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  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Fr. Ken Roberts, REST IN PEACE

154549133261636553bFr. Kenneth Roberts died Thursday, December 20, 2018 around 4:50 ET in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Born and raised in England, he later became an American citizen.  He was 89 years of age.  A charismatic and articulate priest, he easily made his early reputation as a stark defender and teacher of Catholic teaching.  (Back in 1989, I got to meet him over a dinner in Birmingham, Alabama.)  At the time he was filming programs locally for Mother Angelica and EWTN.  His book PLAYBOY TO PRIEST was one of the works that influenced many young men to discern a vocation to the priesthood, myself included. Another notable book was NOBODY CALLS IT SIN ANYMORE.  He is well remembered for his books, tapes, television appearances, retreats and support for the Medjugorje apparitions and messages.

His defunct website noted the following:  “Throughout his life, Father Ken has been especially devoted to our Blessed Mother, realizing that the love and graces of her Immaculate Heart are the surest and most expedient way into the saving Sacred Heart of her son Jesus Christ. Father Roberts has dedicated his priesthood to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Although he traveled a great deal, he was a priest (ordained in 1966) from the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.  Given credible charges of misconduct with minors, he was suspended from ministry in 1998 (November 13) by Bishop Charles Grahmann and incurred serious restrictions (such as not being able to wear clerical garb and from presenting himself as a priest in good standing). Although ordered to do so, he was hesitant or slow to terminate his national online ministry.  He was especially popular with young people and his site got as many as 50,000 hits a day.  When the revelations of misconduct were made public, his supporters were in utter disbelief and rallied to his defense.  Unfortunately, accusations of improper behavior dated back to the 1970’s.  Since 1995 he had been directed to avoid ministerial contacts with youth and men thirty years of age or younger.  He disappeared into retirement, stripped of all the trappings of priesthood, even the title, FATHER.  An official monitum or Church warning went out in 2007 that he was allegedly celebrating home Masses and was associating with children and teenagers in violation of his suspension and earlier restrictions.  I recall one vocal critic who complained when she spotted the elderly Roberts praying quietly in the rear corner of a parish church.  It looked to her that he was wearing a clerical shirt, albeit not black and without the tell-tale Roman collar.  If I recall the correspondence correctly, someone may have even called him “father,” although I suspect that he was also called many other things of  a far more offensive nature.  My response was to remind the critic, who had every right to be upset and disappointed in the wayward priest, that we are all sinners and the Church will never close her doors to any soul seeking to make reparation for wrongs and to find healing in Christ.  Given that the charges were true, maybe he was bringing the many victims to prayer?  We leave ultimate judgment to God.

I was a big fan of his YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT program on EWTN. It was a wonderful show which he co-hosted with a Catholic and Protestant teenager.  It spoke to the youth in a non-threatening language that they could understand.  His small booklet in response to the anti-Catholicism of Jimmy Swaggert was also right on the mark.  Of course, the misconduct soured or ruined the positive impact of much of what he did. 

As with the many other scandals facing the Church, it is all so terrible and hard to believe.  How must we respond?  We must pray for victims and their perpetrators.  We must seek transparency in our discipleship and shed any duplicity.  We must seek justice and healing for those harmed.

His family and friends kept his passing quiet so as to avoid sensationalism.  That is as it should be.  The reason I posted this information was to urge all his past fans, friends and critics to pray for the repose of his soul.  He was buried from Holy Cross-Immaculata Parish in Cincinnati on December 27, 2018.  The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Timothy Reid.  He was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery (11000 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH  45249).

He very much believed in the power of prayer and frequently urged that we remember the poor helpless souls in purgatory.  I suspect that he has now joined their company.

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Funeral Mass Program – Fr. Kenneth J. Roberts

Eternal rest, grant unto him/her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Remembering Father Ken… I hope and trust that he knew the graces that come with repentance.  REST IN PEACE.


http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/dallas_bishop_suspends_father_ken_roberts

https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2003/former-student-pursues-charges/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/gay-priests-open-letter-fr-james-martin

Jerry Coniker, Rest in Peace

153089093862327923Dear Friends of the AFC,

The Apostolate for Family Consecration’s beloved founder, my father, Jerome Francis Coniker (“Jerry”) passed into eternal life on July 4, 2018. At his death, he was surrounded by so much love and many prayers, and by many family members and loved ones who were with him in his daughter Maureen’s home. No doubt he is overjoyed to be reunited with my mother, Gwen, the love of his life, as well as his daughter Angelica, and his parents and brother.

My father was a man truly driven to make a difference in the world. The salvation of souls and the protection of families through consecration were his passion. He desired the laity to know and embrace their call to holiness, to be saints, because he was convinced that ordinary fathers, mothers, and children can help to bring about the kingdom of God on earth when they make their daily family life an offering to God.

This is the message of hope, inspired by the Fatima message, that he and my mother spread through the Apostolate for Family Consecration® and by the example of their life. At a time when there were not many lay ministries in the Church, my father overcame many obstacles and made many sacrifices, never wavering in his conviction that God had called him to this mission. Thousands of lives have been touched because he said yes to the Holy Spirit and chose to found the AFC with the help of my mother. I am filled with joy and gratitude that the fruits of his labors, as well as my mother’s, will live on in this ministry.

Thank you for supporting this mission through your prayers and sacrifices.

I invite you to join us in celebrating my dad’s legacy. Visitation will be from 4:00–9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, with a vigil service at 8:00 p.m. in St. John Vianney Chapel at Catholic Familyland®, and from 9:30–10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 12 in St. Joseph Auditorium.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 12, in St. Joseph Auditorium. Following the Mass, he will be laid to rest in the crypt of St. John Vianney Chapel, next to my mother, Gwen. A lunch celebration will be held immediately after the burial. If you plan to attend the luncheon, please RSVP through this form.

RSVP to Funeral Luncheon

I ask your prayers for the repose of my dad’s soul, for my family, and for the AFC during this time. Thank you and may God bless you!

In the Holy Family,

Theresa Coniker Schmitz

Executive Vice President

Dr. Dolores B. Grier, Rest in Peace

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Sir Knight Reginald Grier informed us that his sister, Dr. Dolores Bernadette Grier, died in New York City on February 22, 2018, her birthday. She was 91 years old.

The late Cardinal O’Connor of New York appointed Dr. Dolores Bernadette Grier as the first lay woman to be a vice chancellor of the archdiocese. Dolores Grier’s appointment as vice chancellor for community relations in 1985 was national news as she achieved several firsts. Not only was she the first lay woman, but she also was the first black American in the U.S. to be appointed a vice chancellor. She also became the first lay woman named to any chancery post in the archdiocese.

When Grier was a teenager she converted to Roman Catholicism. She graduated with a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. In 1980 she heard a “persuasive, dynamic speech in defense of all human life from conception” by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and credits this speech with bringing her into the pro-life movement. She lamented in her book, DEATH BY ABORTION, the course Jackson took in his career by saying, “Regrettably, Rev. Jackson joined the Democratic political party and adopted its pro-abortion/pro-choice platform. Too many legislators, Republican and Democratic, have chosen to walk on the ‘comfort zone’ bridge of pro-choice, thus turning their backs on the unborn human beings, perhaps because they are not yet voters or members of a political action group.”

In 1993 the New York City branch of the NAACP selected her to be the recipient of the Women’s History Month award, she refused it and membership because of the organization’s pro-choice stance on abortion. “As president of the Association of Black Catholics,” she wrote, “I believe abortion to be a racist weapon of genocide against black people. It has been thrust upon black women as a solution to their economic crises, confusion and concern.”

She had a television program on BLACK CATHOLICS and was a long-time EWTN spokesperson and close friend of the late Mother Angelica. She was a nationally known African American pro-life activist and non-fiction author. She also orchestrated the PROUD TO BE ROMAN CATHOLIC effort in New York. Dr. Grier sat on the Board of Advisors of the Catholic League and was founder of Black Catholics Against Abortion. She wrote, “Yesterday they snatched babies from our arms and sold them into slavery, today they snatch them from our womb and throw them into the garbage.”

I met her on several occasions and she was a wonderful lady and true disciple of Christ. Rest in peace.

Bishop William Curlin Dies: Rest in Peace

curlin

Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin, the third bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte, passed away Dec. 23:

The reception of the body and a vigil prayer service will take place at St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Road in Charlotte, at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, also at St. Gabriel Church. Following the funeral Mass, Bishop Curlin will be buried at Belmont Abbey in Belmont.

Bishop, then Msgr. Curlin was our Vocations Director for Washington. He was the pastor of Old St. Mary’s in Chinatown. He accepted me into the seminary back in 1978. God bless him.

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Father René Laurentin, RIP

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Father René Laurentin, a priest and historian of the apparitions of Lourdes, passed away on Sunday 10 September 2017. He was about to be 100 years old in October. His funeral will be celebrated Friday, September 15, at 10:30, in the Cathedral of Evry. They will be presided over by Bishop Michel Dubost of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes, in the presence of Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. He will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace.

Dave Thomas Passes Away, Knight & Parishioner

Dave Thomas, a parishioner of Holy Family Parish and a long-time Knight of Columbus, passed away today. Keep him and his family in prayer. Dave delighted in jokes and magic! Rest in Peace.

  • Vigil at Beal Funeral Home on Sunday, July 16 from 1 PM to 4 PM
  • Funeral at Holy Family Church, Mitchellville on Monday, July 17 at 11 AM

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DAVID M. THOMAS

On Sunday, July 9, 2017 of Glenn Dale, MD, formerly of Johnstown, PA. Beloved husband of Mary Jane Harbrant Thomas (married 54 years); loving father of Michael D. Thomas and his wife Susan McGuirk Thomas. Dear brother of the late Mary Jane Thomas. Devoted grandfather of Justin and Kendra Thomas. Also survived by many cousins four brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law, and many dear friends. Family will receive friends at the family-owned BEALL FUNERAL HOME, 6512 NW Crain Hwy. (Rte. 3 South), Bowie, MD on Sunday, July 16, 2017 from 1 to 4 PM. A Memorial Mass will be held Monday, July 17, 2017, 11 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church, 12010 Woodmore Road, Mitchellville, MD. Interment private.

1984840_profile_picHe passed away at Hospice of the Chesapeake, surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 5, 1937 in Johnstown, PA, son of Kenneth and Rose (Coco) Thomas. Preceded in death by his loving parents and sister, Mary Jane Thomas.

A member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchellville, MD, Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council, and charter member of three Knights of Columbus councils in MD, and the Bowie Magic Club.

Dave will be remembered as a caring, loving, faithful, and thoughtful son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He loved to entertain, do magic for children and at convalescent homes, and organize and MC local events.

Interment at St. John the Baptist Cemetery, New Baltimore, PA will be scheduled at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to For the Kids, Inc., a charity founded by Dave’s son, Mike, to benefit local children with serious medical issues. Donations may be sent to For the Kids, Inc., 1119 MD Route 3 North, #210, Gambrills, MD 21054.

 

Msgr. John Pennington – Rest in Peace

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Death Notice, Msgr. John Pennington 100914

REV. MSGR. JOHN R. PENNINGTON, III

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, of Silver Spring, MD. Priest of the Archdiocese of Washington. Beloved son of the late Joan Louise and John R. Pennington, Jr.; brother of Mary Fourcade, Mark Pennington (Sherrill), Judy Pennington and Janice Moulden (Ross); uncle of Kimberly, Kristie, Adam, Jason and Xander. Friends may call at St. John the Evangelist Church, 10103 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20902, Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. with Vigil Mass at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. John the Evangelist Church on Monday, October 13 at 11 a.m. Interment All Souls Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John the Evangelist Church at the above address.