God brings us a today to love….

November 16, 2015

God brings us a today to love….  _

God brings us a today to love,

                             a yesterday to remember,

                                      a tomorrow to count on



When Bob and I met, who would have thought God would use us to spread the Good News that He is alive and He is in our Church, and in our lives.  I only knew I liked Bob; I trusted him.  He was not like the other young men in our school.  He respected women.  The other male students frightened me.  He was different; he was polite, considerate and protective; he was honorable.  When other young men in the school spoke ill about a girl, he would always defend her.  He never gossiped about anyone.  He always saw the good in everyone.  At times, to my frustration, when I judged some took advantage of his generosity and ongoing Yes, he would gently answer my objections with a smile.

I always saw greatness in Bob.  From the day I met him, I knew that God had something special for him to do.  I would say, quoting Shakespeare, “Thou hast great Glamis that which would make thee great, if thou wouldst be great.”  What it was, I did not know.  I just had a feeling!


For Penny and me, there is no doubt in our minds, hearts, or souls that the events of Monday, September 23, 1957 were definitely orchestrated by Our Lord Jesus, Our Lady and all the Angels and Saints.  A new class session had just begun in school.  We can envision a grand meeting in Heaven, in which it was determined that these two children (us) had work to do for the Lord, and it would not begin until they met and married.  And with that goal in mind, a Heavenly contingency descended slowly to the earth, with Angels carrying our Lady on a cloud, singing songs of praise to God.  O.K., that’s my vision!

On earth, we were positioning ourselves for the execution of the Heavenly plan, although we didn’t know it.  We were busy familiarizing ourselves to a new school year, and new people, whom we had not met the school year before.  I had never met Penny.  I only knew her by sight, or rather, from a distance, from where I looked at her the previous semester.  She was breathtakingly beautiful, lively and buoyant, truly a product of Heaven.  In my mind, she was definitely a creation of the Master Artist, God.  We had never been introduced, and I was kind of shy.  She was shy, too, but covered it up by appearing standoffish and antisocial.

We were just getting used to being back at school.  For me, it took a certain amount of discipline, after having been off all summer from school.  I worked nights at United Press International, down on 35th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.  As I got home from work at 6:30 in the morning, and my school hours were not till the afternoon, I was sure, I would be able to get a few hours’ sleep in the morning.  It should have worked out all right.  The only problem was, I never wanted to, because there was too much activity going on.  But after being back to school for two weeks and being exhausted from burning the all-night oil, I vowed that this night, Monday night, September 23, 1957, I was going to sleep after dinner, and not get up until absolutely necessary.

Besides, that night, I had to be particularly alert, as I had to go to the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, to cover a prize fight between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson.  That was my agenda, not our Heavenly Family’s agenda.  My roommates told me they were going to give a birthday party for one of the girls they knew, who was away from home.  Oh man, I thought, there goes my sleep time.  But I had vowed discipline, and I was going to sleep.  To be honest, if I didn’t get some sleep, I was going to die.  So I buried myself in the bedroom and tried to block out the noise of the party going on in the next room.

Penny arrived.  She was outside in the living room with all the guests making a big fuss over her.  She later confided that, as she missed her family, she was just looking for an excuse to make a quick getaway, back to the Barbizon Plaza, which was a women’s residence in Manhattan.

It was very difficult.  The Angels had to get me out of the bedroom into the living room in order to meet Penny.  I was exhausted.  To me, the people out there had no consideration for anyone.  They just wouldn’t let me sleep.  Finally, I gave into the plan from Heaven.  If I couldn’t sleep, I thought, I might as well join them, but I was not going to be happy, and I certainly wouldn’t be friendly.

It was as if Choirs of Angels raised their voices in praise of God, as I opened the door to the living room.  Among the crowd of people there, who should I see across the room but the girl I had been admiring for so long, from a distance, (actually ogling) my Penny.  She was so-o-o-o beautiful.  Then I realized, it was her birthday!  I had to meet her, but I had to be cool.  I would also have to be nice.  So I put on my best James Dean look, tousled hair, frown and squinty eyes.  For those of you who were not on the earth yet, ask your parents about James Dean.  It wasn’t really difficult to put on this posture, as my hair was messed up, from having just gotten up from bed, my eyes were slits because I had been in the dark, and now was blinded by the light.  So it didn’t take a whole of lot of creativity to do my James Dean thing.

Now, here’s where I believe the Heavenly Family came in.  Penny was on one side of the room, surrounded by all the young men in the room, actually encircled by them.  I’m sure some of it had to do with the fact that it was her birthday and it was her party, and also because she was a knockout.  But the moment I came out the door, the Angels cleared a path between her and me.  The closest I can think of was the parting of the red sea, only in this case, it was the parting of wall-to-wall people.  Our eyes met.  It reminded me of when St. Bernadette’s eyes met Our Lady’s for the first time in the grotto of Massabielle.

We sat down at the kitchen table, and began talking.  I have no idea what we talked about, but we talked for hours, lost in each other’s gaze.  It seemed like we were both in a state of hypnosis, but it was more like Heavenly bliss.  At the beginning, people may have tried to break in, like when they wanted Penny to blow out the candles on her cake, but the Angels blocked us from them with their wings, and after a while, they knew they couldn’t get between us and they just left us alone.  It was like we were not there.  We were shielded by the Angels.

I had been excited about the prospect of covering the prize fight at Yankee Stadium, but now, I hated the clock ticking away, getting ready to separate us.  This was a mystical, magical moment.  I didn’t want it to end.  She did not want it to end.  But the clock struck seven.  I had to get to the Yankee Stadium.  I felt like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight.  I was furious because I had to leave; I was so much in love.

At the Yankee Stadium, I met Ernest Hemingway, who was sitting ring-side and asked him to autograph one of his books, I just happened to be reading.  Now, not even the boldest bettor would give a-thousand-to-one odds that something like that would happen.  As I was an ardent fan of his, you would think this would be the highlight of the night.  But the experience dims obscurely in the brilliant light of having met the love of my life, my future wife and soul-mate, my Penny.

After having gone through my usual grueling routine, working all night, getting home at about 7 in the morning, I looked forward to getting some much needed sleep; but because my roommates were just getting up and, and as I said before, they had absolutely no consideration for me or my need to sleep, this was not about to happen.  However I managed to fit in a few hours of sleep; then got up, shaved, showered and left the apartment in search of the girl I loved.

I started that next day convinced that the meeting with Penny had to have been orchestrated by the Heavenly Family, and I still believe that to be true.  Everything that happened that evening was so perfect.  It could not have been of man.

But then proof of that came crashing down on me the next day.  I knew I would have a chance to run into her; we were in the same class.  We would rekindle the flame, lit the night before.  I hurriedly walked to the coffee shop near the school, in hopes of finding her there.  I knew she always spent time there with her friends.  But she was not there!  I walked quickly towards the school and found her, standing off by herself, looking at a notebook, as if to remember an appointment.  I rushed up to her, and I gave her a big hello.

She looked right through me as if I didn’t exist.  I reminded her that we had met the night before at her birthday party.  She didn’t seem to know what I was talking about.  Bottom line, she had forgotten completely our evening together.  The most important day in my life, and she forgot it the next day!

Needless to say, I was crushed!  I had also aroused my Irish temper.  In my mind and heart, I called her every terrible name in the book.  But I never said a word to her directly.  I vowed I would never speak to her again, even if she were in danger of death and it would take my being nice to her to save her life.  I was really hurt.  But now, over 50 years later, I realize it was just the enemy trying desperately to keep us apart.  God had put us together, and we would be together for the rest of our lives.  Satan had to try to pry us apart.

It didn’t take much time for me to back down on my firm commitment never to speak to her again.  She was so pretty.  It also didn’t take long before she remembered that she did know me, she had met me, and she did like me.  Little by little, our love bloomed.  We had the most romantic courtship the world has ever known.  We did little things together, which young couples should always be allowed to do.  We walked through Central Park together hand in hand.  It is a perfect place for young lovers, or at least it was in 1957-58.  We sat on the grass and studied there.  We talked about our lives and our dreams.  We went to the movies together, and shared dutch-treat Italian dinners (cost 35› each).  Every day, after school, we would walk down to a fruit and vegetable store on 8th Avenue and 51st Street, where I would buy Penny one golden apple.  She loved golden apples.  Somewhere down through the years, we stopped the practice of golden apples, until we began to write this book.  Then I remembered buying Penny the golden apples, and we started to buy them again.  They are the most delicious apples.


The best birthday gift I ever received – the day I met Bob

I was away at school.  My first marriage had ended long before our divorce.  I came from a family who believed (and rightly so) that marriage is forever.  But there came a day, when even my dear mother would tell me it was time to make a life for myself and the children.  There was nothing left of the 17 year old girl and the 20 year old boy who met and got married after knowing each other three short weeks.  The differences became, over the years, unsurmountable.  But that is another story.

Mama suggested I return to school and seek a career; she offered to take care of the children.  I reluctantly started to scan the newspapers and magazines, trying to choose where I would go, and as God would have it, I ended up in New York City, going to school in the daytime and returning home at night.  At the beginning, I could be home before the children returned from school.  But after the first year, as I had to travel fifty-seven miles on not the best of roads, and then to compound the situation, in the second semester I had classes in the morning and the afternoon, it became impossible to go home, except on week-ends.

A day to remember!

It was September 23, 1957, and my birthday.  Some of the students decided to give me a surprise party at one of their apartments.  Whatever this party was trying to accomplish, it missed its mark.  While everyone else was dancing and having a great time, I was sad and downcast.  It was my birthday; I was away from home, from my children and parents, and I was homesick!  Little did I know that I would meet the one who would become the most important person in my life, that night.

Then the bedroom door opened and although I did not know it at the time, so did my life.  Out walked a tall, slim young man dressed in a black shirt and black jeans, his hair tousled from sleep, and not very happy to have been awakened by music blaring, and voices trying to top the noise.  I remember his eyes were barely slits.  Never able to stay angry for long, his annoyance soon turned to friendship and warm congeniality.  He came over to me and the next thing I knew we were sitting in the little kitchenette off to the side and I do not know how, but we were talking!

Sadly, as I was still too wounded and not very trusting, the next day came, and I had blocked him out of my thoughts and, I thought, my life.  I was not like the other girls; I was older; I was not there to meet someone, but to learn a career and a way to support my children.  So the next day, when Bob saw me, and said hello, I looked at him as if I had never met him.  It wasn’t a game; I had psychologically blocked out any possibility of friendship with someone of the opposite sex.  I just wanted to be about the reason I came, in the first place.  I was also very wary, because there were all kinds of little games being played, to entice me to go out with some of the young men of the school.

Bob and I were thrown together in the same class.  When we had a small break between classes, Bob would ask another girl and myself out for a cup of coffee (or as I was a tea drinker, a cup of tea).  I thought it was she he liked, as she was Irish, like him, and was part of the same clique who socialized together on the weekends, when I went home.  I thought he was asking me to go along, because he was too shy to ask her alone; and he didn’t want her to know he was serious about her, in case she did not share his feelings.  You can see, even in those days, I was writing scripts.

Then, I got sick and was out for a few days.  The phone rang at least two or three times a day, and it was Bob asking how I was.  My parents began inquiring about the young man who kept calling.  When I said “He is my best friend,” little did I realize how true this was, and that this truth would become a reality.  What I didn’t add was, “I really cannot think about a tomorrow without him in my life.”  Understanding, more than I, how deeply I felt about Bob, my father turned to my mother, “Oh, oh Mama, it is the old best friend routine.”

Bob was different!  Now that I think of it, he has always been a little like my father.  Bob would give me little gifts, like stop at the fruit market a couple of blocks from our school, each night after class, and buy me the largest golden yellow apple, he could find.  Then carefully scanning it to make sure it was perfect, without blemish, my knight would hand it to me, like it was a precious jewel.  And to me, it was!

The time came when poor Bob had to meet the family!

So many memories, such sweet memories.  I remember when the time came for Bob to pass muster and meet the family!  Within a short time, Bob had won my parents’ hearts; but now it was time for my brothers’ approval.  It was Thanksgiving.  By this time, I was out of school, I had an apartment in New York with my children going to Catholic School in Manhattan.  It was a tiny apartment with an even tinier kitchenette.  But nevertheless I cooked a great big turkey with all the fixings.  As cabinet space was at a minimum, I had to get on a step-stool to reach platters on the top shelf.  Bob, seeing me, ran over and insisted on getting the dishes.  And to my sisters-in-law’s horror, that was not all; he was taking the bird out of the oven!  One of them spoke up, “In this family men do not do women’s work.”

Now first of all, I don’t know where she got that idea; my father and mother never played man and woman roles; but instead, always partners in all they did, shared in whatever tasks came their way.  To my delight and their amazement, this dear young man, who desperately wanted to be accepted, stood up to the women and said, “In our family this is the way it is going to be.  Penny is too delicate and I don’t want her to hurt herself.”  Needless to say, that won him a great deal of “brownie points”_ with my father and mother.

My father had only one deep concern.  He called Bob over to my closet and showed him my wardrobe.  The spoiled youngest child and a girl at that, my parents had given me every advantage and then some.  He pointed to my shoes.  “She pays more for one pair of shoes than you make in one week.”  And turning to me he said, “You know you can only wear a Fenton shoe.”_ I protested I could do without the shoes and all the luxuries, as long as I had Bob.  And Bob said, “I promise she will never want for anything.  I will take care of her the rest of my life.”  And he has!  When we could not afford the clothes I was used to, I did not desire new clothes; nothing appealed to me.  I had everything!  I had Bob and my two children and life was wonderful!


We had the most delightful, up and down, courtship of fifteen months, we believe the world has ever known.  We went from being good friends, to boy friend and girl friend.  We were kids together, experiencing life with all its glory.  Then the time came, when we wanted to get married.  But there was a problem: Penny was a divorced woman.  She had two children, who loved me; her mother and father loved me; and I loved them all.  But we were both Roman Catholics, and the Church would not allow divorced people to marry in the Church.  So the dilemma was what to do about our love for each other.

Penny was the best Catholic I had ever met.  Granted, she knew very little about our Faith, as opposed to me, who knew whatever you learn in Catholic Grammar School, High School, and two years of Catholic college.  But she loved Jesus and everything that had to do with being in the Catholic Church, while I, on the other hand, had embraced the world, and walked far away from the Church.

We sat before a chubby Priest in the Fall of 1958

This was my frame of mind when Penny and I sat before a chubby priest in northern New Jersey, in December of 1958.  We were going to be married and that was all there was to it.  At her request, we went to talk to the Catholic priest about being married in the Church.  I knew there was no way.  Her first marriage had been blessed in the Church, some 10 years after she had been married civilly, in an effort to save her marriage.  This priest had performed the marriage himself.  As far as he was concerned, he had dotted all his i’s and crossed all his t’s.  He was not about to tell us it could be annulled.  The Church didn’t do things like that, especially not in 1958.

I tried to appear calm, cordial, and respectful, while inside I was nervous and upset.  I had convinced myself, we weren’t doing anything wrong, and this whole interview was so much nonsense.  My cordiality went out the window, when the priest told us we would be living in sin.  I had all to do to keep from exploding.  There were many thoughts, which rang through my mind.  Instead, I told him what Penny’s and the children’s lives had been like, not being able to practice their religion openly, being Catacomb Catholics.  I went on that the marriage should never have been blessed in the Church, in the first place.  He knew Penny’s first husband better than I; it had been clear to me that he never had any intention of fulfilling a Catholic marriage contract.  It should have been obvious to him, as well.

I went on, how could this priest possibly say, in all good conscience, that by being married to me, where she and the children could practice their religion without any hindrance, we’d be living in sin; while being married to her first husband, where religion was a constant obstacle, an irritant and cause for major arguments, was not.  The priest told me it would be next to impossible to prove that her first husband had no intention of living up to the marriage contract he had made when they were married in the Church.  But I wasn’t listening.  I was on a soapbox.

I accused this priest, and the whole Catholic Church of condemning Penny and the children to a life of misery.  I ended my tirade with “If that’s the stand the Catholic Church wants to take, then we don’t want any part of it.  We don’t need the Catholic Church to worship God.  We don’t need any Church.”

How foolish are the young.  How prone we are to make brash statements that we can’t ever expect to live with.  That day, in front of that priest, I truly believe that Jesus, Mary, all my friends, the Angels and Saints, were there, rooting for me, praying I wouldn’t make a fool of myself.  How they must have wept when I turned my back on them.  I know for myself, no sooner had the words slipped out of my stubborn mouth, than I wished I had never said them.  Tears welled up in my eyes; my tongue became thick.  I couldn’t talk.  I told Penny I always got this way when I became angry.  But truly, I was sorry for my big mouth.  I wanted to cry.  In my mind’s eye, I could see my Heavenly Family, so sad, but mostly, my best friend Mary.  I had betrayed her so cruelly.  Could she ever forgive me?

Penny and I loved each other.  Our love was good; my anger with the priest was that he seemed to be making it into something ugly, and it was not ugly; it was beautiful.  We wouldn’t let anything or anyone stand in our way.  Love would conquer all.  The one thing we did not accept, or believe we had to accept, above all else was Obedience.


What is the most important thing to be a Catholic today?

June 16, 2015

What is the most important thing to be a Catholic today?



Family, since we appeared on EWTN’S Bookmark recently, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about what we’re supposed to believe in today.  There’s a lot of confusion in our Church today.  Our priests are bewildered; our Bishops are no less perplexed.  Misinformation is coming our way daily, probably from the main stream media.  Nevertheless it puts us everyday rank and file Catholics in a quandary.


There is only one thing we need to focus our lives on, and that is Jesus in the Eucharist.  He comes to us in the Holy Mass.  The greatest prayer we have is the Mass.  All the promises Jesus made to us are confirmed in that one great prayer which too many of us take for granted.


Well, when you’re confounded by what you’re hearing that the Pope has said, or what Cardinal is resigning due to a scandal, or what priest is running a drug operation in his home town, just focus on what it is that makes you a Catholic.  It’s Jesus in the Eucharist; Jesus in the Tabernacle; Jesus in your life.


I want to tell you a story.  My precious wife Penny and I were invited to the installation of an Archbishop.  He was a good friend of ours, as was his mother and most of his family.  So when we got there, we were treated like royalty as long as we were with the family.   We got front row seats at the various events that week.  We got the first taxis, making priests and monsignors and bishops wait.  It was great.  We were scheduled to sit with the family at a table right next to all the hierarchy after the installation.


SO, the day of the Installation arrived.  We had great seats in this huge auditorium.  We were sitting with the family.  Down on the stage area, two Cardinals were in attendance.  Then about 50 high hats (Bishops) processed in.  They were followed by close to 250 priests.  It was a glorious celebration.


About then, the cousin of our friend the Archbishop-to-be became upset.  She looked at the program where the new Archbishop made what we thought was a very loving statement to our Protestant brothers and sisters who might be there, telling them they could not receive Communion, as they were not in union with the Catholic Church.  The cousin, an ex-nun, turned to Penny and said, “Isn’t that a disgrace what he’s written here?  We’ll never get them back to the Church.”  Whereupon my darling, in her best Brooklyn accent volleyed back, “What’s your problem?  It’s in keeping with Church teaching.”  At that point, the cousin’s mother, the aunt of the future Archbishop, spouted out, “Oh what’s the big deal?  It’s only a symbol anyway.”


There was a moment of silence before Penny, filled with her Italian rage let the two of them have it.  She said:

“Do you see those two Cardinals down there?

Do you see all those high hats (bishops)?

Do you see all those priests down there?

Well they could all get up and dance naked on the altar and I would still be a Catholic because JESUS IS NOT A SYMBOL.  He is present to us in the Eucharist every day.”


She silently said to Jesus “I wish You had not made me say that.  You know where we’re going to sit at the dinner.”  And her prediction was true.  Instead of sitting with the family, right next to all the bigwigs of the Church, we found ourselves right next to the kitchen door, getting banged every time it opened and closed.


You may think the moral of this is “No good deed goes unpunished.”  I don’t think so.  I believe the moral is that our Faith belief is very simple.  It’s not complicated at all.  It may not be easy; but it’s simple.  Focus on the tabernacle.  You have a friend there, a best friend.  Talk to Him; He will listen.  Don’t let outside forces influence you.  And that goes for my revered priests,  bishops and Cardinals.  Keep your eyes on Jesus in the Eucharist.  I didn’t say it would be easy.  But it is simple

We love you!

Bob  Lord

Bob and Penny Lord Ministry



For more about the Holy Eucharist go here

Baby Jesus brings Presents

November 14, 2011

There are so many stories and traditions surrounding the giving of gifts at Christmas, as many as there are countries in the world.  Christmas is the only birthday I know of that the One Whose Birth we are celebrating gives the gifts rather than receives them.  For all we receive comes from Our Lord.  It is He Who moves and molds men’s hearts.  Through a Little Child, God comes to us to bring out the best in us.  Who can resist a Baby, no less the Child Jesus?

Christmas in Brooklyn

For those of you who do not know our story,[1] Bob was born in the Bronx and I in Brooklyn.  We were city children who lived in a small town called a neighborhood.  Customs from different parts of the world filled and permeated our little world.  Often a neighborhood became like a little
country unto itself, as members of families and friends from the “old country” moved close to each other.  My family was originally from Sicily, Italy, as were most the people on our block.  Many of our neighbors did not even know the English language, so out of necessity we were a multi-lingual society.  But we were more like a big family, our traditions making us one.

Christmas, like all holidays and Feast Days was a neighborhood thing, a shared experience, what with doors open, the fragrance of sauce and pizza filling the air, the freshly baked Italian cookies on a plate by an open door for one to bring home to share with the family.  We were all
poor, but I never felt poor.  I always felt like a princess in wonderful wonderland.  Christmas in my life was filled with, you might say, two days of gift giving and receiving.  I opened gifts on the morning of Christmas and again on the Feast of the Epiphany.  My parents striving to be American, adopted all the customs of their new land and gifts were placed under the tree, Christmas Eve.  But my grandmother, clinging to the
customs of her people, exchanged gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany.

Early in the evening, Christmas Eve, we were told we had to go to sleep or Santa Claus would not stop at our apartment and bring us gifts.  I never questioned why the Santa who visited us, early in the evening, looked different each year.  I believed in Santa Claus and that was enough
for me.  Now, one of my brothers, a sophisticated giant, who was tall while I was petite,[2] with six years on me, decided he would burst my balloon and expose Santa Claus as a myth.  Needless to say, this brought about much wailing and torrents of tears in its wake.  My mother, who plainly adored him, gently challenged him, “Oh, you don’t believe in Santa Claus.  Well let’s see what he brings you!”  Now, although there was no question about my mother’s open affection and preference toward her little boy, a lesson had to be given and brother received coal in his stocking and nothing else.  Needless to say, the subject of Santa was never brought up again.

I never questioned why my Nana (grandmother) brought gifts on the twelfth day of Christmas, the sixth day of January, rather than on Christmas Day.  No one told me about the Magi; they got  shoved out of the way by Christmas Trees and Santa Claus coming down the chimney bearing gifts in his sack.  Although in our cold-water flat, we had only a coal stove in the kitchen to warm us in the daytime and a kerosene space heater in the front room to provide heat in the bedrooms in the evening, I never questioned which chimney he was going to climb down.

To those of us who grew up in the North, Christmas and snow were synonymous.  When I think about it now, how awesome and wonderful is our Father, to place that Bundle of Joy in our midst amid the gloom of winter.  We speak of Spring as new beginnings and it is, especially with the new hope of Easter.  But the new beginnings began at Christmas with the Baby Jesus.  Our Hope was born into the world.  Do you ever meditate on why God chose to come as a Little Baby into the world?  Why not a grown Man?  What was God trying to tell us?  Was the Omnipotent God showing us the way, through His Son Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, that the way to know eternal happiness is in becoming as innocent and vulnerable as a little child fully dependent on the Father’s Will?

The Feast of the Child Jesus

It was not till I returned to Jesus and Mother Church that I learned about the Magi and the reason my ancestors gave gifts during the Feast of the Epiphany.  They were truly reliving the days of the first Christmas!  It was then that Bob and I began our long journey to understand the full meaning of Christmas.  As we got closer to understanding the Treasures of our Church, Christmas became to us the Feast of the Christ Child,
the Babe born to die for our sins, the Feast of our Heavenly Mother who said Yes and brought Our Little Savior into the world.  The awe and wonder of that much love alone brought a touch of sadness mixed with great joy.  We knew we were loved and we would never be
alone again.  This was a truth no one could take away from us.  Jesus chose to be born a Helpless Little Child, He became One with us His creation in all things but sin.  All for us, for you and me.

The time between Christmas and Easter seems to fly faster and faster, as we grow older.  No sooner have the Christmas decorations been safely stored away, than the days swiftly pass till Ash Wednesday begins our forty days of Lent.  I remember one year, at our parish, the children enacted a Passion Play on Good Friday in our church hall.  The curtain opened up to the Crucifixion scene, which showed our little ten year
old grandson playing Jesus dying on the Cross.  Our eyes, fixed on this little boy, bleeding and wounded, were filled with tears.[3]  But it wasn’t until our eyes followed a dim light off to the side – Mother Mary and the newly born Infant Jesus – that the stark truth came to us that Our Lord, the Baby Jesus began His walk to Calvary the night He was born.  Or was it the day Mother Mary said Yes to the Angel Gabriel and Incarnation came about!

The gloomy, rainy days of Lent pass and the sun comes out on Easter Sunday and with it new hope, new life and new beginnings.  And if we are not careful we soon forget the price paid for our new springtime, by the One born in the cold of winter, the One Who would die on the Cross.  Those who plant harvests and flowers know that in order to have new growth, a plant must die and produce a seed for life
to go on.  With our change of climate, the cold and rainy weather changing to sunny and balmy, we forget the One Who
died that we might live.

And what has this to do with the Child Jesus and Christmas?  If we meditate on why He was born, and contemplate the price He paid, alone having to witness His dear Mother’s suffering at the foot of the Cross, we look at Christmas and we think of what the word means, Christ – Mass, the same Mass that is the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross, the reenactment of the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Our Savior
Jesus Christ.

We go full cycle.  At the Annunciation, it all began and on the Cross it was finished.  At Christmas, a Baby was born, Who would be the God-Man Who came to save the world, and at Easter we celebrate the hope He left us that we too would rise – Christmas and Easter interwoven – the ongoing circle of life eternal.

There is something about Christmas that changes men’s hearts, even for a day.  It is truly a time of Joy to the world and Peace to all mankind.  For a short time, out of our busy lives, we pause and think of others.  We take time to try to bring happiness into the world.  During war time, even battles cease during Christmas Day.  Even those who do not believe in Our Lord Jesus respect the solemnity of Christmas.  Or is it that our love and more importantly the Love of Our Savior somehow breaks through the tough, hard shell the world has formed on our hearts, and we take time to love, to care.  And think of it, it is in the Form of a Baby that such metanoia[4] comes about.

Take Christ out of Christmas

Two strong anti-Christ movements have been insidiously polluting our society and sadly at times our parish churches: One, Take
Christ off the Cross and Two, Remove the Creche and the Baby Jesus.  Why hasthe enemy of God been so dedicated to removing these two life-giving symbols?  It is said that one of the reasons Lucifer said He would not obey and took One third of the Angels with him, was that God was going to become One of us, One with those He had created – a Creature.  And insults of all insults, he, Lucifer, top Angel, would have to have as his Queen another creature – Mary.  His pride could not handle it and he left.  But he was not satisfied with having taken one third of the Angels with him, to spend an eternity in the nether world.  He has spent the rest of his time on earth trying to woo God’s beloved creatures away
from Him.  One way: The proud one[5] who would fill our heads with Pride, would take away any reference to the Birth of our Savior, remove any evidence of Jesus choosing to be born under humble circumstances.

I still remember parking on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica and walking past the living scenes of the Birth of Jesus, with live animals keeping watch with Joseph and Mary.  Here in a town not far from downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, Christ was remembered, Creche and
all.  On every corner where there was a church, the Nativity scene was there, more often than not, a living enactment.  Families made elaborated
Nativity scenes on their front lawns. Then the enemy of God was able to use a few (it’s always a few) to end this awesome tribute to the Child Jesus. Now, it may be only where we now live.  I don’t know what came first, but it appears after September 11th and that disaster,[6]
that there is barely a church or a home that does not have a Nativity scene of the front lawn.  Along with our American flag that had been at best put away and worse burned, the Baby Jesus returned and became the Reason for the Season!

After September 11th, you could not see one home or car without an American flag flying bravely for all to see.  And so it was with the Creche and the Nativity Scene.  God was back for all to see, as was our love for our country.

The second movement Lucifer was hell-bent on eradicating was the Price Jesus paid for sinful man, His weak creation – take Jesus off the Cross.  As we recall, Lucifer, right up to the last seven words Jesus uttered, did all he could to get Jesus to come down off the Cross.  Why was this so important to him?  He promised Jesus anything, he would do anything if He would only come down off the Cross.  Why?  Lucifer knew that the only way man could be redeemed was through the Cross.  No Cross, no suffering, the Gates of Heaven would not be opened and we would be
lost.  Another reason Lucifer did not want Jesus to die on the Cross is that this One Act showed man how very loved he was, how very precious he was.

But man has forgotten how precious he is in the Eyes and Heart of Jesus.  In the lunacy of the topsy turvy world we live in, where one can barely tell a man from a woman, at times; where often confusion reigns and sin spreads like the lava of an exploding volcano, a battle rages between God and Lucifer, all for our souls.  That’s how very important we are to God and His enemy.  There is nothing as angry as a person who has lost his soul.  He will do anything to make  you lose yours.  He needs the company; he doesn’t want to go to Hell alone.

We saw a movie the other evening, and at the end, the soldier died because he wouldn’t allow someone to take the flag from him.  His words were: “No one can take the flag away from us; it is our flag.”  And with that he hoisted the flag on high, as bullets ripped through his body. No one can take our flag from us.  It is our flag, the red stripes signifying passionately the price the generations have paid for that flag and the right to fly that flag over our land.  Likewise, no one can take God away from us; He is our God.  The Father sent His only Begotten Son to the world as a tiny Baby.  They can take our Nativity Scenes from us; they can take Our Lord off the Cross; but they cannot take Him from us.  He dwells in the deepest caverns  of our hearts, His Love permeating our entire existence, crying out “I love you.”


can read more about Bob and Penny Lord’s life in their autobiography, “The Journey and the Dream.”

author’s nice word for short!

makeup made it all look so real!



the generations that follow, who may not know:
On September 11th, two planes, on a suicide mission, crashed into the
Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York and claimed the lives of thousands of
innocent people.


For now
until December 26
40% discount on all items
Orders over $50.00
Discount code = CHRIST40
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Memorial Day Notes – Bob and Penny Lord

May 31, 2010

Family; I hope it’s not too late.  I want to take this opportunity to reach out to our men and women in service, serving or who have served, and thank them for their courage and their commitment to the liberty of our country.

The reason I’m praying it’s not too late is, I read this opinion article in Fox News by William R. Forstchen about our being a country divided.  He spoke about how the tradition of Memorial Day started, after the Civil War, and down through the First and Second World Wars, how it got bigger and bigger.  It was not held on the last weekend in May, as the excuse for a three day weekend of fun and games.  It was on May 30, each year, no matter when that day fell.  It was a day of processions by American Legion groups and Boy Scouts to local cemeteries to honor the fallen who had served our country so proudly, without considering their own safety.

Then, in 1971, Congress decided it needed 3 day weekends for it’s employees, and of course, members of Congress.  And so they delegated the honorable tradition of Memorial Day to part of a three day weekend, just an excuse to go to the beach, barbecue, and/or shop.  I was furious.  I was even more furious when I learned that our President and his family decided to spend Memorial Day in Chicago, rather than at Arlington National Cemetery, where we honor all our fallen men and women by honoring the tomb of the unknown soldier.  I thought that was just terrible.

Until, as a proud American, I decided to participate in an event honoring our military here in our community, or in our county at least.  I could not find any.  Well, at least I know that there will be a service at the Arlington National Cemetery;.  But I couldn’t find it being covered on any of the networks, not even c-span.  Boy, was I depressed.

Then, finally, I checked with EWTN, Eternal Word Television Network, to find that the Archbishop of the Military, Archbishop Broglio, was celebrating a High Mass at the National Basilica in Washington, D.C.  It was magnificent.  I ran over to the Mission to share it with our family here, and then asked if we could lower our flag to half mast.  At least, we’re doing something!

But I am so sad at how correct the author of the opinion piece was that we have become a country divided.  Patriotism seems to be a thing of the past.  We wrote a chapter in one of our books, “Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah”, called My Country Tears of Thee.  That was done ten years ago.  Dear Lord, how appropriate it is for today.  Please, family, do something for our brothers and sisters in the military today.  See if you can find someone to say thank you to.  If you have a military cemetery, or a cemetery where any of our fallen men and women are buried, put a flower and an American flag on the tomb.  Say a prayer.  And make a commitment that you will not let another Memorial day go by again without honoring our troops.

My last word on the subject, is, “I’m so sorry I forgot about you.  Please forgive me.”

Bob and Penny Lord live starts May 12

April 28, 2010

Just a reminder that Bob and Penny Lord will begin broadcasting live on May 12 at 2:00 pm on the internet.  As an elite member, you will be able to watch live and text messages live for Bob and Penny to comment on.

We will also rerun the shows through the month.

In addition, we will begin having our dvds also show during the month, starting with our Scandal of the Cross Series.

Remember we are limiting the first shows to 50 seats. We are limiting elite seating to 50 persons.

The last elite member registered was given number 41.

If you are interested click here to registe r sign up today.

Let the new evangelization begin.


Brother Joseph

Bob and Penny Lord ministries

Roman Catholic Saints

April 24, 2010

We have just started writing articles about Roman Catholic Saints on Squidoo.com We are in the process of creating a lens for each Saint and Blessed we are familiar with. The response so far has been very good.

We feel this is a great avenue of evangelization to reach out to more people.

In addition Journey of Faith is now a registered charity on Squidoo.

We want to encourage you to visit Squidoo.com and possibly create a lens and earmark some of the earnings as a charitable donation to Journeys of Faith.

We really feel now is the time to enter more places on the net and use them for evangelization. Places like Squidoo and Hubpages and of course the blogs and websites.

Remember if you need any information about how to do these things refer to our website page about internet marketing.

Bob and Penny continue to insist that we must evangelize the world or it will evangelize us.


Brother Joseph

Now Bob and Penny Live online

April 16, 2010


Bob and Penny Lord live online

Evangelizing at the next level!

Live presentations with live feedback

We have been working with software engineers and developers to have a live conference system for our Ministries.

What are live conferences? Live conferences are the newest technology that will allow Bob and Penny to broadcast to the internet live.
You will be able to send messages live to Bob and Penny as you are watching and listening to them on a computer. In other words you will be able to ask Bob and Penny a question and they will answer it right then.
You will log in to our site and see Bob and Penny on your computer live and ready to interact with you.

We have stepped out in faith and paid for the system. Bob and Penny believe we must work together and share our Faith and build up our community of believers and with live conferences. Live conferences will be like coming to Holy Family Mission and meeting them. We will set up studio at Holy Family Mission and broadcast from there.

Membership required
Limited seating
All you need is a computer with internet connection
First 50 seats – Elite status
Sign up today! See below

Membership Features:
1. Access to Bob and Penny Lord live conferences
2.Access to selected programs we will also be broadcasting on this channel.
3. Access to any special broadcasts – like tape of our Louisiana trip.
4. Access to our annual conference – Elite status only
5. Elite status members will be grandfathered. That is any new additions and features will be granted at no additional cost.
Reserve your elite seat today.

Bob and Penny have committed to a minimum of one conference per month.

Brother Joseph has committed to a minimum of broadcasting one program per month.

We also committed to minimum an additional broadcasting of one special event once per month.

Our goal is to let this live conference system grow with your needs and interests.  We are in the infancy of the latest advances in communications. We want to use this to spread the Good News and interact with you.

Sign up today!

Elite Status (first 50 seats) is now open. After we reach 50 signups we will close the Elite Section.

Elite Status – one year subscription – $19.95

Message from Bob and Penny Lord – April

April 9, 2010

Dear precious brothers and sisters,

When time came to write our column, From our Pew, there was so much we wanted to say, but what?  I must say our hearts feel like someone stabbed us and left us bleeding.  The Lord has commissioned us to spread the Good News that He is alive and will never leave us.  As Bob always writes, “The times were bad but we walked through it, not around it; not ignoring it, not avoiding it; we walked through it.” We have been doing a great deal of praying.  We, at Journeys of Faith were commissioned to spread the Faith, to share all the Lord has given us.  But the United States of America is our country, our land blessed by the Lord and His precious Mother.  My brother and many other brothers and sisters laid it on the line, risking their lives and in many instances losing them.  If this land of ours is worth fighting for on the battlefield, it is worth fighting for at home – to preserve our way of life.  If our column will bring back memories of a time of innocence for you, then we praise Our Lord!  Brothers and sisters, OUR GOD LIVES AND HE IS IN CHARGE!  LAY YOUR CARES DOWN BEFORE HIM!  HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!  GO TO CHURCH; HE IS WAITING FOR YOU.  ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE!  OUR LOVING GOD IS WITH US!

The following is an excerpt from our book, Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah, written in 1999. Ask yourselves why we are bringing this to you now!  You know, We love you!

Requiem for the Age of Innocence

“While the crowds pressed around Jesus, He began to speak to them in these words:

`This is an evil age.  It seeks a sign.  But no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.  Just as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign for the present age.  The queen of the south will rise at the judgment along with the men of this generation, and she will condemn them.  She came from the farthest part of the world to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, but you have a greater than Solomon here.  At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it.  For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here.’”_

How did it happen?  How did we go from faith and fidelity to deception and betrayal?

“Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end…”_ I still remember those days, the good old days, days filled with innocence, love and caring for one’s family, friends and neighbors, days where children revered their parents and grandparents, where the family stuck together, days of trust, days of honor, days of patriotism.  Yes, we thought they would never end.

My childhood was a simple one, a life filled with awe and wonder, where with other neighborhood children, we would take hours to determine which candies we should buy for the precious penny we had to spend.  They were days of dressing up as Mommys and Daddys, the Mommy serving the Daddy make-believe tea and fresh bread my Nana had made.

In the heart of Brooklyn, what would be called a ghetto or barrio today, was a neighborhood, more like a small village, where everyone knew everyone else, with many aunts and uncles (some really only friends whom we respectfully called Aunt and Uncle).  You were never alone; at least one mother or grandmother was hanging out the window, at any hour of the day or night, watching your every move and reporting any mischief you got into, to your parents.  We felt safe!  It was a world of innocence, with coal stoves and wood-burning stoves warming our bodies and cooking our food.  I can still see the dust particles floating up to heaven on the rays of the sun; I can feel the warmth of the sun streaming into our kitchen on the third floor of the apartment house we lived in.  I can still feel the warm tears flowing down my cheeks when we moved away from that neighborhood as I waved good-by to everyone and everything I had ever known, and to the Age of Innocence.

We believed in our country!  We placed our hand over our hearts when we pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  Tears came to our eyes, and our voices choked up a little as we sang the National Anthem of our country.  We were Americans!  When it was time to vote, an electricity filled the air, an excitement, with Daddy explaining the electoral system to us, the importance of casting our vote, and the merits and shortcomings of the different candidates.  We were all involved, even those of us who were too young to vote.  At four years old, I campaigned clandestinely, while my mother was on duty as one of the inspectors at the Polling Place.  Franklin D. Roosevelt badges covering every inch of my favorite red coat, I would find myself being lifted bodily and carted to the other side of the Polling signs, when I wandered too close to the Barber Shop where the voting took place.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was our hero!  We would have done anything he asked of us, even die; and many of our loved ones did!  It was a time of patriotism and pride—We were Americans!  Oh those were days of flags waving and speeches on the street corners, everyone crowding around the speakers or hanging out their windows to hear their platform.  We believed in our country!  We believed we had a personal interest in the destiny of our nation.  What we said or did made a difference.  We were important; we counted!

When did my world start to fall apart?

I grew up quickly when at ten years of age, we moved out of the beloved neighborhood.  My family moved uptown (socially), from an eight-family, four-level apartment house into a four-family apartment house with only two levels in a neighborhood of two-level houses.  The smells were different; the familiar fragrance of Italian sauce cooking, wafting through the halls into our apartment was missing.  The language was different.  No more Italian music accompanied by amateur opera singers emanated from open doors of the apartments across from us.  There were no open doors; our new neighbors stayed to themselves.  They didn’t sing.  I missed the tinkling of banjos and accordions, neighbors sitting on their stoops, singing along, sometimes to the wee hours of the morning.  In my new neighborhood, people sat on their stoops, to beat the sweltering heat of the summer; but no singing rose to the heavens.  No sounds filled the halls of our new four family house.  There were no future Carusos or Lanzas, or Sinatras or Vic Damones.  The laughing, crying sounds of a passionate people were absent.  I longed for even a tiny touch of the familiar.

There were no more Feast Day celebrations, with people wearing huge aprons (to match their abundant size), cooking sausages and peppers, hot chestnuts and other Italian goodies, their push carts lining the streets.  No more processions of statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, Saint Anthony or St. Lucy, or some other important patron Saint being proudly carried high in the air on a litter by the men of our neighborhood, proud to be given the honor of being part of the honor guard.

My friends and cousins were still in the old neighborhood, and although they and my old haunts were just six blocks away, it was like a dream world, long ago and far away.  And so I buried myself in practicing my piano and excelling in school.  My birthday fell on a Tuesday in 1941.  I was thirteen years old, finally a teen-ager.  I felt as if I had shed my childhood, and was well on my way to adulthood.  But I was not interested in boys.  I vacillated between wanting to be a lawyer, defending the poor and downtrodden, or being a missionary in Africa.

Then the war broke out.  December was extremely cold in 1941.  We were planning for Christmas as best we could, considering we had not fully pulled ourselves out of the Depression financially.  But we looked forward to giving some small gift to each member of the family, to show how much we loved one another.  My family had the radio on that Monday, December 8, 1941.  We had heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day before.  We turned the radio to the evening news, when we heard our President, Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring war on Japan.  I’ll never forget that speech he gave to us on that occasion.  “Yesterday, December 7, is a day which will live in infamy.” My big brother, along with many other fine young men immediately went down to the recruiting office on Tuesday morning and volunteered for service in the military!

Rationing was never really a problem for us; we had learned early to stretch what little we had.  Coming out of the Depression, we made everything go a long way.  Dainty suppers became the patriotic cry.  We ate lots of bread to fill us up, and pasta prevailed.  The war news got worse and worse, with the listing of those who had lost their lives for flag and country becoming longer and longer.  We resumed going to processions, now supplicating the Lord through His Mother and all the Angels and Saints to bring our brother back home from the war in Europe.

They were hard days; but we survived, because we had a common cause which united us; we were no longer Italians and Jews, Germans and Irish, Blacks and Whites, Browns and Yellows; we were Americans.  Rosie the Riveter became a badge of honor as our patriotic ladies donned dungarees (called jeans today) and men’s shirts, rolled up at the sleeve, put their hair in a net, and took up the slack in the defense plants, doing the jobs the men had done before they went overseas to fight the war to keep our homeland safe.  Even our movie stars got into the battle.  Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart joined up; Bob Hope and Betty Grable entertained the troops overseas, and the Andrews Sisters became a household name.  USO was a haven for our homesick boys, where the average guy and gal could do their part for the war effort to give our fighting boys a little taste of home while they were away from their own home towns.

The war finally came to an end; we were victorious as we knew we had to be; we had God on our side.  Our loved ones began to come home; many came back wounded, some physically and some mentally; the common denominator was they were never to be the same.  The war had taken its toll on them, and on us.  We were proud, but we were tired.

The triumphant G.I.s returned to streets lined with cheering crowds and banners welcoming them.  Our boys and girls were home.  They had held back the enemy and saved our country and preserved our way of life.  They were heroes.  As our fighting men and women shared some of the horror stories of war, a little more of our innocence was taken away from us.  President Roosevelt was our president; he was our leader!  We recall the opening of his first Inaugural Speech: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Then he brought us through the Depression.  In 1941, he brought us through our worst hour of darkness; we almost made him king of America.  If he hadn’t died in April of 1945, just before the end of the war, we would have made him king.

After the war, there were rumors that President Roosevelt knew about the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor a week before it happened, but no one believed any of that.  We blamed the Navy for having all those ships so close to each other in port at Pearl Harbor, making them such an easy target for the Japanese.  President Roosevelt would never have allowed our soldiers and sailors to be put in such jeopardy and die the way they did during that horrendous attack.

Then, in 1947, as the Cold War accelerated, we became aware of just what had been given away to the Russians at the Potsdam and Yalta conferences.  Russia had been given carte-blanche in eastern Europe!  They didn’t declare war on Japan until the day after the Atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, and yet they were given territories as a reward, for what?  Certainly not for having participated in that war.  Most of the spoils of war were given at the Yalta Conference, which dictated pretty much the terms of the Potsdam Conference; the Soviet Union receiving a good chunk of China, as well as great parts of Europe.

By this time, Roosevelt was dead, but the decisions he made at Yalta lived on for decades.  However, no one pointed a finger.  We speculated that our Allies, mostly the USSR, did not act as ethically as we did.  Josef Stalin took advantage of the fact that our President was on death’s door and on heavy medication at the Yalta Conference (he died within two months on April 12, 1945) and Harry Truman was just no match for Stalin.  The USSR broke the agreements they had made at the conferences.  Our friend, the one we were taught in school was our ally, became a dangerous enemy.  And we let it happen!  Feeling helpless and more than a little impotent, we resumed our lives; but somehow, we lost some of that strong feeling of patriotism.  It was the end of the age of innocence!

The article above is based on our book, “Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah, Prophecies and Promises.” by Bob and Penny Lord.

Saint Catherine of Bologna

March 29, 2010

Saint Catherine of Bologna
From Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists

Perhaps, one of the greatest Miracles is the incorrupt body of our Saint, seated on a regal throne in a Chapel to the left of the main altar in the Church of Corpus Domini in Bologna. It remains intact, never having decomposed for over five hundred years!

In the beginning, after they realized they could not place her body in the grave, four nuns would carry Saint Catherine’s body to the parlor on a wooden stretcher, every time visitors came to view the body, or the faithful wanted to venerate the Saint. This went on for twelve years! Then the nuns decided that the faithful could view her better if she were seated on a chair. To their amazement, her body which had lost none of its suppleness, rigor mortis never having set in, became stiff, and the nuns could not place her in the chair. It was only when the Abbess ordered her, did Catherine, out of obedience, sit unaided in the chair and in the same position she can be found to this day.

Our Saint wanted to be where all the people of God could venerate her easily, and so she appeared to one of the nuns of the Monastery of Corpus Domini and told her she wanted a Chapel built close to the outer church. Previously, she had been in a Chapel inside the Monastery.

From the very beginning, Saint Catherine’s Miracles and fame have brought people from all parts of the world, not only the simple faith-filled believers who fill and enrich our beautiful Church, but also future Saints, Kings and Queens and scholars. Among the first to come was Queen Isabel of Naples, Italy, who arriving in her regal finery, venerated our Saint and then left her ring as a token of her affection. She was followed by Popes (one of whom was Pope Clement VII), Cardinals (including St. Charles Borromeo who gifted her with a precious vestment), Emperors, Princes and all kinds of personages.

Pope Clement VII granted the nuns permission to say the Office and celebrate Holy Mass in honor of Saint Catherine on March 9th which became her Feast Day. He inscribed her name in the Martyrology of Saints of the Roman Catholic Church. He was followed by other Popes who have granted indulgences and privileges to pilgrims coming to the Sacred place to venerate the saint. The process for her Canonization was started in 1669 and was solemnly concluded on Trinity Sunday, the 22nd of May, 1712 when Pope Clement IX proclaimed to the whole world, to the whole Roman Catholic Church that we had a Saint!

The first time we went to visit Saint Catherine, it was out of holy curiosity; her body was incorrupt! But when we got there, we discovered a very powerful Saint who became very personal to us. We have loved her since 1977, the first time we brought our grandson, all of ten years old, to Europe with us. We hope reading about her that you will turn to her and get to know her with your head and heart, as we have. We love you!
For more Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists like Catherine of Bologna click here

[1]Every mortal sin is a sin against God.

[2]make amends, restitution

[3]a substance emanating from tar – used for waterproofing and covering roofs

[4]refer to chapter on St. Catherine of Genoa

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Saint Katharine Drexel

March 29, 2010

Saint Katharine Drexel and Native Americans

Saints and other Powerful Women in the Church book

From  Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church

Katharine Drexel begins her walk serving Native Americans

The Lord, not allowing too much time for grieving, sent two Catholic missionaries to the Drexel home.  They came with well-founded fears that the U.S. government’s recent poor handling of Indian affairs would undo all that had been built up so far to further the education of the Native Americans.  Knowing of their parents’ generous philanthropic work on behalf of the needy, they were appealing now to their daughters for help.  As Katharine Drexel had been sensitive to the plight of the Indians from the trip to the Northwest, and had recently read a book outlining the poor relations between Whites and Indians, they had a sympathetic ear.

The missionaries had arrived on the tail of the total breakdown of President Grant’s peace process.  Responding to over 300 violations, by former administrations of peace treaties with the Indians, President Grant ordered the placement of Indians on reservations, where he believed they would be protected.  Whereas they had originally been managed by an Army officer in each territory, Grant relieved them of that duty and handed over Indian affairs to Protestant denominations.

Now, for years, the Catholic missionaries had set up missions and churches in 38 of 72 posts.  With the relinquishing of the different territories to the Protestants, the government ordered Catholic missionaries to turn over 30 of the 38 territories.  With this action, the government placed 80,000 Catholic Indians under the care of the Protestants.  The Church addressed this by setting up a Catholic Commission for Indian Affairs, to be available to the Indians.  In 1881, Grant’s policy failed and along with it, the Protestant missions in the territories.  They left!

By 1882, the situation between the Indians and the Whites was not only unresolved, it had reached disaster proportions.  One of Katharine’s visitors was Father Stephan, a former German nobleman, who had promised he would serve God as a priest if he regained his sight.  Father was healed miraculously.  His sight regained, he came to the United States and was ordained in 1849.  He served as a chaplain in the Civil War and after that ended, dedicated his life and priesthood serving in the Indian mission.  As Catholic Commissioner of Indian Affairs, he was firmly resolved that the only answer was Catholic education for the Indians; but he explained to the Drexel sisters, it was stymied by the possible withdrawal of the inconsequential support supplied by the government.  The sisters promised to lend their support, and they kept that commitment, especially Katharine, for the rest of their lives.

The loss of both mother and father within two years completely crushed Katharine.  Her health suffered seriously; she became jaundiced; she lost weight and even of more concern, she lost that vivacious involvement in life that was so electrifying.  Her doctor recommended she get treatment from a spa in Europe.  No sooner was her health renewed, she and her sisters began recruiting Priests and Nuns for the Indian Missions.

Katharine goes to Rome and returns with a missionary

Katharine Drexel  and her sisters went to Rome and had two private audiences with Pope Leo XIII, where they implored the Pope to send additional missionaries to the Indians in the New World.  The Pope’s answer was, “Why not, my child, yourself become a missionary?”  Completely misunderstanding His Holiness, Katharine responded, “Because Holy Father, Sisters can be had for the missions, but no Priests.”  Not over her bereavement, and not completely recovered from her illness, Katharine was overpowered by the mandate.  She went to her hotel and cried!

The three sisters returned to the United States, whereupon Katharine immediately set about visiting the Indian Missions in the Dakotas, with Bishop O’Connor accompanying them.  The little holy contingency traveled by horseback, by carriage and by railroad, through peril-filled territories.  There were no smiling faces along the way, only suspicion and mistrust.  Although she had been studying the Indians’ plight since she was a young girl, she was totally unprepared for the suffering and despair, the utter misery she encountered.  Although weighed down by the enormity of the need, the little company plodded on, refusing to succumb to the tempter who was attempting to fill them with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Mother Drexel meets Red Cloud, Indian Chief

Finally they arrived at the mission and were met by Father Stephan, the missionary, they had met in Philadelphia.  He introduced them to the famous Sioux Indian Chief, Red Cloud, apprising him of the sisters’ desire to help the missions and set up a school dedicated to teaching the children of his tribe.  The Drexels never reneged on this promise.

For more information about Saints like Katharine Drexel – click here

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