"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
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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Monroe County, Ohio: Begging For Stones

Here is the proposed chapel:

We are preparing to build the Portiuncula Chapel which is a smaller scale model of the original Portiuncula Chapel in Assisi, Italy that St. Francis of Assisi rebuilt sometime around1211 A.D. to replace the original Immaculate Conception Church built by my Great-Great Grandfather, along with the Catholic Community of Monroe County, Ohio in 1874 that was torn down in the 1970's.

We have gathered up several cut sand stones but are still in need of more of these stones. If you have some cut sandstones around your property we are begging everyone to drop them off into the tree line next to the Immaculate conception Cemetery in Ozark, Ohio (Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road) toward the village of Woodsfield.

Thank you and God bless each and every one of you!

Pace E' Bene! (Peace and All Good!)

Chris Dickson, F.L.A.

(I am a direct Burkhart and Burkhard descendent)


Thursday, April 28, 2022

A Forgotten Prophesy of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli



The Sacrament Of Confession


St. Francis told his brothers that the reason we don't all become saints is not because we cannot overcome sin but because we are unwilling to overcome shame through the Sacrament of Confession.


Honesty Before God


We commune with God as we honestly are and not as we would like to be.


The Rays Of The Sun


You are a ray of God's light. A ray of light doesn't seek the sun, it's coming from the sun. A branch doesn't seek the vine, it's already a part of the vine. A wave doesn't look for the ocean, it's already full of ocean. In the secular world we call this our career. In the monastic terms we call this our vocation.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate (F.L.A.)

Not everyone should join the Franciscan Lay Apostolate. Only those who want to be free to be what you want to be in your own heart.


Pride And Empty Idealism


Without love, our quest becomes a journey of pride and empty idealism.


Joy That Flows Like A Fine Wine


Many Franciscans speak of peace being the opposite of war. Francis spoke of peace in our hearts, a deep satisfaction and joy that flows from within like a fine wine. Only when God raises up an army of peace-loving beggars that outnumber the forces of hatred and violence, will we have peace on earth.


Monday, April 25, 2022

You're Crazy!


A time is coming when people will go insane. And when they see someone who is not insane, they will attack that person saying, "You are crazy, you aren't like us." ~ Abba Antony


Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Childhood of Christ by Gerard van Honthost circa 1620


Gerard van Honthorst was a Dutch painter in the style of Caravaggio, who popularised the technique of ‘chiaroscuro’ that draws on the contrast between light and darkness. Van Honthorst used this to great effect in this painting from 1620 entitled The Childhood of Christ.
It depicts Jesus as a boy, apprenticed to the vocation of his human father, a carpenter.
But the brightness of the candle he is holding, and the even greater brightness of his own face, point towards the vocation conferred on him by his Father in heaven: to be the light of the world.
Jesus worked with wood all of his life. As a pupil of his father Joseph he learned about the properties of different trees and the ways to prepare and season timber. He discovered especially how to work with the grain of the wood in order to add to the strength and beauty of what he was fashioning.
He was a master carpenter.
From creating with wood Jesus spent three years working on the hearts and minds of his disciples.
Then on his darkest day, the first Good Friday, it was wood which mastered him. With hammer and nails Roman soldiers hung the carpenter-Saviour on a rough wooden cross.
From this great reversal came the undoing of sin and the dethroning of darkness and the reconciliation of all creatures to their creator-God.
May our lives now be fashioned again according to the grain of the universe – adding strength and beauty to our relationships and our work, to our churches and our communities.
Gerard van Honthorst: The Childhood of Christ, 1620, oil on canvas, 137 x 185 cm, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg.
Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656) was born in Utrecht in The Netherlands. He studied with his father and Abraham Bloemaert. He soon went to Rome, where his night paintings caused such a sensation that he was known as Gherardo delle Notti (Gerard of the Night Scenes). The lighting was derived from Caravaggio's works and Honthorst played a crucial role in bringing knowledge of Caravaggio and his followers to the North. Many painters, including Rembrandt van Rijn and Georges de la Tour, were influenced by Honthorst's Caravaggesque pictures. After nearly ten years in Rome Honthorst settled in Utrecht in 1620, where he soon adopted a much lighter palette. In 1628 he was called to England to paint the royal family. There he made portraits in the manner of Anthony Van Dyck. Honthorst spent the rest of his career as court painter at The Hague, where he largely devoted himself to portraits, becoming one of the few seventeenth-century Dutch artists to earn an international reputation.

St. Joseph's Day is March 19, so why the celebration on May 1st? In 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted this day to offset May Day in the communist world. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Worthless Distractions


The way of Christian prayer is the way of liberation. Part of the reason for this liberation is that all sorts of worthless distractions are withdrawn. What was once deep distraction keeping us from the things we need, we begin to discover our true selves.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Doorway Into The Silent Land Is A Wound


The doorway into the silent land is a wound. Silence lays bare that wound. We do not journey far along the spiritual path before we get some sense of the wound of the human condition, and this is precisely why most people abandon contemplation as soon as it begins to expose this wound; they move instead to some form of spiritual entertainment that will maintain distraction or hide us from our woundedness.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

How Do I Give Glory To God?


A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. Likewise, I give glory to God by being who I am. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of my discovering who I am and by discovering my true self. Not to accept and love and do God's will is to refuse the fullness of my existence.




Make me an instrument of your PEACE.

Where there is hatred, let me sow LOVE.

Where there is injury, PARDON.

Where there is doubt, FAITH.

Where there is despair, HOPE.

Where there is darkness, LIGHT.

And where there is sadness, JOY.


Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to CONSOLE.

To be understood, as to UNDERSTAND.

To be loved as to LOVE.

For it is in GIVING that we receive,


That we are pardoned.

And it is in dying

That we are born to ETERNAL LIFE.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

What Have We Franciscans Become?

 Fr. Stan Fortuna: a true Franciscan Friar

Who are we Franciscans now? What have we Franciscans become? One giant shrine of stones hidden behind the walls of Assisi, Pogio Bustone, Fonte Colombo and Greccio? Is that all we are now? Where are the beggars in cords? Where are the beggars in patched habits? 


Self-Centered Prayer

True prayer demands that I be totally honest with myself because it is only the real me who can talk with God. If, for example, I feel the need to be "worthy" or "perfect" or "holy" before I am allowed to pray, then I will most likely never pray at all, or if I do, it will be a fake, self-aggrandizing, self centered me talking to myself rather than with God. 


Monday, April 11, 2022

Have You Ever Heard A Tree Grow?


Bronze statue of St. Francis of Assisi in La Verna, Italy

Have you ever heard a tree grow? Have you ever heard grass grow? I haven't. Have you ever stretched out across the ground at midnight and stared up at the moon and the stars? We do this every clear night at the Portiuncula. Tell me, what sound do the stars make as they move across the sky? NONE! Complete silence! No wonder our seraphic father, Saint Francis, loved nature so completely. This is how nature taught him to pray: in S-I-L-E-N-C-E!


You Don't Know Me


If I say I love you and then begin to tell you about all those things I love about you and you say, "Well, you don't know anything about me then. You don't really know me!" Can the same thing be said about our love for Jesus Christ? In order know the true Jesus Christ and to fall in love with the reality of what and who He truly is, we must first divest ourselves of any pre-conceived notions we have of Him. We discover who Jesus really is by letting go of what we think Jesus is and allow Him to show us who He is.  


Saturday, April 09, 2022

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Spiritual And Not Religious?


In an age when people claim to be "spiritual, not religious ," they really don't have a clue what either term means and their lack of motivation is quite common. We must long for truth, freedom, loving communion with the silent depths of God (like the depths of the ocean).


Friday, April 01, 2022

Prayers Of Thanks

It is with grateful hearts that Karen and I thank the members of the Monroe County Catholic Community for the prayers said for our Grandson, Luke Pulskamp. As you know, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare childhood skin cancer. Surgery removed the cancer and it was sent away for further testing. The tests came back benign (noncancerous). He will not have to undergo chemo nor radiation, only periodic check-ups. “Prayer is the best weapon we have, it’s the key to Gods heart.” Saint Padre Pio, and my brothers & sisters of the Monroe County Catholic Churches have proven that to be a fact. May God continue to bless each and everyone of you! 

Chris & Karen Dickson Number 6:24-26