Friday, May 17, 2019



As it left Louisville for Saint Vincent a couple of years ago. 

As it arrived in Saint Vincent and was met by representatives

of the Ministry of Health and the Diocese of Kingstown.


Me, Mr. Fergal Redond (full-time volunteer from Ireland) and Ms. Sandra Davis (representing the local SVG medical establishment) brainstormed the logistics during my 12th trip to Saint Vincent in early April of this year.  

Above, just a few of the 100 or so boxes and crates ready to go into the container at Supplies Over Seas with an amazing amount of surplus medical supplies out of our area hospitals, clinics and nursing home.

Below are samples of some of the liturgical items going to the churches in the islands.


A monstrance from Sisters of Charity 

Re-conditioned paschal candles from old donated ones from Church of the Epiphany.

Wall crucifix from the Sisters of Providence in Indiana.

Mary statue from Louisville Ursuline Sisters.

Chairs from the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville.

Stations of the Cross from Louisville Ursuline Sisters.

Tabernacle from the Sisters of Providence in Indiana. 


On Tuesday, May 7, a bunch of generous hardworking people loaded 160 of the old chairs and kneelers out of our Cathedral into trucks to take to Supplies Over Seas to be loaded into our second 40' shipping container of valuable surplus medical supplies, used church furnishings, childrens' snacks, used lap top computers, school supplies, toys, childrens' clothes and household furnishings to be sent to the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines where I have been volunteering. 

With workers from Supplies Over Seas surrounding me, you can see part of the 160 chairs behind us on the truck. 

In this picture, with 160 kneelers in the background,  I have Tim Tomes on the left and Karen Crook on the right. They will both be going down in July to help with our second computer camp for kids and our first field day for orphans. 

On Tuesday, we witnessed the loading of our second container at the Supplies Over Seas warehouse. 

May 14, 2019

Along the wall, as far as the eye can see in both directions and then some, is the stuff going down to Saint Vincent. 

(14,000 pounds) 

Loading in process. 

Dr. Paul Sherman is a volunteer-to-be in July, but here he is loading the container. 

Myself, SOS staff, with Mrs. Paul Sherman MD (volunteer-to-be in July) posing in the middle, with the container filled. 

Our truckload of  donated medical and church supplies loaded and ready to go. 

I again had the privilege of attaching the seal to the container as it prepares to head out to the railroad and then to a ship. It should arrive in Saint Vincent @ June 6.

I am so happy to see that truck leave! We have been working on this for almost half a year! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019



The time up till ordination seemed like a hundred years. 
The time since ordination seemed more like twenty-five years. 

The day I left for the seminary with a dream, early September 1958, age 14. 

Right before I left for the Cathedral to be ordained a priest on May 16, 1970. I was 26 years old. 

Moments before my dream was about to be fulfilled - dressed and ready to process into the Cathedral. 

What the Cathedral looked like at my ordination - two renovations ago - in 1970. 


Since all my classmates were busy, since I was stationed at Saint John Vianney Parish near Churchill Downs and since I wanted to avoid the next day's "reception preparations" down in my home parish, I decided to stay in Louisville and go to the track!!! 
I was ordained at 10:00 am and I got to the track for the second race! I would have made it to the first race, but a woman met me in the parish parking lot and wanted to go to confession - my very first and she had not been to confession since 1950!

My "First Mass" at Saint Theresa Church, my home parish in Rhodelia. 

Dressed for my "First Mass," Pentecost Sunday, May 17, 1970. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


No, not Saint Fergal of Ireland! 

Fergal Redmond, from the  Galway Bay area of  Ireland,
my fellow volunteer in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines!

Fergal will be here May 18- 25 for his second Kentucky visit. 

He and I started volunteering in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines about the same time. He is full-time and I am part-time. I raise the money and, as a retired CPA, he keeps up with it, protects it and spends it! 

Monday, May 13, 2019


May 8, 2019

After a brave fight against cancer, another of my "Calvary friends" died on May 8. Two of her daughters brought her to see me "one more time" recently. Because of commitments here that I could not break, I am unable to preside at her funeral. See her obituary below. 

She was one of the many wonderful people I loved, and who loved me back, when I was their pastor at Holy Name of Mary Church outside of Lebanon 1980-1983. 


Betty Jean Spalding, 87, went to be with the Lord on May 8, 2019 after a year-long struggle with cancer.

A loving mother and homemaker, Betty was a friend to many, young and old. She was a life-long member of Holy Name of Mary Church, a past member of the Altar Society and Calvary Homemakers. She loved playing Tripoli with "The Monday Morning Church Ladies". She always loved country music and was an awesome dancer. Up until a few weeks ago before her death, she was always up for a friendly game of cards with two of her life-long friends, Leona Lee and Patsy Mattingly. She had an unending love for her family and the companionship of her special friend, Joe Osbourne.

She was preceded in death by: husband, Donnie Spalding; three grandchildren, Bobby Joe Spalding, Steven Spalding, and Shannon Spalding; two brothers, Phillip (Toddler) Brussell and Charles "Sonny" Brussell; three sisters, Kay Lindsay, Henrietta Gootee, and Ethel Reynolds.

Survivors include: five children, Rafe (Sandy) Spalding, Gayle Spalding, Darnell (Jim) Considine, Kim (Steve) Brown, and Joe Donnie (Lisa) Spalding; brother, John Brussell; sister, Evelyn Cissell; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; special friend, Joe Osbourne; and a host of other friends and relatives.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to all the staff at Cedar's during her brief stay, her Norton Cancer Institute team of doctors, and her loving and caring Hosparus team.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Holy Name of Mary Church, Calvary.

Visitation is 4 p.m. Monday, May 13, at Campbell-Fisher Funeral Home, Lebanon, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Pallbearers are Michael Brown, Gary Caudill, Jody Spalding, Chad Spalding, Chris Spurling, and Jimmy Garrett,

Honorary pallbearers are Adrienne Spalding, Lauren Elstone, Heather Jaynes, and Haley Sprowles.

Campbell-Fisher Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The Lebanon Enterprise on May 15, 2019

October 3, 2018

Here was another funeral I certainly hated to miss. I owe Dorothy so much from my days as her pastor. I was always hanging out at her house and there was nothing she would not do for me in those days. I was in Calgary, Canada, leading a priest retreat when she died and came home with a terrible case of the flu on the day of her funeral. I presided at her father's funeral and at least two of her brothers Below is a copy of her obituary. 

Dorothy M. Spalding, 99, Calvary, passed away peacefully on Oct. 3, 2018 at the Village of Lebanon.

Dorothy was born to Robert S. and Mary Catherine Spalding on April 16, 1919 at her home in Calvary, where she lived until her death. Dorothy was a devoted daughter, sister, and aunt who lived every day to its fullest. Upon the passing of her parents, Dorothy lived every day of her life to nurture and care for her brothers, nieces, and nephews.

Among her passions in life were cooking and antiques. Dorothy owned and operated Calvary Hill Antiques for over 40 years. She was a life-long member of Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church. Dorothy was employed by the Marion County Courthouse for years and retired from there in 1985 in order to spend more time caring for her family.

She was preceded in death by: her parents; and eight other siblings.

Survivors include: three brothers, Bernard Spalding and Mike Spalding, both of Calvary, and George D. Spalding Sr. of Louisville; 43 nieces and nephews who considered her the grandmother that most of them never had the opportunity to know. She will always remain in each and every one of their hearts.

Sunday, May 12, 2019



Even though MOTHER'S DAY is a civil holiday, rather than a Church feast, I want to wish all of you mothers, grandmothers, step mothers, foster mothers and various mother substitutes a very happy MOTHER'S DAY! 

My mother died on this day (May 12, 1976) of breast cancer at age 58. At the time, I thought she was old. I still miss her and wish I could talk to her.  


Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me.”
John 10:27

God speaks to me everyday, usually through people, often through events, and sometimes in dreams, but especially through the reading of Scripture. I feel it and I don’t doubt it and I try to carry on a constant dialogue with God in my heart as I go through each day.

One of the most life-changing dreams I ever had that led to a dramatic change in my understanding of God happened when I was about 30 years old.  Many of you know it because I have mentioned it often. It happened when I was serving as the first Pastor of Saint Peter Mission Church down in Monticello, Kentucky, south of Lake Cumberland.

In the dream I was on top of a small mountain. It had no trees or bushes or rocks. It had only very short green grass like a golf green. I was sitting in a folding lawn chair and God was sitting in one next to me. We were sitting side-by-side facing the setting sun without speaking. We were both smoking cheap King Edward cigars! I knew it was God, but I was afraid to look over. We just puffed on our cigars and watched the sun set on the horizon. Finally, God leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Ron, isn’t this wonderful!”  I woke from the dream at that point and the world looked forever different to me. All of the emotional chains that were holding me back had melted away. I felt a lightness in my heart that I had never felt before. It was OK to be me. I fully understood what it meant to be “created in the image and likeness of God.” I was that lost sheep that Jesus embraced. I was the prodigal son who made it home to an unexpected warm welcome. I felt that I could succeed and do some good things. For the first time in my life I felt that I was good enough for God just the way I was. This experience was the beginning of a new way of preaching. Instead of looking for sins to condemn, I started looking for goodness to affirm. I believe that the years following the dream prepared me to offer a clear message of “good news” that appealed to so many alienated Catholics which led to the rapid and consistent growth of this very Cathedral parish a few years later.

The only time I can remember anything like being spoken to by God directly was a few years ago, right after I left the cathedral. I was moping around the house in a funk, worried about whether the best part of my life was over, and worried whether I could ever get interested in anything else the way I was interested in the cathedral. My mind was obsessing with negative mind chatter. I was home alone. All of a sudden, I heard a voice, clear and distinct, that said, “Don’t worry!” It startled me. I look around thinking that it came from the TV. It wasn’t even on!  I thought I might have left the front door open and a friend had slipped in unheard. No one there!  I will never know for sure whether I really heard it or just imagined it, but, regardless, it was a very helpful message, a message that certainly guided me through that slump and the fear that I would never experience anything like my years at the Cathedral again!  

It has been twenty-two years since I left here as your pastor – and, yes, that voice was right! I didn’t have anything to worry about! I don’t have time to list the many wonderful things that I have experienced since I left here. To add icing on the cake, I get to come back almost every weekend after my long journey speaking to 165 priest groups in 10 countries and counting, teaching in the seminary, writing a column in the diocesan paper for 15 years (not to mention publishing 25 books and a blog) and now working in the Caribbean missions! “Don’t worry?” What the voice really meant was, “Don’t worry! I have more great things for you in the years ahead!  You can have more than one great thing!”  As Jesus said in another place, “Fear is useless! What is needed is trust!” Alexander Graham Bell once said, "When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us." 

In our gospel, Jesus uses one of his very favorite images of himself – a good shepherd.  Today he focuses on the voice of the shepherd, his voice, God’s voice. The voice thing was extremely important in the shepherding business. Sheep roamed and fences were few, in that part of the world at that time. Flocks often mingled during day as they searched for the scarce grass among the rocks. When the time came for them to be penned up for the night, all a shepherd had to do was to call out in his certain, unique way and his sheep, and only his sheep culled themselves from all the others, simply by being able to distinguish his voice from all the other calling voices filling the air.

The question Jesus asks us to think about today is rather simple: as you graze through life, who’s voice do you pick out, from the many voices calling out to you? Which of those competing voices do you listen to for guidance and direction?  Do you listen consistently for the voice of Jesus to guide you or do follow one voice one day, another the next and still another the next?  Do you listen to Jesus on one issue, Hollywood stars on another, a talk show audience on another?  Maybe the only voice you listen to is that voice in your own head that tells you to take the easy way, the expedient way, the way that will get you what you want at that moment? The message today is simple: if you are going to claim to be a “Christian,” it is essential you know who Jesus was, what he taught and what he wants from you – and you can’t do that without listening carefully to his voice and to listen to his voice, you have to be able to recognize his voice from all other voices.