“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Monday, March 30, 2020


I've been severely disabled with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 36 years. For over 16 of those years I used an electric wheelchair and only had use of one arm and hand. For many years, people had to do the most ordinary daily things for me. There were times I needed help getting dressed. I could not hold anything in my right hand. Other people had to cut my food for me. By any definition my disease was (and may be again) end stage MS. It's impossible for me to express my deep gratitude for all the assistance people have given to me over the decades. 

Just over a year ago something extraordinary and unexpected
happened. I started regaining lost function! Today I can walk with a cane(s) and the function of my right arm and hand returned. Not only can I cut my own meat at dinner and I can write again after 25 years unable to.  My neurologist and family doctor are dumbfounded. This is not supposed to happen with end-stage multiple sclerosis. Things degenerate not regenerate. And with a brain as riddled with plague as mine, this is not supposed to happen. I may lose this regained function, and my new lease on life.

But for now, it's my turn to give back. With the COVID-19 pandemic an international call went out to people who sew to
make masks. My wife stepped up to plate and began to sew. She showed me how to sew (I've never sewn a stitch). Now I have an opportunity to give back to the community.  It is very meaningful to me. In my small way I can say thank you—not so much to individuals, many of whom are nowhere near—but to a community of those who cared. Through small gestures like this perhaps I can express through actions the gratitude that words fail to express. We are all a part of that great family of humanity who are afforded the privilege of caring for one another. In this case, trying in a small way to care for the community that cared for me. 

Let's all pitch in in whatever way we can to fight this unprecedented pandemic.  We are all citizens with responsibilities to the common good and members of our communities with responsibilities each other. Perhaps it's grocery shopping for seniors, tutoring students online, reaching out to people for whom self-isolation has caused depression, or even just staying home to help break transmission of COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Dear Young people of Italy and Spain: Yes, I have seen the sorrow that permeates your nations as COVID19 ravages all you know and love. Yes, I saw the make-shift morgues and the images of military trucks filled with bodies of your loved-ones driving down streets. Yes, I saw the images and I wish there was something I could do to assuage your overwhelming grief. My heart aches for you. I want to throw my arms around you and try to console what is inconsolable. 

I have known a crushing heartache with the death of a loved-
one—although from different circumstances—I know that your pain may feel it will break you in half. I will not, if you don't let it. Hold on, better days will come.

There will be a reason to smile again. Although you may not believe it now, life is still worthwhile and better days are coming.
Smile* though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you.

The sun is just behind the dark clouds of this pandemic. Its warmth will again shine upon your shoulders. And when it does, let its rays light up your face with gladness. Believe that the joy of life will be yours again. 
The sun sets but it also rises. Better days will come and life is so worthwhile. There will be tomorrows for you to live. Opportunities for love still wait for you.
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
I know the despair of wondering what the future holds when the present seems to be stripped of too many losses. That was the very time when I had to keep trying and believe that life was still worthwhile even though everything around me told me otherwise. I want you to know better days are coming.  
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.  
The dark shadows of this pandemic will fade away in the light of a hopeful new day and this crisis will pass.  Do not lose heart even though your world seems to be falling apart. 
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.
Young people of Italy, Spain and elsewhere, look to the future with hope and smile.
*The word smile means a spirit of optimism.

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Christ is with us in this storm
This is the first Sunday when churchES across North America are closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. Thanks to Youtube, Christians can still worship our King. I have provided two links: One IS for Catholic Christians on this 4th Sunday of Lent. It is the first link below. The second is a Pentecostal worship service this morning in Franklin, Tennessee. Don't look at the worship differences, look at the common feature of worshipping Jesus Christ. In this frightening storm of a global pandemic, keep your eyes of Jesus. Come together in Spirit and Truth.

CATHOLIC MASS, 22 March 2020. (The video below starts part way through the Mass. Push the cursor back to the beginning.)

CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH, Franklin, Tennessee, (PENTECOSTAL). The video starts part way into the service. Back it up to the beginning. Sorry.

Sunday, March 15, 2020


The world finds itself in a pandemic. The Coronavirus (COVID 19) is impacting every aspect of life from healthcare to commerce, travel to community life. We do not yet know the full extent of what the COVID beast may morph into and everybody is frightened.  The beast is threatening life as we have come to know it, but it is also going to test the mettle of our character individually and as nations. Have you ever wondered what kind of human being you really are when a test of your humanity comes? Well COVID19 may be that test. What kind of person are you? 

This pandemic gives us the opportunity to come together as communities and support each other, or as early indications are showing, we can adopt the mentality of every man for himself. Do we horde or price-gouge essential supplies such as hand sanitizers household cleaners, toilet paper, face masks and food—all things other people need too? Do we strip grocery store shelves empty so that others not so quick off the mark have nothing? 

I heard of a man from Chattanooga, Tennessee who took a U-Haul across Tennessee and Kentucky snapping up all the hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes from every store. He wanted to make what he called “crazy money,” and jack up the price as high as possible to sell to people in desperate need of them.[1]  Another man near Edmonton, Canada, scooped up all the children’s thermometers at Costco then bragged how much profit he was going to make. 

Really? Are we a community or a jungle of animals feeding off others? This is not right.  Perhaps I should not be surprised how quickly my culture can descend. We embrace personal autonomy. I, me, mine. (Wasn’t there a Beatle song by that name?) For more than forty years we have killed children before birth who were inconvenient to our lifestyles or personal ambitions. Now personal autonomy and self-determination have brought medically assisted suicide to various jurisdictions throughout the world, including my country of Canada.  I have multiple sclerosis. No matter how much I may degenerate I do not have a right to commit suicide or ask someone to help me kill myself.  It would offend the Common Good and put someone else’s eternity at risk.  Euthanasia and assisted suicide crosses a long-held taboo against murder and weakens the foundations of interdependent community.

You can not have interdependent community and personal autonomy.  They are diametrically opposed ideas. You must choose which it shall be.  Unfortunately we have made the wrong choice for over four decades.  But it can change.  Reject personal autonomy and independence and embrace interdependence. 

I believe with all my heart that we are inter-connected and responsible for each others’ well being—for no other reason than every person bears the indelible image of God. Words like familyneighborcommunity and nation attest to our interdependence. I believe this so much that for more than twenty years I took that message across North America. I spoke from Canada’s Yukon to Louisiana and Alabama, From Boston to Los Angeles and countless places between those points.  I took that message to anyone who would listen (and even some people who did not want to listen.) 

Every generation is confronted with the most ancient question: “Am I my brother’s keeper.”[2] Your answer to that question will govern how you behave toward others. 

If you ascribe to the principle Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, then you ascribe to the Golden Rule, the principle of mutual interdependence.[3] And that brings me back to the current situation confronting the world with COVID 19. 

We must rise to our better selves: If you are sick or symptomatic, isolate yourself for the required two weeks. Buy only those items that your family needs and don’t horde essential items everybody needs. Help those who can not get out to acquire what they need in terms of basic essential items. Heed public health directions in a rapidly evolving pandemic.

No matter how desperate things may become remember that God is with us. Answer Yes to Cain’s question. We are our brother’s keeper. Let us use COVID as an opportunity to show our children and grandchildren this life principle for now and the future. 

A Prayer of Saint Patrick
Collegium Iuvenum Stuttgart

[1] Nick Nicas, “He Has 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere To Sell Them,” New York Times, 14 March 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html

[2] Genesis 4.9.
[3] See Matthew 7.12.