SOLT of the earth: son of tribal chieftan ordained to priesthood

And now for something completely different.

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity  or SOLT (Fr. Corapi’s order) has proudly announced the ordination of its first native priest from Papua, New Guinea.

Before the ordination, Fr. Peter Ripa — the son of a tribal chieftan — donned traditional dress, seen below.

From his homily:

In our world today, which is now torn by war, anarchy, doubt, seeking false hope offered by the material world, injustice, hatred, anger, corruptions, graft, and so many evils in this world, let us shine out the Risen light of Christ to those who are in darkness. Although we might be one, two, three or merely a few, let us not forget the promise of Christ: “I will be you until the end of time” (Mt 28:18-20) . The Risen Christ will never tell a lie to us and He will Never let you and me down, so be a witness to others without fear or doubt.

Congratulations, Fr. Ripa!  Ad multos annos!

  • Linus

    Isn’t that great! And just 70 years ago his Grand Dad’s generation were eating their enemies and may not have heard of the Trinity. At least this was true of some tribes there. The English had made some progress with some of the tribes before then, perhaps he was from one of those.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Thinking of tribal chieftains::: My daughter is marrried to an American Indian. And this morning her husband’s whole family is furious at the Obama Administration.
    They gave the code name Geronimo to Osama bin Laden, the mass murderer in their op to get him. And noone in the blind mass media–that is always accusing anyone who disagrees with them or Obama, racist– picked up this insult, this nasty, rotten use of an Indian Chief’s name. My daughter’s mother-in-law (a Penobscot) has been complaining across the Internet.
    But I still haven’t seen any comment on this from media commentators I guess American Indians don’t fall under the politically correct passion that this Administration and the media has become noted for.

  • Deacon Bill

    Dear Deacon John,

    Maybe this will help. I spent 22 years on active duty in the Navy, so I have some experience in these things.

    “Geronimo” was NOT the code name assigned to OBL. It was the code name applied to the operation itself; “Jackpot” was the code name of bin Laden. During my time in the military (1971-1993), the use of names such as “Geronimo” was to recall and invoke the strength and courage of these warriors, not to mock them! This is also why many NATO “nicknames” for various weapons systems (Apache, Tomahawk, etc.) are used: to reflect strength and courage.

    Also, code names are not picked by the President or anyone else in the Executive Branch. They are selected, often at random, by the military.

    Deacon Bill

  • pagansister

    Interesting. IMO, however, except for the fact that some tribes (not necessarily the one of the newly ordained priest) ate their enemies, I have never understood why the Christian community thought it was necessary to take many wonderful traditions and beliefs of tribes all over the world including the Native Americans, and make them Christian. Is it indeed superior to those of others? I have pondered this many, many years. IMO, no one’s faith traditions trumps anyone elses. The Native Americans were thought to be heathens, etc. That is just wrong, IMO. Am glad this fellow in this article wanted to be a priest—-but I hope he still appreciates his heritage.

  • HMS

    Deacon Bill:

    Thank you for this information.

    Isn’t “Geronimo” what paratroopers say as they are making their daring jumps?

    Unfortunately, all the news reports that I read say that Geronimo is a code name for Osama bin Laden.

    Yet, your explanation is very plausible to me since the words conveyed to our president were:

    Geronimo – code for the operation, as you say

    EKIA – Enemy (aka Bin Laden) Killed in Action.

    Now, we have to inform the New York Times, et al.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Apparently a lot of the media got it wrong. I heard the target (mass murderer bin Laden) was code-named “Geronimo.” My daughter’s mother-in-law 1,000- miles away heard it. And HMS here heard it.
    So will the media apologize for slandering Geronimo?? I doubt it. They probably won’t even do stories on their horrendous mistake–if, indeed, it was a mistake.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Deacon Bill–I just Googled “bin Laden-Geronimo” and got a long list of stories and they all claimed Geronimo was the code for bin Laden himself. In fact the words “Geronimo EKIA” can be heard on one tape in the situation room meaning clearly Geronimo was the code name for bin Laden.
    Also Indian leaders from many tribes are now venting their anger that forever in history Geronimo will be linked with a mass murderer.
    One media story tried to justify why Geronimo was a good code word choice for bin Laden by comparing their careers. Sick!! Sick!!! Sick!!
    And I didn’t see the word “jackpot” in any of the stories. Any idea of the source????

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    Deacon John…

    Check out this report from USA TODAY.

    Dcn. G.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I googled ” bin Laden-jackpot” and most of the stories using “jackpot” were referring to the treasure trove of computer stuff they got.
    According to one story looking at the use of the words “jackpot” and “Geronimo”–reports back to the situation room said: “We’ve I’d Geronimo” as well as “Geronimo” is dead. It was in a story about the angry reaction of an Onendaga (New York) Indian leader to the abuse of Geronimo’s name.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Dcn. G–I hope everyone will link to that USA Today story. It seems fair and trying to get to the truth and giving the Indian (My son-in-law’s Penobscot family still prefers American Indian to the pol. correct Native American) point of view and concerns.

  • naturgesetz

    pagansister — Several years ago I read a book written by Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. It was titled Truth and Tolerance. He addresses your point at length. As I recall his response to your question, in a nutshell , is that the truth of the gospel — salvation made available to the human race through the saving action of Jesus Christ — transcends all human cultures and is not inherently bound to any one culture. For a church which believes that Jesus, and he alone, is the savior of the world, it is an obligation to tell people this good news. When people come to faith in Jesus, then his teachings, embodied in the scriptures, become the norm of life. If there are elements of ones culture which are incompatible with his teachings, those will be let go. Elements of their culture which are compatible with the gospel can be retained.

    But there is often a simultaneous cross-cultural contact, such as when missionaries arrive following conquest or colonization. To some, perhaps considerable, extent the loss of the old culture can be the work of this wider contact.

    We can go back to the time of the apostles to see what can happen. When Paul brought the gospel to the Gentiles, it meant, for example, no more worship of the Greco-Roman pantheon, and it meant that the Platonic view of the body as merely a prison of the immortal soul could no longer be held. But it did not require the complete abandonment of classical civilization in favor of Jewish culture or law.

    European civilization and Christianity became so interwoven that Hilaire Belloc could write that “The Church is Europe, and Europe is the Church.” But even if that is true in a way, it need not mean that becoming Christian requires the wholesale replacement of native culture with European.

  • sj

    According to Wikipedia, Geronimo was not the Apache leader’s name but a misunderstanding by Anglos: “his appellation stemmed from a battle in which, ignoring a deadly hail of bullets, he repeatedly attacked Mexican soldiers with a knife, causing them to utter appeals to Saint Jerome (“Jeronimo!”). Americans heard this and thought his name was Geronimo, and the name stuck.”

  • dymphna

    I sympathize with the Indians but this is pitiful. Life on the rez is full of crime, violence, drugs and breathtaking poverty. They have other things to worry about.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Dymphna—I’m sure most American Indians can do without your snarky and smarmy sympathy. Because some Indians on “the rez” have some serious problems it’s OK to rape them of their self-respect and their heroes????? Who put them on “the rez” anyway????
    Also, many are not on “the rez.” 4 of my grandchildren –through their Indian father–are legally Penobscots (Maine Indians). But because their father is an executive of a large paper and timber company (he’s their comptroller) they live outside Atlanta, Georgia in a very affluent suburb. And all 4 are headed to college or are already in college.
    Incidentally my son-in-laws brother (also Penobscot, of course) is a graduate of MIT and a research chemist at a laboratory and lives in North Carolina-not on a “rez”). Their sisters are respectively–a college teacher (who lives in South Carolina–not on a rez) and a Daughter of St. Paul leader (who lives in Boston-not on a “rez.”).

  • pagansister

    Yes, dymphna, life on many reservations is as you discribe it. Wonder what would have happened if we (at least in my case) “white” people, probably men, had not treated them as lesser humans, and forced them to leave their own lands, forcing them onto those reservations? Perhaps things would be different for them and even perhaps for us. It pleases me a lot that the tribes in Conn. have their casinos (and perhaps other places, I don’t know) and many of those “white men and now women) are paying lots of bucks to try and get rich. It seems to be some justice.

    naturgesetz: Your paragraph was again enlightning. However, as is probably obvious by my posting name, I tend to still think that there are no superior beliefs. (not even mine:o) )

  • pagansister

    Deacon J.M. Bresnahan: What a great family you have. You have many reasons to be proud. Your grandchildren have a wonderful heritage from both sides. Obviously not all American Indians are living on reservations and have a poor quality of life. Of couse, IMO, American Indians should have never been treated as they were to begin with! You brought up the name of Geronimo being used to ID ObL? That was discussed this morning on The View and I think I heard a discussion on NPR (not sure). Until you brought it up I had not heard the name being used for ObL.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    pagansister–Thank you for your kind words. My daughter’s mother-in-law (a Penobscot) e-mailed me today and she’s buying none of the excuses Washington is making about how the name of Geronimo was (mis)used as the code name for mass murderer Osama.
    Also, interesting about Indian Casinos. Indians started getting jobs and money on the reservations because they did not fall under gambling laws. And thus they had a lucrative monopoly that was beginning to build up many tribes.
    But, as so often has happened in American History, others couldn’t stand to see money being earned by reservation tribes. So now many states have changed their laws so Whites can muscle in on the Casino scene.
    As one of my Indian relatives said: We had good farmland–the White Man saw and stole it. We had good timberland–the White Man saw and kicked us off. We had good oil and mineral lands–the White Man saw and sent us elsewhere. Now we find a way to make money from gambling and casinos–and the White Man steals our business or tries to regulate us into financial ruin. Dymphna please notice.

  • pagansister

    Deacon J.M. Bresnahan: From your information on the Indian owned casinos it seems the “white man” is still at it! Greed knows no bounds, huh?
    May I ask how many grandchildren you have?
    Hope you have a good evening.

  • dymphna

    Guys every year my husband sends school supplies to a reservation in South Dakota. The stuff the women and kids talk about in their homes would curl your hair. It’s heart breaking what they go through. Some blowhard in New York fretting about Geronimo puts no food on the table in South Dakota and it sure doesn’t repair the tin roof either. Sentiment is garbage

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    dymph:

    Who, exactly, are you calling “some blowhard in New York”?

    Dcn. G.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Greg–she was probably calling the Onondaga Indian leader from New York who I mentioned was upset about the labelling of Osama as Geronimo as the “blowhard.”

    Pagansister I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. 4 of whom are Penobscot Indians legally through their father. The oldest is in college and a member –with her first cousins who are also living on campus at the University of Maine, Bangor–a member of the American Indian group on campus. None of them live under “tin roofs”.
    However, when we get together, I give them the Celtic-Irish side of their history. Interestingly, as one Penobscot relative said–They became Catholic when the Jesuits arrived in Maine in the 1600′s–most Irish have only been Catholic in North America since the potato famine in the 1850′s when the Irish started emigrating here in big numbers.

  • pagansister

    Deacon J.M. Bresnahan: As I mentioned above—what a great family you have—-WOW! 8 grandchildren. I feel truly happy with my 1 grandchild so far–as my 2 children married “late”. Having much Irish blood flowing through my veins, I’m glad you are giving your 4 Penobscot grandchildren their proud Celtic Irish history as well, and I’m sure the other 4 are getting it also! Right? :o)

    You are indeed a lucky man, being blessed with such a wonderful family—but then I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Appreciate you answering my question.

    From the statement of one of the Penobscot relatives, regarding who was Catholic first—sounds like everyone gets along well. There is no substitute for a family that loves and cares for each other.

    A good evening to you.


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