Retired Priest | Episcopal Diocese of Texas

Longtime Gulf Coast resident Doug Cadwallader recalls childhood trips to New Orleans, sampling beignets and visiting the French Quarter. Here, he points out some of the city’s most distinctive attractions. 

New Orleans visitors have no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment. Visitors can check out the Aquarium of the Americas, one of the country’s top aquariums and a great option for the whole family. The French Quarter is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and its charm is unmatchable. The area boasts historic hotels, world-class shopping, and famed Bourbon Street, which comes to life at night with live music and parties. 

No visit to New Orleans would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Gumbo, a spicy stew featuring meat and vegetables served over rice, combines elements of West European, African, Caribbean, and native Indian influences. Andouille sausage is spicy and heavily smoked, often featured in gumbo or jambalaya. For a quick lunch, try a po’boy, a sky-high sandwich loaded with roast beef, turkey, or sausage, and usually covered with gravy. There’s plenty to satisfy a sweet tooth, as well. Beignets, or French donuts, are deep-fried and covered with powdered sugar. Brought to Louisiana by descendants of French settlers, they are a perfect example of the city’s rich and diverse heritage.

By Doug Cadwallader

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid of Giza represents a stunning achievement in human willpower. Built around 2,560 B.C., the pyramid reigned as the tallest structure in the world for nearly 4,000 years.

Approximately 2.3 million limestone blocks were transported to the site to build the pyramid. In all, roughly 5.5 million tons of stone that had to be moved by boat or by hand using the most primitive of methods. To cement together the stones, the Egyptians used 500,000 tons of mortar, giving the pyramid stones a bond that has lasted for millennia. Estimates vary on how long the labor force toiled to build the Great Pyramid, but the generally accepted number is approximately 20.

Evidence points to nearly 100,000 skilled laborers as the workforce behind the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. With some of the stone blocks weighing 80 tons apiece, these workers needed to devise intricate methods for transporting and raising the blocks. A series of ramps were likely used for much of the construction, although completing the top of the pyramid using this method is unlikely. Scholars suggest several types of ramps as possibilities, including straight ramps, zigzagging ramps, and spiral ramps, where milk or water was used to lubricate the ramp for easier sliding of the stones. Various levers are thought to be the most likely solution for moving the blocks further up to the top of the pyramid after they were transported on ramps. Using stone or wooden shims to push the stones is one method of levering likely used by pyramid laborers.

Today, the Great Pyramid of Giza continues to stun visitors with its sheer immensity as well as its engineering marvels. The base of the pyramid is level within a fraction of an inch, a feat that is hard to achieve even with the best 21st-century technologies.

About the author:
Doug Cadwallader gained an appreciation for the ancient world while pursuing a Master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Louisiana State University. During his travels in Egypt, he crawled through the Great Pyramid, and was able to touch interior stones and intricate carvings.

Doug Cadwallader is a retired priest of The Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He worked on behalf of the Diocese for 33 years, acting as rector and assistant rector at various parishes. Before his retirement, Fr. Cadwallader served at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School in Houston. Below, Doug Cadwallader outlines the ordainment process for individuals who wish to join the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.

1. The first step of this process is known as discernment. This is a time of soul-searching, when you will weigh all considerations to be sure the priesthood is right for you. Choosing this path is a long-term commitment and requires dedication.

2. After you are interviewed by a discernment committee, usually made up of members of your church’s priesthood and vestry, and it approves of your intentions to join the priesthood, you can meet with the Bishop of your diocese.

3. Some dioceses might require a background check and mental health evaluation before you can proceed to the next steps. It is also important to note that you must have been baptized and confirmed in the church, and possess evidence of education beyond a high school diploma. Once you’ve resolved any background issues, you are officially known as a Candidate for Holy Orders, meaning you are approved to seek out seminary.

4. Seminary lasts for three years and can be completed at any one of the 10 accredited Episcopalian seminaries in the United States. After completing your seminary studies and General Ordination Exams, you will receive a Master of Divinity.

5. After graduation, you will be ordained as a deacon, and continue to train under the guidance of a priest. This training lasts at least six months, after which you enter the priesthood and be assigned to a parish of your own.

Doug Cadwallader is a retired priest of The Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He worked on behalf of the Diocese for 33 years, acting as rector and assistant rector at various parishes. Before his retirement, Fr. Cadwallader served at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School in Houston. Below, Doug Cadwallader outlines the ordainment process for individuals who wish to join the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.

1. The first step of this process is known as discernment. This is a time of soul-searching, when you will weigh all considerations to be sure the priesthood is right for you. Choosing this path is a long-term commitment and requires dedication.

2. After you are interviewed by a discernment committee, usually made up of members of your church’s priesthood and vestry, and it approves of your intentions to join the priesthood, you can meet with the Bishop of your diocese.

3. Some dioceses might require a background check and mental health evaluation before you can proceed to the next steps. It is also important to note that you must have been baptized and confirmed in the church, and possess evidence of education beyond a high school diploma. Once you’ve resolved any background issues, you are officially known as a Candidate for Holy Orders, meaning you are approved to seek out seminary.

4. Seminary lasts for three years and can be completed at any one of the 10 accredited Episcopalian seminaries in the United States. After completing your seminary studies and General Ordination Exams, you will receive a Master of Divinity.

5. After graduation, you will be ordained as a deacon, and continue to train under the guidance of a priest. This training lasts at least six months, after which you enter the priesthood and be assigned to a parish of your own.

One of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, Chartres Cathedral in France impressed me greatly with its beauty and holiness. It is one of the best-preserved cathedrals in existence, despite fires in the early years of its construction and wars in its vicinity.

The design of the cathedral revolves around the floor plan in the shape of a cross. Also, a labyrinth covers the floor in the center. The original purpose of the labyrinth is not known for certain; it is likely that its long, winding path symbolized a spiritual journey for pilgrims.

An earlier church burned down in 1194; rebuilding began almost immediately, funded by donations from all quarters of France. Major construction ended in 1220. The cathedral contains among its relics what is supposedly the tunic of the Virgin Mary.

An extensive array of flying buttresses supports the nave (front) of the cathedral and its sides. The buttresses enabled the construction of larger-than-ever stained glass windows.

Massive sculptures adorn Chartres. Those on the north portal depict scenes from the Old Testament, while those on the south display New Testament scenes. The royal portal on the west displays events in the lives of Christ and Mary.

An Episcopal priest for some 30 years, the Rev. Doug Cadwallader was instrumental in establishing a food bank in Houston, Texas.

By Doug Cadwallader

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid of Giza represents a stunning achievement in human willpower. Built around 2,560 B.C., the pyramid reigned as the tallest structure in the world for nearly 4,000 years.

Approximately 2.3 million limestone blocks were transported to the site to build the pyramid. In all, roughly 5.5 million tons of stone that had to be moved by boat or by hand using the most primitive of methods. To cement together the stones, the Egyptians used 500,000 tons of mortar, giving the pyramid stones a bond that has lasted for millennia. Estimates vary on how long the labor force toiled to build the Great Pyramid, but the generally accepted number is approximately 20.

Evidence points to nearly 100,000 skilled laborers as the workforce behind the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. With some of the stone blocks weighing 80 tons apiece, these workers needed to devise intricate methods for transporting and raising the blocks. A series of ramps were likely used for much of the construction, although completing the top of the pyramid using this method is unlikely. Scholars suggest several types of ramps as possibilities, including straight ramps, zigzagging ramps, and spiral ramps, where milk or water was used to lubricate the ramp for easier sliding of the stones. Various levers are thought to be the most likely solution for moving the blocks further up to the top of the pyramid after they were transported on ramps. Using stone or wooden shims to push the stones is one method of levering likely used by pyramid laborers.

Today, the Great Pyramid of Giza continues to stun visitors with its sheer immensity as well as its engineering marvels. The base of the pyramid is level within a fraction of an inch, a feat that is hard to achieve even with the best 21st-century technologies.

About the author:
Doug Cadwallader gained an appreciation for the ancient world while pursuing a Master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Louisiana State University. During his travels in Egypt, he crawled through the Great Pyramid, and was able to touch interior stones and intricate carvings.

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to Doug Cadwallader’s blog.