Blockade-runner, POW, Poet, Blind, Priest

Father John Banister Tabb was born in Virginia in 1845, son of a wealthy, colonial and Episcopal family. He was a blockade-runner for the Confederacy during the Civil War. He was a prisoner of war. Catholic fellow prisoners led him to think about Catholicism. 

He became a Roman Catholic in 1872. He taught Greek at Maryland’s St. Charles College, began seminary studies, and was ordained for the Diocese of Richmond in 1884. 

Although his eyesight was poor, and he eventually was blind, he wrote at least 1,000 poems, becoming one of America’s best-loved poets. He died in 1909. 

Putting the Word on the World Wide Web

Retirement has not slowed Msgr. Don Fischer, of the Diocese of Dallas, ordained in 1967. After retiring in 2010, he launched a website to post his homilies. The response surprised him. 

People in over 102 countries, including China and Iraq, have gone to the website. “There must be a hunger for the Liturgy of the Word in these places,” Msgr. Fischer told The Texas Catholic, newspaper of the Dallas diocese. “We’re in a new age of evangelization. The internet opens up a new way of imagining evangelization.” 

Before initiating this project, Msgr. Fischer broadcast homilies on radio for 25 years. 

Ascension Main Course

Because Jesus ascended into the sky at the Ascension, according to the Scriptures, the custom in Europe in the Middle Ages was to have birds as the main course at meals — poultry, pheasants, pigeons, partridges or even crows — on the feast of the Ascension. 

Fifty Years Ago

In May 1963, an article in The Priest questioned if federal statutes in the 1800s prohibiting polygamy might be a precedent of modern intrusions of government into religious affairs. Another article was about the sanctity of Bishop John Neumann of Philadelphia (canonized in 1977). 

‘Go in Peace’

“I am with you always, even until the end of the world.”  

— Mt 28:20