Cast Into the Deep for a Catch


A member of the tnrs family, a regular commenter here, suffered a great tragedy in her family yesterday. She let me know but asked me not to post the news she gave me. I will not give details or say who until she does, but I ask all of our tnrs family to offer special prayers today for one of our own. God knows who you will be praying for even if you don’t for a while. Thank you and God bless. –CJ

By Charlie Johnston

We have been getting many requests for me to come out on visits, make presentations and give interviews. For any who have requests, contact my volunteer assistant, Mary, at For the most part, I will not be making final decisions to go onto the calendar until April. I do not expect to make a lengthy, sustained tour this year like I did last year, so let me tell you a little about what I do expect to do.

Last year, knowing that cultural and institutional marginalization of Christians would grow very visible and intense, my thinking was that by getting crowds together across the country, it would show people that they were not alone, that though media and political types wanted to make them feel isolated and weird, they had many right in their own community who shared their love of God and their values. It was an effort to combat that marginalization and to lay seeds of people who could work together to proclaim the faith right where they are at. I figured that even if only 30 or so gathered in each location, it would be enough to instill confidence in the faithful who were being marginalized. It ended up working out better than I ever imagined. The average crowd size was about 120-140. I could see the moment when people would look around and realize they were not alone at all, that they were not weird, that they were not the ones who were out of step in these times. It filled me with joy to see people taking renewed hope and confidence that they were not alone in their commitment to the faith.

The first step this year is to get public Eucharistic and Marian Processions going around the country and the world. It is a bold proclamation of our faith in the midst of the dying toxic culture of death trying to marginalize actively faithful Christians out of existence. Bold does not mean contentious. We call, instead, on the Lord, recognizing the battle is always His – and that our first duty is to call on and follow Him. We walk between our two great pillars, Christ in the Eucharist and Holy Mary. Contentiousness is usually bred by fear of loss – that things are slipping away from us, by malice – or by both. When we turn to our two great pillars, we know the victory is ours and so can be magnanimous and calm even amidst resistance and attacks. We know we advocate on behalf of even those who oppose us, for God wants all His children to come back to Him. The Jericho Procession in Denver last weekend, precisely because it was prayerful and peaceful, gave a powerful witness that the most finely crafted arguments never could.

The first rule of the Processions is to keep it simple, simple enough so the guy who has not been to Church in a decade but who sees how bad things have become, can look and say, “I can do that – and I’m going to do that.” Many have seen how badly the “experts,” the “intellectuals,” and the elites hostile to any expression of traditional faith have botched things – and are ready to try something different, something that once gave life and hope, something that gave simple joy in everyday life. Our job is to make sure NOT to drive them away with heavy requirements, but to gather them in. We are matchmakers of a sort: help those who have lost faith, who have drifted into hopelessness fall in love anew with the faith. Increasingly refined expressions of that faith will follow – and become a joy, a new delightful discovery rather than a burden. We seek to make this the best first date ever for multitudes – and to do that, we need to hold off on heavy, complicated devotions. Stick with the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplets or other such simple and familiar practices that will be easily accessible for newcomers. Invite people to fall in love anew. That is your criteria for success, not how complicated the devotions you get them to embrace on this first date.

There is another key dimension to planning these Processions. For decades, the fraternal and filial bonds of affection between the laity and our Priests and Bishops have been fraying, tattered by scandal, clericalism, indifference, and growing public and spiritual disorder. The clergy have largely been reduced to mere bureaucrats, trying to stay out of trouble and controversy while administering Sacraments to often contentious flocks. Much of the laity has been reduced to mere consumers, coming to receive but resentful of any serious efforts to amend their hearts, outside of Sunday mornings. Enough. The laity has a true apostolate and are called to spread the Gospel message through the world through the refinement with which they live their ordinary work and everyday discourse. This is something our spiritual leaders cannot do on their own. Yet leadership can only come from the clergy, for they have been appointed by God for that purpose. A flock which ignores its shepherd is a confused muddle. A shepherd with no flock is pitiable.

This must be mounted so that the Priests and Bishops called upon to lead do not have it as another burden to be borne, but as an opportunity to have more people get actively involved in ministry to help them, to build those fraternal and filial bonds of affection and collaboration which make for an effective and fruitful team – as an opportunity to live their vocations in full together with an energized laity who are living their apostolate in full under their guidance. This is a means to build the spiritual and temporal infrastructure to go forth and preach – by living it publicly – the Gospel to all the world.

Though I will certainly be at some of these Processions, I will not routinely plan to go wherever they are mounted. This is not my project, but yours, and my work is to get together resources to help you do it effectively. When I participate at a Procession I will NOT speak or play any significant role other than as a lay faithful standing with the Bishop, Priest or Deacon who is leading us. If I am to give a presentation of any sort, it must be separate in the evening or the day before the Procession. No Procession is to be used as a vehicle to promote any presentation of mine, though any presentation I make will be used to promote the Procession you have put together.

Most of the travel I do this year will be to conferences, both public and private. For stand-alone visits, I will give preference to places I did not get to last year. I will go to places I already have mainly when it is connected with some other thing I am doing. In early May, in conjunction with a family celebration, I will visit with my friends in Birmingham and attend the dedication of a Chapel in Atlanta. This weekend I have a whirlwind series of meetings in the Midwest culminating in participating in a huge public Procession in Milwaukee.

Mainly, this year I will work to help you with what you need to get Processions going, to provide you with a schedule of those upcoming, and to give you reports from people who were there with pictures – and offer these to various media outlets. I will also work to build communication and mutual support with the groups that rose last year as I visited. I dearly want them working in their dioceses to build that Culture of Life and help bring hope to multitudes right around them – under the guidance and direction of their Priests, Deacons and Bishops, while comparing notes with other such groups around the country and the world on what is working and what is not..

Last year was about going out and assuring people that they were not alone – and doing it by letting them see how many in their own communities were hungry for the hope that is in Christ. This year is about mobilizing all of you to go forth, to give witness in your own communities, to do it all under the guidance and direction of your Bishops, Priests and Deacons. This is what the beginning of Rescue looks like.


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.
This entry was posted in Church Governance, Conversion, Family of God, Processions, Solidarity. Bookmark the permalink.

245 Responses to Cast Into the Deep for a Catch

  1. Mary Pearson says:

    I am a quiet member of this family. Read Charlie every day, went to see him in Isle, with my mother, who has just been diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system, inoperable, no chemo recommended. She is on hospice. Meanwhile my daughter was more than two weeks overdue with a baby she was going to deliver at home. She grows them big and I was petrified there would be complications. We had all been franticly praying for her. The day after my Mom’s procedure enabling her to eat, Gen finally gave birth. She keeps both gender and name choice a secret until the birth, so when she announced, “Lars Henry” I was underwhelmed. I texted her that I guess Mom’s paternal grandfather was named Henry, did we even know a Lars? Come to find out that Lars was the name of my mom’s maternal grandfather, and Mom said her mother, my grandmother, had expressed concern for the souls of both. Neither was churchgoing, Mom derived great comfort from this improbable name choice because she felt it might be a sign that, by her suffering or our many prayers her grandfathers were finally getting out of purgatory, five generations later. Just wanted to share this grace.

    Liked by 10 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Mary, thank you for sharing a moving and beautiful tribute and blessing for you and your family. I will keep you all in my prayers.

      Liked by 2 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      I love this. Isn’t it just like God?

      Holding you and your family in my heart-prayers.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Oh, Mary, what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it with us. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson. I wlll pray for him, and I will pray for your mother.

      Liked by 3 people

    • LordprotectYourlittlemess says:

      I just got goosebumps, the whole body kind. Praise God always and in all ways. (Mary Pearson’s post incase this ends up, Lord know where in the post)

      Also, I ask the Angels to continue to be messengers of comfort and love for our girl from this tnrs family whom Charlie asked us to lift in prayer. I was reminded again yesterday in prayer, of the truth that Our God is SO Powerful, and truly with Him all is possible. I humbly stand outside of this family as a stranger, yet also as a sister in Christ, and ask that all of these sufferings be accepted into the Heavenly Hands of our Lord, and that Mercy, Love and healing will replace the sufferings, as God’s Will permits, through those same beautiful hands and the hands of His precious Momma.

      May the Graces available for each of us, find us open and begging to receive them!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Truly beautiful, Mary. Thanks for sharing! Prayers for you and your family…

      Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      Beautiful Mary

      Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      Congratulations on the new baby! 🙂

      Keeping the Grandads In my prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • May I recommend “The Door of Mercy” in your diocese? There is a Plenary Indulgence for passing through these doors during this Year of Mercy. I have a very extensive list of family and friends departed – many on questionable terms, by which I mean to say murder victims, suicides, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. – and yet God’s mercy is promised through His gift to Peter – “Whatever you loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven” -Matt 18:18 is passed to the faithful who complete the requirements to do this. You can know with great certainty that this soul(s) has been freed from the purgation due to sin., among other places, has a good summary of the requirements to obtain this grace: Sacramental Confession, Eucharist, Prayer for the Pope’s intentions (available at and the work – in this case, making pilgrimage to these designated doors – available in every diocese in the world this year!
      We get excited about giving someone a great birthday present or a Christmas present – this is Heaven itself! There is a soul now who can intercede for us before God’s face. It gives us great peace – and I believe mitigates the harm caused ‘to the fourth generation’ by some very bad examples. I hope God grants me enough time here to finish my list and may He give you the great comfort of His grace to pray so effectively for your family.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. dianebelv says:

    Praying for our dear sister and her family. God Bless her and everyone here.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Beckita says:

    Dear Sister in Christ, somehow your suffering has remained very present in this heart of prayer via the Anima Christi. I offer this traditional hymn with old and new images capturing the reality that Jesus has carried all details of the current tragedy to Calvary. As you make your way through the trauma and grief, we can recall that by His Stripes we are healed. May Jesus, with His consoling Mother, hold you and carry you in your sorrow, allowing you and your family to be pressed to His bruised and broken Body that you all will be healed. In the Love of the Inseparable Twin Hearts…

    Liked by 15 people

  4. djmoforegon says:

    Hey everyone, it’s been a tough week so maybe we can laugh for a second or two.

    This one’s for the guys:

    Now one for the kids:

    And now, one for all of us:

    And finally, can I get an AMEN??:

    I love and appreciate everyone who so willingly share their lives with us here! God bless us all.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. colleendrose says:

    I have prayed for this member. I have also made my little silent retreat, and my little side pilgrimage to the base of Mt. Meeker, where I saw the ravages of flooding and positioned myself to imagine the shrine. I found a statue of Mary and the Child Jesus directly centered at what seemed like a good spot to imagine the shrine and gave thanks to She who rescues. I sang 3 choruses of “The people of the kingdom”. This, I think was my Joshua action. My declaring things that are not yet as if they are. It felt like the thing to do.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Sally says:

    Keeping you and your family in prayer-know we are here for you!

    Charlie, if you are coming to Milwaukee, why not make a visit north to see the Shrine, Our Lady of Good Help? There has been a procession every summer to the shrine and its called, The walk to Mary. But it is a beautiful quaint little place you should make the trip up here to see and pray.

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I was just there for a day and a half, Sally. I have family in Racine County, so I get there from time to time for longer periods, but this was fully scheduled. I did spend a little time at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lacrosse.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Kati says:

    I just happened to notice this old post of MMBev from Feb. 2015. It certainly seems to describe a Eucharistic, Marian procession:

    MMBev says:
    February 18, 2015 at 2:16 am


    Charlie – do you not see through His eyes? LOOK!
    See. There you are. Only one step in front of we who march behind, directly behind you, with you, filled with faith and hope behind you. LOOK

    DO YOU SEE THE BANNER. IT’S RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD, someone is holding it proudly as we march into the battle, each in our post, just as God has asked us. Amazing! It shines brilliant gold in the darkness -so dark you cannot see how many are marching, marching, marching with and behind you.

    At the top, solid, bold, black letters. TRUST. Look, there in the center of the Hearts. DO. There is such power in the black letters! And at the bottom – HOPE. The banner of the Triumph, the sign of battle, a battle of LOVE. Even love to death.

    We are linked by threads of liquid gold, bound and banded by Our Immaculate Mother, Our Lady of Tepeyac. And somehow in the darkness, one can see tiny glints of light, sparking off the beads. Hope to hope, heart to heart, you lead, He leads. We cannot lose because Our Master has risen and is ALIVE.

    Oh, LOOK, Can you see them joining us? So hard to see in the darkness but they are coming to join. They are pressing behind us Charlie. We are now committed, and cannot turn back. The press of the others is growing larger and larger as their hearts melt and begin to burn. Oh Charlie, oh Charlie, the number is growing because you have said YES. And we all yell YES with you.

    Come, each of you. Did we not embrace, love, and help each other while we were beginning this journey, the way to this battle. Pass courage to courage, hope to hope, love to love.

    But didn’t He choose the weakest, the poorest, the most incompetent, along with brilliant ones, gifted ones the first time. Why should those behind His BANNER be any different this time? And to honor His Mother, He has placed His Banner in her protection, has placed each of us into Her protection. And we will LIVE out the words, the sign of the battle, a battle of love. Even love to death.


    Liked by 6 people

  8. Cindy says:

    Dear Community…how intense and personal that “marginalization” of Christian community has become of late. Visiting family up North very recently, I underwent a full force assault with worldliness and it’s fruit. Though I have been persecuted before, this was through the mouths and attitudes of my family and it cut to the quick. Despite my being silent on religion or politcal platforms, my family exhibited their allegiance to intellect, secular values, and political controversy.

    It is one thing to remain calm and focused when we are attacked by strangers, the existing political machine, or those hardened against Christianity. Yet the human heart can topple when condemnation comes unexpectedly from those we cherish as loyal blood.

    I stand humbled and corrected by God’s Grace. How lazy and idle minded had I become to let my guard down in these current times. Eucharistic and Marian processions are a healing balm and one that I will seek more ardently from this point forward.

    Thank you Charlie for this reminder of that which truly heals and sustains. You and this community of gentle souls is such a blessing to us all and I, for one, am sincerely grateful~

    Liked by 10 people

  9. We have ‘Hispanic Holy Hour’ every 3rd Thursday and I am privileged to lead it. Exposition is as usual and then we read the Gospel of the day. A community member offers a reflection and after some hymns the individual petitions are read. We have a ‘reverse procession’ – the participants kneel and I bring the monstrance individually before each one for a moment of intimate adoration and blessing. The choir sings the Spanish version of Anima Christi – Alma de Christo. It is so moving. The hearts of these people, who are some of the poorest in our parish, are so open to Our Lord. We close with benediction as usual.
    Because of preparations for Holy Week, it will be held this week in the Prayer Garden – a beautiful outdoor chapel with altar and a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. charliej373 says:

    Thanks be to God that all are standing together through this crisis, Snowy. I will continue to pray for you and all in the family – and especially for the young children.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Beckita says:

    Prayers are yours, Snowy, for your petitions just as you have requested. May the Precious Blood from the Passion of Christ continue to be upon everyone and every detail being worked out in God’s Will. God’s peace and continued blessings, Snowy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LukeMichael says:

    So happy to hear from you Snowy and our prayers continue for everyone. God is great!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Kim Sevier says:

    Oh Snowy–I am so terribly sorry to hear this, but praise God for the blessings that come from it. I have been praying for you and I will offer the Queen of Peace Mass for you tonight. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for Snowy and her family!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. jlynnbyrd says:

    That is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. jlynnbyrd says:

    Snowy, my heart pains for your loss and rejoices in your miracles. Your love and witness is a great testament to the healing taking place, I am certain. You are and will always be in my prayers for all your intentions, both known and unknown, my dear sweet Snowy sister in Christ!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. janet333 says:

    Praying Snowy…God Bless you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. jlynnbyrd says:

    Todays segment of the Laudato Si’ that I received online, assures me that Our Holy Father is not as naïve as he has been portrayed in matters, especially *global warming* in this instance.
    Laudato Si’
    On Care For Our Common Home – 135
    Posted: 14 Mar 2016 12:00 AM PDT

    135. Certainly, these issues require constant attention and a concern for their ethical implications. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of considering all the available information and of calling things by their name. It sometimes happens that complete information is not put on the table; a selection is made on the basis of particular interests, be they politico-economic or ideological. This makes it difficult to reach a balanced and prudent judgment on different questions, one which takes into account all the pertinent variables. Discussions are needed in which all those directly or indirectly affected (farmers, consumers, civil authorities, scientists, seed producers, people living near fumigated fields, and others) can make known their problems and concerns, and have access to adequate and reliable information in order to make decisions for the common good, present and future. This is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of independent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem.

    You are subscribed to email updates from Laudato Si’

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, I had read that, Lynn. But in the Vatican conference on the subject, officials shut out EVERY voice which did not toe the globalist line. So in this case, I think the Pope needs to give this to Vatican staff not as a suggestion, but as an order. I have read he does not read much independent news, but he really needs to in order not to become a captive of advisors with an agenda.

      Liked by 5 people

  18. Will continue to hold you and the people involved in prayer, Snowy Owl. One step at a time. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us know and at the hour of our death. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. molchanie77 says:

    Dear Snowy, dear heart, prayers will continue for you and all involved and specifically for conversions. As I have been praying for you, there is truly a strong and profound sense that very great good is meant to come from the horror of this tragedy. I love you, too, Snowy. “O, Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you!”

    Liked by 2 people

  20. donna says:

    God bless you and yours Snowy….lifting you up at Holy Hour tonight and my rosary daily

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Doug says:

    Snowy, rest assured that Jacki and I will continue to pray for God’s healing mercy in all these trials. Hang tight.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. dianebelv says:

    Sending many prayers up to Heaven for you and yours Snowy! God Bless.

    Liked by 2 people

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