Faith in God, and his gun

RUMFORD — Faith in God works to a point for Monsignor Daniel P. Beegan of Pine Street.

The Rev. Msgr. Daniel Beegan
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Monsignor Daniel Beegan of the Holy Catholic Charismatic Church's St. Brendan's Parish in Rumford, poses in front of an altar in the living room of his small brick house. "They had a good sale on freeze-dried food," Beegan said of the boxes stacked behind the altar. "That's really the last place in the world I would like them, but it's the only place that worked." For a video of Beegan, visit www.sunjournal.com.

The Rev. Msgr. Daniel Beegan
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Monsignor Daniel Beegan was ordained by the Holy Catholic Charismatic Church based in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 16.  He began his studies years ago and was ordained to the minor orders in January 2006.

The Rev. Msgr. Daniel Beegan
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Monsignor Daniel Beegan shows off the firearm he generally carries, a .380-caliber Kel-Tec P-3AT.

But when it comes to security, the padre packs a pistol.

Beegan, a nontraditional priest who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, draws the line at carrying his Kel-Tec .380-caliber automatic handgun into a bar.

“I consider myself as a sheepdog on guard against the wolves,” he said Tuesday.

For him, being a gun-toting priest isn't awkward.

“The Bible gives very ample justifications for self-defense, defense of family, defense of plot,” he said.

An avid deer hunter and firearms enthusiast as a youth in Vermont, Beegan said he now enjoys shooting guns at Dixfield's Webb River Sportsmen's Club, where he is a member.

“There's an old New England saying, 'God helps those who help themselves,' for one thing, and I think that carrying a firearm is an example of that,” he said.

He said he carries a handgun openly in the woods to ward off coyotes while walking Maeve Dog — his 5-year-old Newfoundland, named after a Celtic war queen — Beegan said he occasionally carries a concealed weapon.

“I am very discreet,” he said. “I also obey the law and do not carry in federal buildings, schools, barrooms or other places where such carry is either forbidden, or, in the case of a gin joint, just plain stupid.”

Beegan isn't affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. He became a priest after retiring from a 35-year career with The Associated Press. He and his living-room “church” are considered independent.

Curiosity, and his long-term disability from back and other health problems, led him into the priesthood.

"I went to the University of Vermont for college, finishing up with an online college, and then spent about five years studying for the priesthood," he said.

His degree is in pastoral psychology.

"I hold three religious doctorates, one of which, the doctor of ministry, or D. Min., took me four years to obtain," Father Beegan said.

 Ordained as a deacon in October 2005, he said he was ordained on Jan. 8, 2006, as a priest of the Charismatic Church by Patriarch Michal I, aka Archbishop J. Paul A. Boucher, of Holy Catholic Charismatic Church of Berlin, N.H.

He is now under the jurisdiction of Bishop Heyward Ewart of St. James The Elder Seminary in Jacksonville, Fla., and through Ewart, of Metropolitan Archbishop Joel Clemente of the Philippines.

On Feb. 16, the self-proclaimed 30-year student of religion was promoted through the Holy Catholic Charismatic Church of Jacksonville as "the reverend monsignor."

Father Beegan calls his own church St. Brendan's Catholic Charismatic Oratory but has no parishioners.

A framed certificate he removed from a living room wall near his church altar — behind which were stacked many boxes of freeze-dried food — states that Beegan is “a Priest of God” who “has been granted full Sacerdotal Faculties to administer the Sacraments of the Church.”

“I'm Father Superior of the Interdenominational Order of St. Barnabas,” Beegan said. “It was a rather quick rise, but purely job-related. Really, it gives me nothing except some command authority. It's sort of the equivalent of being a top sergeant or a master chief petty officer.”

Since becoming a priest, Beegan said that through the Internet, he counsels people like himself who are in chronic pain, acting more as a life coach than a counselor.

“I do pastoral counseling, what any priest would do,” he said. “I am not a mental health counselor. I don't recommend medications or anything like that. I pray for people who are in pain and ask them to pray for me. But never is prayer a substitute for good science-based medicine.”

Counseling is what eventually led Beegan to carry a concealed weapon.

“I was being stalked by a female back in 2007,” he said. “I met her through counseling, and then she turned into a stalker.”

The counseling-gone-bad session with an unidentified Texas woman ended his telephone counseling work. That's also when he took Scott Blaisdell's concealed-weapon course through the Dixfield sportsmen's club, qualifying with his wife's Smith and Wesson .38-caliber Special revolver.

“And then I discovered Kel-Tecs," Beegan said. "They're a small, lightweight (palm-fit); sort of the poor man's Glock, but they're reliable.”

He acknowledged that the gun is under-powered for self-defense, but he has carried it concealed in Lewiston and would consider doing the same in certain areas of Rumford.

As for the freeze-dried food stacked beside his altar, he said he only uses it when he can't find inexpensive meat.

“I'm a bit of a survivalist, but not one of the wacky ones,” he said. “I'm a believer in being prepared.”

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Audrey Alcala's picture

Self proclaimed something

This self proclaimed whatever may be out to preotect himself, but he can't guarentee some innocent person won't be the recipient of his bullet. I suffer from chronic pain and am disabled, but I would not look to him for counseling. Yes, he may understand to a point, but he has dubbed himself too many things.

John Beaulieu's picture

Gun control

I am very strongly opposed to gun control. The 2nd Amendment is what it is and it has been curtailed in lieu of people's fear of guns because of crime and the animals in our society.

I watched a security video of an attempted gang asassination of a store clerk who was to testify against a store robber. He was shot 3 times and lived but TWO bystanders were literally within 2 feet of the guy for almost 20 seconds just watching him do what he was doing before deciding to flee for their own lives which would be the obvious choice having no firearm on themselves.

ONE of them if they had a gun could have easily dealt with him. I have never owned a gun and feel the right to own one and have one on oneself is covered in the constitution well enough and people should respect why the right to bear arms is in it in the first place. if you do not understand why go read about it, there are several books on the subject that explain our founding Father's justification for having it in there.

John Beaulieu's picture

Gun Control

I agree .... like I said I do not own a gun and never have BUT the fact remains it is a guaranteed right and people should stop messing with it and using crime as an excuse like those morons in Chicago who have banned handguns.

 

Ironically I am also a Republican as you are .... seems we both believe in less Government interference in our lives. Sucks living in a blue state but alas here we are.

 

 

Kevin Saisi's picture

Where does it say he is

Where does it say he is affiliated with the League of the South??

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Not a Priest

Being a dues-paying member of the League of the South, being associated with a secessionist group in Vermont, being a bit of a survivalist, and being an internet priest, suggests that this man's love of guns may present risks. 

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

League of the South

The League of the South has been identified by the Southern Proverty Law Center as a white supremist neo-confederate organization. "The Alabama-based group is against interracial marriage, believes the old Confederacy never surrendered, and wants to reestablish "the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions". You "just" don't belong to the League of the South. You don't "just" believe in some of its views.

In 2005 the white supremist SVR, which argues for Vermont to secede from the Union, joined with the League of the South in hopes of breaking America up into pure ethnic republics.

This man's background suggests that he may be very dangerous.

Mark Wrenn's picture

lie

Until you start using your real name, Gizmo, everything you post is a cowardly lie.

RONALD RIML's picture

Gregg - If you haven't read

Gregg - If you haven't read about one getting shot by their own weapon - then you're not very well read.

It's very common.  See Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention

Suicide is reported as the seventh leading cause of death for males, with firearms used 56% of the times.

It used to be my job to go to the scene and investigate these shootings; then deal with the family.  A real freakin' joy.

And you're not aware of all the other accidents folks have with firearms?

It appears you don't know enough about firearms to safely use or respect them.

Roger Gagne's picture

Shootings

I have seen at least a couple people shoot them selves with Nail Guns. So Stupid will be stupid either way.

 's picture

Hmm, a priest with no

Hmm, a priest with no followers, who carries a gun. Sounds to me as if he is off his meds.

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