The Parish and the World of Father Walt

September 25, 2016

Epilogue

My Mom raised me right.  “You always tell people thank you,” she said.  Then she said “Try and do it with more than those small already printed cards in which you only sign your name.”

By the time you read this, Lord willing I will have made it to Florida.  On Monday, my Orthopedist cleared me to drive.  Said my pain level was good enough to do that, the steroids I've been taking did the trick to numb my disc and I could take my chances with that journey and the southern cops.

I will be writing thank you letters, letters, to all of for last Sunday till Christmas.  Of course, what else do I have to do now huh?  In those...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

September 18, 2016

Farewell

The first edition of this column came out June of 1990.  The folks of a small parish in Monongahela didn't know what hit them.  Their bulletin was a one page summary of basically nothing printed on a mimeo machine in which you had to correct mistakes (sic) by putting a purple liquid over the mistake and then typing over.  The pastor whom I replaced was a sickly, saintly old soul who never put the collection total in the bulletin.  I don't know which item stunned the parish more:  The Sunday collection was now in the bulletin or P&WFW.  Let's call it a toss-up.

I followed the example of my mentor, Franny Lackner who told me “Walter, when you get your first...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

September 11, 2016

A Note From the Couch

Notes I wrote to myself then lost, then found when looking under the cushions of my couch for money to buy new address labels since I now have about, oh...3,000 that say 403 Grandview Ave and will soon be obsolete.  Maybe I can get Michael or Fr. Peter to buy them at a discount and just cross out my name and write theirs over mine.  Michael?  Nah, but if I toss in a set of Ginsu knives for Peter, he'll fall for anything...

My couch.  People have asked me about my couch.  Am I taking it with me?  No.  If not, who gets it?  People want my couch more than Humphrey Bogart wanted the Treasure of Sierra Madre.  They must think...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

September 4, 2016

Words to Live By

I have only three columns left, but this is still one of my favorites for a lot of reasons.  It's an almost annual.  A “Classic.”  So I run it again for your reading pleasure.

                             “You ain't nothin but a hound dog, cryin'  all the time.

                              They said you was high class, but that was just a lie.

                              You ain't never caught a rabbit

                              And you ain't no friend of mine.”

There may be more articulate and profound words in the history of mankind than these, but aside from the Sermon on the Mount, Keats, Frost, an occasional visit to Gettysburg, JFK's Inaugural Address and any one of three soliloquies by John Wayne as Davy Crockett in the film...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

August 28, 2016

Anonymous, Well Maybe

Since my last three columns are all planned out, while cleaning out my office and packing up, I found these letters (anonymous of course) in my desk and decided to respond.  I wonder how many Michael has received?  So with all the compassion, kindness, brotherly love I can muster to someone I don't know, I offer you these...

“Fr. Walt, I think it's disgraceful the way you walk into church with a cup of coffee in your hands.                                                --Signed-- unsigned

Dear Tea Drinker, It's easier than dragging an intravenous bottle hooked up to a stand up all those stairs, making...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

August 21, 2016

Healthy Does of Reality

Notes I wrote to myself, then lost, then found when looking under the cushions of my couch for money to buy salve and aloe to put on all my wounds from the punches I took from people who like the movies I don't like and I happened to make insulting (but hilarious) comments about...And from all of you grammar purists, yeah, I know you don't end a sentence with a preposition.

Michael was in Texas this past week with the “Good Leaders, Good Shepherds” Program trying to teach the younger clergy how to be more of being priests and less of being Power Brokers, Ayatollahs and Monsignors and Bishops in waiting.  I asked him if he was taking his NASA space...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

August 14, 2016

Score Keeping at the Olympics and in Life

Notes I wrote to myself then lost, then found when looking under the cushions of my couch for money to buy more bubble wrap to surround my statue of John Wayne so nothing happens to “The Duke” during my move…

Yes, I’ve been watching the Olympics, but nothing has happened to change my mind that any contest that involves judging is not a sport.  It is an exhibition of great athletics, great skills.  But as long as politics can enter into the final results, it is only an exhibition since a winner cannot absolutely be determined without prejudice.  Remember the days of The Cold War?  Nine of ten judges would give the American Athlete a 9.7 and the Russian judge would...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

August 6, 2016

Kale and Green Tea

After a couple weeks of just sad and tough news, I thought I needed to get back to some of the usual stuff of this column and share with you the following...

Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican recently urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in London to start celebrating Masses ad orientam, or facing away from the congregation beginning the First Sunday in Advent this year.  Some translate this as “Facing East.”  Some other religions face east when praying or worshiping.  My only question is does anyone know which way Jesus was facing when he hung on the cross?  Do you think He cared? Yeah, I didn't think so. The last...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

July 31, 2016

Sunrise, Sunset

Notes I wrote to myself then lost, then found when looking under the cushions of my couch for money to buy a do it yourself acupuncture kit...

It was not a good week around the world. I had the funeral of Peggy Taylor on Tuesday. Long time parishioner. Peggy's family had to think long and hard about having their Mom's funeral because Peggy was the Grandma of Nicholas (12) and Dylan (7) Taylor, the two young boys who died in the house fire on Sorrell Street in the Marshall-Shadeland area of Pittsburgh on Monday. Without their brother Raymond and his wife Jennifer present, siblings Renee, Michelle and David mourned their Mom's death along with family and friends. Everyone has the right...

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The Parish and the World of Father Walt

July 24, 2016

Who / What is Sam Hill?

Notes I wrote to myself then lost, then found when looking under the cushions of my couch for money to pay some twenty something to explain to me what the Sam Hill the new Pokémon thing is about…

I know people who don’t watch the news or read newspapers because the news is all bad. They think that by ignoring it the problem will go away, but all they do is become more inclined to anger and depression. I have news for them. There are more good people out there than bad folks. I see them more than they do. I experience them more than they do. They just don’t make the newspapers. Did you see the article in the Pittsburgh...

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