Believe it or Not

Oh Morning at the brown brink Eastward Springs

I once had a conversation with one of my fellow Anglican priests at our Diocesan Clergy Conference. Simon was a very nice English guy, diffident, intelligent and self effacing with a good sense of humor. He had received a typical mainstream, liberal education and was an Anglican priest of the broad church, progressive opinion. After a [Read More...]

T.S.Eliot Reads The Journey of the Magi


Are you familiar with the Eliot poem The Journey of the Magi? Here is a YouTube video. Eliot with an old recording of Eliot himself reading the poem. Bob Toomey has illustrated the poem as it is being read. Take time to listen and ponder Image via Bing [Read more...]

Building the New Our Lady of the Rosary – Update

For the last three months, off and on I have been commenting here on my blog about the beautiful new church we are planning to build in our parish of Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, SC To make our financials work, by the end of the year we needed to raise $650K The [Read More...]

Religious Sister Serves as “Parish Priest”

Wolf Sheep

When I lived in England I had a very illuminating conversation with one of the high ups in my diocese. It happened to be vocations Sunday and I commented on the dearth of vocations to the priesthood. He smiled and said in that smooth way the English have, “Well that depends how you look at [Read More...]

The Reliquary of the Magi

Reliquary of the Magi, Cologne Cathedral

The relics of the Magi–Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar are said to reside in this reliquary at Cologne Cathedral in Germany. How did they get there? The relics were first kept at Constantinople and translated to Milan in the mid fourth century. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa moved them to Cologne in 1164. They’ve been there [Read More...]

The Epiphany Proclamation


Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation. Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, [Read More...]

The Riddle of the Three Wise Men

Adoration of the Magi

So Who were the magi and where did they come from? We’re not exactly sure. All we can glean from Matthew’s gospel is that they are called magi or “magicians”, that they came from the East to Jerusalem, and that they had seen a star announcing the birth of the King of the Jews. The gospel [Read More...]

The Story of My First Confession


My first confession was when I was in my late twenties. I was a member of the Church of England and was taking a year between seminary and ordination. I’d done something of which I was deeply ashamed and knew that I wanted to go to confession. As an Evangelical Christian I had been taught [Read More...]

Flying with the Cappadocian Fathers

Balloon Flight Over Cappadocia

So maybe you thought “Cappadocia” was one of those fancy coffees they make at Starbucks? Wrong. It’s a region of Turkey. My two oldest kids have just spent five months traveling around the world and they visited Cappadocia where the terrain is best seen by hot air balloon. I asked them how they filled the [Read More...]

New Year’s Resolution? Fugeddaboudit.

EOmonastic cell

So it is January second. You’re feeling fat and ugly after all the feasting and partying and lazing about. Now the gym owners rub their hands with glee at all the new memberships that will flood in. They’ll sell the bright eyed enthusiasts a years’ membership and know most of them will pack it in [Read More...]

Not a Resolution but a Revolution…


…in your way of thinking, Instead of making resolutions you are bound to break within a week or two, why not aim for a revolution in your way of thinking? This article for the Imaginative Conservative opens your heart and mind to a new kind of attitude–positive and affirmative without being sappy. There is an [Read More...]

Mother of God – Defender of Orthodoxy


An excerpt from my book Mary-A Catholic Evangelical Debate–which will be re-published next year. I can remember soon after I moved to England (and still a convinced Evangelical) hearing a German Catholic refer to Mary as Mutter Gottes. I don’t know German and thought he was calling Mary “Mother Goddess”. I was suitably horrified and [Read More...]

Why I Am a New Years’ Scrooge


Happy New Year? Bah. Humbug. I stay at home and go to bed early. Here’s why: First of all, I’m pretty exhausted not only from celebrating Christmas, but its a very busy time for a priest. Not only do we have to preside at services at unusual hours, but there are a lot of services [Read More...]

A Pope of Contradictions?

pope francis

John Allen reports with his usual succinct, objective style on an Italian journalist’s criticism of Pope Francis. Vittorio Messori’s evaluation is that “this papacy oscillates continually between adhesion and perplexity,” According to Messori, those average Catholics today are confused about which Pope Francis to follow. He offers three instances of what he sees as contradictions: [Read More...]

Pagans a Pope and the Fall of Sauron…


…Or How We Got New Year’s Day Some atheists, Muslims and Christian fundamentalists like to grumble and gibe that the celebration of Christmas and Easter are “pagan.” They are right and they are wrong. They are right inasmuch as the wellsprings of our Western culture are deep in the pre-Christian cultures of Europe. They are [Read More...]

The Secret of Star Wars’ Success


London’s Daily Telegraph reports here on the tornado of rumors swirling about J.J.Abrams upcoming seventh installment of the Star Wars saga. The aficionados of the Star Wars movies are religious in their passion for the films. I realize it was a spoof, but in 2012 the census in the UK reported that “Jedi Knight” was [Read More...]

Building Beauty in the Bible Belt

St Mary and St Alphege, Bath, England - one of the churches that inspired the new Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, SC

Beauty is the language of worship, and we’re determined to build a beautiful new church in our parish in Greenville, South Carolina Readers of this blog will have learned that this romanesque style church will incorporate a set of fantastic stained glass windows salvaged from the church of St Mary Morning Star in Pittsfield MA. [Read More...]

On Catholicism and Killing Cops

A Seattle police officer wearing riot gear tangles with a woman during May Day demonstrations that went violent in downtown Seattle

Why should anyone be surprised at the recent spate of random murders of policemen? When a society goes bad all of it goes bad together. When individuals stop believing the Christian religion its not long before they stop believing in Christian morality and when they stop believing in Christian morality they stop behaving morally. The [Read More...]

The Family – Your Ladder to Heaven


What too many people seem to miss is that marriage is a sacrament. That means it is a means of grace. It is one of the great seven. It is one of the gifts in which heaven is poured into our lives through the physical. Because marriage is a sacrament it is sacred. If you [Read More...]

The Laymen’s Lament

Liturgically Frustrated?

I should be clear. One of the rules I have set myself is to never criticize a fellow priest on this blog. Even if I think the priest is an insane traditionalists nutcase or an idiotic left wing, crypto Marxist new age freak I keep my mouth shut. Almost all the time, and when I’ve [Read More...]

The Best of British Christmas

Allow me on this Boxiing Day to say that England tops USA for Christmas. Hands down. No debate. No question. Not even a possibility of a question. Here’s why: 1. English radio stations do not play nauseating Christmas music like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer chestnuts roasting by the open fire jack [Read More...]

St Mary Help of Christians, Aiken SC


Fr Renuard West has posted some pictures of the new St Mary Help of Christians church being built in Aiken, South Carolina. This church along with St Paul’s Spartanburg and the new Our Lady of the Rosary is helping to put the Diocese of Charleston on the map for innovative traditional architecture. Here are some [Read More...]