Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!














I became pastor of Saint Joseph Church in Macon on July 1st, 2004. Although I had my farewell Mass a week ago and have departed Macon, canonically I am still pastor of St. Joseph's Church until 11:59 PM tonight, Tuesday, June 21st.

The same is true of Father Joseph Smith who is the pastor of Saint Anne Church in Richmond Hill. He is pastor until 11:59 PM tonight.

At 12 Midnight, June 22, I cease to be pastor of St. Joseph Church in Macon and Fr. Joseph Smith ceases to be pastor of St. Anne in Richmond Hill. I become pastor of Saint Anne. It is a canonical thing.

I have great memories of Saint Joseph Church and all the wonderful parishioners there. Especially I want to remember all the faithful departed since 2004 and there have been a slew of them, almost 400. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

I want to remember in prayer in a special way all those whom I baptized or received into the full communion of the Church.

May God's blessings come upon all those couples whose marriages I witnessed or con-validated.

And all those who received their First Holy Communion and Last Holy Communion from me, may God grant them happiness and a place at the eternal banquet in heaven.

There were good times and bad, sickness and health. Thank you Saint Joseph Church and God love you. God bless your new pastor, Father Scott Winchel. 


29 comments:

Jan said...

Some lovely photos, precious memories and obviously genuine love for your parishioners at St Joseph's, with new photos, fresh memories and new parishioners to love at your new parish too. Deo gratias for our good priests. Where would Catholics be without them!

Gene said...

Father will be missed. He brought me into the Catholic Church and Confirmed me and remains very important to me. My own struggles with where the Church is headed have kept me away from Mass too much, but his devotion and belief were never in question. My experience of him as a pastor and homilist place him in very high regard. He will be a difficult act to follow. He is in my prayers daily.

TJM said...

You left it a much better place, more Catholic, more beautiful, and an inspiration to other priests that if they have courage, they too can restore the Faith, brick by brick.

Anonymous said...

Your own struggles are not with "where the Church is headed," Gene. Your struggles are with your own unwillingness to recognize that the Church you THOUGHT you were joining - one that agreed with your politics, your racial attitudes, your economic theories - isn't the Church at all.

I don't think you were given a false image in your RCIA process. I suspect that a) you didn't listen, b) didn't read, and/or c) chose not to consider that your preconceptions about the Church just might be a tad, a smidgen - or, more accurately, a million miles - off the mark.

You have repeatedly attacked Fr. McDonald on this blog. You have questioned his Catholicism, his sense, and even his sanity. Now you tell us that you hold in in high regard.....

I hope you find your way to some sense of peace.

Gene said...

Anonymous, That is about the most ridiculous post I have read on this blog. I sdid not join the Church based upon politics,. race, or economics, rather upon theology, doctrine and Church history (some things you are a bit lacking in, Kavanaugh). My disappointment has to do with the Church failing to embody in action and pastoral practice the things she supposedly believes in theory. As for my relationship with Fr. MacDonald, heated discussion and the use of hyperbole on a blog are to be expected and do not indicate a low regard for the person in question. Those on the blog whom I scorn or hold in low regard know who they are because I have told them directly, using no hyperbole.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Damn, Anonymous. Calm down. There's no need to turn this thread into a let's-jump-on-Gene thread.

Stephen Conner said...

R.I.P. Col. Castex Paul Conner, Sr. - May 22, 2008. Funeral Mass, Father Allan McDonald, celebrant, May 24, 2008, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon, Georgia.

Anonymous said...

"I sdid not join the Church based upon politics,. race, or economics..." Yet a great deal of what you post here as your "religious" beliefs and convictions is about politics, race, and/or economics. You judge the Church's doctrine based on your own views on politics, race, and/or economics.

The Church's theology takes a back seat to your own stilted views.

There's nothing ridiculous in pointing out the fact that you have attacked Fr. McDonald repeatedly, questioning his Catholicism, his sense, and his sanity. Go back and read your own posts. I have. To claim now that "That was just hyperbole" is a hollow defense. Those you falsely accuse you do not hold in high esteem.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you are way off base. My religious beliefs are not based upon politics, race or economics. Those social issues are Caesar's realm and there are many different views regarding those things that a Christian may hold. I judge the Church's doctrine based upon the theological/Biblical truths embodied therein and upon how well the Church, in practice, reflects those truths.
Fr. MacDonald can be the judge of whether he feels that I have scorned him or misrepresented him.
You, on the other hand, have constantly talked down to him and dealt with him through sarcasm and ridicule in post after post. I am sure that he and others are aware of it. And, speaking of Doctrine and belief, I notice that you are now an "Anonymous." Are you concerned, perhaps, that your new parishioners may discover that it is you who refused to answer a blogger's direct question as to whether you believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and in His Real Presence and responded by saying that such a question was a "trap." I really think they should know this and be aware of just what is facing them every Mass, Donatus be damned (as I am sure he is). So, for you to question anyone's beliefs or theological stance is truly a gut slammer laugh 'til you puke joke. Your hypocrisy is truly astounding.

Anonymous said...

Saint Joseph Church is the most beautiful Church . I have been proud to call her my Church home for 60 years. It is a building worthy of the Lord. I am a traditional person who loves the mass and the beauty of the church.

I do however have some old age reflections. Soon as I pass from this world to the next I will not be able to take the church building with me. What I will take to the afterlife will be what I have learned while inside that beautiful building. I will take with me what I practice in life not what I hear or do while at mass once a week.

I think Jesus realized how quickly his life would pass. He had no time for painting church walls and shopping for vestments. He had some real work to do finding lost sheep. And I think finding and helping those sheep took every effort he had. He did not have time to worry about buildings. Im not saying that our church buildings are not to be beautiful and worthy of God. I do tho think that the most precious treasures in that building to God will not be a fancy marble statue or stained glass window. I think to him the greatest treasure will be the broken down sheep that entered those doors and found help and love. Not judgement, rules, obligations etc but love and help.

Sheep are not the brightest animal in the barn and yet sheep are what God calls us. We need help. We need someone to follow and teach. Often the beauty of a church distracts us from the true meaning of that building. I don't think God will ask me if I helped the church purchase a window or and elevator. I think he will ask me who in that building did I help. It seems that we are almost blinded by worldly things that we will not take with us. They are distractions, Im realizing that the older I get.

When I reflect the most beautiful service that I ever witnessed was a sunrise mass at Holy Spirit Monostary in Conyers Georgia. The building was stark, all of the monks in simple brown robes......... and yet they were the most beautiful angels I have ever seen. I was not distracted by the beautiful colors of the windows I was focused on the Mass. I do love our church buildings, beautiful traditional Easter Masses, the music, the vestments, the sights anode sounds..... but I wonder I wonder are we being distracted by one who does not want the sheep to know the real reason for being at a mass. I wish now at old age instead of giving money for buildings etc I wish I had spent more time and talents helping the sheep find the way to their true home. All is vanity and sheep take it all in. I think Jesus had a simple message and we muddle it with services, buildings, vestments, music.... all are beautiful but are they the real mission of the church. Distractions...... on purpose to keep the sheep from learning.

Anonymous said...

Gene, I think you are mad at the world and you use this Blog to vent your rage.
You judge everyone. Your words are so insulting. Do you think God wants you to talk
to his sheep in this way? What are you so mad at the world about. Help people don't hurt them.

Gene said...

No, Anonymous, my anger is very focused. I know who we should be angry at and who the enemy is. Why waste perfectly good anger on just anybody? I do not judge anyone in the sense you probably mean, but I am keenly aware of who the enemies of the Faith are, and Scripture tells us to shun them. If my words to unbelievers are insulting it is because they are meant to be. We may discuss at another time just who God's sheep are and who they are not. I do not believe that everyone is in the sheepfold....and there are more wolves than sheep.

Anonymous said...

I come to this blog weekly to read and have never posted before. I have often been shocked but not too much so by Gene's seeming hatred and lack of common respect toward others, because I remember how he was in RCIA. He often contradicted Fr. McDonald and was condescending and insulting to Fr. Kwiatowski. I rarely ever missed a night but always dreaded when he would be instructing. He often found a way to interject his unwelcome political views into most topics as well as his opinions on church teachings which at times seamed to contradict what we had been told by Fr. McDonald on other evenings. I was utterly surprised to learn that he had been a Protestant pastor and could not imagine having to turn to him as my spiritual advisor, he comes across as misogynistic, judgmental, compassionless, and self righteous. I can't imagine what RCIA must be like without Jerry's welcoming kindness towards newcomers to the Catholic faith.

Marc said...

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, brave anonymous poster at 12:53, but I also saw Gene teach many RCIA classes, and I recall his discussions being very orthodox and not at all political.

As an aside, it is always interesting to me when people accuse someone else of being judgmental. I can't be the only one who sees how logically absurd that is.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald
Will you please come and get Gene and take him with you to your new church?
Im not sure we can deal with him now that you are not here to help us.
Thanks,
M

Gene said...

He needs to come and take you, Anonymous. Anyone can use another mealy-mouthed sycophant.

Anonymous said...

Father
You do not know me. I stopped attending mass right as you came to St. Joseph. My last mass there was a funeral mass in the basement for a college student who was best friends with my daughter. I am a retired public school counselor. I work with troubled children and the sexual abuse scandal was the reason I stopped going to church. I have heard with my own ears from tearful children what abuse does to these innocent children. What hurt me most was not the sick priests (lots of places have troubled workers) what hurt me the most was the cover up and these men just moved so more children could be hurt until years passed and once again the priest was moved. It is my hope that things are better with the church and that situation now.

I was considering going back to mass. My daughter who is now an adult told me she had read on Social Media that you had been transferred. I was very hurt because I had just made up my mind to go and speak to you about coming back to the church. Well I do wish you well where you are now in a new home. My daughter also told me (Im not a computer person( that you had a blog and that I might want to read this as I considered going back to church.

I was very concerned when I read through all of the posts and noticed that after almost every comment there is some rude remark by a person named Gene. From what I have gathered for the comments this Gene also teaches RCIA classes. I also learned from the posts that he joined the church under your service there. Do I have to attend RCIA classes again if I have been away from the church for 12 years? If so I will not go back to St. Joseph. I cannot believe such a rude, insulting, angry person that writes these posts actually instructs new Catholics. What a shame. I guess I will need to go to Holy Spirit or St. Peter Claver because this man Gene could never help lead me back to the church. His comments about people, other churches, the pope are just deeply troubling. A long letter to ask a simple question. Do I need to take RCIA classes again?

Gene said...

Anonymous, I think you would be happier at St. Peter Claver or Holy Spirit...except that Kavanaugh is no longer the Priest at HS and he would be your ideal Priest. You can relax, however, and come off the Xanax because I no longer teach RCIA. You might want to discuss this issue with Anon 2, however. He will tell you nice things about love, openness, and universalism and paint Jesus as a sappy-happy nice guy. The truth is that you would probably be happier in the Episcopalian church, which is where Catholicism will be in just a few short years. You can get a jump on everybody. Now, why don't you quit letting me control your life and get on with your trepidated existence.

Anonymous said...

So funny Gene because before I converted to the Catholic Faith I was an Episcopalian. My brother was a bishop in that church. The Episcopal Church is a very beautiful Church. All of my Family are buried in a private Episcopal Cemetery. But... I was the lone sheep who sought the Catholic Church not because I thought it was "Better" but because God whispered in my ear since a very early age that the Catholic Faith was for me. It was hard to break with Family tradition but Father Cuddy helped me through it. That is how strongly I am attached to the Catholic Faith. My Family however did not degrade the Catholic church as you insult the Episcopal Church in your last post.

And speaking of Jesus. I think he was a very happy person and he was the nicest guy that God ever sent to the Earth. I think I would love this Anon 2 because he must really know Jesus if he says nice things about love openness and universalism. Father McDonald also painted a picture of a wonderful Jesus. And I certainly have heard many wonderful things about Father Kavanaugh and was sorry to see him leave Holy Spirit. Best Wishes to you and I know you are happy that you no longer have to teach RCIA because that takes a lot of patience and love you would rather beat the sheep with a whip or shoot them with one of your guns. God Bless.

George said...


Anonymous @12:14 AM

"I am a retired public school counselor. I work with troubled children and the sexual abuse scandal was the reason I stopped going to church."

> Are you aware that there was found to be a higher rate of sexual abuse among public school teachers than among priests?


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/21/AR2007102100144.html


Findings_of_Charol_Shakeshaft


https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/forgotten-study-abuse-in-school-100-times-worse-than-by-priests


"what hurt me the most was the cover up and these men just moved so more children could be hurt until years passed and once again the priest was moved."

Also, you have cases such as the late Cardinal Bernadin. The person who accused him of sexual abuse later recanted. There have been cases of persons with mental issues who claimed to have been abused, but it turned out this was not the case.
It would seem like it would have been so much easier if the accused priests had been arrested and given a trial. What if some of them had been found innocent though? There would still be those who in their minds would find them guilty. Since the accused were not arrested(some were much later) ,The bishops had to then manage the situation as it was, and yes, some of them should have handled things differently.


"I was very hurt because I had just made up my mind to go and speak to you about coming back to the church."

Come back. We all need what only the Church can provide.

Gene said...

Well, Anonymous, enjoy Jesus as you have sculpted him for yourself. The Episcopalian Church is really just a bad joke...not even protestants take it seriously and have not for a long time....you know how the Episcopalians love all those gay Priests playing stoop tag on the lawn and sticking their...well, you know. They like girl Priests, too, and most of them are lesbian. Great church...I am so gld you are proud of your heritage.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

I hope you do return to Mass. I would recommend that you try all three churches in the Macon deanery to see which one feels most like home to you. They are all quite different. And there are new priests at all three now, so we will have to see whether, and how, their character may change as a result.

I do understand about the whispering in the ear. My wife is Episcopalian and there is much I love about the Episcopal Church. However, when it has been suggested to me that I should become Episcopalian, I try to explain that this is impossible for me. It would seem like a betrayal of God Who led me to the Catholic Church in my mid-twenties almost fifty years ago. And if you are the same Anonymous who wrote about the Mass at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, I understand about that too. I have had similar experiences there.

Father McDonald’s blog has also been very helpful to me. I have learned a great deal from others posting here and from researching various matters when preparing my own comments in response.

I look forward to meeting you one of these days.


Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

P.S. I misspoke. There are five churches in the Macon deanery—three in Macon, one in Warner Robins (Sacred Heart), and one in Kathleen (St. Patrick). I was referring to the three churches in Macon. I have not attended the other two but perhaps you would want to visit those too.



Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

PP.S. I was never very good at sums. I should have said “almost forty years ago” not “almost fifty years ago.”

Anonymous said...

Annonymous 2 I believe that you must be a very christian holy person. I would indeed like to meet you one day. Yes I am the same person who attended Holy Spirit Monostary.

I am also the same person who worked for the public school system to George I would like to thank him for his words. I am aware of how many public school teachers etc have abused children. There is no excuse. Hopefully the school system is attempting to use strict background checks but as we all know sometimes horrible actions happen. I do believe my mission in life was to be a teacher for troubled children. The priest situation was worse tho to me than the teachers because these men were hearing confessions, serving Holy Communion, burying our dead and serving at marriage masses. These Priests hurt not only children and their families they also hurt his Holy Church. I am hopeful that this is all behind us in the church. But I never say in a school meeting that I am Catholic without someone looking at me and asking me how I can work with children and still attend a catholic church after my church hurt so many. Im not in a location where I can work in a Catholic school The past has got to be the past. I have forgiven the situation and need to go back to Mass.

I have enjoyed this Blog so much but I really will not respond again. My brother is an Episcopal Bishop he totally understands the whispering in my ear from God about the Catholic Church when I was only 12 years old. The reason I will not respond again EVER here is that this Gene person with his horrible comments above about my Brother's church is not acceptable. If comments like this are allowed on this Blog it is not the Catholic Blog for me. Thank you Annon 2 and all of the others who responded so kindly to my posts. I wish Father McDonald all the best of luck with his new sheep. I know God is proud of him.

Gene said...

Anonymous, Well, bye...

George said...

Anonymous:

"The priest situation was worse to to me than the teachers because these men were hearing confessions, serving Holy Communion, burying our dead and serving at marriage masses. These Priests hurt not only children and their families they also hurt his Holy Church."

>Inpeccability is not conferred upon ordination to the priesthood. This is not to dismiss sex abuse in any way because such serious sinful behaviour does do much harm to individuals and families and the Church. But priests can be subject to sinful inclinations just as anyone else. The faithful should always keep this in mind and to pray for them.

"I never say in a school meeting that I am Catholic without someone looking at me and asking me how I can work with children and still attend a Catholic church after my church hurt so many. Im not in a location where I can work in a Catholic school The past has got to be the past. I have forgiven the situation and need to go back to Mass."

>Protestants have a sex abuse problem also.

Insurers have been assessing the risks since they began offering riders on liability policies in the 1980s. Two of the largest insurers report no higher risks in covering Catholic churches than Protestant denominations.

Wisconsin-based Church Mutual Insurance Co. has 100,000 client churches and has seen a steady filing of about five sexual molestation cases a week for more than a decade, even though its client base has grown.
“It would be incorrect to call it a Catholic problem,” said Church Mutual’s risk control manager, Rick Schaber. “We do not see one denomination above another. It’s equal. It’s also equal among large metropolitan churches and small rural churches.”

Iowa-based Guide One Center for Risk Management, which insures more than 40,000 congregations, also said Catholic churches are not considered a greater risk or charged higher premiums.
“Our claims experience shows this happens evenly across denominations,” said spokeswoman Melanie Stonewall.

"Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics," said Boz Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.

Links:


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/29/protestants-abuse-catholics-methodist-church


http://blogs.denverpost.com/hark/2010/05/25/scandal-creates-contempt-for-catholic-clergy/39/

Anonymous said...

A Message to Gene from a member of St. Joseph Parish. It is very disturbing to see a member of our church speak of other faiths as you did on this blog. ( Episcopalians love all of those Gays) plus all the other totally inappropriate comments you made concerning women priests and the Episcopal faith in general. It is also very disturbing to know that McDonald who edits this Blog allowed such words to be spoken about another Church. I know for a fact that he edits this blog because several posts are never published. Perhaps it WAS time for St. Joseph to have a change. Allowing hatred such as this is not in keeping with the Pope's statements just today concerning Gay people and other groups. Perhaps you should read it Gene and McDonald and every other person who has commented on Gay people women etc... on this blog. How dare you represent our faith in this way. You may not like the Pope or respect his teachings but he is our Pope and you are NOT. The person who wrote about returning to mass..... please come back. We will not allow you to be treated in such a way as the people who responded to you on this blog. I wonder what the Pope would say if he would read these comments and knowing that a Catholic Priest allowed this hatred to be written on what he calls SOUTHERN ORDERS. This has really gone too far I am ashamed and do not want our Church represented in this way. If you don't like the Pope and his message and he is the POPE instead of telling a person who wrote here for help to "Go Someplace Else" maybe you are the ones that have worn out your welcome. To the unknown person PLEASE COME BACK TO CHURCH. WE ARE A LOVING CHURCH WITH A LOVING POPE. Im not signing my name here because I speak for the majority of the church and I know will be supported by our new priest. We will see if McDonald with post this... doubt it.

Gene said...

Anonymous, quit playing games and trolling like you are someone else. I thought you were leaving...please, do us all a favor and get on with it. I notice that Fr. MacDonald is now "MacDonald." What happened to all that love and respect?