Saturday, July 27, 2019



I have been hacked several times in the last several months - twice on my two email accounts and once on my checking account. I keep changing passwords, but they have my address book. If you ever get an e-mail, which might at first appear to be coming from me, asking for you to send me gift cards or money over the internet, know that it is NOT from me! Any e-mail coming from an account that looks a little like mine, but it isn't mine, should be deleted instantly.

Thursday, July 25, 2019



Ms. Sandra Davis  

Sandra Davis, second on the left, with our volunteers and some of the medical staff personnel. 

The Catholic Second Wind Guild would like to officially and publicly send a very special Thank You to Ms. Sandra Davis for all the organization around connecting our volunteers (Dr. Paul and Mrs. Sherman, Karen Crook of Supplies Over Seas and Tim Tomes) with the medical community in Saint Vincent. It was a very successful week that promises to reap some very positive ongoing results. It would not have been possible without her connections and effort. 


Our computer teacher, Beth Kolodey, stayed down in the islands for a second week to offer her third computer camp - this time on Canouan island. Shanda Boyer, the very capable youth minister of the Kingstown Diocese, planned the week and assisted Beth throughout the week.  

Canouan Island

The Camp Is Taking Place At Annunciation Catholic Church
One of the two places we sent red chairs from the Louisville Cathedral

Beth Kolodey, Computer Teacher

Shanda Boyer, Diocesan Youth Minister 

We Have a Great Problem! More Kids Than Computers!
This means we need to find more used laptops before next summer!

We need enough used laptops so each child will have her own 
computer to work on!  Fast learning  has to be hands-on! 

Father Nino, the Filipino pastor, making meat pies for the kids lunch. 

On a break, Beth swings with her "new best Canouan friend." 

A morning view outside Beth's bedroom window. 

What do you do for water when you are on a small island surrounded by salt water? You collect rainwater off the roof into barrels! The sun even heats it for you! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019



In the summer


In the spring

Mother Goose, Six Goslings and Father Gander

In the fall

In the winter

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Last night I went back to my home parish, the one I grew up in down in Rhodelia, to have Mass while the pastor is on vacation. 
I was reminded of one of my favorite old movies, The Trip To Bountiful (see below). 

The film, set in the post-World War II 1940s, tells the story of an elderly woman, Carrie Watts (Page), who wants to return to her home, the small, rural, agriculture-based town of Bountiful near the Texas Gulf coast between Houston and Corpus Christi, where she grew up, but she's frequently stopped from leaving Houston by her daughter-in-law and her overprotective son, who will not let her travel alone. Her son and daughter-in-law both know that the town has long since disappeared, due to the Depression.
Old Mrs. Watts is determined to outwit her son and bossy daughter-in-law, and sets out to catch a train, only to find that trains do not go to Bountiful anymore. She eventually boards a bus to a town near her childhood home. On the journey, she befriends a girl traveling alone (DeMornay) and reminisces about her younger years and grieves for her lost relatives. 
Her son and daughter-in-law eventually track her down, with the help of the local police force. However, Mrs. Watts is determined. The local sheriff, moved by her yearning to visit her girlhood home, offers to drive her out to what remains of Bountiful. The town is deserted, and the few remaining structures are derelict. Mrs. Watts learns that the last occupant of the town, and the woman with whom she had hoped to live, has recently died. She is moved to tears as she surveys her father's land and the remains of the family home. 
Having accepted the reality of the current condition of Bountiful and knowing that she has reached her goal of returning there before dying, she is ready to return to Houston when her son and daughter-in-law arrive to drive her home. Having confronted their common history in Bountiful, the three commit to live more peacefully together. They begin their drive back to Houston.


Prayer and Work

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset
about many things: only one thing is required.
Luke 10:41-42

Because I didn’t really understand it, I never used to like this Martha and Mary story very much.  In fact, I believed that Martha got a bum deal here.  Here she is slaving away in a hot kitchen, trying to get a meal on the table, while her sister Mary has parked herself in the living room with the guests, listening in on the living room conversation.  Even when poor Martha comes into the living room, mopping her brow with her apron, to ask for a little help, she not only doesn’t get it, but she also gets a quick reprimand for being such a workaholic.

These days, I understand the story a little better. Jesus is not condemning good deeds or hard work in order to praise contemplation.  In the sequence of the gospel, Jesus has just finished telling the story of the Good Samaritan, in which good deeds are praised.  In fact. we read that in the gospel reading last week. Remember the ending?  Jesus ends that story by telling his disciples, and us, to go and do the same.  What he is doing here is simply reminding Martha of the primacy of listening to the Lord and also reminding her why, and for whom, she is doing all her work to begin with.  So this story is meant to balance the story of the Good Samaritan, not contradict it. Discipleship is not a matter of either/or, but of both/and.  It’s a matter of action and contemplation.

I learned this from the Benedictine monks over at Saint Meinrad when I went to seminary there and later, after I left the Cathedral, when I worked for them, until I retired. The motto of the Benedictines is “Ora et Labora” - “Pray and Work.”  Monks, whether they are Benedictines or Trappists,  don’t just pray all the time, they also have to work to support themselves! The spiritual life is about both sitting at the feet or Jesus, listening like Mary, but it is also about getting up and doing your work of serving others like Martha and the Good Samaritan!   

Now I suppose this story can be read on many levels.  In fact, in the fifty years that I have preached on this text, it has spoken to me on a variety of levels, depending on where I was in my own experience.  At some point, after I had picked it up and read it over many, many times, all of a sudden it took on a new meaning.  As I read it over and over, I kept saying to myself: “This story is about self-worth.  This is about self-worth!”

I know these two women.  For years, they lived in my head and they have been arm-wrestling for years over who is going to be in charge of my thinking.  For most of my life I’ve sided with the busy and anxious Martha.  But recently, as I’ve gotten older, Martha is really getting on my nerves.  Mary, after all, is the smart one.  Both of these characters want to serve the Lord, but they do it for different reasons.  Martha is that part of me that believes that I am not really worth much unless I do a lot.  Martha is that part of me that is always anxious, always lecturing myself, saying that I ought to be ashamed of myself for not being perfect.  Martha is that part of me that believes that if I accomplish a lot, then maybe I can make up for my deficiencies.  Martha is that side of me that believes that my worth is directly tied into what I can do.  If you have a Martha in your head, I am sure you too are totally exhausted most of the time by your busyness about many things.

I’ve discovered Mary’s point of view.  Mary knows that she is already loved, and so she doesn’t have to do a thing about it except enjoy it.  Mary is that side of me that wants to believe that God already loves me, no matter what, just as I am right now, whether I do anything this week or not.  Mary is that part of me that wants to believe that God loves me and I am worth something just because I am, not because I am a priest or I’ve earned a few degrees or I can pastor three or more parishes at once.  Martha always leaves me anxious, but Mary leaves me encouraged and gives me mental rest.  Martha is always trying to do something to get God to love her while Mary understands that she is already loved.

Many of us grew up believing that God’s love is conditional.  We grew up believing that God loves us when we are good, quits loving us when we are bad and starts loving us again when we shape up. That is actually very poor theology.  Even though we have to work to feed ourselves and help others, God’s love for us does not have to be earned.  True, God calls us to better actions and behaviors, and certainly God does let us reap what we sow, but God never withholds love from us, no matter what we do or fail to do. That, my brothers and sisters, is the “good news.”