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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-26

Here is Bulletin_2017-02-26

The Little Black Book: They’re back! The Little Black Book, six-minute reflections on the Passion according to John, is now in St. Peter’s vestibule. We will spare you the lengthy discourse on the origin and content of these books. Suffice it to say, there are better sources for Lenten meditation.

A Little Book of a More Spiritual Color: Although his name has been “disappeared”, a reminder of a former Parish Pastoral Council member lingers on the St. Peter’s Website Pastoral Council Minutes page. The former member provided information relating to thoroughly Catholic booklets offered by the Knights of Columbus Catholic Information Service.

Because 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, we would like to recommend the following CIS booklet to you for use during Lent this year:

341 – The cis341_136_enMessage of Our Lady of Fatima
This booklet discusses the apparitions and message of Our Lady given in 1917.



Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Soul Check – Father, It’s All about the Sheep!

Last night, my beautiful and loving wife revealed the recent Radical Pastor Sighting. Uncharacteristically, she did it in the form of a Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors serial. She saw how our Pastor “… has emerged from his Winter hibernation early and he’s hungry for some social justicism action.” Without making too much of it, she also noted that the story reporting our Pastor’s comments was carried by none other than that paramount repository of “Catholic” wisdom “Fishwrap” (The National Catholic Reporter). Now, I would like to make two points concerning her post.

1. It’s All about the Sheep: How many “undocumented immigrants” are there in Rappahannock County? I don’t really know. I know there are some, but they’re living in the shadows. I see them on work crews and in other places around the county. And when I’m close enough, I hear them speaking Spanish. They are here and they are a real part of our community.

The fact that they are speaking Spanish leads me to suspect that some relatively large percentage of them are Roman Catholic. So, they are real, they are here, and some may be Catholic. My question is, why haven’t I seen them at Mass in any significant numbers. Do they make the long trek to another parish like the Sheep in Exile have to do on a regular basis? I just don’t know. I hope that is the case, but I suspect it is not. I hope they are in the state of grace and receiving the Sacraments. I pray that they are in the state of grace and receiving the Sacraments.

Consider the following:

Horace “Tuck” Grinnell, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Washington, Va., said immigrants in his rural area, a part of the Diocese of Arlington, are also being told their legal rights.

Perhaps the most important of these is the right to remain silent, he said.

With that in mind, my next question cuts directly to the point. “Father, have you told them about St. Peter Roman Catholic Church and about their most important right – the right to receive the Sacraments and the fullness of God’s loving grace?” After all, there are no “undocumented immigrants” in Heaven. You have to be in the state of grace to gain entry.

I look forward to meeting these “immigrants” in a place where they don’t have to exercise a right to remain silent. I hope to meet them in St. Peter’s at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There, we can all open our mouths and hearts and praise God as a faith filled Catholic community.

2. How Very Odd: A keenly observant reader noted the following concerning the Fishwrap article:

How perceptive of the author to identify our pastor as only that, and not as “Father Grinnell” or “Roman Catholic priest”.

We hadn’t noticed it, but it’s true. Peter Feuerherd identified all the other clergy and religious in his article by their proper titles. Our Pastor was merely identified as “Horace “Tuck” Grinnell, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Washington, Va.”. Considering that Mr. Feuerherd took the time to identify all the others in his article properly, why would he omit an acknowledgment of Ordination by using a title such as Father, Fr., at least Catholic priest? I know we at the Sheep of Kephas blog have posed the question is St. Peter’s still Catholic. But, I assure you, we have never questioned the fact that our Pastor is a duly ordained Catholic priest.

Bottom Line: “Father, it’s all about the sheep! It’s all about saving their immortal souls!” We hope and pray that someday our Pastor will be quoted in the National Catholic Register, the Wanderer, and the Arlington Catholic Herald as saying:

I prayed with them. I led them to the Sacraments. I worked with their children so that they would not be terrified, but rather that they would be spiritually fortified with God’s loving grace.

Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #17 – Radical Pastor Sighting

It’s my turn to talk to you. My Hubby doesn’t know how to tackle this piece of crapola, but I do.

Let’s start off by saying, we don’t provide the link for the National Catholic Reporter (a.k.a. Fishwrap and the National Catholic Schismatic) on our home page because we don’t want to jeopardize your spiritual health. Today, however, I’m going to make an exception and point out for you some of the typical, leftward-leaning crap that Fishwrap calls “Catholic” journalism. I’m focusing on one writer in particular – Peter Feuerherd. Below are some of his stories. You can find a more complete list here.

Attack on woman priest not thought to be theological hate crime

LGBT Catholics, supporters advocate in NY for church acceptance

Support for immigrants central to Long Island parish life

Culture panelists: Americans’ faith still tied to a ‘norm of whiteness’

“The specter of Donald Trump’s one-month presidency hung over a Feb. 21 seminar on racism and religious faith here sponsored by Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture.”

Now that we’re clear on that point, let’s get on to why I’m writing this post. As you know, it’s been a very quiet Winter in Rappahannock County. True, 55 Rappahannock gals or wanna be gals went to the “Women’s March” and that resulted in a big splash in the local paper. Also true is the continuing undercurrent of promotion of every conceivable liberal agenda. The bewildering fact, however, was the general absence of our Pastor from the discussions and movements.

He’s not absent any longer! WooHoo!!! Our Pastor has been sighted in the great and distinguished Fishwrap. Yep, he has emerged from his Winter hibernation early and he’s hungry for some social justicism action. Read all about it in Peter Feuerherd’s article from yesterday – Parishes meet anxiety about increased deportation actions with counsel, support. The article is about immigration and obviously Fishwrap considers our Pastor to be an authority on the topic. So, what did our Pastor say?

Horace “Tuck” Grinnell, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Washington, VA, said immigrants in his rural area, a part of the Diocese of Arlington, are also being told their legal rights.

Perhaps the most important of these is the right to remain silent, he said. Immigrants are being told, if they are questioned by authorities, to provide their names, but are urged not to sign any papers, to avoid being tricked into signing their own deportation orders. They are also told not to open their doors to authorities unless they are provided with a warrant signed by a judge.

Grinnell said that while there have been no recent raids that he’s heard of in the immediate area of his parish, there is increased anxiety. “The children are terrified because they worry about their parents,” he said.

We report, you decide.

My own opinion is a contradiction:

– When, oh when, will our Pastor start placing the souls of St. Peter’s as his top priority?

– When, oh when, will our Pastor be on his way?

Now, here is one of my favorite songs: Click here.

Tell me when will you be mine
Tell me quando quando quando
We can share a love devine
Please don’t make me wait again

I can’t wait a moment more
Tell me quando quando quando

When, when will you be gone?

Quando, quando, quando?????


Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #16 – Laudato Si’: No End to the Aftermath

clip_image002This week on February 14th, an anniversary passed without notice from the local media. One year ago, our radical Pastor quietly stood on the sidelines as he watched others execute his plan for organizing many Rappahannock County residents and several St. Peter’s parishioners for his own purposes. By the end of the fourth meeting of the series, this blog could report that he had succeeded in his goal to instigate “further actions”. Let us assure you none of those “further actions” have had nor will they will have anything whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ, or Laudato Si’.

Before going any further, it would be helpful to read Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #13 – Graduation Day first to refresh your memories and set the scene for what’s to follow.

Suppose for the sake of discussion our Pastor had discontinued all of his social justicism and Alinsky-type organizing efforts on June 12th, 2016, the last meeting of Laudato Si. We know that is not the case, but, if he had, what would have happened? Here are two alternative theories:

  1. Devolution and Death: The initial enthusiasm and euphoria of the moment generated by the controlled environment of artificially manipulated meetings would subside. Momentum would be lost and the organized unification of diverse social justice warrior (SJW) elements would fall apart. The abuse of Laudato Si’, the momentary influence of our Pastor, and the movement he created would dissipate and disappear.
  2. Evolution and Growth: The seeds planted during the first four meetings would begin to grow and the resulting plans introduced at Meeting #5 would expand, gain strength, unify, and begin the process of interconnection and alliance with other local, state and national organizations and movements. The local contingent of Rappahannock participants would be integrated into a much broader network of progressive, socialistic organizations waiting to be mobilized by the unseen masters of the movement.

The assessment of the Sheep of Kephas blog is that the evidence clearly shows that Theory #2 – Evolution and Growth is the case. As of June 12, 2016, our Pastor established and enabled a living, growing, progressive, socialistic, local organism that is contributing to the weakening of local and national support for Catholic teaching and Christian values. Furthermore, we can show that at least one effort established at Meeting #5 is deliberately exposing Rappahannock County residents and at least some St. Peter’s parishioners to groups and ideas that are engaged in undermining the current Administration, and ultimately our U.S. government as conceived in the Constitution.

More importantly, the movement enabled by our Pastor potentially places immortal souls in jeopardy.

To demonstrate our assertions here are some excerpts from documents and emails collected by the Sheep of Kephas blog. Comments are made to highlight points of interest and to provide context. This will be somewhat lengthy, but the documentary detail is necessary to support our assertions.

A Call for Action Plans: Perhaps Jed Duvall best summarized the call for action plans in his post on May 17, 2016 – Making the Turn .

With this Conversation on the Sunday just past, May 15th, the organizers now make the turn from talk to action.  In what they call Next Steps, Tuck Grinnell of St. Peter Church, Russ Savage of the Unitarian Universalists, Bev Hunter of RappFLOW and the Green Team of St. James Episcopal in Warrenton give you, the reader, your “opportunity to share with the group your idea or project or organization.”

…  “Your endeavor,” reads the notice handed out this past Sunday, “could take one of several forms: recruiting volunteers for an existing organization; forming and leading a new group; leading a group on a field trip; hosting a one-time activity.”

Next Steps: Just in time for Meeting #5, the document Conversation on Care for our Common Home: Next Steps was ready for the Laudato Si’ group. Following is an excerpt listing the people who had developed Next Steps plans and would present them to all assembled at the meeting. [Note: There are names on this list that you may recognize. We must emphasize that many of these people are well meaning and their plans are truly aimed toward worthwhile community service. Some of them, however, are of a different kind.]


Continuing this Group through Email Contact List: Let us consider the case of the first entry on the list. The stated purpose of the contact list was described as follows.

This email list of the people who have attended the Laudato Si conversations would be used to send out notices on events, meetings, and initiatives that may be of interest to list members. If others want to join, they would be allowed to do so – those wishing to be removed would be taken off. The notices would go out, and each person would determine if they have an interest in it. By extending the reach of individual groups and people, it will be possible to form connections and partnerships that would not happen otherwise. I would want the email list with the names of all those wishing to participate.

On July 27, 2016, the Email Contact List had become a reality. Interestingly, the name chosen for it included the word “interfaith”. We have yet to determine how anything connected with this contact list has anything to to do with “faith” in our Catholic understanding of the word.

Kevin ONeill says: The GoogleGroups site (I have named it Interfaith Climate Change Group because everything else was already taken) was created to keep people in touch who attended the Laudato Si Conversations.  Forty-two people from the Conversations and other groups have joined and are now receiving updates on events, activities, and actions throughout Northern Virginia.  In addition to keeping people up to date on the direction of the Laudato Si Conversations, the purpose of this GoogleGroup is to enable intercommunication between various people and groups, enabling those who are interested to participate, help, partner or share with your networks.  You can delete emails that are not of interest; discuss with everyone if you wish; or join others in their efforts.  You can send an email to me asking to join, and I will send you an invitation. After you get the invitation, Just press the “I Accept” link, and you will be included on all upcoming communications.

As you can see “Interfaith” was just a ruse. Already in this announcement, the author has taken a “left” turn, steering away form Laudato Si’ and toward “various people and groups”. And who might be some of these “various people and groups”? Here are just a few since February 16th:

Interfaith Power and Light A Religious Response to Global Warming
If you follow links on Resistance Recess you will find a dozen ways to build a “wall of resistance” – not to sin, not to evil, not to any of the enemies of the Catholic Church. No, here is the “wall of resistance” to which our Pastor has exposed his sheep.
We are already seeing massive energy across the country at marches, town halls, and weekly rallies. Now, everywhere members of Congress go during the recess, if we do our jobs right, they’ll encounter a wall of resistance. Our goal: halt the GOP’s march to repeal the ACA, gut Medicaid, and cut Medicare—and blunt the momentum for their entire agenda, from tax cuts for the wealthy to Trump’s extreme nominee for the stolen Supreme Court seat.
There it is. As we said earlier, “As of June 12, 2016, our Pastor established and enabled a living, growing, progressive, socialistic, local organism that is contributing to the weakening of local and national support for Catholic teaching and Christian values.”
We started by posing two alternative theories on what form the aftermath of the Laudato Si’ meetings would take without further direct action by our Pastor. Our first example shows that Theory 2 – Evolution and Growth remains the likely alternative. Our radical Pastor need do nothing more than quietly stand on the sidelines and watch others execute his plan for organizing Rappahannock County residents and unwitting St. Peter’s parishioners for his own purposes.
  • The minion of Saul Alinsky has begotten minions of his own.
  •  We will have more to say in the future because – there is no end to the aftermath.
  • We will have more to say in the future because – souls are in jeopardy.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!



For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-19

Here is Bulletin_2017-02-19

More Eucharistic Ministers?: Page three of this week’s bulletin declares:


Would you be willing to serve our community as a Eucharistic Minister?  We need more people who are available to serve at our weekend masses — especially the 11 a.m. Mass.  If you are a faithful Catholic who loves the Eucharist and are willing to serve, email me:, or call 540-675-3432 and I will train and install you.  Thank you!     Fr. Tuck

Our question is: “Do we really need more people? Do we really need even one more ‘Eucharistic Minister’? Do we need any Eucharistic Ministers at all?”

Our answer is: “No!”

Some discussion points:

  1. Let’s keep in mind for the case of need posed by our Pastor, the term is “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass”. (See what the USCCB has to say on this – here.)
  2. St. Peter’s is one of the smaller parishes in the Diocese of Arlington. On any given weekday at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal the number of people at Mass far exceeds the number at any Sunday Masses at St. Peter’s. Normally, St. John’s has no need for extraordinary ministers when there are numbers similar to our most packed Masses at St. Peter’s. Quite simply put, we at St. Peter’s seldom have “extraordinary” situations or need.
  3. It is worthwhile noting the following concerning Communion under both species: (Taken from Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America.)

“24. The General Instruction then indicates that the Diocesan Bishop may lay down norms for the distribution of Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which must be observed. . . . The Diocesan Bishop also has the faculty to allow Communion under both kinds, whenever it seems appropriate to the Priest to whom charge of a given community has been entrusted as [its] own pastor, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants or for some other reason.”

“In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the Priest and the Deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary minister might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice.

[Note: Intinction is the preferred method at St. John the Baptist precisely for “the need to avoid obscuring the role of the Priest and the Deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion“.

Based on the above, it stands to reason that St. Peter’s has no real need for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass. If our Pastor desires to administer Holy Communion under both species, he may do so. Intinction is a very good alternative. Furthermore, if he desires, my wife and I will gladly donate whatever is necessary to pay for the appropriate vessels for intinction.

Finally, we double-dog dare our Pastor to accept our offer. Nay, we triple-dog dare him to accept!


[Note: There was an oversized brochure for the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal with this week’s bulletin. If you want to see the contents, click here.]



For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-12 Part III

A Final Comment on “Solidarity with Refugees”: In our post For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-05, we made five comments concerning the item “Bishop Burbidge Voices Solidarity with Refugees“. Now, because our Pastor continues to carry this item in the Pastor’s Piece and on the St. Peter’s Website, we would like to add one more comment:

Comment 6: We read The Catholic Thing with regularity and great interest. Authors featured there from the Diocese of Arlignton include our former Pastor, Fr. Jerry Pokorsky, the Bishop’s Delegate for the Clergy, Fr. Paul Scalia, and now retired, Fr. Mark Pilon. A recent article by Fr. Pilon, Conscience and Disagreements on Social Teachings should be read by all in the Diocese to help interpret the recent pronouncement by Bishop Vasquez, USCCB Committee on Migration Chair Strongly Opposes Executive Order Because It Harms Vulnerable Refugee and Immigrant Families. The bottom line up front summary of Fr. Pilon’s article might be:

“To suggest that political positions taken by a bishops’ conference – based upon their reading of practical situations related to economic policies, the environment, immigration policies and such things – are equivalent to doctrinal pronouncements binding on Catholic conscience is quite misleading.”

At the very end, Fr. Pilon provides for me and my wife reason to continue with the skeptical view described in our comments in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-05:

“So the “positions” of the loosely defined “Catholic Church,” which really amount to some leaders in the Catholic Church, are not necessarily relevant and are non-binding on the Catholic faithful. Such positions should be considered – as should other positions and a broad range of factors – in forming our consciences. But to suggest that they are in fact binding on Catholics who have come to informed disagreement is not theologically sustainable.”

Yet, I don’t look to just one article to defend our position. Last week, I took the matter up with my Spiritual Director. His advice to me was a strong echo of Fr. Pilon’s article. When I read this last week’s edition of the Arlington Catholic Herald, I noted that several of the faithful in the Diocese had sent in letters questioning the way the Herald had reported on this matter. Thus, the Solidarity with Refugees stance of the USCCB and the Bishop is truly worthy of debate.

In the end, I will have to do what I said I would when I was in high school:

“I’ll read a book, I’ll stop and look, I’ll give it my perusal. I’ll think its thoughts, Then think them twice, Then accept or give them my refusal.”

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-12 Part II

Triple Dog Dang!!! – A Mini Petition or a Conclusion Concerning Concluding Rites: There is no denying that my post For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-12 was a rant. [I say “my post” because my dear wife was too tired to participate.] After more than two years of several forms of what can be described as “spiritual abuse”, I have grown to be dismayed, wearied, and disgruntled. The tidal wave of change imposed by our Pastor has caused a fundamental shift in the way St. Peter’s worships. It is not, nor can it ever be reckoned to be, a shift that has improved the quality of worship in our parish.

When I am dismayed, wearied, and disgruntled as I am now, I refer to the teaching of the Church on matters of Liturgy. For example the item The Celebration of the Christian Mystery in the Catechism of the Catholic Church certainly helps me to put things back into focus.

With regard to the specific matter of my Triple Dog Dang!!!, it is not just my opinion nor a feeling of nostalgia for the Mass of my childhood; the USCCB, in its instruction Concluding Rites, is very clear in stating the form for the final blessing:

“During the Concluding Rites, announcements may be made (if necessary) after the Prayer after Communion. The celebrant then blesses the people assembled. Sometimes, the blessing is very simple. On special days, the blessing may be more extensive. In every case, the blessing is always trinitarian: “May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” [My emphasis added] It is in the triune God and in the sign of the cross that we find our blessing.”

Our God is “almighty”!

To our Pastor – I have watched you for two years struggling consciously to omit certain words and phrases like “graciously” and “we pray” from the prayers of the Mass. How can you possibly find any reason to omit the word “almighty” when it so aptly describes the nature of our God? How can you take the words of the Church, in the Order of the Mass, and modify them to your own chosen “style”?

To our Bishop’s Delegate for the Clergy – In the grand view of the troubles besetting the Catholic Church throughout the world, the above discussion is but a small matter. Nevertheless, if the People of God, the Church Militant, are to be nourished and strengthened in preparation for the “troubles” to come, they require celebrations of the Liturgy that inspire them to draw ever closer to the Mass and the Eucharist. In these troubled times and in any times, we at St. Peter’s deserve something better than the imposition of a deficient, personal, chosen “style” upon our worship.