Saturday, January 19, 2019



Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska
April 30-May 1

Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota
June 10-13

Diocese of Belleville, Illinois
September 9-11

Diocese of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
October 21-24

Thursday, January 17, 2019




Beginning December 22, 2018, American Airlines started a direct weekly flight from Miami to Saint Vincent. This means I can get from Louisville to Saint Vincent with one stop in Miami! No more sitting and waiting in multiple airports for multiple connecting flights. 

It is going to make my volunteer trips much easier and my trips down there go faster. I could not be happier about this new turn of events. I love working down there, but the trips were putting more and more stress on my old body. 


Because of this great news, I have booked trip #12. 
March 30, 2019. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019



Recently, I had a pretty bad case of the flu. Living alone created a few problems for me when it came to transportation, food and a realistic sense of how sick I was. I actually put myself in a very dangerous situation by trying to "do it myself." As a result, two of my very close friends who continuously offer their help, let me have it for my "rigid independence." 

A couple of years ago, I was hospitalized with a blood clot. I drove myself to the emergency room, was admitted for three days and drove myself home. I only told one person, not even my family. I didn't want to bother anybody. 

This latest bout of flu, and the problems that went with it, has caused me to reflect on the fact that, at 75, I may be overly attached to my rigid independence. It may be time to rethink the whole thing. 

Why is it so difficult for some people to allow themselves to be helped? If there was a spectrum on which one end was total independence and the other was complete dependence, where would you say you fall? Ideally, it would be somewhere in the middle or fluidly moving back and forth along the spectrum as circumstances required. But many people get stuck at the independence end of the spectrum and only rarely dare to ask for assistance. That's me! 
We are all influenced by societal beliefs about independence and dependence. However, those of us who are rigidly independent may need to look more closely at our personal experiences as dependent children in order to uncover our deep resistance to accepting help from others. (See below - "I remember.....")
Independence is a healthy and important aspect of human development. It’s also supported by many popular beliefs:
  • Independence is freedom. You’re free to think for yourself, make your own choices, and do what you want without anyone stopping you.
  • Independence is powerful. You have the power to take care of yourself without having to rely on anyone else.
  • Independence is safety. It’s safer to rely on yourself than on people who could prove unreliable or untrustworthy. 
  • Independence is respected. Independence is venerated in movies and books. The iconic hero is the lone wolf: strong, silent, and alone.
All of these beliefs contain truth, but not the whole truth.
Rigidly independent people may be free to do what they want, but they have to do it alone. Healthy relationships require that we sometimes give up control. By relying only on themselves, rigidly independent people actually limit their lives. They cannot accomplish large tasks that require the assistance of others.  Rigidly independent people also limit their own emotional and intellectual growth by resisting the knowledge and input of others.
While taking care of yourself does increase your safety, your safety increases even more when you have a network of friends, family, and public services that you can rely on in times of need. The rigidly independent sometimes endanger themselves by being unwilling to accept assistance. Think of the elderly person who refuses to accept a caregiver and then accidentally burns the house down; the teen who drives drunk because he or she is unwilling to call a parent for help; or the woman who is too proud of her independence to ask a friend to walk her to her car late at night.
People respect independence, but not when it’s unyielding. People respect those who respect them back. Rigid independence devalues the contributions of others; it implies that they have nothing to offer you; and it disrespects their skills, wisdom and generosity.
However, even those who are aware of the benefits of letting go of their rigid independence may find themselves unable to do so. For these people, this may be the time to examine their own negative views and possible past experiences with dependency. A person who experienced shame, danger, or betrayal as a child may not have the ability as an adult to find safe, trustworthy people to rely on.

I remember the day when my life of rigid independence started. It was like the Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind moment, when she returns home to her beloved plantation, Tara, after the burning of Atlanta. Walking amid the ruins, she says, “As God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” I promised myself that day that I would find a way out of the madness of my life at home if it killed me and never allow myself be put in such a dependent situation again. 

I am coming to realize, with the help of friends, that its time to re-evaluate that decision and maybe moderate it a bit. 

We were all completely dependent on others when we were small children—and may need to be again as we age or become disabled. But even if we don’t require physical assistance, the fact is people still need each other. There’s no shame in it. Find safe people and let go of rigid independence … because we all need a little help sometimes.

Sunday, January 13, 2019



I was born at home April 28, 1944, having been delivered by my country midwife grandmother. 
I danger of death, my grandmother baptized me right there in the bed where I was born. 


I have no idea how many baptisms I have performed, as a deacon and as a priest, in the parishes I have served in the last fifty years. 

December, two years ago, I had the pleasure of baptizing seven babies in the Cathedral in the Diocese of Kingstown down in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at Sunday Mass.

December 28, 2028
Norton Children's Hospital

This Christmas, I had the privilege of doing something I did many times when I was pastor of our Cathedral and was a chaplain on call at Children's Hospital. I got to baptize many premature babies in the neonatal unit. This year I was called on again. 


This is her father, Mark. Little Danika's mother, Priscilla, had to stay with their little boy at Ronald McDonald House. Mark is a nephew of my brother-in-law, Paul, who died right before Christmas. Mark and Priscilla are from outside Hardinsburg in Breckenridge County. 

Homily for Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
Luke 3

I don't actually know how many people I have baptized over the last 50 years, but I do know that there have been several hundred for sure! Every once in a while, one of them will show up here in this very church, reminding me just how old I am getting! Are any of you here today? If so, raise your hand!

The pouring of, or immersion in, water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the essence of the baptismal ritual. Every time you enter a Catholic Church, from then on, you are invited to dip your hand into baptismal water and cross yourself to remind you that you are forever an adopted child of God and to remind you of your mission to the world.  Just as God's voice from heaven said to Jesus "You are my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," at  your baptism the Church said to you, "Your are, from this day forward, God's adopted son or daughter, in whom He is well pleased."  After the water is poured over you, the priest or deacon anoints you on the top of the head with chrism - the oil used in the Bible to anoint priests, prophets and kings - and says that you and Christ are bound together, from now on and forever!

Just as Jesus' baptism marked the beginning of his ministry of love and service to the world, as his adopted children and heirs, our baptisms marked the beginning of our commission to carry on that ministry of love and service to the world until he returns in glory.  Our baptisms, not just ordinations, are initiations into ministry.  In a certain sense, we all become priests at baptism, all off us were given some share of Christ's ministry to the world.

After a lifetime of being his ambassadors, representing Christ in the world, when we have drawn our last breath and have been prepared for burial, our family and friends will bring our bodies back into the church one last time. Our baptisms and our funerals are two bookends to our lives. Just as was done at our baptism, the priest will meet your casket at the door, sprinkle it with baptismal water and dress your casket in a white pall reminiscent of that little white dress they put on you at your baptism so many years before.  This moment at the door of the church is especially poignant for me on those occasions when I can remember baptizing the deceased many years before, as I have actually done on occasion.

Today is the day we remember the baptism of Jesus, the day he officially began his public ministry. Today is also one of those days when we are asked to remember our own baptisms, the day we were officially charged with carrying on his ministry. In a few minutes, we will again renew our profession of faith in the Trinity and repeat again the vows that made for us our baptisms and vows we confirmed at our Confirmations - vows to be a force for good in the world.  To seal the deal on this renewal, I will sprinkle you again with the water used for baptisms to remind you once again that you are indeed a child of God, with whom he is well pleased!
Young people! In the next several years, many of you will get married and have children. One of the things I try to do in here is to help you start getting ready for that - help you  to make remote preparation to become serious marriage partners and parents - so that you will be ready when that time comes!  To do that, you need to be serious spiritual seekers now!   Now is the time to begin preparing yourselves for marriage and parenting. That is why renewing your own baptismal vows is so important!

Since this is the week we pray for vocations in general - vocations to carry on some part of Christ's ministry - hopefully some of you will search your hearts to see if God is calling you to lead others to holiness as a priest, deacon or religious brother or sister - to assist and support those who have been called to marriage and parenting and to bring the gospel to those who do not believe or whose faith is in crisis!   If you are called to ministry, respond like Isaiah, "Here I am, Lord, send me! I will hold your people in my heart," rather than try to run from it like Jonah! 

If you are called to marriage and parenting, decide today that you will break that cycle of going through a showy Catholic wedding with no intention of practicing that Catholic faith afterwards that is so common these days! Decide today that you will break that cycle of demanding the baptisms of your children with no intention of bringing those children up in the practice of the faith that is all too common today! Nemo dat quod non habet. If you don't have it yourself, you cannot give it! If you are not a serious disciple yourself, going into it, there is no way you can be a serious partner in a Christian marriage, no way can you be a serious Christian parent, no way can you answer a call to ministry!  

Repeating the vows of your baptism and sprinkling you with the water of baptism today is just a hollow ritual if there is no intention in the heart  to renew your commitment to be a serious follow of Christ! Decide today to be who you really are - a child of God, with whom he is well pleased!