The Sheep of Kephas

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It Takes a Parish

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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!



  1. Living in a hostile world should certainly be one of the topics at the fall Ordinary Synod on the Family. Our faith is under constant assault and we need encouragement from our pastors on how to fight with charity and not lose hope. Are we getting it? Not many are and not often.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. francis01ds says:

    You couldn’t be more right. On December 7, 1941, our country learned that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans no longer would protect us from foreign enemies (not to mention the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812). On June 26, 2015, we learned we could not rely upon the Constitution to guarantee our religious freedom. Our bishops and pastors, more now than ever before in our country’s history, have to rise up and teach, lead, and defend.


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