Letter to the Editor

Provided by Father Frank O’Laughlin (he picks good articles to read)

Benedict’s legacy will be a contested one. “Your wonderful and at times heartbreaking edition of 7 January confirmed everything I felt for this very holy, peaceful, gentle but strong human being. Thank you for a rare, moving and honest series of features”, writes John Elder in our Letters pages this week. “Through his writings he set out in search of lost sheep, lifted me on to his shoulders, and carried me home,” adds Paul Hammond; “His legacy is of a timid man burned by the experience of Nazism then blinded by the glare of modernity who sought guidance by looking in the rear-view mirror”, offers Dominic Kirkham. 

One – imperfect but not unhelpful – way the papacies of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict are characterised is as an echo of the contrasting visions of two of the great theologians of the last century, Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Rahner saw the grace of God at work in the world, thick with anonymous Christians; Balthasar saw a world of totalitarian nightmares, of nuclear arsenals, labour camps and torture chambers crying out for the abrasive medicine of the Gospel. As we write in our leader this week, “The Balthasar/Rahner debate, the dialogue between Benedict and Francis, is something the Church needs constantly to ponder – without trying to bring it to a simple resolution and without one side demonising the other. For they were both right. Humankind is simultaneously both redeemed and fallen.”

The other link: Why the dialogue between Benedict and Francis is something the Church needs constantly to ponder.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Frozen Ground – Empty Bellies

Deep Freeze. Harvest Lost. Courtesy Fr Frank.

Fr Frank asks that I remind you (and myself) of the difficulty of the migrant harvest workers.

When the freeze comes no aid is available for the harvest workers. Or hurricane, or tornado, or drought.

While the State of Florida provides financial assistance to farmers for crop failures as a result of freezes and other agricultural disasters, the migrant worker does not receive unemployment or financial assistance to bridge to the next planting season. It can be a very hard life.

The Gleaners. Finding a meal when the harvest is gone.

The migrant worker is every bit as part of our common economic life as any USA citizen. Whether here on visa, green card, or undocumented, they are an important part of our economic life and our social life. We are in fact one family.

We should as a part of our systematic care for all members of the common life provide assistance specific to the harvest workers when such impacts occur. Out of Christian charity, yes. But in a sense more so out of Solidarity and in our common humanity. You don’t have to be Chrisitan to see yourself in their plight.

Humanism and Christian Humanism share many common goals. This should be one of them.

Donate to: https://www.guatemalanmaya.org/

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

2017 Guatemala orphanage fire

Orphanage Fire Memorial

The memorial on the night day we were in the city photos.

The tragedy is the poor care for the orphan and the effects of social injustice have a cascading effect. Even righteous protest can be disastrous. It is wise to keep our eyes on Jesus and our behaviors in the Beatitudes.

Background: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Guatemala_orphanage_fire

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Happy New Year 2023!

A Reply to a Priest friend.

My recap.

Merry Christmas, holy Father!

I pray for Benedict XVI and his peaceful journey. I read everything he ever wrote so plain speaking and genuine his faith. Sad the Curia exhausted him their intrigue and power.

Pope Francis equally worn down but the advantage is his street-bishop smarts kept him from being overwhelmed. I think the pasta and pastries at the Vatican did more harm than these.

Pastor Quesnel leaves us in a few weeks. The administrator to come will have little interest in my eclectic spiritually. Such is life. If St Thomas More hadn’t seceded from the faith through schism, I would be happy to finish my service in the shadows of Dcn George Collins and Bill Cresswell, whom you would have loved.

As it is I insisted to accompany Fr Quesnel to Guatemala this Monday for the Three Kings Mission, ten days. Since coming to Sacred Heart I have protected him from harm, why would I stop now. Once he is boarded USA bound, I told him I will pray Simeon’s praise.

Oddly enough I am doing substitute service to the Altar at Miracle House tomorrow. I pray for the Mom’s and babies. It’s distracting to pray through the fog of power and politics. The women understand my prayers and reflection. The men want to interrogate for republican orthodoxy. Happily a newly ordained Priest is the presider so the Lord in his cosmic humor places him in my care if for a moment.

I feel so blessed to be near holy men.

I am still working your must read list from 2011. It’s comprehensive.

2023. Camino de Santiago via France. If I were to enter monastic life it would be as a perpetual pilgrim. Passing through every place of diaspora bringing Christ’s blessing. One tunic, one cloak, and a pair of sandals. GPS, too. My angel antenna is bent.

Every good wish and blessings,

Dcn Gerry

Diaspora Earth

Greetings on this the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Readings: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
Notes: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is lucid, conscious and stable but his condition remains serious, the Vatican said Thursday… at age 95 the retired Pope is entering his final days, his final journey home.

The Holy Family had to flee to Egypt to save Jesus’ life. On their return they had to divert to Galilee for Judea was unsafe for them. The course of our lives is filled with the unexpected and the dangerous.

But the Lord is always guiding: (three times the angel helped Joseph decide what to do)

  • the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to flee (refugee).
  • the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt to return.
  • and because he had been warned in a dream (to divert), he departed for the region of Galilee (internally-displaced).

Today about 68 million people are in forced migration.
Refugees, migrants, and internally-displaced persons all make up these numbers.

Source: https://www.concernusa.org/story/forced-migration-causes/

  • Secure national borders are rational.
  • Impenetrable national borders are a grave moral disorder especially when it is caused by dysfunctional governing.
  • International aid to nation-states that struggle with food, employment and political insecurity is a priority response.

List of Popes: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/feb/13/popes-full-list#table

The world has changed so very much. Yet the fatherly care of the popes continues in the line of Saint Peter, the Apostolic Succession. Who was Pope when you were born? I have lived under the fatherly care of these popes:

  • Francis I
  • Benedict XVI
  • John Paul II
  • John Paul I
  • Paul VI
  • John XXIII
  • Pius XII

Formative Guidance (in my life)

Paul VI

And what is more, the Church has the firm conviction that all temporal liberation, all political liberation- even if it endeavors to find its justification in such or such a page of the Old or New Testament, even if it claims for its ideological postulates and its norms of action theological data and conclusions, even if it pretends to be today’s theology- carries within itself the germ of its own negation and fails to reach the ideal that it proposes for itself whenever its profound motives are not those of justice in charity, whenever its zeal lacks a truly spiritual dimension and whenever its final goal is not salvation and happiness in God.

-Paul VI. 1975.

(11) Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of illhealth; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood.

—John XXIII.Pacem In Terris. 1963.

Pius XII

It is not too much, We are sure, to expect that in the process of restriction, Christian charity and the sense of human solidarity existing between all men, children of the one eternal God and Father, will not be forgotten. Immigration can help in solving one of Europe’s saddest human problems, – a problem which is being aggravated inhumanely by the enforced transfer of helpless, innocent populations.

PIUS XII. 1946.

First reading
God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother.

Responsorial Psalm
Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.

Alleluia Verse
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Gospel Portion
And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Rachel weeps

Greetings on this the Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Readings: 1 Jn 1:5—2:2; PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8; Mt 2:13-18
Notes: Jesus Christ the righteous one. Perfect righteousness.

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.



First reading
Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you:

  • God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
  • The Blood of his Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin.
  • We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
  • We have fellowship with one another.
  • Forgive [ness of] our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
  • Expiation for our sins.

Responsorial Psalm
Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia Verse
We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Gospel Portion
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.

Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
    sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
    and she would not be consoled,
    since they were no more.

Abortion is about the powerful not the woman and not her child.

Come learn the meaning of this mystery.

The LORD has created a new thing upon the earth: woman encompasses man (Jer 31:22).

Listen to Rachel.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Deal with the Devil

Pastor testifies on the reason evangelicals support Republicans: We “made a deal with the devil”

“From that point on that community that I had served, and still do, made a deal with the devil,” he said. “That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda, whether or not we had conscientious conflict with them. The means were justified by the ends of that.”

“That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda,” says Rev. Robert Schenck

Article details here: https://www.salon.com/2022/12/09/pastor-testifies-on-the-reason-evangelicals-support-we-made-a-deal-with-the-devil_partner/

Testimony of Reverend Schenck

Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IA9VjIeuPkA

The Temptation of Jesus.

Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’” Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time (LK 4:1-13).


In the ordinary reading of the temptations of Jesus in the desert, most commentators talk in terms of Jesus’ needs and wants. It makes sense as this is how we think.

  1. He was hungry.
  2. He needed power to do his work.
  3. He needed someone to watch his back.

The devil offered all these things.

The devil offered the fast and easy path: I will do it for you. At a price.

Jesus replies:

  1. The Lord is my nurishment.
  2. My work is enpowered by the Lord not man or devil.
  3. The Lord has my back.

Jesus in popular language:

  1. I don’t need your deal.
  2. I don’t need shortcuts.
  3. I don’t need to use ‘the ends justify the means.’

The Anti-abortion movement made abortion the god of their faith. It made the sin (and virtue) of higher importance than relation and divine life. A grave error in judgement.

I am glad this Evangelical Pastor confessed is his sin.

Waiting for the Catholic Church to do the same.

Salvation is hard work, prayer and fasting. Truth and compassion.

Not the work of a boiler room.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Blessed are the Meek

Greetings on this the Optional Memorial of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin
Readings: 1 Cor 1:26-31; Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3; Mt 11:25-30
Notes: One man, in faith, through the Blessed Mother, in the power of Jesus, changed the world.

But the poor will inherit the earth, will delight in great prosperity (PS 37:11).

The first indigenous Saint of the American Continent.
Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexico’s 64 indigenous groups.

Excerpt from the Canonization

“The Guadalupe Event”, as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, “meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations. Christ’s message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation” (14 May 2002, No. 8). Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization.

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favour upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.

Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle”! Show us the way that leads to the “Dark Virgin” of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.

Source: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/canonization-of-juan-diego/

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.


God counted on Juan Diego to play a humble, yet huge role in bringing the Good News to the peoples of Mexico. Overcoming his own fear and the doubts of Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, Juan Diego cooperated with God’s grace in showing his people that the Good News of Jesus is for everyone. Pope John Paul II used the occasion of Juan Diego’s beatification to urge Mexican lay people to assume their responsibilities for passing on the Good News and witnessing to it.

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-juan-diego/

First reading
No human being [should] boast before God.
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.
Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.

We are:

  • Not wise by human standards
  • not noble birth
  • weak
  • lowly
  • despised
  • count for nothing

It is in God:

  • Due to him that you are in Christ Jesus.
  • [Jesus is our] wisdom from God,
  • As well as [our]:
  • righteousness,
  • sanctification,
  • and redemption.

Responsorial Psalm
In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD, both now and forever.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Gospel Portion
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Lawlessness Revealed


Former President Donald Trump on Saturday flat-out called for the “termination” of the United States Constitution so that he could be returned to the presidency.

Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.


I rejected Trump in 2016, 2020 and even now because he is a danger to every manner of lawfulness.

As to rule of law, it applies. Do we or do we not consider the Constitution to be among the gifts of God?

As to a woman in crisis is not my proxy for my own lawlessness. I do not become righteous by pointing out her unrightousness.

You are gravely mistaken as to The Way.

Biden is by no means perfect. But he certainly is not an anarchist.

  1. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly
    grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil
  2. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the
    conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.
  3. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

The plain truth of it is Republicans have bought a scammers proposal because it sounded good.

But there was no good in it.

When will it become clear to you?


Deacon Gerry