"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

A special "Thank you!"
Goes out to
John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Porziuncola Assisi, Italy



In Troubled Times, Christ Calls Us To Pray


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in everything...works for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the Portiuncula can't do that work alone. To continue building its retreat center it needs your help.

And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping the Portiuncula.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, we are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to: hermitage@parallax.ws

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of the Portiuncula with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula makes it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs

Today, I want to beg you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission by donating $5 or more a month.

Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pace e Bene!


The Portiuncula
P.O. Box 114
Richmond, IN 47375-0114

P.S. Don't despair in troubled times. Join the work of the Portiuncula. Your contributions will provide God's people with training that is unwaveringly Catholic and equip them to become the courageous Catholic leaders that our world needs.


Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith



In sanctuaries, other celebrations are held frequently which may not be aimed per se at specifically asking God for graces of healing, but in which, in the intentions of the organizers and participants, the obtaining of healing has an important part. With this purpose in mind, both liturgical and non-liturgical services are held: liturgical celebrations (such as exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction) and non-liturgical expressions of popular piety encouraged by the Church (such as the solemn recitation of the Rosary). These celebrations are legitimate, as long as their authentic sense is not altered. For example, one could not place on the primary level the desire to obtain the healing of the sick, in a way which might cause Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to lose its specific finality, which is to «bring the faithful to recognize in the Eucharist the wonderful presence of Christ and to invite them to a spiritual union with him, a union which finds its culmination in sacramental Communion.»(26)
The «charism of healing» is not attributable to a specific class of faithful. It is quite clear that St. Paul, when referring to various charisms in 1 Corinthians 12, does not attribute the gift of «charisms of healing» to a particular group, whether apostles, prophets, teachers, those who govern, or any other. The logic which governs the distribution of such gifts is quite different: «All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who distributes to each one individually just as the Spirit choses» (1 Cor 12:11). Consequently, in prayer meetings organized for asking for healing, it would be completely arbitrary to attribute a «charism of healing» to any category of participants, for example, to the directors of the group; the only thing to do is to entrust oneself to the free decision of the Holy Spirit, who grants to some a special charism of healing in order to show the power of the grace of the Risen Christ. Yet not even the most intense prayer obtains the healing of all sicknesses. So it is that St. Paul had to learn from the Lord that «my grace is enough for you; my power is made perfect in weakness» (2 Cor 12:9), and that the meaning of the experience of suffering can be that «in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church» (Col 1:24).

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Instruction, adopted in Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, September 14, 2000, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.
+ Joseph Card. RATZINGER
+ Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B. Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

Friday, February 28, 2020

Burkhart Family Tree


My Great Uncle, George Cosmos Burkhart (Born 2 Sep 1869 and died 25 Apr 1962)  along with his niece, Mary Burkhart (Born 27, April 1888 and died 14 Sep 1958) standing in front of the Immaculate Conception Church in Ozark, Ohio
Circa 1954 

Image result for immaculate conception cemetery ozark, ohio

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Ozark, Ohio

"The Catholic Mission at Ozark in Monroe County, Ohio was organized around 1874 so that the people would not have to travel to Miltonsburg to attend Mass and receive the sacraments. George J. Burkhard, Anthony Burkhard, Adam Arnold, John Huth, and Rev. Edward Fladung, who was, pastor of the parish of St. John the Baptist, Miltonsburg, are remembered as the founders. Mr. Huth offered a piece of land near the public school for the church, but wanted: $200for it, whereas George Burkhard offered a small plot for free. The latter offer was accepted. John Adam Gertler, who owned the adjoining farm, donated an adjacent acre, the northern portion of the present site, on condition of being allowed to be buried there if he wished. The total site measures about 1.65 acres today. It is located can the west side of Monroe County Road 36, one mile south of the village of Ozark.
The two deeds by which the property was transferred to Bishop Rosecrans were signed on August 28, 1875. The church was dedicated on August 31, 1875. At that time, there were fourteen families and sixty-four souls in the mission.
About 1880 when Woodsfield first received resident pastors, Ozark became its mission. The priests came to Ozark on the narrow-guage Ohio River & Western Railroad, sometimes on a hand-car courtesy of the Catholic section boss. Rev. J. B. Weisinger in 1887 reported fifteen families there, for whom he offered Mass on any fifth Sunday of a month and on two holy days each year. Regarding the cemetery adjacent to the church, he said, "I suppose it is blessed."
Father Fladung also had a school built against the side of the church, where catechism classes were taught. Father John S. Cawley (pastor at Woodsfield from 1893 until 1902) has the school removed, remarking that they should not have "that corn shed" against the church.
In 1908 Ozark became once again a mission of Miltonsburg. The priests came on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of each month. Rev. George F. Drescher, pastor from 1934 until 1945, began offering Mass every Sunday at Ozark, a practice which continued as late as 1976. In 1943 he wrote, "The priests have always liked the splendid people who live there, and these people have always been most faithful to their pastor." Just eleven families made up the entire congregation at that time.
The centennial observance of the mission was held on October 21, 1975, Most Rev. John King Mussio, Bishop of Steubenville, officiating at Pontifical Benediction. With the advent of good roads and automobile travel, it has become possible for the people to attend Mass every Sunday at Miltonsburg and the church at Ozark has been used but little in recent years.
The records of Immaculate Conception mission are kept at Miltonsburg by the pastor, Rev. Sam Saprano (Route 3, Woodsfield, Ohio 43793). The first burial was recorded in 1879, the first marriage in 1883, and the first baptism in 1905 (earlier baptisms were no doubt recorded in the register at Woodsfield St. Sylvester). The last record was a baptism performed on July 30, 1972, with later records made in the registers of Miltonsburg St. John the Baptist Parish. The church was torn down in 1989 by order of the Bishop of Steubenville. Bishop Daniel Conlon has given Christopher L. Dickson, Sr., (Great-Great Nephew of George C. Burkhard) permission to rebuild the little church on the condition that it be located on his family's property and not on Church property because of tax and liability considerations. It is to be called the Portiuncula (the "Little Portion") and will become the spiritual home of the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center."

We are able to trace or Burkhart roots back to  John Sebastian Burkhart  1590 to 1654. Prior to 1590 a fire destroyed the Bruchweiler, Germany town hall, destroying all previous records.

And now we are ready to rebuild the church!

All people of faith in Monroe County, Ohio are being asked to drop off any excess cut sand stones they may have lying around their homes or farms. Simply drop them off in the field next to the Immaculate Cemetery in Ozark, Ohio on the side toward Woodsfield.

Thank you and God Bless!

Chris Dickson


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Liberalism Has Dominated The Catholic Church In America


Image result for liberal priests

There is a connection between the decline in the practice of the Faith in Ireland and the swing away from traditional values, between a skepticism about nationalism, an increasing devotion to consumerism and above all the widespread embracing of contraception. On the latter point if one could chart the decline in Mass attendance and the increase in contraceptive availability/sales (especially after legalization in 1979) I think there would be a clear correlation.

The Irish Church is no different (than the people). America has long been the country of choice for religious and clergy to study since travel there became cheaper and easier. That swing away from Europe towards the U.S. has meant that the liberalism that has dominated the American Church has also dominated the Irish if in a more toned-down form. The clerical promoters of the morality of contraception seem to have received little resistance within the Irish Church in the 70’s or since.

Fr. Tom Forde, OFM Cap


Pray For Ireland


"There is an old prophecy that the Faith in Ireland will nearly die out but will re-ignite and turn the nation into a bonfire of Catholicism."

 Father Tom Forde, OFM Cap, 
Chaplain at the University of Cork


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Begging For Stones In Ozark, Ohio


Photo of the former Immaculate Conception Church of Ozark, Ohio

All people of faith in Monroe County, Ohio are being asked to collect all their field stones and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road just outside of Ozark, Ohio so that we can use them to build our little Adoration Chapel.
"Francis set to begging for stones with which to restore the church of San Damiano. He called to the passers-by: 'Whoever gives me one stone will have one reward; two stones, two rewards; three stones, a treble reward!' "
~ Saint Francis of Assisi
(Legend of the Three Companions)

Proposed Chapel to be built on that same site in Ozark, Ohio


Contemplate Becoming Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior


Pondering sacred Scripture was the way the early monks, the desert fathers and mothers, and in fact the people of the bible, prayed. And the monks developed a traditional method for doing that, the ingredients of which we find rehearsed in John of the Cross when he writes: "Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation


Monday, February 24, 2020

My buddy, Vice President Mike Pence


Hi Chris,
I’m the Photo Editor at Politico Magazine, we are doing a profile of Vice President
Mike Pence in the next print issue of Politico Magazine, the profile takes a look at
his time in Congress, Governor and where he got his start. We’d love to see if we
could use some of the photos of him that you have on your site for when he was
younger, they are really great photos and we would credit you.

If you could let me know if that would be possible I would greatly appreciate it.
I’ve attached some of the images we are interested in using.


Katie Ellsworth
Photo Editor


A Lenten Rosary: Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior


The Scourging at the Pillar

With joy-filled devotion Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions and in complete self-emptying he remained for long periods hidden, as it were, in the wounds of the Savior. He therefore sought out solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.

Celano – First Life – 71

Just as that whip scourged Your precious and holy body, Lord Jesus, so take that very same whip into your hands and beat me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. Lay wide open my sins and my sinful nature, to be exposed to the healing power of the Son, the Son of the Everliving God.

Lord Jesus, I pray that as I search along that path into Your outstretched arms, that if I deviate from that path, that You take that whip and drive me back onto that narrow path to righteousness.

The Crown of Thorns

When he was asked why he went about the countryside weeping, St. Francis said, “I should travel through all the world and, without any false shame, cry and moan over the passion of my Lord!”
Legend of Perugia – 37

Lord Jesus Christ, my Beloved, just as that Crown of Thorns was placed upon your precious and holy head, please take that very same Crown of Thorns and place it upon my unworthy and sinful head for as you told me in your own words:

Do not be afraid to put on my crown of thorns.
It is My crown of glory!
Wear it as I did.
I will bear the pain so that you have none.
Then, and only then, will you see Me in glory.
Then we shall meet face to face.
You in me, and I in you.
People will see me in your image.
Give yourselves to Me fully,
And I will come to you in glory…”

Lord Jesus, I humbly beg You to place Your crown of thorns upon my sinful and unworthy head. I pray that Your Crown blocks any thoughts that are not from you from entering into my mind. Lord Jesus, I pray that only Your good and holy thoughts are able to penetrate Your Crown into
my mind. Give me Your Knowledge and Wisdom and allow me to come into complete union with You.

The Nails Pierce His Precious Hands

St. Francis used to say we should prefer nothing to the salvation of souls, and he said so for this reason: It was for souls that the only-begotten Son of God deigned to ascend the cross.
St. Bonaventure – Major Life 9:4

Lord Jesus, just as those nails pierced Your precious and holy hands, so I willingly invite You to take those very same nails into Your fists and drive them into my unworthy and sinful hands to make me Your “Carpenter Apprentice,” so that I can "Go, and rebuild Your house, which is falling completely to ruin!"

Lord Jesus, as my soul walks blindly through the dark night of my soul, I humbly offer You my hands as a little child to his Big Brother. I beg You to take my sinful hands into Yours and ask you to lead me out of the darkness and into the Light...the Light of Christ.

The Nail Pierces His Precious Feet

God called St.Francis and his companions and chose them to bear the cross of Christ in their hearts and to preach it in word and action. That is why they looked like and were in fact crucified men in their comportment and in their austere life, in their deeds and actions. And that is why they wanted more to receive shame and insults for the love of Christ than the world's vain honors or respect or praise; and that is why they were saddened when they were honored. And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, with Christ crucified as their only baggage.
Little Flowers of St. Francis – Chapter 5

My sweet Lord Jesus, please take that very nail that pierced Your precious and holy feet into Your hands and drive it through my unworthy and sinful feet. “Shod” my feet with that nail for the the preparation of the Gospel, commissioning me to take Your “Good News” to all the corners of the earth.

The Spear Pierces The Heart of Jesus

Receive the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and with veneration, remembering the words of the Lord: “Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life” and, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Rule 1221, Chapter XX

Oh sweet Brother Jesus, I beg You to take that very spear that pierced Your Most Precious and Holy Heart and “run me through!” Impale me, Oh Lord! Wound my soul! Pierce my heart and soul with Your love for all mankind; every man, woman and child, regardless of Race, Color or Creed. Dear brother Jesus, I beg you to drive that spear deep into my heart and soul so that all my sins and sinful nature pours out onto the dust and dung heaps of the earth, to be replaced by Your total Being, Your Holy Spirit, our Father's Love, and our Father's Joy!

Now hidden in the tomb... contemplation... silence... listening... expectant... emptied of all... peace... serenity... quiet... God is present... only God.... complete emptying of self... plunged into the dark night of his presence.


Vatican Cardinal: U.S. Sisters in Crisis After Embracing "Secular Culture"


Papa Benedict XVI with Cardinal Franc Rode

By Hilary White

ROME, February 5, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Some religious orders in the U.S. and most western countries are in a state of “modern crisis” because the members of the order have embraced “secular culture” and abandoned traditional religious practices, the head of the Vatican’s office for religious life has said.

But, said the cardinal, the religious life in the Catholic Church should be presenting an alternative to the “dominant culture,” “which is a culture of death, of violence and of abuse,” rather than mirroring it.

Cardinal Franc Rodé, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which is undertaking a review (known as a “visitation”) of the active religious life for women in the U.S., was speaking to a conference on religious life sponsored by the Archdiocese of Naples on Wednesday.

He said, “The crisis experienced by certain religious communities, especially in Western Europe and North America, reflects the more profound crisis of European and American society. All this has dried up the sources that for centuries have nourished consecrated and missionary life in the church.”

“The secularized culture has penetrated into the minds and hearts of some consecrated persons and some communities, where it is seen as an opening to modernity and a way of approaching the contemporary world,” the cardinal added.

In November last year, Cardinal Rodé forthrightly said that it is feminism that has created the crisis in the religious orders. In an interview with Vatican Radio, he said he had been “alerted” by an unnamed representative of the Church in the U.S., “to some irregularities or deficiencies” in the way the religious sisters were living.

“Above all, you could speak of a certain secularist mentality that has spread among these religious families, perhaps even a certain 'feminist' spirit,” the cardinal said.

Late last year, the increasingly loud complaints about the ongoing visitation from a small number of American communities prompted several public comments from the cardinal defending the Vatican’s decision to investigate the sisters’ lives. For some years now, Rodé has called on the sisters to refocus their communities on the “founding charisms” or original purpose of their orders.

The deterioration since the 1960s into radical feminism and leftist politics of most of the religious orders in the U.S., especially those of women, has not gone unnoticed in Rome. In 2008 at a meeting of religious men and women in Boston, Cardinal Rodé said that today there are some in religious life “who have chosen paths that have carried them away from communion with Christ in the Catholic Church, even though they have decided to physically ‘be’ in the Church.”

This assertion was bolstered in 2007 at a meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), a keynote speaker, Dominican Sister Laurie Brink, said that the more liberal congregations of sisters were leaving behind “institutional religion” and “moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus.”

What she called a “sojourning” order “is no longer ecclesiastical,” she said. “Religious titles, institutional limitations, ecclesiastical authorities no longer fit this congregation, which in most respects is Post-Christian.”

These statements were cited by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) when it launched a doctrinal investigation into the beliefs and teachings of orders that are members of LCWR. The Apostolic Visitation being conducted by the Congregation for Religious is separate from the CDF investigation, but the latter has been excoriated as an “inquisition” by the same religious orders that have objected to the Visitation.

Read related LSN coverage:

Dissident U.S. Nuns Unlikely to Change, Even in Face of Vatican Inquiry and Shrinking Numbers: Experts


The Most Closely Guarded Secret Of Monks


Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He
goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, My car broke
down. Do you think I could stay the night?

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his
car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a
sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he
asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, We can't tell you
because you're not a monk.

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his
merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of
the same monastery.

The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car..

That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he
had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply,

We can't tell you because you're not a monk.

The man says, all right, all right. I'm dying to know.

If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become
a  monk, how do I become a monk?

The monks reply, you must travel the earth and tell us how many
blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles.
When you find these numbers, you will become a monk.

The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he
returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, I have
traveled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and
have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232
blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the

The monks reply, congratulations, you are correct, and you are
now considered a monk .

We shall now show you the way to the sound.

The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says,
the sound is behind that door..

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks,
May I have the key ?

The monks give him the key, and he opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone... The man
requests the key to the stone door.

The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door
made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide
it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire.
And so it went on until the man had gone through doors of emerald,
silver, topaz, and amethyst.

Finally, the monks say, This is the key to the last door .

The man is relieved to be at the end. He unlocks the door, turns
the knob, and behind that door he is astonished to find the source
of that strange sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight

.. But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk.


Ash Wednesday February 26, 2020


Today God our Father brings us to the beginning of Lent. We pray that in this time of salvation he will fill us with the Holy Spirit, purify our hearts, and strengthen us in love. Let us humbly ask him: Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

May we be filled and satisfied,
-by the word which You give us.
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
-but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
-and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
May we bear the wounds of Your Son in our bodies,
-for through His body He gave us life.


People Who Provoke Me Continually To My Face


                         Photo of "Pants Suit" Nuns

I said: Here I am! Here I am!
To a nation that did not call upon my name.
I have stretched out my hands all day
to a rebellious people,
Who walk in evil paths
and follow their own thoughts,
People who provoke me
continually, to my face.
Isaiah 65: 1b-3a


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Environmentalists: Lost In Slavery To A False god


For created things are less than the human person. They are made for you, not you for them, and so they can never satisfy you. Only I can satisfy you...These souls in one way or another have identified with the earth in their love, and so they have in fact become earth themselves...Some lose me in their slavery to creatures...And the more disordered their love in possessing, the greater is their grief in loss....They suffer because they do not have what they long for.

Catherine of Siena

If through delight in the beauty of these things
men assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is the Lord,
for the author of beauty created them...
For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator...
and they trust in what they see,
because the things that are seen are beautiful.
Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
for if they had the power to know so much
they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

Wisdom 13:3, 5, 7b-9