Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

May 31, 2011


The 90 year mark which I hit last February was a time to celebrate these long years of life and 65 years as a NY priest. Celebrations took the form of several not-so- small affairs, which provided opportunities to chat that would easily be lost in one large gathering. So we had a family party at niece Kathleen's; a priests' gathering at St. Ann's, Ossining, where I spent the first ten years of retirement as Weekend Associate; a Sunday afternoon brunch with residents of the Ruppert Co-op, 650 units of "affordable housing" of which I was the organizer; a Deering family party - children, grandchildren, and great-grand children of long gone NYFD Captain Ray Deering. Ray was a dear friend. We met through the proximity of his firehouse, a few blocks from the Chancery where I worked. Quintessential New Yorker with tons of stories, like the description of the garb of the folks fleeing a fire in Greenwich Village!

Beginning in 2007, my blog has been reporting many colorful and fulfilling experiences I have had as a priest. I have also reported on how church governance has failed in protecting innocent priests, in installing Cardinal Law, driven from Boston by his priests and people for reassigning miscreant clergy, in a prestigious position; in removing Bishop Morris in Australia for his views on women priests and how no bishop, who reassigned abusers, has ever been removed.

The litany of hierarchical maladministration could go on and on. But it becomes tiresome and frustrating to complain for reform, where, in the hierarchy, there is no will to listen. So I will leave the problems of church governance to others and turn to positive considerations of spirituality. I take, as a beginning theme, the title of a book, "Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest" by Julius Evola.

The challenger of the mountain needs a discipline of the nerves and body, clear-minded courage, and an indomitable will. The mountain presents the individual person
with enormous beauty and mystery. Despite the menacing dangers of violent storms and avalanches, the mountain challenges persons of intrepidity and valor to mount the heights. God is our mountain. We are challenged by the mystery and majesty of God to enter into these higher realms of beauty and subsequent tranquility, but also of storms and fears. This is a land of starlight and storm!


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