Saturday, December 12, 2020


Some of you might remember that Catholic Second Wind Guild has a Chapter in Barbados that has been dormant since Bishop Gordon became Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago. However, we have gotten some good news recently that two of the seminarians we have been helping, on and off, will soon be ordained deacons! They will be ordained today by Archbishop Gordon for the Diocese of Bridgetown (Barbados), but in Trinidad where they have been studying in the seminary because of COVID.  We wish them well as they continue on to priesthood, God willing! 

Omar (on the left) as I met him five years ago. 

 Moses (on the right) as I met him five years ago. 

Even though Archbishop Jason Gordon is now the Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, he is still the administrator of his old Diocese of  Bridgetown, Barbados, until Pope Francis names a new Bishop. 

In the last couple of years, our Catholic Second Wind Guild, with the skilled guidance of our local Tim Schoenbachler, has proudly underwritten the publication of two of Archbishop Gordon's books, with a third one presently in process. 



Through a couple of generous donations from our supporters, we were able to offer a little bit of assistance to a few exemplary grade school students at the Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Primary School ( attached to the Cathedral Parish) in Bridgetown, Barbados. Many parents made a valiant effort to pay the school fees last term, but fell behind when they lost their jobs when their work places closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy of Barbados, so connected to tourism service jobs, has taken a terrible hit. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020



St. Theresa Church located in Meade County, while not the oldest Catholic Church in the state of Kentucky, it is the oldest in Meade County. Settlers began arriving in Meade and Breckinridge Counties in the late 1700s. 

These Catholic settlers were served by missionary priest who resided in Marion and Nelson Counties. The services were held in the pioneers’ log homes when the priest traveled through. These homes were called “church stations,” neighbors would gather there for Mass. The first recorded visit was in 1805. 

The number of Catholic settlers, by 1810, had increased so that the missionary priest, Rev. Charles Nerinckx, wrote to the Bishop in Baltimore that yearly visits to the stations were required. The land had been offered by several of the settlers to establish a permanent church at their station. By 1818 the location was determined and St. Theresa church was established. Situated on the banks of the Ohio River in Breckinridge County between Chenault and Flint Island. The structure was of log and was built by the members of the congregation. There was a cemetery attached to this first church. the exact location of the church is not known for sure. 

In 1824, Father Elisha J. Durbin started keeping the St. Theresa baptismal records there. These records were normally kept at the missionary priest home parish. 

In 1826, the second church, constructed of logs, was built by the congregation in a more centrally located area in Meade County. It was closer to a majority of the parishioners. This building was situated in what is now the “old cemetery.” The location is marked by a large wooden cross in the center of the cemetery. 

In 1830, Father Charles I. Coomes, was assigned to the missions in Meade and Hardin Counties. St. Theresa’s congregation had increased until it became the largest of these missions. At his request, a rectory was built, of log, and he located his headquarters there. He was the first resident pastor of the parish. 

In 1855 building operations began on the present church. Built of materials furnished and supplied locally by the congregation. The architect William Kelly, noted for the design of the Cathedral of the Assumption, was in charge of the construction. Members of the parish built the church under his direction. The church was in use by the summer of 1857. It was formally dedicated June 16, 1861, by Bishop Spalding. 

Following the Civil War in 1866 St. Theresa Academy was built and opened as a boarding/day school. The Sister of Loretto were the first teachers. In 1870, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth took over the school and the “Sisters’ Farm” was purchased. (My father bought the "Sisters Farm" when the old Academy was torn down around 1952. In my days before seminary, I helped a lot on my Dad's farm which we sold after his death in 1991.

In 1874, the old log cabin the priest lived in was replaced by a modern two-story structure, again constructed by parishioners. 

In 1937, Father Felix Johnson (my childhood pastor who died in 1960) was assigned pastor of St. Theresa. During his stay there the “new cemetery” was established (Father Johnson and I will be buried next to each other), on land donated by the Sisters of Charity from their farm. The Parish Hall was also built. The present rectory was built and a new school was built. 

In the 1950s the Meade County Board of Education took over the St. Theresa School, the Sisters of Charity continued to teach until the close of the school in 1993. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020



The Immaculate Conception

 Pope Pius IX promulgated this doctrine in the document Ineffabilis Deus in 1854

The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what “immaculate” means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.

When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.


My most memorable experience with this doctrine involves having to translate, sight unseen, parts of the papal document of Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, from Latin to English as part of my entrance exam into the School of Theology back in the spring of 1965.

Another part of the entrance exam was a live interview with a three-person panel of professors on the subject of Saint Thomas' proofs for the existence of God. 

I am still shocked that I passed those exams! That was a miracle in itself!        

Sunday, December 6, 2020


Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in Argyle,  is the most recent Catholic church to be built on the main island of Saint Vincent in the Diocese of Kingstown. The Argyle area has great potential for growth because it is closest to the new airport - the Argyle International Airport. 

Two other churches are part of this three-parish cluster. 
Corpus Christi Church meets in one of the Community College classrooms in Villa. They hope to build a church some day. I celebrated Mass here is few years ago.

 Saint Martin de Porres Church in Stubbs. I also celebrated Mass here a few years ago.   

Father Peter Okonkwo, originally from Nigeria, is the Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, a three-church cluster in Argyle, Villa and Stubbs.


The parish of Corpus Christi of Catholic Diocese of Kingstown sincerely wants to appreciate your great spirit of sacrifice, magnanimity, and generosity towards our parish and the entire diocese of Kingstown.

Indeed, your recent Christmas gifts for the children/youths speak volumes of your giftedness in using your position to reach out to the poor, needy, and also impact positively on so many lives. For these and many others you have done in the past and the future we are very grateful.

It might interest you to know that yesterday when I was appreciating you before the congregation I spoke extensively on the great lesson to be learned from your great sacrifice and I said " For the sake of God’s kingdom Fr Ron has turned himself a beggar on our behalf expecting nothing in return“ and I encouraged them to do the same in their ministries by being more committed for the sake of God’s kingdom. In the end, the entire parishioners applauded your great generosity.

Be assured of our continued prayers. And finally, we wish you all the best and blessings this Advent season.

Fr. Peter