Brave Atlanta

Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia

Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia

By Charlie Johnston

On Thursday morning, June 18, I had breakfast at the aptly-named restaurant, Holy Chow, with Fr. Dan and Janet in Nashville. After that, I went back to my hotel and packed. Shortly after I was done my friend Bill Dieal, from Georgia, arrived to pick me up and drive me on down to Atlanta. Bill has some far-flung business interests, so he had arranged to make some visits in Nashville on Wednesday, then drive me back to Atlanta on Thursday. Bill and his wife, Joy, had been out to Boulder, Colorado on business last year and came to the Shrine of Mother Cabrini in Golden, where I frequently attend Daily Mass. He had become a regular reader of the website and we chatted for a good while.

He drove me to the hotel they had set up for me and gave me some time to change and prepare for dinner with the host committee. A few hours later Tom Kuipers, the coordinator of the Atlanta visit – and also the creator of the private forum many of you use here, picked me up to take me to an Italian Restaurant to have dinner with the host committee.

St. Brigid's Church in the John's Creek section of Atlanta

St. Brigid’s Church in the John’s Creek section of Atlanta

I love good veal dishes, but I have only had a decent one outside Chicago once, so I am very leery about ordering it anywhere but there. But, this was a really nice, authentic Italian place, so I figured I’d risk it and have the Veal Saltimbocca. It was very good – not supreme like some in the best Chicago area places, but I was very glad I ordered it. What a lively and engaged committee we had! Besides Tom and Bill, there were a young couple, Mary and Greg and a couple, Martha and Chip, who were a little older than me. We also had four other people, Carol, Deborah, Robin and Dick who had actively worked to put the visit together. Most of them centered around St. Brigid, a big Parish with an impressively imposing Church in the John’s Creek section of Atlanta. Much of the dinner conversation centered around where many of the people are originally from. Atlanta is one of those cities which has been transformed by

Tom Kuipers and his son, Danny, with me.

Tom Kuipers and his son, Danny, with me.

an influx of immigrants in the past few generations. Strikingly few people who live in Atlanta these days actually have their origins in Atlanta. I chuckled and said some southerners from surrounding areas occasionally wonder how this Yankee City managed to spring up where Atlanta used to be.

On Friday morning Tom picked me up for Daily Mass at St. Brigid’s, then we grabbed a quick bite at a bagel shop before I was turned over to Robin, a lovely woman who drove me down to Conyers, where we had lunch at the home of a woman named Jacquie, who played a key role in the founding of a new sort of community of Catholics. We went to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit. At its heart is a huge, Cathedral-style Chapel that the monks use. It is very sparse inside, all eyes drawn to the magnificent sanctuary where the Eucharist is always kept. It actually reminded of what St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville, Illinois (where I played trumpet for several years) would look like were it stripped bare. Interestingly, Atlanta’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory was my Bishop when I lived in Belleville.

The community Jacquie and her husband played such a role in is located near the Chapel and people there take advantage of the Religious Facilities the monks use. There are nearly 200 families,

Jessica Kuipers and me.

Jessica Kuipers and me.

Each does their own thing and all are completely free, but their social and everyday lives are centered around the church. It much reminded me of a medieval European town in modern terms. People do their ordinary work, live their ordinary recreation, and are all perfectly free to participate more or less as it suits them in communal activities. There are no striking religious requirements involved. But the Church and the faith are at the heart of their everyday lives. It is a community that is very much in the world, but not of the world. It makes for a very counter-cultural way of formation and living. With the toxic nature of what modern culture has become, counter-cultural is a very good thing, indeed. It is one of the many important ways that I think Christians might re-form – the Benedict Option writ large, as it were – as the culture collapses around us.

Robin and I had a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the faith in the larger Church, in America and in their Archdiocese as drove me to Conyers and back. It is hard to stand your ground with both charity and fidelity in these strange times, but it helps when you have a community of believers around you who will pull in the same direction.

I took a quick nap before heading over to the Hilton to give my talk. The good cheer of the dinner the night before and events of the day had enervated me and put me in an expansive mood, so I gave a fairly lively presentation, which is linked to in the Visit Videos above.

Making a point at the Atlanta talk - hopefully a good one.

Making a point at the Atlanta talk – hopefully a good one.

The host committee had provided a table of soft drinks and coffee for all those who came out. Tom told me later he had to tell a couple of people to put their wallets away, that there would be no collection. He said I saved him some explanations when I announced early on that there was no charge for any of the materials and that there would be no collections. I rely on volunteer sponsors for the $300. In Atlanta, they went above and beyond. Carol provided my $300 stipend, but others on the committee popped for the room. I was absurdly pleased to find the room and refreshments were more costly than I am. Tom told me afterward a few people asked him if this was actually Catholic – not because of what I said, but because we Catholics are much more accustomed to there being a third collection than there being none. Hee hee…maybe I will start calling my visits “Catholicism without the Cover Charge.”

I was glad that the video turned out well. The sound is a little muffled, but I look forward to putting videos up of wherever I have been that takes and provides them. I will confess I don’t actually watch the videos myself. In the first place, I was there…I have already been through it once. In the second, I have always hated listening to myself on tape. I don’t know why, but I do. When I was in radio, I only listened to tapes of myself during routine AirChecks with the Program Director (that is when the Program Director reviews tapes with you for content, delivery, and presentation…anything that affects the quality of your show) – and on holidays. On holidays, the station would run a “Best of” tape while my kids and I would go to some state park or other adventure. The kids absolutely loved listening to me on the radio while I was right there in the car with them, so I indulged them. But the tapes are important for a couple of other reasons, too. First, I say nothing that has to be hidden away; I say it publicly. I will undoubtedly say something stupid sometime – if I haven’t already, but when I do I will say it right there in front of God and everybody. I will apologize for it later if it is dumb enough, but nothing will be hidden or furtive. Second, I speak of unusual things but I am a very straight-forward guy. As people are considering hosting a visit, these tapes will make it easy for others to see what it is about and that it is pretty solid stuff despite the unusual nature of some of the things I speak of.

Saturday morning, Tom picked me up as I checked out of the hotel to take me up to his family’s summer home in the hills of northern Georgia. The family was already there. It was gorgeous, hidden away in some piney Georgia woods with several creeks running nearby. Best of all, it had a little kind of loft bedroom up above the garage. I called it my hobbit hole. The kids were arranged by category in an amusing way…two gracious and lovely teenage girls – Sarah, the oldest, and Lindsay.

The Kuipers kids with me at the river. From left are me, Sarah, Lindsay and Danny, with the latter holding on to young Drew.

The Kuipers kids with me at the river. From left are me, Sarah, Lindsay and Danny, with the latter holding on to young Drew.

There was a gap, then Tom and his wife Jessica apparently decided to open up a new file drawer for boys. Danny is the lively First Grader and Drew, the toddler. I took to Drew right off as he reminds me of another pugnacious toddler boy I know – and like – back home in Denver.

We spent much of the afternoon visiting and chatting. Jessica brought out her family specialty – chocolate chip cheesecake – which was as good as any I ever had in a Chicago Jewish Deli. I love cheesecake, but can only manage a slice at a time before I get hiccups. (I think it is God’s own way of regulating my system so I don’t get diabetes, despite my sweet tooth). They had a graduation party to go to with nearby friends that evening. Though they invited me to come along, I was a little tired from the week and decided to stay and nap. They left the house open so I could grab a bite if I wanted. Fortunately, the two dogs had already decided they liked me. One is always a bit on edge when walking into a place with dogs when the owner is away, but even aggressive dogs, once they have decided I am okay, seem to stick to that opinion whether their owner is there or not. These two might have licked and played me to death, but otherwise I was okay. So the family came back to find a little less cheesecake in the fridge than when they left.

Sunday morning we went to St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Dohlonega, Georgia, a quaint, tourist small Southern town. It was amusing that both the first Mass reading and the Gospel were about storms.

St Luke the Evangelist Church, Dohlonega, Georgia

St Luke the Evangelist Church, Dohlonega, Georgia

We stopped at a little place for a quick lunch. I had fried chicken. (I LOVE fried chicken – my black ex son-in-law once told me that he was letting everyone know that my grandkids’ love of fried chicken came from me – the Southern Fried Yankee – not him. I chuckled and asked who would take responsibility for the watermelon. He laughed and said he would own that one). Then we headed home and changed to go out to a river trail and fish a bit. Well…a few of them fished a little, but we mainly waded and played.

Originally, Tom was going to take me to catch a bus that evening in Gainesville to head on down to Ft. Lauderdale. But my son called. He was driving down through the area after a short trip. He got Tom and Jessica’s home address in Atlanta and picked me up. It was great, giving some bonus time with my son and allowing him to sleep a little on the way. He is a policeman who had to go on shift early the next morning. The Kuipers were heading out west for their family vacation Tuesday (I told them they HAD to spend more than a single day at Yosemite. I look forward to hearing what they thought of it after they are back). So we all prepared to head on our different ways.

There is a lively, committed crew of orthodox Catholics in the Atlanta area – and I am right glad that they got to know each other a little better on my visit.

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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49 Responses to Brave Atlanta

  1. bflocatholic says:

    Thanks for posting these descriptions, Charlie. I enjoy hearing about the visits and learning about the good folks out there fightin’ the good fight!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tom says:

    Charlie, it was wonderful to spend time with you and an added joy meeting your son!

    We will keep you in our prayers as your travels continue and of course you are welcome back at any time.

    Like

    • mmbev says:

      Tom, please send an email. Janet Klasson knows it. I can’t register on the private Forum. Can’t find the right blog listing your email. Sorry Charlie. Desperate. Thanks.

      Like

      • mmbev says:

        OMGoodness! I clicked on the link In the blog and I am registered! I don’t know how that happened. Now if I can figure out how to use it……. Might as well delete me, Charlie – well, I know the temptation is there, but just these two comments. Thanks.

        Like

        • mmbev says:

          Hold it, hold it. It seems (who knows) that I am only registered via the link in the blog. This means that I still need Tom. Sorry.

          Like

  3. Paul says:

    Hi Charlie

    2 things

    1). Are they collecting names and emails at these events so people can keep in touch with local followers of your blog after?

    2). Would you mind giving your take on what the US and their European counterparts are trying to accomplish in Vienna? It appears they are actively trying to sabatoge the US and themselves.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, every place has set up some sheet for collecting contact info. I get them to share a copy with me eventually…but I am more interested that the local people have it. I really want each of you to get to know the people in your own area, so you can easily get together and make common cause with each other if things get ugly. As for #2…eh, if the assembled minds of the western world did something that made sense and was clearly thought out, that would be more striking and newsworthy than the insanity of the hour they keep coming up with and calling “success.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    You were in my old stomping grounds Charlie. I went to that monastery so many times as a kid and then I took my kids there when I went home to visit. It has changed a lot but all the magnolia trees lining that long driveway have been there forever. 🙂 G lad you got to go there.

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  5. Patricia says:

    Oh dear, after this trip, coming to the northeast will be for us a lot like following the animal acts on Ed Sullivan.
    A very serious question:
    How is it that some very very good people who go to Mass, sometimes daily, say the Rosary, etc are absolutely doing nothing to protect themselves from what is coming? Pointing out Greece to them brings a yawn. Just not worried about it. I am truly puzzled since in the last week three such people, all woman, just do not grasped the news. Complete blank stare. Even the main stream media is paying attention. thank you in advance .

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      There are many reasons. A few people are really just that blind…but, more often, if people are deeply fearful at a very atavistic level, they often adopt an almost manic optimism and refuse to hear any discussion of what the feel coming, for to speak of it makes it real. The less they can effectively do about it, the more intense their reaction of denial. Others are unconsciously fatalistic: they can do nothing to stop it, so they determine to psychologically fool themselves into believing everything is great until they are forced by events to abandon it. Fearing doom is at the doorstep, they are determined to milk every last ounce of fun out of the dying party that they can, for they know once it stops, the trial begins. There are many psychological reasons for that type of behavior…people cope with large fears in disasters in very conuter-intuitive and irrational manners. Even some of the fascist bullying of everyone, but particularly Christians, by the statist left is a form of denial. They got their way…and the more they get their way, the worse things are. It hurts in a very deep way…means they have been wrong about everything they believed if they acknowledge it. So they get shrill and mean, convincing themselves if they could just bend those who disagree with them to their will, everything would work out after all. It doesn’t work…actually makes things worse, but it does give them the neurotic thrill of punishing those who were right for their own errors. We are peculiar critters…but the Storm is implacable and will set things in their proper order. Denial will soon not be an option for anyone.

      C

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Patricia, I would add that different people react quite differently to stressful events. The best book I know about this is “The Unthinkable” by Amanda Ripley.

      People in severe ferry accidents or in plane crashes can react with vigor while passing others who sit still in their seats staring into space. I believe it’s why airline stewardesses are trained to yell “Jump” when a person comes up to an emergency exit and could freeze with fear.

      In the Twin Towers some people moved downstairs quickly, but a person who escaped said that she had left one of her colleagues in the office making phone calls as if the day was completely normal. He died, of course.

      I believe Ripley describes a ferry accident in the Baltic Sea, where many were killed because even as the ferry turned over, they stayed frozen in their seats or simply fell asleep or sat with their eyes open but with nobody home. Getting such people moving can require a huge effort and a lot of hitting and yelling before they come to and start taking active measures.

      It’s very much akin to people who escape from a bear attack by playing dead. If you don’t do anything, the Bad Thing will lose interest in you and go away, right?

      This all happens at a very deep level of the subconscious. A successful survival instinct in Nature adapted quite inappropriately into one’s responses to modern problems.

      I would suggest that prayers are about the only response you can have that might help right now. However, when times get really tough, being *extremely* decisive with them, telling them what to do in a very commanding tone, chivvying them along, may finally get them back to working order.

      Of course, when they *do* wake up, you’ll probably see them totally freak out and run around screaming for a while. When that happens, knock them down and sit on them until they start speaking coherently. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • Patricia says:

        Thanks Steve. Of course, part of my problem is that we have been told we can not say “I told you so”. The absolute worst, bar none, are the family and friends who work in the financial industry. They have been making so much money for so long they are insulated and living in a bubble. A week ago I asked one good friend, in good faith, how he thought the situation with Greece ( remember before the deadline even) would eventually affect the markets, etc. He relied that Greece was already factored into the market.
        The real problem I have is that we will be housing and feeding all the deniers and I know me, God will need to sew my mouth shut because I will be thinking “are you kidding” and if I think it , I say it. 🙂

        Like

      • EllenChris says:

        In the book, *Watership Down* the rabbits call this instinct to freeze up, “Going Tharn.” Deer “go tharn” hence the phrase, “the look of a deer in the headlights.” Some people just go tharn when things happen. I never get on a plane without counting the number of seats in front or behind me to the nearest exit. I will pull people with me if need be, but I know that I will move in an emergency. No bragging — it just seems to be the way I am wired.

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          “Going Tharn.” I had forgotten that, EllenChris, but it is perfect. Knowing about the process is something that I think helps a person *not* go into that state. I have every intention of not going there, too!

          Like

  6. donna says:

    Charlie:
    Can’t wait for your NJ visit…..really getting excited….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. diane says:

    Charlie,
    Interesting comments above, it does help explain many people in my own family. I tell my husband from time to time, there’s a storm a-coming, – he half gets it and then numbs the feeling and goes in and out of denial. But like you say that will soon not be an option for anyone. I just pray I don’t get smug and say I told you all it was coming – because Trust, Do, Love is the person I want to be. I pray anticipatory prayers right now that God will give me the strength to be a sign of hope to my family and others. We have a lot of introspective searching to do in the coming months – Only by the Grace of God will we be a better people. All the rosary’ s and masses will accumulate and pour out God’s love upon us – keep pushing us onward. Love. I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Diane, as I intimated in my comment immediately above, you cannot assume that any of the clueless, denying people around you will wake up when the troubles really hit us. It is entirely possible that their denials will actually get *worse*. If that occurs, you may have to do their thinking for them and be very commanding with them to get them to move at all, for an unknown length of time.

      Liked by 3 people

    • CrewDog says:

      Diane,
      Who wants to think about The Storm? I sometimes wish I was some KnuckleHead who just tuned in to ESPN, MSNBC and NPR … I could then live in the World of: Don’t Worry! Be Happy!! … maybe move to Colorado and learn to smoke dope and Hang-Out with the “Beautiful People” in the Park…….. but somebody gotta be the Current Ops Plans and Supply Guys … nobody wants those *&^%#$ Jobs!! ….. perhaps it’s your jobs in your Family?
      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        And my wife and I just moved last week and are settling into our new, for us, home this week, but for how long? Oh those days when people could settle down and expect to stay awhile. As for us with a likely storm coming I cannot say how long but I do need to remain awake so I can be a sign of hope to myself, my wife and to our new neighbors, I hope to have time to meet soon.

        Like

  8. Judy says:

    What a beautiful monastery!

    Like

  9. Lily says:

    I don’t want to think about this either, or plan, because of how it makes it ‘real’. And yet it’s always simmering away in the back of my mind. Everything essential that I do, I wonder to myself how I would accomplish it with no heat/light/electricity. Then I think to myself how terrible it would be if, after watching everything for 8 years, plus being led to this blog, plus being provided the home/money/time etc to make a small effort, I did nothing only to have something actually happen where that effort would be needed. Especially for my little children, close friends and family, neighbours, and strangers God sends our way. So I’m trying to make careful, thought out plans and purchases, praying for help and guidance, so that they are useful regardless of what happens.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Diane says:

    Steve – yeah your are right – Pray for me that God gives me the Grace to be strong enough to carry myself and those around me through the storm – somedays it seems like a really heavy task. Like today. Hardened, stubborn hearts are difficult to soothe. Love. I do.

    Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Diane, praying for you to be able to carry this task, but really, the Storm is all about this one thing, isn’t it? To break through to people with hardened hearts? That may make the Storm in some ways your friend, lightening your load in unexpected ways. I pray that turns out to be true for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. jeanO says:

    I was present, my husband came along. He came fully into the Catholic Church in 2012. I was surprised he agreed to come as he avoids anything off center. As a Southern Baptist, there was some slight exposure, (far from his parents’ circles) to the snake handlers. Snakes should be held much farther away than arm’s length! We listened eagerly and intently, and when you spoke of spiritual matters were impassioned, clear, and inspiring. He gained a fairly clear idea about the storm and how to deal with it, and I feel more secure in our marriage and as a parent in these upsetting times. So that is some nourishing fruit for our family. My husband greatly appreciated that the program did not disintegrate into a sales program. So, all in all I think, for me it is safe to continue following your blog and considering your insights. I also know little Drew, he is one of the children I help to care for at the Sunday nursery at St. Brigid. I wish everyone was as “pugnacious” as him in this world. He is a favorite! What happens now, that the group has physically met? Where do we go from here? Prayer groups based from our homes? Should we use the Stepper forum for this? Thank you, Charlie. Praise be to Jesus and Mary!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, you have the direct contact info for Drew’s Dad, Tom. I hope that people will start praying and working together to support each other spiritually in their local areas…and that that will be the prime fruit of this mission.

      Though I am repulsed at the life of my great-grandfather, the snake-handler (he died in 1962 or 63), I do take some secret satisfaction that he was not one of those weenie snake handlers who hedge their bets by holding them by the tail at arms length. He held them right up to him with both hands….if they bit, they bit. He was all in, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. JosephineSD says:

    After reading Charlie’s post back in April or May regarding preparing for the storm and possibly having to leave town, I decided to follow his advise. Since we love to go camping, I decided we would “backpack” rather than camp in our local mountain campground. REI/Amazon had everything we needed.

    Backpacking is a few notches down from camping and I discovered it is not very comfortable, although my teenagers were fine. It was a big wake-up call for me regarding preparing (mentally). It is barebones compared to camping (which I already think is pretty rustic). I’m glad that we got to experience the difficulties (no extras that make camping enjoyable like a thick sleeping pad and a large comfy tent and chairs. I woke up sore every morning. Backpacking equipment is small!) I was wondering how you did this for a year and a half Charlie. I’m very impressed!

    I know the storm is coming and so do my kids (thank goodness) but boy, getting out of my comfort zone when life is comfortable is a lot harder than I realized. Hopefully, we still have time to get ready for whatever is coming!
    (I’m glad it’s coming, but would like to get it over with too.)

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, Josephine, once coming out of an extended wilderness area in California I came upon a small wilderness campground. I thought, ah, civilization! I can get water from a handpump…conveniences and shelter. Then I started laughing as I realized that while I was thinking, “Ah, civilization!”, most people coming upon this primitive park would think, “Ah, the wilderness!”

      Like

  13. A Quiet Person says:

    Charlie, now that you have started traveling around the country meeting people, have you met any groups that are planning to “head for the hills” as a group? What is behind this question is that I know 2 people who belong to a non-Catholic Christian church in the Detroit area whose pastor is guiding his flock to prepare for the Storm. He is not telling everything he knows to everyone, but he is apt to be more direct and explicit about the coming times when someone approaches him privately (so I hear). Obviously, he is preparing his people spiritually. But he has also even encouraged people to buy land outside of the city. I have compared notes with these two friends and it seems like we are generally on the same page in terms of what to expect when the Storm hits. I’m not sure but I am pretty sure that his congregation will be moving as a group. And I definitely get the feeling that no one will feel as if they are operating alone. Oh, I wish our parish was preparing in this way. It seems like this is what parishes should be doing, but I have not heard of any. Do you know of any parishes preparing in this way. Do you think they should? Or, maybe they are preparing but for safety they are not broadcasting it.

    A few years ago and then just a few months ago I wrote to my pastor suggesting that he identify a few strong leader-type people in the various areas that parishioners live. (This parish is spread out and covers a very wide area. In other words, it is not a geographically centered neighborhood parish). They could then do some preliminary planning (communication, food needs, transportation . . . ) for the people in their areas, so in case some sort of disaster happened, there would already be workable systems in place. I thought it was a good idea, at least worthy of some consideration but he did not even respond. It looks like what you are doing – connecting people by your travels will do somewhat the same thing. It still seems to me though that parishes should be actively involved. Just wondering what you think. Thanks.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Actually, Quiet, even before I started traveling extensively, I visited several refuges prepared for people…and I continue to do so. I never speak publicly about a specific place so that they don’t get harassed. But I think you will be surprised to find how many there already are once it becomes needful. I know I think you have mentioned how shy you are in public, but maybe if you have a few like-minded friends you could make some rudimentary plans, anyway…even just a common location and who would bring what.

      It was very insightful for you to recognize what these travels are about…first and foremost, they are about connecting people with each other in the various areas. In these troubled times, it is easy for the faithful to feel isolated and alone. I can see people looking around at the events with some wonder and gratitude, thinking, “Hey, there are a lot of people like me around here where I live.” You are not alone.

      Like

  14. JEM says:

    Charlie, I was wondering if, at your future visits, if there was some way of having people state the parishes or areas that they hail from? Our one regret when we attended the Atlanta forum, was we left without finding out if anyone was from our area. We did sign in, but really did not find out if there was anyone else there that was even remotely close to our neck of the woods. Just an idea to consider. We sure did enjoy hearing you speak!
    God Bless, JEM

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Contact Tom Kuipers, JEM. His email is in the contact info at the top bar because he runs the private forum here – and he also was the coordinator of the Atlanta visit. I will have to think about how to do that right. By the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale visit we had 120 people so it could take a good while for everyone to say in some of the bigger ones. But also, some folks may want to keep a low profile, too, so publicly announcing where they are from could be uncomfortable or even objectionable to some. I don’t want to put anyone in that position. Maybe I will just keep a permanent list of email addresses for the various City Coordinators up so people could make contact after an event as well as before. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a great time in Atlanta, too.

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  15. June1 says:

    Hi, all. I just heard that major banks around the world are saying Canada is clearly heading into a recession due to our slumping economy and what’s happening in Europe. Of course, our finance minister is brushing off concerns. Is this part of the storm, Charlie? No one is safe, I guess.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/rebuffing-recession-talk-joe-oliver-says-the-numbers-are-not-out-yet-1.2457503

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  16. Amy says:

    I truly envy those of you who have people in your own neighborhoods/parishes that you can talk to about the storm. My husband and I have yet to meet a faithful Catholic couple just to spend time with. We truly feel like strangers in a strange land. The lonliness is almost insufferable at times. I tried to talk to a friend yesterday who I thought was devout initially only to find that she’s maybe lukewarm at best and doesn’t think this stuff is really going to happen. She admits the possibility but chastised my material preps for my large family including babies, saying God would take care of it if we didnt have food. I dont relish bringing the subject up with others since my mother is the only person I know who is preparing. Im naturally quiet and its really out of my zone. I sent out a mass email 7 years ago telling everyone I knew to prepare. All but one person acted as though it never happened. Sometimes I wonder if I am really part of the Remnant. Me? Of all people why would He need me. I’ve been under a rock raising kids for 15 years. Something Mark Mallett said about God preparing certain people that are largely hidden from the world, struck me. He said they remain out of mainstream culture through homeschooling etc. Well, it happens that my two oldest kids are autistic and the eldesr is also diabetic. Our life is far from “normal”. We cant eat in a restaurant, go to Walmart (with kids), go to the mall, movies. My boys barely attend public school and my daughter now homeschools. Do you think the reason God has not yet healed my kids despite much prayer is because he is protecting them until he needs them later? If this is so it has big implications for us. I want to know what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Gosh, Amy, I almost never presume to know why God is doing something. I just trust that He has His reasons….which may or may not be shared with me in this life. Some things are in head-snapping ways…others must ever remain a mystery in this life. Abandon yourself to trust on those things that are trials for you and, in His time, God usually does show you how His way was so much better than anything you could have come up with.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. EllenChris says:

    I need to echo what Patricia said: Nashville and Atlanta are tough acts to follow. Mary and Jane and I have been in contact, and the plans are going well. However, there will be no Hilton Hotels. 😉 We are looking at a back-yard barbecue and some cookies and lemonade. Daniel will be here. But I think it will be a good time. We are all very much looking forward to welcoming you.

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  18. EllenChris says:

    Also: yesterday two boxes of *Flame of Love* material arrived here. Charlie, are you bringing the booklets on forming the prayer groups, or somebody sending those ahead also? I have emailed Mary, but I would need to send an email ASAP if I have to ask someone to send the booklets. Folks around here are getting excited about your visit, and already I am seeing little glimmers of further community formation, which I think is the most important.

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  19. cofears says:

    One of the most spiritual experiences I had was at Conyers Georgia in 1993. I also visited Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. It was awesome.

    My Experience in Conyers Georgia

    Another event that happen is when my wife, my daughter, my sister, my sister’s daughter in-law and I went to Conyers , Georgia in November, 1993, where a lady name Nancy Fowler claims to be having mystical experiences, receiving messages from our Lord Jesus and His mother Mary, and having visions, etc.. On the 12 of Nov. we went to what is called the holy hill, located behind Nancy’s house. There are several large statues of Mary and a large crucifix of Jesus, and an altar below it with a kneeler, a well that Nancy says has been blessed by Jesus and a priest. While we were on the holy hill, I along with my sister’s daughter in-law was able to look at the sun and see the Eucharist, (host), it was blocking the sun, spinning and pulsing, several other people, also saw this. I was standing listening to people tell about their conversions, when someone said look, and everybody started to look at the sky, we saw a corner of a rainbow, which was very colorful, and for several minutes it just kept fading in and out. Now it had not rain, although it was cloudy. Next I was standing talking to a young woman and a man, I looked about at the people walking around and I saw that their hair was having a gold tint, and then it seem as if the gold started flowing down over everyone and on to the ground. Everything looked gold, except the man in front of me. I asked the woman and man if they saw anything, the woman said that everything was gold; the man said he did not see anything. Later I asked my wife, daughter, sister and her daughter in-law what they saw, my wife and sister said they saw everything turn gold, but my daughter, and my sister’s daughter in-law did not see it. While we were there I knelt on the kneeler before the crucifix and was praying when I felt a wind go through me and I felt great peace and a few large tear drops flow from eyes, which I could not control.

    The next day, Nov. 13, we were sitting outside the house that has the room were Jesus and Mary appear to Nancy, while people are praying the rosary. There were 90,000 people there that day according to the news. We were all praying the rosary, but not in unison, when the man leading the rosary, said that Mary was a appearing to Nancy. Someone said “look” everyone looked at the sun and several people around me, including myself saw the host in front of the sun, spinning and pulsing. Then there appeared a huge rainbow, 360 degrees way out, all the way around the sun. This lasted just a few minutes. Again it had not rain, although it was cloudy, and I have never seen a rainbow like it. After the rosary, Nancy came out to tell us the messages that Mary, the mother of Jesus gave us. I don’t remember it all, except that she said, “her children were not unified, just as we were not in saying the rosary in unison”.

    I have read all her messages.
    Nancy Fowler Passed Away January 10, 2012
    ________________________________________
    Dear Friends of Our Loving Mother, with sadness we announce to you that the Visionary of Conyers, Georgia, known as Nancy Fowler, passed away on Jan 10, 2012, at 11:50pm. She died of cancer. A funeral Mass was already celebrated for the repose of her soul and she has been laid to rest. She is now with God.

    Nancy Fowler was born on April 11, 1948, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the age of 11 years, her mother passed away. Shortly after that, in the silence of her room, as she was mourning the loss of her mother, she had a profound experience with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She also felt the closeness of the Mother of God and at that moment entrusted herself to her motherly care. Years later, she would speak of this beautiful experience to which she attributed the reason for not having ever gotten in trouble throughout her childhood. After a normal childhood, she went on to become a registered nurse, which she carried out with dedication. She was a married woman with two beautiful children.

    On Feb 2, 1987, Nancy had her most profound encounter with Christ that would forever change her life. In a time of great suffering, the Lord appeared to her merciful and kind . She described the event, “He stood before me life-sized, His humanity clothed in a robe of dazzling white with long open sleeves. He bore a resemblance to the image of Divine Mercy. His piercing eyes, filled with love, compassion and forgiveness seemed to penetrate the very depths of my soul… I was enveloped in His love… No one on earth can paint the Divine image that I was privileged to see or describe the complete happiness that I experienced at that moment.”

    Nancy will also be remembered by many for saying “YES” to God, especially in Conyers, Georgia, USA, where for a period of 8 years from October 13, 1990 to October 13, 1998, Jesus sent His own Mother Mary to communicate heavenly messages calling all of humanity, but especially the United States, to conversion. She traveled around the country and abroad bearing witness to her central mission as Jesus revealed it to her, that is, “To Bear Witness that I am the Living Son of God.” Many of her deep experiences with Christ and his Kingdom were written down.

    The last three years of her life, she suffered very much and bore her terminal illness heroically. She offered all her sufferings for the conversion of sinners and for the souls in Purgatory, but what she had most at heart during this time was to pray and suffer for all Priests, both living and deceased. Although she prayed for a healing, she also prayed for God’s will to be done in her life. She prepared well for death, knowing that all of us must face this reality one day.

    Just a few days before she died, in my presence, she had a wonderful experience. She saw the Mother of God descend with the person of the Holy Spirit and she was filled with serenity. Her Spiritual Director administered the last sacraments to her in her room where she was dying. When the time to give up her soul was drawing close, she prayed, “Lord, I want what you want. Your will and not mine be done always.” With that in mind, she expired, leaving a rich and beautiful spiritual legacy which her friends hope to continue to promote faithfully.

    May this beautiful soul, Nancy, the Visionary of Conyers, who touched the lives of so many people and helped many come back to our Loving God, intercede for us that we, too, may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace!

    Written by Nancy’s Spiritual Director, who was at her bedside during the last week of her life.
    http://www.ourlovingmother.org/CurrentNews_01-10-2012_NancyFowlerPassedAway.aspx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Amy says:

    Thanks Charlie. I know you’re right. I try to trust and pray for Courage. I am ruminating. Its my birthday and I get that way. Our God is awesome and I know I cannot hope to understand the intricacies and subtleties of His plan. It gave me Hope to dream about it I guess because of how many children have autism now. Thanks for reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Amy says:

    Quiet: Thank you doll! Over the hill and gaining speed. 🙂

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  22. Mack says:

    Charlie I just saw the headlines on Drudge and had to chuckle: “Turbulence on Wall Street” and “Perfect Storm.” Maybe even Drudge is reading you these days!

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