Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his missio
nary journey in Europe

The 'Maltese Pigeon' blog
(because I haven't seen any falcons)

Jon Kennedy blog index


Today's Scripture: I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with beguiling speech. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

St. Paul's letter to the Colossians, chapter 2:1-7 ,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in the Republic of Malta

Above is a photo taken Wednesday in the St. Paul's grotto in Rabat, believed to have been the underground dwelling in which St. Paul, a prisoner on his way to Rome to plead his case before Caesar's court (as a Roman citizen, this was a right he chose to exercise rather than to allow the Jerusalem Jewish leaders to try him). The grotto is so close-quarters that it can't be all taken in in one photo, and though the statue is out of place in terms of historical interest, the grotto is a place of worship. I chose this photo because despite the statue, it shows the type of quarters a Roman prisoner was held in. After his arrival in Rome, Paul had a period of "house arrest" in which he was bound to his quarters but not chained or confined to a cell, so it's assumed his situation here was similar. During this period, according to the local church's tradition, Paul established Malta's first Christian congregation. Below is a photo of the church that has been built over the grotto, seen from the piazza or village center of Rabat..

Below is a look at the St. Paul's Catacombs, adjacent to the grotto. The underground burial tunnels were discovered when archaeological exploration of the historic site was conducted in the middle ages.

On Thursday, I continued my quest for the mysterious gorge with the cliff caves and elaborate buildings in several places (discussed here a few blogs back) by visiting Malta's only National Park. That was not the site of the gorge, nor was it anything nearly as worth seeing. The park, directly across the highway from the United States Embassy, seems to be displaying all the variety of tree species grown in Malta, along with being the home of the national stadium, and little else. The quest for the missing gorge will have to be taken up anon.

I usually work on this part of the blogs on the patio in front of the MUR combination restaurant/mini-mart/bar, because I find being in the midst of noisy students is just the right amount of distraction to keep me going and focused. But tonight a Halloween party is about to get underway on the patio and the facilities behind it, and that's a little too much distraction. In fact, I can hear the thump thump of the music bassline in my closed room, so it must be about twice the normal decibel level.

I'm guessing that the students chose to have their MUR party a day before actual Halloween because that's a Friday night and, as in most university cities, there's a special section of the city that draws the disco generation on Friday and Saturday nights, and that's likely where the real Halloween partying will take place, tomorrow. My take is that Maltans are not much into Halloween, though the toy and stationery stores try to make a few Euros from it, but this is the international crowd—the "any reason for a party" generation and the dating generation—so they're more into it. «

A closer look
Links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See caveats, below.

A thousand Bibles sent to Houston mayor over subpoenas to pastors

Catholic World Report: Are we losing the apologetics war with Islam?

William Kilpatrick in Crisis: What would a reformed Islam look like?

Religion in the age of evolution: the pillars remain unshaken by science  «

Christian worldview - a person, not a problem
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Today's meme (in Halloween colors) speaks for itself.  «

Today's video




Today's quotes

I have to wonder whether he actually said
that (or posed for that picture). «

In our days, everybody suffers from one of three things: cancer, mental illness, or divorce.

— Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
(Quoted on Fb by Hiermonk John Anderson)

No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Paul cautions the Colossians in today's epistle passage that it is possible to be beguiled or misled by persuasive speech from the mouths of seeming trustworthy, believable speakers. Don't believe anything contrary to what I've told you, he warns. «

§     §     § Return to top

Caveats on "A closer look"; links to articles on current issues—news, features, and opinion that may signify how the cultural winds are blowing. Note that most 'news reports' are not 'objective' and if some are 'neutral' it's because the writers and editors are disinterested (could care less about the topic). Neither are 'news reports,' in general, highly accurate or unbiased; try to discern the bias of any report's source; always read aware and at your own risk. «

Unless specified otherwise, none of the message memes used in this blog are the creation or property of the author, but are reposted here from the social networks. «

Quotations usually have not been vetted (and thus may be falsely attributed). «

Videos used here are embedded from video websites (most frequently YouTube), and occasionally these are removed from the sites from which they were embedded, or permissions on those sites change, causing them to "disappear" from these pages. This is also likely to happen to links to articles outside this site. This is beyond the control or remedy of this blog. «

Comments: Please leave comments on my Facebook or Google+ page. «

§ I have now uploaded over 3,000 photos and videos, mostly from my recent 19-month visit to Northern Ireland, but also including several hundred photos and videos from my summer in Pennsylvania (2012), some photos of the family, and some new ones from Malta on my Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by sets. Click here for the Flicker site.

For more and more spontaneous posts, follow me on, and Twitter (click on either icon to go to the site).

Google+ works more automatically, so most of the pictures I post (excluding Flickr) are posted there. Feedback: Please comment on anything in today's blog on the Facebook and Google+ pages linked above, and of course via email to

Feedback is always welcome.

§     §     §

Please pray for my mission to Europe. You can read my background overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is Room 215B, Robert Mifsud Bonnici str, Lija, LJA 1405 Malta. Mobile, (Not yet available, please check later blogs for update).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

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This blog is just
an attempt to communicate
between an American lay missionary in Europe, his friends there, his friends in his home parish in Silicon Valley, California, and his friends in his native coalfields of Western Pennsylvania, and any others interested. When time for deeper reflection is lacking, this may consist mainly of reposts of things from online networks that seem to resonate with members of his circles.

The Nanty Glo Home Page, on which this blog resides, and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley, Pa., community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.

Suitable letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication in the Forum department unless they are specifically labeled "Not for Publication."

Jon Kennedy's recent book,
C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads, is available for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author'
s mission to Europe. Click here to download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf on your PC or smartphone.

C.S. Lewis Society of Northern Ireland

Blogs I follow:

Glory to God for All Things

Dock Cafe - Life in the Titanic Quarter

Sitting around the campfire with Jim

Other books by Jon

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