadequacy on the one hand, but had a very strong realization that my guardian angel was helping me on the other hand. The urgency of my listening to my guardian angel was wearing me out, even as my emotions and my brain were working way, way overtime. There was a life and death urgency and, of course, I myself had come literally within inches of having been stabbed to death, and raped. And I was physically exhausted.

But God is good. He made the conversation a success. My friend (and I still thought of him that way) didn’t want it to stop. He was changed by the time he left. Much calmer. Overwhelmed. He got what he was looking for. Hope. The problem was that he was headed straight back into hell. But he had a temporary reprieve. I only wish we had had the discussion firstly, skipping all the rest, but that’s rarely how things work. It is what it is.

Friends are not so easily offended when they can distinguish between being dissed as opposed to someone crying out for help, for life itself. We stayed friends, of sorts, in that seventh year of my life. And, as far as I know, he didn’t ride himself into a speeding truck, not that day.

There was nothing at all heroic on my part about any of this.If the Lord wanted to use me, that was up to Him. I had no say in the matter. And this gives one a certain freedom. I imagine that this is what makes martyrdom possible. It has nothing at all to do with our strength; everything is from the Lord, while the angels rejoice as they witness love that is stronger than death, a good introduction to heaven. This love is made clear with the forgiveness that the martyr holds out for the taking. It’s all about humble thanksgiving. Any of us could be in anyone else’s circumstances. There, but for circumstances and the grace of God go any of us. Anyone holding himself out to be better than others lies to God, to others and to himself, and is a danger to himself and others, giving himself a licence to kill or whatever else that is not new under the sun. I saw how much the Lord loves each of us.

My friend had gone back home, and, I’m sure, was subjected to more hell. Not good. And then it seemed like he disappeared from the face of the earth. I had asked some friends about him now and again, but they only repeated with much darkness and much fear that something unspeakable had happened in his house. None of them would ever say what it was. I don’t know to this day. Just the question would make them wide-eyed, frightened. Poor kid. I have to wonder if he had killed one or more members of his family. I had been thinking that if he wasn’t killed by his own family, or if he didn’t kill himself, he might have been snuffed out in a porno film. I don’t know, but as I myself was to find out, there was much of that going on in town, indeed, in that end of town, my end of town. But that’s for another article to follow in this series where you can read about how I myself became a kiddie-porno star at 12-13 years of age.

Think of this series of articles like moves in some sort of surreal chess game, but this isn’t a game, and it’s not surreal, though it may seem so at first to those who are playing opposite. They have lost the plot; they have destroyed souls; they; think that they themselves are irredeemably lost because of that, and so wreck havoc the way they always have, continuing to jack up the stakes to make it all the more interesting for themselves, holding the Church to ransom. They won’t stop at anything in what has developed into a lust for power, merely a game of pulling strings and watching the pieces move, but allowing themselves to be manipulated ever so very easily. They need to know that their victims might still have hope just as my friend was provided with hope seemingly impossibly in the midst of his living hell. They need to know that God, the Lord of History, gets His way, and that they can have hope in repentance before the Immaculate Conception’s Divine Son will indeed come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.


Filed under Abuse, Father Byers Autobiography, Mercy

(1) Father Byers’ vocation: 28 months old

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Father George David Byers at 2-1/2 years old, in the Autumn of 1962, with my dad, who couldn’t get over the fish being as big as me. Little did he know, I had already been called by the Lord to become a fisher of men.

This is the first in a series which was introduced by Flores for the Immaculate Conception (utterly inappropriate edition); a word for the wise and not so wise.

A Cardinal, one of the more academic and brilliant Cardinals of the twentieth and now twenty first century, warned me that I was mightily responsible before our Lord for everything in my priesthood, and that I, more than others, will owe Jesus an explanation for the graces given to me at such an early age, and so I had better not do anything wrong, ever. He was adamant about this, really quite severe, angry even. Did I say he was a friend? I suppose we was aware at the time of my jaw-dropping ineptitude, or assumed it. I’m always happy to get a reprimand like that. I would have been pleased to have gotten that reprimand for graces given and received much earlier on in life. If the Cardinal had been in the habit of saying it, as am I, I’m sure he would have added for effect that Jesus is coming to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

I have, of course, done many and terrible things, that which has — as is the case with all of us — manifested the reason for the horrific torture and death of the Son of God. But what made this Cardinal so agitated was my first recollection of being called to the priesthood, which he had asked about. I guess he was expecting something about a certain yearning to serve the Lord in my teenage years, the usual story, blah blah blah. Instead, I told him about a particular Sunday during Mass, when I was but 28 months old, in 1962, early in the Summer, on a particularly hot morning. I remember everything from, say, after my first birthday, still in the crib. We had moved out of the first house of my short life when I was only about 1-1/2 years old, but years later, at about 4-1/2 years old, I was able to describe our previous house and back yard with great detail to my stunned sister.

Anyway, now at 28 months old in early Summer, it was the feast of the birthday of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, which was on a Sunday that year. The Mass vestments of the priest were white and gold. I’ve always remembered the vestments because the priest was having such trouble taking them off after the Gospel and before the sermon, as was the custom in those pre-Vatican II years, especially when it was hot. I would later take Saint John as one of two Confirmation names that I was anomalously allowed, the other being Saint John the Evangelist. Significant events in my life often “just happen” on this day, or August 29, the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.

Anyway, the parish church on the North side of town was always jammed for Sunday Mass back in the day. If you were late, you had to stand in the back and along the side aisles. We were always just in time or a minute late, and so were often spread out all over the church. The job of the ushers was actually to usher late comers into this or that empty space here and there in the church, almost physically shoving people (sardines) down the pews in order to make room. But on this Sunday, we had arrived a little ahead of time, and so were seated together in what was the second to the last pew in back of the church, on the left side of the center aisle. The line up, beginning from the aisle, was, if I remember correctly, my oldest half-sister, then my mom, then me, my brother, my father and finally my other half-sister.

I was standing tippy-toe on the kneeler, holding on for dear life to the top of the pew in front of me, just able to look over the pew between the shoulders of those sitting in front of me. It was just after the Gospel, so everyone had just sat down and I was able to see up into the sanctuary at the other end of the Church. I think this was the very first time that I had been brave enough to do such gymnastics. One misstep and I would have been crumpled up in a heap of useless humanity under the pew. That would later happen to me a number of times in a number of churches. My first experience of extreme sports! But I had felt compelled to do this. I was obliged in love to find a way to look up to the far side of the church. The draw was irresistible.

As I was peering up into the sanctuary wondering what was going on, it happened, just like that. I beheld not anything I could see, but there was definitely Someone, as in God Himself, utterly majestic, with such radiance, however invisible, uncontainable by the universe, divine, and yet so very friendly, beckoning to me, taking me, drawing me to Himself. I felt His love. I was overwhelmed. I shut my eyes. Would this Someone go away if I shut my eyes? No, He was still there! If I can put 1960s Star Trek terminology on this, it was like a tractor-beam zeroed in on me, drawing me in, quite tangibly, in all love. That’s how I’ve remembered this gesture of the Most High from that day onward, throughout all the years of my life, until today, even if I would later fall into that which would bring me to find myself on my knees before Him in a confessional. “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned: I’ve been so impatient and judgmental and uncharitable. I even…”

The tractor-beam effect, all the stronger with God’s love as that love encompasses body, mind, soul, spirit, heart… It’s all just as real and happening now as it was then. God’s love is ever so simple, ever so gentle, ever so strong, enthusiastic, and thus able to shine even amidst what some might think is an unprepared psychological outlook of such an infant who has no given set of already experienced experiences to appreciate such an event. But any later developed psychology on my part could not add to or subtract from or change in any way that most subtle yet manifest love which I experienced. Love does that. Love can be noticed whatever is going on in our lives. Love doesn’t change — ever ancient, ever new — even if we change in whatever way. God is love. He is always wanting to draw us into His presence, squeezing us tight even in all His majesty.

I knew what He expected of me, that I was to be there, up in the sanctuary, at the altar, that that was what I was going to be about for the rest of my life. I was to be with that Someone. I didn’t know what the word “God” meant as a vocabulary word, but I did know this Someone, and this Someone knew little, tiny me. But I did not feel insignificant in the least. He loved me and does so still, even though I’ve often taken a misstep, crumpled up in a heap of useless humanity in my sin. He is good and kind. If anyone is religious, that is, giving back to God what is His due, that is, our worship, our love, through, with and in Jesus, it is because we are not objectified by the Lord – just another one of the trillions of people who have existed – but are loved personally by Him. Having a sense of this has us rush to Him, and has us want to share with others this greatest love in our lives.


The parish church used to have a massive high altar and altar rail with pulpit to the Gospel side. There were no weird cage pillars, no ironing board altar, no organ replacing the tabernacle, no piano or weird arrangement of pews, no Jacuzzi style baptismal font. Back in the day, the sanctuary was the SANCTUARY!

During this experience, I vividly remember that the elderly priest, now having finished the Gospel up at the Gospel-side of the altar, of course, was being helped by his deacon and sub-deacon down the steps of that ad orientem high altar (ripped out just a few years later in the mid-1960s). Half way down those steps, he stopped as if upset that he was forgetful, and took his maniple off, which was then taken from him and placed over the book on the altar. He then proceeded to take off his chasuble in a most clumsy fashion – really having a hard time of it – and was helped by both the deacon and sub-deacon. At one point he reached back to grab the altar to steady himself. They then helped him the rest of the way down the steps where he then went to the pulpit. As I say, this was all the custom in those days.

As he started his sermon, of all things for a mere infant, and while basking in the love of God for me, I felt compassion for this priest because of his being a priest (that is, someone who was up there where I was being called, nothing of a nothing that I was myself), and I knew that this was part of that to which God was calling me: solidarity with priests. I didn’t know that particular priest in the least at my 28 months of age. He could have been a saint. It’s just that in the face, so to speak, of such a personal love of God, anyone whomsoever is called by our Lord to be with Him up in the sanctuary needed compassion and understanding, for we are all just so absolutely nothing before God, though we are so very much loved by Him. This is what was also very much part of my own first understanding of the intervention of God in our world so tainted with original sin. There was no looking down on this priest. Just the opposite. It was awesome that he could be there at all. That’s where this Someone, God Himself was in all His majesty and love for us. That is the way I felt about my own call to be where he was, up in the sanctuary, in the service of this most awesome Someone. We are unworthy, but God is good.


This vocation to be “up in the sanctuary” had nothing to do with elitism. Distances meant nothing. This Majestic Someone, God, was calling me, however far away I was in the very back of the church. I could have been outside for that matter. As I say, I had the sense that the very universe could not contain him. He could reach out to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Serving Him “up in the sanctuary” did not mean leaving anyone behind. It did not mean not sharing with others the greatest love of our lives, that Someone. Being “up in the sanctuary” also meant being with those for whom He had compassion as He did with me just then.

I apologize for making this seem all too complex for a tiny little boy, for this was not at all about discursive reasoning. It was a simple understanding of the way things are with Him who is love. I could go on and on describing what went on with this manifestation of totally undeserved love, not because it was complex, reasoned out, a mind game, but rather precisely because it was so simple, far reaching, all encompassing. Anyone who has experienced being drawn to that Charity who is Truth knows the possibility with any kind of purity of heart and agility of soul. Through no fault of their own, little kids have that. This was about being called to be in an active, loving reverence of Him who loves us so much that He wants us to be with Him. Everything made sense in that reality which alone is so very real. This call, this vocation, changed my perspective utterly. It has never left me.

Does any of this being singled out, and it was that, and I knew it, make me oh-so-special? Gaghh! No! Double-gaghh! Blech! Wrong! Not! The thought never entered my mind. He is the sovereign Lord of History. I have failed Him too many times to count, as did Judas, whom He also chose. His choice is mysterious. It’s entirely His choice, which we can argue is inappropriate, which I do argue is inappropriate, all uselessly, because it’s His choice, and He’s God. A sense of dependence on Him to draw good out of this choice was what I walked out of church with that day. It’s the same today. Anyone who depends on himself to bring that good out needs the confessional; anyone who makes it all about himself needs the confessional: a word for the wise and the not so wise.


Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Vocations