Saturday, May 11, 2019




It's hard to believe that it has been six years since I met Kirt Prospere as a new seminarian at Saint Meinrad when this first photo was taken. He was studying for the  island country of Barbados.  During his time at Saint Meinrad, I was able to help him out a bit through my R J MISSION PROJECTS fund. 

It was through his Bishop, Jason Gordon, that I got involved in the Caribbean missions when he was Bishop of Barbados and Saint Vincent. Bishop Gordon has since become the Archbishop of Trinidad. 

Kirt is now a deacon and will be ordained a priest in Barbados on June 1, 2019. 

I took this photo at Saint Meinrad Seminary while I was working there and Kirt was a new student. 

This photo was taken recently at my house as he stopped in to say "goodbye" and "thanks" before going home.   



September 24, 2016

December 7, 2016

September 26, 2018

Thursday, May 9, 2019


Every preacher knows that not every homily works out all that well! We have all received anonymous letters or heard the complaints that hit you like a drive-by shooting at the church door.  

Jesus had the same problem. After one of his homilies in the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth, he was almost lynched! 

"They got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff."
Luke 4:29

Tuesday, May 7, 2019



A couple of blog posts earlier, I showed you photos of our Easter baskets being handed out on the islands of Union and Mayreau. Today, we received some great photos of the Easter baskets given out on the island of Canouan. 

The pastor is Father Nino, a Filipino priest, serving the island of Canouan. 

Notice the sign, backrow left. It says, "Thank you, Father Ron!" The one on the right says, "We love you!"

Thanks to all who helped with this project! It makes me feel so good. I hope you can feel it too! 

Notice the little book in their baskets - LOVE LIGHT. 
That was a book written by Kris Paradis formerly of Louisville, now Naples, Florida. It was a book I underwrote in honor of her mother Jeanne Paradis (deceased) who underwrote my very first book in 1995 when I was pastor of the Cathedral . 

Dressed in their Easter Sunday best, patiently waiting for their Easter baskets!

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to
him a third time, “Do you love me?” and
said to him, “Lord, you know everything;
you know that I love you.”
John 21

St. Peter is a hero of mine. His real name, of course, was Simon. The name “Peter” (from the Latin word “petros”) was just a nickname meaning a “rock.”  Today, we might call him “Rocky.” Jesus must have given him that name tongue-in-cheek because Simon was anything but rock-solid. I am sure the other apostles laughed their heads off when they heard Jesus give him that name. “Mr. Softy,” or “Mr. Marshmallow” was more like it!

Peter, as well as his brother Andrew, both apostles, were fishermen by trade, from a long line of fishermen. Their father’s name was John or Jonah. We know Peter was a married man and both he and his brother Andrew were from the town of Bethsaida.

I never paid much attention to this apostle until 1975 when I became pastor of a church named after him, St. Peter Church, down in Monticello below Lake Cumberland. That’s when I started noticing this wonderful, bumbling, brash apostle and his antics. He talked big and meant well, but when it came right down to it, he was forever falling on his face and sticking his foot into his mouth. Because he had a big heart, Jesus loved him anyway. He gives me hope, especially when I try and fail.

When Jesus was teaching his apostles about the necessity of his suffering and death and how he would be deserted even by his closest friends, it was Peter who had bragged that, even if everyone else deserted him, he would never, ever, do such a thing. In response to his bragging, Jesus warned Peter that he would end up someday denying him; not once, not twice, but three times. Sure enough, as we read during Holy Week, when the heat was on and Jesus was about to be arrested, Peter denied that he had even heard of him.

The story today takes place during those depressing and confusing few days after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Not knowing what to do with themselves, thinking that their dreams about a wonderful kingdom was over, Peter, joined by some of the others, has returned to his old job of fishing. When Jesus appears to them, true to form, stripped to the waist for pulling in nets, Peter gets so excited that he gets it all wrong once again. We are told that he puts his clothes on before jumping into the water!

After serving them breakfast on the beach from the fish they had just caught, Jesus begins to question Peter, giving him a chance to take back his three-time denial. You can just imagine Peter squirming with embarrassment as Jesus teasingly asks him three times whether he loved him.

This story reminds us that it is hard to forgive others when they have disappointed and hurt us, but accepting forgiveness from others and forgiving ourselves when we have hurt and disappointed others is often just as difficult. Here Peter and Judas have a lot to teach us.

Both Judas and Peter denied Jesus. Judas was a traitor, turning Jesus into those who killed him. Peter failed to stand by Jesus, pretending that he had never even known him. Both later regretted their sins, but there is a big difference here.

Judas could not forgive himself and committed suicide. Jesus, I am convinced would have forgiven Judas, but Judas never gave Jesus the chance and went down in history as a villain. Peter, on the other hand, accepted Jesus forgiveness and came to forgive himself, going down in history as a saint.

My friends, have you ever done some awful, hurtful thing to someone you love?  Many people have and have spent the rest of their lives in regret, unable to forgive themselves: maybe their parents or their children, maybe a spouse or a close friend, maybe a co-worker or neighbor. Have you ever done something stupid to hurt yourself?  Many people have and have spent the rest of their lives unable to forgive themselves: maybe they have lost their life-savings in compulsive gambling, maybe they have ruined their marriage because of infidelity or an addiction or maybe they have killed someone while driving intoxicated or with a gun in rage. Burdened with their inability to forgive themselves, their lives are often stuck in a cycle of destructive self-hatred. Some even kill themselves, little by little, with drugs and alcohol. Sometimes, to relieve the pain of regret, they are driven to take a gun and kill themselves or, like Judas, hang themselves in their garage.

Peter reminds us that there is another way: we can forgive ourselves by accepting God’s forgiveness. With God’s forgiveness, we can go on and make a new start.

Sometimes, like Peter, those who fail the most and have the most to be forgiven for, are those who come to appreciate God’s forgiveness and mercy the most. I know this to be a fact. I have spent my 49 years as a priest focusing my preaching, not on those who are the “older son types,” those who never seem to fail at anything, but on the “prodigal son types,” those who have failed miserably and know it.  I have seen the message of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness almost magically transform the lives of those who can accept it. I have seen many miserable failures, like Peter, go on and become some of the best Catholics of all!

My friends, we have all failed as disciples, but the important thing is that we recover like Peter, rather than follow Judas, who could neither forgive himself nor accept God’s forgiveness.