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I had dinner this evening with a small group of priests who serve in the north central part of Pennsylvania.  It was a wonderful evening of prayer and fellowship.  We talked about Syria and the Holy Father's call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace.  We shared our common experience of financial struggles & fund raising in our parishes. We discussed a few movies that some of the guys had seen or want to see.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by a parishioner.  And each of us went home feeling a little more connected, a little less isolated,  and a little more supported.

The highlight for me was that I got to go to Confession & had a bit of spiritual direction.  This good and holy and very human priest went with me to the foot of the Cross and helped me leave the terrible burden of my faults and failures there.  He gave me the absolution I so sorely needed.  He carried out his sacred ministry given by Christ Jesus to forgive sins.  "Whose sins you forgive are…
(CNA/EWTN News).- Departing from his typical reflections on the Sunday gospel, Pope Francis used his Angelus audience today to call for peace throughout the world, particularly in conflict-ridden Syria.

“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me,” he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 1.

“There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming,” continued the Pope.

“For this reason, brothers and sisters, I have decided to call for a vigil for the whole Church,” he announced.

It will be “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the Middle East, and throughout world.”

The vigil will take place on Sept. 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace. Those who can will gather in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. until midnight: other local Churches are r…
The topic of spiritual battle has been coming up alot in my conversations with parishioners and even with random people who are not members of my church.  They see my collar and holler, "Hey Father, got a minute?"  Of course I've always got a minute or two!  
The conversation will go something like, "I was reading the Bible and it mention that Satan is roaring like a lion.  Do you think that could have anything to do with..."
The "with" can refer to anything from violence in  Egypt and throughout the Middle East to topics like politics, divorce, abortion and immorality of all kinds.  
Since this is happening so often, I want to remind everyone to pray the prayer of St. Michael.  At my church, we pray it after every Mass.  St. Michael is a powerful ally against the evil one and its minions. Just in case you do not remember the prayer:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May Go…
The Gospel reading for Mass this past Tuesday was the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew:

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”   (Matthew 23:23-36)
As I was praying over the passage I had a funny memory from my first pastorate in the early days of my priesthood.  I was pastor of a small church in rural West Virginia.  My first week there I took on the task of getting to know all the elderly parishioners who were no longer able to attend Mass.  One such parishioner was a dear …
For Your Consideration:

The Catechism of the church explains subsidiarity succinctly: 1883 Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”





This has been an extraordinary week of graces and blessings.  A long period of dryness in my ministry has come to an end.  Here are just a few wonderful events this week for which I wish to give thanks to God:
--3 people asked me to help them come back to Church! 3 in one week in a small, rural, mostly protestant area!  Praise God.
--A difficult situation in my parish was resolved.
--My students preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation are finally prepared.
--I actually had a humming bird let me "pet" it and hold it in my hand for a few seconds yesterday.
--My daily Holy Hour has been a source of consolation all week.
--Solanus Casey, St. Bernard, St. John Eudes and St. Padre Pio have been really helping me.

These are just a few of my wonderful blessings.  Each of the above situations are just part of a series of answered prayers.  Thank You Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  I love you.  Help me to love you more.


Day to Day

I have been going through a dry spell, spiritually.  This is really unusual for me, especially in the Easter Season.  It might be due to the weather.  Perhaps I am just getting old.  I have stopped eating sweets and junk food.  They were my comfort foods, so I am leaning to cope without them.  Getting healthy is not yet fun for me.  I hope I will recapture my that sense of wellness I had when I was young and healthy.

I also know that, as God calls me deeper and deeper in the spiritual life He wants me to be more dependant on Him whether the feelings are there or not.  I have gone through various levels of this in the past, usually not very sucessfully.  I would try to conjure up feelings with sugar highs.  (I don't do drugs  and I seldom drink).  Sometimes I would get the adrenaline flowing by doing scary things like jumping off cliffs.  As I age, my body can no longer endure any of these attempts.

I'm not really sure what I am trying to say with this post, but maybe just l…
I have been away from my blog for so long that I lost 3 followers.  That is significant since I only had 25!  Anyway, I guess it is time to start rebuilding readership.  

I think I will start reposting with my Easter Letter.  Hope you enjoy!





He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!   Alleluia!
The long days of preparation are over.  The fasting has come to an end.  It is now time to celebrate the most extraordinary gift of the ages, the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

This has certainly been an extraordinary Lent for Catholics!  Within the span of these fourty days we witnessed the resignation of our beloved Holy Father, Benedict XVI and the election of our new Holy Father!  Not only those events, but the new Pope chose the  name Francis, breaking with the usual practice of choosing the name of one of the Popes of old.  

Pope Francis, named after the saint of the people, St. Francis of Assisi, continues to inspire us.  He paid his own hotel bill!  He rides the bus!  He washes…