The Catholic Defender: Defender of the Rosary
Sunday Jul 15, 2007: I've got a number of people that is coming to me that is seeking to enter the Church or be confirmed. Three new ones not apart of the original group. What a blessing even during these tough times. We have done a number against the enemy which is great without the loss of a man. It has been a very successful completion to a serious dangerous mission. Thank you all for your prayer. I need to thank St. Anthony for the finding of a radio that went missing. I discovered it gone on my way to the Division Chapel for the bible study last night. I hoped that it had fallen off in my room. Three hours later, I went back to my room to find it wasn't there. Oh boy, now the job of retracing my steps was the only recourse. I was at D Company before I went to the TMC before I went on my way to the Chapel almost 2 1/2 miles away. It wasn't there. The First Sgt recalled that I had it with me. I was a lame duck. Well, I walked back toward's F Company where I had signed for the radio to let them know I could not find it. As I sat down, I looked at the charger and there it was, sitting there pretty as can be charging up it's battery. I was in awe as I had not been to F Company since earlier that afternoon. How in the world did it get there? Nobody there knew anything about it. All I could do was thank St. Anthony, he has helped me before!!!
Tuesday August 21, 2007: Tonight I received two more soldiers that are looking to be confirmed into the Church, what a great gift it is to be involved in helping people find, develop, faith restored, faith renewed, faith encouraged, to be converted, and Confirmed.
Saturday Aug 25, 2007: Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Those mean so much to us. Tonight, I had a once tough Anti-Catholic just a few months ago, sitting in a group tonight praying the Rosary with us. He has made the decision to become Catholic! What a grace to witness and see God's work in motion!!!!
His wife had left the Church for his church and it looks like she will make a return to the Catholic Faith. Heaven is rejoicing! God be praised!
Sunday Aug 26, 2007: I have more than 15 Soldiers that are looking to be received in the Catholic Church in about three weeks. That is exciting to see this many come to the faith. Many of them are married or getting married which will double the group when they get back home. Thank's to everyone of you for your prayers, support, and gifts that I've been able to give to these soldiers and many more. It is a team effort!
Wednesday Aug 29, 2007: (I was asked about how I developed my devotion to the Rosary and I gave this response) While working at Mass Merchandisers, I pulled a hand jack 20 miles and threw hundreds of pallets a day working for the Receiving Department. I was so good at that they wanted to keep me there.
I began praying the Rosary daily beginning with the first mystery between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. After a ten minute break I would pray the second mystery between 9:10 till 10:30. I would pray the third mystery from 1040 until lunch at 12:00. At 12:30 I began the fourth mystery until 14:00. Then I would finish the Rosary with the fifth mystery at 15:00 when it was time to go home. I would pray the decade and then reflect on each mystery as it applied to me. I could tell that this was helping me grow in my walk with Christ. It helped me understand Mary too! To put it simply, this solidified my faith. I worked there for over 5 years! I took the brunt of the Catholic jokes during breaks, most of them good natured. There were the daily debates and challenges that developed. One lady working the floor once told me that the Catholic Church was headed by the Mafia, I responded that the Protestants were headed by the KKK. She happened to be the wife of the Grand Dragon, the head Chaplain of the KKK (nationally). That was wild. She didn’t like my response, but I thought it was very appropriate. I would speak to her on numerous occasions. I spoke with her husband whom I opposed. There is a place in Harrison Arkansas where they have a bat cave holding many books and pamphlets promoting the “Arian race” and Hitler. I was flabbergasted to have seen this.
Saturday Sep 01, 2007: In a way, this deployment has also kind of turned into a Rosary Crusade! Our Lord is pleased when we pray the rosary. I must say here that I encourage everyone here to pray many different ways. We have basically 4 types of prayer: Adoration, praise, petition, and ________! Can anybody give me the fourth type of prayer? God is so Good!
Something that I need to ask for some help here, prayerfully speaking, Father told me tonight that there is somebody who is opposing me and the success we have been having leading the rosary. He is Threatening to complain to the Archbishop of the Military Archdiocese. This has been weird and I haven't seen this since we were doing the bible study back in November. At any rate, if the Protestants want to raise a fuss over the rosary, I see it as an attack from the Devil. Your prayers in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
We should actually pray for those who are trying to attack us. Father said this was directed at me. I have been credentialed by the Ft Hood Catholic Community as well as the Diocese of Austin TX just before this deployment. Plus, I have been working directly under Father in all we do. Maybe they are jealous of the success we have had. We have more than 75 converts, hundreds of participants in the bible study/Rosary, and Mass has been picking up. I'm just thankful for what the Lord is doing and letting us play a part.
Sunday September 2, 2007: I woke up this morning very early as I had to go out on a mission outside the wire again. Please keep us in prayer, especially this situation that is materializing about the Rosary. I'll find out more about this when I get back.
Today, while outside the wire, I had the opportunity to speak with a Marine. It was an interesting conversation as he was talking about becoming a committed Catholic. His wife is a Catholic and they had both been talking about getting their marriage blessed by the Church. I told him who I was and gave him some good information about the Church and he became excited about it all. I was able to get his email address and will continue to get him some good info about the Church and answer questions. Still interested in what is going to happen about the Rosary. No real news yet, but some of the Chaplains are interested in the outcome.
We are still doing the Rosary no matter what they say. If we have to go to the MWR tent to do it, that's what we will do. It's wild when they will allow witches to meet but they want to mess with us.
Monday Sep 03, 2007: The bottom line is that I have been authorized as a Eucharistic Minister by the Archdiocese of the Military, the Diocese of Austin (both renewed before deployment to Iraq), and finally by our local Catholic priest. I have been involved as such for the Military since 1985 when I was stationed at Ft. Stewart Ga. I think that part of what is happening here is that they want to document these credentials. That should be an easy fix as Gigi is going to see the Catholic Coordinator at Ft. Hood and get the card showing our authorization from the Military Archdiocese. My card didn't come back in time for deployment. But in 23 years, I've never been carded on my credentials by a Protestant Chaplain. I always worked under the Catholic authority. So, we are good to go. It has come back to me that there is some jealousy as we have been far more successful. I never said I was a Chaplain, I support our Catholic Chaplain.
That's about the jest of it? But I have the credentials through the Archdiocese of the Military, the Diocese of Austin, and the local Priest. It's the craziest thing. Speaking about things that are odd, do you all remember when the Catholic Defender sat in among the Witches Circle? To my knowledge, there were no Protestant Ministers attempting this? I was able to develop re-pore with a fallen Catholic in that group. Well, that group gave me a coin that had a pentagram on it among other signs and symbols relating to Witchcraft. Doug C told me I should at least take it and have it put in holy water to make sure there wasn't anything accompanying it. That's a good idea, so I did just that, I showed it to Father who placed the whole thing in the holy water font. It didn't steam or bubble the water, but it has disappeared, it's gone, it's vanished. It seems to have become upset with me. No kidding, it is gone. I'll keep you posted!
Wednesday Sep 05, 2007: This past week I learned that two soldiers were critically burned and another had partial burns. Everyone will live due to a couple of things. My medic on the scene along with other soldiers did an outstanding job in getting the fires out. The other issue is that we had burn kits along with burn blankets that were placed in all the vehicles. This was promoted by Gigi when she gave a talk on burns to our BN Command and medics. She is a Burn Nurse Specialist and her recommendation was heeded and a couple of soldiers were saved partially due to having these things on hand. As a result of this investigation, the board will use this to promote this Army wide.
Friday Sep 07, 2007: September 16th will be here very quickly as time is trucking on. I'm so thankful for the great opportunity I've had to work with Soldiers helping them find the Catholic Faith. Thank you all for your prayers and support. That is priceless! Our Rosary continues to grow as more people are participating with us. Many are praying it out on missions when they can't be with us. That is what I do as well, I'll pray it silently as we move out. It's wild to be praying with the backdrop of Iraqi women in their burka's, young boys shepherding their sheep along the road, donkeys and mules pulling a trailer hauling grass and other things they gather. Old men sitting alongside dressed in typical Middle Eastern dress.
I am so thankful for my wife, Gigi is God's greatest gift to me, my best friend who truly loves me. If I live a thousand lives I could never find such a great gift. Our children are productive citizens in society and are doing fine, please pray for them as they struggle with their Catholic Faith. Thank God He is patient. He has been with me, that to is a great gift.
I spoke with the Division Chaplain who sat with myself, the Sergeant Major, and our Battalion Commander and he was interested in what I was doing. I told him that I have instructed 75 soldiers into the Catholic Church. That we have had hundreds of participants in our bible Studies/Rosary to include RCIA. He is interested in looking at the Scott Hahn/Alex Jones conversion stories. I actually think he is interested in becoming a Catholic. That would be good news if this happens. May God be praised!
Saturday Sep 08, 2007: Tonight was an awesome evening. We had two new Soldiers that want's to become Catholic so I will begin another group for December!!! This group so far has 5 soldiers!!!! One of them will be baptized then. Tomorrow, I was able to talk to a soldier that will be making a Confession for the first time in several years. It has been a very good evening. God is so Good!!!
Monday Sep 10, 2007: Tonight, we had another memorial service for a fallen comrade. As I was walking inside the chapel, I stood in the the middle of the Isle talking to soldiers when a chaplain walked in and towards me. He told me he was here to represent the Division Chaplain and wanted to know where he would be seated. I responded where I thought he might be placed but I spoke with him for about 15 minutes and found out he was Lutheran. I discussed the Eucharist and Confession with him as I told him the work I was doing with people entering the Catholic Church. He is interested in becoming Catholic folks!!! I got his phone number so we can dialogue more. That was awesome. After the service, I met two other soldiers who came to my room where we spoke about the Church and they watched the video about hell. This went real well as one of them will be baptized in December! Thank you for your prayers and support!