Bible Archaeology

Road Found at Bethsaida from Time of Jesus

Christian News Network:

Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is a road that was traveled by Jesus and the disciples in the ancient town of Bethsaida.

In conducting a dig near the Northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, which was originally meant to serve as a mission to find artifacts from the Roman period, archaeologists came across a distinctive discovery.

“We uncovered a paved street from the time of Jesus’s disciples, which runs westward through the residential area from the corner of the Fisherman’s House down toward the Jordan valley,” Nicolae Roddy of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, one of the leaders of the dig, told the publication Popular Archaeology. “I tell people that Andrew, Peter and Phillip almost certainly walked on it because they would have had to have gone out of their way to avoid it!”

Dr. Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska has reportedly been working on excavating Bethsaida for approximately 20 years, and others like Roddy have joined in the adventure.

Bethsaida, which literally means “House of Fishing,” is mentioned a number of times in the Bible as a city that Jesus visited to preach repentance and faith in the Gospel. John 1 outlines that “Phillip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter,” and that Jesus had found Phillip in the area of Galilee and called the fisherman to follow him. Mark 8 speaks of Jesus healing a blind man in Bethsaida, and in Luke 10, Jesus rebukes the city of Bethsaida for their rejection of Him.

“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!” he said. “For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”

Archaeologists state that Bethsaida is believed to be part of the kingdom of Geshur, which is mentioned in the Old Testament. King David had married Maaca, the daughter of the king of Geshur.




Land Donated to Ordinariate to Build First Chancery

Some US Ordinariate news:

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has been given land in Houston, Texas, on which to build its first chancery, or headquarters, Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, the Ordinary, announced today.

During a Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham, the principal church of the Ordinariate, he said, “Today, I want to acknowledge with deepest gratitude a very generous gift from an anonymous donor to Our Lady of Walsingham and the Ordinariate: the gift of five acres. … This will be the future home of the chancery of the Ordinariate as well as serve future expansion needs of this wonderful, growing parish. It is an incredible blessing, and I know you all will want to say with me: To God be the glory.”

The property, purchased by donors for $5 million, is located on Westview Drive, immediately behind and contiguous with Our Lady of Walsingham, which is at 7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston. The parish site also includes a shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham.

Joining parishioners at today’s Mass were a number of Anglican priests from throughout the United States and Canada who are applying to become Catholic priests for the Ordinariate. The men were in Houston as part of the Ordinariate’s priest formation program.

Planning for the chancery design will begin later this month. Additional donors will be sought for the construction of the building. The Ordinariate currently has a small office at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, with most of the small staff located in other cities across the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI established the Ordinariate on January 1, 2012 for former Anglican groups and clergy seeking to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy. In one year, the Ordinariate, which is equivalent to a diocese, has grown to include 1,500 people across the United States and Canada, 35 communities and 24 priests. Msgr. Steenson, the Ordinary, is a former Episcopal bishop who became Catholic in 2007 and a Catholic priest in 2009.

For more information on the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, one of only two ordinariates in the world, visit, Facebook, or



Melbourne Priestess to Become Queensland’s First Bishopess

Speaking of Australia, I see that Queensland is set to get a Bishopess:

The Anglican Archbishops of Melbourne and Brisbane, Dr Philip Freier and Dr Phillip Aspinall, have today announced that a Melbourne priest has been selected to lead the Southern Region of the Diocese of Brisbane as Queensland’s first woman bishop.

The Venerable Alison Taylor, Melbourne’s Archdeacon for  International Partnerships and Vicar of St John’s Anglican Church Camberwell,  has been appointed to fill the role when current Bishop, the Right Reverend Geoff Smith, takes on the role of General Manager of the Brisbane Diocese early next year.

Archbishop Freier said: “Alison Taylor’s ministry in the Diocese of Melbourne has encompassed a breadth of experience as vicar and archdeacon. I am delighted that her leadership, developed within the Diocese of Melbourne, now takes her on to this senior role in Brisbane.”

Archdeacon Taylor says that while looking forward to the new appointment, she is sorry to leave St John’s Camberwell. “I will be sad to leave the people of St John’s, but I’m confident they will soon find a new vicar to lead them into their 150th anniversary year in 2013,” Archdeacon Taylor said.

Her senior appointments following ordination included chairing Anglican Overseas Aid (formerly Anglicord). In 2009, Archdeacon Taylor was personally invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be a member of the Steering Group for the newly
created international Anglican Alliance for Development Relief and Advocacy.

Archdeacon Taylor has also served as Archdeacon of Kew in the Eastern Region of  Melbourne.

Archdeacon Taylor will be consecrated Bishop in St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane at 10am on Saturday 6th April 2013.



‘In the Traditional Anglican Communion, You Are Also On Your Own’

So opts a rather despondent sounding Fr Ed Bakker:

… We often ask ourselves why we dont make a real in road with Traditional Anglicanism or Anglo Catholism, dont we ? And it clicked. I was on the vestry of this church, I was there every Sunday serving at the altar for nine years, but lived an hour’s drive away.

During that time, no one  from Church ever rang me at home in Ringwood, Father Robarts never ever came out to see us , also when my wife had a chronic illness. It took me nine years to organize a servers get to gether in the city, yet we as servers see each other sunday after sunday. I give to God and his Church, but when I need people and help , it is not there. Then I was re-trenched from the Bank at 58 and asked Fr if he knew anyone influential in the congregation who could help with some work … and there were a few people there, all he could do  is look above , indicating that God was the only influential person there. You see this is why I get so bitterly disappointed. In the Traditional Anglican Communion , you are also on your own, no collegues to support you , no nothing. A rude and lying Archbishop , who is thank God now almost disappeared from the scene.

Moving to another affiliation, much and much of the sameness, a Bishop who rings you once a year and spends five minutes talking to you.

Having said all, I still strong believe that I have been called to be a Priest , I guess in a very difficult time , but I keep on praying that the door somewhere may be opened.

So many Clergy on the blogs are so good in theory , they are so good with words , but when it comes to compassion and action, is is not to be found. Fathers Robarts, Mitchell all collegues of mine, they leave you in the learch , you never hear from them.

It would be wonderful if all of us in this forthcoming season of Advent could be realled stirred up and jump into action….

Well this certainly is not my experience of how things are… But then again, I’m not Down-Under (although I must add that I have some fantastic interactions with some really good TAC people in Oz, and that, even though I’m some 10 500 km away). One other thing, if I may be so bold as to suggest, Fr Bakker, is that you also look within. We cannot always change other people, the things they do and / or the things that they say. The only thing that we can, in reality, change is ourselves, our attitudes, and the outlook we have on life. As Victor Frankl once pointed out:

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Life, and more especially that of the Priest, is just so full of opportunities to make a difference in and to the lives of others. And these are the things that eventually give rise to major changes, differences and results. So get on with the work of the Gospel. Never should we allow for the waste of our precious time by criticising, complaining or even trying to get others to change. Just go and make the difference.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

– St Matt 28:20

UPDATE:  Also related, Fr Anthony Chadwick speaks, today, on spiritual loneliness.


An Archdiocese of the Internet?

An interesting question.

I received an email from the Austin Diocese the other day wondering if this blog operates on the approval of our diocese.  In writing back, I responded somewhat flippantly with the question, “Which diocese covers the Internet?”  The point I was trying to make was, of course, that there isn’t a diocese that covers this blog nor the Internet as the Internet has a global reach.

Later, a crazy idea crossed my mind, should there be a diocese that covers the Internet?

Pope Benedict XVI has described the Internet as a “Digital Continent” with our mission to go forth and evangelize in this new land.  Diocese are geographic in nature, but if you think of the Internet as a virtual world as some parts of it have been described, perhaps this suggestion isn’t as far fetched as it sounds.   Today, people are increasingly spending more of their free time and consequently their lives online.  If this is where people “live”, isn’t it the church’s mission to joyful teach and spread our faith wherever we are?

Perhaps I presume to much and this may just be a crazy idea.  I’ll end this thought by mentioning that other religions may not think its all that farfetched.  Try Googling  the name of our savior “Jesus Christ” and look to see where other religions are spending advertising dollars on evangelizing their faith on this Digital Continent.