Friday, August 12, 2016



This week, I had the opportunity to return to my own home county, Meade, to lead a county-wide, three-night parish mission. Actually, we had people coming from several surrounding counties and even several people from Protestant churches in the area. We had a full house all three nights and the response was overwhelming. 

When I accepted the invitation, I insisted that we not sing that missalette music that Catholics have to endure on most weekends. I wanted to bring a gospel music group.  Under the direction of Elaine Winebrenner from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, we pulled one together and even gave it a name - REFLECTIONS. I chose REFLECTIONS because the theme of the mission was SENT TO SHINE. I was simply bowled over when I heard all those Catholics singing Gaither Gospel Music with only a few minutes of rehearsal. 

I took Sister David Clare SCN and Sister Betty SCN (her house mate) down with me on Tuesday night. Sister David Clare was principal of Cross Roads School (formerly St. Theresa School) for nineteen years. She got to meet hundreds of old students, parents and friends. Even Sister Betty ran into several people she knew. 

On Wednesday night, I took Phyllis (Jarboe) Drury with me since the whole event was a way to raise some money for my mission projects. Phyllis takes me to the airport and picks me up when I do priest retreats around the country as her donation to my mission ministry down in the islands. It saves a lot of money that I would have to take out of the funds I raise for the island missions. Phyllis ran into several relatives from Hardinsburg (Owensboro Diocese) at the mission that she had not seen for a while. 

Father Bob Ray came down on Monday night. We are both from St. Theresa Church in Rhodelia. Father Bob Abell was there all three nights, as well as Father George Illikkal CMI, the new pastor of St. Theresa in Rhodelia and St. Mary Magdalen in Payneville. Father George is from India and the people already love him. 

We had several permanent deacons and their wives: Deacon Mike Jones and Debbie, Deacon Joe Calvert and Bareta, Deacon Denny Nash and Theresa. Deacon Greg Beavin, and his wife Shirley, oversaw the committee of volunteers who set things up, read the Scriptures, advertised and recorded the proceedings and brought food every night for people to enjoy after the services. 

The Augustinian Sisters from Malta, Sisters Lucilla and Sister Theresa, who have been serving in Brandenburg for almost 50 years, were there all three nights. 

I have never been as proud of "my people" as I was this week. These people are the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" just as Jesus called us to be! They are good to the bone and many of them made great sacrifices to come out each night.  They are generous people as well. After we paid the musicians and printing costs, they were able to donate $5,000 to my R J Mission Projects fund! They are amazingly generous. I love them and I am proud of my Meade County roots!

Pray for my friends in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great experience. We need more of these throughout the Archdiocese!