Between the years 1996 and 2001 I was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Newark.
Well, not quite. I will be working on a piece or two recounting my time in seminary by way of trying to help the reader understand the current state of priestly formation, or malformation as the case may be. Even better, I hope to be able to help the reader know how our current priests came into the priesthood – what kinds of things were taught or withheld, what spiritual formation was given, what the subcultures were like. I can tell you that every seminarian in my house of formation was indeed scrutinized, though not necessarily in a laudatory manner.
Speaking of Newark, does anyone know where McCarrick is these days? His boy McElroy is going to get one of those nifty red hats. Ooh, I have an idea. Let’s play a game. It’s called “Insult My Intelligence”. Here’s how it works. I make the perfectly logical connections and state the obvious that, even in his early 90’s Teddy is still kind of calling the shots in the American Church and you tell me that’s crazy! But you have to promise to say it like Rod Roddy. Anyway, last I heard he was still living on Church property. He was still being, in some way, supported by the Church. I wonder why that is. Why is it a man with his kind of money – keep in mind he was besties with Leona Helmsley and the entire Hilton family – needs remuneration from the Church? Speaking of which, I’ll never forget the time I saw Leona entering the rectory of the Cathedral Basilica for a dinner date with Teddy. I heard some stories afterwards. That’s called a tease because I want you to keep reading (and even to subscribe).
Friends, these are just this trad dad’s musings on a Friday night. It’s been a long week. I hope yours was blessed. I hope you had opportunities to spend time with your families and to meditate on the Passion. I hope you enjoyed the few words scattered on these pages. I’ll leave you with one final thought.
I wonder if we could ever get the Archbishop of San Antonio to say the line: “Rich, Corinthian leather…” If you get it, you get it.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic parish sits at the bottom of Forest Hill in the North Ward of the City of Newark, NJ. The parish was established in 1904 and built up by waves of immigrant Catholics. Hard working Catholics. Pious Catholics. God-fearing Catholics.
By 1941 a massive new church building opened. Constructed under the direction of famed architects Maginnis and Walsh, the Irish neo-Gothic structure seats around 1,000 people. From early on there was a thriving school system in place centered on the parish. Generations of Catholics learned the faith – and the mass – from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill and holy priests like Fr. Tom Smith
And then the asteroid hit. And like everywhere else the parish began slowly to die.
How do I know so much about this place?
Our Lady of Good Counsel was my home.
This was my father’s parish as a boy and into adulthood. He was baptized here. He received First Holy Communion and then Confirmation in the beautiful big church. He and Mom raised their family here. At least half of the sixteen of us kids were either baptized here, confirmed here, or married here. Six of my siblings are dead and three of them and my dad were buried from here. Many of us attended the grade school here. We worshiped here at daily mass every day for years. My own son was baptized here.
In the 1980’s the parish survived the monstrous and demonic Fr. Richard Galdon. For 25 years three successive Archbishops of Newark (including Peter Gerety and Ted McCarrick) allowed Galdon to stay despite his proclivities for sexually abusing altar boys and Boy Scouts.
There seemed to be a revival of sorts or at least a leveling off in the 90’s. But that was just the sense that it couldn’t possibly get much worse. My father railed against the sex ed curriculum. My mother pulled the youngest two of us out to homeschool us.
Then we had the influx of the Neocatechumal Way and their bizarre nonsense. Oh, by the way, ever hear of McCarrick’s “pipeline”? Yes. Look it up. It was confirmed to me by a very reliable source that it was all true. I guess the pipeline had a spout that run into the gutters of Good Counsel. There’s more. Check out the court filing of Fr. Bob Hoatson and draw your own conclusions.
Coof-o-Rama came along and effectively killed what was left of the core family or two who remained. The parish is still open and “active”. Sure, the schools all closed and the masses are almost non-existent. And now to pay the bills, the pastor and the Archdiocese lease the school buildings to a public high school. This is where we join the story tonight.
The Newark School of Fashion & Design occupies at least some of the property these days. And what a wonderful treat we get when we visit their Instagram page!
What Pride Month celebration would be complete without vulgar displays of twerking, rainbow flags, and God knows what else in the very shadow of the church? I mean, come on, you know the answer. Check out the pictures and video above. I’d recognize that 1950’s-era Catholic Institutional Style linoleum cafeteria floor anywhere! Mrs. Mooney used to serve me lunch there. The outside wall of the school building? Sr. Therese used to greet us good morning and clang her giant brass nun bell right there. And the red brick wall to the right of the kids twerking? That’s the dining room window of the rectory where Galdon abused children and stole their innocence.
Do we expect anything less from Joe “Nighty Night” Tobin? By the way, I’m not being disrespectful. Tobin met with a group of queers in the Cathedral Basilica and told them to call him their “brother Joe!”
Brother Joe, do you support this? Are you one of them? Do we know the answers? Could be. Something about walking like a limp wristed duck and all.
But for the sake of charity let’s assume no one at the chancery had a clue that by leasing space to a school for fashion design there would be a satanic parade on church property.
I’m sorry. I know you’re not dumb. Forgive my use of a literary device.
973-482-1274. That’s the parish.
973-497-4000. Ask for Maria Margiotta, the Archdiocesan Comms Director.
And when Brother Joe gives you his tired synodal gay ways nonsense and says he’s building a bridge and accompanying people and not at all laughing at you for your silly adherence to the sixth commandment and the laws of nature; you can hang up and say a prayer for him.
Today Our Lord and St. Francis de Sales have presented me with several topics about which to muse. So let’s gooooooo, as the kids say. Who am I kidding? I say it too.
Topic #1: Francis celebrates world no tobacco day (or whatever it’s called)
I am informed that Bergoglio recently “celebrated” World Anti-smoking Day or similar. So here’s a tale for you. Those who know me have heard this story before. I was just shy of my 18th birthday when I started smoking. Ooh, rebel, right? Although I didn’t know why at the time, the smokey lung noose of a Marlboro always seemed to have my number. A few months later I began my seminary studies. My ordinary at the time was the now Mr. Teddy McCarrick. Flash forward to the summer of 2018 when I came across an article in the midst of that man’s downfall. The article quoted several anonymous Newark priests detailing what they knew about Uncle Ted’s proclivities. Keep in mind, I had been a very innocent young man at 18 and truly did not know what lay beneath that festering surface and thank God for that! “McCarrick,” they said, had no preferences. He’d go after anyone. Fat, thin, short, tall… As long as he wasn’t a smoker he was fair game. McCarrick hated smokers.” A chill went down my spine. I showed the article to my wife who quipped, “I will never again ask you to quit.”
So take your world day of boring people no tobacco and pound sand. On second thought, that might appeal to some of these people. I’m not saying the Blessed Mother put that first nic stick in my mouth or flipped the ol’ Zippo for me, but my mom had asked me to pray a Memorare every day for protection (from what or how she knew is still beyond me) and Blessed Mother sure came through.
Who wouldn’t put up with emphysema and heart disease to avoid being sodomized by a satanic cardinal?
Speaking of unseemly reality here’s
Topic #2: We don’t flex for the mirror. We lift weights because we’re men and it’s hard.
With all the stories about A certain former auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and his penchant for being surrounded by “bodybuilders” I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone that no man – priest or bishop especially – should be deliberately showing off his guns. Or his pecs, delts, tris, abs, or any other part of his body. I’ve said it before. Cassocks are brilliant. Not only are they flattering (black covers a multitude of gluttonous sins) but they double as a symbolic “tomb”. The cleric is not a businessman. He is another Christ. He is to die to himself for his people. What better way to remind him of that daily death than by entombing himself in black robes?
It seems the good bishop, in addition to surrounding himself with lunkheads, has been known to wear the occasional tight fitting clergy shirt from time to time. I think that’s actually an official Toomey cut. I’d tell you to Google that and vomit or you can take my word for it. I have a cast iron stomach. Eh, what the heck. I’m in a sporting mood. I’ll include the pic. But it’s not just Barron posing down the camera. On his staff, the bishop employed a priest who couldn’t help himself when it came to posting pictures of his oiled and pumped-up physique. Read that again. A priest. I will NOT include his picture because it’s just gross.
Here’s the thing… I lift weights. I started a few years ago in earnest after my second spinal fusion. I find it’s a great way to handle a lot of things. It reduces stress. It builds a strong frame. It’s a great hobby. I truly enjoy it. But if I’ve learned nothing from the great Fr. Chad Ripperger it’s that 1) the nature of a man is to want to do difficult things, 2) a man needs to do those difficult things for the benefit of others, and 3) a real man is humble and the antithesis of vanity. Lifting weights is hard as hell if you do it right. What’s even harder is getting up at 5:30 to do it on an empty stomach. I lift weights to be strong for my wife and kids. It’s my job to protect them and to work by the sweat of my brow for them. I want any fool who’s inclined to mess with them to see me and think twice. And God help the turkey who’s idiot enough to actually throw down because he’d get his head bashed into the pavement. Repeatedly. Sorry folks, I have but one setting. Are the benefits to my appearance also great? Sure. This is where true humility kicks in. These aren’t my gainz, bruh. They belong to my family, from God. There is truly no reason I should be able even to walk after the times my spine has been taken apart and reassembled and yet here we are.
My advice to the bishop and his friends? Lift weights. And when you’re done, step away from the mirror and put the camera down. A further question here is why is any grown man taking selfies at all? I shudder to think of the number of times I fell into that trap. You live and you learn. It’s cringe. Don’t do it. And if you’re an aging bishop, especially don’t do it. Social media was invented by minions of the devil. Remember, Satan wants men turned into 12 year-old girls because he loathes the image of God. With every selfie post you get a dopamine hit but your testosterone drops.
Topic #3: Bergoglio still isn’t pope.
I was struck by the Gospel at mass today. It begins thus:
From the politicking ahead of the “conclave” to the Sankt Gallen Mafia to, my favorite and the key to this whole mess, the substantial error laid out in Canon Law, it should be obvious. And it is obvious. There are many who are on the cusp of admitting this now. If you need further resources to help push you over the edge, check out Anne Barnhardt’s brilliant work here, Dr. Ed Mazza’s invaluable contributions here, and even Patrick Coffin’s summary presentation here.
Woke up this morning to learn of the death at age 94 of Angelo Cardinal Sodano. The cardinal was Secretary of State of the Vatican during the 1990’s. He it was who proffered the patently false third secret of Fatima. He it was who appeared in Malachi Martin’s Windswept House under the name Cardinal Graziani. And he it was who appeared at the seminary where I was a young seminarian at the turn of the century.
Let’s back up. In 2000 yours truly was entering second theology at a seminary (do a Google search) in New Jersey where my ordinary was a now-layman named Teddy McCarrick. None of us knew why the Vatican Secretary of State was visiting our humble abode. I’m sure McCarrick had some financial and immoral scheme at hand. I shook his hand and said hello and that’s about all I remember.
But when I think about it now I realize that these birds of a feather definitely flocked together. I also met the then-Vatican Nuncio to the US, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo. You see, Teddy knew I was a smoker. Still am. Other than the state of my lungs, the reason that matters is that McCarrick abhorred smokers. He wouldn’t dream of coming near me. Thank God! Didn’t know it at the time. You know who did? The Blessed Mother. My own mom had asked me to pray a Memorare every day when I entered seminary. She said, “Mary will protect you.”
Boy was she right.
It’s a nasty habit but it kept me safe. There was one moment when Teddy approached me while I was on campus sucking down some nicotine. I was nervous because he had asked me to quit many times. This time, he came up to me almost with a pleading tone. “Do you have a light for the Nuncio?” Of course I did. The Nuncio was a smoker, as many Colombians are. McCarrick needed something from me.
Years later I wondered how deep all the ties went. How far did all the connections run? McCarrick knew them all. Montalvo. Sodano. You name it.
Blessed Mother kept me very safe with a few tar sticks. I love my mother (earthly and Blessed). But these men?
See my last post about drinking a gin and tonic and waiting for the end times.
Meanwhile, prayers for Sodano. The glory of the world passes. Judgment is eternal.
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at email@example.com.
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