The Mystic River Rolls On

By Charlie Johnston

In Massachusetts there is a relatively short river that has played an over-sized role in popular culture. Only seven miles long, it is the river that abolitionist Lydia Maria Child speaks of in her classic Thanksgiving song, “Over the River and Through the Wood.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s popular poem about Paul Revere’s midnight ride has Revere galloping along the banks of this river to alert the colonists that, “the redcoats are coming.” It is neither the physical characteristics nor the cultural significance of the river that captured my imagination long ago. It is its name, the Mystic River.

In my mind I have often imagined humanity as a great river running through time and space, always in the same direction. The water at its source is intimately connected to the water at its estuary, though it is simultaneously remote. Each of us are dollops of water in that river, contributing to its rush and roar before we empty into the eternal sea, sometimes branching off into a tributary and other times evaporating before finishing our journey. The water before us is dependent on the water behind us to keep up the rushing flow. A view from high above will reveal the entire course of the river, while those of us who must navigate its surface are confined to that small section of it to which we contribute and are on right now – and are limited to seeing it as it unfolds rather than the whole course of it.

My father died yesterday, joining my mother in the sea of eternity.

As I drove yesterday to join the family in this difficult time, remembrances of my dad and his role in our lives flooded through my memory. Dad was a plain man with a big, garrulous, engaging personality. There are many things about him which helped chart my course through these rapids, but I focus today on three.

Mom and Dad in the early 70’s

Moral Courage

Though a prankster, a provocateur, and often a jokester, the concept of honor was central to Dad’s definition of what it means to be a man. He always sought and did the most right thing he could think of. No amount of intimidation or temptation could sway him from that course. He considered a man who could be intimidated or tempted away from a moral course on a weighty matter to be utterly contemptible.

In my senior year in high school I had already managed the public campaigns of three incumbents in a contested race and was a volunteer aide, driver, and speechwriter for my congressman. Dad and I took delight in each other, but he worried that my already substantial influence on the local political scene might turn my head. So he sat me down and very solemnly told me that he did not much care what direction my career path took, but was very concerned that I always be honorable and true, that when I failed I get up again and keep going, and that I never let either fear or vanity take hold of me and guide my decisions – that if I remained honorable and true, he would be proud of me. I can relive that conversation at our dining room table right now.

Intellectual Integrity

Once I hit my mid-teens, Dad’s and my favorite past-time was verbal sparring. Poor Mom often feared we were angry at each other – but we were having delightful fun. I don’t know if Dad ever said he was wrong about anything – but he had his way of making it clear. When I had won a debate with him, he would never concede defeat. What he would do, instead, was revisit the same discussion a few days later, taking the position I had prevailed on as if it had been his position all along. It was a charming method – a little obtuse, but effective, nonetheless.

The thing was, for all his occasional histrionics, Dad wanted to be on the side of actual right far more than he was to have whatever he said be considered right. You could not coerce or bribe him into changing his mind. The only way to convince him to change his mind was to convince him that it was better and more right.

Dad was an old-time union Democrat. It amused him to no end that we bore the same name but were of different parties. We were able, for several years, to easily find the right ‘Charlie Johnston’ at the polling place by telling them to pull either Charlie Johnston the Democrat or Charlie Johnston the Republican. My Mom told me that once, at work, while Dad was talking about this, a co-worker told him, “I wouldn’t have a son who didn’t vote the way I told him.” Mom giggled as she said Dad retorted hotly that, “I wouldn’t have a son who would let anybody, including me, tell him how to vote.” In 1976 my great grandmother died just before election and it was too late for Dad to get an absentee ballot. We checked with the County Clerk (who was a friend of mine) to see if I could vote both my ballot and his. I would, of course, have voted his ballot the way he instructed me. Alas, it could not be done – but that became a source of great amusement to Dad, too. As it became clear that Jimmy Carter was WAY out of his depth, it tickled my Dad to gleefully tell people that he hadn’t voted for Carter. And his grin would only get broader when I would interject that it was not for a lack of trying. In the 90’s Dad drifted away from the Democratic Party and started identifying mainly as an Independent with Democratic leanings. God forbid he should ever become a Republican! He was a Roosevelt-Truman-Kennedy Democrat through and through. Once we were talking and he told me, ruefully, that he had been a ‘yellow dog Democrat’ and still would be if they hadn’t have insisted that he vote for so many dadgum yellow dogs.

Dad was a fundamentalist Christian – and eventually became the pastor of their little Church. But Dad was not about to teach things that some wanted to believe that were contrary to the plain meaning of Scripture. Some fundamentalists are so against alcohol that they insist the wine referred to in the Bible was actually just grape juice. Dad would not have it. He pointed out that at the Wedding at Cana, some of the guests noted that the hosts usually gave the best wine first and, after the guests were well drunk, then gave the second rate stuff out – but here they had saved the best for last. “Who ever got “well drunk” on grape juice?” Dad would sarcastically ask. He had no use for the doctrine of the rapture, even though he did not know it had been invented barely 200 years ago. He took his job as pastor seriously and found it profoundly Scripturally unsound.

When I converted to Catholicism it became a blessing for both Dad and me. The first thing he did after hearing the news was go buy a Catholic Bible. He read it cover to cover – and proclaimed with some astonishment and much delight that it was the same as their Bible, just with some extra books. It triggered in him a desire to do a lot more research into Christian history. This became a rich source of discussion between us – not the wrestling match we had in politics, but a mutual search for what is true. It deepened and enriched our already vibrant relationship. In fact, when his church asked him to take over as pastor, we talked extensively about it. I came to think it was an authentic calling – and told him so. The first time I visited after he had taken on the role I chuckled and said, “Imagine this…a good Catholic boy like me recruiting a good Fundamentalist minister like you.” We both found it amusing.

Once when I visited, I told him I was going to come to worship service at his church that Sunday. On the Tuesday afterward he told me that if I ever did that again, I should not tell him in advance. When I asked why he said he discovered we all have more than a touch of vanity: that he had never fretted or worked so hard on a sermon in his life because he wanted to impress me. I patted him on the shoulder, told him, “Mission accomplished,” and how deeply touched I was that he fretted over it.

People think that, for a garrulous fellow, I hold a lot of things close to the vest. My Dad was the master. When his mother died several decades ago, Dad was in great anguish. As we often did when we were both younger, we sat up talking until after three in the morning. He asked me, in anguish, if there really was a heaven. I gave him a theologically clinical argument. He looked at me with renewed anguish and tears and asked, again, “But is there really a heaven?” I gave him a more personal, emotional argument. Again, he looked at me with anguished tears and asked, “But is there really a heaven?” I was astounded to realize that what he wanted, maybe what he needed, was for me to tell him from personal knowledge. So I said, “Yes, Dad, there is heaven – and it is good.” The relief that spread over his face amazed me – and then we were both able to sleep. I had never spoken of my mystical situation, but that was the first clue I had that Dad had picked up on more than he had ever let on, apparently leaving it alone since I didn’t speak of it. I later found out that, in critical times, he had sometimes advised people to speak to me because he believed me to be a “seer,” while noting that such people existed for good in the Bible. But he never gave me a hint that he knew anything was up until that night when his need was so great.

Contrarian Integrity

Dad was loyal to his team, always, but never so loyal that he would knowingly spout patent nonsense. Though a union Democrat who opposed Clarence Thomas’ judicial philosophy, Dad was infuriated by the smear job on him – and so loudly supported his confirmation. As Dad put it to me at the time, “When you boil the story down, he asked that woman out once, she declined, and he never bothered her again – but she chased him all over Washington trying to get a job wherever he worked. This is not the rage of a woman assaulted, but of a woman scorned.”

He was up for president of his local union at Goodyear in North Chicago. He told the members he thought Goodyear was going to be shutting a plant or two down in the next decade – and that the spec quotas for each shift were dangerously low (line workers could complete their quota in just a few hours) and he intended to open those up to new negotiation because he believed the North Chicago plant was very vulnerable to closing. Well, he was defeated, as who wants to negotiate to work harder? Sadly, Dad was a little bitter about that loss. But, sure enough, a few years later, the North Chicago plant was shuttered. The union officials who defeated him were paralyzed and mealy-mouthed about the whole thing. Dad, despite his bitterness at his defeat, rose to the occasion and vigorously defended the union and private unionism in word and in print. I was never so proud of him: rejected by his team for telling them true and then loyally rising to the defense of that team after what he said might happen actually happened. That was when Mom and Dad moved back ta Alabama and he finished out his career at the Gadsden plant.

As you may know, some southern fundamentalists are death on Catholics. Dad wouldn’t have it. When any fellow minister criticized Catholics, Dad would gleefully tell them that Catholics were the first Christians – and that if he were not Pentecostal, he would be Catholic.

What magnificent formation we got from my Dad – and my Mom. He never said it, but he sure lived, “Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you,” with joyful vigor and resolve.

When my mother died 10 years ago, my Dad’s anguish was nearly inconsolable. While a bunch of us were sitting around the fire pit a few days after she passed, Dad said, “I know she is in a better place…” and then he looked up with the most forlorn, pleading bafflement I have ever seen and added, “…but this is a pretty good place.” I often say that the family is the first Church. My family started off with a very good one.

It hurts to lose your parents. It consoles me to know, though, that now Dad knows, of his own personal knowledge, that there is heaven – and it is good.  

And the mystic river rolls on.


I am deeply touched by all the condolences so many of you have offered and the Masses so many of you are having said for Dad. Shoot, a dozen Priests have let me know that they are saying Masses for him. I don’t know if Dad will have the most Masses said affectionately for him of any deceased Fundamentalist minister ever, but by gum, he’s in the running. It is a great consolation to me.

At Dad’s request, there will be no formal, public service. Many of you have already asked where you can send a card. I’m going to give you a brother’s address who will make sure all the family sees them:

The Johnstons

1210 Old Ridge Rd.

Prattville, Alabama 36067

My dear friend and CORAC member, Paula Tomei, went to do a Holy Hour and light a candle for my dad at her Parish in Yuba City, California – and this little guy showed up in solidarity with her…and all of us.

If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.

Find me on Gab at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.

Find me on Twitter at @Charlie62394802

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The Corps of Renewal and Charity (CORAC)

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Dallas, Texas 75252

74 thoughts on “The Mystic River Rolls On

  1. Absolutely gorgeous tribute to your father, Charlie!! How beautiful that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, yet,at the same time, that special apple was encouraged to be the unique person God was calling and fashioning him to be.

    Love the photo revealing your parents in their younger years as it more clearly reveals how your own countenance is a handsome blend of maternal and paternal genes.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your dad! I am praying for you and your family in this time of grief. God bless you all.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 5 people

  3. Oh Charlie, I am so glad to see that squirrel again this morning in your blog!
    He was a handsome fella, and hung around a bit, and looked like he wanted to talk to me 🙂

    It must have felt so very good and so cleansing to write this about your dear dad. Thank you for sharing it with us.


    Liked by 4 people

  4. That was a beautiful lifting of the veil into the personality and greatness of your father, Charlie!!! I feel like I know him already and I’ll be praying for him and to him for his intercession!

    It’s such a hard thing to say farewell to our loved ones on this side and so I’ll be praying for you and for all your family members too!!!

    Watch for the signs, Charlie!!! They always come from our loved ones, especially our parents, shortly after they pass over🥰🙏😇🐿️ 🐶

    God bless, protect you and console you during this time of grief!!!🥰🙏😞

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Such a beautiful tribute to your father, Charlie. Thank you for sharing it. It honors him and, probably without you realizing it, it honors you because his integrity, honesty, generosity and faithfulness shines through his son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 😉 And the many prayers for him show our love for you. God be with you and your family.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I am so sorry about the loss of your father (on this side of heaven), Charlie. What a beautiful man. God must be so pleased with him and your mom must be so happy to see him again. The world is a better place because of him and his love. Praying for a very quick repose of his soul into heaven, ASAP. Prayers for comfort for you and your whole family.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Joyful, I remember that there are three Charles Johnstons in Charlie’s family line. His father is Charles Johnston I. Our Charlie is Charles L Johnston II. (He grew up with the family calling him, “Larry,” and I imagine that made it easier to distinguish dad from son when speaking about or addressing one of them.) And Charlie’s son is the III with his own special moniker, “Chaz.” I also recall that Charlie’s mom was affectionately called, “Tootie,” and her official name is Larue. No finer gift of prayer for the deceased than the Mass. Fr. Wang just offered a Mass this morning for the Johnstons, especially for the repose of Charlie’s dad’s soul. 🙂

      Liked by 7 people

  7. Beautiful, eloquent tribute to your dad. This quote stood out, and I’m going to show it to my boys (ahem.. young adults). There is so little honor left in the world today, and to be reminded of what we (and especially men) should strive for is critical.
    “…the concept of honor was central to Dad’s definition of what it means to be a man. He always sought and did the most right thing he could think of. No amount of intimidation or temptation could sway him from that course. He considered a man who could be intimidated or tempted away from a moral course on a weighty matter to be utterly contemptible…” How powerful!
    What a wonderful memory of your dad. God Bless.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Having lost my mom this summer and dad 18 months before, I understand the hurt. Condolences to you, Charlie, and to your family.
    I think having our parents such a long time makes losing them at our age so much harder because we do not know life without them. (yes, I know others disagree but this is how I see it.) Anyway, peace and love from the banks of the real Mystic River.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree, Patricia. And then all of the sudden, the “bar” has been passed to us–and we realize we aren’t ready for it–to be the patriarchs and matriarchs! My dad died in December 2019, my mom last March. Death is bittersweet, isn’t it? Praying for peace and comfort for you and your family.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Charlie, thank-you for this remembrance. Although, my father died 10 years ago I still miss him and pray for him and mother every day.
    I am remembering your parents, along with mine, in the Divine Mercy chaplet daily. I pray you and your family find joy in your memories.
    God bless, katey in OR✝️🙏🏽💜

    Liked by 4 people

  10. If I had to describe this writing in one word, it would be raw. Raw emotion, raw pain, raw strength, raw openness, raw truth. I could go on. Charlie, you always make me realize it’s ok to be human. Thank you for the beautiful word picture of your dad. I’ll be “talking” to him if you don’t mind. Asking for a bit of intercession now and again. Your mom too. I’m hoping that somewhere in eternity they meet my mom as well. I’ll be sending Mass requests to my Spiritual Director for your parents and for you and your family.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Charlie, what a beautiful relationship you had with your father. I prayed for your father’s soul at Mass this morning. Prayers for you and your family too.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. For our Dads.
    “Wherefore He says, If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father; for human nature should exult at being thus taken up by the Only Begotten Word, and made immortal in heaven; at earth being raised to heaven, and dust sitting incorruptible at the right hand of the Father. Who, that loves Christ, will not rejoice at this, seeing, as he doth, his own nature immortal in Christ, and hoping that He Himself will be so by Christ”. (St Augustine; Quoted in the Catena Aurea at John 14:28).
    “Only human beings bury their dead. Only humans know their own mortality. And thus only humans can ask where they came from, what life means, and what comes after it. The grave, for all its pathos, is actually a statement of reverence and hope. A nearly universal fact of human civilization is this: The body, even in death and decay, carries the resonance of something unrepeatable and holy, something “other than” this world and its cycle of futility.”
    (Hans Jonas)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m going to say an odd thing. My parents are gone, God rest their souls, and my sister a few years ago, God rest hers, and as much as I’d love to see them, at times I’m glad they aren’t here to see the mess we’re in. They’re beyond it all, please God, in heaven, safe and sound. We remain in the vale of tears, still working out our salvation with fear and trembling, in the midst of the madhouse we once called the US. None of it can worry them or bother them.
    You had a great relationship with your Dad, Charlie, a good man, in fact, Mom and Dad are the salt of the earth, the type that made our country and people so great. We are not going to see their kind again, it’s good if we have some DNA or remnant of them that we carry around.
    After I lost my sister, I had a dream that was a visitation, unlike any dream I ever had. She had had cancer, and we all know how it takes it’s toll. In the visitation she was young again, about 24, with long hair as I had forgotten she wore it. She looked at me and radiated health and joy. She communicated to me a message, but no words were spoken. She told me with no words at all, looking directly at me from about 20 feet away, I’m fine, it’s beautiful! The dream had been a typical, boring dream, and as if a camera opened a shutter on the right side, I even “heard” a click, a window went up and there she was, my eyes drifted from my boring dream, I saw here there, and once I understood what she meant to communicate to me, the window went down like a shutter and that was it. But what a consolation! See the thing is, we had lost our Mom two years before, and she was my best friend. A year after that my beloved sister developed cancer, and then she was also gone. I had tried my best to be brave, but when she passed I admit I lost it, I wailed and yelled, which I do not do. I was in total desperation, and begged God to give me something, I could not hold up. I remember I cried to my husband “He’s got to give me something, He’s got to give me something!”.
    And I had that dream, which I knew was not a dream.
    People say, as I would say, well, your brain needed a psychological boost, and you had a vivid dream. I can never convey the reality of what I saw. But the deep peace and consolation seeing her, so wasted, the young and beautiful 24 she will always remain in my mind, gave me an incredible amount of peace. I would like to say I’m always grateful to God for it, but He’s blessed me in so many ways and I’m an ingrate just the same.
    Heaven’s real, Charlie. You told your Dad true.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That’s beautiful, Kate. I, too, am glad my parents and brother do not need to go through this mess. I have peace as I pray for them that they pray for me (and my sisters too) from a place of peace and light.
      Praying for us all that we have perseverance through the storm and also find a place of peace and light at the end.
      God bless, katey in OR✝️🙏🏽💜

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I just said that exact thing to my husband 2 days ago, about our parents not having to endure all this horror.
        I believe those “dreams” also; I briefly “saw” each of my parents in a dream. My Dad was in his beautiful dress white officers’ uniform with all his medals and looked so handsome. I took it as a sign, being dressed so formally, that he had made it to Heaven b/c of all the Masses said for him. No human loved and cared about this country more than my Dad. I miss him with all his wonderful words of wisdom.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Charlie, Thank you so much for sharing with us a beautiful view of your Dad. He sounds like such a terrific man, I wish that we all would have had the chance to know him a little. Well, you have provided that for us with your beautiful reminiscences here. “And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of Heaven, and the name of the river was Suffering…..and I saw the boat which carries souls across the river and the name of the boat was LOVE.” (St. John of the Cross)
    Charlie, may your faith and that of your family, bring you all Blessed Peace.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! ..PM .;-)

    Jesus & Mary Christmas Stamps are back 😉 ……. buy enough to use all of 2023!!
    …… but I shelf checked WallyWorld and except for a few Christmas Cards NO JMJ or 3 Kings and very few Angels ;-( …… it’s nothing less than another SIGN that demonic forces are EVERYWHERE! ;-(

    It appears THEY have stolen another National Election in corrupt, Count “Troubles” & Delays, Blue States with Corrupt Election Officials with Corrupted Voting Machines!
    If there is not a SERIOUS Hue & Cry and demands for investigations plus Big $$$$ Rewards offered for whistle-blower information , we will know that The Fix is In and sans a National Red/Blue State Divorce of some sort ALL the USA will sink into the Abyss!

    What in the H is a “Cured” Ballot!


    Liked by 2 people

  16. Not trying to take away from the post, just noticing the similarities of a tough week. And asking for prayers.

    -my 30 year old sister and her 1 year old passed away on Friday from a car accident. The other two boys (my nephews) ages 6 and 4, are still in the hospital. The 6 year old will make it but it’s still touch and go with the 4 year old.

    -on top of that, my wife had a miscarriage on tues and, long story short, began to pass everything on Friday night all at once. Luckily we were at the hospital visiting my brother in law (husband of my sister) bc my wife almost passed away twice and needed an emergency blood transfusion.

    I haven’t been online in a while and reading this made me think of the wonderful things about my sister instead of the grief from the past few days. The little miracle in everything is that had not my wife and I decided to see the family at the hospital, and had she done into labor at home, she likely wouldn’t have made it.

    Also fr. Paul, the priest we turned to in all this, has been incredible. He went straight to my brother in law right after the accident at the hospital and also helped me juggle my own issues with organizing a burial for my miscarried son. Just unbelievable support. He even texted my wife and asked how she was doing after hearing about what happened from…I don’t know how he knew bc I hadn’t told him at that point.

    Anyway, I’m sorry Charlie for your loss, but as you have written previously this is not all life is and eternity awaits. A long awaited reunion. Which helps more than anyone can know when something like this happens. Thought I’d share my weekend for the hope on the midst of tragedy and for prayers requests for my brother in law (mike) and the rest of my family.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Oh so sorry to hear of these heart breaking events, Chasepro. I remember you well from your posts in the past. Lots of prayers going up for you and all in your family as you make your way through the grief and mourning.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Chasepro, I remember you also. I am so sorry for your loss and am joining others in praying for all of you. May our Good Lord give you comfort and strength now and the days to come. I’m glad you have such a supportive and good priest in Fr. Paul. God bless you.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. May the Good Lord strengthen Your Family in this unbelievably sad time, Chasepro, and may Your Family be consoled by the fact your separation is just temporary.

      Liked by 5 people

    4. Chasepro,

      I am so very sorry for all the losses you have just experienced. I can’t even fathom what you’re dealing with right now.

      Praying for each and everyone of your traumatized family. If I could send hugs I would! Including all of you in my rosaries.

      Your poor wife. I experienced miscarriage and the pain of the heart is the worst. I will pray for God’s healing and for a bright future for both of you.

      Please let us know how you’re doing and how your sister’s children are doing.

      What region are you in? Perhaps CORAC Can help you locally?

      Liked by 4 people

    5. How heartbreaking, :… May our tender Lord consol you and yours who must endure and carry on here, until that glorious, blessed, longed-for day when: “every tear shall be wiped away.” Adding my prayers. Keep on keepin’ on.

      Liked by 3 people

    6. Oh my Chasepro! God must really trust you to allow so much to happen in one weekend! I’m so sorry for all your losses. I will pray for all asking God to offer enduring comfort and consolation.

      Liked by 2 people

    7. So sorry to hear of the loss of your baby, your sister and one year old.
      Thank you so much for sharing your sorrows with us here.
      May Our Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Our Heavenly Mother continue to shower you, your wife, Mike and the rest of your family, friends and Fr Paul with abundant graces to guide you through this and send abundant angels to comfort all of you. “Jesus Loves You Very Much”

      Liked by 4 people

  17. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 🙂

    Is PF & Vatican totally unaware of the Crime Waves and chaos that Migrants have caused in the EU & USA? There are very good reasons why Nations have borders and Immigration Laws. Is the Vatican unaware of the Evil Agents that are using Migrants for their political/personal gains? The godless Global Re-Set & Open Borders Cabal … Anyone!? …. and The Political Party/Media that Covers It Up!
    We have a duty to help the Poor but it should not be a Suicide Pact!

    Rest assured that Manhattan DOJ will do nothing to expose this ;-(

    HEADLINES …… Come Lord Jesus!


    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sorry for your great loss Charlie.

    I’m so glad that you had such a wonderful father and great example in your life. We need more fathers like yours.

    Praying for the repose of his soul. Including him in my rosary.

    God Bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. What a beautiful witness to your father, Charlie. I am so very sorry at your father’s passing and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Charlie, this is an incredibly touching, gorgeous, and inspirational reflection. I felt tears brimming throughout. ❤

    This morning at our parish's Women's Prayer Group meeting (three in attendance today are CORAC members whom you've met), we reflected on this prayer of Saint Gertrude:

    “Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

    Then we went around the crowded round table and each said the name of a person for whom we offered this prayer. I offered it for your beloved father. It sounds like he wasn't much of a sinner ~ wonderful man ~ but prayers are good and the Lord will sort them out.

    God bless and keep you and your family ~
    Sister Bear

    Liked by 4 people

  21. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 🙂

    I’m sure The Usual Irish Suspects will have The Bible banned …SOON!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. HullyGee!

      I wonder if the DC Perfumed Prince of The Church has canceled any other 2023 events …. Ya Know? …. Like LGBTQ Outreach or Diversity Programs?


      Liked by 2 people

  22. Charlie, you were so kind to reach out to me when my father passed away in September. No matter how old we are, we are never quite ready to say goodbye. As the hours turn into days and the days into weeks and the weeks into months, the space my dad used to occupy in this world seems ever emptier. For fathers like ours, we will owe eternally a debt of gratitude to our heavenly Father, Who gave us such strong lights. I pray that they will pray for us as we pray for them but from the other side of the veil where prayer is the most important thing they can do. May the Lord grant that our memories stay as fresh and alive as they are now.
    I also want to warn everyone against a trend I hear often which infers that forgetting about a deceased loved one is like a “second death” for them or that “as long as we remember them” they still live. This is a secular, nihilist view of existence and I feel it is very dangerous. Just as I know that My Redeemer lives, I know that our deceased loved ones still exist but just beyond the horizon of our sight. While forgetting to pray for them is a shame, so, too, assigning ourselves the burden of keeping them alive is an affront to the loving God Who made them. God has called them to Himself and He will never forget them.
    My prayers and love to all here.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think that any Catholic worth his/her salt has a great devotional life of prayer for the holy souls… those known and the dear holy souls who have no one praying for them. Even as we help them, they are powerful intercessors if we but call out to them.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. And what does that say about the ones no one will remember, the ones who die alone? Pray always for the holy souls in Purgatory. Recently I discovered the St Gertrude the Great prayer to free 1000 souls from purgatory. At communion saying it for them. “Eternal Father, I offer the most precious blood of thy divine son, Jesus, in Union with the masses said throughout the world today for all the holy souls in purgatory.” The Lord told her that the prayer would release 1000 Souls from Purgatory each time it was said. The Lord has made the offer, by saying it we accept the offer and a contract is made (Business Contract Law 101!).

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Charlie I grieve for you and everyone who had loving parents. I can’t relate because not everyone did. But I hope all of them had the grace to see Heaven. I hope all of them were given a chance and accepted it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I pray that God compensated you in other ways.
      May the Divine Assistance remain always with us
      And may the souls of the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Your first sentence touched me, Jess. I know there are others who feel the same way. Maybe you can ask Mother Mary to be your true Mother; it helps many people to do this and then receive the motherly love they have not experienced. I have encountered this situation in prayer ministry. May you be blessed greatly!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 🙂
    …. I’m glad I got to see Inner Harbor Baltimore, Ft McHenry & the B&O RR Museum before The Usual Suspects turned the place into a Cesspool ;-(

    LGBTQ/Transgender Hoopla, Toxic Masculinity, Unexplained Fertility Issues, ClotShots causing Heart Attacks in the Young and Miscarriages. Something Wicked This Way Comes!
    ……. SIGNS!?

    Critically Thinking about the REAL Red Wave

    ChinaJoe left $80 Billion in Military Gear in Afghanistan and, today, wants to give $37.5 Billion more to Ukraine on top of $$$$ Billions already given and unaccounted for.
    $$$ & Military Gear that we don’t have and/or can’t replace… It will not end well!


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Maggie. I suppose it’s because the author is a non Catholic looking in, but of course attendance of a weekly Sunday Mass is required and sinful if missed. Since I’m 70+ I attended the “old” Latin Mass every Sunday right up to and through 8th grade (1964). I remember the reverence and the beauty of it. And in comparison, I miss it. Latin was a required subject in my Catholic high school (and later still in my son’s Jesuit high school and I wonder if the Jesuit high schools even bother with teaching it since Francis). Its funny but the mantilla was a reduction or a loosening up of the hat gear of the 1940’s and 50’s in the 1960’s. It may symbolize a return to reverence today but a I remember the mantilla as a post Vatican II change. I think the dropping of a woman covering her head and the mantilla altogether came about several years after Vatican II. It took years but clothing standards dropped precipitously. So much so that priest often remind us to please remember what we are attending and dress with respect. And yet there have been some real doozies. I fear there is more to come from the synod Francis is hosting. I can’t imagine any good when he appoints pro abortion persons to prominent positions. (He did this on his climate summit @14 years ago. He appointed population control/abortion advocates, atheists to his hearings and denied any alternate science view on “climate change” a seat at the table). When you know you are being stripped of truth, doesn’t defiance follow? and separation follow, too?

      Liked by 1 person

  25. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 🙂

    Mary’s Role in Spiritual Warfare | Fr Chad Ripperger [2022]

    Catholics for Choice: EXPOSED

    How Google Stopped the Red Wave–ROBERT EPSTEIN

    Chuck U. Schumer (D-NY) sez since we don’t have (Murder in the Womb) babies we need ALL those nice Illegal Aliens!
    …… & Chuck U. & Friends In-Action Respect “Marriage” Act!


    Liked by 2 people

  26. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 🙂
    ….. nothing suspicious here …. Right!?

    Mark of The Beast

    There are too many Rich, Powerful & Evil Humanoids involved in The Corruption, EU/US, and THEY control the levers of Power, $$$$ …. and Supply Chains …. and IRS/DOJ/DHS ….. & GOP “Investigations” will amount to ZERO because of the Above!

    Nothing to see here! … besides we have plenty of Illegal Aliens … Right?
    ….. meanwhile in Nation’s Capitol …..



  27. Yes CD, You’ve got it! “THEY control the levers of Power, $$$$ …. and Supply Chains …. and IRS/DOJ/DHS ….. & GOP “Investigations” will amount to ZERO because of the Above!”


  28. Charlie, just found you! So sorry about your parents passing. The photo really took me back to our younger days.


    1. Holy cow! Bill is a friend from school way back. Great to hear from you, Moon. Yeah, that photo goes back to the days when we were palling around and doing our little “band” in various garages. (Our “band,” in junior high school was called, “Joe Banana and His Bunch” with the slogan, “Music with appeal.” Yeah – we loved our corny puns. Hope all is well in your world, Bill.

      Liked by 1 person

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