Saturday, November 4, 2017



Every year, members of this planned giving society at our Cathedral of the Assumption meet for brunch. This year, as a member, I had the pleasure of celebrating the 9:30 am Mass (Archbishop Kurtz took the 12:00) and then attending the brunch. I would like to share some of the photos. 

This year the committee presented Archbishop Kurtz with a cross for his rectory chapel made from pieces of marble from the old high altar that was in the Cathedral before the 1970 renovation. which preceded the  renovation of the 1990s. 

Pastor, Father Michael Wimsatt, gave a few welcoming comments. 

Another view of the room full of guests. 

Friday, November 3, 2017


Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago

Archbishop Jason Gordon got me involved in the Caribbean Missions over three years ago when he was bishop of both Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He has recently been elevated to be the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 

He always stays at my house when he visits his seminarian, Kirt Prospere, at St. Meinrad Seminary. I always stay at his house when I go to Barbados or pass through on my way to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. When he is in town, I try to invite a few mission supporters each time to dinner.

My friend Chef Dean Corbett and myself volunteering at Nazareth Home.

A few more people who were not there last time. Next time some more new people. Interested in an invitation?

I invited Father Bob Gray over for coffee Friday morning. He's a neighbor - and an old teacher of mine from St. Thomas Seminary.

We stopped in at the Episcopal Home to visit my friend Patricia Kirchdorfer. .

We made a stop at Supplies Over Seas to talk about another container of surplus medical supplies for the islands.

Standing under the Barbados flag at S.O.S. Bishop Gordon was recently the bishop of Bridgetown, Barbados. He is still the administrator until a new bishop is selected. Bishop Gordon will become the Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on December 27.

We made a stop at Tonini's on Breckenridge Lane to order a few things for his installation as Archbishop of Port of Spain. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017



1. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

2. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort.' We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines!

I Now Have a Home Base in the Islands From Which to Do My Mission Work

The very beginning - a new wall and door for privacy and the  removal of the old lattice work enclosing the stairs.

The renovated entrance to the Catholic Second Wind Guild - St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter.

The transformation of the bedroom/office begins with the installation of a new floor. The old one in my room and the one in the bishop's room next door had dry rotted over the years. 

Old closet ripped out.

New closet installed. The left side opens up for my "office:" a computer desk, printer and storage. Above it storage for extra suitcases. It can be locked when I am not there.  

Looking into the old bedroom with new sub-floor.

Looking into the  new bedroom/office.

The Diocese of Kingstown Pastoral Centre. It serves as the home of Bishop County, the Chancery and a diocesan retreat house. My room/office/headquarters is the one with the blue awning on the left end of the building.  Fergal, a volunteer from Ireland, is in the basement below me. We have been remodeling most of the inside, which has been neglected for years because of lack of funds, and preparing to build a new entrance area (where the blue car is parked).

Proposed simple new entrance awaiting a donor. This will give the place an "identity" as the Catholic Pastoral Centre and provide a relaxing outside waiting room in the shade. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017


You shall love God  with all your heart, soul
and mind.  You shall love  your neighbor as
yourself. These two commandments contain the whole law.             
Matthew 22:34-40

Human beings have a way of complicating things. This is definitely true when it comes to religion. I like to compare religion to a beautiful antique table that has been covered with an accumulation of layers and layers of old paint that needs to be stripped to recover its original beauty.

Incapable of seeing that its real beauty has become invisible to the eye, some people tend to throw religion on the trash heap as worthless. Not being able to see the priceless antique below the old paint, they put in a yard sale and let it go for a $1.00 when, if they took it to Antique Roadshow, it would be appraised for millions.

This was just as true of religion in Jesus’ day, as it is in our own day. Originally the lives of Jewish people had been guided by the Ten Commandments, but over time those ten commandments had been re-fined and de-fined into hundreds and hundreds of sub-rules and sub-categories until a simple religion of the heart had become so complicated and burdensome that average person, who wanted to do the right thing, needed religious lawyers to help them find their way through it. What had started out as a simple set of guidelines for moral living had become, over time, a burdensome legalist nightmare.

It is in this climate that a scholar of the law asks his question. “Of the hundreds and hundreds of religious laws on the books, which is the greatest?” The question he was asking Jesus was, in reality, “What is the bottom line?”

Jesus cuts through the accumulation of rules and regulations. He reduces the Ten Commandments to two, saying if you keep these two, you will have kept the whole law and the teaching of the prophets. What Jesus said was this: (1) if you love God with your whole heart, soul and mind, you will keep commandments one, two and three, serving God alone and no other, respecting his name and worship him regularly with the faith community; and (2) if you love your neighbor as yourself, you will keep commandments four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten: honoring your parents, not killing others, not committing adultery, not stealing what belongs to others, not lying, not lusting after other people’s relationships and not coveting what belongs to others. If you really keep these two commandments, loving God and loving your neighbor, you have kept the whole law and every part of it.

This is the bottom line! This is the heart and essence of true religion! This is what really counts! Dedicate yourself to doing these things with your whole heart, soul and mind and you will be doing all that God asks of you!

But there has always been a tendency for people to try to be religious without giving God their whole heart, mind and soul. When we do that, we usually seek clarifications about what we have to do and what we can get out of doing and still stay within the law: is this really work, is that really adultery, is this really stealing, what do you mean by keeping the Sabbath holy, is this really killing and what do you mean by honoring one’s parents? When we start down that road, we then end up with a whole bunch of canon lawyers to help us make sure we don’t have to do any more than we have to!

Let me give you an example, using Commandment Three: “Keeping holy the Lord’s Day.” Someone asks, “What does that mean?” “How much of the Mass can I miss?” “How late can I arrive and how early can I leave?” Then the search is on for “what is the least I can do and still get by with!”

It was this approach to religion that Jesus cuts through. For Jesus, true religion was not so much about legal parsing as it was about giving God our whole hearts, souls and minds. If you do that, you will have kept the rules because the whole purpose of the rules is to guide people toward that whole-hearted love.

I am worried about the direction religion is taking these days in reaction to all this. In our country, failing to inspire people to change their behavior, many religious leaders are joining forces with politicians to enact laws to force people be good, whether they want to or not. Jesus himself was a victim of this kind of thinking when church and state created a coalition to kill him. Jesus inspired and invited people to turn their lives around. He did not resort to political power to force them to change, no matter how tempting it might have been. He left people free to choose to love God back or to walk away. Religious enthusiasts attempt to marry religion and politics is short-sighted and scary. Resorting to politics is a sure sign that they no longer have the ability to inspire and lead.

I am also worried about the direction our own church is taking these days. Faced with the painful reality that our church is no longer inspiring people to be good, there is a scary return to a legalistic approach and doctrinal debates. The last gasp of any dying organization is to come out with a newer and newer edition of the rulebooks. When they lose control of the big issues, they micro-manage the little issues. What people need is a joyful Christianity that is a source of life and hope, one that will light fires of love, self-sacrifice and transformation. People want to be good, but they cannot be forced. They must be invited and inspired to that end.

If people love God with their whole minds, hearts and souls, and their neighbors as themselves, they don’t need a lot of laws. If they do not love God with their whole minds, hearts and souls, and their neighbors as themselves, a million new laws won’t help!