Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Father Alphonsus Trebold was an Ordained Franciscan Monk who taught at St. Bonaventure University. He became well known for performing the exorcism of the haunting at the Hinsdale House. He was a very good friend of mine, and when I was in my late twenties/early thirties, he helped me greatly by explaining to me what my abilities are. He is the one that lead me to the police department to work with missing persons cases.
In the early 80's when I was a police officer, he asked me to give a lecture for the students at Jamestown Community College on psychic ability. During the lecture, a man who was part of a group that debunked psychics, challenged me by saying, “I was told by a psychic that she worked on some cases, so I asked the police officer and he said that she didn't work on the cases.” I asked him, “Which one do you believe?” and he said, “The police officer, of course!” I replied, “Well, I'm a psychic AND a police officer… Now who are you going to believe?” In a situation like that, many times police officers aren't willing to admit that they have worked with a psychic, and a psychic working with the police on a case are often not able to discuss the case for confidentiality reasons.
After the lecture was over, I called up Father Al and half joking asked him, “What are you doing to me? You told me it was a lecture- not a debate!” He said, “I knew you could handle it!" It made me feel great to know that this man who I have so much respect for had that much confidence in me!
I was also invited to Wellsville to give a similar lecture, and I ended up staying for the whole day speaking to one class after another. One of the students who was taking notes as the school reporter asked me if I believe in God, and I said, “Yes I do.” Because of that, many of the priests in the area implied I was preaching religion in school. If someone asks me if I believe in God or Jesus, I'm going to tell them yes. They asked me why I believe my abilities are a God-given gift, and I told them because Father Trebold confirmed it for me. Those priests called him about it, and he quickly came to my defense in his very gentle, diplomatic way.
Shortly after Father Al’s death in April of 2005, a lovely article was written about him by Jim Miller for The BonaVenture. Here is a brief excerpt:
"Any power that we have has to ultimately come from God," he said in 2003, becoming animated as he warmed to his favorite subject. "That's to be understood. Otherwise, it just wouldn't be there. Very often, you will find that people associate any kind of paranormal ability - for instance, ESP - (with) something evil. I've had certain groups of clergymen of certain denominations condemn these things. They say it's the Devil. No!" - here his voice rose, strong and enthusiastic - "No, it isn't. It's just things we don't understand."
A couple of weeks before he died, he stopped by and took me to lunch. I'm very grateful for that time with him. And I will always be grateful that he gave me the courage to acknowledge that my abilities are a gift from God, and that I use them for the greater good.