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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-28

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Here is Bulletin_2015-06-28.

1. Remember this Day: Today is June 26th. It is the feast of St. Josemaria Escriva. My wife and I began today with Mass at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal. We heard the story of a great saint and we received the Holy Eucharist. As a family with the blessing of spiritually faithful grown children and a growing number of grandchildren, we are often together. But, if they can not be with us, and if it is just the two of us at Mass,  you can be sure that they are with us in spirit as we pray for them.

Today is June 26th. It is the day when my wife and I realized how we and our children and grandchildren will be put to the test. Today’s Supreme Court ruling did not impart a right. Only God can do that. But, the Supreme Court did impose a burden on all Catholics who believe in and follow the the teaching of the Church on family and marriage.

Today is June 26th. When I sat down to compose this post I encountered the multi-color banner you see above at the WordPress site. This banner is merely a precursor of what we can expect. On July 4th, 1776, our founding fathers decided that they had suffered under tyranny for too long and declared their independence from England. This July 4th, we, the Church Militant in America, will be preparing to suffer the tyranny and persecution that is coming. Will our Church leaders and our pastors be ready? – Where were their voices prior to this day? Will our Pastor be able to lead his flock through this coming storm or, will the flock at St. Peter’s become the spiritually homeless? At least the Sheep in Exile have some hope.

2. More Flags: Speaking of homelessness, our Pastor is so methodical in his approach to the use of flags. In our post Rules and Tools for Radical Pastor’s #7 – Flags and Imbalance, Father, without attribution, (is that plagiarism?) once more went to that paragon of journalism German Lopez and borrowed some more drivel about homelessness:

Myth About Homelessness In America

Getting a job will keep someone out of homelessness. The National Low Income Housing Coalition found a full-time minimum wage worker would have to work between 69 and 174 hours a week, depending on the state, to pay for an “affordable” two-bedroom rental unit (the federal government defines affordable as 30 percent of a person’s income). A full-time minimum wage worker couldn’t afford a one- or two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent, a standard set by the federal government.

So, now Father has moved on and taken Myth #2 from German Lopez’ list of 11 myths. Any guesses what next week’s bulletin will have? Our guess is Myth #3: Homelessness is long-term problem. — Father, if your reading this post, this is your opportunity to throw us a curve ball next week.

Obviously, “homelessness” is on Father’s mind. Do you think that the Rappahannock Clergy Association is moving toward identifying Rappahannock County’s severe homelessness problem and seeking ways to solve that problem? By the way, do you think that People Inc. might be trying to find property at another stupid location and push the County government for it to be turned into affordable housing for the homeless?

Based on today’s Supreme Court decision, I will once again give you Mr. Lopez’ statement about himself.

“I write a lot — usually about the criminal justice system, drug policy, and LGBT issues.”

3. Remember this Day: Today is June 26th. My wife and I came to Rappahannock County from Idaho. We wanted to live in a place where we could pray and play with our grandchildren as Catholics do – close to the Eucharist and in freedom. In a sense, however, we remain homeless, spiritually homeless and we see our freedoms eroding. That is a problem that the Rappahannock Clergy Association and People Inc. can never solve.

St. Josemaria, Pray for us!

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Rules and Tools for Radical Pastor’s #7 – Flags and Imbalance

1. Two Separate Items – One Common Theme: There is little that appears in the St. Peter’s Sunday bulletin that is there without a purpose. Some items, of course, are the standard Parish notices that have always been there. There is, however, a new kind of item, let us call them “flags.” “Flags” let us know what is going on in the Pastor’s mind. For example, last week we had a “flag” about the St. Augustine study group. (See For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-14 – Context.) Father takes a quote from some obscure, unidentified reference and drops it in our laps. It is his way of saying that he is laying the groundwork for a new social justicism “campaign” or other project.

a. Item One – Homelessness: If you had the time to read Bulletin_2015-06-21, you might have had some questions about the following item that appeared on page 2:

MYTH ABOUT HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA

Homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work. About 44 percent of homeless people around the country did some paid work during the previous month, according to a comprehensive 1996 Urban Institute survey. A 2013 US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) study found 17 percent of homeless adults in families, who share different characteristics than homeless individuals, had paying jobs, and 55 percent had worked during the previous year.

There was neither attribution nor explanation for the item. It was just thrown out to us so that we could ruminate on it for a while. Did Father write it? Did it come from the Bishop or the USCCB? Was this some information notice from Catholic Charities? –

No, this item has been bouncing around on the Internet since before January 15 of this year. (See 11 myths about homelessness in America.) The author is none other than the highly acclaimed and extremely experienced German Lopez, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati many, many years ago in 2012 and proudly says of himself “I write a lot — usually about the criminal justice system, drug policy, and LGBT issues.

b. Item Two – The Village Programs Brought to Us by the Community Organizers: This week’s Rappahannock News tells us that an initiative, largely supported and possibly devised by our Pastor, is rapidly coming to fruition as a new community organizing social justicism program:

Grants fund two Rapp projects

Meanwhile, the Fauquier Health Foundation has given its largest grant of the spring cycle to Rappahannock at Home, a $39,800 planning grant to study the feasibility of a continuing “village” program, which coordinates business and volunteer services that allow senior citizens to remain in place — at home — as they age.

We need only to go back to For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-04-12 to find a huge “flag” that was telling us that we could expect this. That is when we asked you to pay some attention to an item in the Pastor’s Piece entitled Rappahannock at Home Neighbors Helping Seniors Age at Home. Actually, there were numerous “flags” about this campaign, starting soon after Father arrived here last year. Think back to October of last year when Father held up a paper provided by People Inc., which presented  Some Facts about Rappahannock County… That was an enormous, waving “flag” with many small pennants attached. That is when we heard that the seniors in Rappahannock County were in need. That’s when we heard that this was an “old” county.

So, St. Peter’s master community organizer found the other community organizers in the county and they formed the Rappahannock Clergy Association. From there, the rest is history. The “flags” were waving all around us and now we will have the “village” that follows from that waving “flag.”

2. It All Comes Together: The practical application of the Rules for Radicals and the Rules for Radical Pastors have been demonstrated for you by our Pastor. He has done nothing wrong, nor has he done anything un-Christian. In Item Two, we see that his “flags” presented to us in the bulletin showed that he new where he was going, even if we did not. In Item One, he is telling us that “homelessness” is one of his priorities. You can expect that moves have already been made to organize the appropriate groups to meet the perceived needs of the homeless here in Rappahannock County.

In all honesty, our Pastor is doing some good in the secular world. Again, in all honesty, he is fulfilling the call of the Church to perform the Works of Mercy, especially the Corporal Works of Mercy. But …. But, where is Christ in all of this? How are souls being saved? Isn’t that the primary call of the Church in performing the Works of Mercy?

ImbalanceThere is an imbalance here! The spiritual component of these organizing efforts is either entirely lacking or highly diluted.

We will discuss this in more detail as new “flags” appear concerning “homelessness” or whatever the need of the day might be. Until then, and in the same unbiased spirit of that literary giant, German Lopez, Father, we ask you to show us the surveys about the droves of Catholics that are leaving the Church. — I dare you!

Father, show us the studies that tell us how many Catholics no longer believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. — I double dog dare you!

Show us your plan for using your organizing skills to bring those lost souls back to Christ. And while you’re at it, Father, show us your plan for bringing back the Sheep in Exile to a parish where they can partake in abundant spiritual nourishment. — I triple dog dare you!

 

 

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-21

Here is Bulletin_2015-06-21.

There will be more to say about this bulletin, but my dead horse is a little slow in getting his thoughts together. Also, if you see Fre3d at any of the Masses this weekend, please discourage him from doing anything rash. (See Beating a Dead Horse #7 – Fre3d for details.)

Beating a Dead Horse #7 – Fre3d

As you know by now, my wife and I keep our dead horse in the barn on our stately 1.25 acre farm. Considering his deceased state, he is somewhat difficult to maintain. In fact, you might say he is somewhat “needy.” For some reason he wants to live in the past in a time when we sheep at St. Peter’s entertained the hope that our Pastor might be willing to consider favorably the simple request made by over a third of our parishioners in the “Petition.” So you see, our dead horse has some trouble “living” with reality. Perhaps that explains why he is dead. It also explains why we call him “Petition.”

My very close friend Fre3d (the 3 is silent) Capra is one of the sheep of St. Peter’s. Perhaps more correctly, he is one of the goats. Fre3d is an elderly gentleman and, if you were talk to him after Mass, you would say he is a pious and easygoing kind of guy. With regards to his understanding of Church teaching, however, I guess the best I can say about Fre3d is that he was aware that there were CCD classes at his parish when he was young, but he never attended. His motto was and continues to be: “If it’s good enough for Father, it’s good enough for me.”

Fre3d is a compassionate person. After all, he has been influenced recently by a pastor who is very deep into Social Justicism. I suppose that explains why lately Fre3d has been visiting me quite frequently. When he comes over, he always asks to go down to take care of Petition. He has cautioned me about beating the poor creature and he feels obligated to minister to the beast. We know that Fre3d is truly a considerate soul, especially when we realize that the family of skunks that used to reside in the barn moved out because of Petition’s advanced post mortem condition.

A few weeks ago, June 7th to be precise, Fre3d came over to visit with Petition. He seemed to be filled with joy and floating on a cloud and he told us he had to share some good news with Petition and tell him about a wonderful idea that had been inspired by our Pastor during Mass. I told Fre3d, “Go on down. Petition is somewhat under the weather today and could use some cheering up.” With that, Fre3d ambled quickly off to the barn.

Being somewhat curious, I followed him down to the barn and, remaining several yards away pretending to be pulling weeds, I overheard the following conversation.

“Petition, Petition! What a stroke of joyous luck I had today while I was at Mass!

Petition responded with his usual sullen silence. “Huh?”

“Yes, it’s all become clear to me now. I’ve learned that the Mass doesn’t have to be the same every week!”

“Huh?”

“That’s right. Someone left a big brown missal in the pew and while looking through it I found that all the words of Mass are actually there.” Obviously, Fre3d had forgotten that over a year ago St. Peter’s used to have missalettes – perhaps he had never opened one and used it.

“Huh?”

Fre3d continued, “So, as I was following along, I realized something. Yup, I realized that our Pastor wasn’t saying the words the way that they are in the missal. He was changing them and using his own words – even during Eucharistic Prayer II.”

“Huh?”

“That’s right! In fact, I wrote some of it down so that I could show you.” Fre3d pulled out a neatly printed sheet of paper with writing in red, black, and purple. “You see, Petition, the black is what Father is supposed to say; the red is what Father is supposed to do, and the purple is what Father actually said. – Here take a look for yourself.”

Untitled

After reading the notes, Petition responded in a somewhat more animated fashion, “Oooh!”

“So, Petition, there it is Father can say what he wants during his part of the Mass. Isn’t that great! And you know something else? Where the red said that Father should genuflect, he only bowed.”

“Huh?”

“That’s right! You know what I always say, ‘If it’s good enough for Father, it’s good enough for me.’”

After pausing, Fre3d said, “Don’t you see, Petition? If Father can change his part of the Mass, then we can change our part too. Think about it. We can have our own Our Father, we can have a “Holy, Holy, Holy” with six or maybe even seven “Holies!” There’s no end to the creativity we can bring to our parts of the Mass. Just think about how we won’t have to sit or stand simply because that’s what we’ve always done.”

“Oooh!”

“You betcha, Petition. I’m going to go home right now and start to work on composing a new “people’s” Mass! Boy, this is going to be fun. I’ll bet more people will start coming to Mass once they learn that they can be just like Father, and do what they want to do.”

And with little more than a quick goodbye to Petition and me, Fre3d was in his car and driving away to his home.

Meanwhile, back in the barn a forlorn, moaning voice simple said, “Say the black, do the redforget the purple!”

And I said, “Amen.”

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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-14 – Context

Analysis and Commentary Concerning “A Matter of Emphasis”

AugustineIn our last post we noted that an item about St. Augustine was just hanging out there on the second page of this week’s bulletin. It seemed to be worthy of note, but it was “devoid of context.” (See 2. A Matter of Emphasis: in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-14.) We now have some context.

Apparently the item is a slightly altered extract from page 66 of the book Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.), Joseph T. Kelley. The chapter from which the extract is drawn is titled Predestination.

If perchance you don’t remember who Joseph T. Kelley is, please refer to the post For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2014-12-28. It was in that post that we discussed some rather curious relationships between Joseph Kelly, his position at Merrimack College, the William & Mary Greve Foundation, and John W. Kiser III of Sperryville, VA.

So, after having done our homework, we can now say that the unexplained item in this week’s bulletin is actually a snippet from the book that is being used by the St. Augustine Reflection Group here at St. Peter’s. Had the bulletin only provided some amplifying context, my wife and I would not have had to puzzle over what message was supposed to be conveyed by the item.

There, now you, the Sheep in Exile, have the context. We can say we know where the item originated. We can also look at the larger picture of the origin and background of the St. Augustine Reflection Group. The multiple relationships influencing that group continue to make us wonder how this group is contributing to the spiritual life of our Parish.

The Sheep in Exile have the context, but the other sheep of St. Peter’s are still in the dark world of “no context”.

 

 

Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-14

Here is  Bulletin_2015-06-14.

Intentions1. Something’s Wrong with the Mass Intentions: Of course it’s a mistake. We know that The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ was last Sunday and not this Sunday. We also know that St. Barnabas chose to celebrate his feast this last Thursday rather than waiting until next Thursday.

My wife and I joined the parishioners of St. John the Baptist this morning to celebrate The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Mass, homily, music, and large crowd in attendance made for a beautiful celebration. I don’t expect next Friday will be quite the same, especially if I go there expecting to hear anything about the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Would someone please help me with this “World Day” thing? Assuming that the pattern of mistaken dates runs true, there is supposed to be some kind of “World Day” going on today. Perhaps the following from the Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. Website provides an answer:

This year’s World Day Against Child Labor, established by the International Labor Organization (ILO, a UN agency), will be on June 12. ILO estimates that up to 120 million children between 5 and 14 years of age are subjected to child labor.

Finally, if my calculus is correct and if Father follows this list of Mass intentions, he missed his chance to pray for Rev. Jennings Hobson this last Monday, the day after Rev. Hobson’s retirement. I guess this will be a case of “Better late than never”.

2. A Matter of Emphasis: Sometimes you find thoughts just hanging out there in space waiting to be seen by passersby. This following item from this week’s bulletin was offered to us devoid of context.

ST AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
Augustine was a religious leader who constantly encouraged others to think for themselves and to challenge him when they thought he was wrong. For Augustine, the life of the mind is a restless quest for truth and an essential part of the pilgrimage of faith.

As stated above, the item seemingly presents no problem. Yet, this blog is concerned with the need to counter dissent with assent for the teachings of the Church. Considering that our Pastor is an admitted dissenter, I’m concerned that without amplifying context, this characterization of St. Augustine would have us believe that for Augustine Truth was ever so evasive; and for us it would be just as evasive. But, the record is clear, St. Augustine did find truths. And for us, we have the Creed, the Mass, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and access to the writings of the Doctors of the Church – including St. Augustine. Yes, St. Augustine was much more than just a religious leader – he is a Doctor of the Church.

As for me, I would rather learn more about the Way, the Truth, and the Life that is available to me through the Eucharist and the Catholic Church than to live in lifelong doubt spawned by statements lacking context such as the one above.

3. MASS AND HEALING SERVICE–JUL Y 11: Now it’s our turn.

I will celebrate a mass and healing service at 5 Pm on Saturday July 11 here at St. Peter’s. The Arlington Diocese Healing Ministry (of which I have been a part for the last 25 years) will assist at the mass. The prayer for healing will occur after mass. Many spiritual, physical and emotional healings occur with prayer. I invite you to come and be healed and to pray for the healing of others. Begin to tell any friends who are in need of healing about this opportunity. I will be inviting members of the surrounding parishes to participate although the healing prayer is open anyone in need of healing no matter what religion.

We would not say that there is no benefit to having a healing service. Our personal belief, however, is that more healing can come during the confessions heard prior to the 5PM Mass, and during Mass itself, than will come during healing prayer that is “open anyone in need of healing no matter what religion.” Venerable Fulton Sheen reminds us that in the confessional, souls are brought back from death to life. What greater healing can there be?

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-07 – FYI

1. Clergy Assignments: It’s not the news we wanted to post, but it is the new reality with which we will have to live. Here are the 2015 Diocese of Arlington Clergy Assignments:

The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, has announced the following clergy appointments effective on Thursday, June 25, 2015, except where noted differently.

Pastors

Reverend Edward C. Hathaway — from Pastor of the Church of Saint Veronica in Chantilly to Pastor of the Church of Saint Mary in Alexandria.

Reverend John D. Kelly — from Pastor of the Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle in Clifton to Pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria.

Reverend Dennis W. Kleinmann — from Pastor of the Church of Saint Mary in Alexandria to Pastor of the Church of Saint Veronica in Chantilly.

Reverend Christopher J. Mould — from Pastor of the Church of Saint Lawrence in Alexandria to Pastor of the Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle in Clifton.

Parochial Administrators

Reverend Ronald J. Gripshover, Jr. — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Arlington to Parochial Administrator of the Church of Saint Lawrence in Alexandria.

Parochial Vicars

Reverend Mark F. Carrier — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Louis in Alexandria to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena in Great Falls.

Reverend Michael R. Duesterhaus — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Corpus Christi in South Riding to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Timothy in Chantilly, with additional ministry as part-time Chaplain at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.

Reverend John H. Melmer — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of All Saints in Manassas to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Arlington.

Reverend Charles W. Merkle III — from Chaplain at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Corpus Christi in South Riding.

Reverend Mark Mullaney — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Elizabeth in Colonial Beach and the Mission Church of Saint Anthony in King George to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Francis de Sales in Purcellville.

Reverend Robert L. Ruskamp — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Mary in Alexandria to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle in Clifton

Reverend Eric L. Shafer — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria to Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Winchester.

Reverend William B. Schierer — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Our Lady of Hope in Potomac Falls to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Timothy in Chantilly.

Reverend J. Edwin Thayer Tewes — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Francis de Sales in Purcellville to Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Gainesville.

Reverend Jerry A. Wooton — from Priest in Residence at the Church of Saint John the Beloved in McLean to Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Elizabeth in Colonial Beach and the Mission Church of Saint Anthony in King George.

Special Assignments

Reverend Stefan P. Starzynski — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Timothy to Chaplain at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, with residence at the Church of Saint Ambrose in Annandale.

Reverend Thomas M. Yehl, Y.A. — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Gainesville to Full-time service with the Youth Apostles and Assistant Chaplain at George Mason University Catholic Campus Ministry in Fairfax, with residence at the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.

Retirements

Reverend Tarcisio D. Buitrago — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Philip in Falls Church to retired status with residence at the Church of Saint Philip in Falls Church.

Reverend John C. Cregan — from Pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria to retired status with residence at the Saint Rose of Lima Priest Retirement Villa in Annandale.

Newly Ordained

Reverend Dort A. Bigg — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Louis in Alexandria.

Reverend Kevin J. Dansereau — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria.

Reverend Joseph W. Farrell — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of Our Lady of Hope in Potomac Falls.

Reverend Andrew W. Haissig — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Mary in Alexandria.

Reverend Brian B. McAllister — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Gainesville.

Reverend Richard A. Miserendino — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Mary in Alexandria for the period of June 25, 2015, to September 13, 2015, at which time he will return Pontifical North American College in Rome for graduate theological studies.

Reverend Noah C. Morey — newly ordained, Parochial Vicar at the Church of All Saints in Manassas.

Transitional Deacon Assignment

Reverend Mr. Colin P. Davis — newly ordained, Deacon at the Church of Saint Veronica in Chantilly, effective June 15, 2015.

Reverend Mr. Thomas P. Gallagher — from Transitional Deacon at the Church of All Saints in Manassas to Transitional Deacon at the Church of Saint John Bosco in Woodstock, effective June 8, 2015.

Religious Personnel Assigned Outside the Diocese

Reverend Andrés Fernández — from Parochial Vicar at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Winchester to ministry outside the Diocese of Arlington.

2. For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-06-07 Correction: I worked in haste to get out our last post. A new computer with Wi-Fi problems tended to complicate my effort. As is obvious from this title Bishop Loverde ordains 7 new priests and 1 new deacon, I flubbed on my description of the ordination that took place today. My apologies to all.