JULY 25, 2022


JULY 25, 2022


As I sit looking out my sixth floor Health Park hospital window today, the commemoration of St. Christopher, I have plenty of time to reminisce about days that I would describe as “better.” Were they days that were perfect? There are no such things! But they were days not plagued by the health issues of the last six years, days that were made easier because of the absence of the extreme stress present in my life that was not of my making. They were days that one could rightly long for, even with their glimpses of sadness and difficulty, companions for most people making their way through the wonderful and complex experience we call life.

As my personal nightmare has dragged on for nearly six years, there have been plenty of suggestions to just thumb my nose and walk away, and that might be fine if all I was walking away from was the vindictiveness and malice of my bishop. The far more important thing that I would be leaving behind is my 46 years of being a priest; I would be walking away from my vocation. Twice I have had to reckon with the exigencies of what it would mean to be a priest: in my monastic juniorate years before my solemn vows, and, sadly, yet again, the nearly a year leading up to my leaving the monastery to join the parochial ministry. It was as clear then as it is now, that I believed God was calling me to serve him in the priesthood, and there are few things more precious to me than this vocation which I have been barely able to celebrate over the last six years.

The saddest question I ask is whether justice is even possible in the Church? Can the mercy and compassion, so lauded by Pope Francis, ever find its way down to one simple priest in a small and simple diocese in Southwest Florida? The answer to those questions have to be left unanswered until “justice rains down from heaven.” Whatever sufferings I have endured, I have tried to see them as a participation in the sufferings of Christ, who offered His very self that all might have life. I admit to praying with the psalmist, whose prayers are such a mirror to the problems that affect most of human kind. 

And so I pray with the author of the 35th psalm: “Let those who seek my life be put to shame and disgrace, let those who plot evil against me be turned back and confounded. Make them like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on. Make their way slippery and dark, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. Without cause they set their snare for me; without cause they dug a pit for me. Let ruin overtake them unawares; let the snare they have set catch them; let them fall into the pit they have dug.”

Bishop Dewane be forewarned – the Angel of the Lord is looking for you.

1 thought on “JULY 25, 2022”

  1. it makes us beyond sad to think that you have had this difficult physical suffering from your poor health as well as emotional and mental suffering this has caused you—–which we know and believe was because of nothing you did to cause such treatment.   You have not deserved such unfair and unjust treatment and we have prayed and hoped it would be resolved for you all these past 6 years.    We cannot let it go either. We also wonder why it has NOT been addressed and studied —and remedied – instead – it has been allowed to go on all this precious time.   Yes, we know it is true,  that many workers have suffered such unjust treatments by their superiors —for whatever reason they wish to  broadcast— with no fair solution, or has Bishop Dewayne  chosen to simply ignore your grief and your attempts at meaningful fair communication and at least a fair meeting time for dialogue with the church you love??WHY has the Bishop of Venice, Florida ….. chosen this unfair silence and treatment?  Does the church fully understand  your sincere love for the ministry and desire of your vocation to the sacramental Catholic priesthood –  you have been a  faithful priest l  for over 45 years?   


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