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Author Archive: Howard Duncan

Howard Lee Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since.

His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation.

His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes.

He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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Leprosy: Vietnam and The Franciscan Order

October 13, AD2014 4 Comments
Leprosy: Vietnam and The Franciscan Order

“Riding one day in the plains below Assisi, he met a leper whose loathsome sores filled Francis with horror. Overcoming his revulsion, he leapt from his horse and pressed into the leper’s hand all the money he had with him, then kissed the hand. This was a turning point in his life. He started visiting […]

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The Red Sword of ISIS

September 11, AD2014 4 Comments
The Red Sword of ISIS

They bowed their heads to say grace, then started to eat a rare breakfast together when the cell phone rang. The man and his two-and-a-half year old son were the only ones at the table this morning. Normally, they are accompanied by the son’s three older siblings and his mother. Today was different. The others […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

August 19, AD2014 3 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

In yesterday’s column (Part I), I told you about a Franciscan Friar, Brother Anthony Pham Dinh Tuyen OFM Conv, beginnings and escape from Vietnam as a young person after the fall of Saigon in 1975, his new life in the U.S., eventual poor health, then news of imminent death. Today, I finish this inspiring story. Can I go […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

August 18, AD2014 5 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

Imagine finding yourself in a hostile land. It has a history of being violently hostile to everything Christian –  person and property. What do you do if you are a Franciscian friar? If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if […]

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There Are Tiny Catholics Among Us

July 21, AD2014 19 Comments
There Are Tiny Catholics Among Us

We have seen them in our imagination when we first hear of a pregnancy. We may see them in an ultrasound and marvel as they show us the first outlines of their tiny selves. It is a self that will not soon enough burst out into the open air with a loud hello that informs us that our lives […]

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Marriage is for The Few

June 19, AD2014 30 Comments
Marriage is for The Few

The coffee is finally done! Why does the first cup in the morning always take so long to brew? Finally, it is really Saturday morning. Thank you Lord. What a week. It just seems that I wasn’t able to please anyone this week. Why do so many things go wrong at the same time? I should have been a […]

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Boko Haram: How Should Christians Understand It?

May 26, AD2014 18 Comments
Boko Haram: How Should Christians Understand It?

The translation into English of the common name of this politicial/religious group in Nigeria has resulted in several iterations. “The People of the Book (Christians) are harmful”, “Non-Islamic education is a sin”, and “Boko…something (an idea or object) that involves a fraud or any form of deception” from a more academic source. This group has […]

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The Master of Dust

April 28, AD2014 4 Comments
The Master of Dust

As the Extraordinary Form of the Mass progressed the priest started to intone the Gospel. He spoke in Latin, reading from the Gospel situated on the left side of the altar. His back was to me and from my vantage point, it almost looked as if he was hunched over in order to get closer […]

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What Can a Large White Rabbit Show Us?

March 31, AD2014 15 Comments
What Can a Large White Rabbit Show Us?

A while back I was, as was my habit, reading a popular blog and the comments about the current post there. The usual religious skeptics were there and they always capture my attention. One person in particular caused lots of reaction with this comment: If I said to you that I have an invisible rabbit […]

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Bob Buschine: A Child Prodigy and the Social Revolution

March 3, AD2014 3 Comments
Bob Buschine: A Child Prodigy and the Social Revolution

We all are attracted to the stories. This story begins with a kid who was keying symphonic melodies on the piano only at the age of 3. He studied plane geometry in the second grade. He started playing the violin at 6 years old. By age 11 he was studying the Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in […]

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Walk For Life West Coast

January 27, AD2014 1 Comment
Walk For Life West Coast

Another year, the 10th to be exact, just this last Saturday on a beautiful warm California day, the weather was great, the message was the same, and so was the response from the mass media and the San Francisco City government. Hopefully there will be some who received the message sent out loudly by thousands […]

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A Catholic Priest Survives the Gulags – What About America?

January 6, AD2014 11 Comments
A Catholic Priest Survives the Gulags  – What About America?

What is the American equivalent of what the Russian’s called a Gulag? A familiar word to Americans, because of our cold war relations with the Soviet Union. GULAG is actually an acronym for Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel-no-trudovykh LAGerei or ”Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps” that operated the Soviet system of forced labor camps in the […]

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Saint Francis of Assisi and the Laity

December 9, AD2013 8 Comments
Saint Francis of Assisi and the Laity

  If you are like me, the first time you heard that the laity could be members of a religious order, what went through your mind was a group of people who cook and clean for the priests! Even though that may be a great relationship for at least the priests, it’s not how is […]

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Mary Wagner: A Rose is Just a Rose Except in Canada

November 11, AD2013 15 Comments
Mary Wagner:  A Rose is Just a Rose Except in Canada

Imagine this scenario: You are a young girl. You are full of love for others from the tiniest and most defenseless to their mothers who will bore them. You hand one of these mothers a fresh white rose, and a handwritten note. In return, you are put in jail! That imprisonment happened, and is a […]

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Autonomy Gone Wild!

October 14, AD2013 6 Comments
Autonomy Gone Wild!

In this modern era, all faithfully Christian people run up against a concept that is often hard to overcome and not always a conscious part of the conversation when talking with non-religious, ex-religious, or the confused person who claims to be religious but is really modern in his beliefs. This concept often goes unnoticed unless […]

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Is Atheist Richard Dawkins Being Responsible In His Statements?

October 4, AD2013 66 Comments
Is Atheist Richard Dawkins Being Responsible In His Statements?

One of my favorite clichés to refer to when talking about atheism has been that human cliché Richard Dawkins. Nobody just reads his books, we have seen him on television and YouTube. Atheists especially just love him, along with that other fancy talker known fondly as “Hitch” (Hitchens is gone now, and I sincerely give […]

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Religious Communities: Because They Show The Way

September 16, AD2013 6 Comments
Religious Communities: Because They Show The Way

In our rush-to-be-fed-and-entertained modern life (so we will feel pleasure as we bloat) how often are you going to read a story or be shown a story on T.V. about religious contemplatives? A superficial view of this life will make comparisons with secular life – the secular being the standard of comparison of course. If […]

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