Thursday, July 9, 2020


What tells me how old I am is that I was vocation director for the Diocese of Savannah, when this bishop-elect was in the seminary at Boynton Beach, Florida. We had two seminarians, one of whom became a priest for our diocese, studying at this seminary in the early 1990's when the two Parkes boys were there. Our seminarian who became a priest was recruited by me when I was associate pastor of the cathedral and he sang in the cathedral men's choir, Fr. Joseph Smith, who I succeeded as pastor here at St. Anne's in Richmond Hill, of which Savannah is a suburb. I did not know the Parkes boys at the time but I am sure if they are 6'5' and 7' tall I would have noticed them.

And to add insult to injury in terms of my aging process, the Diocesan Administrator, sitting on the left, is Fr. Daniel Firmin who was my parishioner in Augusta and a great altar boy there for the parish. I think he was 11 or 12 years old when I got to Church of the Most Holy Trinity in 1991. Fr. Firmin's first priestly assignment was with me at St. Joseph in Macon as parochial vicar when I was named pastor there on July 1, 2004. I was laid to rest there in June of 2016, thus 2004-2016.

His Bishop-Elect is wearing his zuchetto for the first time at Mass:


ByzRC said...

Nice introductory homily. I hope both the clergy and people embrace their new shepherd warmly.

Separately, impressive ambo.

Carol H. said...

Father, I wasn't aware that you were laid to rest in 2016. I hope that you are enjoying your resurrection!

Anonymous said...


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Byz - Did you know that that ambo is a replacement for one a crazy guy burned to a crisp in the early 2000's?

He came in with lighter fluid and a gun, doused the cathedra and ambo, set them both alight, and waited. The rector confronted him, but when he saw the gun, Msgr. O'Neill retreated to the sacristy. The chair didn't burn much, but the ambo was completely destroyed. The docent at the other end left and locked the doors after her, so he was trapped inside.

The fire fighters could not enter since there was a gun, but they were able to see him on CCTV put it down on the presider's chair. They rushed in, got him under control, and put out the fire.

I think the cleaning cost for the smoke was $250,000.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered if there was anything to keep Monsignor O' Neil from completely losing his temper. Now I know if took a gun. Heaven help the perp if he hadn't had one!

ByzRC said...

Interesting story, Fr. MJK. Any reason ever determined for the pyro-renovation?

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

Byz - As I understand it, the poor man was mentally unbalanced.

Anon 8:32 - I went to the cathedral that afternoon to see the damage. The sacristan, Br. Robert, walked with me into the sanctuary. The fire department had used dry chemical extinguishers instead of water (thanks be to God) to put out the flames, so the clouds of that stuff had settled everywhere.

On the presider's chair was the PERFECT outline of the gun the guy had. That's where the police had seen him place it as they determoined it was safe to go in. The clouds of dry chemicals had settled on everything, leaving that perfect outline.

It was a little chilling! I wish I had thought to snap a pic.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that it was Father! Understandably you were probably not thinking about pictures at that point.....