Tag Archives: Vocations

When Padre Pio met Saint Michael. When Father Byers knew nothing at all.

elijah judas tree

Elijah with the flaming fiery sword on Mount Carmel, Israel.

[[It’s 2022. This was written now thirteen years ago. It’s Padre Pio’s feast day. /// BTW, today marks 28 years in prison of Father Gordon MacRae. Hail Mary… Saint Michael the Archangel… ]

You can read things dozens of times over the years and just not “get it” at all. That’s me. But this year when I read the following letter of Padre Pio, I was mesmerized. I now know a bit more just how much I absolutely don’t know anything about the spiritual life. I have written academically about that of which he speaks, the flaming sword wielded by the angels at the end of Genesis 3. The suffering I went through to accomplish the academic feat on a level of historical philology, involving many, many years of library rat-ness, not REsearch but rather original hard work, agony, really, is nothing at all compared to what Padre Pio understood in an instant by experiencing personally this fiery sword which I have only come to know academically. I am, to date, the only one to have accomplished this academic feat through the centuries, through the millennia. I’m pretty proud of it – and that’s a sin – and I am trying to get over it. It helps to have come to know someone who was alive in my lifetime who experienced precisely, personally, exactly what I described on a merely academic level.

I am vindicated by Padre Pio’s experience. At the same time, on a spiritual level, well, I am thrust to the ground in deep humiliation, for I obviously know nothing of the spiritual life. But at least I know that I know nothing. These days, that’s something. And it’s way more than enough to ask for this great saint’s help. Apologies are given in advance for the inadequacy of [my comments] below. You can see from my Coat of Arms (thanks to Elizdelphi! No words on the banner yet) that I am grateful to have written about the sword of which Padre Pio speaks…

GEORGE DAVID BYERS - COAT OF ARMS - revision

From the Letters of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, priest (Epist. I, 1065; 1093-1095)

I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him

“Out of obedience I am obliged to manifest to you [obviously, his religious superior] what happened to me on the evening of the 5th of this month of August 1918 [Vigil of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus] and all day on the 6th [Feast of the Transfiguration].

cherub-sword-eden

“I am quite unable to convey to you what occurred during this period of utter torment. While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [making them saints!], I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person [an angel] who presented himself to my mind’s eye [So, not an apparition, but entirely spiritual. People think angels are all fluffy chiffon pastels and cute. Pio speaks of torment and terror, and this angel is from heaven!]. He had in his hand a sort of weapon [“weapon”] like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. [This is the sword mentioned in Genesis 3:24. My academic, pedantic translation of this three-fold double-reverse verb is this in context: it is the sword which “turns-into-its-contrary-by-way-of-the-fiery-grace-of-enmity-against-Satan-and-by-way-of-friendship-with-God-whatever-is-presented-to-it.” Thus, if we were to try to grasp at the fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones, the work of this sword, of this grace, wielded by the angels, would turn that, with our assent, into humbly receiving the Fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones, that is, the Eucharist. This is also the sword with which the Carmelites depict Elijah. See their fiery coat of arms below. This is also the sword mentioned by Teresa of Avila. This is pre-eminently the sword of Saint Michael…] At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. [Seeing that such an angel could crush the entire universe if given permission from the Most High, this is saying really a lot…] I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boys to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. [What an understatement of all time. They must have been scared for him.] This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, [“weapon”] and nothing was spared. [“nothing” – and here I try to hang on to this and that. And in doing that I am totally lacking in generosity. I’ve done nothing in my life. I’ve not laid down my life as so many have done. Pio is going through his purgatory all at once, 40 some hours for him, and much more than any purgatory: he is bringing souls to heaven by his life becoming an intercession for all of us. What would I do, I who surely have a purgatory lasting until the end of time?]

discalced-carmelite-coat-of-arms

Elijah’s fiery sword on the Discalced Carmelite Coat of Arms

“From that day on I have been mortally wounded. [“mortally wounded…” And this is no longer his wound, but that of humanity, with Pio now being in solidarity with Jesus on the Cross even as Jesus is in solidarity with us, loving us while we are yet sinners, drawing all to Himself as He is lifted up on the Cross. And we watch with Him…] I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony. What can I tell you in answer to your questions regarding my crucifixion? My God! What embarrassment and humiliation I suffer by being obliged to explain what you have done to this wretched creature! [For we do nothing to save ourselves. Jesus is our Savior. We come to realize this. We are nothing. He is all. He shows us what He has saved us from, and not just us, me, but we see how He has saved all of us as we gain some heightened perspective on the cross.]

padre-pio-stigmata

“On the morning of the 20th of last month [two weeks later], in the choir [making the traditional thanksgiving prayers after Mass], after I had celebrated Mass I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. All the internal and external senses and even the very faculties of my soul were immersed in indescribable stillness. Absolute silence surrounded and invaded me. I was suddenly filled with great peace and abandonment which effaced everything else and caused a lull in the turmoil. All this happened in a flash. While this was taking place I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of August 5th. [We entertain angels and even the Son of Man and do not know it. How much the angels reflect the Son of Man! And the fiery love of God, issuing from the throne of the Most High, from the Heart of Him who loves us so much, is just that fierce on that sword which transforms us utterly in God’s love.] The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. This sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should die and really should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. [We are utterly weak. It is all Jesus.] The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. [He speaks also and especially of his embarrassment, for he, as all of us from Adam until the last man is conceived, caused those wounds in our Lord. How is it that he, Pio, or any of us could share such wounds of love for all those Jesus has redeemed and wills to save?] The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday.

PADRE PIO SEAL OF CONFESSION

Padre Pio reprimanding the Bishop about the Seal of Confession.

“Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel deep in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free me from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? [The embarrassment, mind you, is more than enough to end his life on this earth.] I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation. The person of whom I spoke in a previous letter is none other than the one I mentioned having seen on August 5th. He continues his work incessantly, causing me extreme spiritual agony. There is a continual rumbling within me like the gushing of blood. [This Hebrew description of this sword in Genesis 3:24 (which I think I am the very first to translate pedantically, as it really is just that difficult), the sword which the angel is mashing around inside Pio is variously and wrongly translated as the twirling sword, the sword which moves about this way and that, etc., is, instead, again, “the sword which causes that which is presented to it to be transformed into its contrary.” Again, we are not to grasp arrogantly for the Fruit from the Tree of the Living Ones, though we can humbly receive its Fruit (the Eucharist from the Cross).] My God! Your punishment is just and your judgment right, but grant me your mercy. Lord, with your Prophet I shall continue to repeat: O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; do not punish me in your rage! Dear Father, now that my whole interior state is known to you, do not refuse to send me a word of comfort in the midst of such severe and harsh suffering.” [If it were I who had to respond to such a religious superior, knowing I know nothing, but despite that, I would say that in our very reception of mercy we must show mercy to the rest of the members of the Body of Christ, those whom Jesus has redeemed and wills to save. Our suffering is occasioned by the lack of others, lack of faith, etc., but it is not their cross we carry, but instead we come to know what we would be like if we ourselves were to be without the grace of our Lord and therefore our own lack of faith, etc…. and our remaining in friendship by the grace of God in such horrific circumstances acts as an intercession for those who are truly without faith, etc. This is drawing all to Christ on the cross in solidarity with Jesus, who does this by His grace. He, the Head of the Body does this, but we are members of that Body and we are with Him. Jesus said that He would draw all to Himself when He is lifted up (on the Cross). If we only knew! If we only knew! Now Pio had his eyes opened, his soul torn open, his hands and feet and heart torn open. But it’s all Jesus. Jesus’ love taking on our lack. Embarrassing to us? Yes. And we run away. Pio couldn’t run any more. The angel presented himself, and, fiercely raising his weapon of God’s love… I know nothing. Saint Pio: help this donkey-priest to come to know Jesus! Help all of us priests! Help all whom Jesus wants to transform in His love!]

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Filed under Confession, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Saints, Spiritual life, Vocations

Repent you Hunters of The Snark. Jesus is the Snark. So is Mary Immaculate. So snarky.

  • τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν – He who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In Saint Paul’s shorthand speech, Jesus became sin for us. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil! But Jesus stood in our place, Innocent for the guilty, so that He could have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. And Mary Immaculate stood in perfect solidarity with Jesus. Mary became sin for us with Jesus. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil. But I say that this is Mary Immaculate’s glory. To those who cannot bear such reality, I say, grow up and see the suffering, witness Mary’s maternal intercession, the sword of sorrow piercing her soul that our thoughts may be laid bare. Grow up and lay aside all cowardice. Rejoice that we have such a good Mother, such a Holy Redeemer in her Son.

Rumors fly as they do, even across oceans do they fly. It seems that I have been denounced to the highest of ecclesiastical tribunals in an attempt to destroy my priesthood. It seems that I am a blasphemer when it comes to praising the perfect condescension of Jesus and His dearest Mother, that κατάβασις (katabasis = going down) of mercy founded on justice. It seems that I have been labeled as a blasphemer. Will I be put under some kind of interdict, suspended in some way, perhaps dismissed from the clerical state, or – hey! – even excommunicated?

Long time readers may remember when a top canonist of the Roman Rota, a friend, wrote up an interdict against me on behalf of co-conspirators at the Pontifical Seminary at which I was teaching and at which I was very active on the formation team for both philosophers and theologians. But that was humor.

INTERDICT

My crime then was to be chaplain for the philosophers and not the theologians in the 2010 Mud Bowl extravaganza.

But the present denunciation against me is deadly serious, enough to rip me out of the priesthood.

What’s the kerfuffle about, really? Surely it’s about my praise of Jesus and Mary. But I am also a thorn in the side of some members of the Church for a number of reasons. Any and all of these, take your pick:

  • I think the Traditional Latin Mass is a valid and licit expression of the Roman Rite
  • I think the Hegelian-Rahnerian methodology of the Synod on Synodality is itself heretical
  • I think the encouragement of same-sex unchastity and any unchastity leads souls to hell
  • I think that the idol worship of demon idols such as Pachamama (Francis) or Nian (Cupich) or Ganesh (spreading in India with impunity) et alii is a direct violation of the first Commandment
  • I think Sacred Tradition is univocal and provided supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to each sanctified soul and is not passed on by hand, but only quasi per manus, almost as if by hand (Trent). Sacred Tradition is not a tree or the roots of a tree, dynamic, growing. No. Tradition is absolute. Truth is absolute. God is Truth. God is absolute. Sacred Tradition is not something dictated by freakoids in the Roman Curia, not even by the Pope, not even in ex-Cathedra pronouncements. No. Sacred Tradition (traditiones) is the living faith provided in sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. Idiot human beings don’t do that. Infallibility is not equal to Sacred Tradition.
  • I think contraception, abortifacients, procured abortion, infanticide, euthanasia are all intrinsically dishonest, and, as with Ad tuendam fidem, with Ratzinger and JPII, I hold these to be definitive, infallible teachings of the ordinary magisterium of the Church.
  • I think murdering babies in the womb for research, development, testing of “vaccines” is the utilitarian murder of the least of the brethren, of Jesus.
  • I think that the money laundering and, therefore, the consequent financing of international terrorism is directly opposed to the mission of the Church. I agree with Jesus: you cannot serve God and mammon. I am working to bring the criminals down, hard.
  • I am Catholic and love being a priest of Jesus Christ and a son of Mary, Mother of priests. I know she suffered a hell of a lot for me, and I thank her for that and I praise her for that. That’s the problem.

My being denounced came about just days before my surgery, and, now starting my recovery, this is my new distraction. It’s about the wonderful statue of Mary with infant Jesus that is making its way to all of the parishes of the diocese.

I mean, that face of Mary. She sees the problems at hand. Finally, someone does. Great! And Jesus entirely exudes confidence that whatever it is she wants in her maternal solicitude for us, she’s going to get it.

But here’s what I said in the original post which I took down so that I would have to time to put up this response before being smacked down hard, it being that I was busy getting cut wide open and am now recovering. This is what was so very offensive:

  • “This is the Pilgrim Virgin Mary of Charlotte Diocese making her way throughout the parishes during the 50th anniversary of this relatively young diocese. She’s now at Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC. Another priest gave her the title: “Our Lady Most Patient with Father Byers.” Hmmm. I think I like “Our Lady Most Snarky” better. Whatever it is that she’s plotting, it’s Jesus who will make it happen. Totally.”

Our Lady is most patient with yours truly, but her patience extends to many more souls than just myself. This is why I mentioned the snarkiness of her expression, you know, like she’s plotting something, of course for our good, and Jesus will make it happen.

I’m guessing the problem people had, why they think I’m a blasphemer, is my usage of the word snarky.

Sigh… You try to speak in the now enculturated language of fairy tales, on the level of little children, and this is what you get. Gunned down. So, fine. Some explanations are in order.

It all starts with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) penned in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Lewis was a devout lifelong stratospherically high-church Anglican, a believer. His protagonist, Alice, is the original one to “go down the rabbit hole”. She meets up with all sorts of allegorical, anthropomorphic creatures, human adults if truth be known, who express their opinions (also by way of the manner in which they live) about the philosophies and political idiocies of the day. Alice struggles to stay herself even as she meets up with adults who have become all too self-absorbed in the myriad ways fallen human nature goes about this in unrepeatable circumstances.

Then, eleven years later, in 1876, Carroll writes The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits. This is about a bunch of seasoned guys from all types of professions who get together to traverse the waves to an island where their hunting of the Snark might well be successful. The chapters of poetic verse are called fits appropriately enough. The Snark isn’t much described other than that it is seems to be a dark figure, mysterious in a most sinister sort of way.

While they hunt, it seems that a Snark is spotted, and one of the crew dies in his attempt to get close. He had seen the Snark falling from the heights. The crew member dies a most calm and peaceful death. He simply disappears. All gone. The end.

People asked Carroll who or what the Snark is, and he would never let on. Well, to me, sorry, but this is obvious, and if you have to be told you won’t understand it anyway, but I will tell you, since it is too painful for this mystery to go on. Fallen society has made it quite impossible to crack the mystery today.

The Snark, par excellence, is Jesus Christ, and, of course, His blessed Mother with Him. Yes, the monstrous Snark, so evil in every way, in fact, a projection, in our perception, of the evil within ourselves, which we try to kill, pretending to be our own saviors. We spend our lives doing this, going inside ourselves, travelling the world, hunting, hunting, hunting the dreadful Snark, Jesus Christ, who takes upon Himself all the punishment of our sin – He was made sin for us – and we mock Him as the criminal, the One who enslaved all in sin from Adam until the last man is conceived. And when we finally meet up with Him, like that crew member who dies, He falls from the heights to the depths, and it is there, far below the Cross, that we behold His Mother looking upon us, and we understand: He is God and she is His Mother. Both bloodied, both looking like criminals, monstrous. But then we understand a smidgeon of such love.

We die to ourselves and we ourselves gently just disappear as Snark hunters. We take our place with Mary and John and are now also in solidarity with Jesus. In our own way, we become just a little bit of The Snark. But Jesus and Mary are the epitome of being the Snark. Only they can bear the weight of all our darkness, all our sin which we project unto them. They are so good to us, so kind.

As a clincher, I should mention that the epic poem, The Hunting of the Snark, was published far and wide with multiple printings, all by itself. But that was not at all the case when this poem on The Snark was to be given to children, specifically “to those who love Alice” (of Alice in Wonderland fame). When The Hunting of the Snark was given “to those who love Alice” those children were also given a lengthy Easter Greeting also penned by Lewis Carroll. It was all about the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who triumphed over sin and evil, He having forgiven us our sin wrought in all our idiocy.

People dismiss Carroll’s writings as mere fantastical nonsense literature. That is because they don’t see the irony, the humor which Chesterton would later say is so necessary for Christianity itself. Irony is not nonsense. It is essential to life and breath. Irony is our hope. It is justice and mercy meeting upon the Cross. It is Christ being made to be sin. And Mary with Him. It slams us to our knees.

I believe that Lewis Carroll opened the floodgates of this kind of literature for those to come, say, C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, or J.R.R. Tolkien and his works on Hobbits and Rings and Middle Earth. I say the same for the more outlandishly wonderful works of G.K. Chesterton such as The Ball and the Cross. But most of all, most of all, it is the summary of irony by Hilaire Belloc which most rings absolutely true with The Hunting of the Snark. You are reading about Jesus Christ on the Cross:

“To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.” [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

/// That last bit about no man possessing irony and using it ever living happily? Yep. But mere happiness is one thing. Joy is another, in the Holy Spirit. It would be a great privilege to be penalized even by Holy Mother Church because of thanking Jesus and Mary for their sufferings for us. But my priesthood? That can never be taken away. It is a sacrament lasting forever. I have no fear. The Great Snark, and the Mother of snarky priests watch over me, having me die to my wretched self, but living for them.

The denouncement of blasphemy against me is so dark that I have to do this:

And if I’ve been beating down the wolves in this post, it is only so that they will turn into the sheep of the Lord’s Little Flock. It would be a joy to go to heaven together. Amen.

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Filed under Flores, Irony, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

Irish Catholics? Annihilated?

That’s the PCI in Rome. The “Salone” to the left is where it seems electioneering for the papacy was taking place in 2005, you know, it seems by the Sankt Gallen crowd. Interesting that would happen just there.

Those who have suffered bloody persecutions will be the first to say that bloody persecution is not the worst persecution. Incomparably worse is a persecution of the faith of the Lord’s Little Flock from within, by the priests and bishops who not only negate doctrine and morality and instruction on the spiritual life and any reverence in the liturgy, but who actively lead people to hell, dragging them into cleverly concocted myths of self-absorbed “liberation” from… Jesus.

Suffering martyrdom and then going to heaven? Great! Losing one’s eternal soul in hell? Well, hell.

I was well acquainted with Irish seminarians while I was in Rome. They said that they were going back to Ireland to liberate their people from traditional faith. First thing to be axed upon their return? The Rosary. Yes, they said it plainly. Then Individual sacramental Confession. That’s the two steps to death. They were eager to do this. They’re the ones, the only ones who accomplish the “liberation of the Irish people” (their words) from… Jesus. And they did it.

And don’t think those are actual numbers above. The percentage of those who enter the seminary and who are ordained priests is always small. And in these conditions it would be almost impossible. If you count up the (arch)dioceses and subtract the Neo-Cats, that’s only about 1.something seminarians per (arch)diocese.

Take a look at Dublin in that list above. 0-0-0. You have to know that Dublin vied to be the largest Archdiocese in the world over against Milan. And I note that there is not even one seminarian at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. Just. Wow.


But the Lord’s Little Flock will survive. There is a rebellion amongst the young who see through the narrow narcissism of their elders who were once young like them. But this is no mere “revolution” of the young once again. This is about Jesus. This is about our Blessed Mother. This is about Jesus forming young men for future priesthood by first of all throwing them today headlong into the trenches.

Jesus has an eleventh commandment, that we are to pray to the Master of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Just know that when you thus praying, you are also praying that conditions be such that good and holy vocations will survive the seminary and whatever interference from their (arch)dioceses.

Those who will be ordained have been called during this time of annihilation to have the privilege of standing in solidarity with Jesus in His trials, in the midst of His Little Flock being attacked relentlessly by the wolves. To be clever as serpents but innocent as doves means no compromise, no half measures, all for Jesus, all for His Blessed Mother.

What to do? Glad you priests asked!

  • Rosary, always, before every Holy Mass, and you start it off
  • Confessions, always, before every Holy Mass
  • Offer Holy Mass with humility, reverence, thanksgiving
  • Fullness of doctrine, morality, instruction on the spiritual life, reverent liturgy
  • Forget Hegelian-Rahnerian “dialog” from hell. Teach the faith! Drop celebrating “gay”, protecting abortion, promoting euthanasia, lesbian priestxes…
  • And priests: You are to do 100% of Communion calls, visits to hospitals and rehabs and nursing homes. You be in solidarity with those who suffer. Don’t schedule Last Rites. Go immediately.

Meanwhile, I’m sure there must still be some good priests with whom I was with as seminarians. Praying for them. I can’t imagine the nightmare they are living. Hail Mary…


Meanwhile, I’m aghast in thinking about this. I know those who brought this about. The mantra as the seminaries were emptying out already in those days was “More novelty! Keep up with America!” Really. Don’t follow Jesus, but keep up with America.

What does that say about America? I’ve been complaining about Ireland, but what does Ireland breathlessly wanting to keep up with America say about America? I can’t imagine the nightmare some of my fellow priests here in America are suffering. Hail Mary

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100 times as many… and…

Yesterday, after Holy Mass up in Graham County, still attempting to recover from the epic “Day Off” at U.T. Med. Center in Knoxville, more doctor’s orders came my way: “Go ahead, Father, it does a soul good to get out on the water. Duc in altum!” That’s all the encouragement I needed. This is a yearly event with a number of pontooners in the parish. I’m thinking this is good with Jesus, as he spoke about it:

  • “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)

Let’s see:

The dam in the slideshow above is about 100 years old, with sirens to the sides that are at the ready for when the dam fails. Myths include divers of the TVA inspecting the cavernous hole at the bottom, only to vow never to go down again, having seen the massive carp lurking there, “able to swallow a car”.

I look forward to seeing the Osprey nest every year. This year there were two. I grew up with Ospreys. Here’s a picture someone took who knows where:

In Minnesota, water everywhere, just glancing out a window one is likely to see an osprey sitting in a branch of a dead tree high above whatever body of water. As a kid growing up in Minnesota, frequently spotting an osprey, scanning their usual perches, I’d watch for a moment and, sure enough, he would drop down, grabbing a fish, circle back up to his perch, and start eating.

Some ospreys are also good at long range infiltration, getting the job done, and exfiltration:

That’s not an out-of-place video in this post, as the pontooners are as Military as you can get. And pretty much everyone in Graham County is a veteran. And… and… afterward we attended a get-together of the “town”, a cook-out, put on by the locals with all the law enforcement and fire department and EMS invited. Most of them are, of course, ex-military as well. They, of course, had to advertise their arrival to this entire region of the state, with sound travelling far and wide across the waters, with all sirens blaring.

If you take a look at that top picture again, that far, far mountain… on the far side of that 4 miles down the other side lies Andrews where the “main” church of the parish is situated.

Back to Jesus’ instruction, you know, that bit about “with persecutions”… The 100 times crowd in this parish is fully aware of that, all good with that. However much of a paradise that is here, our eyes are pealed on the heavens, eternal life, into which Jesus ascended to our dear Heavenly Father. Our Father

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Filed under Day Off, Priesthood, Vocations

No due process for Fr George on TLM, Covid

I finally got around to looking at my diocesan emails on 26 July 2022. One came in on 22 July 2022 from a criminal defense attorney of many decades, who reprimands me without ever having spoken to me that I recall about two topics:

  • Covid
  • TLM

This is not a prosecutor. This person is simply emphasizing being an attorney of many decades. I don’t know why. And for who knows what reason, this attorney simultaneously copied this first instance communication to me also to some others:

  • to my Bishop
  • to my Metropolitan Archbishop
  • to this attorney’s own Pastor (a Jesuit) whom I can’t recall ever speaking with seriously about anything ever, and that parish is in a city hundreds of miles away
  • to a journalist employed by a news organization enjoying global reach, since, it is said, that journalist expressed an interest in writing about the “story.”

This was done in the form of a non-witnessed non-affidavit rife with insults against my Bishop, and with no due process afforded to me whatsoever. As a courtesy to recipients of that email I suggest that there might be more to the story, and another side of the story. Who would’ve thought? I suggest that the veracity of the reprimand from this attorney is proportional to how much due process I was afforded by this attorney, who in so many words speaks of a lifelong commitment to making sure that those innocent until proven guilty had full access to due process rights. The irony is rather incisive: I was afforded no due process whatsoever by this same attorney.

This is all too sad.

  • Thomas More: “You threaten like a dockside bully.”
  • Thomas Cromwell: “How should I threaten?”
  • Thomas More: “Like a Minister of State, with justice.”
  • Thomas Cromwell: “Oh, justice is what you’re threatened with.”
  • Thomas More: “Then I am not threatened.”

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Liturgy

Priests following Jesus: It’s a small world after all

A great family from Father Kirby’s parish in Lancaster, SC, with the father of that family wearing a “U.S. Grace Force” T-Shirt, brought me to lunch after Holy Mass.

The gist of the conversation was that Jesus’ Little Flock is everywhere and the wolves in sheep’s clothing can’t do anything about it, it being that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus’ Little Flock know Jesus, listen to Jesus, follow Jesus. And Jesus’ Little Flock want priests to follow Jesus.

To my fellow priests, and there are many good priests:

  • Our vocation was not to accept any heretical teaching in any seminary but rather to follow Jesus who is living, unmanipulatable Truth.
  • Our vocation was not to collect money for any malicious financial prestidigitations of any bishops conference, stealing money from Jesus’ Little Flock and giving it to the abortion industry around the world, but rather to follow Jesus, who was Himself in the womb for nine months.
  • Our vocation – get this – was not to any bishop, so that the bishop becomes a god in his own right, creating his own truth and morality and liturgy, but rather to Jesus, so that although we will respect and obey whatever bishop, we also do this by was of Galatians 2:11, helping our bishops get to heaven by our own following of Jesus with no mediocrity, even if we’re punished right out of active ministry by those same bishops for whom we were providing the greatest respect and obedience by, as it were, laying down our lives for them, reprimanding them as they stand condemned for following not Jesus, but the world, the flesh and the devil. The greatest charity is to remain with Jesus, who is God, who is love.

I’ve always said that the one preoccupation of a priest is to get his own little hell out of the way of Jesus, the One Priest, doing this by following Jesus. Jesus is One Good Shepherd.

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Fellow priests: take BORTAC’s Uvalde tact

That picture above shows the chief to the left (on the phone) and a few others. Apparently, the deadly “by-stander syndrome” had gripped a few of the officers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde:

  • “There’s someone else in charge, and we need to choose our battles and be prudent and live to fight another day. So what if there’s ongoing sporadic gunfire.”

BORTAC arrives, negatively assesses that “rationale”, goes in and instantly neutralizes the threat of the shooter as was possible to all 376 responding officers.

There is no choosing such battles. Each one must be fought, first time, every time, regardless of any stand-down orders. The guy who doesn’t fight every single battle like the one in Uvalde will never fight in any battle unless he radically converts.


Analogy for the priesthood. You have heard that it was said:

  • “There’s an epic battle with hell going on right now with bishops everywhere attacking faith and morals and the spiritual life and reverent liturgy, and, we’re gripped by the deadly “by-stander syndrome.” We priests have to stand by each other and say that someone else is in charge, and because of that we’re going to say that we’re forced to stand by idly all day and do nothing, we’re being forced to go along to get along, forced to live and fight another day, because you gotta choose your battles, you know, you gotta be prudent, you know. We’re the clever ones, the sophisticated ones, the one’s who have the power of being aloof, with power to have the largess to tolerate even hell, watching everyone go to hell. That’s on them, but we’re good to go. We’re heroes. We’ve seen it all. We can accompany even Satan himself. We’re the ones. We’re the only ones. Learn from us who are prideful and arrogant of heart.”

Meanwhile, the church and the world run as fast as possible into hell. The guy who doesn’t fight today will never fight tomorrow unless he radically converts. Every battle for doctrine, morals, the spiritual life, reverent liturgy must be fought. We have to be ready to die on any hill during any fight, and then go to heaven bringing many others to heaven with that example, with that intercession of one’s very life for the salvation of souls.

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Update, it’s Cupich: Imminent persecution from within the Church

UPDATE: Father Z updated his post: https://wdtprs.com/2022/07/action-item-prayer-to-avert-a-serious-act-of-persecution/

So, Cardinal Cupich, the Red Guard, in Chicago is entirely shutting down the Institute of Christ the King in Chicago, you know, because they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Confession, Last Rites, the Faith.

Did they get due process for their incessant crimes of reciting the Creed?

This is absurd. A precedent of things to come. The Diocese of Charleston, just to the south of me, has also chosen this day to clamp down all the more. I’m guessing there will be many more and that the speed of closing down the TLM will increase: “You’re believers! Guilty!”

This is about logistics. The priests are not themselves cancelled, but all their priestly activity is cancelled. Can they be, will they be welcomed anywhere else in the world? Pope Francis is watching closely. Remember, they say – “Credo…” – and so are guilty of the worst crime in the world. Who could, who would take them? And so it will be for the rest of us.

But maybe if the good priests would just be more like Blase and bribe the demons with blessings for the new year so as to be saved by these demons in the coming year:

Or – Hey! – maybe the good priests should be more like Father Pfleger, and use a Pachamama canoe for the Consecration at Holy Mass.

Or – Hey! – maybe the good priests should STOP saying the Hail Mary and the Saint Michael prayer after Holy Mass. I bet that’s the problem.

Or – Hey! – ….

No. The good priests should just continue being good priests, come what may. The Lord Jesus, Sovereign High Priest, will provide for them, certainly also the privilege of being with Him on the Cross.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary

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Galatians 2:11 Peter stood condemned. Paul charitably corrected Peter.

Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν Κηφᾶς εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην, ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν·

  • Galatians 2:11 — “When Cephas [=Rock=Peter] came to Antioch, I [Paul] opposed him to his face [yep, that’s literal, “to his face”], because he was being perfectly condemned.”

That Paul uses the Aramaic translation of Peter’s name, Cephas – Rock – is an incisive and well deserved emphasis of mockery against Peter, as being a “Rock” is exactly what he was not being. Peter allowed himself to be reduced to the shifting sands of relativism. That description, κατεγνωσμένος, a perfect passive participle – refers to Peter perfectly continuing to be perfectly condemned. This refers to Peter’s blasphemy of our redemption in Christ Jesus with Peter insisting that that redemption is useless, to be discarded, thrown away, spit on, because we should all instead just follow the old pedagogical punishments of circumcision, you know, for the sake of passing political correctness (like that‘s going to save us). Peter was a bullshit artist, and Paul called him out on it.

In fact, etymologically, to be pedantic about it, κατεγνωσμένος, comes from κατά (against) and γνῶσις (knowledge), so: knowledge that is held against someone. Paul’s judgment against Peter was consonant with God’s Living Truth. Thus, Peter stands condemned, perfectly.

  • Paul made the correction and thus became a saint.
  • Peter took the correction and thus became a saint.

That’s so very Catholic. We are to correct and admonish one another, helping each other be humble before Christ Jesus. We gotta get to heaven. We depend also on such admonishments. And it was not Paul who was bullying Peter. Peter was abusing his authority.

Not to correct someone is to be condemned to hell, and to assist others in being condemned to hell.

To correct someone is a great act of charity. One risks being smacked down by the one being corrected.

The ugliest thing in the world is when the one being corrected attacks the one correcting. That’s ingratitude that cries out to heaven for vengeance. God is The Authority. God hates abuse of authority.

Remember that in all this Paul is, in his own words, like an abortion compared to the super-apostles. Peter is “powerful”, the one on whom the Church is founded by the Son of the Living God. Peter could have thrown a self-entitled “Karen” tantrum embarrassing himself all the more, and the entire Church. Can you imagine that cataclysmic disturbance this would have caused in the early Church. The Church would continue, but wounded. Thank God Peter converted once again.

But now there’s a law in the Code of Canon Law which can illegitimately but very possibly be used by the powers that be to hurt with brutal hypocrisy those who would correct ecclesiastical superiors:

  • Canon 1373. A person who publicly incites hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical office or duty, or who provokes disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties.

For a bishop, even the bishop of Rome, to use such a law over against someone who is doing them the charitable courtesy of correcting them for evil behavior or the corruption of doctrine and morals is, to repeat, a supreme abuse of authority, for which, all the more, they need to be called out.

Is it easy for the upper echelon to kick those below them in the teeth, sending them into a coma, disallowing them to preach, to hear Confessions, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? This is so very, very cruel. Demonic, really.

Pope Francis once gave good advice about this; “Humility, humility, humility.” Yep.

If one offers a necessary correction, this is, in and of itself, a justified attack on all that which is self-absorbed, promethean, neo-pelagianistic,, neo-gnostic, casuistic, “Karen”-self-entitled entrenchment into rigidity that betrays deeper psychological and spiritual problems… Whew!

The answer by the cowardly hissy-fit crowd is, of course, to say such things about those who instead are just doing their best to be charitable and courteous, whatever the cost.

Those who charitably correct their brothers are not hurt in the least by those who would smack them down. Instead, they are filled all the more with joy at having the opportunity to suffer for the Holy Name of Jesus.

And given all those who are necessarily correcting the powers that be these because of all that needs to be corrected, I’d like to suggest to the powers that be that need correcting not to be so arrogant in slamming those who risk all to make that correction. They are vulnerable, not powerful, and it is an almost inescapable temptation to simply lash out against them. Don’t do it. Just take the correction, and convert. That Christ Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire is no joke. You should, instead, be thankful, first of all to Jesus who redeemed us all and wants that “the many” be saved.

Be one of “the many.”

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Son of my military-alcoholic dad: striving to follow his good example

This is part 2 of a series, with part 1 being here, published immediately before this post:

That post was about him. This one is about my own usage of the dynamic of alcohol.

As I said in that last post, dad is totally my hero for how he went from being the active alcoholic to getting really close to Jesus with daily Mass and spiritual direction from priests. He became sober in the early-mid 1970s, successfully going cold-turkey on a certain Ash Wednesday, and sticking with it. That really impressed me. Great example.

Do I drink? Not much. Nothing against it. Catholics know how to party, as we know from the Wedding of Cana. But to say that any drinking on my part is a rare event doesn’t quite tell the story.

In younger days, when offered a slice of salty pizza, I might be given a beer. Whatever.

More recently, I’m sure I’ve had a craft beer here or there. We didn’t have those when I was a kid. Back when I was in Europe I do remember having a panaché or two. Some will say that doesn’t count. Even more recently, I remember having a sip of apple cider. But hard liquor? I would try a Bailey’s Irish Cream on a spectacular occasion, every other ten or twenty years. The rector of the seminary at which I was a new faculty member ordered a Manhattan for me at a meal for all the new priest-professors at Ruth’s Chris. I didn’t know what a a Manhattan was. Now I know it’s not for me.

Here’s the deal: as I grow older, I find out that my larynx swells up because of the trauma of a drink with too high of a percentage of alcohol. I have a super rare hereditary disease and I gotta be careful. My mom, from whom I got this hereditary malady, suffocated to death with her throat swelling up (not because of alcohol), as do about 1/3 of those affected. Not pleasant. I’ve been at that point of my esophagus just barely not being entirely tightly swelled shut more than a couple of dozen times throughout my life. I’m just waiting my turn for the 100% event at anytime. So, it’s just not worth having a hard drink. That’s all been good for my spiritual life, but – Hey! – there are other ways, like a Rosary.

Besides, now, for some six years, I carry G-19 Gen-4. That doesn’t mix with any drinking, ever. Period.

Whatever about having a panaché or a craft beer or even the rare Bailey’s in days of yore, my attitude toward alcohol my entire life was simply benign neglect. You like it? Go for it! I enjoy having a sharp intellect as much as that’s even possible through my fog.

Reflecting on this now, I cannot for the life of me even once think of any occasion ever when dad offered any alcohol of any kind to me, ever. He totally respected me on this point. That respect of his for me was very formative. He wanted better for me. I took that in stride. Thanks, dad.

I’ve lost good friends in just saying “no” to their offer of hard liquor. But it’s not a friend of any kind who, even in knowing my medical condition, still doesn’t care one bit about that. I know how to be polite, but then entrench. When I was a kid there was never a problem with any forcing dramatics. The first time I had to learn how to say “no” to alcohol was when I was a new deacon just assigned to a parish Stateside for a month or so during the Summer break in between school years over in Rome. Learning how to say “no” was an event, that is to say, it happened all in the space of a couple of days which brought all the premises of a lifetime together, so to speak, in the argument that would play out to a conclusion of how to deal with… trouble. Just say “no.”

It was a huge rectory with three priests assigned there. The pastor was an alcoholic in total denial. The parochial vicar befriended me but stayed out of the way of the other two priests, one of them being “in residence.” This would be a perfect experience for me for me to be trained up in saying “no” to alcohol just to test the psychological dynamics. Was I welcome as a human being bringing with me an entire life history, or, as a deacon wanting to be a priest, did I have to conform to some behavioral standard just to impress the powers that be so as to get a good word put in for me to the bishop? In other words, would I have to drink hard liquor just to fit in, or else?

For the first week at this new assignment I stayed in my room in the evening, reading, studying, praying, whatever, anything but making myself available in the “common room” of the rectory, trying to avoid the drama of the alcoholism. But then it struck me that this was no way to live.

I made my way to the “common room” one evening with something to read, a large tome of moral theology, something about Humanae vitae by Italian author Father Ermenigildo Lio, something that would take me days to plow through. The “common room” was very spacious, with all sorts of couches and chairs and coffee tables, a large television, always stocked with chips and drinks and a beer-keg fridge with a tap through the door. The door of the “common room” was always open. I sat down, turned on the reading lamp next to me, and opened my book.

In no time at all, so predictable, the pastor appeared, taken aback at my presence, but he said hello, and then went to get a beer stein and fill it up at the tap of the keg fridge, but only, say 1/3 full. He would then waddle back to his room. Five minutes later, a repeat. This went on for hours. Finally, I had him spooked. He spoke up:

  • So, you’re just reading, right?
  • Yes.
  • So, what’r you reading?
  • Oh just something by Ermenigildo Lio. Good stuff. On Human vitae.
  • So, is your room O.K.?
  • Perfect. I just thought this would be a change of scenery. This is a nice chair.
  • We can get a chair like it for your room.
  • This is O.K.
  • So, just so you know, I only fill up the stein just a bit. I’m cutting back. Doctor’s orders.
  • [[… back to reading … head down … I wasn’t thrown out … yet … but it wouldn’t be long now …]]

I’m so bad and evil. But I got the message across. He knew better than to get plastered every night like this. He was upset with me for calling him out just by reading quietly in chair in a “common room.”

The next day I was told by the in-residence priest to make sure to show up for the evening meal. It was a setup, of course. The in-residence priest brought some very expensive hard liquor and made up some special occasion which didn’t sound special at all. The parochial vicar didn’t show up, smart as he was. No food was on the table yet, but the bottle was de-foiled and un-corked, and I was given one of the special glasses he also brought. I politely refused, setting the glass upside down on the table, now guessing the connection with the night before. I wasn’t going to be manipulated. He insisted. I even more politely refused, ever so soft-spoken, going out of my way to be very nice indeed. He insisted again, picking up the glass and filling it up, shoving it in my hands. I put it back on the table. We played this game a few more times as the pastor watched intently. It was all quite aggressive by this point as the in-residence guy told me that he was involved with seminarian formation and then instructed me:

  • “If you’re going to be ordained a priest you’re going to have to learn to drink sociably.”
  • “No.”
  • “This is an issue we’re going to have to raise with the bishop.”
  • “Fine with me.”

And in anger, he stomped out, not staying for the meal. The pastor said nothing, but that evening repeated his beer stein waddlings.

If they were going to deny me ordination to the priesthood over politely refusing a drink (they weren’t interested in reasons), that means I was already dead. I was transferred to another parish, just like that.

Look, I’m no paragon of virtue. I’m not putting these guys down to say I’m great. No. It’s just that I did learn something from my dad and I thank him for that and I want more people to gain from the lessons he taught me. It’s about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One. He knew that. Jesus’ Little Flock can know Jesus. He’s our pastor. It’d be great if priests would get to know Jesus like this as well. We’re nothing without Jesus.

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Jesus called me @28 months old to be His priest 60 years ago today. I saw Him seeing me.

Jesus saw me, and I saw Him seeing me, beckoning me to follow Him in His priesthood priesthood 60 years ago today, 24 June 1962, the First Class Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (and also this year the First Class Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus). The call from Jesus to His priesthood came to me most appropriately during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when I was just 28 months old, not even 2½ years old.

Formation faculties at seminaries today disdain reports of such vocation events especially at such a very young age, for they instead want to feel useful, and have “conversations” about “the process” of discernment, creepily digging into feelings and such. Consistent with that, the useful ones kept repeating that we would know we had a vocation when our names were called by them at the Ordination Mass. Nice ecclesiology, that. But I tell you I suddenly knew absolutely that I had a vocation at 28 months old in the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. There was no process at all: I didn’t choose Jesus; He chose me. It’s one of those “Let the children come to me” things. He drew me to His Heart. It’s His fault!

It was a beautiful but hot Summer’s day both outside and inside Saint Paul’s Catholic Church on the northern side of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. The church building looks the same today as it did on that day, 60 years ago.

At the time, there was a magnificent High Altar at the center-back of the sanctuary, behind altar rails, of course. The Tabernacle was in the center of that High Altar, where Jesus Himself was enthroned. Jesus utilized those logistics the Most Blessed Sacrament in calling me to His priesthood before it all disappeared.

It would only be a few years later that I was devastated to see and hear that the church had to be closed for police investigations and repairs. This took many months. That’s when the family started “church-hopping,” a term coined later, in post Vatican II chaos. What had happened is that the backside of the High Altar had suffered from an arson attack, say, in 1964 or 1965, and then was quite severely wreckovated, which did much more damage than the fire did.

It would be more than 3½ decades later, in the late 1990s, when, over in Rome, I told a papabile Cardinal friend my vocation story. He was instantly angry with me, reprimanding me sternly to impress the point: That means you’re especially responsible for every moment of your priesthood. Take His priesthood seriously! I objected that everyone should take seriously whatever vocation they have from Jesus whenever they get it. My snarkiness didn’t go over well. He was angry. Anyway…

Every vocation does have a lived context in which Jesus makes His call to follow Him. My vocation event happened 3½ months before the opening of the Second Vatican Council later that year, 11 October 1962. Mind you, preparations for the opening session were well under way and, just when Jesus was calling me, the “too traditional” schemas of the documents for the Council were being rejected while a general rebellion against doctrine and morality and reverent liturgy and proper instruction on the spiritual life was being prepared.

Excuse the lack of subtitles in the video below. Just the scenes are well worth the few minutes to situate you back in those waaaay too optimistic, heady, self-congratulatory times. Believe me, subtitles would be a bit frightening. Some were well intentioned, but others worked for the demise of the Church.

Back to the vocation event where even the fine details are important, and, yes, I remember everything when I was kid. I’m still able to describe, like I’m seeing it now, the house we lived in until we moved, when I was still just one year old. Anyway…

I remember with a perfectly clear memory, clear as a bell, seeing right now, as it were, the white fiddleback Roman Mass vestments on that Sunday of my vocation, 24 June 1962.

I was with my entire family on the central aisle side of the long wooden pew, the second from the back of the church, on the Gospel side. I was next to dad, my brother on the far side of him, with both sisters being surveilled by mom on my other side. I was straining to see through the jam-packed crowd of everyone in their Sunday best, with all their flowered hats and veils for the women, and suits, despite the day being so hot, for the men. Yes, churches were jam packed, standing room only, back in 1962.

I was trying to behave, but, being in the midst of the terrible twos as I was, mom had to keep repeating that I should just stay seated. But by the time the first reading was going on over on the Epistle side of the High Altar, ad orientem, of course, I was on my feet, standing tippy-toe on the kneeler, both hands on the top of the pew in front of me, hanging on for dear life, with me just being able to see over the top of the pew and between the shoulders of the two people in front of me. I remember the person in front of me on my right leaning a shoulder hard on my fingertips – ouch! – claiming their space. I stood my ground. I was interiorly compelled to see what was happening up in the sanctuary of the church, some 170 feet away (I just did a google-maps check).

The priest had now made it over to the Gospel side, pausing in the middle of the High Altar for the prayers of purification before the Gospel, even while the Missale Romanum was brought over for him. When he finished the Gospel, he took off what I now know is a maniple, and he placed it over the Missale Romanum. Then, and this is allowed by the rubrics of the time, and because it was such a hot day, he proceeded to take off the fiddleback vestment for the preaching.

Poor guy, he hadn’t untied the strings that hold it in place. I know that now, using such Roman vestments all the time. All I saw back then is that he was really struggling. He had flipped the vestment over his head, which is where it stayed because of it still being tied on. Both deacon and subdeacon came to his rescue. I felt sorry for him, but I was also a little scared, even at that distance, because he was really quite flustered by the time he was freed of his entanglement. In anger, he crumbled up the vestment and then placed it in a ball on top of the maniple and Missale.

He made his way down the steps and went to the pulpit and began to preach. I was trying to pay attention, not to what he said, for I was too young. It’s that I was interiorly compelled to pay attention, but I didn’t know to what, to whom, but I had to pay attention. Then it hit me that there was something, that is, Someone else who was drawing my attention, namely, He who is the One, the only One, back at that High Altar, in the Tabernacle, with me not knowing anything about God or the Blessed Sacrament, but for me, right then, right there, I recognized Him who was recognizing me, looking upon Him who was looking upon me, His powerful, majestic, personal, loving Presence, beckoning me. I was agape, bonded to Him. Let me be clear, without seeing anything or anyone with my physical eyes, I most certainly saw Him seeing me. I was transfixed. Suddenly self conscious, I quickly looked from side to side for reassurance, only to see the Styrofoam bored looks one might expect to see during a boring homily on a super hot Summer Sunday morning in church. I quickly looked back at Him whom I saw seeing me, looking right into my soul, and I was all the more taken, enthralled.

What Jesus saw was the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity in my soul by way of the sanctifying grace from my baptism. That grace, reflecting God Himself, was not besmirched, for I was too young to commit any personal sin. The call was clear as clear as clear can be. He wanted me there, with Him for my whole life, at His Altar of Sacrifice. Not that I knew this was His altar of Sacrifice. Not that I knew what it meant to be a priest other than to be totally available Him, dedicated to Him. He’s the One. He’s the only One. I don’t know how to describe this adequately, but there was a fast bond established right then, right there.

And there’s another aspect to that. It’s like I was directed to understand that there was an analogy to be made of that priest with myself, again, not on any intellectual level – I wasn’t even 2½ years old – but spiritually, and before Jesus, and in view of that ever so personal bond I now had with Jesus. I perceived that the priest who was preaching was inept, unworthy of being in the presence of the One, the only One, but so was I. I was in objection mode with a sense of not being worthy, but that being dealt with by the One calling. That’s on Him. From the get go, I perceived that humble thanksgiving to this Majestic One was the only way to proceed. The emphasis was and still is on thanksgiving, without losing sight of knowing I’m unworthy. Being in solidarity with that priest has always been an aspect of the priesthood for me, trying to be available to other priests, sometimes for friendship, sometimes for the sacraments, giving and receiving, and sometimes that’s for offering reprimands, or in getting reprimanded. :-)

Look. I get it. We don’t hear much of that kind of experience happening with an infant. Granted. But I’m not saying that my reflections on the experiences had all the intellectual descriptions with refined vocabulary back in the day. That I’m making those descriptions now with all my present vocabulary is simply speaking to an experience as personal and alive now as it was then, that steadfast bond of love and truth being unchanging, as if it were happening right now, and it is, and it still the same Jesus, still the same call, still the same bond that He creates. On the level of love, this is absolutely possible back in the day just as it is right now, filling me with joy. The least of the brethren, mere infants, have souls that are wide open to the goodness and kindness and truth of God even at a very young age. Children are drawn to real goodness, real kindness, to Him who is Truth, and can absolutely assent to that bond of love that is created by the One, the only One who calls.

But, one more thing to say about this: my guardian angel witnessed Jesus calling me to His priesthood, and this added to this great angel’s burden to light, to guard, to rule, to guide, also in view of the chaos that came my way and has come my way throughout my life, with much that chaos being how the gangsters hijacked the Church already way back in the day.

Finally, this call from Jesus is the foil I use for an examination of conscience. Jesus’ call obviates that I am not up to living up to that vocation. That’s with me constantly, but that also spurs on the thanksgiving. Jesus is very good. Jesus is very kind. I’ve known that, been convinced of that, for 60 years.

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Parish audited! Good experience.

Such days of distraction we’ve had, however necessary such an essential service is as provided by the diocese. All the parishes are supposed to be audited every few years or when a pastor is transferred. I doubt that I’ll be transferred out of this, my most favorite of all parishes. But we’re way out of date for any audits, both because of some diocesan planning logistics and because we’re about as far away from the Chancery as one can possibly get in these back-sides-of-the-back-ridges of beautiful Western North Carolina. But now we’re up to date and good to go for another few years.

It was quite the eye-opener for our auditor, the actual Director of Internal Audits, you know, our smallest of all parishes as compared to the big city parishes. Most of the audit inquiries were entirely irrelevant in our tiny parish, such as what kind of compensation oversight did we have for oversight teams for hiring third-party oversight teams for whatever project teams we might have, for instance, in creating oversight teams for oversight teams. Sorry, just a bit of humor there. ;-) But you get the idea. Some things are relevant only to the mega-big-city-parishes. Having grown up with wolves and moose in the North Woods of Minnesota, I’m so happy to be waaay out in here in the State and National Forests.

Our patron saint to whom we pray at the opening of our Finance Council meetings in the parish is Saint Turibio, a Mexican priest, a Cristero martyr, who the day and night before he was murdered took his horse from parish to parish to parish to get all the books in order! I’m impressed.

I bother to make this a post on this blog for the sake of encouraging good vocations to the priesthood who are going to be squeaky clean regarding finances. You cannot serve both God and mammon. Don’t be scandalized by all the scandal. You just do what is right. And that’s already its own reward. You are free of the darkness, free to serve Jesus with one’s whole mind, soul, heart, strength. A joy.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mary’s Family, edition)

All of these flowers for the Immaculate Conception are at the house of some friends. They love our Blessed Mother. I’m sometimes able to visit them on the always epic “Day Off”, which was dedicated this time to watching the woodworking skills of Joseph, who whipped up a large cross that will go high atop the cupola of Prince of Peace mission church across the mountain in Graham County.

The cross will receive coatings protecting it from the weather before it’s exalted on high.

After taking pictures of flowers for the Immaculate Conception (that being the first priority), they generously provided me with an exaggerated-bacon breakfast.

That provided energy to spend the day solving all the problems of the church and the world.

The irony of that is appreciated, it being that I’m a troublemaker amongst the problems of the church and the world.

On the way back home, I did something I haven’t done in a very long time, taking the old, non-truck route 64:

And then at the very last second I turned off on Wayah Road. It all made me realize once again that I have the most beautiful parish in the world, the Lord’s Little Flock and also the paradise that WNC is.

  • “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)

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Sr Raymond (Bernadette) Grieble CSA 79 (RIP 9 May 2008)

Snippets from her obituary 14 years ago:

“Sister Raymond (Bernadette) Grieble, CSA, 79, a resident at St. Francis Home, passed away Friday, May 9, 2008 at the home. Bernadette was born February 20, 1929, to Raymond Grieble and Helen Elizabeth Schoch Grieble in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Taking her father’s name, Bernadette became Sister Raymond upon entering the novitiate of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. Profession of first vows in 1948 fulfilled the first step of her lifelong dream to become a sister. […]

“Sister Raymond […] was assigned to Waspam, Nicaragua, in 1961. […] She served in Latin America nearly 40 years, with more than 30 of them being in Nicaragua. From 1982-1990 she was the regional coordinator for all the Sisters of St. Agnes in Nicaragua. […]

“During the civil war in the 1980s, she was in Managua, serving as coordinator for the Sisters of St. Agnes. When she returned after the war, she found Waspam destroyed and the convent as well. The native people had been forced out. As the people returned and began to rebuild, the convent was rebuilt as well, but with inferior materials. Like the people, she and the sisters had to deal with termites, low voltage electricity which sometimes led to the use of candles for light, poor plumbing, the scarcity of food, and non-potable water. Madre Raimunda, with her firm principles, courage, strong voice, exuberant spirit, and unlimited energy, became a tower of strength for the people.

“Sister Raymond’s leadership was recognized beyond Waspam. Though she did not actively participate in politics, she was trusted enough to be present at the peace dialogues between the rebel leaders and the government. […]”


Upon our first meeting, Sister Raymond “assigned” yours truly (she gets what she wants) to bring Mass stipends to Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo in Managua, Nicaragua. This brought me, however indirectly but ever so directly, into the whole world of the CIA and our Consulate/Embassy dynamics throughout Central America and around the world beginning with arriving to the airport in Miami. But I digress.

It wasn’t mentioned in Sister Raymond’s obit, but she had mentioned to me back in the mid-1980s what it was like to be shot. She said that, having taken a bullet to her lower leg, at first, there was no pain at all, but that she felt a trickle… of what had to be… blood. Grrr! She was going to have to reprimand her school students, who were, of course, all Catholic, and so many of whom had been her students right throughout the country, including the likes of Danny Ortega. How they turned out isn’t her fault!

So many memories. So many stories. What Catholic schools turned into under bad priests, the spying on all foreign mail in the country, the underground military sites, the unbelievable false flag operations, the terrible injustices, fraud, kidnappings… the whole complexity of how things really go down. Yikes!

Sister tried to keep clergy and and bishops in line. Her no-messing-around go-get-’em can-do attitude and insistence on prayer had great influence on my whole life. Holy Mass for her tomorrow. God rest you, Sister Raymond.

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Father Stu [R] ¡LOL! UPDATE post-screening. Recommended even more.

/// For my reactions after seeing the movie Tuesday night 4/12/2022, scroll to end of the post. ///

For theaters and show times just google – father stu theater near me – . For me, there’s a theater not far away on Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week. Chrism Mass Tuesday. So, maybe Wednesday or I’ll have to wait for the DVD. This might be the sixth movie in my life I’ve seen on the big silver screen.

Caveat: I haven’t seen this, yet. I’m not at all strict about language and violence if it fits the story and character development and isn’t simply gratuitous, and all of that is apparently fitting here, but I am super strict about any sexual content as it’s a sin to stare at that and it’s a sin to produce it. Jesus and Mary and the angels would not be pleased.

Therefore, I got hold of a friend who is super-involved in the film to see what he said about the R rating:

  • Father George: “I got promo stuff for Father Stu. It kept repeating it’s R rated. Whatever with cuss words or violence, just tell me there’s no erotic scenes.”
  • The Guy: “There’s a kiss thing but it doesn’t go further. You get the idea that they are going to get it on but don’t see it & then he goes to confession where he says he sinned but all he could think about was disappointing God. It’s implied that they had sex but not seen.”

There’s David and Bathsheba in the Scriptures. And there are so many other passages. Later, we hear about young Augustine from Saint Augustine, et cetera et alii…

Here are the accompanying letters to the poster. I’m guessing that every pastor in America got these.

(1) From the Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, Montana, where the real Father Stu (RIP) was beloved by all.

(2) Then from Mark Wahlberg, who’s the actor who plays Father Stu:

(3) Then from Lisa Wheeler, President of Carmel Communications:

It would be good to see something that treats the priesthood with respect. It would be good to see something that portrays priests who are real men.

I, for one, am sick and tired of gender confused deniers of doctrine, deniers of morality, wreckers of the spiritual life, destroyers of the Liturgy, those who, in Holy Orders, act in Persona Christi at the consecrations at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass even while insulting Jesus with their sins.

I’d like to see something that honors the man’s Man, Christ Jesus, by honoring the priesthood of Jesus Christ even in Jesus’ priests. There are good priests. I hope this does well. The liberal main stream media narrative has to be abandoned so that there’s a change in the hearts and souls of the faithful. Let’s repeat that: the narrative of the liberal bishops has to change.

I’m hoping those to the far right will chill just a little so as to rejoice in the character development of young Stuart to Father Stu, that is, toward Christ Jesus. There’s a promotion of the Sacrament of Confession. I love that. I love that a lot. It’s refreshing that Jesus is the One. You gotta admit that Jesus is otherwise not much mentioned much in the “American Church.” This is a move in the right direction. I’m hoping that those bishops especially on far left will have fear put into them by the presentation of a priest who knows his identity in Christ Jesus. That’s the last priest they would ever want around. And – Hey! – you never know. Maybe some will rediscover their vocation, also go to confession, and put their ordination graces into action by bringing souls to the Divine Son of the Living God. That would be good, would it not?

Also, just to say, this movie also stars Mel Gibson. Mel cares very much about the priesthood and is concerned about the present state of the priesthood. He saw something in this that he knows has to enter into mainstream of Americana. He’s right. The priesthood is about Christ Jesus. Father Stu gets it.

So, that would be a Yes.

Recommended by Father George.

https://www.fatherstumovie.com/home/

His own testimony before he died:

/// UPDATE:

Tuesday of Holy Week was the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral in Charlotte, well over a 400 mile round trip. More on that later, but it was an appropriate day to see “Father Stu”. On my way home I caught the evening screening down in Georgia at a tiny back-mountain-ridge in the middle-of-nowhere family theater.

First reaction: Totally credible. I recognized, could relate to, have seen before a thousand times everything in “Father Stu” for the reason that I’ve been on the teaching and formation faculties of major seminaries right around the world. Our Lord calls fallen human beings. Hint: we are all fallen. I’ve seen to my great frustration stunningly out-of-touch with reality, out-of-touch with the faith priests and religious and laity who were on the teaching and formation faculties of seminaries just as presented in the movie. Totally accurate. Did they try to vote down such as “Father Stu”? Absolutely. Did I see some make it through to be ordained anyway? Absolutely. The ones who got ordained against all odds had to be fighters, had to learn to trust entirely in the Lord.

Confession: There’s great catechesis, blatant, not hidden, super-clear about kinds of contrition and going to confession and having a firm purpose of amendment. Repeated. Really excellent. This is a movie which encourages going to confession. Great confession scenes of someone learning to go to confession later in life. Ha! I was shocked to see all this on the big silver screen. Wonderful. Anyone hesitating to go to confession that you know? Bring them to see the movie Father Stu. Ha! Have a good priest for them to go to confession to. That’s important.

About 100% of viewers will be thinking that they wish their priests were more like Father Stu.

There isn’t much subtlety in any of the film. The character development is rather extreme, leaving no room not to get the point.

  • Father Stu becomes a fighter in a different way, and is always a better fighter, a fighter for the Lord by the Lord’s strength, always down to earth, but developing in his friendship with the Lord for sure.
  • The nerdy seminarian, I forget his name, is, perhaps, the most important character in the film. He’s a caricature of all that is wrong, but has his own narrative changed by Stu as the film goes on. There quite a bit of psychodrama going on with him, all interwoven with the whole film. Fine. The prison scene portrays the state of affairs, the nerdy guy who doesn’t get “the plot” and the guy who does “get it.” There are plenty of these guys in the seminary who don’t get the plot, perhaps ever, and because of that, do untold damage. The film presents one reason for a seminarian not “getting it.” There are many. That amount of space given to the nerdy guy is geared to changing the narrative that such guys can entrench in. Maybe in seeing this film they will recognize themselves and allow themselves to get found by Christ Jesus.
  • The girl friend… I better let any of the women out there comment on her character development… I do think that Father Stu understood her much better than she understood herself.

The reaction in the theater: The family theater was just a stone’s throw from a parish church. I’m guessing most everyone in the theater (a good crowd by the way) were Catholic. They laughed out loud, a lot, I’m thinking because the whole film reflected reality quite accurately.

About the R-rating: Yes, plenty of bad language, mostly F-bombs, a bit jarring out of the mouth of Stu’s mother. But then you gotta know that she comes around and does get baptized along with Stu’s equally foul-mouthed dad. There’s not much violence. The “adult content” is basically not existent, just like described at the top of this post, basically nothing. The “R” rating is engineered, that is, just to get the R rating so as to get more to get tickets. Really. If it was PG not one person would see it. Get it?

After describing the film to Father Gordon, he said something I had said would make a great blog-post title:

  • “Self-absorbed policies of liberal-assed bishops” [Hahaha]

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Prosperity churches, United Way, and how to stop the blood money of easy almsgiving

People like to make almsgiving easy, you know, outsourcing their charity. I’ll give you cash, but you do the dirty work. Sometimes giving money is good, just make sure you know what going on. Giving in church can be a little too easy. Let’s see…

  • After seeing that great video above, you know, about non-Catholics, those prosperity gospel guys, I think of $1,200,000.00 of Peter’s Pence going to an Elton John homosexualist propaganda film.
  • And then I think of $200,000,000.00 going to an allegedly illegit Vatican real estate venture in London, and then something like another $200,000,000.00 going missing from the Vatican.
  • And then you think of – what – the bishops skimming “service fees” off veritable oceans of government (read: U.S. taxpayers) money to distribute to things like abortion clinics or sex and human trafficking right around the world through – what – Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities.

Whatever with the “prosperity churches”. Their gluttony has nothing on the greed that comes at the price of the murder of the least of the brethren. There is no argument that can make any of that good.

I recall a scene in, I think, Malcolm Muggeridge’s film on Mother Teresa of Calcutta, when a guy walked up to her to give her something like a million dollars, and she refused it. She said that it’s too much work for her sisters to spend this money even if all for the poor, and that he should do it himself, that is, he himself should actually do something for someone instead of outsourcing his charity. Ha! And when I was in Byculla district of Mumbai at the Missionaries of Charity living in the tuberculous ward,

People like to say, “I gave at the office,” whether they did or not. That usually refers to United Way. Sometimes, it’s all about braggadocio:

  • “My company is in competition with the business across the street for how much we raised average per employee for United Way, and we put that on signs out front, changing the signs every day. By the way, did you give, yet?”

When I was a young seminarian, when my dad was still alive, I wrote a letter to the editor of our home town paper, signing my name, of course. I share my name with my dad, who had been the mayor and leading attorney of the town, known by everyone, and so asked his blessing before I hand-delivered it to the editorial page editor’s desk. He did give me his blessing, saying how proud he was of me. He knew that this could get me thrown out of the seminary, but you gotta do the right thing. As he said: “Goodness and kindness, George, goodness and kindness.” Dad’s goodness and kindness dealt with charity, not being nice.

The problem was that 90+% of United Way donations came from Catholics because those were the demographics of the region. So the Catholic Bishop was on the board of United Way. Well, United Way was giving monies to Lutheran Social Services which offered abortion referrals and, I think, rides to abortion clinics. And there was a second recipient involved in some way with nefarious anti-life matters. The bishop and others were saying that anything like that doesn’t matter because monies also went to adoptions, etc. In my letter to the editor I condemned the High Priest Caiaphas’ moral principle that it is better for these aborted babies to die with United Way monies so that some facilitated adoptions might take place. I say, “Do the adoptions, but don’t fund abortion.” The message couldn’t have clearer.

The United Way collection that year plummeted to almost nothing.

I was public enemy number one for the bishop. He couldn’t do anything with me then, since, obviously, everyone agreed with me. But after years he attempted to get his revenge at a bishops conference. He sat next to my own bishop for lunch. He took the opportunity to attack yours truly. Imagine, he was carrying that for years. In any other case I would have been tossed out of the seminary. This story was told to me by my own bishop. God bless him. He didn’t hold it against me.

It is possible to do the right thing. You’re not ever forced to do the wrong thing, even if you’re killed for it. No one can force you to do the wrong thing. You can be at joyful peace in doing the right thing, for Jesus.

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Mt St Mary’s Seminary Covid extortion: Get vaxed or to hell with your vocation

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND SEMINARIANS – MAIN CAMPUS

To achieve our goal of at least 80% immunity within our community, undergraduate students who will be taking classes at the Emmitsburg campus in Fall 2021 and seminarians are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus in August 2021. The deadline to submit an exemption request for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs has now passed.

Students must submit a record of their vaccination to the Health Center before returning to campus and no later than August 18, 2021. This information will be kept confidential.

GRADUATE STUDENTS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION STUDENTS – FREDERICK CAMPUS

To achieve our goal of at least 80% immunity within our community, graduate students and undergraduate students in the Continuing Education program who will be taking classes solely at the Frederick campus in Fall 2021 and beyond are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them and no later than August 18, 2021. Students must submit a record of their vaccination to the Health Center. This information will be kept confidential.


This is the execration of demons, more nicely known as bull****.

The vaccines for Covid are research and/or developed and/or tested on fully developed absolutely healthy babies removed from the womb in 100% sterile conditions of pharmaceutical research laboratories. They used to do such research on mice, gerbils, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, etc. But now all fellow brothers and sisters are being murdered and used as their living organs are removed from them while they live (for a few more seconds) so that uncorrupted cells and be made to replicate.

This is murdering the least of the brethren for self-congratulation. Jesus will judge just how it is that what is done to the least of the brethren is done to Him, personally. All of these bishops and priests and seminarians and laity, if they go along with this murder, effectively, of Jesus, are risking going straight to hell.

I’ve heard the statement that the moral culpability is reduced because of time. No, it’s not. For instance, I hold myself to be guilty by way of my own sins of the my past (wow, have I ever been judgmental of hypocrites!) in such manner that in order to redeem me, please God save me, in all justice, Jesus would have do die, taking my place, innocent for the guilty. But by His grace, I admit all that, repent from all that, and am thus opened up to receiving His forgiveness, opened up to going to heaven.

GO TO CONFESSION!

There are many bishops who send their seminarians to the Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary. Guaranteed, all those bishops will soon coerce their priests into getting vaxed. This is one priest who will simply say two things:

(1) No.

(2) Go to Confession.

This is all hard to comprehend, but only because of my unwilling naivete, not wanting to see how horrible are the wounds of Jesus.

This seminary is holding the vocation of seminarians hostage to the murder-vaccine. Imagine, the gateway to ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ is to murder innocent children…

/// sarcasm on: /// Hey! I know! Let’s celebrate the demon-idol-Pachamama to whom children are sacrificed, buried alive in Mother Earth to placate the wrath of death mongering Pachamama! That way our consciences will be dulled to murder of the innocent. That way we won’t care about the Sacrifice of the Son of the Living God! /// sarcasm off ///

I, for one, will be happy to have my throat slit by demonized bishops demanding priests be vaxed. I’m with Jesus in the arms of our Blessed Mother. Are you?

  • SOLUTION: In canon law, bishops don’t need to use a seminary, but can have a seminarian be trained in by a competent priest. Hey! That’s a good idea!
  • MONITUM: No one is ever coerced into doing evil. Our lives are expendable in this world. We must act morally according to proper doctrine with honesty, with integrity. If that means being marginalized, or killed, that’s the crown of white and red martyrdom that is awaiting us. Let’s be on our way to heaven.
  • Mary is saying above: What are you doing to my priests, my seminarians, you hypocritical murderous bishops?

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Update: Summary of everything wrong with the Catholic Church in the USA

The update is the lifesite video above. What a hellish nightmare…. The rest is from two years ago. I sure did get it right.

img_20190404_131701~24915102954948830373..jpg

I got this as an afterthought, that is, I suppose, as a joke. Someone put me on the mailing list of the AUSCP. It’s already too late for the “Register by March 31” discount. Hahaha.

I guess someone wanted me to see this and put it up on the blog as an example of all that is wrong with the Catholic Church in these USA.

  • I admit: “prayer” is mentioned. I bet that’s in the style of Los Angeles REC.
  • I admit: there is an icon pictured, but I have to wonder if that’s token bait.

Let’s review:

  • AUSCP wrongly says that it speaks for me, a Catholic priest. How arrogant of them.
  • AUSCP wrongly says that it co-promotes with Pope Francis the implementation of the vision and values of Vatican II. But that’s another rant.

What especially caught my eye and what about makes me want to vomit is the insistence of being embraced with “America’s most inclusive place for U.S. priests.” That’s not true. What about Cardinal Burke. And what kind of ultra-nationalist agenda is that, anyway? What about being inclusive of other priests from around the world, you know, like Bishop Athanasius Schneider, like Cardinal Sarah?

But you know what “most inclusive” means, don’t you? Sigh.

Let’s review again:

  • I don’t want their respect. I expect them to be aggravated with me, because I’m actually a Catholic and a priest and a believer, all three at the same time. The life of a Catholic priest is not about receiving condescension. It’s to be all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the Only One. No one has spoken about Jesus since what? 1962?
  • I don’t want their support. What does that even mean? A kind of accompaniment? The life of a Catholic priest is not about being served. It’s about being one with Jesus who came to lay down His life as a ransom for many. It’s about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the Only One. And since Cupich is going to be there, I ask this: Are the thugs threatening Father Kalchik going to be there? Is Father Kalchik invited?
  • I don’t want their comfort. What is that? One better not ask. The life of a Catholic priest is to fulfill the saying of Jesus crucified: “As the Master, so the disciple.”
  • I don’t want their nourishment, the massive banquets that scream it’s all about me! Jesus said, “I thirst.” I would rather eat out of a much more familiar dumpster that eat at those sumptuous banquets.

Where are the followers of Jesus?

Where are the martyrs?

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Father Kenneth Walker FSSP (RIP June 11 2014, at 28 years old)

I would just add one thing here. Father Walker heard the horror taking place as his fellow priest was being smashed just about to death, and that other priest would likely have been killed had Father Walker not entered the scene without hesitation. He laid down his life for another. Amen.

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Fr James Altman new AlphaNews interview subtly hints at priests on “THE LIST”

It’s pretty subtle, but the hints are there, twice, just a second or two each. I heard these hints because I’m quite keyed into good priests being on a kind of hit list. Early on in this debacle, I heard about this hit list from any number of sources. Some of these priests are friends, even close friends.

In this case, “hit list” doesn’t refer to some hitman taking out the good guys. No, no. Nothing quite so terribly violent, at least not yet. It’s more about a cadre of ecclesiastics, perhaps some Cardinals (I can name names), and some up-and-coming bishops who are friends of those Cardinals, “powerful” in their own eyes. And if another bishop is lusting after, say, becoming an archbishop of, say, a “prestigious” archdiocese, you know, one whose archbishop would traditionally be given the “red hat”, in other words would normally be made a cardinal himself, well, hey, fallen human nature being what it is, that sycophant useless bishop guy is going to do the bidding of the “powerful” ecclesiastics to whom they are beholden. What they are supposed to do is follow the direction of those “powerful” ecclesiastics and smash down good priests who in their own dioceses speak, in all charity and calm, in all good prudence, too much truth about the Living Truth, too much goodness and kindness about God who is love, too much about keeping up with the Sacraments like Confession and Communion, not to mention Baptism, Marriage, Confirmation, Last Rites, even going so far as to encourage vocations to Holy Orders, to the priesthood, that is, not the priesthood of those evil ecclesiastics, but the priesthood of the One High Priest, Christ Jesus our Lord. These days, THE MORTAL SIN is being Catholic in the Catholic Church. And to speak the truth about that is all divisiveness and ineffectiveness, right? Pfft.

Good priests are inconvenient. They are going to point out the hate God and hate neighbor platform of the Democrat party: abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, race-baiting, marxist dialectical materialism ideology, pro-LGBT, pro-trans, pro gay civil unions, pro gay “marriage”, etc. How may Catholics are Democrat? asks Father Altman. Zero, he responds, because you can’t be Catholic and a Democrat. :-)

The “powerful” ecclesiastics, frauds all, hypocrites all, must rid themselves of such a cancer from, in their view, the “Body Politic.”

Meanwhile, God bless Father Altman and all his supporters. The donations to him are adding up, enough to support costs of Canon Lawyers against those ecclesiastics who wrongly remove not only himself but also other good priests. There are plenty in need of help, I think a couple dozen. That’s great, because, otherwise, as Father Altman points out, the typical modus operandi is to outspend priests defending themselves with no budget for such a defense. Any (arch)diocese will happily go bankrupt as long as they can rid themselves of a troublesome priests. Money is no object to them whatsoever.

But isn’t that sad? There’s only a couple dozen outspoken priests among the tens of thousands in these USA? I mean, I’m outspoken, but it’s easy for me, as I have a great bishop and I’m in a great diocese, not that he nor the diocese agree with anything I say at all. I don’t represent them when I write on my own time on my own computers with my own internet connection and very loudly say that I don’t represent my parish, The priesthood, the bishop, the diocese, the USCCB, the Holy See, the Roman Pontiff, et al. Also, I’m already in the most remote parish in backridge moonshine Appalachia (Moonshiners was filmed mostly right here), in what is perhaps the smallest parish in North America, which I totally love, totally. So, I’m fine, for now, so far. Even if I were on a hit list as described above, it wouldn’t matter one little bit, not in this diocese. :-)

I mean, I get it, I could be taken out for any or no reason whatsoever, like Father Altman, and not by my bishop, but by someone higher up the chain. There was absolutely nothing anyone could level at Father Altman, so it was just said that he was divisive (an evangelical virtue!) and ineffective … Ineffective … ?! Hah hah hah. But how sad.

Is Father Altman being taken out as a way to put a chill on those priests who are like him, a kind of warning shot over the bow? That’s probable. But it ain’t workin’. It’s going the other way. More priests are rallying and really a lot of lay people are rallying. :-)

In the end, Jesus wins. And, oh, by the way, while Jesus’ Little Flock is being smacked down, Jesus wins. And the priests know this, and the laity know this. All things work for the good for those who love the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

By the way, this is the first time that Father Altman has hinted that the process against him might take as much as five years. I shouldn’t be envious. He’ll have time to write. He’s already signed on for a number of books he’s now already started to write. The first title, announced in the video above, is about the lies of the bishops. Yikes! That’s not divisive, that’s instructive, and gives hope, because now we know what is of the faith and what in the faith has been perverted. That’s always a great help. Blessings upon you, Father Altman. Hail Mary…

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