Galilee – Tabgha

Come along with Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, as they guide you on an audio pilgrimage, to Tabgha, Galilee. This is the site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:30–46) and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus (John 21:1–24) after his crucifixion.

During our time together, our hosts discuss the following:

  • A brief history on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes–also known as the church of the Multiplication.
  • The Gospel passage of Mark 6:34-44 – The Feeding of the Five Thousand.
  • What does this Gospel passage teach us?
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“… we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.”– Servant of God Dorothy Day


A Closer Look at Tabgha, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee:

 


Where is Tabgha:

Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires

Join Angela Sealana as she guides us on a spiritual journey to St. Mary’s Parish, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the site of a Eucharistic Miracle discovered by Fr. Alejandro Pezet, which occurred in 1996 on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Notably, during this time, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was serving as bishop of Buenas Aires. He is known today as Pope Francis.

During this program, Angela will also discuss:

  • A brief history of Buenos Aires
  • The discovery of the Eucharistic Miracle
  • The scientific investigation organized by Dr. Ricardo Castañon
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“The Eucharist is the beating heart of the Church.” – Pope Francis


Want to Take a Deeper Dive Into the Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires?

For more information and pictures of the Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires, click here. This resource was created by Bl. Carlo Acutis, himself!


Where is St. Mary’s Parish, in  Buenos Aires, Argentina?

Meet St. Joseph

This week’s virtual pilgrimage with Mary Jane Fox takes us to Nazareth in the Holy Land as we “meet” St. Joseph. We will discover who Joseph was and shed light on this man who has been called the Guardian of the Redeemer, the chaste spouse of Mary and Holy Patriarch among many other marvelous titles that point to his role.

During this program, Mary Jane will discuss:

  • Drawing hope and inspiration from St. Joseph.
  • St. Andre Bessette’s lifelong devotion to Saint Joseph.
  • Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter –  Patris Corde (With A Father’s Heart)
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“About Saint Joseph. One cannot love Jesus and Mary without loving the Holy Patriarch.” – St. Jose Maria Escriva


Prayer at the Conclusion of Patris Corde:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

 

Nazareth – Church of St. Joseph & St. Joseph the Worker

Come on a journey with Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, to Nazareth in the Holy Land! You will hear how Nazareth was at the time of Jesus and how it is today. Virtually walk with them through ancient Nazareth and visit the Church built over the home of Joseph.  Learn more about this man, Joseph who was the chaste spouse of Mary, the Mother of God, and the foster father of Jesus, the Son of God.

During this program, they will also discuss:

  • The history of the Church of St. Joseph.
  • The significance of this holy site.
  • Joseph’s obedience.
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:


Spiritual Exercises for this Year of St. Joseph:

  • Read Pope Francis’ Patris Corde
  • Read John Paul II’s Guardian of the Redeemer
  • Display a Statue, Image, or Icon of St Joseph in your home with a perpetual candle burning by it. Place your intentions there at “his feet”. Entrusting him to watch over you and your intentions.
    • Include the names of your deceased loved ones and friends. He is the patron Saint of the Dying.
    • Joseph as a powerful intercessor before Jesus & Mary for the salvation of souls.
  • Pray to St. Joseph daily.
  • Make an Act of Consecration to St. Joseph.
  • Make an appointment with the Holy Family each week. Spend at least an ½ hour or preferably an hour in Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist if possible; or at home. Include time with Mary and Joseph as well….asking their guidance to help you grow in holiness.

Jewel for the Journey:

“Devotion to St. Joseph is one of the choicest graces that God can give to a soul, for it is tantamount to revealing the entire treasury of our Lord’s graces. When God wishes to raise a soul to greater heights, he unites it to St. Joseph by giving it a strong love for the good saint.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard


Closing Prayer to St. Joseph (The Memorare):

Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession were left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power I fly unto you and beg your protection. Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.


A Closer Look at the Church of S. Joseph:


Where is the Church of St. Joseph?

Krakow, Poland – Divine Mercy Sanctuary

Join Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox for a virtual pilgrimage to the holy site of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow, Poland. This is the site where our Lord Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina and gave her his message of Divine Mercy to spread throughout the world. This chapel has since witnessed the prayer of the Apostle of The Divine Mercy (St. Faustina) and the extraordinary graces (including the revelations of Jesus and the Blessed Mother) received by her in this place.

During this program you will learn about:

  • St. Faustina Kowalksa’s life.
  • How Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina.
  • Why the Divine Mercy is so important.
  • Much much more!

Divine Mercy Image used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

Those who sincerely say ‘Jesus, I trust in You’ will find comfort in all their anxieties and fears. – Saint PopeJohn Paul II


A Closer Look at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary:


Where is the Church of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary?

Example

Image of Mary holding a Rosary

Evening with Mary: Marian Apparitions since 1000 AD

After watching, we invite you to pray the Rosary!

Author Karen Robertson offers a presentation about Our Lady of Fatima, and Deacon Ed Domowski leads the Rosary. Evenings with Mary is an outreach ministry of Pilgrim Center of Hope in San Antonio, Texas, providing opportunities to discover how the Rosary can lead individuals, couples and families to a deeper relationship with Christ, and facilitate healing and peace.

Image of Mary holding a Rosary

Evening with Mary: Our Lady of Fatima

Author Karen Robertson offers a presentation about Our Lady of Fatima, and Deacon Ed Domowski leads the Rosary. Evenings with Mary is an outreach ministry of Pilgrim Center of Hope in San Antonio, Texas, providing opportunities to discover how the Rosary can lead individuals, couples and families to a deeper relationship with Christ, and facilitate healing and peace.

ABCs of Catholic Living – Simple outline for a faithful home

One of the most common questions we encounter in evangelization work is: “How can I bring up my children Catholic?” or “How can we strengthen our family’s faith?”

HolyFamily

“The Holy Family with the Infant St. John” by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

ADORATION – Adore God, individually and together.
We often ask God for favors, and forget to adore. “To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2096) Take time to lift your mind and heart to God, without asking anything. When you take this time, your children will notice! I remember often walking in on my mom during her prayer. Consider taking a trip to a local parish for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Whatever you do, develop your relationship with God as an individual and as a family.

BIBLE – Incorporate the Bible into your home life.
Many adults have told me that they remember a large Bible in their grandparents’ home that was displayed in a place of honor…but never seemed to be read! Do keep your family Bible in a central location, but make sure to read from it. This is easier when you develop a habit and have time set aside to do so. Perhaps establish a time to read Scripture together, before or after preparing dinner.

COLORS – Use liturgical colors to decorate.
This is a fun and easy way to remain united with the Church around the world. Is today a martyr’s day? Wear red! I like to use green place mats on our dining room table during Ordinary Time. These are simple things, but they are visible ways to bridge our time in church with our time at home. See the calendar with liturgical colors at the U.S. Bishops’ website.

DINE TOGETHER – Make meal time family time.
Sharing a meal together means sitting down at the table together, face-to-face. This helps naturally develop relationships among family members. Research has shown that your family will reap many benefits.

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE – Encourage family members to regularly examine their conscience.
Take a few minutes, before bedtime. Give a simple prompt: “Let’s take a few moments to think about how we have treated ourselves, others, and God today.”

FEAST DAYS – Celebrate feast days.
For example, on one of the apostles’ feast days we might make a special meal. You could also consider using special place settings for meals, having a dessert, or playing a game together.

GRACE – Say ‘grace’ before meals.
Speaking of meals, always pray before your meal! We like to thank God for our food and all involved in preparing it (farmers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, etc.). We ask God to help us remain grateful for what we have been given, and to help us to share our resources with others. Praying before meals helps cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in each family member.

HOLY FATHER – Love and pray for the Pope.
Keeping a picture of the Pope in your home as a reminder of his spiritual leadership, as well as a reminder to pray for him. Keeping a photo of the Pope in your home can also help educate children about your family’s unity with all Catholics under the “shepherding” of the Holy Father.

IMAGES / ICONS – Have sacred images or icons in your home.
We enjoy having Eastern Christian icons in our home, especially ones that have particular meaning to us: The Last Supper, the Wedding at Cana, the Holy Family, etc. Each one invites us to contemplate the subject matter. Christian / Catholic artwork in your home will help remind family members that our faith is important to us, and that it is beautiful!

JUSTICE – Discern how your family should live Catholic social teachings.
How much does your family know about the Church’s social teachings? My husband and I try to challenge ourselves to attend or watch occasional presentations on topics like immigration, war, homelessness, etc. When we clean out our closets, we donate to St. Vincent de Paul instead of selling those items. We also contribute to charities that assist individuals in difficult situations. What can your family do? There are so many options, you can find a way that suits your family. Look into ministry or charity programs / activities in your area. Let prayer guide your decisions.

KNOWLEDGE – Grow in knowledge of Church teachings.
Our Faith has always encouraged individuals who seek to understand. Encourage one another to ask questions about Church teaching. Keep reference books in your home, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the YOUCat (youth catechism), subject-specific books, etc. Attend presentations together at your parish or diocese. Watch or listen to Catholic programming (like the great Port of Hope here). One of the greatest lessons you can teach your children is having the humility to say, “I don’t know the answer. Let’s find out together.”

LOVE – Foster a loving environment in your home.
Learn to communicate lovingly with one another.  If you need help, don’t be ashamed to seek out resources or counseling; communicating well with your family is your calling from God! Families reflect God (Love) to the world.

MASS – Attend Mass Together.
If it’s possible for your entire family to attend Mass together, do so. Mass is the most important ‘moment’ in our lives. Try to prepare by reading the Mass readings beforehand, so you can listen to them more prayerfully during Mass. Ask each other, “What struck you about the homily?” Stay a few minutes after Mass to thank God for this special time with him.

NATURE – Practice good stewardship of nature.
God has entrusted Creation to us. We need to practice good stewardship habits, like reducing our food / water waste, re-using materials, and recycling whatever we can.

OBEDIENCE – Practice healthy and holy obedience.
This is a doozie! Obedience is a ‘bad word’ in modern society, but in Scripture and our faith Tradition it’s a healthy virtue. Obedience is not to be mistaken for condoning abuse of power. Rather, it means that each family member has a specific role, and we maintain peace in our homes by honoring the natural structure of those roles. Family members with the most authority are responsible for loving as Christ loves.

PRAYER – Pray all ways. Pray always!
When and how can families pray together? Maybe we should ask: “When can we not pray together??” Use any opportunity to pray; all it takes is saying, “Can we take a moment to pray?” or, “Let’s offer this time (ex: stuck in traffic) as a prayer. Who can we pray for?” Learn the Guardian Angel prayer. Pray the three expressions of prayer: Vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

QUIET – Build quiet times into your family life.
Not all noise is bad. In fact, some noises are very good! But generally speaking, our society tends toward “productivity” and if we’re always busy, we will miss God’s “still, small voice” whispering to us. Our Catholic faith has a long history of appreciating silence, so let’s keep it alive in our family life. I know of families with small children that designate a few hours on Sunday as “unplugged” time: no electronics! Family members are encouraged to read, pray, take a walk, etc.

RECONCILIATION – Schedule times to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation – and reconcile with one another at home.
Confession can be scary, but it’s important that we make it a part of our lives. Adults can teach youth about the wonders of this sacrament by making it a priority and a regular habit. Go to the church as a family. Encourage (but do not force) children to participate in this sacrament. Demonstrate God’s mercy at home: When husband and wife have a conflict, work to reconcile as soon as possible. Teach children to apologize. Don’t be afraid of apologizing to children when you’re out of line; modeling humility and love is crucial. “Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2223)

SACRAMENTALS – Use sacramentals.
Sacramentals are small signs and instruments of grace, like a blessed Rosary, Holy Water, blessed Holy Medal, or Blessed Salt. My husband and I started a ritual in which we bless each other with Holy Water every morning before heading out the door, and every evening before bedtime. We also have many other sacramentals that help us remain close to our faith during prayer, in times of difficulty, or in everyday life.

TITHE – Give to the Church and charity before everything else.
Tithing is a Biblical practice based in ancient Jewish life that continues in Christian life. Traditionally, tithing is giving 10 percent of one’s income to God. This requires prayerful discernment for each family. For some, that 10 percent equals 1 percent to our Archbishop’s annual appeal, 5 percent to our parish, and 4 percent to other charitable causes. Tithing may seem challenging at first, but it can become a very freeing practice. It keeps us accountable to contributing to our community’s well-being, and reminds us of the proper ordering of our priorities.

UNION – Live as members of the Communion of Saints.
Keep pictures of the saints in your home. We have them all over; the refrigerator, living room, bedroom. They are family members, role models, and prayer intercessors for us. Read the lives of the Saints with your children, and talk about your favorite saints. Ask the saints for their prayers.

VIRGIN MARY – Practice devotion to Our Blessed Mother.
Jesus entrusted Mary to Saint John, the “beloved disciple.” She is the Mother of Christ and our spiritual mother. Have a special picture of Mary in your home. Teach children the Rosary prayers, and pray together.

WHIMSY – Enjoy life!
Pope Francis and many of the saints have reminded us to live joyfully as Christ’s followers. Sing, dance, play, laugh, tell stories… enjoy the good things of life in moderation.

CRUCIFIX – Have a Crucifix in your home.
Saint Paul spoke on the importance of preaching Christ crucified, and Catholic tradition has long used the crucifix to remind us of God’s love. The crucifix is a powerful sacramental that, when honored and matched with a Christian life, can help our family fight temptation.

YES, LORD – Encourage each member of the family to live their vocation.
Introduce your children to priests, religious sisters, nuns, brothers, consecrated people, and other families. Share a meal with them. Help children understand that God calls each of us to a certain life; the life for which we’re best suited. During family prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to help each family member discover and “say yes” to this calling.

ZEAL – Demonstrate authentic enthusiasm for your faith.
Zeal is not “nice feelings” or “warm fuzzies” about being Catholic. It’s the fire that burns within us; the Holy Spirit’s work, that drives us to live as Catholics no matter what situation we find ourselves in. How can we live this in family life? Discuss what you appreciate most about our Faith, or what motivates you to do what’s right. When you make a decision, explain to children how our Catholic faith has affected your decision. Tell them why you are glad to be Catholic, even when you don’t “feel” excited. Children (and adults!) need to learn that our experience as Catholics will include times of strong emotions and other, more challenging times; but we maintain a zeal for faith thanks to our relationship with the Holy Spirit.


Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.

Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, having served at the apostolate since 2010. She also serves on the PCH Speaker Team.

Need Spiritual Direction?

I finally got a spiritual director.

What? You’ve never heard of such a thing? Well, you’ve heard of personal trainers, right? Coaches? Teachers? These days, if you’re looking to…

  • get in shape
  • lose weight
  • excel at a sport
  • become a virtuoso
  • get motivated

“Taking the Count” by Thomas Eakins (1898)

…you’ll likely seek out an expert who can help you. So, if we do this for our body and our mind, why not for our spirit?

St. John of the Cross once said, “The blind person who falls will not be able to get up alone; the blind person who does get up alone will go off on the wrong road.” In other words, we all have ‘blind spots’ in our spiritual life: personal weaknesses or things we don’t notice about ourselves. We need the guidance of another person to overcome those, and to help us choose the right path.

Spiritual direction is an ancient practice that continues today. However, most people don’t know that they can (or should) seek a spiritual director, unless they are a clergyman or a consecrated man or woman. The reality is, spiritual direction is for everyone!

The principal objective of spiritual direction…is to discern the signs of God’s will for our journey of vocation, prayer, perfection, for our daily life, and for our fraternal mission.*

In plain English, that means a spiritual director will help you understand God’s calling for you, how to improve your prayer life, get rid of sin, live your faith daily, and understand how you can best serve others.

So, why not seek a spiritual director? For many years, my answer was simple: I don’t like asking for help. Yup, I’m a prideful dame. (There’s spiritual problem #1!) In high school and university, I thought God might be calling me to religious life (‘become a nun’), and for people considering religious or clerical life, spiritual direction is very common. I heard about spiritual directors frequently from my peers, and I watched them grow in holiness before my eyes.

Frequently, I wondered whether I should get a spiritual director, but I’d always give excuses, such as:

  • I don’t know who to pick as my spiritual director.
  • I only want a priest to be my spiritual director, but priests are too busy. I don’t want to bother them.
  • I already know a lot about spiritual things. I’ll leave the spiritual directors for people who don’t.
  • I’m doing OK spiritually.
  • I can work things out myself.
  • I’m too busy.

These excuses built up over time, until finally, God knocked me over the head with a two-by-four (sent me a plethora of signs, and threw my all excuses out the window), making it abundantly clear that I should ask a priest-acquaintance if he would be my spiritual director.

Now, I meet with Father every month for an hour. It’s great! You’d think that it’d be very somber or serious, and while we do have serious discussions, it seems I laugh more during spiritual direction than I do on a typical day! Spiritual direction has brought so much joy and insight into my life.

When I have questions, or when I’m having trouble making a decision, I receive support from Father. Our conversations always contribute to my personal growth. As I enact his guidance in my daily life, I feel more assured that I’m going down the path that God wants for me. Overall, this one-on-one spiritual direction has helped me with something that I have struggled with: now I’m more clearly seeing myself as I truly am, through God’s eyes.

As someone who was long-opposed to seeking a spiritual director, I encourage and challenge you to consider it for yourself. Take this intention to prayer, and ask God to help you know whether someone should be your spiritual director. It does not have to be a priest; consecrated religious sisters or brothers, or trained lay people can also act as guide and companion on your pilgrimage of life.

As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord closely, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact, and in a particular way all those who have received the divine call to a closer following, needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God. […] [Spiritual direction] is a matter of establishing that same personal relationship that the Lord had with his disciples, that special bond with which he led them, following him, to embrace the will of the Father (cf. Luke 22:42), that is, to embrace the cross.
– Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, 2011

Ways to Learn More:

*Taken from The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy, by The Congregation for the Clergy. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 2011.


Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.

Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, having served at the apostolate for 10 years. She also serves on the PCH Speaker Team, and offers a talk on discernment.