Monday, September 12, 2022



I really like my relaxed retirement. I had Saturday’s 3 pm Confessions and 4 pm and 6 pm Masses at St. Gregory the Great and attended a Funeral Mass in the morning in Statesboro. I have the 7 am and 9 am Masses in Bluffton and 1 pm Latin Mass in Savannah. At all the Bluffton Masses there are special blessings for couples celebrating their 50th and 55th wedding anniversaries. And at the 6pm Saturday Mass I received a lady into the Church by Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Holy Communion. Retirement is GREAT!

And then I was invited to a villa down from mine for Sunday night supper. Villa is used for condo on Hilton Head. I just love the Italian connotations!

These are people I have gotten to know from my time on the spiaggia, I mean, beach. There were 6 of them plus me, ages mid 50’s to late 80’s. Four of them non practicing life long Catholics and one, never baptized, with a Catholic  mom. This is Catholic reality today.

They wanted to know if a retired priest can date and get married. I said, he can, but may not,  as I am into good English grammar! They rejoiced in my grammar.


TJM said...

Sounds wonderful and well deserved!

Sophia said...

Sophia here: Way to go Father! As you said when you announced your retirement-you would be retiring only from administrative duties. You are living up to that! I am particularly touched by your willingness to celebrate those early morning Masses. You will continue to get social invitations because your presence would be a plus at any gathering. You are an interesting conversationalist and ever so witty! And it wouldn't surprise me if having you around brings about some "Catholics Come Home" moments. I am definitely praying for that!
Congrats! Your retirement sounds well-balanced between carrying out priestly duties and spending more time relaxing and enjoying yourself than you could before. I'm glad that it is going so well. As TJM said- you definitely deserve this, Father.

Jerome Merwick said...

Sorry Father, but you asked for it by posting these photos:

That picture in the middle said it all: The last gasping remnant of the Novus Ordo Establishment--old people, mostly women--are what fills the pews (if you really want to use the word "fill").

There is only ONE sector of the Church that consistently draws young people and young families and isn't contracepting itself into oblivion. And it's THAT sector that our "holy holy holy..." Francis seems intent on obliterating and alienating.

Instead, we have an impotent Church in its chemotherapy stage. But the remission has nearly run its course.

The pictures don't lie. The numbers don't lie. Those poor, quivering voices trying to sing "On Eagle's Wings" don't lie.

I CAN, however think of a few bishops who do.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jerome, Bluffton, SC is a retirement community, Sun City, Margaritaville and many others. Most retire from the north and are practicing Catholics. The parish has 5,000 households.

Jerome Merwick said...

OK--you just explained why there are so many there.

But go to just about any parish's Sunday Mass and the demographic won't be all that different, with a few exceptions.

I stand by my words. Last gasp.

This self-destruct papacy has got to end and soon.

TJM said...


Father McDonald was being factual about this particular location. When I go back to Illinois to my old parish, even though the parish has a thriving grade school, there are but a handful of young children at Sunday Mass. When I attend the in EF in my parish and others there are always large families with children present but much of the hierarchy refuses to acknowledge this inconvenient fact. They prefer (because frankly it is easier for them) to maintain the status quo which is teetering on the demographic sinkhole. But in fairness to the current crew, the liturgical failure was already upon us within a few short years following the Council’s closing and there plenty of bishops around who attended the Council who should have demanded a correction. I think they are the ones we should be held accountable in the telling of the history of this debacle. What gives me hope is I see my 32 year old pastor and priests like Fathers McDonald and Fox who see the problem and have taken affirmative steps, within their power, to address the problem. My parish came out of the pandemic stronger than before. Although we have the TLM we also have Novus Ordo Masses celebrated, as much as they can be, celebrated in continuity with our Catholic liturgical traditions. My pastor will be around long after these liturgical failure deniers are gone.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jerome - Were you to see a pic of the congregation at my parish it would be very different from the one Fr. McDonald posted from St. Gregory. We have many families with kids at every mass save, understandably, the 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Our school has 240+ kids in it, the best enrollment since I got here 6 years ago. (I attribute that to our most excellent principal and superior faculty.)

By the way, Sun City Hilton Head, which Fr. McDonald mentioned, is just 3.8 miles from St. Gregory. That skews the demographic greatly, especially at the vigil masses, known to the retirement community as the "Early Bird Sacramental Special." St. Gregory School there is PK-6 and has 192 students, a very healthy number for that grade range.

Sure there are places where the entire congregation is graying. That's true of MOST mainline denominations. Has what you call the "self-destruct papacy" caused that decline among Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, et al? I would LOVE to hear one day your theory on how Catholic leadership has caused a drop-off in Protestant Church membership.

But there are many places where the congregations, Catholic included, are vibrant and growing.

TJM said...

I see the liturgical failure denier has entered the fray. Facts are stubborn things. Only a fraction of baptized Catholics go to Sunday Mass these days and only a minority believe in the Real Presence. Vibrant and growing? Ya

rcg said...

I like the way Fr. McDonald remains in Italian for beach after the use of ‘villa’ for condo. What’s the difference between a condo and a villa? About $50K.

One of my best analysts and a good friend is from Charlotte and has a condo on Hilton Head. He told me how villa is used alternately there with condo during his most recent trip. I am afraid that he is planning to go and not come back, some time soon.