When Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States of America, he made what we now know as the Louisiana purchase from France for a mere $15 million in 1803.  The territory bought for 3 cents an acre is now part or all of 15 states.  My “Day 16 Update” included our nation’s purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7 million dollars. William Seward was ridiculed although the price as 2 cents an acre.

But there is even more remarkable real estate deal that happened on May 24 in 1626. Peter Minuit bought the Island of Manhattan from the Lenape People.  A legend that is NOT true claims that the price was about $24.00 worth of trinkets.  Historical records said the price was more, but amounted to about 5 acres for 1 cent.

The classic television show “Let’s Make a Deal” debuted on Dec. 30, 1963 and continues to this very day.  The show ended when a contestant was asked to choose one of three unseen prizes.  Without seeing what prize they had picked, contestants could trade it for what was behind one the two reaming doors.  There was always the chance they would trade the grand prize for a ridiculous and worthless booby prize like a goat.

Some choices we make turn out very good and others not so much. Today and tomorrow Catholics in West Virginia are asked to make a choice about whether or not to come to Mass under very restrictive conditions.  Please choose wisely.  If you have been reading my previous updates, my letter to parishioners, or take a look at the parish website, you know that I am AGAINST the idea of reopening until June.   This is especially true for those of us with serious preexisting health conditions or age 65 or older.  If there is to be an error, let’s err on the side of caution.



• Obligation to attend Mass continues to be suspended.

• Mass can be seen on Facebook either live or later.

• The Devil can and does tempt us to EXCESS good which is BAD.

• There are no second chances with pandemics.

• Discretion is the better part of valor.

• The life you save may be your own or someone you love.


POEM of the DAY:  
Life’s Daily Doses


Life is measured in daily doses

Of trials and pleasures each.

Day by day grace is dispensed

To meet our immediate needs.

Comfort comes to the weary

We find that which we seek.

A bridge is built at the river

And power is given to the weak.

One day’s load we have to bear

As we travel on life’s way.

Wisdom is given for the occasion

And strength to equal each day.

We are never required to stagger

Under tomorrow’s heavy load.

We journey one day at a time

As we travel life’s rugged road.

God’s mercy is new every morning

And His faithfulness is sure.

God perfects all that concerns us

And by our faith, we will endure.

—  Lenora McWhorter



Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go.

–Saint Basil the Great (329-379)


You cannot imagine how foolish people are. They have no sense of discernment, having lost it by hoping in themselves and putting their trust in their own knowledge.

–Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)


Nothing is so common than to find people who know what is right but who lack the courage to do it.

— Saint Francis de Sales  (1567-1622)


A student sought out the advice of his Mentor, “Please, show me a way all people can follow in service to God.” “There is no one way,” the rabbi replied. “For some the way is the way of study, for others the way of prayer, and for still others the way of fasting or good deeds. There is no one way for all, only the right way for each. Choose the way that is right for you and then engage it with all your might.”

— Rabbi Baer of Radoshitz (1765-1843)


PRAYER of the DAY: 
For the Church and the World


I offer a plea this morning, Lord,

for you to shepherd us all, to shepherd the world,

through the sorrows and joys,

the temptations and grace

the worries and dreams

of life as we know it these days…


Shepherd us, O God, from here to there,

from where we are to where we want to be,

from one day to another,

one moment to the next,

from this unending present now

to the promise of tomorrow…


Shepherd us, O God,

from sickness to health,

from weakness to strength,

from virus to vaccine,

from pandemic to wellness…


Shepherd us, O God,

from politics to prudence,

from bitterness to cooperation,

from profits to outreach,

from unemployment to productivity…


Shepherd us, O God,

from monotony to delight,

from anxiety to serenity,

from fear to determination,

from isolation to community…


Shepherd us, O God,

from anger to understanding,

from intransigence to cooperation,

from frustration to resolution,

from impatience to endurance…


Shepherd us, O God,

from prejudice to impartiality,

from wasting time to serving others,

from hoarding to sharing,

from self-pity to gratitude,

from mistrust to faith,

from doubt to hope,

from indifference to love…


Shepherd us, O God,

from all our wants and all our fears,

Shepherd us, O God,

from grief into grace,

from mourning into joy,

from death into life… Amen.

— Austin Fleming  (Please visit his amazing blog)



FOR FURTHER READING — enter “Monty Hall Problem” in your browser.  There are many people who take it quite seriously and are very passionate about their convictions.

According to https://mathworld.wolfram.com “The Monty Hall problem is named for its similarity to the Let’s Make a Deal television game show hosted by Monty Hall. The problem is stated as follows. Assume that a room is equipped with three doors. Behind two are goats, and behind the third is a shiny new car. You are asked to pick a door, and will win whatever is behind it. Let’s say you pick door 1. Before the door is opened, however, someone who knows what’s behind the doors (Monty Hall) opens one of the other two doors, revealing a goat, and asks you if you wish to change your selection to the third door (i.e., the door which neither you picked nor he opened). The Monty Hall problem is deciding whether you do.

“The correct answer is that you do want to switch. If you do not switch, you have the expected 1/3 chance of winning the car, since no matter whether you initially picked the correct door, Monty will show you a door with a goat. But after Monty has eliminated one of the doors for you, you obviously do not improve your chances of winning to better than 1/3 by sticking with your original choice. If you now switch doors, however, there is a 2/3 chance you will win the car (counterintuitive though it seems).”



There was an old country preacher whose son had just turned thirteen, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought about choosing a profession. Like many his age, the boy didn’t really know what he wanted to do and wasn’t in a hurry to choose.

One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy’s room and placed on his desk three objects: a Bible, a silver dollar and a bottle of whiskey.“Now then,” the old preacher said to himself, “I’ll just hide behind the door here and wait to see which of these three objects he picks up.

“If he picks up the Bible, he’s going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he’s going to be a businessman, and that would be o.k. too.  But if he picks up the bottle, he’s going to be a drunkard – a no-good drunkard and Lord, what a shame that would be.”

The old man was anxious as he waited.  The boy came in the house whistling and headed back to his room. He put his books on the bed and saw the objects on his desk. With a curious look on his face, he walked over to inspect them.

The boy picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink. “Lord have mercy,” the old man whispered, “He’s gonna be a politician!”

Disclaimer: This IS a joke and does not  refer to ALL politicians, but only those who disagree with our occasionally thoughtful, sometimes unreasonable, even illogical, but heart-felt opinions that we hold onto with possibly preposterous passion!