"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, September 25, 2021

"Listen" And "Silent" Are Spelled With The Same Letters


Photo of the Pond at the Portiuncula Hermitage in Jerusalem, Ohio

 "At certain times the blessed and venerable father Francis left behind the crowds of the world that were coming together daily with the greatest devotion to hear and see him, and he sought out a quiet and secret place of solitude, desiring to spend his time with God and to cleanse himself of any dust that may have clung to him for his association with men."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


From A Hovel


"From a hovel one ascends more quickly to heaven than from a palace."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


Self Annihilation And Charity Lead The Soul

 Jacapone da Todi (Jacapone Benedetti)


An early companion of St. Francis of Assisi

Love beyond all telling,
Goodness beyond imagining,
Light of infinite intensity
Glows in my heart.

I once thought that reason
Had led me to You,
And that through feeling
I sensed Your presence,
Caught a glimpse of You in similitudes,
Knew You in Your perfection.
I know now that I was wrong,
That that truth was flawed.

Light beyond metaphor,
Why did You deign to come into this darkness?
Your light does not illumine those who think they see You
And believe they sound Your depths.
Night, I know now, is day,
Virtue no more to be found.
He who witnesses Your splendor
Can never describe it.

On achieving their desired end
Human powers cease to function,
And the soul sees that what it thought was right
Was wrong. A new exchange occurs
At that point where all light disappears;
A new and unsought state is needed:
The soul has what it did not love,
And is stripped of all it possessed, no matter how dear.

In God the spiritual faculties
Come to their desired end,
Lose all sense of self and self-consciousness,
And are swept into infinity.
The soul, made new again,
Marveling to find itself
In that immensity, drowns.
How this comes about it does not know.


Friday, September 24, 2021

The Real Presence


Father Stan Fortuna, a Franciscan Monk, during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at a Franciscan University of Steubenville Youth Conference. Catholics believe in the Real Presence: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, present in the Holy Eucharist.


The Canticle To The Creatures

 Francis began THE CANTICLE OF BROTHER SUN in the summer of 1225, at a time indeed when he was deep in suffering, but when he had already attained the mystical heights in his experience on Mount La Verna. But the joy he had experienced in that great privilege was tempered by the thought of how many men were greatly offending their Creator by misusing the creature world God had given them. "For His praise," he said, "I want to compose a new hymn about the Lord's creatures, of which we make daily use, without which we cannot live, and with which the human race greatly offends its Creator."

The first part of the Canticle, up to the verses about pardon and peace, he composed in the garden of the Poor Clare's convent at San Damiano, where he lay sick and in intense suffering for six or seven weeks. He then composed a melody for it and frequently urged his brothers to sing it when they were out preaching. The second part, consisting of the next two verses about pardon and peace, he composed a short time later in an effort to restore peace between the quarreling parties in a dispute between the civil and religious authorities of Assisi. The final verses about Sister Death Francis added shortly before his own death, after Brother Leo and Brother Angelo had sung the Canticle at his request. Celano adds that his last words were: "Welcome, my Sister Death."

St. Francis of Assisi
Omnibus of Sources

il Cantico delle Creature
(The Canticle of the Creatures - St. Francis of Assisi)

Angelo Branduardi


A te solo Buon Signore
Si confanno gloria e onore
A Te ogni laude et benedizione
A Te solo si confanno
Che laltissimo Tu sei
E nullomo degno e
Te mentovare.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Con le Tue creature
Specialmente Frate Sole
E la sua luce.
Tu ci illumini di lui
Che e bellezza e splendore
Di Te Altissimo Signore
Porta il segno.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per sorelle Luna e Stelle
Che Tu in cielo le hai formate
Chiare e belle.
Si laudato per Frate Vento
Aria, nuvole e maltempo
Che alle Tue creature dan sostentamento.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per sorella nostra Acqua
Ella e casta, molto utile
E preziosa.
Si laudato per Frate Foco
Che ci illumina la notte
Ed e bello, giocondo
E robusto e forte.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per la nostra Madre Terra
Ella e che ci sostenta
E ci governa
Si laudato Mio Signore
Vari frutti lei produce
Molti fiori coloriti
E verde lerba.
Si laudato per coloro
Che perdonano per il Tuo amore
Sopportando infermite
E tribolazione
E beati sian coloro
Che cammineranno in pace
Che da Te Buon Signore
Avran corona.
Si laudato Mio Signore
Per la Morte Corporale
Che da lei nesun che vive
Pue scappare
E beati saran quelli
nella Tua volonte
che Sorella Morte
non gli fare male


The Transitus (Death) Of St. Francis Of Assisi


Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Transitus (Death) of St. Francis of Assisi Prayer Service

This can be done in the privacy of your own home or with the presence of a Deacon or a Priest.  



Assisi, Italy Recipe For Almond Cookes


While St. Francis fasted from food a lot, he also had a great love for a particular kind of almond cookie in Italy. And on his death bed he asked to have these cookies. Here is a recipe for those cookies. Make a batch and celebrate St. Francis of Assisi:

Mostaccioli - An Italian Almond Pastry

1 pound blanched almonds
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Approximately 1 cup of flour

Chop the almonds very fine or coarsely grind in a blender.

In a bowl combine the nuts, honey, cinnamon, and egg whites. Mix thoroughly. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a thick paste. On a lightly floured surface, knead the paste until smooth and stiff. Roll out to about 1/4 inch. Cut into diamond shapes, about 2 1/2 inches long. Place the diamonds on a lightly buttered and floured baking sheet. Let dry for 1 to 2 hours.

Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until set. Do not let brown.

Yield: about 3 dozen

Starting now, the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center will be serving these at our "Come to the Quiet" Retreats in Jesusalem.


All Things Are Vanity

"Vanity of vanities...All things are vanity!" ~ Ecclesiastes 1:2


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Dedicated To My Amish Brother In Christ, Emery Weaver, Of Jerusalem, Ohio


"A patient man hath a great and wholesome purgatory, who, receiving injuries, is more concerned at the person's sin than his own wrong; who willingly prays for his adversaries. and from his heart forgives offenses; who delays not to ask forgiveness of others; who is easier moved to compassion than to anger; who frequently useth violence to himself, and labors to bring the flesh wholly under subjection to the spirit.


Thomas A Kempis


Sunday, September 19, 2021




The Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center​ spent this past week digging up the old foundations of my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Johnny Burkhard's old Barn, Garage, Chicken Coops, Tobacco House, and my Great-Uncles house foundation to come up with the stones to build our little Adoration Chapel. We still need an additional 100 stones and are asking our Monroe County, Ohio neighbors to drop off any extra cut sand stones they may have lying around their homes onto the property adjacent to the Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road .....

Around my Great Uncle Dutch Martin's homestead...

Clearing next to the cemetery to pour the footer.

Remnants of the old garage where we found around 20 cut sand stones.

Remnants of the old barn where we found nearly 40 cut sand stones.

We piled around 200 stones in the field next to the house while we searched for more.

Our biggest surprise was the number of giant cut stones we found in the old Tobacco House!

Once again, adding to the pile getting ready to run  them to the building site.

Spreading the stones out so the Stone Mason's can see them all and decide which one's should go where.

After we realized we were probably around 200 stones short to complete a 20' X 20' chapel, down the bulldozer went into the basement of Uncle Dutch's foundation to dig up all the field stones in the foundation so that we can mix both the cut sand stones and the field stones together to make it look beautiful!

We are begging the good people of Monroe County, Ohio who may have one or two cut stones on their property to please drop them off in the pile of stones next to the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Ozark, Ohio so that we can complete our project. 

Thank you and may God bless you all !!!!


Why Do Catholic Women Veil?

 Rejecting the “culture of cool”

On any given Sunday at any Catholic church in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, one is likely to see women and girls dressed in halter-necks, strapless dresses, shorts, super-tight jeans, and mini-skirts. Depending on the weather, one might also find flip-flops or ugg boots. In our parish, the extraordinary mi
 nisters sometimes choose to hand out communion in their sneakers, velour tracksuits and the occasional fanny-pack.

What does this say about the church? What does this say about our faith?

The reason we no longer dress well for mass is the same reason that 90% of US Catholics don’t bother to show up for mass at all: it just isn’t that important to us anymore.

Making an effort for love of God

Dressing well for mass is an external manifestation of the belithat what we are doing is important: its says that we care. It is representative of the respect we have for the other members of our parish. More importantly, however, it is also a sign of our respect for God in the Blessed Sacrament.

The same reasoning applies to the mantilla. It isn’t mandatory for us to veil. But we can if we want to. This applies to the novus ordo as much as it does to the extraordinary form. And if we truly believe that Christ is actually present before us in the Eucharist, then why wouldn’t we?

The importance of external acts of faith

External acts can orient as well as express our inner thoughts and disposition. This is why our mass (in both forms) is so rich in ritual and posture. These “externals” help keep our minds where they should be - on the mass and on Our Lord in the Eucharist. Veiling can do the same.

Ask yourself, why it is that brides still wear veils on their wedding day? One reason is that the veil indicates the solemnity of the occasion. It is a reminder that - for her - this day is unlike any other. It is also a physical sign of the gift of self that she intends to make through the Sacrament of Marriage. Both of these reasons (whether conscious or not) transform the bride’s veiling from being purely about the aesthetics into something else. Although she is the center of attention, her choice of garment, color and veil sends a message to those around her: “when you look at me and see my veil, remember that I am here to participate in something greater and bigger than myself.”

Some women choose to veil in church for the same reasons. The veil is a reminder that this place and moment in time is unlike any other and should be observed as such. It is also a sign of the spiritual gift of self that the woman intends to make to Our Lord during the mass and as she prays before the tabernacle.

In imitation of Mary

Other women choose to veil in imitation of the Blessed Virgin. They seek to follow her example of humility, modesty and purity - as well as the Jewish custom of covering one’s head - when they are near our Lord in the Tabernacle.

Why do I veil?

I veil because it matters to me that I am before God. I veil as an external manifestation of my belief that Christ is really present in the Eucharist. I veil because it helps me to be more reverent. I veil as an act of humility before God. I veil because I believe. I veil because I care.

Chapel Veils



Do You Mantilla?



Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17th, Anniversary Of St. Francis Of Assisi Receiving The Stigmata


Two years before St. Francis gave his soul back to heaven, while he was staying in a hermitage called Alverna, after the place where it was located, he saw a vision from God of a man with six wings like a seraph standing above him with hands extended and feet together, affixed to a cross. Two wings were raised over his head, two were extended in flight, and two his his entire body.

When the blessed servant of God saw these things he was filled with wonder, but he did not know what the vision meant. He rejoiced greatly in the benign and gracious expression with which he saw himself regarded by the seraph, whose beauty was indescribable; yet he was alarmed that the seraph was affixed to the cross and suffered greatly. Thus Francis rose, one might say, sad and happy, joy and grief alternating in him. He wondered anxiously what this vision could mean, and his soul was uneasy as he searched for understanding. And as his understanding sought in vain for an explanation and his heart was filled with perplexity at the great novelty of this vision, the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, just as he had seen them earlier on the crucified man above him.

First Life of Saint Francis
Thomas of Celano 


Water My Heart With The Dew From Heaven


Pour forth Thy grace from above, water my heart with the dew of Heaven; send down the waters of devotion to wash the face of this earth, to bring forth good and perfect fruit.


Empty Vessels


The Lord bestows His blessings where He finds the vessels empty.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Cardinal Gregory Rebukes President Biden On Church Teaching



United With Christ In The Sacrament Of The Eucharist


O unspeakable grace! O wonderful condescension! O infinite love, singularly bestowed upon man!


Thomas A Kempis


Prepare Yourself For Christ With Great Diligence


"Shut out the whole world, and all the tumult of vices; sit like a sparrow solitary on the housetop (Psalm 101:8), and think of thine excesses in the bitterness of the soul (Isiah 38:15).

"For every lover prepareth the best and fairest room for his dearly beloved; and hereby is known the affection of him that entertaineth his beloved."


Book IV, Chapter 12

Thomas A Kempis


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Orans Position Is Reserved For The Priest


The laity are not to assume the orans position during Holy Mass. I know this will make some people unhappy, but I think there is good reason for following this instruction. St. John Paul II stated, “…the particular gift of each of the Church’s members must be wisely and carefully acknowledged, safeguarded, promoted, discerned and co-ordinated, without confusing roles, functions, or theological and canonical status.”

While there are many opportunities to individualize our personal experience during the Mass, there are some aspects that should not be individualized because they can confuse people, distract people or otherwise diminish the beauty and power of the liturgy which has been around for 2000 years.

During the Our Father, the priest is standing in persona Christi, in the orans posture, speaking to God on our behalf. Prior to Vatican II, this was a prayer reserved solely to the priest. Since Vatican II, we are instructed to pray with the priest, but in words only, not by mirroring his gestures. 


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Deer Hunting at the Portiuncula Hermitage

 This is the way we go deer hunting in Ozark, Ohio. They come strolling up onto our front porch and we feed them from baby bottles and return them to their mothers. We have a herd of around 30 that play around the farm house and we protect them from predators, both human and animal.


Chris Dickson Along With Vice President Mike Pence On 9/11 Anniversary


May God continue to bless my very dear friend of the past 35 years, former Vice President Mike Pence (R-IN) for the bravery he and his wife Karen showed during the 9/11 attacks. 

(Left to Right: LTC Robert "Buzz" Patterson, Major Chris Dickson, Vice President Mike Pence)


Thursday, September 09, 2021

Omne Quod Spirat, Laudet Dominum!


(Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!)

Praise the Lord in his sanctuary,

    praise him in the firmament of his strength.

Praise him for his mighty deeds,

    praise him for his sovereign majesty.

Praise his with the blast of the trumpet,

    praise him with lyre and harp.

Praise him with timbrel and dance,

    praise him with strings and pipe.

Praise him with sounding cymbals,

    praise him with clanging cymbals.

Let everything that has breath

    Praise the Lord! Alleluia.

Psalm 150: 1b-2, 3-4, 5-6


Begging For Stones In Monroe County, Ohio


Jerusalem, Ohio Catholics are being asked to collect all their cut sandstones they are no longer using and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road so that we can duplicate this Portiuncula Chapel located at the Franciscan University of Steubenville (see photo above).

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

Please note : We are begging all of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Monroe County, Ohio to round up all their cut sandstones and dump them on the property just South of the Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road (in the direction of the large white house towards Woodsfield). These stones will be used to erect the Portiuncula Chapel.

Thank you and may God bless each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity.


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

September 8th: The Nativity Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

 Happy Birthday, dear Madre!


The Holy Sacrifice Of The Mass


Jesus instituted the Sacrifice of the Mass to remind us of His self-oblation upon Calvary. In it, He continues the work which began on Calvary. In each Mass, His body and blood are offered to the Father as an act of perfect adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and petition for our needs. As Jesus once represented you and me upon the cross, so, now in each Mass, He represents you and me upon the altar.


Saturday, September 04, 2021

How Great Is My Reverence To Jesus Christ?


"Come to me all you that labour and are burdened and I will refresh you." (Matthew 11:28)

"The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world." (John 6:52)

"Take ye and eat; this is my body, which shall be delivered for you; this do for the commemoration of me." (I Corinthians 11:24)

"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him." (John 6:57)

"The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:64)

O sweet and amiable word in the ear of a sinner, that Thou, O my Lord and my God, shouldst invite the poor and needy to the Communion of Thy most sacred Body!