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'It's good to be home'

About six months ago, I was given a small, one decade, rosary, all in green (an Irishman always appreciates a touch of Ireland, don’t you know). It was always on the table next to the chair where I pray each morning. So, it was natural for me to take it to Guest House with me when I left in mid-August. But an odd thing happened there.

About a week or so into the program, I pulled it out of my pocket in the Chapel one morning, only to find it broken. I examined it in the dim light, thought some dark thoughts about modern manufacturing, and put it aside until I could take it to a jewelry store in town.

But, then it dawned on me a few days later that the little green rosary was perhaps a sign for me, a reminder of why I was there and of what I was going through. I am not sure how it was for others in the treatment program, but for me Guest House was an acceptance of my own brokenness. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, we are always told. Well, it was broke … I was broke … and those three months were a fixing time.

So, I decided to use it as it was, a broken rosary in the hand of a broken man. And I have continued to use it every morning since I have been home. They say that treatment for alcoholism is only 10 percent of the recovery process. I think I’ll wait a while and see. I think I’ll let my little green rosary keep me running scared.

I am not scared of any of you, though. Your support during that time away was extraordinary: I probably received more cards and letters than anyone else in the program. I was humbled by that, and profoundly grateful for it.
Rochester was a fine place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. It is good to be home.

+ Most Rev. Ronald M. Gilmore
Bishop of Dodge City

'Es bueno estar en casa'

Hace seis meses atrás, me dieron un rosario pequeño de una década, todo en verde (un Irlandés siempre aprecia un toque de Irlanda, no lo sabían.)  Siempre estaba en la mesa junto a la silla donde yo rezo cada mañana. Así es que fue natural para mí traerlo conmigo al Guest House (Casa de Invitados) cuando me fui a mediados de agosto. Pero una cosa rara pasó allí.

Hace como una semana en el programa, saqué el rosario de mi bolsillo una mañana en la Capilla, y lo encontré quebrado. Lo examiné en la baja luz, pensé en unos oscuros pensamientos sobre la fabricación moderna, y lo puse a un lado hasta que pudiera llevarlo a una joyería en el pueblo.

Pero, despertó en mi unos cuantos días después, que el pequeño rosario verde era tal vez una señal para mí, un recordatorio del porque yo estaba allí y por lo que yo estaba pasando. No estoy seguro como lo fue para otros en el programa de tratamiento, pero para mi en el Guest House  fue una aceptación de mi propia debilidad. Si no está quebrado, no lo arregles, siempre decimos.

Bien, estaba roto…Yo estaba roto…y aquellos tres meses fueron un tiempo de reparación.

Así es que decidí usarlo como estaba, un rosario quebrado en la mano de un hombre roto. Y he continuado usándolo cada mañana desde que he estado en casa. Ellos dicen que el tratamiento para el alcoholismo es sólo el 10 por ciento del proceso de recuperación.  Pienso que voy a esperar un rato y veré. Creo que voy a dejar que mi pequeño rosario me mantenga andando asustado.

Aunque, no les tengo temor a ninguno de ustedes. Su apoyo durante el tiempo fuera fue extraordinario: probablemente recibí más tarjetas y cartas que cualquiera otra persona en el programa. Estoy ennoblecido  por esto, y profundamente agradecido por ello.
Rochester fue un lugar bueno para visitar, pero yo no quisiera vivir allí.  Es bueno estar en casa.

+ Reverendísimo Ronald M. Gilmore
Obispo de Dodge City

A time of physical, spiritual and

emotional healing

A change will take place in my life on 18 August, and that will be a change in your lives as well.  

In late July I underwent a lengthy evaluation, and was found to be alcohol dependent.  Accordingly, I will begin a three-month alcohol treatment program at Guest House in Rochester, Minnesota.

My Vicar General, Father Robert Schremmer, will administer the Diocese in my absence.  I am grateful to him for being the first to bring this problem to my attention.

I am also grateful to Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas who added his own observations about my problem.  And I am grateful to Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, for encouraging me to take this step in Minnesota.

I expect this to be a time of physical, spiritual, and emotional healing for me.  As I think about it, it has all the signs of an extended retreat, and that will give me time to absorb this new call from the Lord.

You will be in my prayers daily as you have been these eleven years.  I would be most grateful if you would keep me in yours.


‘The Church is an immigrant Church’

The bishops of the United States have asked the president and the congress to give us a Comprehensive Immigration bill this year.  President Obama said last week that he wants to work toward that end as well.  A few home truths will serve us well as the debate unfolds over the next few months.
The first truth is this.  The Church is an immigrant Church that has grown through the new blood of immigrants.  She has a long history of integrating immigrants into their new land.  She will not stop doing this in this new millennium.
The second truth is this.  The dignity of the human person is the basis of all Catholic social teaching and also the basis for our push to defend the fair treatment of all persons who are in this country whether legal or illegal.
The third truth is this.  The issue of immigration is a complex social policy.  You will find Catholics on every side of the issue.  Catholics may disagree on particulars, but each must judge how well this position or that upholds human dignity and human life.
There is tension in these three truths, there is pressure. But they must be held together.  To sacrifice one or the other is to betray the full truth.


The whispering breath of Jesus:

gentle, inviting, persuading

Fresh from celebrating Pentecost this past weekend, we have now completed the Crucifixion-Resurrection-Ascension-Pentecost cycle for this year.  It is simply too much to absorb at one time, and I suggest we linger over Pentecost a while longer.

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'Light and shade and color' of devotion

My chapel at home was renovated in 2008 for my 10th anniversary.  It was provided by the people, the priests, and the chancery staff.  The more use to it I become, the more I notice a certain effect of the lighting.

As I say This is my body with the host in my hand, the host will be flooded with light when I bow.  It is a striking example of what is actually taking place.

As I hold the chalice in my hands and I say This is the cup of my blood, the point of light in the bottom of the wine begins to spread slowly outward to the sides of the cup.  It is another striking example of what is actually taking place.

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Bishop Emeritus Ronald M. Gilmore
Bishop Emeritus
Ronald M. Gilmore

Ordained & Installed
Bishop of Dodge City
July 16, 1998


Diocese of Dodge City

910 Central PO Box 137 Dodge City, KS 67801 | 620-227-1500

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