Showing posts from May, 2011

How to face the New Evangelization

( The pope met with members of the Vatican's newest Council. It's called the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Among them was its first chairman, Archbishop Rino Fisichella. In the meeting, the Pope talked about the meaning of the "new evangelization."

Benedict XVI
"The term 'new evangelization' refers to a new approach of teaching the Gospel, especially for those living in a situation like the present, in which the development of secularism has left deep scars in countries with rich Christian traditions."

Benedict XVI said, there's still a correlation between the way the Gospel was taught by early Christians and the way it's taught now. This, despite the huge time lapse.

Benedict XVI
"Giving reasons for faith in today's circumstances, which are different from the past. The crisis involves the exclusion of God from the lives of people, widespread indifference to Christian faith, t…

Model Kathy Ireland: Defund Planned Parenthood

“I think Planned Parenthood needs to reassess and look at what their values are, what their mission is, what their goals are, and do they deserve government funding? For example, there are non-profits that I’m involved with, and we don’t get government funding."

“To force people who don’t agree with some of the practices, I don’t believe in that. I don’t think tax payers need to fund something as controversial as [Planned Parenthood]."

Read the full story.

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which recalls Mary's visit with her cousin Elizabeth. This event is also the second joyful mystery of the rosary -- the first being the Annunciation.

Elizabeth had been barren all her life, but in the Annunciation, Mary learned that her kinswoman was miraculously expecting a child in her old age. Upon hearing this good news, Mary fervently desired to share in Elizabeth's joy and serve her during the last part of her pregnancy. So she went "with haste" to visit Elizabeth and remained with her for three months.

Mary's first action after God had come to dwell in her was one of self-denying charity. She undertook a troublesome journey in order to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Thus, she proclaimed charity to be the virtue which above all Christ brought with Him from heaven. God made Mary's visit the occasion of a wonderful miracle. On her entrance into St. Elizabeth's dwelling, St. John the Baptist…

Across the Fruited Plain

Operation Rescue Leader Troy Newman presents a one minute commentary on abortion and Kansas. Thanks, Troy, for sharing your inspiring thoughts with us! God bless you for all you do for life!

Saint Joan of Arc

Today's saint is the valiant warrior Saint Joan of Arc, French national heroine, who was born in Domremy, France, 1412 and died in Rouen, France, 1431.

When she was about 13 years old, Joan began to hear the voices of Saints Michael the Archangel, Margaret of Antioch, and Catherine of Alexandria, urging her to free her country from the English. Joan’s visions told her to find the true king of France and help him reclaim his throne. She resisted for more than three years, but finally went to Charles VII in Chinon and told him of her visions. After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, she was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429. Carrying a banner that read “Jesus, Mary”, she led the troops into battle.

She followed the famous campaign of the Loire during which the English were decisively beaten, and Charles was crowned at Rheims, on July 17, 1429.

When she was captured by the Burgundians during the defense of Compiegne, she wa…

Memorial Day Tribute 2011

This post is dedicated to all our military heroes -- especially those in my own family -- my dad, my brother, Michael, my sister, Susan, and my brother-in-law, Heinz. Thank you for your service!

A Prayer for Memorial Day
Remember, Lord, the fallen
Who died in fields of war,
In flaming clouds,
in screaming crowds,
On streets that are no more,
That we today might waken
And greet this day in peace
With grateful prayer for those who bear
The storms that never cease.
Remember friends and strangers,
And those forgotten now,
Whose names are known to you alone,
Before whose love we bow
And ask that you surround them
With mercy’s endless light
That they may live,
and we forgive
The foe they went to fight.
Remember, Lord, the living,
Who bear the pain of loss-
A death she died who stood beside
Her Son upon the cross.
Remember all your children
The dead and those who weep,
And make us one beneath the sun
Where love will never sleep.
Text: 7686D; Genevieve Glen, OSB; © 2005, Abbey of St. Walburga, Virginia Dale, CO. Publish…

Four men ordained priests in the Diocese of Wichita

Fathers Marco A. De Loera, Daniel J. Duling, John P. Fogliasso, and Jeremy S. Huser were ordained priests Saturday, May 28, by Bishop Michael O. Jackels at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, Kansas.

For details and photos, see the Catholic Advance article.

William Shakespeare was probably a Catholic, says Archbishop of Canterbury

 William Shakespeare was probably a Catholic, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who discussed spirituality and secularism in the Bard’s plays with the actor Simon Russell Beale.

Little is known of Shakespeare’s life and there is no direct evidence of his religious affiliation, but Dr Rowan Williams said he believed him to be a Catholic. “I don’t think it tells us a great deal, to settle whether he was a Catholic or a Protestant, but for what it’s worth I think he probably had a Catholic background and a lot of Catholic friends and associates.

Read the full story.

How can you learn about heaven?

Grant that we, who are nourished by [Jesus’] Body and Blood, may be filled with His Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.”
Read today's homily for the Sixth Sunday in Easter by Fr. Tom Hoisington.

Conversation for a Sunday

After brunch, I told my husband, "Now it's time for something special", as I broke off a couple of pieces of my treasured treat -- the 70% dark chocolate that I enjoy so much, handing him one.

"There's only one way to eat this", I remarked, " in tiny bites with your eyes closed."

"No", he replied quite emphatically, "You keep your eyes open so someone doesn't steal it!"

Labels:chocolate, humor, personal files

Gallup Poll: Americans Want All or Most Abortions Illegal

 This news most likely isn't the least bit surprising to to most of us, but it may be to those pro-aborts who are ensnared in the culture of death. It needs to be published for all to see and to destroy the myths that exist in our society.

Gallup released its annual abortion poll today showing Americans want all or most abortions made illegal and saying they believe abortion to be morally wrong, but the poll found Americans split on what they call their abortion position.

The Gallup polling firm conducted a national survey from May 5-8 with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older from across the nation. The poll has a 4 percentage point margin of error.

By a 24 percent margin, 61-37 percent, Americans take the pro-life view that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances. Although Gallup doesn't specify those few circumstances, polling data has consistently shown that, when asked about cases such as rape, incest, …

Blessed Antoni Julian Nowowiejski

Today the Church honors Blessed Antoni Julian Nowowiejski, priest, professor, and bishop.

Archbishop Antoni Julian Nowowiejski was beatified by Pope John Paul II June 13, 1999, along with another 107 Poles who were martyred during World War II.

He was born in 1858. The late archbishop of Plock, Poland, was arrested by the occupying Germans in 1940. He refused the chance to escape, saying he wouldn't desert his flock. He also refused to profane Christian symbols. He died, after countless beatings, at the Nazi’s Dzialdowo death camp in 1941.

Image Source

Maternal Cat Love

This is an irresistible video for all cat lovers like myself.  I found it over at The American Catholic and had to share it with you here. I'm eager to hear your reactions to it.

Fr. Barron on Papal Infallibility

This is an exclusive preview clip from Fr. Barron's ( highly anticipated project, CATHOLICISM.

Here Fr. Barron speaks to one of the most commonly misunderstood dimensions of the Catholic Church:  Papal Infallibility.

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Today is the optional memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, a Benedictine Monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 598.

Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him to lead a party of forty monks to travel to south-eastern England to spread the Gospel there. They landed in 597, and were welcomed by the king of Kent, Ethelbert, who became a Christian along with many of his subjects.

Augustine went to Arles, in France, where he was consecrated archbishop of the English, and then returned to Canterbury to set up his see. The mission prospered, and he founded two more sees, at London and at Rochester in Kent.

Augustine died at Canterbury on May 26, 604 or 605.

St. Augustine has been called "Apostle of England" because of his missionary efforts. He is the patron of England.


"God, in his promises to hear our prayers, is desirous to bestow Himself upon us; if you find anything better than Him, ask it; but i…

Pro-Life Groups Call for Pepsi Boycott over Aborted Fetal Cell Lines

Wow!  Pepsi still doesn't get it! Do they think that this "gold standard" of research makes it somehow morally acceptable to exploit the remains of aborted babies for profit? They should be ashamed of themselves for doing this! This is totally outrageous!Let's boycott Pepsi products today (if we aren't already) and spread the word to everyone we know!

(Largo, FL) Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo due to their partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company using aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.

Pepsi is funding the research and development – and paying royalties to Senomyx which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.

Senomyx boasts they have over 800,000 unique flavors for foods. The human tongue recognizes only 5 (salty, savory, sweet, sour and bitter). But cells expressing certain proteins produce a chemical sign…

Tear-jerker: Husband gives own life to save wife from Joplin tornado

Tornadoes have been tearing through the heart of America causing tremendous tragedy and devastation. One of the many heartbreaking stories comes from the recent twister that devastated Joplin earlier this week. Don Lansaw gave his life to protect and save his young wife, Bethany Lansaw, when the tornado tore through their house. What an amazing story of selfless love and devotion!

Here is the story from Mail Online:

He is the husband that made the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife’s life.
As the roaring winds of the 200mph tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, Don Lansaw did everything he could to protect his wife.

Bethany Lansaw, 25, revealed today that as the devastating tornado tore their home apart, her husband, 31, threw his body over her in the bath tub to cover her.

‘He got on top of me to take the brunt of most of it and he’s my hero,’ Mrs Lansaw said in a tearful interview.

'I mean the house was ripping apart, it all happened so fast. All the pillows were flying of…

All 4 KS US reps nix tax-funded Obamacare abortion training

KS US Reps Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder (photo Alton/CJOnline)
I am so proud of our Kansas representatives for standing up for human life and for protecting the conscience rights of health care providers! Thank you for your morals and courage in standing up for what is right and just!
U.S. Congressional reps Tim Huelskamp (1), Lynn Jenkins (2), Kevin Yoder (3), and Mike Pompeo (4) have been voting 100% pro-life for Kansans. All 4 voted Wednesday for a successful cut-off of abortion-training and protection of medical rights of conscience.

All 4 voted Wednesday for a successful cut-off of abortion-training and protection of medical rights of conscience.

The U.S. House of Representatives today adopted, 234-182, a pro-life amendment offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R- NC) and backed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).(details here)

The amendment sets up conscience protections for “teaching health centers” (THCs) that receive certain federal funds for graduate medical educat…

Fr. Barron reflects on the dome of St. Peters


Pope Benedict's Telegram Message to the Tornado Victims In Joplin, Missouri

Pope Benedict XVI is assuring his prayers for the victims of the deadly tornado that ravaged Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday, leaving some 122 dead and 750 wounded, making it the deadliest twister in the United States since 1950. I am uniting my prayers with his. Here is his telegram message to the tornado victims via VIS:

"[T]he Holy Father has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the catastrophic tornado which struck Joplin on Sunday and he asks you to convey to the entire community the assurance of his closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks God, the Father of Mercies, to grant eternal rest to the departed, consolation to the grieving, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured. Upon the local civil and religious leaders, and upon all involved in the relief efforts, his holiness invokes the divine gifts of wisdom, fortitude, and perseverance in every good".

Do you struggle with prayer?

During his general audience yesterday, Benedict XVI, said that "prayer is a struggle, that leads to an encounter with God." The pope chose a portion of the Old Testament that reflects the struggle Jacob faced when trying to speak with God through prayer.

Benedict XVI
"Prayer requires closeness. It's a struggle. Getting the blessing requires strength of mind and tenacity, which we can reached only when we acknowledge our weakness and we abandon ourselves to His mercy."

The pope chose a portion of the Old Testament that reflects the struggle Jacob faced when trying to speak with God through prayer.

Benedict XVI
"The whole story presents his struggle, which has no clear winner, leaving the opponent in mystery. Finally it's revealed that God overcomes Jacob, by making him aware of his reality and his innermost being. But in the process of this defeat, he gets the blessing of God. "

The pope explained how in this struggle, one must address God wit…

Inspirational Story: Catholic man finishes run across America with deepened faith

Jeff Grabosky has completed his 3,700-mile run across America, an endeavor he says gave him a new perspective on America and on his Catholic faith. Read the full story.

Teen Sisters Expose Girl Scouts’ Support of Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Sydney and Tess Volanski are two amazing young girls who are standing up for the truth–even though it may be unpopular. These teen girls just launched the website “Speak Now: Girl Scouts” to document Girl Scouts USA’s not-so-secret support of Planned Parenthood and abortion. Sydney and Tess were Girl Scouts for 8 years before they discovered this shocking information—but as soon as they did, they refused to continue to support the organization, left their troop, and are telling the nation the truth about Girl Scouts. Watch Live Action President  Lila Rose's interview here:

Learn more at Live Action.

St. Philip Neri

Today is the memorial of St. Philip Neri, a cheerful saint with a wonderful sense of humor, who was known as Rome's apostle in the sixteenth century.

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy on July 22, 1515. He was one of four children of the notary Francesco Neri. His mother died when he was very young, but a very capable and competent stepmother filled her place. Although they were related to Italian nobility, the family was quite poor. Philip was a cheerful and friendly boy, and was popular with all who knew him.

At eighteen, Philip was sent to the town of San Germano, where he lived with a childless relative who had a business there to train as an apprentice and heir. Philip had a strong aptitude for business. Soon after his arrival, Philip began speaking of his conversion, which dramatically changed his life. He left his relative’s home and set out for Rome, as he had a vision that he had a mission to fulfill there. He left without money or a specific plan, trusting in Go…

Saint Bede the Venerable

Today's saint of the day is St. Bede the Venerable (672 - 735) Benedictine monk and doctor of the church.

Bede entered the local Benedictine monastery when he was seven years old, and was educated and lived there until his death at the age of 63. He was ordained a deacon at 19 and a priest at 30. He was an avid man of letters who spent all his life serving the Lord through learning, teaching and writing. The majority of his work was commentary on Holy Scripture, which he endeavored to accomplish in full conformity with the teachings of the Fathers of the Church. He subordinated all his studies to the service of the interpretation of Scripture, which was for him the apex of all learning. He also completed works on mathematics, poetry, astronomy, philosophy, and music – he was a composer of several important early works of Gregorian plain chant.

Bede’s most enduring accomplishment, however, is in the field of history. He is known as the “Father of English history,” due to his gr…

Powerful Video: The Race

 Inspiring and awesome!

Via Creative Minority Report.

Pope communicates with astronauts in space

Pope Benedict XVI made history by being the first pope to make a phone call to space. 

I enjoy seeing the Holy Father laugh in this video!

Kansas Likely To Enact Health Care 'Freedom' Law

People do not want government-controlled death care, but desire health care freedom. Kudos to Governor Brownback for supporting this and standing up for the liberty of Kansas citizens!

Kansas is close to joining other states in enacting a law designed to block a key part of last year's federal overhaul of the health care system.

A proposed "Health Care Freedom" law was on Gov. Sam Brownback's desk Tuesday, part of a larger package of changes in various regulations for health care providers. He's expected to act on it by Friday.

Brownback is a strong supporter of language in the bill saying no Kansas resident can be forced to buy health insurance.

That goes against a federal mandate that most Americans buy insurance, starting in 2014.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said the governor must review other provisions in the bill before deciding whether to sign it.

Source:  KAKE News

Baby Humor


Mary Help of Christians

Today the Church in Australia celebrates the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. Mary Help of Christians was adopted as patron of the new Church of Australia in 1844, at a significant time in their history. British settlement was just over fifty years old, the transportation of convicts was coming to an end, and the first elections in Australian history had been held in 1843. Issues of land, immigration and education had begun to surface and the Church was involved in these social problems. The Holy See confirmed the patronage in 1852.

Prayer to Mary, Help of Christians

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians,
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help t…

Saint Jane Antide Thouret

Today is the feast of St. Jane Antide Thouret, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul.

Jane was born in Sancy, France, in 1765 to a poor family. Her mother died when she was just 16 years old. leaving her to manage the family and help her father raise her younger siblings. At the age of 22, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, working among the sick in various hospitals.

During the suppression of the religious during the French Revolution, she was ordered to return home to a secular life. Jane refused, and when she tried to escape the authorities, she was so badly beaten that it took months to recover.

St. Jane Antide Thouret finally returned to Sancy, where she cared for the sick and opened a small school for girls. There she teamed up with other exiled religious and clergy to minister to the sick until she was forced to flee to Switzerland. However, due to anti-Catholic prejudice, the group was forced to move on to Germany. There she …

Reflections for the Fifth Sunday in Easter

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life." ~ John 14:6

Read Fr. Tom Hoisington's reflections. 

A beautiful reflection from Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.:

St. Eugene De Mazenod

Today we commemorate St. Eugene De Mazenod (1782-1861).

Eugene De Mazenod, refused to follow the established modes expected of someone born into nobility. From an early age, Eugene was troubled by the living conditions of the poor and their degraded status in society. When he became a priest, Eugene was not satisfied to accept the traditional role of a pastor serving a large, affluent parish. Instead, he sought out the poor laborers and preached the message of God’s love -- a message they had not heard before.

Born in France in 1782, Eugene lived amid turmoil in his country and in his family. Although he grew up with the privileges and luxuries of wealth, his family life was far from ideal. His parents came from very different backgrounds and they eventually divorced, a rarity for Catholics in the 18th century.

As the French Revolution grew, Eugene’s family was forced into exile, and at different times, he was separated from his mother or father for years at a time.

After yea…

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions

Today we honor St. Christopher Magallanes, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs.

Like Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, S.J. (November 23), Christopher and his twenty-four companion martyrs lived under a very anti-Catholic government in Mexico, one determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Christopher established a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, Jalisco. Magallanes and the other priests were forced to minister secretly to Catholics during the presidency of Plutarco Calles (1924-1928).

All of these martyrs except three were diocesan priests. David, Manuel and Salvador were laymen who died with their parish priest, Luis Batis. All of these martyrs belonged to the Cristero movement, pledging their allegiance to Christ and to the church that he established to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico's leaders had made it a crime to receive baptism or celebrate the Mass.

These martyr…

St. Bernardine of Siena

Today is the optional memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena. A Franciscan friar and preacher, St. Bernardine is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.

St. Bernardine was born in 1380 in Tuscany. His parents died when he was seven years old and he was taken in by relatives who raised him as if he were their own.

As a youth, he possessed a strong love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and spoke to her as a child speaks to his mother. She kept him chaste and pure. He had a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and later wrote that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was "a fiery furnace of Holy Love."

While still a student at the University of Siena, he took charge of the hospital there when an epidemic killed most of the staff. Later he looked after a bedridden aunt until her death.

At the age of 22, he became a Franciscan. He was an energetic and popular preacher who spent years travelling on foot throug…

St. Augustine on Trust

Trust the past to the Mercy of God, the present to His Love, and the future to His Providence.

~ Saint Augustine of Hippo

New Independent Study: What caused sexual abuse of minors in the Church?

May 19, 2011. ( The questions that constantly come up in the sex abuse scandal are “why?” and “how?” A new independent study by a prestigious criminology institution tried to answer those very questions. The findings show that no single factor provoked the abuse of minors by priests. It wasn't caused by mandatory celibacy or homosexuality.

To understand why the abuse happened and how it can be prevented, the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops hired the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. The study focused on cases that happened between 1950 and 2010.

The five year study shows the abuse peaked in the 1960's and 1970's when the country was going through its sexual revolution. It was this factor which mostly influenced offending priests. The study says, they had “vulnerabilities, intimacy deficits and an absence of close personal relationships before and during the seminary.” It also shows many of the abusers grew up i…

St. Celestine V, Pope

The saint of the day for May 19 is Saint Celestine V, Pope, a pious hermit and the founder of the Celestine Order. He is also known as Peter Celestine, Peter Morrone, and Pietro del Morrone.

Born in Isernia, Italy, in 1215, Peter was the eleventh of twelve children of humble, pious parents. His father died when he was very young. When his mother would ask, "Which one of you is going to become a saint?" little Peter would answer "Me, Mama! I'll become a saint!".

He became a Benedictine at the age of 17 and at the age of 20, he became a hermit and spent his days praying and reading the Holy Bible. He left his hermitage to study for the priesthood and was ordained in Rome. He then became a Benedictine monk and founded the Celestine order in 1274.

After the death of Nicholas IV, a conclave which lasted more than two years elected him pope on July 5, 1294. He became known as Celestine V. On December 13, 1294, feeling overwhelmed by the position and his limited abi…

Today's Spiritual Uplift Links

Read a beautiful and touching story on the crucifix here.

A friendly wager sets some sparks flying in this inspirational courtship story.

Learn the Maxims on True Devotion to Mary from St. Louis de Montfort.

Seeking Peace? Find the answers.

Spiritual Direction for today: how to conquer anxiety and fear.

Fr. Barron comments on A Great Time to Be a Priest

Congratulations to Fr. Barron on the 25th anniversary of his priesthood!

Happy Birthday, John Paul 2!

This Day in Catholic History:Karol Wojtyla’s Birthday (Blessed Pope John Paul II)

This year the pope would have turned 91. He was 58 years old when he was elected pope. His pontificate, which lasted 26 years, was the third longest in history.

The Official Prayer for John Paul II's Intercession


(Note: For canonization, one more miracle must be verified
as having been achieved through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II)

O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having
graced the Church with Blessed John Paul
II and for allowing the tenderness of Your
Fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of
Christ, and the splendor of the Spirit of love,
to shine through him. Trusting fully in
Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession
of Mary, he has given us a living
image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has
shown us that holiness is the necessary
measure of ordinary Christian life and is
the way of achieving eternal communion
with You. Grant us, by h…

St. John I, Pope

Today is the optional memorial of St. John I, Pope.

By birth, Pope John was a Tuscan, the son of Constantius. He was an archdeacon for several years before being elected Pope on the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. He was a friend and confidant of the philosopher Boethius.

In 525 Pope John was sent to Constantinople by King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths to reverse the edict of the Emperor Justin against the Arians two years earlier, which required Arians to give back churches which they had taken from orthodox Catholics. Throdoric was himself an Arian and a strong defender of Arianism (a heresy which arose in the 4th century and denied the divinity of Christ).

Even though Theodoric wanted a reversal of Justin’s policy, Pope John did not comply with his wishes, refusing to support heresy, and only counseled the Emperor Justin to be more gentle in his overzealous dealings with the Arians.

The success that Pope John achieved was contrary to the wishes of Theodoric; rather, he was rece…

New book encourages families as the foundation of civilization

A heartfelt, encouraging new book provides Catholic families with a model of the civilization of love.

Author Chantal Howard wrote The School of the Familyto witness to other families. The sincere, personable book tells the story of a family reaching up from the cultural mire of the 1960s and ‘70s, and finding its way into the heart of the Catholic Church.

Howard writes thatThe School of the Familyis not a school of guilt, but a school of constant conversion, with the power to transform the world through its witness of love. It is the front line in the renaissance of character formation.

Homeschooled daughter, and now homeschooling mother, Chantal Howard emphasizes the school of the family as a path of salvation. Using her family as an example, Howard enlightens and encourages other families as they strive to follow an elevated, loving rule of life.

The School of the Family is available from Leonine Publishers. This inspiring book is priced at $14.95 and currently includes free domesti…

John Paul II would have turned 91

Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, a small town near Krakow in southern Poland. This year the pope would have turned 91. He was 58 years old when he was elected pope. His pontificate, which lasted 26 years was one of the longest in the history of the Church. John Paul II will always be remembered for his fight against Communism and for advocating in favor of human rights and dignity.

John Paul II and the statue that cried blood

Pope John Paul II venerated this image of the Virgin of Civitavecchia. It's a statue of plaster from Medjugorje that supposedly cried tears of blood in 14 different cases.

This is according to the book titled "La Madonnina de Civitavecchia. The true story of a painful drama of love." It was written by Monsignor Girolamo Grillo.

The Vatican, in particular the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has not yet made any official statement on the weeping statue.

Kansas cuts Planned Parenthood funding

I'm proud to be a Kansan and a member of Kansans for Life! Thanks be to God for another pro-life victory. We are winning, one state at a time.
from CNA Daily News:

The Kansas legislature has passed a multi-faceted pro-life bill that cuts Title X funds from Planned Parenthood and excludes automatic abortion coverage from private health care plans and the health insurance exchanges required by federal law to begin in 2014.

Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, said this bill and others show that Kansas is “heading in the right direction.”

HB 2075 requires that over $300,000 in Title X federal money will go to local full-service health clinics instead of Planned Parenthood. It will also put $300,000 into a grant-matched fund for pregnancy maintenance and adoption counseling.

The provision is the second Planned Parenthood funding cut to pass a state legislature this year. In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that cuts state funding for the organi…

Saint John Summer Conference

Join the Community of St. John for a weekend retreat designed for young adults who desire to grow closer to Christ.

For more information:

Blessed Antonia Messina

Today we commemorate Blessed Antonia Messina (1919 - 1935).

Antonia was born in Sardinia, Italy, the second of ten children. She was forced to leave elementary school, only after taking four years of classes, in order to take over the household duties from her mother, Grazia. She often called Antonia "the flower of my life."

Her mother developed a heart condition that precluded her from continuing to perform her domestic chores. Grazia claimed that Antonia "never once went against me". Antonia was obedient and hard working. She willingly and diligently performed her duties and took on responsibilities as if she were already an adult. For instance, she cooked, baked, cleaned, washed clothes, cared for the children, carried water into the house, and gathered wood for baking.

When she was ten years old, she joined a youth group called "Catholic Action". She thought it was a beautiful experience and said that it "helps one to be good". She was well…

St. Simon Stock

Today’s saint of the day, St. Simon Stock, was born in Aylesford in County Kent, England in 1165. Although we know little about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," is based on the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. He drank only water and ate herbs, roots, and wild apples. In 1212, he joined the Carmelites soon after they arrived in England. He finished his studies at Oxford and in 1215, he was appointed Vicar General.

Simon Stock helped the Order spread throughout Europe; he founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in university towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna. He revised the Rule of the Order to make them mendicant friars instead of hermits. He was elected as the sixth superior general of the Carmelites in 1247 around age 82. Simon governed the order with great sanctity and prudence for twenty years. He had a deep devotion to the Blessed…

Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pope Paul VI instituted the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (the 4th Sunday of Easter) on April 11, 1964 by saying; “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us” (Pope Paul VI launching the 1st Word Day of Prayer for Vocations)

In the 43 years since, successive pontiffs have called on the Church to focus and pray for vocations.

Vocation Prayer

Oh Jesus, our Good Shepherd, bless all our parishes with numerous priests, deacons, men and women in religious life, consecrated laity and missionaries, according to the needs of the entire world, which You love and wish to save. We especially entrust our community to You; grant us the spirit of the first Christians, so that we may be a cenacle of prayer, in loving acceptance of the Holy Spirit and His gifts. Assist our pastors and all who live a …

Fourth Sunday of Easter: Good Shepherd Sunday

"I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full."

Read the reflection for Good Shepherd Sunday written by Fr. Tom Hoisington.

St. Matthias

Today is the feast of St. Matthias, apostle and martyr.

St. Matthias was the one chosen to replace Judas to make up the number of apostles to twelve once more. Matthias was one of the first followers of Jesus -- one of his seventy-two disciples; but not one of the original apostles. And yet, he was to have this great glory, for it was of him that David spoke, when he prophesied that another would fill the vacancy left by Judas the traitor. Two Apostles were nominated for the position and lots were drawn to see which of them should be made one of the Twelve: the choice fell on Matthias.

St. Matthias received the Holy Spirit with the rest of the Apostles soon after his election and he joined them in converting nations to the faith. Greek tradition tells us that tells us that St. Matthias planted the faith about Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian sea. We are also told that he was beheaded. His relics were taken to Jerusalem by the empress Helena when she went to the Holy Land to…

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the 94th anniversary of the first appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherd children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco in Portugal in 1917. The visions occurred on the 13th day of each month from May to October, and by October huge crowds were gathering at the site of the visions and reporting visions and miraculous occurrences themselves.

Today is also the 30th anniversary of the near fatal attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was devoted to Our Lady of Fátima and attributed his survival of an assassin’s bullet on 13 May 1981 to her intervention.

The Vatican has laid a marble plaque on the cobblestone floor of St. Peter's Square at the exact spot where John Paul was shot as he traveled in his open-top 'pope-mobile' on May 13, 1981, by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca.

What is the Message of Fatima?

The public message of Fatima recalls that of Lourdes. Through the children Mary urges prayer for sinners, recitation of the Rosary, …

Brief Blogging Break

Due to my graduate studies in theology, I will be taking a brief blogging break.

Don't go away now ... I shall return soon.

St. Pachomius

Today is the feast of St. Pachomius (d. 346).

St. Pachomius can justifiably be called the founder of cenobitic monasticism (monks who live in community). Even though St. Antony the Great was the first to go into the desert to live a life of seclusion pursuing evangelical perfection, he lived an eremitic life, that is, a primarily solitary life.

Pachomius first started out as a hermit in the desert like many of the other men and women in the third and fourth centuries who sought the most radical expression of Christian life and he developed a very strong bond of friendship with the hermit Palemon. One day he had a vision during prayer in which he was called to build a monastery, and was told in the vision that many people who are eager to live an ascetic life in the desert, but are not inclined to the solitude of the hermit, will come and join him. His hermit friend Palemon helped him to build the monastery and Pachomius insisted that his cenobites were to aspire to the austerity of t…

A Prayer for Mother's Day

God our Creator, we pray:

for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility;

for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting;

for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;

for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;

for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;

for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;

for those who have children they do not want;

for those who raise children on their own;

for those who have lost a child;

for those who care for the children of others;

for those whose children have left home;

and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.

Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender,

and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,

living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.


St. John of Beverly

The saint of the day for May 7 is St. John of Beverly. John was born in the seventh century at Harpman in Yorkshire and studied at the famous school in Canterbury established by St. Theodore, where he was taught by St. Adrian of Canterbury. From there he returned to Yorkshire and became a monk in the double monastery of Whitby, ruled by St. Hilda. He was consecrated Bishop of Hexham and later Archbishop of York.

He was well-known for his eloquent preaching and his teaching skills, specifically, his ability to help others understand the scriptures. He would continue to teach throughout his life. His most famous pupil was the Venerable Bede, whom John ordained to both the diaconate and the priesthood.

John was known for his holiness, his love of the contemplative life, his love for the poor, and his miracles. Due to ill health, John resigned as archbishop of York in 717 and retired to Beverly Abbey, which he had founded, and remained there until his death on May 7, 721. His shrine was …

First Friday: Pierced Hearts


Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

The saint of the day for May 6th is Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorna. Rosa (1831-1900) was one of six children born to the wealthy, pious family of Francesco Benedetta and Adelaide Campanella Benedetta in Genoa, Italy.

Rosa was married at the age of 21 to Gerolamo Custo and moved with him to Marseilles, France. Financial difficulties brought them back to Genoa. Then following a serious illness, their oldest child became deaf and mute, Gerolamo died suddenly, leaving her a widow with three children, after six years of marriage.A few months later, the youngest child also died.

These tragedies opened up Rosa's heart to God and she felt called by God to give herself totally to Him. As a third order Franciscan, she took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Shortly thereafter, she received the gift of the hidden stigmata.

Rosa received a call from God to found her own congregation. However, she was hesitant to follow up on this call, as it would mean separation from her two surviving …

Is It Morally Okay to Rejoice in Osama bin Laden's Death?


May: The Month of Mary

May is Mary’s month. Some perhaps have asked, "Why May?" The poet, Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J. asks this question in his poem "May Magnificat,"
"May is Mary’s month, and I
muse at that and wonder why."

Perhaps the answer is that, in many places, May is the month for Spring’s return of flowers. As the flowers return we honor Mary Whom we call the "Mystical Rose."

A poem entitled "Mary’s May" by Elywn Rhyl states,
"May is
Our Lady’s
with all
its lovely
May is
and heavenly
just like
Our Lady’s ways."

And of course, the name "May" is a form of Mary and is sometimes used as a "nickname" for women named Mary and then it's spelt Mae. May devotions began during the beginning of the 1700’s in Italy.

It seems the first book of May devotions was published by an Italian Jesuit, Father Anniblae Dionisis, about 1726. In it he explains: "When we make an offering we ought to give of our best,…