Nashville Visit

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

By Charlie Johnston

After 26 hours on the bus, I arrived in Nashville shortly before Noon on Tuesday, June 16. I was met by Fr. Dan Reehil who took me to my hotel. I freshened up a bit, then Luke, who would be my driver for the next couple of days, picked me up to bring me to dinner at the Rectory at

Interior of St. Edward's in Nashville

Interior of St. Edward’s in Nashville

St. Edward’s Church. The committee included Fr. Dan, who is Associate Pastor, Janet and Steve Wilgenbusch, primary coordinators of my visit, Pam and Doug Kimbro, and the Pastor, Fr. Mark Nolte sat in.

We had appetizers and conversation to begin, then a marvelous gazpacho that Pam made was served. It had shrimp in it…but the secret ingredient was watermelon. At first, I thought it was tomatoes. I would never have thought of adding watermelon, but it tied it all together, Magnificent! It quickly became clear what a vibrant parish this is. They have all manner of well-attended adult educations groups and a

Preparing for dinner at the Rectory of St. Edwards. From left, Janice McGrew, Janet and Steve Wilgenbusch, me, and Fr. Dan Reehil.

Preparing for dinner at the Rectory of St. Edwards. From left, Janice McGrew, Janet and Steve Wilgenbusch, me, and Fr. Dan Reehil.

vigorous Cursillo group. Apparently, it had been in a bit of decline. Nashville Bishop David Choby appointed both priests to the Parish last year at nearly the same time. It was striking to see how well they work together. They each do their own thing, yet they are mutually supportive and helpful to each other in a quiet, but very effective way. Their partnership was so striking it called to mind when Jesus sent disciples out two by two. Parishioners I met over the two days gushed over how the Parish has come to life under the stewardship of these two young priests.

Wednesday morning began with Mass celebrated by Fr. Dan. He had me read – to serve – so I would be able to go to the oldest Church in Nashville, St. Mary’s, at noon and receive there as well. In his homily, he gave a marvelous insight, worthy of deep contemplation.

Referencing the point of Scripture where we are exhorted to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, Fr. Dan said in the original Aramaic, that means be complete as our Father is complete. That is marvelous! Who can be perfect? But many of us act in ways that are incomplete, that are not consonant with the fullness of the humanity God gifted us with. I will be pondering that insight for a good, long time.


Fr. Daniel Reehil and me


Then it was on to breakfast at Pam Kimbro’s home. She wanted to make sure I got a good, southern breakfast. Well, she succeeded, but it wasn’t just A southern breakfast…it was more like four. She had heaping mounds of potatoes, grits, sausage patties, bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, fruits and jams. I tucked into my plate with gusto – but figured I am going to have to start setting aside time for exercise each day if I don’t want to blossom up to about 500 pounds on these trips.

I went to Mass at St. Mary’s in downtown Nashville, the oldest Catholic Church in the Diocese and, once, its Cathedral. I loved the fact that it made use of communion rails. It was a Novus Ordo Mass…which suits me fine…but the priest

Celtic Country singer Colm Kirwan.

Celtic Country singer Colm Kirwan.

faced the altar with the people and used the communion rail to distribute communion. I love both of those practices. I was met there by an Irish musician, Colm Kirwan. He had been at the dinner the night before. We went to have coffee and chat for a while…about what he is doing, his love of the Catholic Church, his music, asnd his native Ireland. He played one of the songs he wrote, “Never Alone,” for me as we drove. What a marvelous blend of Celtic and Country. I noted that and he said he calls his music, Celtic Country.

I had dinner with the Wilgenbusches before coming over to give my presentation at St. Edward’s. They videotaped it – and as soon as it is done and they send me a copy, I will put a link up to it in the top bar. I was surprised that Susan Skinner, the woman who publishes the Veil of Veronica website, lives in Nashville and came to my presentation. I sandbagged her during the question and answer period and had her say a few words. She was shaking a little, but she is a trouper and did a great job. As it turns out, the woman, Veronica, who was murdered and sparked Susan’s deepening conversion and for whom her website is named, was a parishioner at

Susan Skinner, author of the Veil of Veronica website, and me at the Nashville presentation.

Susan Skinner, author of the Veil of Veronica website, and me at the Nashville presentation.

St. Edwards where I had been invited to speak. One of those little divine “coincidences.” They were only expecting 20-30 people for my presentation, but a good 60 showed up. It wiped us out of the Flame of Love booklets Tony Mullen provided, so I did not have any for Atlanta. But Tony is going to ship some out to each city I visit from here on out, so you will be able to get a copy if I am in your town after this.

Thursday morning, Mass was celebrated by Fr. Mark, with Fr. Dan and a new priest con-celebrating. What joyful enthusiasm Fr. Mark exudes when he speaks! I can easily see why the parishioners are so excited and vibrant with this marvelous pair of priests. Fr. Dan took me to breakfast at a little restaurant, appropriately named “Holy Chow,” and I prepared to head on out to Nashville. It was a warm, southern welcome to kick off these visits. God bless Nashville – and especially, the people of St. Edwards Parish community.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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30 Responses to Nashville Visit

  1. donna says:

    I love this Charlie…..I love that our little online community is getting to meeting each other in the flesh….so we know locally who to call upon in the Storm…..God is so good isn’t he? Everybody looks so awesome. I love to see people online come to life in the grace of God… lucky are we that Jesus and Mary are protecting us and bringing us all together during horrid times. I can’t wait for the NJ or Philly meeting to see you all in the flesh!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Praise God for this blessed parish that is such a sign of hope for all! Godspeed Charlie!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Eric says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to see Fr. Nolte’s name, and looked him up on the parish website to see if it was him. I crossed paths with Fr. Nolte many years ago in Omaha and have fond memories of him. If was definitely a “God moment” for me to see that he was the pastor of the parish you were visiting. I am not surprised at all at your positive reports about the parish. I am sure he is a blessing to the parish.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Charlie, thanks so much for sharing the Aramaic meaning of “perfect” . I have been grappling with that word for a couple of weeks, since I realized that I need to address the negative aspects of my being a perfectionist. I, too, need to reflect much on what Jesus really means by “complete as Your Heavenly Father is complete.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. L says:

    Oh, this is going to be so enriching reading these visit synopses this summer!
    This was so encouraging. I’ve read Susan’s blog ” Veil of Veronica” when I could and always thought she must be a lovely person to know. Her picture reflects that!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. L says:

    This is going to be so enriching and encouraging to read these synopses this summer!!
    God bless those wonderful Priests and the seminarian, as well as the whole parish of St. Edward’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nanannda2 says:

    I’m so glad you’re sharing your travel experience with us and introducing us to some of the good people you’re encountering. It’s not as good as being there, but . . . it will have to do. 🙂 I’m very much looking forward to the video of your presentation too. We are hoping to set up a visit for you here in South Dakota, and it will be helpful for us to hear your message so we can communicate our purpose more fully. God be with you in every step you take, Charlie. Since you are our Sherpa, we will be all eyes and ears to see where God shall lead you!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. nanannda2 says:

    The above is from me, Nancy D, and I still can’t figure out why sometimes it comes up as nannanda2. Something to do with WordPress, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vijaya says:

    Charlie, you’ve got to eat fried pickles while you’re in the South. They are the best! I’m a transplant to SC and didn’t know such a wonderful thing existed until I moved here 4 yrs ago. May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey. Happy Father’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It was very nice to meet you in person. Thanks for travelling to speak to everyone. Trust, Do, Love. – Susan

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kati says:

      And thank YOU, Susan, for a very beautiful sharing. It definitely touched one of the ladies I brought with me. I am trusting and hoping that the Lord can put us all together again sometime soon…Or maybe it is up to us to DO that! 🙂

      The fact that the priests there at St. Edwards have been i personal touch with Charlie is also very good. I hope they will share some of this with Bishop Choby. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. anne ovari says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us, Charlie. I am glad there will be a video of your presentation. All of us who live on the other side of the world won’t miss out! I thank God for the internet when it is used for His Glory. God bless you and I thank you with God’s thank you in His Divine Will.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. audiemarie2014 says:

    Sounds perfect! I am imagining the joy of this trip for all.


  13. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures – for those of us who wish we could have been there! Hope to make one of these upcoming events and meet some of you in this TDL family:)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Anne says:

    All so positive and uplifting.
    Wonderful to be given the Aramaic translation……. Incomplete.that helps me much more!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Barbara Dore says:

    very interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Murt. says:

    Hello Charlie,

    A moment of your time if you will and a subject I will try to keep short. I do tend to ramble on with my meander but I tend to put it down to the interconnectedness of the fingers of the mind. I tend to try to write as I would talk and would be inclined to think I may be better at conversation. Eye contact it seems tends to make the mind less busy fingered which would hopefully leave room for a more thoughtful reply.

    A thought came to me today as someone asked me to say The Rosary tomorrow (22.06.15), and the two days following at twelve noon in our own timezone. It seems it is a thought of someone who seems to be of a mind with our Most Holy Mother. Not a great one is this writer with regard to having found God or His Son as you know from my annoying meander to you. I do believe in a Creator of all things, invoke His Most Precious Son, and for the most part sincerely believe This Son knows this old fool.

    This Holy Mother though I have a very great belief in. Even as I know in my bad moments of a most useless servant I do know She may cast Her eye in my direction. That Great Lady has had Her Cloak about me on a number of occasions even as I question some difficult times. For this reason I think it would be remiss of me not to pass on what could be a genuine thought on behalf of all of us.

    There are good people out there. There are bad people out there. But as you so often point out, discernment is all as we travel this road of life. We have to pray for all those out there in those times who seem to think they have important messages for the times we live in. As always, I would leave it to your own discretion as to what you do with this mail. You do have a large following though here it would appear. Mostly a good meaning sort of following who believe in Our Creator. As my old mother would have said on many occasions……….No prayer is ever gone to waste. Which leads me to think of three more Rosaries said by a few more souls on behalf of a few more souls will have their own reward.

    Regards and God speed, Murt.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for the encouraging post from Nashville, Charlie. I noticed a tiny detail in the top photo here. I know the hand on your right shoulder is Fr. Reehil’s but centering one’s sight on Charlie and the statue of St Joseph behind him, it looks as if St Joseph is placing his hand on your shoulder. One of those tiny miracles, I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kati says:

      Wow, Carlos! You are absolutely right. It looks exactly as if St. Joseph has his hand on Charlie’s shoulder. An excellent catch on your part! I personally don’t think that is any accident.

      Liked by 1 person

    • malachi99 says:

      Great spot Carlos. I’ve done a double take on that picture and it really does look like an extension of St Joseph’s arm 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • connie says:

      Cool, Carlos . Good eye! I had to go back to the picture and look closer, it does look like St. Joseph has his hand on Charlie- I then noticed that it seems St. Joseph is looking directly down on Charlie.

      BTW, Carlos, I am glad Charlie pointed your article, The Forgotten People, out to us for reading. I needed to be reminded more often to be more aware, more grateful, and find more ways to reach out to those in poverty tucked neatly away by our society.

      Liked by 2 people

    • anne ovari says:

      What a lovely observation, Carlos. It looks like St Joseph has his gaze on Charlie also,which he does all the time anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy D. says:

      I noticed that, too! Made me smile 😌

      Liked by 1 person

      • jaykay says:

        Well, even if it “really is” Fr. Reehil’s hand, since our marvellous St. Joseph is patron saint of priests then it “really is” also his guiding and ever loving hand on your shoulder, Charlie!👍 We men should constantly invoke his help. And thank you for putting up the link for Colm Kirwan. God bless you on your journey, and blessings to all here. J.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. ann says:

    Sounds like a wonderful blessed visit. I’m so happy for you. And your description of St. Edward’s and the family of worshipers and the priests is so uplifting. A very nice gift this Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I knew Fr. Dan as a fellow student over at Holy Apostles Seminary a few years back. He was a very reliable prayer warrior outside the nearby abortion mill, as well as a great devotee of Our Lady.


  20. Nancy D says:

    The Gospel really struck me this morning. . .”Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” The Lord knows I have these moments of terror now and then. Jesus, you know I believe, and all my faith is in You, but you also see my unbelief, for which I ask your help in those moments of terror. Jesus, I trust in you.

    Liked by 1 person

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