Return to Appalachia, Aug. 13-18, 2023


by Harry Winter, O.M.I.

Photo by Mary Kay Williams

St. John’s Chapel, Sweet Springs, WV is still an orphan chapel.  The bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, WV, allows Mass there just once a year, on August 15.  This year 4 priests concelebrated, Monsignor John Williams, who has a summer home in nearby Paint Bank, VA (click here) for his relationship with the Oblates), Father Jim Conyers, the pastor of nearby St. Charles Borromeo Church, White Sulphur Springs (who is in charge of the chapel), Fr. Tom Collins (retired priest of the diocese and a good friend of Fr. Ed Randall O.M. I. when Fr. Collins was stationed in the VA parish next to Jenkins, KY), and myself, who was asked to preach the homily.

Despite excellent publicity, the turnout was small.

Knight of Columbus Mike Williams and several other Knights helped as usual.  The ice cream social after Mass was quickly over.

I did have the opportunity to offer the book Cloud of Witnesses, The Floyd-Lewis Chronicles, about two pioneer Catholic feminists, Letitia Preston Floyd and her daughter Letitia Floyd Lewis (click here).  There is a sense in which the former is an Oblate missiologist (click here for link to, Oblate missiologist page).

As more Catholics move into the area, please pray that soon there will be an official Catholic presence with Mass more than once a year.