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Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for July 2015

Francis_Prayer_July

Join us in prayer for the intentions entrusted to us by Pope Francis. For June 2015, we join the Holy Father in praying for:

  • Politics – That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
  • The Poor in Latin America – That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Daily Offering Prayer

God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month. Amen.

Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. The Apostles of Prayer offer themselves to God each day for the good of the world, the Church, one another, and the Holy Father’s intentions.

Thank you for praying with us!

In a tradition that is centuries old, the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions. To become a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, you need only to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day. When you give God all the “prayers, works, joys and sufferings” of your day, you turn your entire day into a prayer for others. You are joining your will to God’s will. If you feel called to this simple, profound way of life, find out more at Apostleship of Prayer.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for June 2015

Pope_June_2015

Join us in prayer for the intentions entrusted to us by Pope Francis. For June 2015, we join the Holy Father in praying for:

  • Immigrants & Refugees – That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
  • Vocations – That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Daily Offering Prayer
God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month. Amen.

Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. The Apostles of Prayer offer themselves to God each day for the good of the world, the Church, one another, and the Holy Father’s intentions.

Thank you for praying with us!

In a tradition that is centuries old, the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions. To become a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, you need only to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day. When you give God all the “prayers, works, joys and sufferings” of your day, you turn your entire day into a prayer for others. You are joining your will to God’s will. If you feel called to this simple, profound way of life, find out more at Apostleship of Prayer.

 –

Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

Deacon-structing Holiness

Deaconstructing_Holiness

The problem with holiness is that we don’t think it’s for us.

We believe that we are made for Heaven. We believe that God wants us to go to Heaven, but how many of us would say that we belong in Heaven? How many of us would say that we are going to Heaven? Sure, we don’t want to presume, but some would not even think that they will be in Heaven.

How many of you would say that you are holy? In fact, more likely, we are to say that “I am no saint!”

But we if we are created for Heaven, then we are created for holiness – for sainthood.

But it doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by the Grace of God. Even St. Paul had to cooperate with that divine intervention he received. He had to accept it and he then had to nurture the seeds that were planted. He didn’t go from persecutor to saint overnight. In fact, I would argue that even after his conversion he had to have many smaller conversions – gradual conversions. Even after he had been on a mission for years, he probably still struggled with temptation and sin. (Ever wonder what the little spat with John Mark in Acts 13:13 that led to Paul’s separation from Barnabas in Acts 15:37 was? Paul was probably difficult to work with. He struggled.) We all do – yes, even Saints.

St. Paul tells the Romans that what “I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Rom 7:15). That sounds an awful lot like me most of the time. He also tells the Corinthians that he struggles with a “thorn in his flesh” (2 Cor 12:7). We may think that this is something nice and safe that Saints have, like blindness or the stigmata or visions of the devil. But what if St. Paul’s “thorn” was that he struggled with lust, insecurity, pride or anger? That sounds an awful lot like me.

Recently I was at a gathering and part of the activity was a sort of “examination” or Church trivia. We were randomly asked questions of our Faith: “How many Sacraments are there? Can you name the Sacraments? Can you name the Precepts of the Church? Can you name the seven Capital Sins? What are the Four Marks of the Church? What are the 10 Commandments? What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? How about the Fruists of the Holy Spirit? All the people who were present called themselves practicing Catholics, but most could not answer these simple questions.

How many of us could answer these questions? Do you know how many Books there in the Bible? How many Gospels? What are St. Paul’s Letters? Do you know your saints? Do  you know about St. Gianna Molla or Pier Giorgio Frassati? Do you know about Venerable Satoko Kitahara (Mary of Ant Town), Venerable Matt Talbot or Venerable Pierre Toussaint? Do you know who Louis and Zelie Martin are? Do you know who Archbishop Romero is and that he was beatified last week?

Or for the more advanced, could you name a couple Church Encyclicals? Can you name some Vatican II documents?

At another event (the day before, actually) I was asked what we could do to bring others into the Church. That’s a good question considering Jesus says in Matthew 28: 16-20 that we must “go and make disciples of all nations.” Pope Francis keeps reminding us to be “missionary disciples.” Good question. Let me get to my answer, but first…

Finally, today I met a parishioner at our local coffee shop.  He introduced me to his wife who said she had not been to Mass in a while. She explained that she had some issues with the Church. I listened to her – I tried to meet her where she is. I validated her and invited her to come to Mass when she was ready. I don’t know if that is the right approach, but I think this is what Pope Francis means when he speaks about “graduality” (more on that another time, if you are interested).

These three situations made me think greatly about how we get to Heaven.

Here’s what I thought: holiness attracts. Let’s work on our holiness. What does that mean? It means “work on getting to Heaven.” We have one goal – let’s get there.

How do we get there? We get there together; this is not a personal journey, but a journey as Church. Part of the journey is personal, but we don’t get to Heaven alone.

This is where we must stay connected to the Church. Sure you can have a personal relationship with Jesus by yourself. You may never need to go to Mass or be affiliated with any church – but it’s very hard. If you want to stay connected to Jesus, it’s much easier if we stay connected to His Body, the Church.

That means, learning about the Church. That means being able to know what the Precepts of the Church are. (BTW – anyone know?)

We must read Scripture. We must set time aside every day to pray. Pray every day at the same time, no matter what. Whether you feel like it or not, pray. Pray the Rosary, or listen to Praise and Worship music; go to Adoration or learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. No matter, as long as you pray. Heaven is about being united with God. It’s all about God. How can we be united with God if we don’t talk to Him? How can we be united to God in Heaven if we don’t nurture a relationship with Him now?

If you struggle with sin, pray. If you fall, and you will fall, pray, get up, pray, go to Confession and then pray some more. The next day when you fall again, pray some more and go to Confession again. If you never fall, go to Confession anyway. And pray.

Pray. No matter what, pray.

And of course, go to Mass. If the music is terrible and the homilies bad; go to Mass anyway. If you find it irreverent or too pious, go to Mass anyway. If you hate the organ music or miss the way things were when you were growing up, go to Mass anyway. If you don’t understand what the Church teaches about marriage or why women are not ordained, go to Mass anyway. Go to Mass. Receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Adore Him in the Eucharist.

And if you’re really serious about this, get a spiritual director. You don’t have to meet every week; sometimes once every 3 or 4 months is enough. If you are like me and you prefer your Spiritual Director to be a priest so he can also be your confessor, so be it. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Either way, seek spiritual direction. We all need direction when we are looking for the right road to Heaven.

After one of those gatherings last week, someone said to me that they would have watched Archbishop Romero’s beatification had she known about it. It’s true that the Church  (and those of us in Church communications) can do a better job at communicating, but today, in this day and age, there is no excuse for not being connected to the Church. There are so many resources available to us. Go to the Catholic bookstore and get yourself a book by St. Francis de Sales or St. Catherine of Siena. Go read St. Therese’s Little Way. If you prefer something more contemporary, read Thomas Merton’s Seven Story Mountain. If you like reading, find something. If you like music, find music. There is so much out there that can help us connect with the Church. And did I mention prayer?

And then, as you “perfect” your journey, with joy and kindness, you will begin to share that Light with others. That’s how we will make disciples of all nations. That’s how we become missionary disciples. And that’s how we will get to Heaven, where we belong.

Write to me and tell me what you think.


Photo: Canonization of St. John Paul II – CNS/ Paul Haring


PedroGM1Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching:
pedro@saltandlighttv.org @deaconpedrogm

Cardinal Wuerl in New Pastoral Letter Reflects on Catholic Identity in Public Square

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Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, is calling on Catholics to live their Christian identity in public as well as in their own spiritual lives.

The cardinal on Sunday issued a pastoral letter, Being Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge. The cardinal notes that a key part of the pastoral letter reflects on “our freedom to be who we are as followers of Christ and some of the challenges of our age as we try to live and share our faith.”

Catholics are called to manifest God’s kingdom, not only in church walls, “but out in the world, building up the common good,” the cardinal writes. “An encounter with Jesus, which we experience in God’s Word, the sacraments, and our works of charity, can transform our hearts, and inspire us to change our world.”

Today, individual Catholics and Catholic educational, health care and charitable institutions “must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching.”

Chapters in the cardinal’s pastoral letter address the gift of new life through baptism, reflections on what it means to be a member of God’s family, the ways by which people can see the presence of the Church, what it means to choose to be a follower of Christ, the impact of God’s mercy in people’s lives and in the world, and the Church’s contributions to the wider community.

The cardinal explains that as baptized Catholics, “we are engaged in a new life of the Spirit, so that, working in and through us, the Spirit might transform the whole world.” Catholics “are members of God’s family, his Church,” the cardinal writes. “…The Catholic Church is the living and saving presence of Jesus Christ in the world.”

Noting current challenges Catholics face in living their identity, the cardinal points out how in many parts of the world, Christians are being murdered because of their faith. In the United States, the cardinal says laws, policies and practices are being enacted that infringe on the freedom of individual Catholics to live their faith, and on Catholic ministries to carry out their work while remaining true to Church teaching. “Claims of discrimination should not be allowed to become the new weapon for diminishing religious freedom and outlawing institutional Catholic identity,” he says.

Highlighting the impact of the Catholic Church’s ministries, Cardinal Wuerl notes, “Every day in the Church of Washington, lives are changed through our Catholic education, social service and health care programs as we seek to teach, to serve and to heal as Jesus did. All our works reflect Jesus’ call to be his disciples by sharing his love and hope with others. We serve others regardless of their religion or circumstances not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic.”

Catholics and the Church’s outreach programs, “must remain true to who we are,” Cardinal Wuerl adds “…As cultural forces and government actions sometimes make it more difficult for us to carry out our work, we must remain true to our Catholic identity.”

Pope sends greetings for US Christian Unity event in Phoenix, Arizona

Francis_Unity

Pope Francis has sent a videomessage on the occasion of the Day for Christian Unity which took place in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States on May 23rd.

Below is the English translation of the Pope’s video message

Brothers and sisters, may the peace of Christ be with you. Forgive me if I speak in Spanish, but my English isn’t good enough for me to express myself properly. I speak in Spanish but, above all, I speak in the language ofthe heart.

[in Spanish:]

I have the invitation you sent me for this celebration of Christian Unity, this day of reconciliation. And I wish to join you from here. “Father, may we be one so that the world may believe you sent me”. This is the slogan, the theme of the meeting: Christ’s prayer to the Father for the grace of unity.

Today, Saturday May 23rd, from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, I will be with you spiritually and with all my heart. We will search together, we will pray together, for the grace of unity. The unity that is budding among us is that unity which begins under the seal of the one Baptism we have all received. It is the unity we are seeking along a common path. It is the spiritual unity of prayer for one another. It is the unity of our common labour on behalf of our brothers and sisters, and all those who believe in the sovereignty of Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters, division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ. And we do not want this wound to remain open. Division is the work of the Father of Lies, the Father of Discord, who does everything possible to keep us divided.

Together today, I here in Rome and you over there, we will ask our Father to send the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and to give us the grace to be one, “so that the world may believe.” I feel like saying  something  that  may  sound controversial,  or  even  heretical,  perhaps.  But  there  is someone who“knows” that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom. He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic…he doesn’t care! They are Christians. And that blood (of martyrdom) unites. Today, dear brothers andsisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood”. This must encourage us to do what we are doing today: to pray, to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood.

I am convinced it won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. Theologians help us, the science of the theologians will assist us, but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. Theologians are helpful, but most helpful is the goodwill of us all who are on this journey with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit!

In all humility, I join you as just another participant on this day of prayer, friendship, closeness and  reflection. In the certainty that we have one Lord: Jesus is the Lord. In the certainty that this Lord is alive: Jesus is alive, the Lord lives in each one of us. In the certainty that He has sent the Spirit He promised us so that this “harmony” among all His disciples might be realised.

Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you warmly, with an embrace. I pray for you. I pray with You. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Because I need your prayers in order to be faithful to what the Lord wants from my Ministry.

[Blessing]

God bless you. May God bless us all.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for May 2015

Francis_May

Join us in prayer for the intentions entrusted to us by Pope Francis. For May 2015, we join the Holy Father in praying for:

  • Care for the suffering. That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
  • Openness to mission. That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be open to proclaiming Jesus.

Daily Offering Prayer
God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month. Amen.

Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. The Apostles of Prayer offer themselves to God each day for the good of the world, the Church, one another, and the Holy Father’s intentions.

Thank you for praying with us!

In a tradition that is centuries old, the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions. To become a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, you need only to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day. When you give God all the “prayers, works, joys and sufferings” of your day, you turn your entire day into a prayer for others. You are joining your will to God’s will. If you feel called to this simple, profound way of life, find out more at Apostleship of Prayer.

Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

Ora et labora: the great “Amen!” to a Benedictine masterpiece

St_John_Bible

Often our most valuable pieces of art are our most valuable pieces of history. The historic component of a work of art adds to its value because of its character, exclusivity and insight into an age passed through which we glean a portrait of a younger but equally impressive and imaginative humanity.

This will certainly be the case for the Saint John’s Bible, the first hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the printing press was invented over five hundred years ago. The seventh and final volume of the Bible, consisting of the New Testament Letters and the book of Revelation, will be presented to Pope Francis on Friday, April 17th during a special audience in Rome. It will be the great symbolic conclusion of more than a decade of tireless labor.

The Bible, which was written in English using the New Revised Standard Version translation, was first commissioned in 1998 by the Benedictines of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota (Ironically, the Abbey also boasts one of the most celebrated theological printing presses in the English-speaking world, the Liturgical Press). The original Committee on Illumination and Text brought together artists, theologians, biblical scholars and art historians to reflect on the purpose and process of the project. Of central importance was the notion of creating a Bible for the 21st century, that is, one that venerates the Word of God by bringing it to life for the people of our time. The various art forms and representations in the 160 illuminations signal a team mentality of inclusivity and dialogue that are so important for the Church today.

At the same time, by using the manuscript writing techniques of the monks of previous ages—including calfskin vellum, hand-cut quills and lamp black ink—the team revived an activity that was once at the core of the living patrimony of the Church and indeed of the entire human civilization.

The Artistic Director and head scribe was Donald Jackson, who works for the Queen of England’s Crown Office at the House of Lords in London. It was his lifelong dream to hand-write and hand-illuminate a Bible, an undertaking he once called “the calligraphic artist’s supreme challenge, our Sistine Chapel, a daunting task.” Jackson wrote and illuminated the entire Book of Revelation himself.

Apart from being a glorious work of art, the Saint John’s Bible is significant in the life of the Church for these other reasons:

Firstly, as I mentioned, the Bible preserves tradition in the best sense of the word. We tend to think of tradition as something old or outdated, conservative and narrow. Tradition literally means “to hand over” or “to pass on.” It is the opposite of what is commonly and falsely assumed as something “to hold on to.” In the case of the Saint John’s Bible, it’s not incorrect to say that the Benedictines have preserved tradition by creating something new.

Secondly, the Bible testifies to the authority of Scripture in the Catholic tradition. Until midway through the 20th century, Scripture was less a source of life and inspiration in the Catholic community than long-standing traditions and official edicts of the Magisterium. After Vatican II, the Catholic Church was able to rebalance these sources of divine revelation, though practically speaking Catholics generally still lack a solid Scriptural formation. The Saint John’s Bible provides an opportunity for Catholics—and non-Catholics—to engage the divine Word in new and exciting ways. It can contribute to the mission of the Church, as Pope Francis sees it:

“The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer. It is essential that the revealed word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith. Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls  for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading.” (Evangelii Gaudium 175)

I was fortunate enough to attend university with the Benedictines in Collegeville and see the original Bible on a number of occasions. My work at S+L gave me the opportunity to produce a short video on the Bible that you can view here:

Artistic Incarnation

Undercover_Missionary

This past Christmas we reflected upon the incomprehensible mystery of the incarnation – God the Father made known to us through the man Jesus Christ. He chose a specific time, place, and way in our history to reveal Himself to us. That is the “Incarnation.” It’s a word we’ve probably heard many times. But have we ever stopped to think about what it really means?

Why did God choose to come to us in Palestine? Why 2000 years ago during Roman occupation? Why as a Aramaic speaking Jew who knew carpentry? I mean, he’s GOD after all; shouldn’t He be a bit more universal than just a single person? Maybe He could have at least come as an immortal person, and then all of humankind could have visited Him at some point? Or couldn’t he have chosen something a little bit more transcendent?

We will never know exactly why He came as he did. The best theologians in history have written volumes upon volumes about the incarnation, and yet we barely comprehend it. However, we can say at least one thing – that our infinite God chose become the person of Jesus Christ so that He could reveal his love to us. 

Love requires incarnation. It’s not enough to just experience it as a feeling – it needs to be given concrete form. Think of a marriage – A wedding is held at a specific time and place – where a couple publicly proclaims their love for one another. Throughout their lifetime they will manifest their love for each other through numerous acts – from taking out the garbage to caring for each other during sickness. Eventually, their love gives rise to an even more concrete incarnation – children.

So why does this interest me? After all, I’m your Hollywood Undercover Missionary, not your Hollywood Undercover Theologian.

Because Hollywood is full of artists, and artists are incarnators. Nothing describes the work of an artist better than “incarnation.” Writers, actors, cinematographers, composers, directors and writers all give specific form, at specific times and places to abstract concepts and feelings. Without them, we would have no way to fully express our deepest feelings and longings.

For us missionaries to artists, understanding this can go a long way towards reaching them. We have to minister to artists in a special way. Most of my friends in Hollywood are the “starving artist” type. They’re so dedicated that they’ve given up steady jobs and careers to pursue their art form. They are the quintessential “Bohemian Artists”, and have all their quirks and peculiarities. One particular thing I’ve observed about them over and over, is just how finely tuned into other artistic creations they are.

They are the kind of people who regularly cry during beautiful symphonies, and likewise could bring people to tears through their performances. The best example of this is of a man I know who walked into a Catholic church in Europe, and was converted through the beauty of the art that he saw there. He was so touched by his experience that he went on to found a school to create similar works of art! We as Catholics need to continue this kind of incarnation so that we can touch people with these sensibilities.

We need to realize that it’s only because of God’s creation in the first place that we have the ability to echo his creative powers. We should realize that incarnation is what we are being called to do, and this echoes of Gods goodness. We did not invent art, and so do not ultimately own it. God owns it and we owe it to Him recognize this. (Pope John Paul II, Letter to artists, p. 1)

This is where worldly art so commonly goes astray – this post-modern concept of the primacy of the expression of “the artist,” completely divorced from God and from others. No coincidence either then that we see so many anti-religious elements in modern art. Many artists begin to think that they are the beginning and end of their creations. Artists who use their art to create ugliness, and works of art that ultimately only distract and lead us astray.

Artists are called to emulate Gods love and beauty in the incarnation – the truth and love of Jesus Christ. They are called to emulate this action of God the father: God the father revealing His love for us through the person of Jesus Christ. God the Father revealing our true nature and destiny through Jesus Christ. Creating art that reflects these two truths will be the most beautiful there is.

So if you are an artist, or are partaking of art, know that you are participating in a deep deep mystery of God.

markmatthewsMark J. Matthews – our Hollywood Undercover Missionary @HUMissionary
Mark Matthews is a graphic designer and animator working in Hollywood.  Listen to his “What’s Good About Hollywood?” column once a month on  the SLHour.

Catholics Come Home on S+L

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In recent decades, millions of people have drifted away from Jesus and their Catholic faith.  The creative media team at Catholics Come Home feels a call from God to produce inspiring messages of the New Evangelization, which have already helped lead hundreds of thousands of inactive Catholics, converts, agnostics and atheists home to Jesus and His Holy Church.

Join us, as we travel across North America to bring you stories of heartbreak, redemption, and transformation as we meet some of the actual people that the Holy Spirit lead home. God wants us to spend eternity in heaven with Him and to bring as many people with us as possible. This is Catholics Come Home.

Airs Sundays at 8:30pm ET / 9:30pm PT

See episode schedule below:

Atheist Returns Home  |  Sunday April 12, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Dr. Gloria Sampson, a 74-year-old linguistics professor who taught in Communist China.  After living as an atheist for 52 years, witness her amazing homecoming to the Catholic Church.  Filmed on location in Vancouver, Canada.

Agnostic to Evangelist  |  Sunday April 19, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Oscar Cavazos, a 33-year-old culinary chef and owner of a Mexican restaurant.  After 17 years living as an agostic, discover how this father of three came home to his Catholic faith.  Filmed on location in Dallas, Texas.

Personal Relationship with Jesus  |  Sunday April 26, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Ms. Lydia Clark, a 22-year-old college student and daughter of a Presbyterian pastor. Discover why she converted to Catholicism, and how she helped her fiancée home to the Catholic Church. Filmed on location in Providence, Rhode Island.

Loneliness & Suffering  |  Sunday May 3, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Thomas Manns, a 45-year-old accounting clerk, who lived as a hermit and agnostic for nearly 25 years. Witness his transformation and return to the Catholic Church.  Filmed on location in Westminster, British Columbia.

Healing  |  Sunday May 10, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Ms. Devin Jones, a 36-year-old automotive delivery trainer, who left the Church during the priest scandals. Discover how she returned to the Sacraments and her Catholic faith.  Filmed on location in Denver, Colorado

Faith and Reason  |  Sunday May 17, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Harrison Garlick, a 27-year-old law student and convert from prosperity Protestantism. Find out why this new father attended Ave Maria University as a Protestant, and then how he converted to the Catholic faith. Filmed on location in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Our Church Family  |  Sunday May 21, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Mary Annthipie-Bane, a 47-year-old mother and preschool teacher. Shortly after converting and marrying in the Catholic Church, she and her husband church-hopped for years.  Find out what prompted their family of five to return to the sacramental church.  Filmed on location in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.

Call to Discipline  |  Sunday May 28, 2015  

Host Tom Peterson welcomes 44-year-old Chris Ahrens, former Marine and firefighter. Discover what helped this father return to his Catholic faith and attend the Latin Mass. Filmed on location in Denton, Texas.

One nation under God  |  Sunday June 7, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Shirley and Tom Hill, a farming couple in their 60’s, living outside St. Louis. Discover how Shirley returned to the Catholic Church after being away almost 40 years, and how her husband converted recently. Filmed on location in Farmington, Missouri.

Church is Our Home  |  Sunday June 14, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Daniel Bui, the 27-year-old son of Vietnamese Buddhist converts to Protestantism. Find out why this Houston area high school history teacher converted to Catholicism while at the University of Texas at Austin. Filmed on location in Austin, Texas.

Falling in Love  |  Sunday June 21, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Madge Winch.  Madge, a 64-year-old quilt-making grandmother of five, once served as deputy sheriff carrying a 357 Magnum. Discover what helped her and her family return to the Catholic Church, and what prompted her husband to convert to Catholicism.  Filmed on location in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

Slippery Slope  |  Sunday June 28, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Michael Mark, a 50-year-old former drug addict and dealer from Chinatown. Witness his incredible transformation, that brought him and his 90 year old father home to their Catholic Church family. Learn how God then called Michael to serve the homeless in a men’s hospice. Filmed on location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Be not Afraid  |  Sunday July 5, 2015

Host Tom Peterson welcomes Susan Masi, a 71 year old baker and clerk at pet bakery. Find out what helped this divorced Catholic find her way back home to the Catholic Church. Filmed on location in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for April 2015

Prayer_Intentions_April_2015

Join us in prayer for the intentions entrusted to us by Pope Francis. For April 2015, we join the Holy Father in praying for:

  • Creation: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
  •  Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Daily Offering Prayer
God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, Who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month. Amen.

Traditional Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. The Apostles of Prayer offer themselves to God each day for the good of the world, the Church, one another, and the Holy Father’s intentions.

Thank you for praying with us!

In a tradition that is centuries old, the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions. To become a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, you need only to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day. When you give God all the “prayers, works, joys and sufferings” of your day, you turn your entire day into a prayer for others. You are joining your will to God’s will. If you feel called to this simple, profound way of life, find out more at Apostleship of Prayer.

 (CNS photo/Paul Haring)