Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Year New in Deep Peace of Soul

is what I wish for all my family and friends -and even for a few who migh consider me their enemy...
For my part I will continue to seek truth and justice. May the Holy Spirit help me to see myself as I am and not how I would like to see myself.

Peace and Wellbeing!Pace e Bene, Paz y Bien. Paix et ...

as St. Francis would say

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2nd Sunday of Advent

at St Peter's Rome July 2009

Aura is more of a Mass goer than me, I admit to my shame -not really!. We live in a very conservative Catholic Diocese, Arlington, northern Virginia, USA. The gospel today was on John the Baptist, whom the homilist insisted on calling "Saint John the Baptist", in case we did not know or had missed the point. "Brood of vipers" was the leitmotif of the homily, and this was applied to all of us who do not obey the laws of the Church and any way
My own interpretation of that passage was that John reserved that juicy comparison for the Scribes and Pharisees, who, according to Jesus, "thought themselves better than others"...My biblical studies tell me that the Pharisees were actually very observant of the law and commandments. Behavior was not their problem; it was the thinking themselves above others. They rejected Jesus as a friend of sinners....
I prefer to be one of the latter.
How I would like to be able to preach the word of God!
But no, with my dispensation from priestly celibacy and "reduction to the lay state" come the conditions and the loss of such "privileges and rights", I am forbidden from using my priestly "faculties"...
Still think I could do a better job than many others!
Ah, that pride of mine!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Hello, faithful followers,
Life has been happenning:
Thanksgiving with Aura and some friends at our new home: invited friends and my old young friend, Marita LaPalm...

10 days ago down in Williamsburg, VA, where the first pilgrims arrived in the early 1600, looking for religious freedom and prosperity; at that time those white folks did not consider the Indians of much importance save to hand over their lands, and those black people were brought in to cultivate tobacco...Catholics were hardly welcome as they could be seditious...It was our old original sin, love and peace but not towards all...
Maciel did get it right when he taught "Delicate and Universal Charity...-but then kind of screwed up when he added - towards members and outsiders"...
We keep discriminating, being biased and prejudiced, something in the name of the God who created us all.. equal...
The place that gives a more balanced view of how it was back in the day is the Virginia State park at Jamestown which describes the plight of the Indians and the Blacks, the two non entities of the day...the story also says that Catholics were frowned upon and seen with suspicion...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween, Samhain, New Year for the Ancient Celts

a bit of the auld leprechaun in me!

[from Irish Abroad]

Samhain - Happy New Year!

By Solange Ni Morain

Seems a bit odd this time of year, as we gather together costumes, carve pumpkins, collect tinder for bonfires, and hang images of goblins, ghouls and witches about our surroundings, doesn’t it? Yet if you had lived in Ireland many centuries ago, this would have been your New Year celebration!

The Celts considered time to be cyclical or circular rather than linear, with eight ‘stations’ of the year marking the passing seasons. These important dates were marked with specific rituals and customs, among them fire-festivals. The two most important fire festivals were Beltane, on May 1st, marking the beginning of summer, and Samhain, on Novermber 1st, signifying the arrival of winter. Several lesser festivals marked the passage of time in between these two calendrical polarities.

Like many autumn festivals around the world, Samhain has its origins in the harvest season. To the Celts, an agricultural people, paying homage to the cycles of the earth and the spirits they believed inhabited the land was particularly important. With the harvest completed and the days shortening into winter, this ritual marked the beginning of a ‘still’ time, when warfare, crop cultivation, and the bustle of summer activity came to a halt. It was logical to associate this transition with symbolic ‘death’ – the death of the land’s fertility, the usual busy activity of the clan, and most importantly, the ‘death’ of the sun. It is important to consider that in the context of the Celt’s belief in time as a cyclical entity, death was not an ending to be feared; rather, it was the pathway to regeneration. Unlike many other cultures, to the Celts the origin of life was to be found in darkness, the moon, and night.
At this time of year, the crops would have been harvested and provisions made for the long, dark winter months ahead. Once Samhain came, all fruit still left upon the trees was considered taboo for humans, as it now belonged to the spirit world. Animals not kept as breeding stock were slaughtered as sacrifices and then made into food to sustain the clans through the dark period of the year. It was a time for taking stock of the past year, honoring the great cycle of life that sustained the race, and welcoming in the New Year. Tara, the seat of Irish kingship, was the site of great celebrations, markets, and fairs on Samhain.

On these significant days – Beltane and in – it was believed that the forces of chaos reigned and the barriers between the spirit world and human world were considerably thinned and navigable, allowing for intermingling between the living and the dead. The Celts prepared for the return of the dead, often setting out food and wine to greet the spirits that might come to visit.

They also thought this the most advantageous time to practice divination of their own, since the world of the unseen was exceptionally more ‘open’ to their communications. The Celts did not fear or abhor death the way the modern world does, and so the presence of the dead was welcomed rather than dreaded. However, along with the spirits of the ancestors, it was also thought that mischievous or malevolent ghosts were present as well, so caution was to be taken. It was for these forces that food and wine was also set out, though the intent was placatory rather than hospitable. Bonfires were also lit at this time to appease the spirits of the dead, make offerings and sacrifices, and cast spells, giving rise to the modern Irish practice of lighting large bonfires on Halloween night.

As the influence of Christianity came to Ireland and blended with Celtic culture, familiar Samhain imagery and tradition blended with Christian influence to create a hybrid holiday. Centuries later, Irish emigrants to the New World brought many of these customs with them, creating the widely-known secular holiday, Halloween, that we know so well!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Got Counselor License, Will Travel!

I have learned to be a person of Deep Faith; I hope some of that appears in my memoir and in the pages of REGAIN -especially a couple of travel notes regarding our conferences- I have accepted God's plan over me, after all the twists and turns, crises and unexpected happenings. I have accepted that my life is backwards compared to others, who often begin in the world, getting a job, finding love, getting married,  having children, and building a career.
I have all of the above -except children- but almost in reverse order, or late in life.

Case in question, just got my professional counselor's license at the age of 66, more as a confirmation and badge of honor than as a door opener.

I accept that back to front ness and that upside down-ness in my life; and maybe I would not have chosen otherwise; because I am a stubborn and individualistic kind of person, and love to do things my way. It's weird, drole, that my stubbornness and God's plan kind of coincided. But the bottom line was that I had to learn to trust Him.

Now, its very simple: What do You want me to do with this license, Lord?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pray for Leroy

surviving the Legion of Christ, getting a life, holding a job, and having a wife can be a pretty tall order. So we must be mindful of prayer, and keep at it. A friend sent me this edifying story.

Pray for Leroy
A preacher said, "Anyone with 
'special needs' who wants to be 
prayed over, please come forward 
to the front by the altar." 
With that, Leroy got in line, and 
when it was his turn, the Preacher 
asked, "Leroy, what do you want 
me to pray about for you?" 
Leroy replied, "Preacher, I need 
you to pray for help with my hearing." 
The preacher put one finger of one 
hand in Leroy's ear, placed his other 
hand on top of Leroy's head, and then 
prayed and prayed and prayed.  He 
prayed a "blue streak" for Leroy, 
and the whole congregation joined in 
with great enthusiasm. 
After a few minutes, the preacher 
removed his hands, stood back and asked, 
"Leroy, how is your hearing now?" 
Leroy answered, "I don't know.  It ain't 
'til next week."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nags Head, NC, and a visit from Juan Jose Vaca and Family

two different things, of course.
Upcoming, as soon as I upload photos

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off to the Outerbanks

I am being a real East Coast Americano and taking to the beach before the summer is over. Everybody is in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this week, and so am I and the missus. Trying to take a break after the tension of sitting for the LPC exam -successfully!- the pressures of work, and my other 'hobbies'
Take care

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lennon nails LPC Exam in Wash DC, Sat August 7, 2010

and did it my way............

And let me tell you me boyos that took a lot of you know what....

Left the Legion in 1985
Left Priesthood in 1989; thanks to the kindness of the Arch of Washington DC and a student loan from CUA I had almost finished my MA Counseling. And I was in counseling, for the second time, faced with the tremendous decision of leaving the active ministry.
Got my first job in 1989, $13 an hour, 8 hours a week
Then nailed another part time
First paying job in 1990
Circa 1995 Post MA Marriage and Family Therapy.
Home Based Counselor
2000 Out patient Mental Health Counselor with benefits!!!
Time, money, more studies and 200 hours of supervision for Licensed Professional Counselor...
God is Good! or Great!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to bring about Change in High Control Groups such as the Legion of Christ

Last year at International Cultic Studies Association's Annual Conference in Geneva, Switzerland with Mrs Lennon, Carmen Almendros Madrid representative, and Jose Barba, Maciel Survivor and Mexico representative of REGAIN, INC.

Sorry for being behind
Will post my presentation soon.
Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lennon to Present on Legion at International Cultic Studies Conference, July 2-3, in New Jersey

Greetings from ICSA International Conference in NJ where Paul will participate in panel presentation Friday at 11am "How to bring about change in high control groups?' [see info on International Cultic Studies Association...conference info on Internet]

He will refer to the Legionaries of Christ, accompanied by JJ Vaca and Javier Leger
Will summarize how external pressures have brought about some [major or minor?] changes in the Legion of Christ

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Legion of Christ studied at New York International Conference on Cults, July 1-3, 2010

From conference in Geneva last year, with Spanish and Mexican leaders in the Cultic Studies Field

Officially opening on Friday July 1st, 2010
International Cultic Studies Association's International Conference

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in cults, psychological manipulation, and related groups

former group members

people born or raised in cultic groups

families of group-involved persons

helping professionals



July 1-3, 2010
Thursday, July 1, there will be four workshops, as well as sessions in the evening. The workshops (10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.) are:

Workshop for Former Members of Cultic Groups

Workshop for Families and Others: Understanding and Responding to Cultic Involvements

Workshop for Mental Health Professionals

Workshop for Researchers
Friday, July 2nd - see detailed draft agenda

Saturday, July 3- see detailed draft agenda

Sunday, July 4, there will be a special social event.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thanks to Philly and Former Legionaries

Aura and I liked Philly so much we went back for a second  visit and did the Museum, the wonderful boulevard of the nations, and took in Fiddler on the Roof at the Walnut St, the oldest theater in the USA

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Spirit's Gifts
The Editors
MAY 31, 2010

I n the great crises of poetry, what matters is not to denounce bad poets, nor worse still to hang them, but to write beautiful verses, to reopen the sacred sources.” So wrote Georges Bernanos, reflecting on what the church needed to do in the time of Martin Luther. Today, as the church faces a worldwide crisis over the abuse of minors by clergy compounded by failures of hierarchical leadership, and even corruption, Catholics are turning once more to the lifesprings of faith to write beautiful verse. The “living source,” fons vivus, of the Christian life, as the chanting of the Veni Creator Spiritus reminds us each Pentecost, is God the Spirit dwelling in us and flowing out from us to fill the whole earth. It is the indwelling Spirit who prays with unutterable groaning when we do not know how to pray. It is the Spirit who pours out joy into our hearts and provides us with words of witness when the faith is under attack—from without and within. It is the same Spirit who will enable Catholics, especially in these cloud-dark days, to sing new verses.

The first Pentecost is often described, poetically and theologically, as the birthday of the church. Almost 50 years ago, Pope John XXIII heralded the Second Vatican Council as a new Pentecost, and the council fathers and later theologians looked on it as a unique work of the Spirit in our times. Pentecost, however, is an ongoing event; God’s Spirit gives the church a new birth in every generation. With the Spirit working in us, we can be sure God will write new verses for the church to deliver. Pentecost is a time for the church to take note of the varieties of gifts through which the Spirit is already rebuilding the church following the failures of decades. Among those we would note are: the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, the retrieval by religious congregations of their founding charisms, lay pastoral associates, lay people ministering in hospitals and prisons, novel education programs for the poor and service by young people and seniors.

The council reminded us that the Spirit bestows gifts on each of us for the good of all. The council celebrated these charisms as building up the church in conjunction with the gifts of office. In intervening years, however, the very idea of a variety of charisms given for the good of the whole church has been depreciated. With the exception of a few notable movements, many charisms bestowed on the faithful have suffocated under the weight of office and been neglected or even dismissed as unwarranted in the established order of church life. Charism and office should be complementary gifts, as they have been in the Catholic tradition.

For his part, Pope Benedict XVI has been steady in his teaching that charisms bring vitality to the church. Addressing the clergy of Rome in 2007, he reminded his listeners that “new forms of life are being born in the church, just as they were born down the ages.” With pastoral sensitivity, he understood the necessity of a multiplicity of charisms to enable the church to thrive in surprising ways. He also had the wisdom to anticipate how necessarily disruptive and challenging God’s gifts can be, especially for administrators. So he counseled his audience to gentleness and patience in exercising their pastoral responsibility for coordinating gifts in the local community. “The first rule,” he told them, “is: do not extinguish Christian charisms; be grateful even if they are inconvenient.”

For the church to flourish anew, there needs to be a reciprocity of gifts among believers and between believers and pastors. Gratitude for the gifts others bring to church life ought not be given reluctantly, but should come as a spontaneous and active response, the better to strengthen the bonds that unite the community. Men and women of faith, as the council taught, “have a right and a duty” to exercise their specific gifts in the bonds of charity for the good of the whole church, and when they do so, they ought to “enjoy the freedom of the Holy Spirit.” In this ongoing Pentecost, there should be neither passivity nor domination, but mutual appreciation in pastoral relationships. The church suffers both from acquiescent parishioners and heavy-handed pastors, bishops and other church officials. Neither a passive faith, nor a domineering one manifests the Spirit or truly does the Spirit’s work. Only in reverent attention to and acceptance of the gifts of all is the Spirit not quenched (1 Thes 4:19).

In the church’s new birth, a birth by fire, some things must die. The heavy, static architecture of the overly hierarchical, pyramidal image of the church inherited from Rome and Byzantium is at the point of giving way to the more airy, light-filled style of the church as a community of disciples on mission, with the Spirit infusing and guiding the church at all levels—faithful, clergy and hierarchy. This Pentecost the Spirit is at work bringing new life to the church—if only we listen and do not quench the Spirit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"And I'm off to Philadelphia in the morning!"

Remembering that Irish-American song of yesteryear "And I'm off to Tipperary in the morning!"

Well, meself and the missus will be off to Philadelphia tomorrow to see the sights and visit with some of the first American Legionaries...Keith Keller & Co.

We will try to keep the focus off the Legion but that is going to be hard because of all the recent scandals...but we will do our best so as not to burden our wives with all the 'shop talk'

It takes a long time to recover from the Legion, even for folks who have been in for a relatively short time


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Way of Maciel, or the Way of Romero [Spiritual Reflection]

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ, at America online is struck by the contrast of two priests that come to his mind after Lent. Lessons to be learned.

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Deeds, Not Words

the cover of America, the Catholic magazine
W as it a sign, a warning to us Catholics, that the continuing child-abuse scandal flared once again, this time during Holy Week? We saw a parade of articles, attacks and defenses—all, by my reading, beside the fundamental point. Some of the defenses were embarrassing, ranging from self-serving claims that Catholic clergy members are no more abusive than any other group, that the criticisms amounted to gossip and media bias against the church, that everything was to blame but ourselves. Even Pope Benedict’s heartfelt but stern letter to the church in Ireland seemed not to register in any meaningful way. Words failed.
Among the scribes of culture and church, allusions were made to Holy Week itself. But no one asked why Jesus himself was rejected and executed.
We are at a crossroads: the way of Maciel or the way of Romero.
The Gospel reading for the eve of Passion/Palm Sunday makes it quite clear that Jesus was a threat to vested national and religious interests. “If people believe in him, we will lose our land and our nation.” The reigning powers saw that he was a danger to their property, privilege and power. Even his apostles, arguing over who would be first in the kingdom, have to be rebuked by Jesus. In Luke’s account Jesus says: “Among pagans, it is the kings who lord it over them.... This must not happen with you.” The Christ-formed leader must never “lord” it over others. And any Christian leadership rejecting that command is destined not only to failure, but to being a countersign to the Gospels. Such leaders might muster sympathy for their own caste, but precious little for any other. This is the worm at the core of many believers’ discontent.
If there are priests and bishops who think they are better than other followers of Christ, or presume that they are to be served and honored, or who think their privileges and interests are more important than the people of God, they are destined to failure as ministers of the Gospel and will bring scandal on the church.
At the end of Lent 2010, two other prominent Catholics resurfaced in the news. The first is Marcial Maciel, of the Legionaries of Christ, who was sadly but honestly repudiated as “a model of Christian or priestly life” by the community he had founded. In addition to his sexual abuse of seminarians, this priest exercised tight control over the lives and monies of his followers while he garnered friendships among the powerful and privileged. Despite his exploitation of people in matters of money, sex and power, he was merely invited to end his life in quiet reflection and repose.
The second name to surface was that of Archbishop Oscar Romero, whose assassination occurred 30 years ago. This was a priest-bishop who lost all his allies in the Salvadoran oligarchy, and most of his fellow bishops as well, because of his choice to identify with Christ’s poor and oppressed. He was murdered, so appropriately, while celebrating Mass. There is no doubt that he died for being faithful to Jesus’ model of leadership. One hopes that neglect of his cause for canonization has not been influenced by interests of power, property and privilege.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Children for Maciel, Visitation and Communique

Hard to have a life when so much is happening with the Legion and Regnum!

As more of Fr Maciel's children appear on the scene in Mexico City, claiming their rights and their inheritance and accusing him of sexually abusing them as the UberPedophile, the Apostolic Visitators hand in their reports on March 15; on March 25 the Legion upstaged the Vatican by publishing their Communique which is one long Forgive Us

Meanwhile the blogger has to continue working, buy a new house -for almost the same price as his old one as he does not have any benefactors- and accompany his friends in the loss of a dear one...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Got house, will move!

No, no, no, something more modest. Not so far to move. Will not reveal new address to prevent Legion of Christ coming after me again with another lawsuit. Bless their souls, they acted just like Scientology. Funny how this "embittered old man" bears no resentment. They are not in my system, dear friends.

As I get my slightly bigger place to live in I remind myself and others to continue to remember the homeless and those living in inadequate housing, and to contribute to good causes such as HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, Catholic Relief Services, etc.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chercher la Maison!

I may have to settle for something less with my budget and no severance pay from the Legion of Christ

Monday, February 1, 2010

Licensed Professional Counselor Application Approved!

                                                 I feel like the Duomo of Florence

Today the letter from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health Professions arrived by snail mail.

"The Board of Counseling has approved your application for licensure as a professional counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we are pleased to notify you that you have been approved to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination...."

A huge achievement for this little guy! The final stamp of approval to a change of career and profession that I started in 1985 when I left the Legion of Christ at the age of 41 and moved to the diocese of Washington, DC. Once I had a stable assignment  I was able to devote a certain amount of time and money to continuing education in the area of Counseling. When I decided to leave the active ministry four years later [1989] I got my Masters in Counseling; but with no professional counseling experience and needing to find a job to pay the rent and survive I had to take what I got. Stabilizing my move to fending for myself financially I gradually moved toward a professional career in Counseling. I suppose it is an Introvert's patient pace towards his goals...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prayer for Haiti Mothers

This beautiful text is from a from a friend of mine from REGAIN INC.

Lord, I just want to say THANK YOU, because this morning  I woke up and knew

where my children were. 
Because this morning my home was still standing,
because this morning  I am not crying because my husband, my child, my
brother or sister needs to be buried out from underneath a pile of concrete,
because this morning I was able to drink a glass of water, because this
morning I was able to turn on the light, 

because this morning I was able to
take a shower, because this morning I was not planning a funeral, but most
of all I thank  you this morning 

because I still have life and a voice to
cry  out for the people of Haiti

Lord I cry out to you, the one that makes
the impossible, possible, the one that turns darkness in to light, 

I cry outthat you give those mothers strength, that  you give them
 peace that surpasses all understanding

that  you may open the streets so
that help can come, that you may provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and
all that they need in a blink of an eye. 

For all those that have lost family
members, give them peace, give them hope, give them courage to continue to
go on! 

Protect the children and shield them with your power.
I pray all this in the name of Jesus!!!
To all my friends please continue to forward this so that we can pray
together for the people in Haiti.
We here are truly blessed!!!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Music's Healing Pleasure on my Post Legion of Christ Joyful Journey

It has now been 25 years since I left the Legion of Christ; much has happened in my life and much healing has occured.
As I explained in one of the Regain Activity Updates on the REGAIN
webpage, I had to start my spiritual life all over again and learn to Trust God in a practical way in my daily activities
I found wonderful things began happening to me.
Like this music I found last Saturday.
I had been given the Christmas gift of a CD that I already had and went to Borders to exchange. I began searching for John Williams on Guitar and stumbled upon some Trumpet music in the section next to it. I was thinking of Winton Marsalis -as well as Christ Botti from WETA performances. I happened upon a woman playing the classical trumpet. I had never heard of her and bought the CD in an "act of faith"
Here is part of what I found

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy New Year from St. Teresa's, Clarendon St., Dublin

My wife ecstatic outside St Teresa's, Clarendon St., Dublin, where my dad used to go to the Sodality of Our Lady of Mount Carmel every month. He initiated me into that devotion where he would go to confession and piously receive Holy Communion once a month -he did not feel worthy to go more frequently. Read more in my memoir, Our Father, who art in bed, A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ.