Archive for the ‘Relationships’ category

Happy Birthday, Fr Leo McKernan!

September 17, 2010

Fr Leo meets Pope Benedict XVI

Birthday greetings today to priest and Chaplain of the Guardian of the Redeemer CMF, Fr Leo McKernan!

From his humble beginnings in Ashley PA, Fr Leo’s path in life has led him to meet popes and to preach retreats around the world.  But for those of us in the Diocese of Scranton, our love and respect for Fr Leo springs from his dedication to Jesus, and his self-giving service as a diocesan priest in Christ’s Church.  Four of my own children were baptized by Fr Leo.  His celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always reverent.  You can sense his own love and desire for our Lord in his priestly prayers and gestures of the Mass.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, his preaching brings forth the rich meanings found in Sacred Scripture.  As the second of the six children in his family, his own experience of youth and family life, with its times of both suffering and joy, enables him to relate well and with compassion to our own family situations.  Whether in homilies or retreat talks, Fr Leo, when inspired to do so, has the courage to speak boldly and forcefully on an issue, and doesn’t hesitate to challenge his listeners.  Over his 26 years of priesthood, many have benefited from his counsel, be it in the Sacrament of Penance, in the personal spiritual direction they sought from him, or in simple friendly conversation.  He has always had a special place in his heart for new movements of the Spirit, like the Guardian of the Redeemer CMF, Catholic Radio & TV, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and other groups and communities to which he generously devotes time.  Fr Leo has a true gift for bringing people of different groups together in collaborative efforts.

Along with our birthday greetings and prayers for Fr Leo, we remember his parents, John & Marjorie McKernan.  We are truly grateful that they were open to new life, and we pray that they are now beholding the face of Christ in the eternal peace and joy of His Kingdom.

Happy Birthday, dear friend!!



July 4, 2010

URGENT:  Tomorrow – July 5th – is the last day to register

for the

Guardian of the Redeemer Catholic Men’s Fellowship

Father & Son “Be a Man” Day

DATE:              Saturday, July 10th

LOCATION:   Camp St Andrew, Tunkhannock

TIME:              9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


9:00   a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
       Registration, Orientation, Confession, Coffee & Donuts

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
       Saturday Mass
       Homily:  Masculine Spirituality (Fr. Brian Van Fossen)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

12:00 noon -12:30 p.m.
       Talk on Masculine Spirituality (Fr. Brian Van Fossen)      

12:30 p.m.  –  3:00 p.m.
              Volleyball, Bocci ball, Fishing (License Required),
                 Swimming, Orienteering, etc.

3:00 p.m. –  3:30 p.m.
       Chaplet of Divine Mercy
       Closing and Dismissal

casual, comfortable clothing; swim gear; towel;
              sneakers; hiking boots; compass.

For Directions go to Google Maps and type in “camp st andrew”

For more information on Camp St Andrew go to and click on Camp St. Andrew

Pre-Register by July 5th by calling:  570-288-9998

Cost:  $25 per person (over 18 yrs. old)
             $10 (12 – 18 yrs old) Must be accompanied by adult
             Maximum $50 per family

Parish Evangelization Cells

June 11, 2010

I have long felt that the way to approach the massive disconnectedness among members of most parishes was via the implementation of a small group network of some sort. Thus, it was encouraging to read this, and to see that it may be happening in the Newark Archdiocese.

“Help, I’m Alive”

October 24, 2009

‘If my life is mine, what shouldn’t I do?’

Fr Dubay on “Listening”

July 29, 2009

A few years ago, well-known writer and speaker Fr Thomas Dubay presented a 13-part series on EWTN entitled “Freedom and Authority.”  Unlike many other EWTN series, this one is not yet available for free listening online or downloading.  He devoted the final episode to the topic of “Listening.”  Perhaps some of his principles of effective listening would benefit our men’s small group meetings:

Attitudes of Listening:

  1. Realize that, in practical things, there is not only one way of doing something.
  2. Be available to the other person that you’re talking with as a whole person.  Care how the other person feels.
  3. Have the conviction that this other person is likely to be saying something that you need to know.
  4. Look for what is true in this person’s comments.  If you don’t agree with something he says, don’t to look to have a battle over it with this person.
  5. Consider and treat this person as one of God’s beloved, and, therefore, as one you also love.
  6. Be aware that anger impedes and even destroys listening.

While in the listening encounter:

  1. Appreciate the other person’s honesty without becoming aggressive and defensive.
  2. Give the other person full time to say what he wants to say.            James 1:19 – Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
  3. Try to understand the other person’s real meaning.
  4. Bring up the possible assumption on which the other person’s comments are based.
  5. Verbally acknowledge the truth you find in the other person’s comments.
  6. Try to be influenced by the truth you pick up in the discussion;  change !!
  7. Present any reservations – the truth as you see it – hopefully, and with adequate homework and evidence.
  8. Show the person after the discussion that you still love him, especially if a correction has been part of the discussion.
  9. Make sure that the person knows you appreciate the discussion.

A Plan for Evangelization

July 7, 2009

As we endeavor to start more men’s small groups in the parishes of our diocese, perhaps some of us might find helpful the 7-step approach offered by Maurice Blumberg in his latest article in the series on “Evangelization” that he is presenting on the Catholic Man Channel of the Catholic Exchange website.

Apatheia = ??

June 24, 2009

I was listening to Fr. Maximos of Holy Resurrection Byzantine Monastery recently, and I thought I’d pass on some of the Lumen Orientale:

It says a lot about our culture in that we have no word that can properly translate one of the most important terms for the Holy Fathers of the early church.  The word in greek “Apatheia”.  That attitude we should have toward everything and everyone.  The closest we can come in english is “passionlessness” or “indifference” or “apathy”; but none of these come close to expressing what was for the Holy Fathers an essential condition to our Theosis — to our becoming saved.

The only way we can do it in English is coming at the word Apatheia from its opposites.  And English has an embarrasing wealth of options in this regard.  Instead of looking at things with apatheia, we can use them — consume them – acquire them — hoard them — exploit them — manipulate them.  We do all these things to people, to their bodies, and to their personalities; to animals, to things, to everything in our experience in this world.  We have no word for how to treat things as God commands us to, in English.  We have no word for Apatheia because we have forgotten how to see things as God does.  Not in so far as we can use them; but as they are in themselves.  We have forgotten how to love.

That’s why He comes to us in His church, in His church services, in His sacraments.  Through prayer, through acts of mercy, through fasting, through love — by all these God trains us and retrains us to see everything as He does;  so that we can live with Him, like Him, unto the ages of ages.