The Roman Catholic Diocese Of Lubbock
Most Reverend Robert M. Coerver, S.T.L., M.S.
Bishop Of Lubbock

Deacon Michael

Deacon Michael Kenny

Deacon Michael is from San Antonio and was ordained a deacon in 2004.  He has been a member of Holy Spirit Family since 2009 and employed since 2013.  He graduated from Alamo Heights High School in 1964 and East Texas State University in 1970. He entered the Air Force in 1970 and retired in 1996. From 1996 to 2013 he taught at Cooper High School in Abilene Texas.

As an employee of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, one of his duties is to manage the buildings. Deacon Michael’s is involved with Faith in Action here at Holy Spirit and he helps people practice their faith.  Another  ministry as a deacon is to teach Safe Environment, visit the sick and elderly, give spiritual guidance to those in need and to teach at teen retreats.  He also assists the pastor in any way he can.

Deacon Michael is involved with Faith in Action here at Holy Spirit; he helps people practice their faith. In addition, he works with other Lubbock ministries; St. Benedict’s Food Kitchen, the East Side Boys and Girls Club, Lubbock Impact, and Paul’s Project for tent city as well as a large prison ministry by mail. Another important ministry is in Mexico called Sky Cross.com. To learn more about this ministry, check out this video on Sky Cross.org

Prison Ministry

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Deacon Michael Kenny 5815 82nd St. #145 PMB 1 62 Lubbock TX 79424 Brothers, here is another great letter from Justin. He and I are taking turns writing because I am old. 2016-12-03   A Father’s Day Reflection – by Justin

A famous Bible professor once told a story about his time at Harvard University as a student. He was working on an assignment in the printing room when he saw another student, a young woman working on her paper. She looked like she didn’t want to be bothered but raised her head with burning anger in her eyes and she slowly began to chide him through her teeth. “I..AM..WRITING..A..PAPER..ON..WHY..WE..SHOULDN’T..ADDRESS..GOD..AS..FATHER!”

She then lowered her head back to her paper to suggest that the brief conversation was over. The young man immediately thought to himself, “Well that’s the stupidest thing, I’ve ever heard in my life! Haven’t you ever heard the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Our FATHER who are in Heaven’?” but he caught himself. Instead of correcting her he simply told her that her writing topic sounded interesting and he left it at that.

Years later, after he was a much older and wiser man, he recalled the story with gratitude. He was grateful that for once in his young life he was smart enough to keep his mouth shut, to leave the girl alone. After all, what must have happened to her to make her so angry that she chided a complete stranger through her teeth? Had her father hurt her? Had he abandoned her? Had other male figures in her life done some sort of damage to her? Anger often conceals hurt, and she seemed to have plenty of pain to go around. Indeed, the very thought of ‘father’ seemed to wound her greatly.

I am telling you this story because it is almost Father’s Day and I can think of no Father more deserving of our reflection than our heavenly father. Yet I immediately realize that to call God ‘Father’ may not mean any more to some inmates that it meant to the girl in this story. Many do not know what it is like to have a loving father. Many people reading this letter have fathers whom they’ve never met, or fathers who abandoned them in childhood. Others had abusive, harsh, or disapproving fathers. Still others had fathers who might have been around, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. An alcoholic, addicted, or foolish father is one that can hardly be respected. If we have not experienced a good relationship with our human father then how will it mean anything at all to us when someone tells us that God is be called our ‘heavenly Father’?

The answer is that we must allow the Word of God to define God’s fatherhood—not our own family experiences. My father was there but he never seemed to be happy with me. It is no wonder that I have struggled to believe that God accepts me. Three of the most well—known atheist writers were men who had horrible relationships with their fathers. This is because people often project their bad experiences with their parents onto how they see God. Therefore, we must use the Bible to embrace God as he is, instead of trying to remake Him in our parents’ image.

  • Our Father is a provider. After Jesus addressed God as Father in the Lord’s Prayer one of the things he said was ‘give us this day our daily bread’. Life can be hard and stressful, and it is easy to feel like we are on our own. It is easy to complain about all the things we don’t have. But if you are alive to read this letter that is proof God has been faithful. He has answered Jesus’ prayer for you. He has provided for your daily bread.
  • Our Father is forgiving. The most famous parable in all the Gospels is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In this story, the son takes his father’s money and wastes it on prostitutes, bringing shame to his father’s name. Yet when the son returns home the father runs out to meet him. The father falls on his neck and kisses him. Later when someone insults his son because of his shameful mistakes the father stands up for him; “He was lost but now he is found!” I think the reason this story is so powerful is because inwardly we all realize how much evil we have done, and we all know we need a father who offers us radical forgiveness even after we’ve wasted so much of our lives. God is precisely the Father of radical forgiveness that we so desperately require. He stands up for us when the world seeks to shame us.
  • Our Father disciplines His children for their own good. Sadly, many of us think of God as someone who likes to torment us for our mistakes. We often fail to realize that our sins come with their own punishment. Yet even when God punishes us; He does not do so for His own enjoyment. He does so because He is trying to secure our future. He knows that His children will not survive long if we don’t have the sacred privilege of learning from our mistakes. Fatherly love is still father love—even when it hurts.
  • Our Father gives life. Some who read this will know the experience of giving life to a newborn child. The ability to grant life is one of the things that makes us most like God. On the other hand, Deacon Michael and I have received countless letters from inmates grieving the loss of a loved one. Those who have experienced that pain know there is nothing anyone can say to make it better. More impressive than our ability to give life is God’s ability to give it a second time. The gospel may sound like old news to some, but for those who miss the ones they love, the promise that God is going to defeat death forever is still good news every time they hear it.
  • Our Father leaves us an inheritance. The Old Testament tells us that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. The New Testament tells us what God plans to give His children. We will be given the earth, the kingdom of heaven, the authority to judge angels, the right to reign with Christ on his throne, and an invitation to eat from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. Our God is no five—acre slumlord! He will literally give us everything!
  • Our Father is a father to the fatherless. A prison once offered free Mother’s Day cards and postage to its inmates. It was such an overwhelming success they decided to do the same for Father’s Day. Less than 1% of the population participated in free Father’s Day cards.

This brings us back to what we were talking about at the beginning of this letter. Psalm 68 tells us God is a Father to the fatherless and He makes a home for the lonely. Statistics tell us that those who grow up fatherless are more likely to drop out of school and obtain a legal record. Yes, it is true that God is a Father to all who will accept Him. But, I believe this Psalm is telling us that God is extending a special invitation of fatherhood to those who grew up without a dad. He wants to be the Father they never had. Let us not view God through the lenses of our own fallen relationship with our parents. God is still running out to meet us on the abandoned side—road left to the emptiness of our lonely lives. He is still running out to fall on our necks, kiss us, and receive us as His sons. With a Father such as this, how can we leave Him there waiting on us? Let us run out to meet Him too. Peace, Justin/michael

Deacon Michael Kenny   Sunday, July 31, 2016
5815 82nd St. #145 PMB 162 Lubbock TX 79242

To my brothers;
Greetings from your servant of the Lord Jesus the Christ. I don’t know why, but I thought I would print this picture of my wife, Allyson, our dog Samson (dedicated to God from his birth) and myself. I just wanted to share and explain a little about the ministry to you men before I got into the message for this month. As you can see we are old, and so are the group of volunteers who carry me in this ministry. 

almi

Now this ministry is to bring you the Good News, the Truth about Our Lord and Savior. He, who died for our sins to make us right with the Father. He will save your souls and lead you to Heaven forever. We are all so blessed by God, yes even in jail.

Now, today I want to give you the wonderful gift of prayer. It is how we communicate with God; it is what brings us peace, and it is what we need to survive in this world especially in prison. You are living in Hell and you will not make it without Our Lord and Savior. But the Good News is that He is there in prison with you; in fact He is sitting next to you at this very moment; take a minute right now to say hello and recognize Him, and thank Him for being there with you.  God wants you to talk to him just as you would talk to a friend, a really good friend. You see prayer does not have to be so complicated, but it takes practice and concentration. First of all, there are some wonderful scripted prayers that you can say to help relax and calm your soul. The best is the Jesus prayer; Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Now, I add at the end, “who loves you”. This is a prayer you can say every day, all day, and it will help you get through the day.

Another one is to help you when the devil is attacking you; Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. However, the best prayer in the world is the Lord’s Prayer, The Our Father. If you do not know it, you can learn it there in prison. Many Men can teach you. It is the one prayer we all know no matter what our faith background was, and it is how Jesus taught us to pray.

In the Book of Matthew chapters six and seven, Jesus himself talks about how we are to pray; study His words. You will find the best advice ever on prayer. He tells us to go to God in quiet private personal prayer. This is the best and most effective, but it takes practice and concentration. First, read the Bible, say a prayer like the Our Father and then just sit in the quiet silence. Close your eyes to block out the world. Try to block out the noise. It may have to be done in the middle of the night while you are in bed. Do the best you can. After a time of silence says, “Draw near Divine Master”. Now, in your heart, speak to God. Tell Him you love Him and that you believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Tell Him you are sorry for your sins. Ask Him to forgive you. Then be quiet and wait for God to plant thoughts in your mind. Next time repeat and then ask Him to help you with your weak faith. Beg Him to help you trust Him and believe in Him. Then be quiet in your heart and let it feel the love Jesus has for you personally.

The goal is for you to establish a personal relationship with Christ, just like you would with a friend or wife. You will find that there is a great peace promised by Jesus to His disciples, and to us by trusting in Him. When we become Christians we die to Christ and put away our old self, and put on a new self. This new self is a spiritual self, a self that looks above, not here at the ugliness of the devil’s earth. Colossians 3&9. You can only find this peace by trusting in God and having faith in Him. You may not get His grace for you unless you ask in an established prayer life.

So, my brothers work on your relationship with God through prayer and faith; see what happens. I promise you that Jesus is waiting for you to turn your heart completely to Him. So, from all of us old folks to all the brothers in prison, we send our love and respect to your ne self.

God bless,
Michael

Congratulations to Deacon Michael Kenny on his induction into the Abilene Cooper High School Hall of Fame.