Deacon Pat's Books - Popular Catholic novelist and author!

Deacon Pat's Books - Popular Catholic novelist and author!
Click on the book to go to the book site (The sale of the books support our mission).

Our Missionary Journey

Thursday, September 24, 2015

We are currently on an extended mission for (1-2 years) in Guatemala.

We are currently on an extended mission in Guatemala for the next 1-2 years.

We have another blog (website) that we will be using to share the missionary experience with others.

The new Blog is

Yes - is our blog, not an organization's blog, just simply our personal blog that shares our experience with anyone who would like to see just how special and wonderful the people of Guatemala are.

If you have a moment, click on the link: and spend a moment with us.

God Bless - Deacon Pat and Liz

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

$10 a Month Club

Dear Friend / Family,

You probably have already found a charity that you have a passion for and support, or maybe you haven’t?
If you haven’t, maybe this can be the perfect opportunity for you to support and share in the lives of an American missionary couple serving in the small villages of Guatemala.

On August 30, 2015, we will begin our full-time missionary journey. After driving to Texas to drop off our vehicle with our son, Sean, and storing a few sentimental belongings, we will then fly to Santa Cruz de Lago Atitlan, Guatemala, to begin a two month study at an immersion Spanish language school.  After brushing up / improving our verbal Spanish skills we will then have the ability to minister more effectively in a variety of ways:

  • Assisting at the village school in Godinez, teaching faith, religion, and English
  • Assisting at the small medical clinic in San Lucas Tolíman
  • Providing Diaconate services at the Parish San Lucas (Saint Luke)
  • Providing ministry care to the outlying villages where there is a shortage of priestly services while offering Sunday services and bringing the Eucharist. Also providing Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, and Quinceaneras, etc.
  • Building lasting Christ-centered relationships with the local people
Our role as Missionaries is not a paid or sponsored position, and we are hoping and praying for a handful of people like you who might be willing to support us with a $10 a month donation.

Yes, only $10 a month!

Our plan is to live a simple and humble lifestyle while renting a small (1-2 room) home, eating as the local people do, and finding comfort in the simple things in life. Our total monthly expenses (food, shelter, toiletries, and medicine) should be less than $150 a month each, so yes a handful of people supporting us with $10 a month will give us all we need to sustain ourselves and our mission.

Please join us and visit and look for the donation button. Our benefactors / supporters will routinely receive personal updates from us regarding the mission, be included in our daily prayers, and receive special letters and pictures from those we are able to help through their support.

Thank you for helping us to follow our call to serve the special people of Guatemala.


Deacon Pat and Liz Kearns

Friday, August 07, 2015

Listening to God's Voice (No Bolivia! Yes Guatemala!)

Today was a very meaningful day for both Liz and I. 

As many of you already know, we have been in New York participating in a pre-mission orientation program with the Salesians (Lay Missioner Program) with the plan to soon begin a year long mission with them in Bolivia.

WELL...... almost two weeks into the orientation program Liz and I began to experience a sense that what we envisioned as our personal call to foreign mission might not be fulfilled with the Salesians.

Knowing that harsh and abrupt decisions should never be made we decided to continue to discern God's call in our lives for a few more days while participating in the program. Thanks God for daily Mass, Prayer, and Adoration.

As the days progressed it became more and more clear that in order to respond to what we specifically felt called to do in mission we would need to change our plans, at least our plans with the Salesians. I believe the Salesians also sensed and discerned that what our expectations were for mission and what they could offer us wasn't going to be a fit so we mutually agreed that we should part and parted on good and respectful terms.

There is a small piece of me that is saddened that I will not experience the people of Bolivia, nor experience the culture, but I also realize that God's plans do not always agree with ours. 

So....... We are back to our initial plan of returning to Guatemala. Over the past 10 years we have frequented San Lucas Tolíman numerous times and each time felt God's presence and witnessed His Spirit in the wonderful people there. 

We will begin our stay in Guatemala in early September in Santa Cruz Atitlán while attending two months of immersion Spanish School. Also, just a short boat ride away across the lake in San Lucas Tolíman, we have some special friends there as well as the mission that we have visited for so many years on summer mission trips.

We will continue to discern our work in Guatemala post language school with an eye on assisting at our friend's rural school, offering diaconal services, and building relationships and spreading the good news.

Please pray for both Liz and I that we remain open to searching for God's voice and that we have the courage to continually respond.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Week 1 Salesian Lay Missioner Orientation

A group of 14 Missioners begin orientation preparing for their 1-2-3 year(s) missions in South America, Africa,and Asia at the International Salesian Headquarters in New Rochelle, New York.

Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Deacon Pat and Liz Kearns take a break from the Salesian Lay Missioner Orientation to visit the Divine Mercy Shine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Become "Authentically Catholic"


In today’s gospel, Jesus sends the Twelve out on mission. It is the same mission that the Father gave to his Son – the mission to preach repentance and healing. It is the same mission that we have, to continue the work of the disciples. Jesus makes it clear however, that this work will only be successful if concerns about material and physical things are given less importance than the preaching of the kingdom of God. We cannot hope to be real heralds of the Good News unless we are authentic – unless we are truly sincere about our faith and show this in our lives. Just as Jesus told his Twelve to take a risk and to travel light, so he tells us in our day to also take a risk in preaching repentance and healing. The “risk” is that we are to begin with ourselves and to have the courage to change our sinful hearts. Yes, we all have sinful hearts. It is important for us to live for Jesus alone and this means that we should repent of a materialistic way of life. 

The readings from today remind me of a popular novel that was eventually made into a movie. The name of it is [Quo Vadis - which means in Latin “Where are you going?”] This is a story of the early church and especially of St. Peter’s struggle to find the courage to lead the first believers in Rome. One of my favorite passages is about a young Roman man who falls in love with a Christian girl. Since he is not a disciple of Jesus, she will have nothing to do with him. One night he follows her to a prayer meeting and there he hears St. Peter (no less) preach with great conviction. After hearing this and seeing the sincerity of the Christians present, including the one he loves, he realizes that if he wants to follow this teaching, he would have to place on a burning pile all of his thoughts and habits, his whole character and indeed his whole nature up until that moment. Only when this fire had burned his entire past into ashes would he be able to fill himself with a life altogether different – to become an entirely new person. This is repentance! It is serious and not half‐hearted. This is what Jesus preached. This is what the Twelve preached. This is what we are called to preach. But we cannot do it unless our own repentance is authentic and complete. The temptation is to point to the other guy and say, you need to repent. But we cannot convince the other guy to repent until we repent, and until our repentance brings healing. Then our example of wholeheartedly living out the Gospel will attract others to the good news of the Gospel, the Gospel of Life, the Gospel of Justice, and the Gospel of Peace. 

As many or you know my wife Liz and I are about to begin our missionary journey in a little less than 2 weeks. We will initially receive training with the Salesian in New York, followed by attending an Immersion Spanish School in Guatemala, and then final placement in Bolivia. Yet, this journey actually began many months ago when we started to purge the possessions from our lives. Week by week the possessions from many years began to disappear as we had yard sales, gave items to friends and family, and gave donations. It didn’t take long and the whole house and garage were empty. Yet, the climatic event was when our house sold and we were without a home, only retaining a few sentimental possessions, items that could fit into our vehicle. I didn’t know what it would feel like being void of everything that I had accumulated until that moment when we drove away from our former home. I pondered that feeling for many hours and maybe I am still processing some of those feeling yet today…. But to sum it up, what I carry is a feeling of total freedom. The burden of possessions is gone; the responsibility of owning and paying for things has been lifted. I feel unattached and able to give in a way I have never experienced before. When Jesus instructed the disciples to take nothing for their journey he knew that worldly things would get in the way of spreading the message of God. Our lives have to be authentic and what we teach and preach are to be lived out by us. It is necessary for us to “travel light” as we preach the Good News. Only then will our Catholic lives be attractive to others. Only then will we begin to fill the hunger of those around us. Only then will the healing begin. In today’s gospel, Jesus left it up to the Twelve. Today he leaves it up to us. Let’s Become Authentic in our Faith! Start today to purge from your lives all that which has become an obstacle in your life of faith! Begin today to preach repentance by your actions and your life! Be not afraid, Take a risk, and become… authentically and joyfully Catholic!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Finding God in our Weakness

The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ex 2:2-5, 2 Cor 12:7-10, MK 6:1-6
A Homily adapted from a version from Fr. Murchadh

A couple of years ago I was talking to a man who was telling me about his life.  He said that most things in his life were great, except for one thing.  He shared that had a terrible temper, which was so frustrating.  He said, ‘If only I didn’t have this temper, everything would be perfect.’ 

I couldn’t help but think that this weakness that was so frustrating to him, was probably also one of the things that helped him to stay close to God.  Because if he thought he was perfect he would probably also think that he had no need for God.  I heard it once said that if we are not aware of our weaknesses we can become terribly arrogant, and in the face of arrogance, God is hidden.

The readings today remind me of a priest known simply as Brother Andrew, who co-founded the Brothers part of the Missionaries of Charity with Mother Teresa.  In one of his books about his experiences, he writes: ‘Few people would believe the weakness on which the Missionaries of Charity are built.’ 

It is a strange statement for most people to hear when we think of people like Mother Teresa and the extraordinary work that she and the many other sisters and brothers do.  Brother Andrew speaks a lot about his own weakness, although he doesn’t say exactly what it was, except that he suffered from some kind of addiction.  This weakness, which frustrated him so much, was also one of the things that made him holy.   He doesn’t say that, but you can see it from his writings.  The reason why God did such great work through him, through Mother Teresa and through so many others, was not because they were talented enough, but because they were aware of how weak they were and so they relied totally on God for everything.

The reason why God was able to do such extraordinary things through the saints is not because they were perfect, but because they were weak people who continually turned to him and so God was able to use them in an extraordinary way.  It is very easy to get a false impression of what holiness is since books can often give us the impression that saints were people who did no wrong.  The truth is saints were and are weak people, with just as many weaknesses as any of us, but they continually turned to God for help and as a result God was able to work through them in an amazing way.  To understand this is key to growing in the spiritual life.  If the saints were perfect people who never did any wrong, then very few of us could relate to them.  But if they were weak people just like any of us—which they were and are—then not only can we relate to them, but it should help us to see that the same path is open to us, because it doesn’t depend on us being good enough, rather it depends on us continually turning to God.  That is the key.

There is no one here who doesn’t struggle with weaknesses of one kind or another.  It could be some kind of addiction, it could be a need to control, an emotional dependency, whatever.  We all have something and as you well know it can be extremely frustrating.

However, I find it consoling that two thousand years ago St. Paul writes about the exact same thing (See this Sunday’s second reading 2 Cor 12:7-10).  Paul was a very intelligent man, well educated and obviously very talented.  And even though he had visions of Jesus which converted him and then he went and preached everywhere, he too suffered from some kind of weakness, although he doesn’t say what it was. In today’s second reading you can really sense his frustration as he says that three times he asked God to take this thing away from him, and three times God said ‘No, my strength is at its best in weakness.’  This weakness, whatever it was, obviously helped him more than he realised.  It kept him humble and it meant that he continually needed to turn to the Lord and ask for his help and that is why he and so many other men and women were such powerful instruments in God’s hands, because they relied totally on God and not on themselves as they were well aware of how weak they were.

I have no doubt that all of us probably feel that we would be much better off if we could overcome our weaknesses.  But perhaps these readings will help us to see that the Lord knows what He is doing when He allows us to struggle with them.  Yes, they are frustrating, but they can also be a gift in the sense that they make us rely on the power of God more than on ourselves.  It also reminds us that it is not a question of being ‘good enough’ for God.  We will never be good enough, but that doesn’t matter.  As long as we know that we are weak then we will see that we have someone to turn to who really can and will help us.

In closing, let’s take a moment and prayerfully reflect on our own personal…. You know , that thing tha we struggle with week after week.

 Let’s just how powerless we are when we rely only on ourselves….. We need God’s help.

Now take that weakness and allow it to humble you….. allow it to make you a little less judgmental…… maybe a little more forgiving, understanding, and compassionate.

Take that weakness and give it to God…… and then, let’s humbly pray that we may become a reflection of God to others in the world