Tag Archives: Rectory

Papal colors ripped in half & shredded

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Sometimes it’s the weakest of hurricanes that can do the greatest damage, just because you’re not expecting what could happen. Late Sunday night the wind picked up, and, oh my, the rain. The creek flooded and the papal flag was destroyed.

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Body in the back yard of the rectory…

For the record: The always eager to talk neighbors (good friends) are being super evasive about the body found in what is basically the back yard of the rectory this Wednesday evening, just saying they’re not sure and running away. So, I don’t know if this was a druggie-overdose, a murder, a jihadi victim, or what. The evasiveness is really, really strange. I’m just back after some time away. That’s my alibi anyway. Of course, misplaced guilt settles in: maybe if I had not gone away this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe I could have brought about a different result… This is such a vale of tears.

For whatever reason the deceased left off this mortal coil, we say a prayer for the repose of the soul flying away: Hail Mary…

Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls, as it tolls for me, and thee…

UPDATE:  This was reported by dispatch to which chatter a parishioner was listening and reported to me an hour later, that is, just minutes after I had returned from Alabama. This kind of info can be called into dispatch by a civilian who doesn’t actually see a body, but rather a large plastic bag that is thought to look like a body. But it was just “a body” which was reported at the risk of filing a false report. If there was a body, if could have been picked up pretty quickly by the feds who don’t ever want to bother with disputes over jurisdiction when they think they evidence for a case, or… you know… for other reasons.

I went over to speak to best Chief of Police in the world this morning and we had a nice chat for a couple of hours on the more intense aspects of surveying, about possible future upgrades for the local police department facilities and a lead I had on that, about overhauling the court system and department of corrections across the country, about my upcoming call to jury duty in criminal high court, about police/civilian relations across the country, about the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel coming up on September 29, about the Officer Down! Memorial Dinner, and many other things. At the end, he asked me about the body in back yard of the rectory. It could be that there never was one as far as he is concerned. But then we’re back to the filing the false report or the feds cleaning up one of their situations…

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Outsmarting the Cardinal – Hah!

bird feeder

The Cardinal has been looking at himself in the side-view mirrors, pooping all over the doors. This has been going on for months. I put the bird feeder in front of the front picture window, and now he’s taken to looking at his reflection next to the bird feeder, pooping on the garden below (good) and eating less (good too).

That’s actually the main street you see out front, not my driveway. There’s an American flag to the far side of the Papal Flag, with the American flag taking its own right. But what about the lit menorah (with me being Jewish and a Catholic priest who eats bacon cheese burgers)? That’s a comment on so very many levels, is it not?

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Gunslinger Priests: qualification. More on the local CIA, Army, Airforce…

Glock 19 gen 4 with 3 clips + 1

Just full metal jacket for now. Cheap for practice. Self-defense rounds are pretty expensive.

I’m a priest, that’s remains true. I’ve never carried up to this point. I don’t even have a holster, concealed or otherwise. I’m a peace loving guy. Really. My main prayer these weeks is mentioned in the Apocalypse (3:20) by Jesus:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

This prayer is not at all disturbed by my new Glock 19 Gen 4. Why should it be? Was Jesus offended that Peter carried a sword as a matter of course? No, He wasn’t.

I think I should write about what’s happening in my prayer life, but it’s one of those things where I would be at a loss for words (yes, even me, speechless). I can only say that our Lord is very good, very kind, and that our very bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, the house, if you will, where the Holy Trinity then resides. How pure of heart and agile of soul we must be for the presence of the Great King, the Most High God, who delights to walk with us simply as one Friend with another! It is all His work. We can and should and must be in humble thanksgiving in all reverence. Just because we live in a vale of tears, are we not to walk humbly with our God? We are commanded to do this. This is not a special or unique thing, out of the ordinary. This is to be the case for all of us.

Is such a prayer contradictory to this series of posts about guns and priests? No, this series is meant to clarify some issues in these days of self-indulgent pacifism that is so aggressive it puts even our Law Enforcement in danger. See, for instance, the shameless anti-Cop statement of the the bishops of these U.S.A. (US Catholic Bishops: Law Enforcement Officers are guilty always & everywhere of racist violence because they are LEOs). Having cleared that up, let’s continue with the saga!

The Glock 19 comes with three clips (15[+1 for carry] then 15 and 15). Most instances you never need bullets if you know how to diffuse situations. When all disintegrates you most often need only a few bullets. But with increasing frequency, more complex instances are making their way into these back ridges of the mountains and elsewhere. With deference to Sheriff Clarke, we’ve already had two terrorist attacks stopped in the area, one involving a bomb at a local school and one involving guns. And then… Anyway…

I loaded the clips up and discharged them against some targets at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards. This is the first time I emptied out full clips in any pistol. I’m a total neophyte. But I did O.K., enough to qualify, at least according to my own timing in my own circumstances,  but knew I needed some more pointers, and didn’t want a shooting qualification hanging over my head. I need the qualification to do the CCW course and, with that code of completion, sign up for an appointment for fingerprinting toward the completion of the continued checks. So, off I went to a shooting range where a friend is mentoring me a bit.

He said I needed 28 out of 40 to pass. I got 40 out of 40 first time. Of course, he said that’s nothing to be proud of, that I had to keep up the practice to improve speed and accuracy in increasingly difficult circumstances. Afterward, he gave me a few more pointers showing me what happens when shooting with but one hand, with the right and left, why it is that the out-of-date advice about “isometrics” is out-of-date, why I should let gravity do its work without further intervention, etc. He said that taking all that into consideration, I should be able to put in a bullet in back of a bullet in a target in quick succession. He had me fire off the last five rounds of my ammo in this way and… wow… One in back of the other as fast as I could pull the trigger, the ol’ splitting the arrow in the target with another arrow trick.

I saw two good friends at the range, renewing their concealed carry. I guess I’m a good influence on them! And then a third wanted to get his…

In going to get more ammo afterward, I met an Airforce/CIA guy who knows my Army/CIA friend. What a great group of people in this area. Both these guys took care of our Embassies and Consulates right around the world. They all know each other of course. They all retire here. They would all know my FBI friend who issued me a false passport for my own protection years ago, you know, the once in charge of the investigation of the sites of the Nairobi and other embassy bombings at the time.

Just to say, I find dealing with guns so entirely second nature however much a neophyte I am, having been a bit of natural at being a sharpshooter as a kid and now, I think, pretty handy with a pistol, that I have to thank our Lord for protecting my vocation by keeping me away from guns during my teenage years. My dad was pretty close friends with the FBI, inviting them over for conferences for instance, that I would surely have been sorely, sorely, sorely tempted to join up with the FBI instead of the seminary had I been a gun fanatic. What did I know of the CIA in those days? I would get to be friends with them (or vice versa, as they hunted me down) after I was ordained a deacon and started winding up in difficult circumstances with rather interesting people. Again, I’m very thankful to our Lord that I’m a priest and I’m happy to be a priest.

Anyway, the second I started to write this post (before publishing it!) the CIA paid a visit. I think the CIA crowd are great. They can a bit Kryptos. Anyway, I’d like to give them a retreat fit for their circumstances in life. It would be something along the lines of that post: Solving Kryptos – Part 4 – Coriolis effect – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

BTW: One of my mentors is Jewish (like me). He lives on a road where the locals pretty continuously take pot shots at passing cars that “don’t belong there,” and that, of course, would include the usual targets of the KKK, that is, Catholics, Jews and black people (with me being two of the three). He said they don’t shoot at him because his reputation with a gun is well known. He would shoot twice: the first bullet would knock down the bullet coming at him, and the second would hit its target. I told him that this is a frequent occurrence in my parish (I won’t say quite where), as I have now been told by quite a number of parishioners who are pretty disgusted with the situation.

Anyway, I really do realize I still have to dedicate a post to why priests can and even should carry. Patience!

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Back porch chat: Medal of Honor, Saint Michael, guns, roses, advice for all

back porch

One of my neighbors who’s mentoring me a bit on guns and gardening gave me some great advice that I thought I would pass along to you. He has an ineffable military background and trains in our regional EMTs and Firemen and road crews.

Due to my parishioners trying to make me civilized (they will fail!) – what with them bringing over an otherwise to be junked outdoor table from the church and getting me a couple of chairs – we sat on the back porch of the rectory. Here are some salient quotes which he also uses for training:

  • “Insisting that you have ‘No fear!’ will make you panic.” In other words, if you pretend you have no fear you will panic and then you are worse than useless. Let fear work for you to make you clear-headed, to make you slow down. Pretending you have no fear makes you speed up to prove it to yourself, but that’s when you make mistakes. Admit the fear, but let it work for you.
  • “I will risk a little under a well structured plan to save a savable life.” In other words, let your fear be controlled by reason so that you use your training to risk as little as possible but only to save a savable life. He gave an example for the fire fighting world: if flames are pouring out of all the windows and the roof is sagging and just about to cave in, don’t go in even if it’s your own family in there, as they will be long dead, and this must be about rescue at this point and not recovery. Stupid heroism isn’t heroism; it’s just stupid. Then we spoke of the Medal of Honor, risking a lot under an impromptu plan to save others often without knowing what their conditions might be. In other words, risking your life (a lot) under the only plan available for a life that is to be considered savable unless conditions prove otherwise (with all this being consonant with the above). We must be able to count on our brothers when we need them.
  • “Pray to Saint Michael.” Good Baptist that he is, he showed me the Saint Michael medal which he wears to this day, pointing out in particular the sword that Saint Michael carries at the bidding of God Himself. Yes, indeed. Not knowing I just wrote about this, he brought up the image of the good shepherd with the staff. Useless is the shepherd who has long found no use for his staff, having made friends with all the wolves to the horror of the sheep who are eaten and just killed for the hell of it, even while the shepherd congratulates himself as being a “man of consensus.”

Of course, there are many other things to say about shepherds and any staff. Patience!

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A visit to Jesus’ rectory…

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The priest’s house, you know, the rectory, you know, the presbytery for the pre-Edwardian crowd, or parsonages to those presently of other persuasions, is one of those institutions undergoing a paradigmatic shift, in this case a movement right off the public church campus to a non-office, non-meeting place location. That’s a great idea. The practice of the Charlotte Diocese (started with the previous bishop) is becoming ever more important for the spiritual lives of priests, namely, to allow chapels in those residences of the priests, so that it’s also the High Priest’s house.

Since we have a small parish, I try to do the Communion Calls myself, and the rectory having a chapel has the added benefit of convenience regarding the Most Blessed Sacrament. And not only for that reason, but also, of course, for prayer, and not just liturgical prayer, the occasional Holy Mass and the breviary, but in view of our Lord’s insistence that we pray always. The rectory is a place of peace, truly a sanctuary. It’s not “Father George’s rectory.” It’s the rectory of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace. He’s here. This is an occasion of humble thanksgiving for the goodness and kindness of Jesus, which is always a source of amazement to me. There is always, always more for us to know about God being Love. Deus est Caritas.

Above is a picture of the Gospel-side of the gradines of the altar of Jesus’ little rectory. My neighbor in the days of yore, of hermitage times, is a bit of a seamstress, and, having an old humeral veil, torn in many places, she made up some regal vestments for the Divine Infant of Prague. I’ve had a devotion to Him since I myself was an infant. He has an angel, prompt and eager in service, to do His bidding. Regarding me, that also means whooping me upside the head.

The angels, you have to know, are always in the presence of the Most High and see the face of our Heavenly Father. Therefore, do not offend them! They teach us reverence and humility before the Most Holy Trinity. They rejoice to see us filled with sanctifying grace. I’m happy to be in Jesus’ rectory.

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