Posted by: Fr Chris | December 2, 2013

A Very Mixed Bag in This Post!

Glory to Jesus Christ! And again,  long-time readers know, when there is a gap, my health was being challenged again. But thanks to prayers and modern medicine alike, I am back up on my feet (so to speak since half the time I’m in a chair, but you get the point). Anyway, here is the news:

SYRIA – The very reliable Asia News

reports that not only did Islamist rebels return to the extremely old town of Maaloula, one of the last Aramaic speaking places on earth, but now they have taken 12 nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery-orphanage. Why? A good question. One without an answer right now.  Eighteen nuns remain behind at St. Thecla. May all be safe.

The Syrian Opposition is sadly fragmented. The secular opposition had said that if the war dragged on, the jihadists would get the upper hand and overtake the Syrians’ own revolution for which their children were tortured – remember that?  And so it is happening. Poor Syria. But the Christian leaders there and in Iraq continue to plead for reconciliation – they have the right to live at home, but now 6.5 million Syrians do not do so. Pray urgently for peace!!

And do not forget, please, to pray for UKRAINE — those people deserve a good government, easier contact with Europe, and a decent break in improving their lives for the sake of their children. Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic have been cooperating, working for peace and giving shelter to the weary in Kiev. God bless them all and may everyone involved act for the sake of the common good.


Our former pastor, Father Kurt Burnette, will be consecrated as Bishop of Passaic on December 4, 2013, at St. Michael Cathedral (where I was ordained in 1981), at 2:30 Eastern Time.


The Ordination and Enthronement can be seen via the internet:

This is a service of Jack Figel, owner of the Eastern Christian Publishing media “empire” from his home in Virginia. God bless him, he does an awful lot of publishing for our Church without a whole lot of support back, so check  out his many offerings. They include my book, Finding a Hidden Church.

Father Kurt Burnette was our pastor, 2008 – 2012. So, in the past 12 months our parish of 85 households has produced a priest who will become a bishop; a deacon who became a priest and new pastor; and a seminarian who became a deacon last Saturday. Not bad!

PERSONAL  My father, Henry Zugger, will be 90 years old on December 9, 2013. He is one of the last fighters of World War II, having been a Marine in the Pacific 1942-45, and served as a Town of Tonawanda policeman and juvenile detective for many years. When he left the force, there was a HUGE party for him, and many accolades regarding his fighting against drug abuse and intervening for youngsters.

Then when he retired, he became the crossing guard at our parish school, St. John the Baptist.

He loved being there morning and afternoon, watching over the 430 students going back and forth (in my day, we had 1,500 students there!!). 

091223 crossing guard

My Dad being surprised by the pastor, teachers, and children on his last day of work as a crossing guard. And yes, it was a cold day in Buffalo, New York!

This parish was founded by St. John Neumann, the famous missionary from Bohemia, in 1837. Quite a history here:

And finally, PAPAL. Pope Francis has a habit of making surprises, and his 216 page Apostolic Exhortation is filled with surprises. One of my favorites, for now, is 274, where he reminds us that people are worthy because they are created by God and redeemed by Jesus’ Precious Blood on the Cross: every person is the object of God’s tenderness, and He Himself if present in their lives. … every person is immensely holy and deserving of our love. 

If we would think along those lines in our daily interactions, how different the world will become! 


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