From: Alex B. McMurtrie III
Date: Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 8:38 AM
Subject: Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout & Fr. Mark White
My name is Alex McMurtrie. My family and I have a vacation cabin in Franklin County, Virginia, and attend St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rocky Mount, Virginia, which, until recently was pastored by Fr. Mark White.
We have known several very fine pastors at St. Francis over the years, all of which have been excellent shepherds, who have faithfully instructed the laity, adhering to the principles and sacred doctrine of Holy Mother Church. I have never once been scandalized nor found any teaching given by any priest presiding there to be in conflict or contrary to what is held true by Holy Mother Church.
I can say without hesitation that one priest in particular stands out to me as the embodiment of a “good shepherd” and that was Fr. Mark White. Unfortunately, I must refer to Fr. Mark’s position as pastor of St. Francis, and St. Joseph in Martinsville, Virginia, in the past tense, due to Fr. Mark being suspended by our bishop, Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, as I am sure Your Excellency is painfully aware.
I could go on and on about how selflessly and faithfully Fr. Mark has served ever since I have known him, which is approximately eight years. I could list example after example of his love for us the faithful, but more importantly his love for Jesus Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Never have I seen a priest offer the holy sacrifice of the mass with more reverence and adoration to Dear Jesus. Never have I seen a priest more scrupulous in the handling of Our Dear Lord in the consecrated Host, and I can safely say that Jesus is at home in the hands of such a priest son as Fr. Mark.
Your Excellency, at the risk of sounding a bit extreme and even braggadocious, which is not my intention, I will say that I am a very prayerful man. I pray many rosaries every day, for various people, and have done so for many years, and with God’s grace I will continue to do so.
One rosary I pray each day is for priests and the church hierarchy. I pray for priests for selfish reasons. I pray for priests because I know that without you my soul will certainly perish. I pray for priests because I know that Satan never gives priests a moment’s rest from his various and insidious torments. I pray for priests because I love Jesus and Holy Mother Church, and I am so blessed to be Catholic. I also pray for priests’ families, because they too suffer more, I believe, due to their relative’s vocation.
Your Excellency, I am praying now for justice. I am praying now for God to purge Holy Mother Church from within of any and all who have agendas that are contrary to Jesus’, and especially those priests who are evil in thought, word, or deed, and bent on Her destruction.
I’m tired of asking God for conversions of heart. Souls are at stake here, as you well know, Your Excellency. This situation between Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout and Fr. Mark White is pure madness and is extremely detrimental to Holy Mother Church and we faithful. It must stop.
I don’t pretend to begin to understand what it must be like to have such responsibilities as are upon you Your Excellency. I am a simple man who loves simplicity. The last thing I want to do is add to your “plate,” but, Your Excellency, a grave injustice is occurring here, and I ask your intercession on behalf of we faithful.
Please, I beg you to do all in your power to see that Fr. Mark be given the chance to defend himself, and I am confident that if he is given that opportunity, this situation will be resolved. Pride is the root of this issue, and I pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten the hearts of all involved so that the balm of humility may heal this terrible wound.
Your humble servant,
Alex B. McMurtrie III