The Sheep of Kephas

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2018-10-15

Here is Bulletin_2017-10-15

Wine & Cheese: Let’s be upbeat this week. Even if you’re in exile, there should be a moment when you can join in with your fellow parishioners:


On Saturday evening October 21st, everyone in the Parish is invited to the annual Knights’ of Columbus Council 14755 “Fall Wine and Cheese Social” in the Parish Hall. The social will start at 6:00 PM and end at 9:00 PM. Please attend this special event. See announcement on the inside of the bulletin for more details.

Should We Believe This? We received an email today telling us that a certain party factually had a copy of the the recent Parish Pastoral Council meeting minutes. For only $300.00 we would be able to have a full account of the PPC meeting held in the underground fallout shelter behind the rectory.

We’re not easily fooled and this deal sounds legit. The anonymous e-mailer claimed that he even had pictures and stealth video from the meeting. Knowing that the PPC has been disappeared (See – Catholic Cultural Revolution #3: The Parish Pastoral Council has been “Disappeared”), we have been curious as to what may have happened to them. The fallout shelter sounds like a very plausible answer.

Because we don’t have a lot of extra cash (the e-mailer demanded small unmarked bills), we were hoping that some of you might send us enough to track down this important lead. After all, some of our finest parishioners were members of the PPC and we need to know that they are safe.

The anonymous e-mailer did have one other offer, but we thought that it didn’t fit in with the mission of this blog. Here is a picture he sent with the offer:


As always, pray for our Pastor.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.






For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-10-08

Here is Bulletin_2017-10-08

Check out the Pastor’s Piece in this week’s bulletin (page four). There are some good events scheduled for future weeks. Of course, there is one event sponsored by the Rappahannock Clergy Association that is not on our list of “must attends” – the Churches and Community Picnic.

Cryptic Notice about Our Dog: As with so many items that have been featured in this blog, we find that, when we start scratching around, there are many things beneath the surface that require follow-on research. In our last post (Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #23 – Why is his dog in this fight?) we revealed that we have a dog, a very tenacious bloodhound. Perhaps he is not the most likely dog to engage in a dogfight with our Pastor’s dog Alinskee, but our dog comes to the fight armed with the facts.

Now, our dog has teamed up with my wife’s detective and they are hot on the trail of a foul smelling scent. Perhaps someday we will be able to tell you about it. Until then, if you see a detective in a rumpled, old trench coat accompanied by an enthusiastic bloodhound, be certain that there’s “just one more thing.”

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us”


Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #23 – Why is his dog in this fight?

If you live in Rappahannock County you know there is a burning social issue of the utmost importance to every citizen here. It will make or break the county – a wrong decision could cause already starving and needy children to go without the basic necessities of life. Elderly couples will be thrown out of their homes to beg on street corners. And the entire economy will collapse forcing the closing of almost every business.

Yes, if you live here you know there is ill feeling among neighbors and distrust by all for all. The issue, of course, is whether there will be a “1.2 multi-use trail” connecting two county schools. Yes, dear readers, the uproar and discord is over a “bike trail”. And, based on our observations, the souls of many must surely be in dire peril if the “bike trail” fails to materialize.

Before we continue, the authors of this post have “no dog in this fight” – there are many things that are more worthy of our time and resources, especially during the Month of the Holy Rosary and the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of Fatima.

Having made that disclaimer, why are we even bringing up the topic? Gentle readers, we have learned over the last three years that our radical Pastor is a social justice warrior. It seems that he just can’t walk by any social folderol without joining in the fray and doing his best to help organize whatever side appears to be the “victim” of injustice. Likewise, our Pastor, especially since the advent of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, cannot keep away from environmental groups or causes. A little background reading should help you understand that, however minuscule, there are elements of both in the “bike trail” controversy:

Recognizing that you probably didn’t go through all of the above material, let’s just summarize the matter this way. Our Pastor seized the day! As soon as he saw the opportunity to engage in a social justice battle, he went to the rectory and got his secret weapon – his barely domesticated, social justice hound “Alinskee”.

MTG-01He and Alinskee made their way to the county courthouse and later to the high school auditorium to engage in the biggest, most contentious dogfight of the year in Rappahannock County.

It was late, very late on Monday night when he and Alinskee approached the microphone. The auditorium went silent. Then, the two of them spoke to the enthralled crowd. These were the words that all assembled had been waiting to hear from one of the most highly esteemed clerics in the county:


“I speak in favor of this trail. I think it will be a great asset.”


There was more. Factually, the words “good asset” and “great asset” were repeated five or six times. Each time, Alinskee could be heard to bark his approval. If anyone in the audience failed to nod in agreement, Alinskee would growl and bare his teeth. After all, it is important to agree with one of the most highly esteemed clerics in the county when he is speaking almost “ex cathedra” on such a burning social issue.

Apparently, Father’s words carried the day and Alinskee, a most satisfied and contented social justice hound, returned to the rectory knowing that he was the dog that won that fight.

Post Script: Dear gentle readers, if the sarcasm and satire in this post seem unduly harsh, consider all the other things that a Catholic priest could do on a Monday night:

  • There is no other person in the county who can say a Mass;
  • There is no other person in the county who can absolve sins; and
  • There is no other person in the county who can administer the Last Rites.

Anyone, absolutely anyone, even a dumb dog named Alinskee can go to a meeting and lobby for a “bike path”. No one, absolutely no one, except for our Pastor can hear confessions.

There are perhaps hundreds of people in this county who urgently need the guidance of a priest and to be invited to hear God’s message of salvation. See our last post (For the Sheep of Kephas – Bulletin 2017-10-01, 2. Learn why Christians are muslims) for an example of one person who would benefit from that guidance.

We need, no, we must have our priests doing what they were ordained to do. For those priests who have strayed somewhat from that calling, it is the duty of the laity to fight to win them back. Dear Sheep in Exile, my dog is in that fight, and he’s in that fight to win.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto, pray for us!





For the Sheep of Kephas – Bulletin 2017-10-01

Here is Bulletin_2017-10-01

Rosary1. October, Month of the Holy Rosary: This is a chance for you to be a grateful and obedient son or daughter of your most loving Mother Mary. Respond to her call, now, today – don’t wait! (We have some required reading for you here.)


2. Learn why Christians are muslims: As I said last week in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-24, “This one has our interest. I urge any and all to attend.” Well, approximately 17 folks attended. Perhaps we should talk about it.

John Kiser did not present a convincing thesis for why “Christians are muslims”. He tried, but he failed. Here’s why. Mr. Kiser noted that at one time he was an agnostic. According to his Website: He is now “a believer in the omnipresence of divine wisdom—accessible if our antennas are tuned, and requiring ceaseless effort.”

It appears that he is on a journey of faith but, for the present, he still has no faith to call his own. He may admit to the existence of a god, but that god manifests itself in different ways to different people. His personal journey is now bogged down in the type of indifference discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2128 Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience. Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.

To find meaning in his life, it seems that he has chosen to illustrate the goodness in all men’s hearts by using the history of moderate Islam and its relationship with Christianity. For my ears and heart, his explanations fall flat and it saddens my soul. Here is a very intelligent and well-educated man with a Masters degree in history from Columbia University, who is unable to put the pieces together and come up with an answer that makes sense.

If only Mr. Kiser had met and listened to another historian from Columbia University, Dr. Warren Carroll, the founder of Christendom College. Dr. Carroll had a similar journey, but his journey led him to Christ and to Christ eternally.

To our Pastor, you have brought Mr. Kiser into St. Peter’s. Certainly, you can see that he is a man who needs the Truth. It is within your power to talk to him and to guide him on his journey. You can explain to him how to leave his uncertainties behind and to finally accept something more than the “omnipresence of divine wisdom”.

As I said before you and Mr. Kiser today, “Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity is on the other side of that wall, on the altar and in that tabernacle.”

Father, “the salvation of souls is the supreme law” – this is your job and you can do this.


P.S. Father, I read a good article in The Catholic Thing this morning and I hope that all in the parish can read it and take it to heart. Did You Pray for Your Pastor Today?

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-24

Here is Bulletin_2017-09-24


The Autumn COEXIST Edition of For the Sheep in Exile

As we slip silently from Summer to Autumn in Rappahannock County, St. Peter’s Catholic Church is where you want to be if you are deeply committed to ecumenism and feeling warm and fuzzy about your neighbor or soon-to-be neighbor who doesn’t really care too much about Catholics.

Item 1: Pray for Our Schools: See For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-03 – Supplemental wherein, a Unitarian Universalist pastor authors a prayer to be prayed on St. Peter’s lawn as Rappahannock children return to school.

Item 2: Learn why Christians are muslims:  See Bulletin_2017-09-24 page 4 and you will see the following:Christians_are_muslims.jpg

This one has our interest. I urge any and all to attend. All this time I thought I was a Christian. But of course, all this time I thought I was a boy. Things can change you know. This brave new world can be such a happy place.

Item 3: Fitness Classes and Weight Loss Support: See the flyer in Bulletin_2017-09-24. Here in our very own Catholic bulletin we are invited to take Yoga classes. Factually, at the 8:30AM Mass our Pastor said: – “I did my first Yoga class. It’s more work than it looks.”

Before you go rushing out to sign up and join Father, you might want to read the following:

The Trouble with Yoga

Yoga – Is it Permissable for Christians

Yoga – Women of Grace

Question: Do you think any of the above items would be enough to cause a St. Peter’s parishioner to decide to take his family to another parish for Mass?

Answer: We know as a matter of fact that some parishioners have left for reasons precisely just like the above.




Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #22 – … and Here Are Some of Your Friends

The more we learn about the friends of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) the more we must return to what we said in April in our post Rules and Tools For Radical Pastors #21 – Be Careful Whom You Choose for Friends. Please take the time to re-read that post so that you know where the AUSCP stands on one facet of the this post’s concern. In April, we concluded by saying:

It appears that our Pastor has chosen the 1,200 priests of AUSCP to be his friends. That might have been a bad choice. That is why we have entitled this post “Be Careful Whom You Choose for Friends.”

Now, let’s meet some other friends of the AUSCP, and by association, possible friends of our Pastor. They are Bishop Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego and the Jesuit priest and author, Father James Martin, SJ. Before we venture into our discussion, you need to know that Bishop McElroy will be a featured speaker at the AUSCP 2018 Assembly in Albuquerque, June 25-28.

On September 18th, the AUSCP FaceBook site carried the notice seen on the left, inviting all to read the story Bishop McElroy: Attacks on Father James Martin expose a cancer within the U.S. Catholic Church that appeared in the online magazine America – Jesuit Review.  This was a story defending the views of Fr. Martin concerning the the Catholic Church and the LGBT community as presented in Fr. Martin’s recent book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.
It was clear that by posting the link to Bishop McElroy’s article that at least some AUSCP members were in favor of what the Bishop had to say in defense of Fr. Martin. In the words of a comment on the link posting, “Bishop McElroy nailed it. I’m not surprised at that.
There is always more than one side to a story. My beautiful spouse and I always try to find the side that rings of truth in the context of the traditional teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. You can be sure that we consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Canon Law, and other official documents. After doing so, as you might suspect, we strongly disagree with Fr. James Martin, Bishop McElroy, and the AUSCP.
Others disagree as well. For instance Fr. Zuhlsdorf in his post Wherein Fr. Z responds to some points made by Bp. McElroy provides a great deal of insightful commentary. In this 100th anniversary year of Our Lady of Fatima, Fr. Z reminds us:

The other thing I thought about as I read the Bishop’s unfortunate phrase is that Our Lady of Fatima warned about sins against chastity.

Our Lady said:

“More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”


Bottom Line: If our Pastor attends the AUSCP 2018 Assembly as he did in 2016 and 2017, he will will be with his AUSCP friends, his Bishop McElroy friend, and at least in spirit with his Fr. Martin friend. Dear Pastor, consider our Blessed Mother – your Blessed Mother, would she want you to hang out with friends like that. The “salvation of souls is the supreme law.”


For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-09-17

Here is Bulletin_2017-09-17

Clarity in Wording: Knowing that our Pastor is concerned about the Roman Missal translation and the selection of words and phrases, it is apparent that Father knows that words mean something. (See Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – ever “more radical”and Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – We will be “separated by the same language”)

We too would like to have clarity in wording. For example Father said in the bulletin:

“Fr. Randy will be preaching at all the masses and a second collection will be taken with proceeds going to Missionhurst – CICM.”

According to Father’s wording, we are left open to conclude that Father would be back from his vacation (if that is where he was) and that he would be celebrating the weekend Masses. In fact, Father was not back and Fr. Gonzales not only preached at all Masses, he also celebrated the Masses. Guess what, Fr. Gonzales didn’t change any of the words in the Roman Missal.

Thank you, dear Pastor, for putting your sheep under the care of a visiting priest who understands the meaning of words and fidelity to the translation as it currently stands.




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