Saturday, June 17, 2017


So many people want to know where I will be having Sunday Mass that I have decided to put my schedule on my blog. You can access it over on the right hand side of this page, under my photo,  where it says:


I will keep it updated. 
Please feel free to join me when you can. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017




Brother Cajetan OSB, myself, Brother David OSB and Brother Justin OSB joined me for Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption on June 9th. I have tried to offer them support during their years at Saint Meinrad.

Brother David wanted to say goodbye. He will be returning to his monastery in Togo very soon.
Togo is a French speaking country in west Africa.
Brother David is a deacon now and will be ordained a priest very soon after he gets home. The other two will remain as students at Saint Meinrad for a a few more years.

Brother Cajetan OSB, Brother David OSB and Brother Justin OSB

Abbott Romain, OSB
Monastery of the Incarnation
Togo, Africa
Brother David's abbott, Abbott Romain, was a student of mine at St. Meinrad a few years ago.

The monastic community in procession. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017



God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.
His Son was not sent to condemn the world, but to
save it.
John 3

God loves the world? God does not condemn the world?  God wants to save the world? You'd never know it from the hell-fire and brimstone preaching that has come from some pulpits! If you have listened closely to the preaching that has come from those pulpits, you would have to conclude that God would like nothing better than to wipe us out and start all over! 

If I had not had a dramatic conversion experience as a young priest, I might have been one of those doomsday preachers, threatening people with eternal punishment by a get-even God. Because of that conversion experience, I am a committed preacher of the "good news." I believe with all my heart that God not only loves us, but loves us without condition - no ands, ifs and buts about it - no matter what! That love is not something we could earn no matter how good we try to be! No, it is an unexpected, unearned, free gift from an incredibly generous God! Yes, we can reject that love and turn away from it, but God does not withhold it from us because of what we do or fail to do.  That love is always there and free for the taking, so if we cut ourselves off from it, it is our fault, not God's!  

My conversion experience was about a dramatic change in my perception of God. Before my conversion, you could say that I was scared of God, that I never felt acceptable to God, that I was always anxious and guilty about something, that I held back and was shamed about one thing or another. I have always been a believer and a follower, but my relationship with God was never a totally comfortable relationship. I was a believer and I wanted to please God, but our relationship was parental. God was the demanding father and I was the screw-up child who wanted to be valued but felt I could never measure up.

At my conversion experience, I discovered the truth of God's unconditional love for me and for all people. Every day since then, I have felt that love in my bones. I live each day now with the certain knowledge that I am loved and forgiven, in spite of my sins and mistakes. I try to teach others about this free gift, this incredible love, that is available to all of us - the good and bad alike. I know I am not perfect, but I also know that that is OK, because my best is good enough for God. In spite of my many imperfections, I do not worry at all about having to face God after death. In fact, I am totally at peace as far as death goes! When the time comes, I know that something better than I can imagine awaits me.

Because of my conversion experience, I refuse to be part of the "hellfire and brimstone school of preaching," which believes that the best way to get people to shape up, and do the right thing, is to scare the hell out of them, by painting God as a just judge who is going to give us exactly what we deserve - eternal punishment as payback. As far as I am concerned, I believe that approach is not only theologically unsound, I don't believe it works! In my 47 years of ordained ministry, I have seen many more people converted by the "good news" than all that "fire and brimstone" ranting and raving.

Here are just a few of the things the scriptures teach us about God.     

·       He looked at everything he had made and declared it good.
·       Like a shepherd he feeds his flock and gathers the lambs in his arms.
·       While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
·       It was not you who chose me. It was I who chose you.
·       This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them.
·       The good and bad alike are invited to the feast
·       All received a full days pay.
·       Both sons, the prodigal and the compliant, are loved by their father.
·       I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am, you may also be.

Pietistic, arrogant, religious know-it-alls get on my nerves big time! They make me angry most of all because they attempt to horde God's love and measure it out to people in little thimbles, as if God's love was in short supply. Resembling the twisted god they believe in, they tend to project on to the real God their own self-loathing. One of the things that saddens me most is that I know that some young people think they have to be bible-thumping, body-hating religious fanatics to be serious disciples of Jesus Christ.  Since many young people can't wrap their minds around that tired old approach, many throw the baby out with the bathwater, yawning at what they hear while dismissing religion altogether.

How tragic it is, after God has bent over backwards to let us know that we are loved and that he wants us to have a full life, for so many people not to enjoy God:  not to enjoy the generous daily blessings of God, not to enjoy the daily unfolding of his marvelous creation, not to enjoy basking in his friendship and not to enjoy the marvelous array of people he sends into our lives.  A personal relationship with God is supposed to be life giving, not life draining!

Once I discovered that God loves and accepts me, sins and all, I was able to love and accept myself, sins and all. Once I learned to love and accept myself, sins and all, I have learned to love and accept others, sins and all! This insight into God's love has done more than anything to make my religion life-giving, instead of life-draining!  This insight into God's love has brought God down out of the clouds and made him a delightful companion who walks beside me as we live my life out - together!