Thursday, September 22, 2016



September 23-29, 2016

"Mission Trip Number Five" 
Diocese of Kingstown
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

See St. Vincent & Grenadines and Barbados, bottom right, off the coast of South America.

I can't wait to see all my friends, but I dread facing the unpredictable LIAT Airlines of the Caribbean.

Don't think this!

Think this! 
Lewis Punnet Nursing Home

Wonderful People, Many Needs

Bishop, Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Kingstown, SVG, at their recent retreat.

My "Encouraging Word" column in The Record
September 15, 2016

Ask and you will receive.
Matthew 7:7

It seems like I am spending a lot of time lately retiring from stuff. I officially retired from St. Meinrad Seminary two years ago. A couple of months ago, I officially retired from Bellarmine University. You would think that would leave with lots of time to learn how to play golf or something just as boring. Not true! I will continue writing for The Record for one more year, leading international priest retreats and filling in at the Cathedral as time permits.

All those things are hobbies. What is consuming more of my time is my volunteer work in the Caribbean countries of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Diocese of Kingstown) and Barbados (Diocese of Bridgetown). I have tickets for going down again in September and November and a lot of priest retreats sprinkled throughout the fall to raise needed funds.

A few months back, The Record did a front page story about my new program for retired priests, bishops and lay professionals called Catholic Second Wind Guild. In the very first year, we have been able to buy two vans for parishes, purchase a boat motor for two young island priests to get to Mass, send seven youth to World Youth Day, buy recording equipment for Catholic TV evangelization throughout the Caribbean and pay for the new bishop’s car, among other things.

Father Tom Clark, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, is going down with me next Friday on my fifth trip. He will be the Catholic Second Wind Guild’s very first retired priest recruit. I will be going down to lead the annual priest retreat in Barbados in November. I hope to make a quick trip over to St. Vincent and take another retired priest, bishop or lay person with me.

The biggest need right now is getting the Pastoral Centre of the Diocese of Kingstown, SVG, fixed up to receive adult professional volunteers. Maintenance has been neglected for so long because of a lack of funds that I think many volunteer professionals from the United States would find it difficult staying there for any length of time. Our hope is to to make it simple, in working order and comfortable. 

I want to start with the new Catholic Second Wind Guild headquarters (bedroom/office and bathroom) and finish a larger new chapel at one end of a large underused living room in the Centre. From there, I want to move quickly to the eight guest rooms, then the kitchen and finally the rest of the building. After we get the place fixed up a bit, volunteer professionals will be able to tackle other island projects.

I have drawings of what I hope the areas will look like – simple, in working order and comfortable. I have been able to amass a few thousand dollars for the project from doing retreats and parish missions myself and accepting a few gifts from some friends, but I have a long way to go. If you want to help, let’s talk before Father Clark and I leave September 23. 1-502-303-4571

Father Thomas Clark, my first Catholic Second Wind Guild priest recruit.

Fellow volunteers from Ireland.
Fergal Redmond on the left and Martin Falon on the right.

A procession during a recent Pilgrimage sponsored by the Diocese of Kingstown to one of the islands in the diocese - the Island of Mayreau, August 1, 2016

I hope to get a report from the seven our organization, R J MISSION PROJECTS, sponsored for World Youth Day in Poland.

Our seven were part of a larger group from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who went to World Youth Day in Karkow, Poland. Here they proudly display the SVG flag. I actually teared up when I saw the group carrying their flag in front of the stand where Pope Francis was seated.  I am proud of them.

Almost everybody lives on the side of a hill. If they live on the out side of the volcano, they get to see a stunning view of the ocean. However, they are more susceptible to hurricanes. If they live on the in side of the volcano (the caldera), they get to see tropical greenness. However, if the volcano erupts again........????? Just my luck?

The volcano, La Soufriere (The Sulferer), violently erupted in 1718, 1812, 1902, 1971 and 1979. 

November 13-19, 2016
Priest Retreat

Catholic Second Wind Guild has two Chapters,
one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
and the other in Barbados.

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