Father Kirwin Preaches At Mass At St Peter’s Church On Cruelty At The Mexican Border

I received the following note from a friend who attended a recent mass at St. Peter’s Church:

“At the 11:00 AM mass at Saint Peters Church yesterday (June 17, 2018), Father John Kirwin,  retired priest, resident of Lincoln Avenue and former member of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee, said mass as a substitute for the pastor.  Father Kirwin started his homily on the topic of Father’s Day and quickly progressed to the issue of children at the Mexican border being separated from their parents.  As he developed his theme and mentioned the policies of the present administration, more and more people began leaving the church, apparently in protest of Father Kirwin.  However, once he finished, the  parishioners who remained (the majority of the congregation) gave him an enthusiastic applause for nearly a half minute.  This was all very unusual for a Catholic service.”

Father Kirwin was kind enough to send me a copy of his notes for the service:

11TH Sun B ’18                   (Mark 4:26-34)

‘O God. . .at whose bidding the seed will sprout and the shoot grow toward full stature. . . . . we wait for God’s kingdom NOW growing in our midst. . . ‘

Earlier this morning, across the street getting my nytimes,  the young woman serving me wished me a Happy Father’s day, if I was a Father; and she said Yes I was,  as I had my puppy waiting for the treat she always has for him.

I said no, I wasn’t Charley’s father, I was his master,


Nothing wrong with dog’s, but, we should keep things in perspective.

The past few days I’ve been thinking about fathers whose children have been separated from them and put in detention facilities, due to their undocumented status,    


Separating children from parents,

And basically imprisoning them?


I saw a FACEBOOK item inviting people to update their profile picture with a frame stating:  


my screen showed a friend and his first born and only son, out fishing.


Another facebook item claimed that

DOCTORS were CONCERNED ABOUT irreparable harm to separated migrant children.

It spoke of the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics flying to Texas and visiting a Rio Grande valley shelter for migrant children, where she saw a young girl in tears. 


The child was just screaming, and nobody could help her. 

And we know why she was crying. 

She didn’t have her mother or father who could soothe her and take care of her.”

Can’t we do better than that?

The number of migrant children in US Government custody is soaring, as a result of a policy decision by the current administration to separate children from their parents, who are being prosecuted for unlawful entry.

Hundreds of children being held in shelters are under age 13.

The current occupant of the white house and the top justice officer of the country, claim the administration is enforcing immigration law.

Are such laws just, and must we obey them?

The speed with which news spreads in our day, leaves us stunned and bewildered.

What can one do when faced with so much suffering?

What can we do to change this situation?

The call in the gospel is addressed to all.

It consists in sowing small seeds of a new humanity.

Jesus does not speak of big things.



Perhaps we need to learn to appreciate little things and small gestures.

We do not feel called to be heroes or martyrs every day, but we are called to put a little dignity into each corner of our world.

We can all sow little seeds of the kingdom of God, in  a complex and sad world that has all but forgotten the joy of things small and beautiful,  

like children separated from their fathers and mothers on this Father’s day 2018.

 This is a link from the Catholic News Agency on Pope Francis’ recent pronouncements on the issue at a recent gathering of Mexican politicians and diplomats at the Holy See:

Catholic News Link

This is a link to a CBS story on the Catholic Conference of Bishops taking a position that the Trump policies are immoral:

CBS Story

These issues tend to be abstract for many of us.  For a heart wrenching description of the way our country is dealing with the children here is a link to a story from the news site “Democracy Now.”  A staff member of a not-for-profit organization that houses these children describes incidents of children who have been taken from their parents clinging to each other and crying as staff attempt to separate them.  He resigned in protest.

Democracy Now Link




17 thoughts on “Father Kirwin Preaches At Mass At St Peter’s Church On Cruelty At The Mexican Border”

  1. It’s time people start speaking in Saratoga Springs about this issue. It’ sad that we have so many workers that have to live in constant fear and terror of losing everything because of the prevailing racism

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Would like to have been there to ask them for Bible passages justifying their indignation. Makes me weep. Saratoga is not immune from the hypocrisy that passes for much religion these days.

    Thanks for listening.

    Sent from my iPad



  3. I am not a religious person (in fact, I despise all organized religions equally). But in this case? I stand and applaud Father Kirwin for preaching what needed to be preached. And to those that walked out? Well, they obviously don’t ‘walk the walk’, do they?


  4. Hogwash.
    It’s not that simple.

    Can you say “Fast Food Nation?”

    These people are playing us all for fools.
    Let them in…LEGITIMATELY!

    Look at the photos of the supposed moms & their kids.
    What are they so well fed?
    After a thousand mile journey they should look a little beat up.

    And this issue can be fixed through Congress.
    Trump (I am not a fan) did not create it.
    It was an act of Congress under George W. Bush, remember?

    Let Congress fix it.
    But they won’t because they are doing the bidding of their corporate masters.
    Monsanto fueled Big-Agra, the meat packing plants, et al; in the midwest and others are reaping the benefits and so are we.

    Like your cheap beef and strawberries?
    Who do you think are the meat-cutters & berry pickers?
    Hint: They are not union workers.

    If these people come here legally, they can’t be dumped on the street when they’re no longer useful.
    Think about it.

    There was a film made on this very subject years ago:
    Get the book (2001) or the video. You’ll never regret it.

    That RC priest should get back on the wagon and stop preaching about things he knows nothing about.
    And those “All Are Welcome Signs” do nothing other than identify the sheep amongst us.

    Life is conditional.
    Want fries with that? (lol)



  5. I think that Rev. Kilwin’s message was more about compassion, not so much about politics.
    But I could be wrong. Strong feelings everywhere about the situation, for sure.
    DJT knows how to stir the pot.
    How sad that DJT trotted out his daughter to approve of his latest contradictory move AFTER he signed the newest “Executive Order” and proudly displayed it in his usual egotistical manner. A joke of a person/man/president.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You do realize that the Daily Caller is a far right propaganda machine, and is about a truthful as Trump is, right?


        That said, obviously there were detention centers, but Obama did NOT separate families, nor did any of his predecessors in our lifetime. Trump owns this mess, lock, stock and barrel because he not only created it, he lied about and and STILL isn’t getting those families back together.


  6. Dave explain the lawsuit filed against the Obama administration in 2016 by a migrant detainee in a Virginia detention center for migrant children without their parents and the suit has been settled….??


    1. First off, as I noted previously, this has been going on foe a LONG time now. As well, Obama did NOT have any knowledge of what was going on from what I have read. He did NOT create the laws concerning it either, and wanted to fix it. On the other hand, Trump knew EXACTLY what he was doing. It was Trump’s policy – NOT the Dems as he claims – and Trump could have stopped it at any time and refused to do so (and STILL hasn’t done anything to reunite those already detained).

      No – you have zero argument there. Zero.


  7. John,

    Those who know John Kirwin well would expect no less from him. Rather, we would be surprised if he did not speak up and out about such an injustice promulgated by this or any administration and the American Catholic Church could use many, many more John Kirwins.

    John is no renegade, but challenges the status quo and is not afraid to call out those in power – both in and out of the Church. Unlike the Gospel of Jeff Sessions which calls for blind faith in a corrupt administration seemingly ever more desperate and unhinged, Fr. Kirwin speaks truth to power.

    But John does more than speak. He acts. John and his brother, a Dominican priest, travel the country and overseas advocating for poor children and elders in the third world and recruiting sponsors to lend direct financial support to specific beneficiaries. The aid he and his brother seek through the program “Unbound” provides funds for education, shelter and other basic human needs. Many of the current 310,000 children and elders currently aided by “Unbound” live in Central America, South Asia and other impoverished and violent areas.

    For only 30 bucks a month ( the price of 3 packs of cigarettes ) anyone can directly aid a child or elderly poor person through “Unbound.” I’ m sure John would more than welcome more sponsors. Check out “Unbound ” on line.

    To steal a paraphrase a former candidate for vice-president, “I know John Kirwin. John Kirwin is my friend. Some of those who comment on your post are no John Kirwins.”


    Lew Benton

    Liked by 2 people

    1. W
      Nobody wants to be John Kirwin other than you, it’s amazing that this phony narrative has gone this far at least they’re not wrapped in aluminum like Barry did to them.


  8. The few who left the church that morning, did not fulfill their obligation, and now have to confess their mortal sin. I hope they have to confess to Father Kirwin. What goes around, comes around.


    1. Hey Henry–

      “MORTAL SIN?”
      How dare you pass judgement on acts of conscience!
      (Theatrical smirk here…)

      Did you not receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
      The individual soul has power over the act upon decisions of conscience.
      That power is invested in the will. That will is backed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
      The Guardian Angel; the patron saint so confirmed, is the witness to that act of conscience.

      We Americans, call it Liberty.

      Remember Vietnam?
      Do the words conscientious objection mean anything?

      To those few, the brave, the last few sheep paying attention.
      The sermon was not just about compassion.
      Seemed more like condemnation (interesting retort, eh?).
      Some believed it crossed the line. Yes or no?
      Et tu?

      Gosh, this is such fun!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. All I know is that as the atheist in the room (pauses for the air to be sucked out of the room!), I’m just getting a good chuckle at the back and forth…. #ItsNOTAboutTheBeliefItsAboutMorality


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