I know this post is very VERY late but a lot has been going on and given my CPAC 2017 trip is in 10 days it’s a good preview of the type of interviews etc you might see.

St Bernard’s Abby

The next day we were up very VERY early as a new batch of pilgrims were due at St. Bernard’s monastery so we departed right after breakfast and said our goodbyes to the monks.  Our old bus driver was doing good as we headed back to Castle Miguel and Mother Angelica’s monastery.

As before I spent a majority of my time holding religious items, rosaries, medals etc, to Mother Angelica’s tomb and praying a hail mary. These would be given away to people by WQPH once we got back up north. While others took free time to visit other locations at the site.

Around noontime we were back on the bus for a special lunch, we were off to Stonebridge Farms which while primarily a wedding venue opens it’s restaurant which offers a gigantic buffet of southern food one day a week.

I interviewed one of the family members who work there

We spent quite a while there, with a party as large as ours it took some time. I took advantage of it setting up my laptop in a corner to charge my laptop and try to upload some of the stuff I shot while we were eating.

When we got back to Mother Angelica’s monastery we had more free time in the area, here is a quick overview of the area

the doors of the cloister
One of the things we got a glimpse of were the visitor rooms where the cloistered nuns on very rare occasions will receive visitors. basically there is a metal grille and seats on opposite sides one on the nuns side and one on the public side where people can see each other and speak.

Ceiling of the Priest’s retreat chapel
One of the things that was really impressive to me was the Priest’s retreat building. Normally a group like ourselves would not have access but our two priests were staying there and it was decided that we would have our daily mass in the chapel of the retreat building around 5 pm.

Our guide Micha who had led us through the Eucharistic Center talked about what he described as a “man cave for religious” a statement that was highly accurate

To say the altar was impressive is the understatement of the year

Priest’s retreat chapel

It was quite a place for a mass and to participate as the congregation for a mass in that location was

Rosary cupcakes
for me one of the highlights of the trip. When the mass was over we headed back to the main reception area at Casa Miguel where we were celebrating the birthday of our lady. (Because I needed to use the facilities I actually missed the bus and had to leg it back) there was a rosary made of cupcakes and a cake and we gathered together before a planned evening procession.

Grotto at night
The procession itself was to a grotto and prayer area behind the Eucharistic center. It became very much a candlelight procession as we didn’t get to it till after dark. This complicated things a bit as we had a lot of elderly people and the path was a bit hard for them at the end of a day. However we said our prayers and prayed our Rosary with Gusto

That ended the day, there had been alternative lodging for us who had been staying at St. Benedict’s abbey. I and a fellow member of my Knight’s of Columbus council ended up

One of the guest cabins
in the furnished basement of one of the guest cabins that one of the other pilgrims had rented right down the street from Casa Miguel. It is a very convenient place for pilgrims and one of the only times on such a trip that I didn’t sleep in a consecrated place. But Jeff was an interesting and excellent roommate and while I knew of him from council meetings we had a chance to talk and occasionally saw each other at daily mass we had the chance to actually get to chat before hitting the sack for our final half day before flying out.

ewtn-interviews-025Our next day started with breakfast at St Bernard’s monastery where Brother Christopher made our crew acquainted with the Benedictine Brew the Monastery’s coffee blend and then we were off to pick up our other pilgrims and run a few errands with our new Bus driver and headed for the EWTN studios in Irondale for our day there.

Benedictine Brew
Benedictine Brew
Benedictine Brew[/caption]

The Site of EWTN was the original location of Mother Angelica’s monastery before she built and moved to the Shrine of the most blessed sacrament in Hanceville. When we arrived Our day began with the Noon mass at the chapel (which is not televised) That is where I met Lucy who you might recognize if you watch the daily mass the short oriental lady who goes every day. It turned out her daughter lives in Fitchburg which was quite a coincidence. Several pilgrims from other groups were just as excited to meet her as the various EWTN celebs and priests and posed for a picture with her that I took for them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a late lunch in the small cafeteria area for pilgrims where we met Brother Leo of the “Hey Brother Leo” book series who sat for a brief interview

also on site was Jack Williams from EWTN Radio’s morning glory and open line who would be joining us on Fr. Pacwa’s show later that evening.

this was immediately followed by an hour long talk from Fr. Miguel on God’s calling. Here is a brief excerpt:

After our talk our group was divided into two groups, one went with Fr. Leo and the other with a woman named porta who sat for an interview later on Friday:

sets on wheels
sets on wheels
I was in Porta’s group and she led us thorough the EWTN studio’s where we would be going later in the evening for Fr. Pacwa’s show. A few of us took pictures on the set while it was empty.

She also showed up Mother Angelica’s office which had become a green room for guests.

Most of the various set backgrounds were on wheels so they could be quickly switched for one show to the other. Various other set backgrounds from shows no longer on the air were stored on site.

After that section we were taken to the technical area where the various technicians were located. I asked about hackers and they said while there were occasional attacks they had no luck getting in, of course being EWTN being a religious network the wasn’t a lot of incentive for the various financial hackers to target them.

the Caption Lady
the Caption Lady

As the tour continued I fell behind to talk to various workers who had been there or decades. Many had been surprised to find themselves at EWTN but it had really been a home to them.

When the tour was over we had dinner at EWTN again in the cafeteria area. While there I spoke to the oldest pilgrim in our group.

As well as Fr. Leonard Mary who had been in Fitchburg for a pilgrimage last year who remembered me (I told you the scarf comes in handy)

after dinner we had some free time to pray the liturgy of the hours, visit the blessed sacrament or get confession before the evening’s show.

Our group was the largest of those at EWTN but there were others from Texas and a few individuals who had also come to join us in the audience live.

Two Camera men were on opposite sides to take shots one focused on Fr. Pacwa and one to focus on his guest. Additionally there was one stationary camera set to catch the pair of them. A monitor on the side wall showed us which camera was feeding live at any given time.

The audience for the show
The audience for the show
Before the Show Fr. Pacwa came out in a cowboy hat and gave us some brief instructions or the live show remind us that if we were looking at the monitor rather than the show when the engineer turned to the audience we would be looking away. He joked once the video was available on DVD or online could watch the broadcast freeze the broadcast and look at ourselves on TV to our hearts content.

The show ran an hour, the first guest was Jack Williams who I had interviewed earlier who briefly talked about EWTN radio and plugged our station.

The Primary guest was Peter Williamson who has written a series of biblical commentaries

During the first break they asked who wanted to ask questions. We raised our hands they asked us what the questions were and then had us line up to the side. When our turn would come they signaled go to the mike and Fr would call on us when he was ready.

When he called on me they he asked jokingly if I had been told the EWTN studios were in Alaska rather than alabama because of the scarf.

When the show was over it turned out there was an issue with the initial into of Jack Williams so we watched as they re-recorded Fr. Mitch’s brief into of Jack for the broadcast, made slightly more complicated by him not being there so Fr. had to make sure that he faced toward where Jack was supposed to be.

When that was done Fr. Pacwa started taking pictures with people. that went on for long while. I took advantage of that time to interview his guest Peter Williamson

When I was done the pictures continued unabated. It was as if every single person there wanted a shot but despite the long day Fr. Pacwa did have a few minutes for me.

By this time it was really late so we piled on the bus and said our goodbyes and we headed back for the night, where we at the monastery packed as Wednesday would be our last night there and the next day would start early.

I spoke to Fr. Mitch Pacwa after sitting in on his live show during my Trip to EWTN with the WQPH pilgrimage group.

The most important line? “If you don’t have time to pray they’ll be nothing” Now that’s a priest

I also interviewed his guest that day Author Peter Williamson who is writing commentaries of scripture:

The Show is here you might recognize the fellow in the scarf asking a question on air in at 35:50

Incidentally you also might recognize the room where I interviewed Fr Pacwa as Mother Angelica’s old office at EWTN where she was miraculously a couple of decades ago

If Mother Angelica is ever canonized that room would be full of 1st class relics (Things that were in physical contact with a saint). If that happens I guess I would technically become a 3rd class relic (Something that has been in contact with a 1st class relic).

Meet one of the monks/priests at St Bernard Abbey in Cullman Alabama Fr. Ken McGrath

It’s really something to think of a man being a monk since I was five years old but what’s really something is to check out this page and see how many of the monks here are young enough to be my kids.

Orthodoxy creates vocations

The Last part of the set of videos from the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament:

After the Creche we were led toward the statue of the Child Jesus

Our guide took us to the Temple and as we stood before the statue of the Child Jesus explained why it’s called a “Temple” rather than a church

And explained about the cut off or Tau Cross at the top.

There are two primary areas once you are inside, the first is the primary chapel. It contains the 2nd largest monstrance in the world (7 ft tall) at least it was at the time it was built. What’s amazing about it is you don’t really notice the monstrance (at least I didn’t) because the rest of the place is so impressive. There is a wall behind the altar and on the other is where Mother Angelica’s sisters pray.

Silence is required at all times in this place except during Mass and if the sisters are praying the Rosary we can pray with them as we can hear them praying aloud from our side.

Outside the chapel there is a staircase & an elevator to the lower level, in that level there is a room with a display concerning the shroud of Turin:

Just beyond that is the crypt church (the National Basilica in DC has such a chapel underneath where Mass can be celebrated, what’s interesting about this is the nuns of the order who have died are buried in the back wall. There is a spot already marked for the 91-year-old mother Angelica. Ironically that spot is directly above her birth mother who years after her daughter became a nun and joined the order.

There is a lot more to see but to really appreciate it you have to go there yourself.

Continuing the tour of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville Alabama.

Our guide after talking of the Castle told us of the Grotto on the grounds:

(If you are not familiar with the miracles of Lourdes France the site is here).

On the opposite side of the Castle is the Creche:

I talked to one of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist who serve there. There are two huge tanks of holy water that feed the two taps in the Creche.

The Knights of the Holy Eucharist are an order formed by Mother Angelica of young men. They serve at the Shrine, at the Monastery, and at the John Paul II Eucharistic Center and do the heavy labor to keep up the ground, but their most sacred task is Eucharistic Adoration:

Prayer is an essential part in the life of any Christian, and is especially so for a Knight.

Spending time in adoration before Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament is the MOST IMPORTANT “work” of our day. The Knights take scheduled shifts for adoration throughout the workday for prayer and to protect our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The order accepts young men ages 18-30 with a Code of Chivalry that is not common in this modern age but the don’t eschew modern methods as evidenced by their blogs and by Facebook.

One thought, these knights are a celibate order and hold positions of responsibility and honor. These young men people to admire and I suspect I speak for many Catholics who would say we are proud of these young me.

Imagine if these values were celebrated by society as a whole. Picture for a moment if a person like Elliot Rogers had the support and example of fellow young men like these, dedicated to prayer and service. How might something like that have re-written the tragic story of this week?

Think about it.

As many of you know I spent nearly a week in Alabama on a religious retreat staying with the Sister Servants of the eternal word convent in Irondale.

In addition to the staying and praying with the Sister Servants we had several day trips to various locations.

Part of the trip was to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and our Lady of the Angels Monastery Hanceville where Mother Angelica the founder of EWTN TV & Radio currently resides.

When you take the long drive down the first thing you come to is the John Paul II center but you don’t notice it for long because as you pass it, the Castle kinda stands out.

It goes without saying that a Castle is not high on the list of things you expect to see in Alabama,

At the Castle I first talked to Luke

who told us about the reason for the Casa San Miguel (Castle of St. Michael).

I took a pan of the inside

After we settled in our group along with a Methodist group began our tour with this young lady

who spoke to us in the conference room of the Castle

About who Mother Angelica is and how she started out.

And then why the Castle itself is there.

Tomorrow the Grotto and the Creche

It’s request night and today on our request line we have Fr. Tony Stevens of the Fathers of Mercy.

But who ARE the Fathers of Mercy I’ve actually never heard of them until today, we’ll we’ve got that covered too.

So if you’ve got some spare time for a prayer throw some his way and if you are looking for a mission or retreat for your parish give him a shout out.

You can find their site here

A busy time for DaTechGuy today.

This morning at 9:30 EST I’ll be joining the Granite Grok crew to talk about the battle with the Devil in Cambridge you can find their live stream here.

Then at Noon it’s DaTechGuy on DaRadio live in Birmingham (Irondale) Alabama where I’m broadcasting live  from the Casa Maria Convent & Retreat just down the road from EWTN where I’ll be visiting later this week .  Meanwhile Joe Mangiacotti & Gary Goldman along with Tim Cooney will be holding down the fort in the studio.

In the first hour we’ll be talking about the Harvard Satanic Mass that was a bust for the Satanists but a great triumph for the good guys.

In case we lose connection down here the 1st hour topic will turn to the Smoking gun e-mails on the IRS scandal

In the 2nd we’ll touch briefly on the culture wars concerning the Michael Sam revelations & the volte Face of the folks at SunTrust on a pair of Christian brothers

And at 1:15 the Panel talking about the IRS story, the Black Mass bust and the Sam stuff

It all happens Noon till 2 PM EST Today on DaTechGuy on DaRadio. You can join the conversation by dialing in at 888-9-fedora (unless you are listening to the 11 PM replace or the 405 media replay during the week.

As always you have multiple options to hear the show via our online streams click the links to listen.

on FTR Radio online or on our terrestrial stations in the Money Matters Radio Network

WBNW Concord Ma 1120 AM FLAGSHIP

WPLM 1390 AM Plymouth MA

WESO 970 AM Southbridge MA

(and on the Terrestrial stations the replay is 11 PM EST tonight)

And if you miss all of these you can now catch our show on replayed on the 405 media out of California every Tuesday Noon EST (9 AM Pacific)

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Let me give Governor Andrew Cuomo a lesson in cause and effect.

When you make statements like this:

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

it won’t matter to gun manufacturers if you’re running an ad like this:

because, with that first statement in mind, That ad will play like this speech…

…to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan

leading to this end result:

Remington Outdoor Co. plans to open a 500,000-square-foot factory in Alabama that would employ 2,000 people, AL.com and the Military Times reported today.

How much money does that mean your state missed out on…

“The company is making the move as an expansion of capacity, production and research,” a source told Yellowhammer on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. “The demand for Remington products has skyrocketed recently, for obvious reasons, so they need to increase their production capacity. They will be expanding their research capabilities with the Alabama plant, too.”

The initial estimated impact on Alabama’s economy will be roughly $87 million.

…that’s a lot.  While the Cuomo team spins:

others are cheering:

“I’d be more than excited, hysterical, yes I’d be very excited,” said Robby Easterling at JC’s Guns and Tackle. Easterling said it doesn’t surprise him that Remington may have its eye on Huntsville. ”They know we believe in our 2nd Amendment rights and we stand by them.”

laughing:

Governor Cuomo and his civilian disarmament allies have some ‘splainin’ to do.

And casting blame:

A union official said Saturday the Remington Arms Co.’s decision to open a manufacturing plant in Alabama does not bode well for Ilion, and he’s blaming New York’s SAFE Act restrictions on assault weapons. “It can’t be good,” said Fran Madore, president of United Mine Workers Local 717, which represents 1,180 of the 1,300 Remington employees in Ilion. “How can it be good?”

at those who ignored this warning in 2012

“Mandating firearms micro- stamping will restrict the ability of Remington to expand business in the Empire State,” company chief strategy officer Stephen Jackson Jr. wrote to Cuomo. “Worse yet, Remington could be forced to reconsider its commitment to the New York market altogether rather than spend the astronomical sums of money needed to completely reconfigure our manufacturing and assembly processes.” Jackson insisted that law enforcement, gun retailers and “law-abiding consumers throughout New York — if not the entire country” would be directly affected. Senate bill sponsor Jose Peralta dismissed Remingtons warning as “just another tactic being used to try and block microstamping, which is supported by many crime-fighters.”

which came true:

The report said Alabama’s reputation as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights was a factor in the decision.

As Larry Keane put it:

Now it’s true, Remington hasn’t moved their current jobs in NY, but once there is a brand new plant operating in Alabama it won’t be very hard for do so, will it?

But it’s no big deal who needs those Pro-Gun conservatives in NY Anyway,  plus you don’t want the people of NY to become job locked do you?

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