Saturday, April 2, 2016


Last night, Bishop County, the Irish volunteers, myself and several church workers all went to a beach front restaurant to celebrate Martin's (see yesterday's post) birthday. We had a great time laughing and teasing each other. Even though it was his birthday, poor Martin was stuck with the bar bill.  Don't know if it is a local custom or just a cruel joke!


Meet the dynamic Mrs. Tomiko Browne
Diocesan Youth Coordinator
That's her also in the middle, right, below, 

The "pizza party" ended up being a "Subway Sandwich Party" at one of the two local Subway Sandwich Shops in downtown Kingstown. All those in the photo are being sponsored by R J Mission Projects and live on the island of St. Vincent. The other three from the outer islands could not make it because of the travel time. 
All seemed to be very excited about being able to take this "chance of a life-time" and "eye-opening" trip to Krakow, Poland. They will get to see Pope Francis,  thousands of young Catholics from around the world, the birthplace of Saint John Paul II, London and Paris. 
Even though we are able to sponsor seven youth, there are twenty-four in all going. The diocesan Youth Ministry office has been working hard for months to make this happen. We are happy to be able to assist in making it possible for so many to go from this small country.
WORLD YOUTH DAY will be celebrated in July. 


Friday, April 1, 2016


"Truly a Good Man" 
Martin Folan

"As long as you failed to do it for one of these least  ones, you failed to do it for me.
Matthew 25:45 

After his wife died back in Galway, Ireland, seventeen years ago, Martin decided to volunteer in the Diocese of Kingstown, SVG, through his connection to an Irish Dominican priest who worked in SVG for fourteen years. 
His ministry is focused on serving the homeless, hungry, elderly, mentally and physically sick and imprisoned. He arranges weekly vouchers for many of them to help them keep body and soul together. They do not have the elaborate social service system we enjoy here in the United States. Their situations are more dire. 
He is a man of deep faith and intense prayer, which sustains him in his amazing commitment to the poorest of the poor over the last ten years in his adopted country of SVG.

I believe that is Martin, top right, doing what he loves - serving the poor at the cathedral.

One of Martin's fans who shows up at the Pastoral Centre's kitchen window a few time a day.

(Below) Martin (smiling in the stripped shirt) is an avid Rugby fan. Here he is in the stands with Fergal Redmond, another full-time SVG volunteer. It was the first qualifying game for "World Cup Rugby 2019." 
The game was held in the SVG cricket grounds recently. Unfortunately, SVG was beaten by Jamaica 48-0. Martin was particularly thrilled to meet Nigel Owens, the number one rugby referee in the world, a Welsh man who took charge of the final game in rugby world cup 2015.

The "Three Volunteer Musketeers" of SVG. at "tea time."
Fergal, Ron and Martin
We do have a good time when we get together.

Thursday, March 31, 2016



What the hell does that sign mean? 

Airports are full of interesting characters 
like this Rastifarian gentleman. I am not confident enough to wear a nice cape like that in public - except maybe at Benediction! 

You would not have seen a sign like this just a few years ago!

Landings like these are very common on many Caribbean islands. 

Short runways can present a problem! "Almost" is not good enough!

Where? What? When? How?

No matter how tired, giving up is never an option. No one cares!

This is where I want to land at the end of this day.

I want to get to my room at the Pastoral Centre - top floor, left, double window, blue awning

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


My Fourth in Less Than a Year

My passport has been stamped so often in SVG that the custom officers probably think  I  am some kind of a drug dealer. Could it be the amount of luggage and all the paper money I will be carrying?

Ha! This is a luggage store at the Miami airport - not my luggage!
In fact,  I am leaving more and more stuff down there so  I  won't have to 
drag luggage back and forth all the time! After this trip, I should have everything I need when I am down there in storage. 

Top left (Barbados dollars), top right (East Caribbean dollars) and bottom (Trinidad and Tobago dollars). It looks like a lot of money, but it actually isn't!
Because I will have been in three different island nations and the United States before this trip is over, I have to take four different currencies in all.

Louisville to Miami,
Miami to Bridgetown (Barbados),
Bridgetown to Kingstown (St. Vincent and The Grenadines),

Hopefully,  I  will get there all in one day this time.

Kingstown on the island of  St. Vincent

I am really looking forward to seeing my fellow volunteers from Ireland, Fergal.........

...and Martin.

The trouble with traveling alone, it there are a lot of details to remember. 

On the last trip down there, I left something at the beech but I still can't remember what it was!

Monday, March 28, 2016


You can teach an old dog new tricks!

When I started this blog back in August 2015, I had no idea what I was getting into or whether I could learn to operate it.

I have learned to take photos on my cell phone, send them to my Google photo file and attach them to a post. I have learned to edit photos, scan cartoons and schedule postings for specific dates and time. 

Most bloggers post things quite irregularly. I have been surprised that I have come up with enough material to post something new every two or three days. 

I find it an amazing tool to let people know what I am doing in my retirement, post homilies and inspirational articles, honor relatives and friends and ask for help in my mission work. 

I hope you are enjoying this blog, but if you aren't................BEWARE!

Special thanks
for his help and guidance. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

HOMILY 3-27-16

Bellarmine University

 Melanie Prejean Sullivan, Director of Campus Ministry
Father Ronald Knott, Director of Catholic Worship



Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark. Later, Simon Peter and John came to the tomb. They did not yet understand That he had to rise from the dead.

John 20:1-9 

Speaking of visiting cemeteries, in a couple of my weekly columns in The Record, I have written about my fascination with cemeteries, especially the two in my own country parish of Saint Theresa where I will be buried, the two in Calvary, Kentucky, down around Lebanon, where I used to serve, the Sisters’ cemeteries at the Motherhouses at Nazareth, Springfield and Loretto, Kentucky, as well as the abbey cemetery at St. Meinrad in Indiana. 

I am fascinated, not with death, but with those who have lived the Catholic faith and served the church, as I have done these last 72 years. It does something for me – several things for me, in fact. (1) It reminds me that life is short so I need to live well while I can. By looking death in the face, it reminds me that death is a fact of life, not only for those who have gone before me, but also for me. I feel that it is good to remind myself to live with the end in mind.  (2) It reminds me, as well, that I am part of a large family of faith, that stretches back for two thousand years around the world and over two hundreds of years here in Kentucky. (3) I am reminded of a line from the creed where we say that “we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” We believe that life does not end with the grave, but rather that we continue to live  - that we will rise again someday, just like Christ rose from his grave that first Easter. (4) Believing in the “communion of saints,' it reminds me to pray for those who have died and it reminds me that they are praying for me as well.

The great Lutheran theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once said, “The pastor should visit the cemetery as often as he is able. This is wholesome for him personally, for his preaching, for his spiritual care and also for his theology.” Bonhoeffer was right. When I walk through these cemeteries and view the names on the gravestones, I experience a peaceful, reassuring calmness.

I recommend this practice to any of you, especially when you are depressed or down about something.  Looking death in the eye makes us realize how short and precious life is, makes us put our problems in perspective and restores our peace of mind so that we can get back to living while we can.  It reminds us that we are not alone, that we belong to a huge family of faith and that we will be remembered after we die, even by people who have never met us.

There are several things that stand out when we read about the disciples’ visit to the cemetery shortly after the tragic death of Jesus.  First of all, it was a woman who first brought the news about the empty tomb to the men. Obviously, no one among them was expecting a resurrection. Even those who knew Jesus, saw him die and viewed his empty tomb, were slow in coming to faith.  Seeing that the tomb was empty, Mary Magdalen immediately concluded that the body had been snatched. The youngest apostle, John, looked in but was scared to go into the tomb. The impulsive Peter, wanting to get to the bottom of things, was the first to enter the tomb. John was the first to believe, and only gradually, over several days, did the others come to believe.

If the resurrection of the body was hard to believe, even for those who were there, what about us? Are we not, also, slow in coming to faith? As Jesus said about us to the doubting apostle, Thomas, in his demand for proof, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

With the Church, we believe in “the resurrection of the body.”  Saint Thomas Aquinas, the great theologian, said that without the body, the human soul is incomplete. We need our bodies to be who we are, to have memories and relationships, to express our unique personalities. Our risen bodies will not be our limited bodies, but fully realized bodies, glorified bodies. Our risen bodies might exhibit some properties of our physical body, but without its limits. Like the risen Lord, who seemed to pass through doors but was also able to be recognized, our bodies will be our bodies, only in a glorified state. Frankly, I am hoping to trade this one in for an upgraded model! Maybe a twenty year old's body with a seventy-two year old's mind! But I digress!  

If you are finding the concept of a "glorified body" hard to comprehend, don't worry about it. It really cannot be described in normal language. Frankly, I don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to logically figure all this out. I am simply comforted by the words of Saint Paul, “Eye has not seen, nor ears heard, nor has it even dawned on human beings, the great things God has in store for those who love him.”  I can live with that! 

So on this Easter morning, let us not just remember the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event, but let us remember it with our own end in mind. Let us look forward to our own resurrections - whatever that reality may look like.  All I know and believe, really, is that it is going to be wonderful.  Let us, in the meantime, remain connected to Christ as we “wait in joyful hope” for that great and glorious day.