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Monthly Archives: July 2015

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-08-02

Here is Bulletin_2015-08-02.

Analysis and Commentary

1. Time for a Vacation? Without saying so, it appears that our Pastor will be on vacation this coming week. There will be Communion Services on the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th of August. The Pastor’s Piece adds that:

“Next weekend, Aug. 8-9, please welcome Rev. Thomas F. Malloy  OSPS [actually OSFS] who will be with us to celebrate Masses and tell us about the work of Unbound … Father Tom Malloy is a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. … “

What this means is that my wife won’t have to travel the 23 miles to St. John the Baptist on the days when there are Communion Services – that’s a blessing.

Having done some quick research on Fr. Malloy, however, I think my wife and I will drive that blasted 23 miles to St. John’s and avoid the weekend Masses with Fr. Malloy. Why? Here are some excerpts from the official OSFS Meet the Oblates Web page with comments by Fr. Malloy about himself:

What is the most recent book you read? Who was the author, and what did you think of it?
Christology at the Crossroads by Jon Sobrino, SJ, first published in 1978 in English.  This was a review of Liberation Theology which I needed to catch up with.  In LT’s emphasis on imitating the historical Jesus, I saw a similarity with our goal to Live Jesus.

If you were pope, what would be one decision you would make to impact church in a life-giving way?
I would emphasize the Church’s welcoming attitude by opening the Eucharist to all believers of good will without regard to theologies or moral opinions.

In the first excerpt, Fr. Malloy demonstrates his interest in “Liberation Theology” of the type promoted by Jon Sobrino, SJ. That interest was not shared by the Vatican and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. According to a 2007 BBC story, the Vatican “.. says his [Fr. Sobrino’s] writings give too much emphasis to Jesus Christ as a mortal man and are “erroneous or dangerous.”

The second excerpt does not tell a tale of some other priest some eight years ago. No, the second excerpt is stated directly by Fr. Malloy about himself. The type of thinking displayed by Fr. Malloy is of the same type that threatens the The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place on October 4–25, 2015. My wife and I could not possibly attend a Mass celebrated by a priest who might say something like this during a homily.

So, Father, if this is what you want to feed your sheep while you are on vacation, please feel free to extend your vacation for several years. Also, I’ll be glad to pay for a ticket for Fr. Malloy to join you before this next weekend arrives. Then both of you can opine on what you might do if you were pope. Meanwhile, the flock at St. Peter’s will be spared from potential spiritual harm.

2. Six Flags Down and Holding: Our Pastor actually broke his pattern. There is no mention of homelessness. Shucks, my wife and I had already started making the popcorn we were going to eat while reading the amazingly cogent dissertation by German Lopez Myth #7: Homelessness is only a problem in big cities. Perhaps Father was distracted by some deep thoughts on liberation theology or perhaps “opening the Eucharist to all believers of good will without regard to theologies or moral opinions.”

 

 

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It Takes a Parish

1. Recently one of our readers noted the rarity and brevity of our posts. My answer. God comes first. So, I’m taking time to consider wise counsel from my new spiritual director and act accordingly. Family comes next. When family visits, our Benedictine (Oblate) hospitality requires attention to our guests. And that leads us to the theme “It Takes a Parish.”

A parishioner who helped us with our guests taught me a worthwhile lesson. She explained how she went to another person in the parish for help in providing supplies for her business. It may be a simple thing, but it is a true study in mutual trust and reliance, underscored by friendship and sharing in the same Catholic Faith. My eyes were opened to how often this is the case among the flock at St. Peter’s – it is something that happens every day. It is a revelation of the beautiful gift of  living a simple life in the Lord. It’s why my wife and I moved to Rappahannock County.

2. Not all the world is like our parish or our county. On a weekly basis, I work with three different departments of the Federal Government. Here is what is happening outside our county:

Just today, I was confronted with the tidal wave of change that was generated by the Supreme Court on June 26. It was at a Department of Defense facility. A flag rank officer, in front of an auditorium of DOD uniformed and civilian employees spoke on the topic of LGBT Pride.

Just last month, at several DOD and Department of Energy facilities I was confronted everywhere by posters on LGBT Pride Month.

Just today, a friend of mine told me how his son was ill-treated by a person in the Department of Homeland Security simply because he attended church on Sunday’s.

Now what does that have to do with St. Peter’s? – Everything! I am a member of the parish. Other people in the parish are confronted with the same harsh, anti-Catholic realities. Children and grandchildren of people in the parish will certainly be confronted by these things. What is happening in our country will happen in our county and it is already affecting the people in our parish.

While our Pastor may have scored points with the attendees at the County Picnic this last weekend, his homily at Mass this weekend did nothing to prepare the flock at St. Peter’s to live in the world of wolves that I have to live in every work day. In fact, none of his homilies since June 26 have even come close to mentioning the Supreme Court decision.

Of course our Pastor can go to picnics. Perhaps someone will ask him about our Catholic Faith at one of the picnics. In addition to that, and more important than that, however, is his duty to feed and nourish his flock. His duty is to prepare and to protect his flock for what is coming. And he must do it Now!

3. The sheep who remain in the flock and the sheep in exile will continue to be a single Parish. And, even if their names are no longer in the Parish directory, all the sheep are still part of one flock and one Parish – they always will be!

St. Peter, pray for us!

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-07-26

Here is Bulletin_2015-07-26.

“We await the sunrise.” These are words that come to mind as this post unfolds before me so early in the day. Where I have seen these words before?

“So, in this dark night of the world, when men turned their backs on Him Who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide our feet while we await the sunrise.”

– Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen

And does it not seem that we are “in this dark night of the world”?

1. Six Flags Down – Five More to Go: Last week, Father gave us Myth #5 from German Lopez’ list of 11 Myths about Homelessness in America. We predicted that this week we would see Myth #6: The homeless are older and single. So it was predicted and so it is.

Father continues to wave his Homelessness Flag.

Next week’s bulletin myth will very likely be Myth #7: Homelessness is only a problem in big cities. Some day, perhaps it will be in a Parish Council meeting or in the bulletin, or it might be through some type of surrogate, an appeal will be made to help the homeless in Rappahannock County.

2. Knights of Columbus – From the St. Peter’s Website, congratulations to Grand Knight Bob Ward and all the new officers of Council 14755 who were installed on July 14th.

Dearest Mary, Mother of our Lord, as “we await the sunrise”, please guide my feet to “Him Who is the Light of the World”.

 

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-07-19 – Commentary

Here again is Bulletin_2015-07-19. Sorry to leave you hanging last night. The rain today is making it easy to avoid outside chores and take some time for reflections on the bulletin.

1. Five Flags Down – Six More to Go: Last week, Father gave us Myth #4 from German Lopez’ list of 11 Myths about Homelessness in America. We predicted that this week we would see Myth #5: Most homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. So it was predicted and so it is.

Nasty Qualifiers – adjectives and adverbs and inequalities, oh my! Both Mr. Lopez and Father give no credit to the members of the flock at St. Peter’s for being able to think for themselves and parse a sentence (thank you, Sr. Gilbert). Please observe what they have done:

A. Myth #5 is stated this way:

Most homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

“Most” is a qualifier, it gives you a mental image – it’s bigger than “some” and it’s certainly bigger than “one-third.”

B. Mr. Lopez then cites a 2010 SAMSHA statistic and is leading you to his intended conclusion that “one-third” is obviously less than “most.”

Roughly one-third of sheltered homeless adults had chronic substance use issues in 2010, according to the SAMHSA.”

The cheap trick here is that Mr. Lopez threw in three qualifications that negate any type of correspondence between the myth statement and the SAMSHA statistic. The three qualifiers are: “Roughly”, “sheltered”, and “adult”.

-“Roughly” could mean a little less than one-third, how much less  – we wonder;

– “sheltered” excludes those homeless who are not sheltered, how many homeless are not sheltered – we wonder;

– “adult” excludes homeless adolescents, how many of them are there – we wonder.

C. Mr. Lopez and Father expect you to believe that, what may be true of “Roughly one-third of sheltered homeless adults” is equally true for the entire homeless population. That does not necessarily follow.

D. As an aside, the word “addicted” is loaded with all kinds of mental images. But, what the heck does “chronic substance use issues” mean? Is that a clinical term for whatever you want it to mean?

As we see the 11 myths unfold before our eyes, we begin to understand that manipulation and subliminal indoctrination – products of a subversive, radical mindset – are very much a part of our weekly bulletin. My wife and I believe in practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy. “Shelter the Homeless” is a work of mercy that we Catholics are expected to perform – we do it out of love for God and for our neighbor. That alone is reason enough. We don’t need to be indoctrinated in Social Justicism Thought as the Chinese were indoctrinated in Mao Thought.

Next week’s bulletin myth will very likely be Myth #6: The homeless are older and single. Let’s make it through the next six of Father’s flags together so that we can see where this Social Justicism train is going.

2. Isolation and Insulation – Did the mail get through? As we noted last week, we had it on good authority that the Pony Express had dispatched its best rider on its fastest horse to deliver news of the recent Supreme Court ruling to the Rectory at St. Peter’s. This week’s bulletin finally directs us to an item that is related and will be useful to the Church Militant. We truly hope Father was responsible for adding this item.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS FROM 2015 FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM EVENT

Dioceses across the United States participated in the fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4, shining a light on the continued challenges to religious freedom both at home and abroad. Please view and share a video of Father David Pignato’s June 27 keynote address at our diocesan Fortnight for Freedom event, “Religious Liberty …. For How Long? How to Prepare Spiritually for the Coming Persecution,” by visiting: www.bitly.com/fortnight15.

3. Picnics: Is it just us, or does anyone else out there think that Father is pushing the “All Rappahannock Picnic” more than he is pushing for the “St. Peter Parish Picnic” at the Viguerie’s? The former is getting special billing in the Pastor’s Piece, while the latter is neatly “Tuck-ed” away on page three.

4. Healing Mass a Great Success: Yes, I was there. No comment on healing. The Holy Spirit is always at work. I do have a comment on Father’s statement: “The choir sounded beautiful.”

My wife was not with me (and that continues to be a factor causing hurt for both of us – please bring back St. Peter’s to the “status quo ante”), so I will only comment for myself. I know beautiful music when I hear it and I know pop music when I hear it – this is true for music in church and in the secular world. What was sung at the Mass last Saturday evening was tired, and mushy pop music.

Fre3d Capra, a friend of mine, was there and this is part of his impression of the music, “Right there up in front of the church, thirteen very old people with guitars …” My wife and I have lived in many places throughout the country and for years that’s what we’ve been seeing and hearing “old people with guitars.” They never grew up and their music never developed into something beautiful – it just remains a different generation’s pop music. Here is a copy of the music from last Saturday – Healing Mass Music.

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-07-19

Here is Bulletin_2015-07-19.

Our time is limited this evening, but we will be back soon with comments.

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-07-12

Here is Bulletin_2015-07-12.

1. Four Flags Down – Seven More to Go: Last week, Father gave us Myth #3 from German Lopez’ list of 11 myths. We predicted that this week we would see Myth #4: Homelessness is always related to mental illness. Nope, we were not right. Father finally decided to throw us a little inside curve. Either he has a different “Q” source for a reference or he decided to see if he could catch us off guard. This week he quietly changed the word “always” to the word “typically.” Despite that slight in the wording of the title for Myth #4, Father continues plodding along, burying us in superficial factoids. Perhaps with another twist in words, next week’s myth will be Myth #5: Most homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. No matter what he does, we can be sure that this indoctrination on homelessness will continue. Without any evidence it’s hard to say how this will develop, but maybe we will begin to see the plan reveal itself sometime after our next Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA) event.

2. The Picnic: Speaking of the next RCA event, both the Pastor’s Piece and a special flyer insert tell us at St. Peter’s that we should come have fun at the “Churches and Community Picnic,” which is sponsored by Washington Baptist Church in partnership with the Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA).

All Rappahannock PICNIC-COME!
SUNDAY., JULY 26.,4:00 PM TIL 7:00 PM
RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY PARK

We join with all the Churches of Washington to sponsor a county wide picnic for all
Rappahannock County (and friends). St. Peter’s will be providing all the drinks for the
picnic. Washington Baptist is providing the meats. The Unitarian Church is providing the
paper products. Reynolds Baptist will be in charge of the games. Come, bring something
to share-be ready to have fun!same-sex marriage religion

Is this a good idea? Yes, of course it is. I’m sure everyone will enjoy themselves – it’s a picnic. After all, the flyer says “Fun, food, and fellowship.”

Is this a great idea? Perhaps not. Why? Consider the part about “fellowship.” Since our Pastor can go to the world renowned German Lopez’ for his resource data, so can we. Mr. Lopez had a lengthy article on July 2 entitled The Episcopal Church now sanctions same-sex marriages. Here’s where other churches stand. Mr. Lopez then introduces an interesting chart prepared by the Pew Research Center.

If you read the article, you learn that the churches in America are growing apart. As many churches abandon the basic tenets of Christianity, the Catholic Church becomes more isolated. If that is true, then we might find that sharing in meaningful fellowship at the picnic on July 26th will be more difficult. So, enjoy your hotdogs and burgers along with the other folks at the picnic. That may be all we have in common any more.

3. Isolation and Insulation: As my wife and I noted last week, if we had a different pastor, or if we had one of our former pastors, perhaps she and I would not be getting this eerie feeling of isolation and insulation. St. Peter’s still has received no word that the rules of the game were changed by the Supreme Court on June 26 and that our religious freedom is in jeopardy. The pulpit remains silent.

We have it on good authority that the Pony Express has dispatched its best rider on its fastest horse to deliver news of the ruling to the Rectory at St. Peter’s. We’re certain that once the horse and rider arrive that the alarm will be sounded in the Parish and we will be given instructions by our Pastor on how we should prepare for the spiritual combat that is coming. Until then, it might be worthwhile to read this article. Perhaps it will help to put the June 26th Supreme Court ruling into a useful perspective.

 

Thank You for Your Service!

Perhaps you can’t see it. Perhaps you don’t want to admit it. Perhaps you don’t care. Perhaps you are AWOL. No matter what you think you, you have to know by now that there is a spiritual war going on and you and I and my wife are members of the Church Militant and it is our duty to fight in that war.

You certainly know about the Supreme Court ruling on June 26th. And you know what was said in the dissenting opinions. If you don’t, then it’s time to read: OBERGEFELL ET AL . v . HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL . After reading that, you will most certainly know that it is time to put on your armor, ready your spiritual weapons, and prepare for combat. Even though the alarm has not been sounded by our Pastor at St. Peter’s, the rest of the Church in our Diocese and throughout America is beginning to wake up.

This is not a new battle. Many have been on the front lines for years. Just in our Diocese you have American Life League, the Lepanto Institute, Human Life International, the Population Research Institute, and many others. While many of us have been distracted by other affairs, raising our families, and the day-to-day work routine, some valiant members of the Church Militant have accepted sub-standard wages, long hours, and insults from the enemies of life, marriage, and Christianity in general as part of their daily work.

To some extent we (all of us in our own private ways) have attempted to support their work. Occasionally, we send a donation. Occasionally, we join them at the March for Life – we try to help, but we are distracted.

Lately, some of us have grown a bit weary from the struggle. Our hope for success has diminished. Our donations have fallen off. This is having a definite and critical impact on organizations like the ones I named above. The organization that is currently on my mind is the American Life League because they have had to lay off several dedicated and courageous members of the Church Militant – they have been casualties of war.

One of the most recent layoffs has been Rey Flores – there just isn’t enough money to keep him on at the American Life League. Rey understands what is at stake in the current war and he understands how the enemy is fighting this war. It would do us all very well to read his most recent article in the Wanderer – Signs Of The Times. Read it slowly and consider that this is a soldier’s report from the front lines. After you have read it, read it again because this is a report from a soldier who has hope.

I served in the Navy for 21 years. I often hear the sincere expression “Thank you for your service.” It makes me proud. Sometimes, though, I wonder if the people who thank me really understand how deeply I was committed to preserving the freedom that used to be guaranteed by our Constitution.

So, my wife and I say to Rey and t0 the others on the front lines of this spiritual war, especially those who have been injured and whose families have been adversely impacted by those injuries – “Thank you for your service!” My wife and I promise you we will continue to support you in whatever way we can. You are fighting to save souls so that those souls, those people created by a most loving God, may have eternal freedom to praise God forever.