Monday, August 22, 2016

Congratulations to the Deacon Class of 2016!

On August 20, 2016, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz ordained 18 men as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Louisville at St. Patrick Church in Louisville. May they serve Christ humbly and zealously, and may their wives and families be blessed.

Photos from Ordination Mass and practice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Simone Biles, Olympic Gold, St. Sebastian and her Rosary

From LifeSite News

When three-time world champion gymnast Simone Biles flew to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games, the 19-year-old carried a rosary her mother gave her and a St. Sebastian medal from her family’s spiritual home, St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Spring, Texas.

Simone is already the most decorated woman gymnast in her sport’s history, winning golds at the world level in all-around and individual events. But as the young daughter of a fatherless home who was shunted between a drug-addicted mother and foster homes, her chances of excelling in any sport let alone one so intense as gymnastics seemed slim indeed.

Then her grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles, stepped in, took her and three siblings into their home and then adopted Simone and her sister, while Ron’s sister adopted her two brothers. Simone grew up in a family of achievers, who were also devout Catholics, not incidentally, according the social science findings showing strong correlation between family stability, regular and frequent church attendance, and success.

According to this week’s story in Independent Journal Review, “Little Girl Abandoned by Father and Drug-Addict Mother Is Adopted by Christian Texas Family, Becomes Best Athlete in the World,” her faith plays an important role in her life and success.

“Her parents,” reporter Benny Johnson wrote, “also introduced Simone to her Christian faith. She attends mass [sic] with her family every Sunday when she is not competing. Simone prays regularly and carries a rosary that her mother gave her.”

Read the entire article here...

The "Iron Nun", Sister Madonna Buder

Next time you think you're getting a bit too creaky for an afternoon run or early morning ride, think about Sister Madonna Buder. The 86-year-old nun is a record-breaking Ironman triathlete…


Monday, August 15, 2016

Usain Bolt and his most powerful medal

On the evening of Sunday, August 14, 2016, famed Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won gold in a characteristically dynamic and seemingly effortless 100-meter performance at his third consecutive Olympics, this time in Rio de Janeiro, making him the first athlete to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash.

In addition to his other inspirational outward signs of faith, more encouraging than Bolt’s hard-earned gold medals is that he wears an even more powerful medal: the Miraculous Medal...

Read entire EpicPew article here

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Decluttering is a growing lifestyle trend. Google the word and you'll get thousands of hits. If you need help decluttering there are even decluttering consultants who for a price will come to your home or office to help you declutter. Why the sudden emphasis on de-cluttering one's life, one's home, one's mind, and one's schedule? Is it simply a fad, or is there something else fueling this desire to simplify? Could it be that the speed with which our culture hurtles through life is simply becoming unmanageable for some? Is it possible that others are simply tired of being scattered and smothered? Most of my decluttering projects have failed miserably But, what if less really is more?

I think this last question gets to the heart of both the Old Testament and Gospel readings. Widows playkey roles in both readings. Widows in the days of the prophets were a marginalized group. Without the support of a husband, adult son, or extended family they were vulnerable. Poverty was often their lot. In fact, the widow at in the first reading was so desperate that she was out gathering firewood for a last supper when she met Elijah. She and her young son were on the brink of starvation. When comes Elijah tells her not to be afraid and asks for hospitality in the form of water and a small cake of bread. What does she have to lose? 
The widow complies, giving out of her poverty. She gives all that is left and she is blessed. By giving all, she always HAS from that point forward.

The widow in Mark's gospel is putting all that she has in the temple treasury. Her act goes unnoticed by most, After all, two small coins is nothing compared to the lavish gifts of the rich and famous. But Jesus notices, and he takes full advantage of this teaching moment with his disciples. Little do they know that he is about to give all that he has for the sake of the world. The actions of both widows seem foolhardy, even crazy, to 21st century ears.

Why would a poor woman give everything she has and risk starvation? What's the point of giving when you have nothing left to give? Who among us would literally give everything we possess, putting it all in the hands of the church or giving it to a random stranger we meet in a mall parking lot? What kind of wise stewardship is that? Perhaps there's more to these stories than meets the eye, more than money, bread, and oil. Is Jesus is trying to teach his disciples about where to put their faith, their trust, and their absolute fidelity.

You know, Jesus spent a good deal of his precious time here on earth attempting to explain that his ways are not the ways of the world. Following his path is not the one that leads to power and might. Yet following Jesus is THE way to experience abundant life forever. Being a disciple is about much more than two coins in the collection or one last meal before you cash in the chips. Is what Jesus is getting at is the removal of anything that stands between us and his love. Perhaps it's the seeming security of the contents of our kitchen pantry or our earning power or even control over how we spend and give.

What would it look like for us as Christians to be the equivalent of these biblical widows? How can we experience utter and complete reliance on God for every breath we take? After all, everything we have is gift. In the final analysis, We don't really own anything. We are entrusted with the management of the goodness an abundance of the Creator. My suspicion is... that if we gather together as the Body of Christ and trust that the our jug of oil and jar of meal will not turn up empty. Then we will see and experience amazing things. God is good... and in God's economy less is indeed more... less reliance on self... yields a more abundant life... Our challenge as it was for the widows... Do we trust enough to try it?

Obituary for Deacon Joe Filiatreau

Deacon Joseph H. “Joe” Filiatreau of Bardstown, Ky., died on June 27 at Episcopal Church Home in Louisville. He was 73 and had been a permanent deacon since 1978.

Deacon Filiatreau, a native of Bardstown, was assigned to St. Gregory Church in Samuels, Ky., in 2002. He is also the retired owner of Joe Filiatreau Floor Covering and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He served as the Knights’ regional representative in the Bardstown/Central region.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon B. Filiatreau; four children Chris (Pam) Filiatreau, Tim (Julia) Filiatreau, Chad (Jessica) Filiatreau and Beth (Jeff) Filiatreau Lear, all of Bardstown; 11 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter; nine siblings, Theresa (Sherrill) Jones of Loretto, Ky.; Edna Boone, Margaret (Phillip) Mattingly, John (Elaine) Filiatreau and Pat (Vicki) Filiatreau of Bardstown; Frankie (Rick) Robinson of New Hampshire, Ann (Scott) Hornblower of Fort Wright, Ky., Paul (Vickie) Filiatreau of Oneida, Ky., and Bill (Beth) Filiatreau of La Grange, Ky.; several nieces and nephews.

 The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on June 30 at St. Gregory. A private burial will be held at a later date in St. Gregory Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 29 and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 30 at St. Gregory.

Please pray for Deacon Joe's eternal rest and joy in the Kingdom and peace and comfort for his family and friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Have you ever thought about how often you are identified with a number? At the bank you have account numbers, PIN numbers to access your accounts, and credit card numbers.

The IRS identifies you with a Social Security number. Doctors and hospitals identify you with a Medicare number. Numbers are so impersonal. Isn’t it nice when someone remembers your name, or when you are known by name rather than a number? 

 The 4th Sunday of Easter is traditionally called Good Shepherd Sunday. In John’s Gospel today, we hear Jesus speak words that give us that kind of warm feeling. That we have when someone cares for us, is interested in what's happening in our lives, empathises and encourages us. 

 Jesus tells us about the very personal and intimate relationship that he has with us. I know my sheep. The Father has given them to one can take them from the Father’s hand. Some of the most meaningful pictures in Christian art depict Jesus as a shepherd. Jesus holding a lamb, or carrying a lamb across his shoulders, or watching over sheep. 

All this builds up a mental image of someone with an intense love for our total well-being at every turn of our life. Especially in this Easter season we are reminded that we have a living and all-powerful Saviour who is walking beside us every day through thick and thin. 

No doubt there are times when it seems that Jesus is a million miles away. We have prayed for help in times of sickness and the pain is as intense as ever. We have asked Him to guide us through some difficult decisions, but we have blundered on making one mistake after another. We have wanted Him to watch over our loved ones, but they have still been caught up in trouble and accidents. 

We may feel as if we are losing our faith in Jesus. But the fact is Jesus hasn’t gone anywhere. He is right here with us. He knows what is happening in our lives. He knows what is going through our minds and how restless and anxious we are. He will use his power to help and support us. Jesus’ promise is good even when we are doubting and despairing,"I am the good Shepherd, I know my sheep. Jesus is the one who cares, the one who saves the lost, and rescues from trouble. He is the one who is intimately and individually concerned about each one of his sheep.

He provides his sheep with everything they need. He is the one whose staff and rod defend the sheep if any danger should come their way. Even though we are down and almost out, we are assured that we are in the arms of the everlasting shepherd. The one who lovingly supports and strengthens us in our weakest and most painful moments. Like the lamb that is often pictured in Jesus’ arms, we can be at peace and feel safe in the arms of our loving shepherd.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that we have a loving shepherd who walks with us through the good and bad. And one day, he will walk with us and lead us to the glorious new life beyond our life here on earth. Because we have a loving shepherd, goodness and love will follow us all our lives and we will live in the house of the Lord forever. Amen 

 Homily preached by Deacon Gerry Mattingly on Mass of the Air, April 17, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016


With the Olympics in Rio de Janiero on the horizon athletes from all over the world are training for their events. American swimmer, Michael Phelps, is training for his last challenge in Rio. Michael has a training schedule that includes swimming 80,000 meters a week. That’s almost 50 miles! To fuel this rigorous.schedule he consumes 12,000 calories per day.

For Michael Phelps or any world class athlete, to have any chance against the world’s best they need to have one focus, to make sacrifices, reorder their priorities and be single-minded, determined and committed to being the best they can be. Without that determination, daily perseverance, and toughness, they would soon tire of the daily routine and their ability to be the best would soon fade.

Today's gospel reading is full of toughness. In a nutshell, Jesus is saying that if you want to be a disciple, if you want to respond to Jesus' call to "follow" then be ready for some tough decisions and demanding actions requiring determination, perseverance, and toughness.

Three people come to Jesus The first would-be disciple tells Jesus "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus tells him a disciple will never have security and comfort the foxes and birds have it. But, they won't. We all want comfort and security in our lives But, we never hear of Jesus being "at home". He's always on the move, going from place to place helping people in their needs, finding little rest, security or comfort.

Being a disciple is more important than personal security and comfort. In fact, if we find being a disciple is cozy and easy then there may be something wrong with our commitment, or obedience to what Jesus is calling us to do. Like the athlete, the disciple must be ready to make personal sacrifices. It may mean giving up what we regard as comfortable and cozy in our lives or in the church. 

To carry out the work of Christ, we are most likely to be challenged. To do something that we've never done before To help people we've never considered helping before, To tell about the love of Jesus to people we've always been afraid to tell. To risk our reputation by sticking up for what is right or befriending someone whom everyone else think is a loser. 

The second would-be disciple responds to the call of Jesus with:"Lord, let me go back and bury my father." Jesus tells him you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God." "Let those who have no interest in following me bury the dead. They'll take care of it. This man has a sense of human responsibility to his father. Jesus is saying that to follow him is the most important responsibility that we have. I think it’s important to see that Jesus isn’t saying that we should neglect our families, spouses, or work and use our devotion to church activities as a substitute for being at home What Jesus is implying is that when you follow Him as the first priority then you will be a better father, mother, grandparent, son or daughter, employee, or student.

Then there's the third would-be disciple trying to make a deal with Jesus. "I will follow, but first...." Jesus told this would-be disciple Don’t put off following me. Don’t we use excuses like "I’ll do more at church when I’m retired and have more time", "when the kids get older", "when things slow down at work", "when we’ve paid off the house, we'll give more". Jesus is calling us now everyday! Who knows, there may not be a tomorrow for us. 

He’s calling us to do the work he has given us as the church and members of the church right now. The world’s athletes right now are focused on only one thing – being the best they can be when that gun goes off for their event in Rio. There is no place for conflicting loyalties when they travel the road to a world championship There is no place for conflicting loyalties when we travel the road to the best prize eternal life with Jesus!

At this point, I wonder if you feel the same as I do when talking about this whole matter of following Jesus and giving that our first priority. Do you get an uncomfortable feeling when Jesus is so straight to the point, so blunt as He was in this mornings gospel? Do you squirm a bit when you hear Jesus talking about following? I think that squirming is because we know the question that inevitably follows is "how well have I done?” How well have I followed Jesus?

Our human nature gets in the way of truly following Jesus with all our heart, soul and mind – we lose focus. Our priorities get all mixed up and upside down. We miss the mark! Just as Michael Phelps and those other Olympic athletes have a daily plan. Daily we need a fresh realization of the never-ending love that Jesus has for us, and an awareness that he waits for us and forgives us when we fall short.

May we respond to his calling with confidence because of his faithfulness to help us in the tasks he calls us to carry out. Whether they be big or small, spectacular or mundane. He can use us in all kinds of ways to call others to follow Jesus. He has given his Spirit to work in and through those who answer his call to follow. Amen.

Homily preached by Deacon Gerry Mattingly on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 26th, 2016 at All Saints Church, Taylorsville, KY