Monday, December 30, 2013

William Easton

Talk about an enjoyable guy who happened to be a pastor for close to four decades.

Bill Easton is that kind of guy.

Articulate, friendly, upbeat, and more.

That's Bill.

I enjoyed working with him on councils and committees in Pontiac, MI., and beyond.

At 69 he was rushed to the hospital December 20th and died yesterday, according to reports.

When I heard the news on WWJ on the way home from Livonia, I whispered a prayer and relished memories of this spirited leader.

At Clergy Village and the assisted living facility, Bill's dog accompanied him to see ailing pastors.
Father Tom Villerot lit up when he he'd see the dog.  Many would.

I will miss him.

Many will, I'm sure.

He was a pastor of pastors who seemed to love life to the fullest.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Time, New Man, Woman

Each new year, in fact, each new day, gives me the chance to be a new person with a fresh start.

At boot camp, the three-decades-old inmate is struggling with his three-month program.  "I need prayers and divine help," he noted to me the other day.

At the point of struggle one may want to quit.


There's a breakthrough there somewhere in that challenge to be the new person.

All of Scripture speaks of keeping one's eye on the prize, the end product, the goal, heaven, for sure.

2014 can be such a year.

But, detail will be necessary for that to happen in any one of us.

It's required.


Specifically, how will I make this new year different and renewing?


I told my chiropractor I wanted to put into practice the O positive blood-type diet of no gluten, no potatoes, no pork.

Like a workout, he adjusted my bones.

I felt the ache.

"It's all hard in there," he said.

Come every four days, he recommended.

I'll work on this project.

Indeed, I will starting today.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Why I Believe in Christmas


Because I need to believe in it.

Its power and presence I cannot afford to be without.

Its infectiousness persuades me.

With Charles Dickens, among other classics on Christmas, this tale grips my faith, and, my imagination like no other story.

Christmas' miracle of sharing astounds me.

It grabs at my heart strings.

It captures my attention daily when I'm awake to witnessing its contagion everywhere when others help, seek out the lost, assist the needy, and, helps the neighbor ousted from his home earlier today in Roseville, Michigan.

Without Christmas, this culture would be less.

Others would be less also.

And, the world.

And, me.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Global War on Christians

They're indisputably the most persecuted religious body on the planet, according to John Allen in his, The Global War on Christians, a tome just published.

Allen details a litany of heroes in this modern era that matches anything in the church's long history.

The staggering story of Catholic Archbishop Christophe Munzihirwa is told here when he died in 1998 amid the engulfing wars in the Congo and Rwanda.

The archbishop was shot in the street.

Referencing numerous cites, Allen notes how Christianity suffered 45 million martyrs in the 20th century alone. 

These were mostly due to communism or Nazism, and more.

This heartbreaking narrative that would anger any human being has me wondering why there is such silence in the face of such horror today.

Allen's trek of such atrocities among Christians is not a rant on Islam.  This is not all about evil deeds of Islamists. 

Persecutors of Christians have been secular, also, fueled by Marxist-Leninist ideology.

However one views them, these days are special times of sharing, healing and hope in the holidays.

They are promises, even pledges.


They are.

Through six decades of life, I have learned that hope helps people carry on amid tragedy, heartache and more.

When the waitress at Big Boy's earlier today told me that her husband broke his back when he fell of a ladder trimming a tree, I knew she carries hope in her heart.

She does.


It's that evergreen virtue, or strength these days.

It is.

It sees people through storms in their daily living.

And, amid darkness needed even for a little bit of light to see through, this hope shines in the season, these holidays.

It does.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sex Abuse

Another case of sex abuse.

Now, John Nienstedt, a native of Detroit, is charged.

When will this end?


Amid allegations, the case is being investigated in Minneapolis, while its archbishop stepped down.

While clerical rumors have a way of swirling, this latest announcement continues an unhealed wound for my church.

What's the answer to this sweeping scandal that parents, for the most part perpetrate, but cannot be charged?

I don't know.

I do know that it breaks my heart.

And, opens up once more, this unhealed wound.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow's Way of Changing Things

The first big snow storm Sunday sent schedules in a tizzy, reports show.

Three events were changed for the afternoon when more of the wet, white stuff still powdered the Detroit area, concluding Royal Oak, Roseville and Harrison Twp.

So, not wanting to endanger life, I decided to go to the baptismal party at Big Jack's in Roseville.
I'd forget the other two events, including a house party, and, a Knights of Columbus event on the other side of town.

I'm glad I chose to be at Mason's baptismal party.

Memories of Mason, and his future, were written on tags placed on a memory tree.

Mine read:

"Stay close to your family and God," I noted.

It's a recipe worth guiding the young lad's life, I thought.

How could anyone lose with God and family, anyhow?

A crowd ate home-made soup, cabbage rolled over beef, and more Polish dishes that Mason's mom made through the night after a long trek home from the mountains where Tamara and her husband drive rigs and truck beds for a living.


Who would have though that this Christian initiation rite could mean so much to young Mason who relished all the attention, and, to me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Season

Later today a crowd will gather for a first holiday event of the season.

We will discuss how faith traditions promote peace during the holidays.

With Nelson Mandela in mind and heart, that should not be such an arduous task.

Be peace.

That's what I promote.

Show it with my life more than with any words I can capture.

Like Pope Francis, Time's person of the year, he acts on the stage of life and seems to use few words.

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders will 'break bread' and converse about these holy holidays.

We will.

It is a always good to be with them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

It really is!

Calm comes from within.

It reminds me of the guy who was thirsty on a pilgrimage and handed a lad a $20 bill waiting for change after asking for a bottle of water.

The lad wondered what the pilgrim wanted.

"Where's my change," he said.

"Change sir, change comes from within," the lad responded.

It does.


No one can rob my calm, or, make me angry for that matter during these busy and often-time frenetic days of December.

Calm down.

I like to remind myself of those words.

They work.

With practice, they do.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Getting Hands Dirty

So, the pope wants his clergy to get their hands dirty.

That's a heralding request.

For sure.

Out in the streets with the outcasts?

I don't know.

Certainly, I concur.

But, will clergy do this?

I'm unsure.

Clergy aren't use to visiting the down and out, let along those marginalized, and more.

Practice, however, will move them along with the mission of Pope Francis.

And, some thunderous support from the Maker.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela

When resentment could have been his, Nelson Mandela chose inclusion.

In his Long Journey Home, he stands tall in stature, as perhaps the most remarkable man to live after being imprisoned for 27 years.

Asked if he forgave those who imprisoned him so long, he said he had to, otherwise he'd still be in jail.

Mandela raised human dignity across the globe.

A heart for generosity and more, Mandela is a model for the world.

For sure.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Going to the Dogs

Walking dogs can be fun!

Running freely in the spirit of joy is how I describe my little Chiwauwa  who is only months old.

Cara loves to run with no one and nothing stopping her pace.

She enjoys chasing Woofie, my Bichon Frise.

Cara also likes biting and pulling Woofie's ears, legs and fur.

Their spontaneity is a learning experience also.

With little thought, Cara goes!  Woofie, on the other hand, is more cautious and deliberate.

Dogs will be dogs.

A dog's life.

Let 'em be!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Hopes, Helps

While some people idolize these seasonal holidays, I find it best to keep them all in perspective in order to survive well.

There are 364 other days besides Christmas and New Year's.

When one makes either of these days such an idol, one is doomed to fail to meet expectations.

Wanting all in the family to be home for Christmas is unrealistic.  And, it turns out to be a disaster when high expectations rule.

Securing seasonal serenity involves keeping all times and seasons in balance without raising one's levels of hopes so high that no one is able to meet that stretch.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Ring in the new and out with the old!

That is, in with the new Church Year that starts Sunday with Advent, the "coming" of Christ, first on our calendar of December 25th, and, then, again in his "second coming."

So, we wait!  In wonder, even surprise when Jesus comes again.

After all, Advent is a Latin word, meaning "coming."

Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day when families and faith communities light the first of four candles, reminding believers of the coming of Christmas, and, our waiting for it.

Forget the waiting, however.

No one seems to want to wait in a hurried culture.

Yet, patience is a virtue and strength that merit nourishing and growing within self.

But, for four weeks?


Joseph would have given up anything to have someone else deliver Mary's child, I bet.

And, Mary, the teen maiden, likewise, must have wondered what God was doing with her.

Christmas tree, Advent wreathe, four candles, one for each week until Christmas, and more. The Good fellows would bear gifts for my four sisters and two brothers. Sander's candy, underwear, and a toy.  All worth waiting for in our poor family as I pushed my nose up the window glass watching for their, Santa's, arrival.

Everywhere it was Advent in our 2-story aluminum-sided home where the nine of us resided on Detroit's East Side in a Polish community.

It's Advent.

And, it's worth celebrating before the Big C!

Dear God

It's Saturday morning.

Another good day.  After all, you, our God are good all the time; all the time you are good, Creator, Redeemer, and, the One who makes us holy saints this day after the Thanksgiving memorial for turkeys, and more.

Rest, fresh air, a walk with Cara and Woofie, some time with you in contemplation, and, here at the Clinton Township Library in Michigan, north of Detroit, my hometown City.

It's enjoyable.

The moments in the sun from my window, the breeze on the balcony in this modest condominium across from Lake St. Clair, MI.

Never have I felt so at peace, God,  and secure as in this home in Harrison Township, MI., commonly referred to as "Boat Town," although maintaining one would be beyond my modest budget and earnings of $2,000.00 with $500 of that for cost of living.  Whoever determined that doesn't pay bills like the rest of humanity each month.

What an earth and people you have made to praise you!


While turkeys seemed to be getting out of town, heading south toward Windsor, Canada, next door and across the Detroit River, I was sitting down for a turkey dinner in Oak Park, MI.

While spread to the winds of the earth, my siblings and I couldn't get together, yet, perhaps at Christmas we'll determine a day together.  Two sisters were ill and another will not budge with her husband about eating elsewhere than Romeo, MI.

After all, I never want to idolize one single day as the 'perfect' day or else.

Or else, the picture perfect postcard won't happen, and disappointment abounds.

Off this day to Henry Ford Medical Center to visit Derigi Pascelli with breathing issues once more.

Then, some street evangelizing, and then the Ohio/Michigan ballgame from the E-Z chair at home
with the two dogs.  And then, some more prayer, and, a visit to cousins on the other side of town.

Thanks, O God, for so much so often!

The life you give in both bad and good times is good always.



Friday, November 29, 2013

He's Looking for the Poor - More Good News

Pope Francis is looking for the poor of Rome and the world.

Francis just named a bishop to seek and find the needy, and, to help them.

Reports tell that the Pope forwards letters he receives with notes to the almoner bishop who takes to the streets and assists the needy.

What's next with Francis?

Almost daily he's making news with his outreach efforts to the world in his aim to remake the Catholic Church and return it to its roots and the Gospel of Jesus.

Good news.

And, fresh air, for sure.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratefully, With Gratitude to God


How gracious that you bless the world and me. 

You steer it lovingly and long amid fracture, and more all around the globe.

From two loaves and a few fish, Jesus could make much to feed the crowds teeming at him daily as he walked the earth.  Always generous!


When Peter and your other intimates could not catch fish, you directed them.  And, they filled the boat with fish.

Like any of us at times, Peter was frustrated and saturated with doubt, responding to Jesus:

"Master, we worked hard all night, and caught nothing."

Protesting at first, Peter said:

"But at your bidding, I will let down the nets."

The boats were filled with fish.  Help was on the way.

Gracious God,

I thank you for favoring others and me with so much.

May I never take you for granted.


Life is full with the Lord.

It hasn't always been that way.  Especially, when I tried to run it, manage it, and more.

Now, I ask, and, I receive more than I ever imagined or asked for from you.

Thank you for Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Madness of Mental Health These Days

How disappointing is mental health treatment these days.

Practitioners seems to relish writing 'scripts of psychotropic drugs for even the little ones given their unsettledness, and, physicians need to prescribe drugs to calm the kid who is being an eight-year-old to someone's chagrin.

President Kennedy tried to stop ware-housing mental health patients and to put care into more personal community settings.  That dreams, coupled with his aim for a man on the moon was never accomplished, as we know.

We can be better and do more when it comes to mental health treatment.

Each Monday when I enter the doors of the jail for Mass, I discover once more, how much more needs to be done for the addicted, the isolated, and more.

God help us.

Mystical Moments

No longer a need to condemn or exclude.

Divisions, separations, and so much more pass by. And, are given little, or, no energy.

That's what Richard Rohr notes as mystical moments.

How true.

Being head over heel in love with God is how Trappist monk Thomas Keating onced defined mysticism.

I like that description.

It goes beyond dogma, even religion right to one's soul connecting with God and others far from any need to be 'perfect' -- whatever that daunting attempt has been for so much of my earlier life.

Now, being the best human being I can be in the Creator works well.

Connecting with creation, and, all others, is an aim that with God's help, I can do, even 'be' my way into daily.

The path of perfection drained my inner life.

Now, it's accepting pure joy in whatever, whoever comes my way.

Even the anxious turkeys who huddle and  seem headed toward Canada away from Detroit's borders these days.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

At 15, What Have I Learned?

Care of the Soul Counseling and Companions of the All-Faiths Festival marks 15 years since its formal founding in 1998.

Some asked what I learned, while others treat this self-help system like a 'hotel' with little regard for building rapport, and taking time to heal up.

That the rewards of this counseling ministry rest in knowing progress in recovery and healing is being made.

That loops need to be closed that others open, and, are left undone and incomplete.

That although all that one does is not finished or perfect, it is a start, something to begin the conversation needed.

That leaders are often left to decide after input from others.

That committees help but often treat such meetings as social outlets without the serious nature needed for decisions.

That people heal up when they feel safe and trusting in an environment of care and compassion.

That what seems specific as an issue or problem to one person, is generally common for many others.

That the healing therapy and spiritual solutions were given by spiritual giants like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross of Spain long before Sigmund Freud, among others.

That although I enjoyed being a pastor in a parish many times and much of my 37 years ordained, this cryptic assignment hardly gets the moral and material support it merits.

That God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sunday's Sermon: Follow the Leader, and, "Mother, May I?"

Follow the leader.

Remember the game we played growing up?

We asked.  And, the leader spoke out how many steps we could take on the cement sidewalk squares in front of our two-story-aluminum-sided home on Arcola Street on Detroit's East Side.

That home still stands.

One leader was required by law in the occupied Palestine of the first century.

One to follow.

One king, one Caesar: the Roman Emperor.

If Jesus is a king, he's absolutely of another DNA, so to speak.

Care, compassion and healing of God's children came through Jesus of Nazareth's death and resurrection.

"God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, I whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins," Paul's disciple accredited with Colossians engages listeners and the centrality of their faith here.

As David brought together all Jews, Jesus unites followers, and, all people.

Kings and queens I know take care of themselves.  Even corporate kings, queens and CEOs, and even Bishop Bling - they call him - in Germany, for example.

Not Jesus.

No way!

Jesus cares for the criminal crucified next to him.  "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

This king of the cross is taunted: "If you are king of the Jews, save yourself!"

What kind of king winds up on a tree at the place called The Skull?

How does a king with no army fit into our myth of the first or 20th century, that redemptive violence is the ruling measure?

A myth is a story with a profound truth, you recall.  Like the truth of the Adam and Eve mythology that shows them crossing boundaries, sinning, wanting to be center stage - GODS!  Like us at times!

The messiah here in this myth save himself and us from death at the hands of all evil enemies. 

The means of redemption from evil is killing. Killing big and massively.  You know.

We experience daily in the trauma of a terror-filled culture here at home.

This kindly king Jesus doesn't fit into the king's kids' understanding.

Ye, the king on the cross, the gospel reminds us, is the lone one who can save us from the myth of redemptive violence and terror.

Jesus saves us from the willful illusion that we will be freed from evil by killing our enemies.

Jesus points the other way: He always does.  He turns us upside down in following him always.

Suffering, dying, love, giving, forgiving of enemies are the soul of the opposite end of killing.  The messiah can't kill evil.

But, by dying to evil and self and ego and self-centeredness, and following my own lead, or false leaders, Jesus and you and I can transform it through LOVE!



What a king to follow.

Happy festival ANNIVERSARY to you and to Care of the soul. 

A blessed beginning with Sandra Bell and Marge Hallman, directors, into another urgent yearning of the Good News so needed now and always in Jesus the Christ, the lone leader who got it right along with the gravity of his Father, and our own, who directs this parade, this procession of life keeping each of us grounded with A GRAVITY that functions so well if but we FOLLOW NOW!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gratefully Yours

My hearts turns toward thanks this time of the year.

It does.

It's enlarged, you may say.


I'm more conscious of my efforts to be more mindful of the Golden Rule, or respect, and more.

I am.

We need this Thanksgiving Day reminder.

After all, it was Seneca who noted that we need less new information and more reminders in life.

Furthermore, the Greek, word, "eucharistan," means "thanksgiving."  For Catholics, Mass is that act of gratefulness each time we celebrate the holy sacrifice and God's eternal Word.

Thanks are in order for my family, my extended community of friends also, and for acquaintances who are so many, praise God.

Often, one engages the word, 'friend' for all people she or he meets, or knows.  However, one has few friends and many acquaintances in life.

We do.

Psalm 142 emerges these holy holidays:

"As the deer longs for living water, so my soul longs for you, O my God."

Happy Thanksgiving Day all year long!

I'm grateful!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ACLC, Las Vegas, NV

Their 'rocking and rollin' at the ACLC in Las Vegas this week.

Clergy of the American Clergy Leadership Conference with the theme of being ambassadors for the Good News are listening to the diverse and varied voices meeting in the Riveria Hotel.

Baptists, Catholics, Unification, and more are meeting.

And, they are mounting an offensive to keep the momentum of their movement going, participants say.

Amid terrorism threats to the Nation, another alternative way is suggested, organizers and speakers are shouting.

In fact, the son of the deceased founder, is challenging the crowd to mount an offensive to counter the terror threatening the U.S.

Some dismissed the youngest son of  Rev. S. Y. Moon as "too young" to make such a plea, while others are ready to roll with the plan.

Thursday, attendees were getting ready to do 'street evangelization' at the Riviera Hotel on the strip.

They hope to get ears who will listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, participants said.

Hundreds will return to their churches and organizations Friday after listening to Latter Day Saints' speakers intending to strengthenmarraige and family with daily prayer, discipline of children, and more in a cultre run rampant, one attendee complained.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"In him we live and move and have our being..." - Paul to the Athenians, Acts 17: 28


We do.

At least, I do!

No kidding.

Earlier today in Harrison Township, Michigan, a young gal wondered what I was doing at Crocker and Metropolitan Parkway.

She did.

We talked.  Enjoyed some stories and even laughed.

Then, she asked me why I was at the corner with my sandwich-board sign about TRUTH.


That's what I told her I was doing and being about for the hour.  A holy hour that fills my time each day in between appointments with individuals and groups who come for attachment disorders, communications issues, love dysfunction, and much more.

Equipped with a simple sign, pamphlets and Rosaries and miraculous medals, the gal and I were fired up, you may say.

A Macomb Community College student, she's now an evangelist.

We share the love of Jesus Christ -- the Golden Rule -- in a time, society and culture that is aching for much more than it now offers.

A deep ache.

That gets filled with street evangelizing, often.

We share the hope in our hearts, the virtues and values of the Catholic Church that Jesus founded thousands of years ago.

Call me at 586 777 9116 for more, please.

Or, join me regularly on the streets of Macomb County, MI.

I need you.

The world wants you to help.

You'll be glad we met the Maker, and more!

You will.


Friday, November 8, 2013

A Letter-Writing Revolution

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

There's a revolution going on in letters at that address.

Pope Francis is making headlines almost daily --as it should be for a world leader -- as he charms the world, makes personal calls home, and, writes notes to the people who write him.

Letters tell stories.

They tell stories of ordinary people living out daily chores, and more.

Rebuilding the Church.

That's the aim, it seems of Pope Francis.

And, that's much like the pope's pal who stormed the stage and took charge while Francis patted the lad on his head.

Welcome to a fresh approach to taking care of business at the Vatican.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Did you know that families and households that eat together, and spend some time praying together, in fact, stay together?

They do.

They're less prone to promiscuity and drug abuse, studies show.

To that end, please join other households and families at a meal at Big Jack's Bar-B-Q, 27454 Gratiot, in Roseville, MI., Sunday, Nov. 10 at 1:30, Wed., Nov. 20 at 5:30 pm, Dec. 2 at 5:30 pm, and Wed., Dec. 18, 5:30 pm.

Participants, including children and teens, will be equipped with how to set a table, how to engage in conversation with family, and how to make meals with manners happy moments together long into life's trek.

This complimentary meal is subsidized by leaders who care about strengthening family today.

Join me, will you?

Friday, November 1, 2013


A great cloud of witnesses have gone before us, connecting the world with the beyond for centuries.

All Saints.

The Fourteenths-century mystic, Meister Eckhart said:

"Do not think that saintliness comes from occupation; it depends rather on what one is.  The kind of work we do does not make us holy, but we may make it holy."


We Catholics, among others, believe in saints.

They followed, as we are to also, Jesus.

Martyrs for the faith, and more.

Many more.

We recall the official saints made so by the Vatican.

I remember the unofficial saints, like my parents, who struggled to put us through Catholic schools, to put bread on the table, to see us walk and walk away, not forever, but to learn the trek of life and walk it well as followers of Jesus.

Happy feast day!

After all, we're all called to be saints, to be holy, no?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting Older, Forgetful

How amazing it is when a friend has short-term memory loss and little, if any, appetite.

From a vibrant woman who cared for her father much of his life, to leading single's groups, and, eventually the senior crowd, she broke her hip recently and that seems to be doing her in some.

I mean, she's gingerly walk about with her walker, seems more frightful now, and, is in need of sitting more often to rest her mending hip.

She even admits she has no appetite when I noticed she didn't touch the food in the refrigerator from Sunday.

That was on Monday evening when I visited her.

She ate a bit of pita bread with the garlic cream after some resistance, however.

Not much, however.

Time for 'meals on wheels.'

Time for more pastoral care and counseling to enable her to rid that depression.

What to expect when one gets older and trips and falls, I guess.

Not what I would like.

No way.

Yet, it is sad to watch one fail and fade, after such a spirited  and enthusiastic life.

You win some and lose some in life.

And, then. . .

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2 Popes Fascinating the World

John the XXIII.


Fruitful 'first' on many fronts.

Both leaders of the Catholic Church led with courage, collaboration, collegiality, and, all the messy stuff that comes with consensus building, and more.

Saint Mary's Retreat House ( to download registration form) in Oxford, MI., presents a weekend spiritual retreat November 22-24, 2013.  It will be about them.

It will be about why the world is fascinated with them, their personal and public lives, their prayer, preaching papal retreats, vision and holiness of life.

Men and women will explore their teachings on Jesus, and more, in light of the faith of participants.

Join me as I lead this retreat.

With enthusiasm I look forward to be with you and the wisdom of these popes.

A Holy Hour with A Holy Woman: Joan Shifflett of Sterling Heights, Michigan

A 15-year-member of the Catholic Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling since its inception of formal founding in 1998, Joan Shifflett, died Wednesday, according to her son, Mark.

Amazing grace describes her best for me.

With little drama, this survivor moved with life's ebbs and flows, despite the desolations and physical challenges, and more, that she endured.

I hear Joan saying:

"Do not fear, for I have not, and I am with you like Jesus.  Remember me in the fall or autumn, as you like and as you walk through the leaves of gold, and, in the snow, and cold and wintertime of life even, remember me in the stories told, will you?"

Scriptures emerge when I think of Joan:

"The Lord hears when I call."   - Ps. 4:3

"I have loved you with an everlasting love."  - Jeremiah 31:3

"I am the resurrection and the life."  - John 11


A Month's Mind Mass for intentions of her family will be celebrated Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 3 pm in St. Bonaventure Monastery, 1740 Mt. Elliott, Detroit.

All are welcome.

Joan was blessed with an enlarged heart she grew as I knew her.  A simple woman of modest means, Joan Shifflett reminds me of Richard Rohr, OFM, who said:

"Why does the Bible and  Jesus tell us to care for the poor and the outsider?"

"Because we all need to stand in that position for our own conversion.  When we are smug and content, grace and mercy have no meaning, and, God has no meaning."

Mark Shifflett, Joan's son, would accompany his mother to Big Jack's Bar-B-Que Grille in Roseville, MI., for a Class in Acceptance, founded by the late Father Edward Popielarz, and, my boyhood pastor who filled our cracker-box gym at the parish with hundreds as he integrated spirituality, twelve steps, psychology, and more weekly.

Although I was a high school senior at the late Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish on Detroit's east side,
I savored his notes that he would hand to me as he went off to teach. 

Little did I know that he would leave me numerous binders of his carefully-prepared sheets to continue his class and to hand out to his enthusiastic participants who celebrated Mass at 7 pm in St. Jospeh Church in Pontiac, MI., also, long after my encounter of this wise man.

Today, the class in acceptance meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm in Big Jack's with another devotee of his, David Johnstone leading it.

Joan was an enduring student of the class with Mark.  They looked forward to it.

Even after Joan's fifteen years of growth groups and Care of the Soul's interest in her.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Joy in the Morning

O happy day!

How one likes to sing that song.

At least, I do!

All is happy and well amid strife, and more.

Division and conflict cannot steal one's joy.

They can't.

Live is the answer.

Give, forgive and give again!

Sounds insane but it is the way of our God of life.

It is.

O happy day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cura Animarum


That's what Cura Animarum/Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling celebrates this week Wednesday at Mr. Paul's Steakhouse in Roseville, MI.

Celebrate with countless others October 23rd at 5:30 pm.

And, again, Sunday, November 24 with a 3 pm Mass of Thanksgiving in the St. Bonaventure Monastery where Father Solanus Casey's tomb resides at 1740 Mt. Elliott near downtown Detroit.

Before that, at 2 pm is a healing service for you also.

Join others and me to mark our anniversary of founding.

Fifteen years since its founding in 1988.

Igniting each one's dignity and worth by awakening it in self and others.

Reaching deep within.

Moving and morphing the wounds of self and the world through the grace of God.

Happy Anniversary!

To be fifteen again.


Sunday's Sermon

Sacred Scripture for Sunday, November 24, 2013 points toward a sermon about the King on the Cross.

Known to many as the Feast of Christ the King, Luke's 23rd chapter shows three antagonists challenging Jesus on the cross with the question:

"Are you not the Messiah of God, King of the Jews?  If so, save yourself and us" (Luke 23:39).

Leaders, soldiers and a criminal on the cross next to Jesus ask that query.

A King who winds up on the cross.

Without power.

And, at a place called the Skull.

An executed Messiah.

A myth is a story that tells a profound truth. 

This is the 21st century tale of redemptive violence as the ruling myth. First or twenty-first!

The One who saves himself and believers from death at the hands of evil people is the myth.

How does Jesus fit into this myth?

He can't.

The means of redemption from evil is killing, is violence, huge, if called for and necessary.

King on the cross.

Jesus in the lone one  who can save us from the myth of redemptive violence.

Jesus steers us from the willful illusion that we will be freed from evil by killing our enemies.

He takes us to the other end of violence: suffering and dying in the dark descent within where initiation in the baptism of Jesus drowns out the ego, the self.



Forgiveness of enemies are the soul of what we call the paschal mystery of new life.

The Messiah can't kill evil.

Yet, by dying to evil, to self, like us, he transforms evil through love.


Making peace through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20).

Reconciling to himself all things on earth or in heaven, that is.

That's it.

The Word of God.

This Holy Sacrament we become in Holy Communion.  Taking, eating, being what and who we receive in the Body of Christ, as the ancient  Augustine reminds.

Fresh Air


We know it when we smell it, taste it, see it, feel it, and of course find it these days.

Like Francis.

He's fresh air for many.

Similar to John XXII who opened the windows to wisdom, Pope Francis is enlarging the heart of the Church we love to reach inside first in prayer, and, then, to connect with the outer self and streets and neighbors near and far.

That's fresh.

Comments he makes off from  a scripted sheet has the former Argentinian cardinal warning bishops, among others, that obsessing about certain culture war issues may cause credibility and a moral collapse of the Church like a house of cards.


Go figure.

In a prayer at a retreat for the gift of counsel, Pope John the XXIII pleads:

Come, Holy Ghost,
Convince me of my sinfulness.
Convict me of my sinfulness.
Convert me from my sinfulness.
Console me in the process.

Sounds like a prayer Francis would utter, no?

He's convinced of the nature of humans, yet, seeks consolation in the process of admitting one's sinfulness.

Such embracing of all God's people is a sure cry from constant attachment disorders that Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross of Spain warned about.

After all, the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds already tell us what we believe.

Particular culture war issues are projects people poke at much like reading Scripture at the lowest level of its meaning -- the literal level.

Bring on the fresh air and Vatican III that Francis seems to be aiming toward.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When Another Church Closes

Infants and adults were baptized into Saint Athanasius Catholic Church in Roseville, MI., since its founding in 1958.

Formation in the faith at the Macomb County parish supplemented what the primary educators by parents needed to get their children on the path of what is right and moral.

Hearts were reconciled with God, family, among others in the sacraments of Penance.

People received who they are at Mass: The Body of Christ.

Couples were married.

And, more.

Singles enjoyed the clubs they organized for decades.

Retreats gave pause for people to put their lives into perspective once more.

Funerals found people grieving over the loss of family, friends, church members, among others who needed a Christian burial.

Now, the vibrant edifice will close soon and the shuttering of the church's doors at 18720 E. 13 Mile Road, Roseville, MI., 48066, will present pain and heart-ache for many, especially the elderly who invested much time and energy into building and bonding and being the People of God.

The office will be silenced when no more calls are made and e-mails at stop the flow of communications, sentiments and stories of loss and grief.

Life is like that with its trials and tribulations; it's consolations and desolations.

Like a roller-coaster ride, humans hurt in the feelings felt deep within the believer's heart.

Parishioners will talk to each other about their mourning that will shine through their saddened faces right down to the core of their being where the Kingdom of God flows freely.

Public rosaries will cease and perpetual help devotions pleading the intercession of Mary, a favorite patroness, will no longer be recited.

Small communities of families will meet before and after Mass as the moment of the funeral of this fully active, conscious and participatory community of enthusiasm, and more, is set by archdiocesan officials.

Back in the 50s, an archbishop of Detroit was there to formally establish St. Athanasius Church.

He probably won't be there for the shuttering.

Eighteen people will unfold the future of St. A's sister parish, Sacred Heart Church at Gratiot and Utica Road that snakes its way up to St. Lawrence Church, one of the surviving Catholic parishes that are folding these day like flies swatted dead.

And, while it looks like parishioners determined their faith with this committee or that, a lack of priest personnel is central to countless closures in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

I remember.

While a pastor at St. Jospeh's in Lake Orion, MI., cable television was the means by which the People of God were told of their fate. 

Anxiously, I awaited and watched with glued eyes to the TV as Saint Christine, in Brightmoor's community at Fenkell and Lahser in northwest Detroit was situated.

Now, the once thriving edifice and school is filled by the neighboring Leland Baptist Church next door.  Only the Father Clement Kern Center that the parish bought while I was a pastor there, remains as a resource center.

Perhaps the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, says it best:

I do not know where I am going, a paraphrase of his prayer notes.

Yet, one trusts that God enfolds him in his trail.

And, he, like the St. Athanasius parishioners surrender to what is the reality thrust upon them.

Their grief may be great.

However it is, grief needs to be processed in the loss of life, a love, a limb, and more at this once vibrant parish.

Over the months I watched its life ebb.

And, will witness more of the same in a wider church of Detroit, and, elsewhere, that seems to lack a vision with its dwindling numbers of attendees, and, fewer men choosing the life of a priest.

Culture wars seem to occupy its officials, coupled with lifting a tremendous debt incurred over a decade with those steering the ship, so to speak, amid the AOD's Cardinal building the fledgling Pope John Paul II Center in Washington, D.C., that the Knights of Columbus purchased.  More debt and spending. . . and. . . leadership lack awaits Pope Francis' renewed openness after a long dry spell.

In the meantime, pastoral care must be provided by those dubbed as Shepherds of the flock.

Rest in peace, dear St. Athanasius Parish family.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Compassionate Cities

Are people compassionate?

Are cities?


People are scrambling to become compassionate cities these cities from Washington, D.C. to Louisville and Detroit.

And, their shining a spotlight on compassionate actions of every private and public life.

Factors determining who qualifies is the amount of money a city gives to social causes, numbers of volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and data from various sources.

I'm impressed with Appleton, Wisconsin Compassionate Cities handing out paper for youn people to draw their impressions of compassion. 

They did.

I thought we were born with compassion, weren't we?

Do we lose it, forget it, fail to act on it after a while?

It seems like it's a lot easier just being compassionate to one another.  Organizing compassionate cities seems like a tough task managing compassion.

Go figure.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Where Is the Outrage? Where Are the Clergy?

Back in 1991, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, along with experts brought evidence before the US FDA that antidepressants were the cause of violence and suicide.

The heavily Pharma-funded FDA panel ignored the evidence provided, and it would take 14 years, and public pressure, for the FDA to finally issue its strongest warning, the black box, on antidepressants and other classes of psychiatric drugs documented by international regulatory agencies and studies to cause violence.

Over the decades as a pastor and psychotherapist, I have wondered often about the quiet of psychologists, among others, including interfaith leaders, regarding the need to stand up about the alarming numbers of psychotropic drugs issues to young children, among others.

Furthermore, at least 31 school shootings and/o school-related acts of violence were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.

A new video, The Drugging of Our Children - 0 to 5 Year Olds, concludes that more than 1 million children are being drugged in the United States alone. 
"The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane," a documentary from the makers of the award-winning, "Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging," concludes that there is no money in "normal."

This psychotropic drugging is big business.

It is.

This high-income partnership exists between psychiatry and drug companies creating an $80 billion psychotropic drug profit center.

This sales campaign worries me no end.  So do so-called psychiatrists' diagnoses.

I'm hoping clergy, among others, will join in making others aware of what's happening in the world of psychotropics and the increasing serial crimes all around us.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Sad Commentary on Society

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will spend close to three decades in jail.

How is it that we human beings think that we can get away with crime?

Terrible crimes at that.

We've been down this road before with other leaders who tried to get away with it.

To whom are we accountable?

Some may think that we are accountable to self alone.

Apparently at his verdict today, the former Mayor wondered out loud whether he would be able to forgive himself.

Days ago a Police Chief and I conversed about guns and parenting.  He felt that parents need "to give a damn" about their kids, and to take time with them.

How true.

Parents are foundational in the journey along the path of life.

If they're there, chances are that the children will grow well without promiscuity, drugs and more.

Quality time.

How do parents do that?

Juggling schedules and so much more is a daunting task.

Working to put bread on the table and to pay the bills is a challenge.

It is.

Kids needs to be told that going down this or that road is a dead end.

We have to be taught.

We do.

No doubt about it.

Can leaders help parents down this road?  To raise children well?  To show them the way?

We better.

Or, else.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Walk With Me

Hundreds of supporters of the work of the late Eleanor Josaitis and Father William Cunnigham of Focus:HOPE will walk Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1 pm.

The 4.5 mile walk recalls the 1968 founding of the iconic civil and human rights organization's struggle for justice, fairness and food for the needy.

For thirty-nine times now, walkers commit to the ideals of Focus:HOPE.

Before and after the walk, there are activities for the children, and, food, music and more.

Joining me is Rabbi Dorit Edut, Rev. David Kasbow, Professor Marvin Surowitz, among others.

Some walks merit standing up while others choose to sit.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shut Down!

Our U.S. Government shutting down!

Go figure.

What's one to think of public servants.

In house fighting, and more.

Much more.

Fighting along party lines like the ole high school ball teams.

What a shame.

Put them all in a room and keep them there until they settle this conflict.

That's how some parents get their youngsters to settle conflict.

Can't come out until a resolution is set.

Take it from parents in the trenches trying to make a living while raising a family.

Shut down their pay also.

Why should they get paid when other don't?

Now that this avenue is set, it seems that it will be easier the next time, and the next.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A World of Good

What a world of good some quiet does.

Silence is golden.

It is.

The booming, loud voices bombarding us much of the day demeans the dignity of one's being.

They do.

Frenetic paces with so much noise does little for one's spirit.

In fact, it may lead to aggression, studies show.

A pause each day for some quiet and calms seems to be what the doctors order.

They do.

Try it.

You may like it.

If not, you may have your old life back.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Killing Jesus

This Jesus of history book gives the brutal details of Jesus' demise, according to co-author Bill O'Riley, with his researcher.


"Because Jesus did nothing, and was crucified," according to the writers.

One consultant with Fox News who happens to be a priest praised the book for new information he gleaned from the thick tome.

Like O'Riley's other books, this is a head-turner of a volume.

It is.

A Catholic newsman, O'Riley does a world of good with this one.

The video violence strewn across our streets, and, screens at home needs addressing.

And, the authors are on target as they get the attention of all of us needing to step up to the plate in parenting with quality time for the children, and more, to prevent further violence that is more common than blowing one's nose, it seems today.

With multiple chapters and documentation, this story is one to be told again in they eyes of another "good news" writer like O'Riley.

After all, the greatest story every told merit our minds and heart to turn in troubling times to Jesus who shows us the way to stop the carnage careening everywhere these days with only yawns in response from authorities and parents also, I believe.

We all can do more.

O'Riley leads in igniting the conversation again when the NRA, Police, and D.C. are so divided about gun boundaries, and more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Retreating in Oxford, MI.

Dozens of women will be calming down and being still this weekend at a Catholic retreat in the Dominican Center in Oxford, Michigan.

Just as people grow skills for this task, or that, the retreatants will be enhancing their faith.

The theme of the three-day time of quiet connection with God is "I Believe: Help My Unbelief - Faith and the Kingdom of God.

With time for personal and communal prayer, meals together, Mass, reconciliation, spiritual direction, and more, they'll emerge Sunday after Mass and a final meal together, enthused.

They will.

Each time I lead a retreat, I come away renewed also.

Faith is like that.

It is.

This ancient practice goes back to the early  centuries of monasteries and convents when pausing to ponder the mysteries of the Creator were common.

Today, on the other hand, casinos compete with people's time.

Yet, meaning from deep within the well's of one's life longs for more, for healing, for recovery from darkness, suffering, wounds and the trek of life.

Let the retreat begin.

Monday, September 23, 2013

From the Flock

They're consistently there.

They're available.


Even predictable.

They are.

My flock.

And, they come through when I need them, or not.

It's true.

When pressed, they're there.  But, they are faithful and loyal even when I'm not in need of them.

That's how they are.

My teachers.

Like the disciples who were taught by their Master, Jesus, Woofie and Karah are true blue believers!

They are!

Spontaneously, they remind me to take time to play, to smell the flowers, if you will, and, to enjoy life's day.

They show me a full life even though they rest much of the day.  And, look out the window!  That's when they remind me of praying again, of being still, silent, and, shutting up for twenty minutes or so.


Most of the time, they are willing and wanting to engage in play, "wasting time," time out!

At eight weeks old, Karah needs to learn a few things for me, for us to live together well.

She does.

This black and brown Chawahwa/Yorkie, I'm told, is being "potty" trained outside.  No easy fete.
And, age-appropriately, she will learn.

So, she teaches me patience also.

Walking on a leash is another matter.

She goes "still" on me when off for another daily walk.  Her eyes penetrate mine, as she wonders why?

Why the loss of freedom to wildly run here and there and everywhere.

Why boundaries?


All of this while Woofie, my white Bichon Firse of three years of age, wants little to do with the pup.

That is, for the most part.

Yet, he's learning also.  Right along with me. 

We're all learning.

We are.

Just the way, we're supposed to each fresh, new September day of autumn's debut, fragrance and change of tone all about us.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunday's Sermon: Decisively Ringing Out Kingdom of God


September 22, 2013   /    Amos 8: 4-7   /   I Timothy 2: 1-8     /   Luke 16: 1-13


As children of the Light, ring out the Kingdom of God decisively as anointed believers!

And, herald honest 'glad tidings' like fresh September school bells ringing in prudence, the strength and virtue.

The Gospel's urgency is always about living and awakened to  the 'now' moment today, urging the breaking in of God's Kingdom of truth, justice, mercy, and more!

How true!

Let justice roll like the waters over the mountaintops.

But, unlike water's destruction in Colorado, and Syria's extremest brotherhood, and, military might spilling blood over that troubled land.

Let justice roll!

Giving each one her or his due - that's justice, no? - means that I must be awakened to, and, aware of how I may oppress the needy by my actions and daily deeds.

Like the steward who is praised for his decisiveness, BUT not for his dishonesty in the example in today's Gospel from Luke's Gospel's, Chapter 16, just proclaimed for us today, here and now.

What does a child of Light look like?

She or he prays for personal awareness foremost. 

That's being awakened now to God's truth, and, God's Kingdom, to be DECISIVE in acting fairly, justly, with mercy as we humbly walk this good earth, as another prophet, Micah mentions elsewhere.

Jesus makes a dishonest steward an example of discipleship.

Surprise, surprise!

Go figure that God works in wondrous and unexpected ways here.

Remember that it is not the dishonesty of the fired steward that Jesus extols, but rather the steward's wisdom in being decisive now!

My responding then to the moment with prudent action toward the needy, especially.  Not delaying like I may often, suggesting, another time, another place, later in life when I have more time, when I'm retired, when my life is less busy.

Let justice roll, cried out the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., fifty years ago here in Detroit, and a month later in Washington, D.C., with his iconic, "I Have a Dream" speech.  King got a little help from Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, when he needed to enliven his fledgling speech.  Like, Mary, the mother of Jesus, America's patroness, and, like our own moms, or, women in the church and society today. 

They are there like Mary pointing to Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana when the married couple ran out of wine at their wedding banquet.  "Do whatever he tells you," Mary tells the stewards.

They do!

And, sufficient wine for the embarrassed couple.

Like Mahalia Jackson there at Martin Luther King Jr.'s moment of need to tell the dream that invites us to look at the content of one's character rather than the color or one's skin!

Let justice roll!

Amos longs for that in speaking truth to power in chapter 8 of that prophet's book entitled, Amos, in our sacred scriptures.

People then, and now, seemed to separate the Sabbath, waiting for it and the end of the new moon, to daily rip off people unjustly, dishonestly, you know!

It's easy to spend other people's money, I would say to myself when I was pastor in Lake Orion.

It is.

Or, to unroll more toiled paper than I need at someone else's expense at the public library, for example, to make the prophet's point.

Decisive thinking to act justly.

I pray for that, and more, in supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings offered for EVERYONE, for those in authority and leaders.

We all pray that justice will roll swiftly and  decisively when millions of Michiganders are at stake
in the currently challenged farm bill, formerly called the bridge card.

We pray that DECISIVELY, we will let our leaders know.  To know how important food and bread is for so many in Michigan threatened by lost of food stamp dollars for their dinner table.

Like the scale at the supermarket we weigh just the pounds of tomatoes we need, the justice, that is, doling out parts and pieces of the apple pie for the nine of us in my family, as I was growing up on Detroit's east side by the City Airport.

To act decisively is what we imitate beyond the dishonesty of the steward in this parable, this example story from Luke's sixteenth chapter.

Let justice roll with the urgency of the now of Glad Tidings, Good News of the Gospel by the children of Light - those anointed with the gift of prudence given by the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and you and me!

A mother's example of justice, and dad's decisive prudence also, or, your own and mine acting now, and, using the Golden Rule, treating others as you would want to be treated, as the standard scale or measure, that's what this Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist, Mass and more, coupled with Mahalia Jackson's HELPFUL WORDS, TELL EM ABOUT THE DREAM, MARTIN, and Mary's own, 'DO WHATEVER JESUS TELLS YOU, that kind of  DECISIVENESS, that's what we're called to, you and I, today, now.

Let justice roll!

Go on now!

Do it decisively today, tomorrow, and always for Christ's sake!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

13.4 percent struggling with food in Michigan

Alarm bells ringing just as children's school bells ring out these September days.

Food insecurity needs to be addressed in this state of Michigan.

A Farm Bill is needed that won't cut $40 billion in funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called food stamps in the past.

Estimates are that one in eight households in Michigan on average confronts hunger in 2010-12.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research released the figures in its annual report.

How does the Gospel impact believers?

How will we help?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two Prayer Intentions

The Nobel Peace Prize committee may want to nominate Pope Francis.

As he stirs up the world daily, his call for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting for Syria last Saturday, got little attention in the Detroit area.

Leaders could have called us to the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament to enhance the enthusiastic pope's plea for peace and nonviolence in resolving the civil strive in Syria.

Violence only begets more of the same.

It does.

We all know this truth.

Prayer is powerful, for sure.

A decidedly different direction is moving this war drama now.

Prayer works.

It does.

Prayers are also in order for a fruitful Focus Hope walk Sunday, Oct. 13th at 1 pm on the campus there at 1355 Oakman Boulevard, near Madonna Church where the late Father William Cunningham served as pastor, while Focus:HOPE co-founder, Eleanor Josaitis, worshipped with her husband Don, and family.

Call 313 494 4270 for more information, and, register online at

Prayers are asked by Dana Milbrand Friday for a special intention.

Join her, and me, in prayer.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

15th Anniversary of Cura Animarum/Care of the Soul & Companions All-Faiths Festival

                                     A L L         A R E        W E L C O M E!

                        PASTORAL CARE OF THE SICK


Please join Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling All-Faiths Festival, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 5:30 pm, Big Jack's Bar-B-Que Grille, (586) 775 2220, 27454 Gratiot, Roseville, MI 48066.

Sung Vespers begin event with "Giving, Forgiving and Acceptance," with David Johnstone, student of the late Father Edward D. Popielarz's, founder of the famous class in acceptance, and, Joe Maher, former actor, of "For the Good of the Priesthood."

Gratitude Gala, Oct. 23, 2013, 5:30 pm, Mr. Paul's Chophouse, (586) 777-7771, 28750 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville, MI., 48066.

Sandra Bell        (586) 778 6015
Marge Hallman (586) 778-6015

Jubilant Mass of Thanksgiving, Sunday, November 24, 2013, 3 pm, St. Bonaventure Father Solanus Casey Center, 1840 Mt. Elliott, Detroit. 
Tributes and Notes of Memories Accepted at 25959 Waterway Drive, Harrison Twp., MI. 48045






Thursday, September 12, 2013

A prayer with a Syrian native

Rozan and I chatted about her homeland earlier tonight.

The chef made, and, served delicious food at a benefit amid her obvious worry on her face.

Worried about her brother, among other cousins in Syria, a blessing was shared for them.

"Pray," requested Rozan, when asked how I could help.

For sure. No doubt. I will.

Coupled with peace talks and negotiations to settle the horror happening now in her homeland.

"Please pray," she pressed.

I will at bedtime once more.

And, tomorrow.

God help Syria, and all.


Coconuts, City, Country Culture of Crime

Another human being was shot in the head.

A State Trooper. 

Hardworking, decent, with a soft heart, reports indicated.

Chefs cook with today's craze with 'things' coconuts everywhere, it seems.  As common as crime are coconut uses today. 

Less deadly, of course, even if used to throw the opiod-shaped nut at another when embattled.

A troubled 19-year-old shot the trooper in the head during a routine traffic stop in northern Michigan, 80 miles from Grand Rapids, MI.

His wife, an accomplice, helped the murdered flee.

It keeps happening as it's more common than blowing one's nose.

Go figure.

Wait for the next one to be killed by a gun.


Well, waiting spikes war casualties.

Laws need to help angry hearts to stop the liberal gun laws from slaying another soul.

Leaders need to act.

Allowing us all to have guns will have us all -- most of us hostages-- murdered one way or another in an addicted, gun-saturated society.

This is far from overreaction.

Our national and local obsession with the need for assault weapons is a pathology in need of 12-step therapy.

How long have we been battling sensible gun law's?

Too long.

A calmer city culture is possible.

After all, sticks stones, squirt guns and bows and arrows worked in the past.

And, the statistics proved it.

We had to resolve our conflicts with conversation and talk.

Now, people have such disdain for patience and each other, that only quick solutions with guns work for so many.

Stop the carnage.

We need to stand together against weapons.

When will we?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Make a Difference Day

Make a difference day for young people showing them how faith makes a difference in your life, your love, your job, and family.

The Twenty-third Annual Make a Difference Day, October 23, 2013, millions of volunteers will unite to enhance the lives of  others in their communities.

Find out how you can join at

Get started is where you will need to go when connected on the site.

Service and lifting up life anywhere, everywhere can't be beat.


Ask anyone, everyone who serves.

They will tell you what serving does for them, let alone others.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fall Feeling and Summer's Fading

Catch your breath.

Others would say that to me often as I was growing up.

They wanted me to slow down.  And, to pause, even.

It worked.

It helped me to regularly take time to pray and contemplate for twenty minutes twice a day.

That ritual and rite of passage from summer to fall, enters my mind these days.

Routines are like that.

They are.

We need regimens like three square meals a day with small portions of food.

And, exercise most days of the week for an hour at least.

Jogging with my dog, Woof, provides that first thing in the morning after some prayer.

Rest is a word that derives from the Hebrew, meaning, "to catch your breath."

Such a pause is key to a balanced life.

Otherwise, I'm off center, even eccentric, not balanced, and, perhaps not good for anyone, let alone

Fall's frenetic force is upon us.

School bells ring and fall brings a frenetic pace.

Slowing down to savor these final breaths of summer is a good thing.

It is.

Time on our watch moves fast.

After all, life is short when measured by the clock.

And, me!

It is!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

For the Young Church, Others

HAIL MARY, by Ermes Ronchi, and, The Prayer of St. Frances, by G. Ferri, merit consideration.
Contact,, or (800) 218 1903.

Both prayers are revered and traditional creations widely used.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Pause for a Parade on Labor Day

As national protests marched for better wages for employees of McDonald's across the USA, hundreds walked in Hamtramck, MI., a diverse international community, September 2nd to mark Labor Day.

De La Salle's high school band with Regina High School girls wearing the De la Salle shirts, followed the Wayne County Executive, Mayor of Hamtramck, Police Chief, and more.

Moving north along Jos. Campau from Holbrook to the annual festival of food, rides, dancing, and plenty of drinking, several seminary students who arrived recently from Poland also walked in black cassocks amid the cool and sunshine that fell upon the crowd.

While some civic leaders invited me to walk with them, interfaith representatives walked alongside the public servants. 

Comments and questions filled our every step related to chemical weapons and Syria, the plurality of religions in Hamtramck, including a Jewish Cemetary, and multiple mosques.

After the walk, a group of us had tea or coffee and ice cream at Palmas, a Bosnian Café on Caniff.

Hamtramck's parade ran smoothly, impressing me no end.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Catholic President: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The public address announcement at Saint Thomas the Apostle School told of the death of President Kennedy early on that Friday of November 22, 1963.

I was in the eighth grade.

Walking home when class was dismissed early, out of respect for the President, I wondered and wandered even as I searched for answers everywhere in my disbelief.

How could anyone kill him, or, anyone for that matter?

But, the President of the United States of America?

He was young, vibrant and articulate.

He was a leader.

For sure.

He inspired me and began the Peace Corp.

He challenged us to put a man on the moon.

He did.

Fifty years ago.

Time Away for a Pause

Sandra Bell of Roseville, MI., knows what pausing can do for one's wellness.

Retreat time is part of her Catholic faith and journey.

When I invited her to invite other young women to participate in a three-day reflective growth group, September  27-29 beginning at 8 pm Friday and ending after 11 am Mass on Sunday at the Dominican Retreat Center in Oxford, north of Detroit, she seemed interested in the pause to ponder the theme, "I Do Believe, Help My Unbelief."

She did.

The women's weekend away will afford her some still time to recreate and renew her spirit in God.

We'll look at wounds, those healed and those left unhealed.  We'll see what obstacles prevent deeper belief and trust in God, and, in turn, in others.

Opportunities for common prayer in Liturgy of the Hours, meals together, and Mass will accompany the chance for women in today's culture to connect with each other, and, perhaps, share a story, a struggle, a dream, an accomplishment, and a joy.

I'll pack notes on stages of grief, and ten things I learned from the late Father Edward Popielarz, the founder of his famous class in acceptance, a covenant, an agreement of freedom as the good Father described acceptance to countless souls who encountered issues of acceptance of self, others, and God. 

Wounds we hold will be a part of my conferences.  And, wounds healed will also be held up.

Even Thomas the Apostle, a close friend of Jesus, doubted his faith.

We all do, perhaps.

That's part of our spiritual journey.

In fact, it seems to me, like Job's own travail of desolation and consolation, he came out a firmer follower of faith in God through his ordeal told in the Good Book.

I'm looking forward to this time together with companions on the journey.

Anora Ziler is the coordinator for registrants.  She can be reached at (313) 561 3764.

I'm hoping older teens and young adult women will consider joining me for this retreat.

They'll add some vibrancy and zest to the enthusiasm the group will bring to this time together in prayer, and more.

If you want to attend, and, have financial constraints, please contact me at and I'll make efforts to ask others to assist in the expenses.

I will.

Faith is like that.

And, I know you won't be left out, or, let down, for that matter.

After all, like you, I believe.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


How quickly times seems to pass.

At least on my clock.

Labor Day will soon be upon us as summer fades fast.

The word, rest, comes from the Hebrew, meaning, catch your breath.



Take a moment to breathe.

Summer's season seems to afford me a moment to change my regular routine rite of passage, and rhythm.

It does.

And, it seems vital to me, at least.

It helps me to reconnect with the Maker, with other loved Ones, with acquaintances, even with the season's days.

I attend more in the summer.  I attune to God more, also.  I pause and ponder, even poke at the beauty of the now in any given minute of my sunny days of Summer.

And, then it fades in its fleeting moments.

I'm grateful.

I catch my breath, thank God!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Try God

In Cheboygan on Catholic Radio, I hear "try God."

I do.

As I travel from our Stempky, Wichlacz, Blaskowski, Robytek, and more, family re-union, the FM station resounds with "try God."

It does.

Hosts on the morning show accompany me as I drive to Petoskey from the Sacramentine Monastery Augustine Center in Conway, MI., of Highway 31.

Try God.

Humans do nothing until we have to do it suddenly, it seems to me.

I clean the house when company are coming over.

That test students takes waits 'til the last minute for preparation.

And so it goes, no?

For some, God is "on hold," it seems, also, until a tragedy hits home, and, a sibling is hit by a car or by a sever disease, a divorce, or more.

God's ever-present being enfold all of us always from the core and center of one's being.

I must not forget that.


In my center, within, God resides.

Closer to my heart than I'll ever imagine.

Without God being front and center, I become eccentric, off balance, far from the center, even odd.

I do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


We're it!

Family, that is.

That's all we got.

Each other.

Here in northern Michigan at the Benton Community Center, former Saint Francis Church and hall, we're gathering to eat and greet again in our annual Stempky, Wichlack, Mushlock, Blaszkowski, etc., re-union.

Starts at 10 am and goes 'til we shut the light out. . . or finish the food, or. . .

Then, I'm off to the Augustine Center in Conway, MI., for some refreshing time with God.

In quiet.

In communion.

The pastoral woods, and more, allows this connection with God away from distractions of the frenetic life in metropolitan Detroit.

A few days will do this soul well.

Then, Aug. 29th, I'll be back for an annual bar-b-q at my place to celebrate summer's ending and September's debut.

Women who want to get in on a retreat I'm leading at the Domincan Retreat House in Oxford, MI., can call Anora Ziler at 313 561 3764 to sign up for it September 27-29, 2013.  The theme is "I do believe but help my unbelief."

The Center free for food and lodging is $160 with a $40 deposit.

Join me.

Call the St. Mary's Retreat Center at 248 628 3894 for more information, or google the name to check it out.

Be believing more boldly.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pausing, off fishing. . .

These entries will return.

I'm off to a family re-union in Cheboygan, MI., followed by a retreat in Conway, MI., at the Augustine Center through August 28th.

May you be a blessing.

You have been one for me walking on the journey of life's joys and sorrows.

August 29th is the day set for a home Mass, and an annual bar-b-q at my place from noon.

Peace be with you!

Economic Justice for All

The pursuit of economic justice is not an option or add-on for Catholics; it is part of who we are and what we believe.

We need to help our Church renew its sense of solidarity and our society rediscover a sense of national community.

Our community's greatest challenge is to encourage those with economic power to shape their decisions by how they affect the stability of families and the opportunities of people who are poor, while at the same time calling on all individuals to make personal choices that strengthen their families and contribute to the common good.

The call to economic justice is not a political preference or ideological choice, but a response to the Scriptures and a requirement of Catholic teaching.

It remains clear that the moral test of our society is how the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable are faring.

And, by this standard we are falling far short.

The challenge of this pastoral letter is not merely to think differently, but also to act differently.
The completion of a letter such as this is but the beginning of a long process of education, discussion, and action.

                                     -   From A DECADE AFTER ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR ALL, National Conference of Catholic Bishops on the 10th Anniversary of the Economic Pastoral,

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear: Only love can do that.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.

Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.

Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

The martyr, Martin Luther King, Jr. who died at 38 in 1968 said that.

August 28, 1963, King was in Washington, D.C. steering a massive march that fascinated the world with over 250,000 people.

August 22, 2013, clergy will lead a Golden Rule - treat others as you want others to treat you - from the SW corner of 8 Mile/Van Dyke in Detroit, MI., to Toepher in Warren.

A supper after at the Metro Family Church follows.

Join me.

Life is too short to continue what we're doing to it across towns, villages and the globe.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paths in the Circle of Life and the Lovely Lion King


It makes me bristle with union in the suffering of those in the line of fire in Egypt, elsewhere, and my own local towns, including Flint, Detroit, Harrison Township, Clinton Township, Royal Oak and Ferndale, Michigan to mention only a few.

The religiously-fractured Middle East, and 'burbanites and dwellers in the City of Detroit, for example, may heed and hear , even herald the Irish poet Seamus Heaney's poem on prejudice:

"History says, Don't hope /
On this side of the grave. /
But then, once in a lifetime /
The Longed-for tidal wave /
Of justice can rise up, /
And hope and history rhyme."

In spite of history, one hopes that the horror of bleeding bodies and bloodshed running down like rivers of water in the Arab world, and elsewhere, will be tempered with mercy, moderation and a measure of justice and peace.

The Lion King tale tells of one circle, one globe, one 'hoola-hoop', and, even one table, if you will, of a well, yet wounded world.

Suffering makes me shutter.

I'm old enough to know, however, that one transmits and projects unhealed pain and woundedness on to others what she or he does not heal by the grace of God.

Suffering is loss of the ability to manage or control one's life, one's being, one's community, one's aching tooth, for example.

The world is old enough to know, however, also, that the path of peace alone pokes out from within one's self where serenity and joy, amid suffering, still resides.

No one can rob peace from short of bullets and bombs that are more common these days than blowing one's nose.

Only charity and love will live on long in one's legacy after death.

This Thursday, August 22nd, at 6 pm at 8 Mile/Van Dyke, on Detroit's east side, a parade with a casket to bury segregation forever (and lent to us by Swanson Funeral Home at Mack and E. Grand Blvd., near Belle Isle Park), will lead clergy, among other faithful in an urban/suburban unity walk to release the wounds of our race relations.

Holding on to the wounds without releasing and letting them go will only transmit more of the same in our rapport with one another, or, the lack thereof peace for all people as one nation under God.

This painful trek and journey in time, in Egypt, and elsewhere, will surge on like a river of blood with bleeding hearts unless people of goodwill decide that enough is enough for now and forever.

Like the loving Lion King laying with the gentle lamb.

With each of us living human beings.

That Hebrew Scriptural metaphor told by the ancient and iconic prophets is an aim meriting a few moments in time Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 6 pm.

Walk with me in this moment in time, please. 

Pax, pokoj, pacem in terris. . .peace on earth, and, in one's heart.

Let us walk on through the wind and the rain.

Amid the storm, we hold high hope in my heart.

We do.

We will.

No?  Yes?  Maybe?

For sure, we can. . .together.

Despite the suffering endured the price of peace poking deep within is worth it.

Healing wounds left unhealed over centuries fester and years for living waters shared by all of creation, lions and lambs alike.

Together we can let peace's path point the way in Detroit, Egypt and elsewhere.

We can.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pere Marie-Benoit Rescues Jews

A tree at the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembers a French priest, Pere Marie-Benoit for rescuing thousands of Jews in France and Italy.

In 1966, Israel honored him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

And now, Susan Zuccotti authored a book about him, Pere Marie-Benoit and Jewish Rescue.

This Catholic pastor showed empathy for Jews where faithful Catholics were persecuted in France.

Experiences in one's own life motivate others to a call to action to assist others.

Suffering is like that.

It is.

Evil can be overcome despite people who kill and live the lie.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cura Animarum to Celebrate Founding 15 Years Ago

Two gratitude galas are set for Cura Animarum/Catholic Care/Cure of the Soul & Companions Counseling, and the All-Faiths Festival, including:

September 18, 5:30 pm, in Big Jacks' Bar-B-Q Grille, 27454 Gratiot, Roseville, 48066, with actor, Joe Maher of Opus Bono Sacerdotti, and, student and devotee of Father Popielarz' famous class in acceptance, David Johnstone, addressing, "Giving, Forgiving and Acceptance;"  and,

October 23, 5:30 pm, in Mr. Paul's Chophouse, 29850 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville, 48066, with song and saxophone entertainment. 

Reservations are requested by calling co-chairwomen, Sandra Bell, 586 778 6015, or, Marge Hallman, 586 776 0486.

A healing ministry, Care of the Soul All-Faiths Festival, is a mending and recovery outreach organization that provides growth group sessions and individual counseling for all.

Memories, resolutions, commendations and photos from thousands of participants over fifteen years can be sent to, care of,  Director, Care of the Soul & Companions, 25959 Waterway Drive, Harrison Twp., MI., 48045.

"Father Pops saved my life," said Johnstone, a longtime disciple of the founder of the class in acceptance, the Rev. Edward D. Popielarz, a professor at the Orchard Lake Schools, and, a pastor at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Detroit, the boyhood parish of Lawrence M. Ventline, D.Min., a pastor and board certified professional counselor for 37 years who counsels and leads the mending and growth groups the first Monday mending monthly sessions at 5:30 pm in Big Jack's Bar-B-Que, and, the third Wednesday of the month class in acceptance,  also at 5:30 pm.  Reservations are required at (313) 530 2777, or,

The public is welcome to the celebrations.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

You have to be taught. . .

You do.

Oscar and Hammerstein sing those lyrics in a classic stage play.

When I grew up on Detroit's East Side, trusting and talking to people of color in the nearby neighborhood, let alone the nation, and, on the way to Saint Thomas the Apostle School on Miller and Townsend past Burrough's Junior High at Saint Cyril and George, was not on my radar.

I was taught to exclude.

Outstanding mentors have helped me to undo that harmful learning.

Richard Rohr, for example, a Franciscan pastor, notes of the separate and autonomous self and individual that keeps people alone and isolated.  He claims this posture is an illusion.

It is.

We were made for each other. 

To be with each other.

To be one nation under God.

To be in communion with the community.

In union, in solidarity with each other.

A regional cooperation parade is set for Thursday, August 22nd at 6 pm at 8 Mile/Van Dyke, for unity. Bring a bell, and, a banner to carry to Toepher Street in Warren.

From 6 pm that evening, a supper will be served at 22021 Memphis (2 blocks west of Van Dyke, 8 blocks south of 9 Mile) in Warren, guests of Rev. David Kasbow of the Metro Detroit Family Church. We will bury segregation and lift up diversity and the dignity of each one.

Join me, will you please?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rivendell and Healing of Fracture

J.R.R. Tolkien's books tell of Rivendell as the safe house in the wilderness, a place of refuge and comfort.

Guarded by elves, the "cloven vale" was safe from all evil.

"Merely to be present there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness."

Visitors talked and thought about their past journeys and the perils they confront, yet, the spirit of the land soon lifted their fear and anxiety.

Their own experience of the good or ill of their own stories was not forgotten, but their power over them ceased.

Instead, health and hope grew strong in them, and the pilgrim learned to be satisfied with each day, and, to take pleasure in every meal, word and song.

Care of the Soul's Faiths Festival believes that healing is a natural process in everyone, and that it will occur if the environment, both within and outside the person, is nourishing and secure from harm or disease and fracture and brokenness.

Join us for our fifteenth anniversary of founding, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm at either Big Jack's Bar-B-Q Grille, or Mr. Paul's Chop House in Roseville (TBD).

Currently, growth groups that I lead meet the first Monday monthly, called, Morphing/Mending, and the third Wednesday monthly, called, Father Pops' Class in Acceptance.  Both meet at 5:30 pm in Big Jack's, 27454 Gratiot, Roseville, MI., 48066.

Welcome also for individual, couples or family counseling by calling me at (313) 530 2777, or,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Judging

The Pope's plane ride back to Rome, Italy last night must have been quite exciting with the reporters.

Radio reports said Pope Francis said he would not judge gays.

How blest we are with such a heart to include and not condemn and oust any human beings.

Although he is not changing Church teaching on the issue of same-gender attractions, Pope Francis is making room for all.

His dialog is encouraging for those who have suffered by condemnation.

His non-judgmental attitude is a sure way of promoting conversation, while avoiding further 'chasing out' and having gays walk from the Catholic community that many love and were born into from birth and baptism.

Praise be Pope Francis for lifting up the dignity of every human once more.

How about his missionary attitude to get us all out into the trenches to spread Good News?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

God of the Earth

Gracious God of the Earth and Heaven:

You invited us to be one with each other and with you.

Praise be to you.

Thank you for inviting us to be one in accord with you and all inhabitants of the Earth, and heaven.

Your love expands the boundaries and strictures we place on each other.

I'm sorry.

Why we exclude, I don't know.

Is it to be first?

Does ego reign?

Help me stay in the positive with you as the circle enlarges to include all sisters and brothers, and, planet Earth, among others.

Your grace build upon human nature that encompasses everything your hand has made from the beginning.

Help me, us to get it and to enlarge our vision of the one earth, one world, and, a single globe.


So be it.

Praise you!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Detroit Area Clergy Press for Greater Dialog

Area clergy, among others, met in Pilgrim Baptist Church in Detroit Thursday, calling for intense dialog to solve Detroit's woes.

Pastor Sidney Griffin, host of the ecumenical gathering, pushed for "a march that shows our solidarity and unity as leaders."

"People will see us together walking as one to get things done," shouted the former Wayne County, MI., point person for faith-based issues.

Rabbi Dorit Edut agreed.

"I'm shopping at the new Meijer Market on 8 Mile in Detroit tomorrow  as a sign of solidarity with the City," Edut said.

Alex Potyok concurred.

"We have to stop trying to be right, and we need to show that it's OK to be different, even poor and without any money," said Potyok, 23, of Detroit.  He aims to help produce a U Tube video on dialogs such at Thursday's meeting.

Plans for a march from Detroit to Warren are in the making, according to organizers.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Saint Christina the Astonishing

Her feast is July 24th each year.

Saint Christina is patroness of mental health therapists.

She was born in Belgium in 1150 and orphaned at 15.

At 21, she had an epileptic seizure and seemed to have expired.

A funeral was held, and, during the service, Christina levitated to the roof of the church.

She was asked to come down and obeyed.

Christina lived as a homeless woman who was dressed in rags and found sleeping on rocks.

She acted as the people's conscience.

In fact, she told the Count of Looz every sin he committed as he lay dying.

Some thought that Christina was insane, yet, others venerated her and respected her very much.

In 1224, she died in a convent, dubbed as an obedient Christian despite her condition.

I turn to her to intercede for those I visit in counseling.

At Saint Christine Church, located in Detroit, MI.,  where I was a young pastor, I would tell people about Christina, and they would laugh, for the most part.

Saints are like us, I think.

We are unfinished works of art.

 We are made by God.

Sunday's Sermon: July 28, 2013 Genesis 18:20-32, Psalm 138, Colossians 2:12-14, Luke 11:1-13

When I ask, I receive.


I do.

Jesus advises us to "ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

I ask for just enough money to pay my bills, put food on the table for my four-legged Bichon Frise, Woofie, and me.

For health, for God's will in my life, and how to spend the limited time God gives on this earth.

For all of that I ask, and, in reflection over time, I discover that God answers prayer.

God does.

We're assured in the scriptures that God knows well how to "give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."

It's when I forget to ask that I grow weary, doubtful and despairing.

And, in a culture when independency seems to rule, asking may be something I refuse to do.  After all, "I'm an American, I can do it myself, thank you."

The other day in prayer, I asked God to help me to know how to serve amid volumes of violence daily, injustices all around us, and a sense of helplessness to assist in the change of hearts that it will take to revisit the "I Have a Dream" speech and march that fascinated this Nation 50 years ago August 28, 1968.

That day, a clergyman stood up and steered a march on Washington, D.C., for quality health care, education, housing, and more for the most vulnerable among us.

In my wrestling with God these days in prayer, I find myself staking everything on God's future for the world today.

And, I engage the imperatives in Luke's Gospel today.

"Hallowed be,"  is an imperative.  It is not something we do, but, rather that God does through us.

"Your kingdom come," is an imperative.  We are ordered to tell God to bring on God's dominaton-free order.

We can demand our daily bread from God.

We can.

I can insist that I be forgiven and safe from temptation.

Alone at home, or here with others in Holy Communion, I can let the imperatives begin!

May the imperative force be with you!

Monday, July 22, 2013


It's a help.

A big help for people attached to alcohol, and more deadly, toxic process or substance addictions.

Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross of Spain addressed attachment long before the dawning of modern psychology, or, Sigmund Freud, for example.

It's a blue book with a blue and white cover.

Blue is the color for depression, although on this feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, blue refers to the sky, The Best of the Blues, the deep blue sea, the Queen who reigns above and beneath the heavens, the Stella Maris on the trek of life, and much more.

The contents of this tome first appeared in a series of Blue Books about treatment and alcohol.

The blue ribbon book!

It is.


It is the fruit of the labor of the likes of Catholic priests: Fathers Kennedy, Pfau, Popielarz, Quinn, and many more.

Alcoholism: A Source Book for Priests has advice for divinity and seminarian students, and, it treats psychiatry, the predisposition to alcohol, sobriety, the sociopath, recovery, the 12-step spirituality,  AA, Abstinence, the alcoholic priest, the disease, and health, among other topics.

Some pastors tell me they have no time during the day or at night to treat such attached persons.

Others deny that the 12 steps have anything to do with religion.

Some say that alcoholism is a moral failure not a disease.

So. . .

Shepherds help steer those heading toward destruction.

They do.

Father Edward Popielarz helped others with this disease.  He did.  Many of them.

He saved David Johnstone's life, for example, a metropolitan Detroit leader who facilitates Fr. Pops' class in acceptance.  That weekly class help others accept their demons.

Of course, God is the Divine Physician.

Shepherds help with support groups for those facing the struggle of addictive behavior.  This family disease demands help from the Body of Christ, the Church.

One lost lamb of God, one wayward sheep, is worth the search to lift up with hope.