Finding one’s way down the Yellow Brick Road

Published 1:58 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Rev. Nathan Castle grew up in Groves, but he hasn’t lived in the area since 1974. However, he’ll be back home next weekend for a Lenten Mission, or Parish Mission, at St. Joseph’s Parish, 4600 Procter St. in Port Arthur.

“This will be my own homecoming. Though I’m away, my heart is still here,” Castle said. “If a person is a spectator of their own life, they can find their way home. Even for those who are carried along and are not comfortable in their own skin and they feel like giving up, running away from their own life, they can find themselves.”

The first session for all participants will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. Then, participants can choose to attend either a morning session from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on March 27 or an evening session from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 28.

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Castle is the author of “And Toto, Too: The Wizard of Oz as a Spiritual Adventure.” There’s also a website at

Castle said he watched the Oz story over and over. When he was growing up, his family would have gatherings, even parties, to watch the movie.

“I’ve always been fascinated by it,” he said. “Even if someone doesn’t go to church and religions will have their sacred literatures, everyone knows this story. It pieces out the big questions of life.”

“I say Jesus is the human face of God and Toto is the canine face of God.”

He added that the classic story is something special and something closer to people than they thought was possible.

Castle graduated from Bishop Byrne Catholic High School in Port Arthur in 1974. Consequently, the weekend he’s in Port Arthur will also serve as a class reunion.

He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, St. Meinrad Seminary in Indianapolis, Ind. and then joined the Dominicans — an order of preachers. He also has graduate degrees from Stanford University, Arizona State University and the University of California- Riverside.

David Ball: 409-721-2427