Archive for the ‘Interviews’ category

Scranton priest mentioned on Catholic radio

January 7, 2011

Msgr John Esseff

Brian Patrick interviewed Patti Armstrong on the Son Rise Morning Show today between 7:30 and 7:45 (heard on our local Catholic radio station).  The discussion centered on a new movie (with which I am not familiar) about exorcism.  During the interview, she was highly complimentary of Scranton’s own Msgr John Esseff, and referred to him multiple times.  Apparently, she used him as a resource for an article she’s writing about this movie.  She said the article should appear on her website next week.  She related that Msgr Esseff told her that, in his 53 years involved with exorcism and investigating situations allegedly demonic, he has encountered only two cases that he considered to be actual demonic possession.  Many others involved lesser, but still serious, degrees of oppression, infestation, etc.

I’ll try to remember to pass along an update when Patti’s article is available.

Miracle Park

December 18, 2009

I recently heard about a place in Florida that bills itself as a home for ‘Modern Day Lepers’ people that our society deems unworthy of having a home.

More than 20 states, including Florida, limit where convicted sex offenders can live — keeping them away from schools, parks, and other places where children congregate.

In Miami, dozens of homeless sex offenders live under a bridge becasue there are few, if any, options nearby.  But 90 miles away, there’s a community dedicated to housing sex offenders.

On a recent Sunday Morning, a few dozen men and just a few women gather at a little country church near Pajokee, FL.  They sing, pray, and stand up to testify about the importance of God in their lives.

About the only sign that there’s something unusual about this church comes when it’s time for communion.  Many of the men making their way to the altar are wearing ankle bracelets and electronic monitors on their belts.  This is the church at Miracle Park, a community mostly made up of sex offenders.  Dock Witherow is their pastor.  Standing at the altar, he challenges the congregation, “How many of you were looking for God when you got saved? ”  He laughs, “You didn’t choose God, He chose us.”

Read on for more, there is also an audio story.

I confess this is a subject that has bothered me for some time.  How do we as Christians treat the convicted sex offenders in our midst?  I am not prepared to say that I would welcome them next door to me, but when you have thousands who say the same thing; these people become the Western World’s equivalents of Lepers — we find it safest for our own protection to cast these people out.  This is a remarkable story of one approach to ministering to these people.  Sadly,  I cannot think of another one.

Did Jesus build a Church or a cafeteria?

November 22, 2008

Maria Shriver [Kennedy], married to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, has described herself as a “cafeteria Catholic”. 


From the CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC DAILY: “I start every one of my days praying,” say Maria Shriver…But, says Shriver, when it comes to Church teaching, “I pick and choose…I think I’m probably a ‘Cafeteria Catholic.’”  She was interviewed on the Washington Post’s video blog ‘On Faith’ taped on October 22nd.  Although close to her Pastor at St. Monica’s Church, her regular church attendance and a “good” Catholic education have not discouraged her from taking positions distinctly at odds with the magisterium [the teaching authority of the Church]. 


Jesus said to his Apostles: “if they listen to you they listen to me; if they reject you they reject me.”


Shriver spelled out her disagreements: “I don’t believe that if someone’s divorced they shouldn’t get Communion; I don’t believe that people who are gay shouldn’t be accepted into the Church…I’m pro-choice, I believe women should have that right.”  


This is the kind of nonsense that poorly formed “Catholics” are putting forward.  This is why we need to become more deeply mentored…so that we can properly form those under our care.  There is a battle raging for the minds and hearts of the faithful.

The King’s Men on EWTN

November 20, 2008

On Thursday, 11/13/08, two members of The King’s Men, Mark Houck and Damian Wargo, were interviewed on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock.”  You can view a replay at the EWTN current video archive here (until they replace it with tonight’s program).  The King’s Men is a Catholic men’s group in the Philadelphia area.

Update 11/21/08:   It’s gone.  Hope you were able to view it.