Thursday, May 2, 2024



Father Edward A. Reavy served as pastor of my home parish of St. Theresa of Avila in Rhodelia, Kentucky, from March 1932 till January 1937.

Under his leadership, a huge cistern was constructed thereby greatly increasing the water supply. A new roof was put on the church. In 1933, a new highway was constructed to Rhodelia. It was a great improvement over the dirt road, which was practically impassible for automobiles during the rainy season. 

Father Odendahl, a previous pastor from 1922-1928, had sponsored a movement to procure a new road from the main highway to Rhodelia, but the plan was not realized until Father Reavy's time.

Before the new road was completed and the dirt roads and side-roads were impassible, priests made "sick-call visits," like all the pastors before them, on their trusty horses. Several of the early pastors of St. Theresa traveled weeks at a time on horseback between the small parishes and missions all over central and western Kentucky and beyond!  

Father Elisha John Durbin, who established the second log St. Theresa Church in 1826 in the present "old cemetery," covered the mission territory of Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee. His ministry lasted for over 65 years during which he erected 10 churches, formed congregations, and visited isolated families! He is said to have traveled 500,000 miles on horseback during his missionary years! He is buried in the old St. Louis Cemetery here in Louisville, not too far behind my condo.


You hear people complaining about the present day and age because things were so much better in former times. I wonder what would happen if they could be taken back to the days of their ancestors - would we not still hear them complaining? You may think past ages were good, but it is only because you are not living in them. 

St. Augustine of Hippo

Tuesday, April 30, 2024


I have always liked this quote. Some people say that it came from Lou Brock and others say if came from Johnny Sain. In my eyes, whoever said it is was very wise. However, I would adapt it just a bit. "Your friends don't want to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby while your enemies don't want see the baby, they just want to hear about your labor pains!"

In other words, friends tend to rejoice in your success while enemies tend to rejoice in your failures. In that case, as my mother used to say, "If you can't say anything nice about people, don't say anything at all!"

The Scriptures seem to support my mother's point of view and even go further. "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles." (Book of Proverbs 24:17) "Do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. (Book of Obadiah 1:12) Jesus warned us against that tendency when he taught us to "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28)

The word for all this refusal-to-bless others is the word "schadenfreude" meaning the experience of pleasure or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, pain or humiliation of another. It has been detected in children as young as 24 months.


Tooltip literal translatio the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, pain, or humiliation of another. It is a borrowed word from German, the English word for it is "epicaricacy", that originated in the 18th century. Schadenfreude has been detected in children as young as 24 months and may be an important social emotion establishing "inequity aversion".[1] is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, pain, or humiliation of another. It is a borrowed word from German, the English word for it is "epicaricacy", that originated in the 18th century. Schadenfreude has been detected in children as young as 24 months and may be an important social emotion establishing "inequity aversion".[1]

Brothers enjoying a good laugh at another Brother during his difficulties. 



Sunday, April 28, 2024


 BORN APRIL 28, 1944

My sister, Brenda, holding me as a baby.

I find it almost impossible to believe, but I am eighty years old today! Somehow, it managed to sneak up on me! It’s like I was fifty years old a year or two ago and today I wake up to find myself eighty years old! As the old saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

I can’t remember the last time my birthday fell on a Sunday so I am going to take advantage of this situation by talking about something that might surprise you, something I know a little bit about, something featured in our second reading today! I want to talk to you about “love!”

Let us love, not just in our words and in our speech
but even more so in deed and in fact.
I John 3:18-24

It might surprise you to know that my whole life has been about trying to love other people “in deed and in truth,” rather than “just in words and speech! Celibates can live without sex, but they cannot live without intimacy. Just as one can have sex without intimacy, one can have intimacy without sex. Intimacy simply means a “close loving relationship.” It requires sharing oneself deeply with others. It involves developing caring connections with people. It is fundamental to truly “loving” anyone!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that there are two Sacraments geared toward the salvation of others: Marriage and Holy Orders. That means marriage partners and those who are ordained are both called to be “love-givers.” Marriage partners are called to be intimate “love-givers” to their spouses and their children. Those who are ordained are called to be intimate “love-givers” to that part of the church entrusted to them by the bishop in whatever ministry they are assigned.

Whether married or ordained, we are both called to be “love-givers” the rest of our lives – “until death do us part!” We are called to be “love-givers,” friends and foes, whether it feels good or not on any particular day!

I am proud to say that I have a wide-range of intimate friends! I am friends with people I grew up with, with people I went to seminary with, with people I have met in ministry and with people from various countries all over the world. I have women friends, (I am especially an old lady magnet), long-time friends (male and female), whole-family friends, friends from other religions, friends without any religion, rich friends and poor friends, educated and uneducated friends, new friends, old friends and friends who used to be enemies.

Jesus talked a lot and often about the importance of the word “love.” In our American culture, we talk a lot and often about the word “love” as well. Even though we both throw the word “love” around a lot, we are not talking about the same reality.

When we talk about “love” in our culture, we mean “having strong feelings of attraction for someone of something.” We say, "I love my girlfriend. Ever since we “fell in love,” I “love” the way she looks and the way she talks. I also “love” the movies, books and music she enjoys." What the person is saying there is that he is “attracted” to everything about her – from her looks to her tastes. “Love” in that context is basically a “feeling” one has – usually a “feeling of attraction for” this or that!

Because it is basically a “feeling of attraction,” that kind of so-called “love” can shift, wane and even disappear. Because it is based on “feelings,” a person who “falls in love,” can also “fall out of love” just as easily. Because it is based on “feelings,” it is basically “self-centered.” At its core, it really expresses what that old 1990s Toyota commercial said about their cars: “I love what you do for me!” A more precise word for such an experience is “cathexis,” meaning an intense investment of mental or emotional energy in a person or object. A person under the spell of “cathexis” has an almost blind fixation or an obsession with another person, object or idea for “what it can do for them.”

That’s certainly not at all what Jesus meant when he talked about “love.” When Jesus talked about “love,” he was not talking about a “feeling,” he was talking about a “decision.” When Jesus talked about “love,” he talked about making a decision to take loving and constructive action toward a person - even a person that he or she may even consciously dislike or even find repugnant in some way! To “love” in the way Jesus talks about goes beyond any feelings. It rises to the level of a conscious “decision.” Because it is a “decision” to take loving and constructive action toward another, regardless of one’s “feelings,” it is “other-centered,” not “self-centered.”

Therefore, the teaching of Jesus in our second reading today is quite powerful! When we say we “love” God, we are deciding to take loving and constructive action in keeping our word to him whether we feel like it or not! When God says he “loves” us, he chooses to take constructive and loving action toward us whether he feels like it or not! True “love” it is unconditional in both directions – our actions toward God and God’s actions toward us. True “love” is not focused so much on what we receive, as it is on what we give! That is the relationship God wants to have with us – a mutual unconditional relationship of love with friends and enemies! I will give you two personal examples from my 54 years as a priest of how I have tried to be that “love-giver” that I have been called to be! One example is how I worked my way to the point of loving an “enemy” back in 1987 and the other example is how I plan to love a bunch of far-away friends with a decision I am making at my upcoming birthday! Like all real “love,” both examples are “other-focused.” My hope is not for you to admire me or get you to think more highly of me, but to inspire you to do some similar loving gestures in your own life by giving you two examples from my own life!

Let us love, not just in our words and in our speech
but even more so in deed and in fact.

EXAMPLE ONE My greatest act of love was forgiving my quick-tempered and emotionally-distant father and deciding to at least try to love him anyway. At that point, I had been a priest and had preached on love for twenty years, telling people they needed to love everyone including their enemies, telling people they had to forgive their enemies in the confessional and praying the Our Father several times a day, asking God to forgive me “as I was forgiving others.” I cranked out many homilies about love and forgiveness, yet I could not forgive and love my own father. I was good at “loving in word and in speech,” but a failure at “loving in deed and in fact.” The feeling of being a hypocrite was eating at me until I came to the realization that I needed to forgive him for my own peace of mind and salvation! After months of prayer, and backing-out two times, I finally faced him, across a table, and unilaterally forgave him from my heart at 6:30 pm, June 6, 1987. I also asked him to forgive me for my punishing responses back at him! Those were the most freeing things I have ever done for myself. When I left his house that night, I hugged him for the first time in my life! I could not feel my feet touching the ground when I got back in my car to drive home.

As a priest, I have certainly been loved by most of the people I have served, but I have had to work at actually loving a handful of people who did not appreciate me during all those years. Every once in a while, I still have to work at not having an “enemy.” One thing I learned from forgiving my father is how self-defeating having an enemy and nursing a grudge can be!

Let us love, not just in our words and in our speech
but even more so in deed and in fact.

EXAMPLE TWO For my 80th birthday, a very dear and generous friend of mine offered to plan a nice birthday party for me and invite a bunch of people. As a priest, I have been called to be a “love-giver” more than a “love-getter.” so I told her “no” because this year, in gratitude for my return to health after three tough months and in gratitude for making it to my 80th birthday with so much to be grateful for, I wanted to “give, rather than receive.” I told her that, in celebration of my 80th birthday, I wanted to try to underwrite a special project down in the Diocese of Kingstown in the poor country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines where I used to volunteer until COVID and their volcano exploded.

I am so grateful for my restored health in time for my 80th birthday, that I have this burning desire to “give, rather than receive.” In our country where “love” is more and more about something you “get,” rather than something you “give,” I want to go against that trend and try even harder to be the “love-giver” that I am called to be as a priest!

At 80, I really want, more than anything else, to go into my 80s free of anger, grudges, regrets, hurts and enemies.
At 80, I would much rather transfer the expenses of a birthday party for me to the needs of the Caribbean missions and the good people I know down there who have to struggle a lot harder than I have to! 
Priests, Sisters and Diocesan Lay Staff of the Diocese of Kingstown SVG
A weekday noon Mass group, and myself, at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Kingstown, SVG