Fatima for Us Today

Rev. Jonathan Felux presents his pilgrimage experience to Fatima, and how the witness of the children who met Mary can inspire us here & now – no matter our age.

This presentation was given at the Catholic Seniors’ Conference, an annual event organized by Pilgrim Center of Hope evangelization ministry, by request of Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS.

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San Antonio 2019 Rosary Congress

SAN ANTONIO – Pilgrim Center of Hope is honored to provide speakers from its Speaker Team for San Antonio’s annual Rosary Congress.

The 2019 Diocesan Traveling Rosary Congress will begin October 5 and conclude on October 11, seven days of around-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration and hourly praying of the Rosary in response to Our Lady of Fatima’s call to conversion, consecration, and prayer.

SCHEDULE – Traveling activities at various Catholic Churches within the Archdiocese of San Antonio territory:

October 5
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Selma
5:30pm – Opening Mass with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS
7:00pm – Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet begins

October 6
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Selma
Continuing all-day Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet
Note: These devotions will pause during scheduled Masses

October 7
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Selma
Continuing all-day Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet
Note: These devotions will pause during scheduled Masses
7:00pm – Talk on “Power of the Rosary” by Deacon Ed Domowski

Church of the Holy Spirit
7:30am – Mass
8:00am – Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet begins

October 8
Church of the Holy Spirit
Continuing round-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet until 7am
7:30am Mass

St. Margaret Mary Church
8:00am – Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet begins
6:00pm – Mass

St. Helena Church
6:00pm – Mass
7:00pm – Talk on “Mary’s Gifts” by Victor Negron followed by…
Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet

October 9
St. Helena Church
Continuing round-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet until 6:00pm

Christ the King Church
6:00pm – Mass
7:00pm – Talk on “Marian Apparitions” by Renee Polka followed by…
Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet (through October 10 at 6:00pm)

St. Monica, Converse
7:00pm – Mass
7:30pm – Talk on “Consecration to Jesus through Mary” by Alexandra Kubebatu followed by…
Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet (through October 10 at 6:00pm)

October 10
Christ the King Church
Continuing round-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet until 6:00pm

St. Monica, Converse
Continuing round-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet until 6:00pm

Sts. Peter & Paul, New Braunfels
12:10pm (afternoon) – Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet begins (through October 11 at 7:00pm)

October 11
Sts. Peter & Paul, New Braunfels
Continuing round-the-clock Eucharistic Adoration, Hourly Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet until 7:00pm
7:00pm – Talk on “Consecration to Jesus through Mary” by Alexandra Kubebatu


For more information, contact the organizer: Diocesan Rosary Congresses.

Parish Kit – Sample

The Meaning of Advent

Did you know that Advent signals the start of a new Liturgical Year?

Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI and his guest Dan Duet will talk about how to be more spiritually prepared for the celebration of the Lord’s birth. They will also discuss the origins and traditions of the Advent season, as well as provide suggestions on how to become more focused on our need for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ – not only during Advent, but throughout the year and throughout our lives.

Message of Hope
Always have hope , cling to God and leave all the rest to Him. He will not let you perish. Your soul is very dear to Him; He wishes to save it.                         – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Share Your Congratulatory Remarks

Celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary

In honor of the birth of the Virgin Mary on September 8, this episode of Living Catholicism will focus on the Immaculate Conception, Mary’s parents Sts. Joachim & Anne, and her sacred life.

Join Deacon Tom Fox and Robert Rodriguez as they explore our Blessed Mother’s life, from her birth, free of original sin, until her Assumption. The program will also take a look at the various devotions to Mary:

  • First Saturdays
  • Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • the Green Scapular of Our Lady
  • The Brown Scapular
  • The Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows

Message of Hope:

When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, He flies to it. He enters therein and communicates Himself to that soul in abundance.  – St. Louis de Montfort

Time for A Spiritual Check-up

When’s the last time you gave yourself a spiritual check-up? If you answered recently, then congratulations! However, it’s more likely that you answered not recently or never. According to several reputable research studies almost 750,000 people in Bexar County report having no association with a religious faith…the number is up 50-percent from the year 2000. Also, a recent Pew Research Study indicated that one-third of Americans do not believe in the God of the Bible. This is the world we live in.

We get regular check-ups for every other aspect of our life; there is the annual physical for the body, scheduled maintenance for the car, and the end of the year review of our finances. So why not, a regular spiritual check-up?

All of these check-ups, especially the latter, are necessary so that we can avoid problems, have peace of mind, and live a well-balanced successful life. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.

My wake-up call came when I was 42 years-old, the year my mother died. Up until then – outside of going to Mass on Sundays – I really hadn’t put much effort into assessing or developing my spiritual life. And when it came to holiness, I thought that was only possible for priests, nuns, and extremely devout Catholics. After my mom died, I began formulating a spiritual plan to get to heaven, so that I could see mom again one day.

I have spent the last several years discovering the richness of the Catholic Church. Consequently, I have been able to appreciate the depth and beauty of the Church. Like the petals of a rose, the Church offers so much sweetness in the form of Scripture (try lectio divina – the meditative reading of sacred text), the sacraments, the lives of the saints, sacramentals (Rosary, holy medals, blessings, etc.), Church teaching, prayer, parish life, and evangelization ministries like Pilgrim Center of Hope (PCH).

On the Call to Holiness

After reading Guadate Et Exsultate, Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation, I was reminded of the words of St. Josemaria Escriva: “This is God’s will for us, that we be saints.” St. Josemaria’s legacy is the belief that each of us can, by God’s grace, achieve holiness through the course of ordinary life and work.

Guadate Et Exsultate offers us a practical roadmap to holiness for our own time complete with the risks, challenges, and opportunities that we will face along the way.

Thanks to Pope Francis, I have charted a new route to holiness that includes the following signposts:
Perseverance, Patience, Meekness, Joy, Sense of Humor, Boldness, Passion, and Constant Prayer

By being docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I have been led to Pilgrim Center of Hope. Part of what drives me are the words of Saint Paul: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

In the face of fear and doubt, I have been encouraged by the words of Pope St. John Paul II: “Do not be afraid…Put out into the deep and let down your nets.”

All of us should want to have a fervor – a parrhesia or boldness – to evangelize and to leave a mark in this world. As Pope Francis suggests: “Let us ask the Lord for this parrhesia – this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward.”

Daily Life, Balance, and Temperance

Our PCH theme for July is Daily Life, Balance, and Temperance, all key to a strong spiritual plan.

We are in the Second Period of Ordinary Time, a part of the liturgical year when Christ walks among us and transforms lives! If we want to grow in character and virtue, we must walk with Him in our daily life – through prayer, worship and devotion.

Balance involves enjoying life (in moderation), being full of gratitude, loving your neighbor, and serving others.

Having Temperance means not being a slave to one’s greatest pleasures; consumption of food & drink, and the union of the sexes outside of marriage. In a society that promotes instant gratification, we have to work especially hard at abstinence, and chastity. St. Matthew was right: “…the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (cf. Matthew 26:41).

To paraphrase a teaching from the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, true peace of heart is found in the person who is fervent and spiritual.

Robert V. Rodriguez is PR/Outreach Assistant for Pilgrim Center of Hope. This first appeared in Living Catholicism, our regular column in Today’s Catholic newspaper.

Come Celebrate With Us!

Our Lady of Guadalupe image

Starting Advent with Our Lady

On Monday, December 4, Pilgrim Center of Hope hosted an Advent Evening of Reflection with Our Lady of Guadalupe, to begin the novena to Our Lady by learning more about her and her message.

For those of you who could not join us, we’re pleased to share some of the material to help you prepare for a blessed Advent season!

Prayer – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, that in thy celestial apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, thou didst promise to show thy compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting thee, seek thy help and call upon thee in their necessities and afflictions.
Never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, either for the common welfare, or in personal anxieties, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Mary, ever Virgin Mother of the True God!
We are full of hope that, standing beneath thy shadow and protection, nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor need we fear illness, or misfortune, or any other sorrow.
Placing ourselves beneath thy maternal gaze and having recourse to thee in all our necessities we need do nothing more.
O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. (Here mention your petition.)
Five Hail Marys…in gratitude for the four apparitions to Juan Diego and the one to Juan Bernardino.

Suggested Reading & Viewing Materials

Learn More about the Tilma Image

Guadalupe—Mother of the New Creation, by Fr. Virgil Elizondo
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 10545
This book was written by one of San Antonio’s own. Quoted from the back cover of his book. “Fr. Elizondo [deceased], was a native of San Antonio. He was a theologian, a pastor and popular speaker. Drawing on a lifetime of reflection, Father Elizondo has written Guadalupe, an account of the story and meaning of one of the most powerful religious symbols of our day. For centuries Guadalupe has served as one of the sustaining symbols of Mexican, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic identity and spirituality. Our Lady of Guadalupe has an even wider significance and relevance to the church universal at the dawn of a new millennium.”

A Handbook on Guadalupe, by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Park Press, Inc. P.O. 355 6th Ave. N., Waite Park, MN56387
This is also an excellent book. Quoted from page X of the book. “All agreed that there was a great need for and updated, accurate, and popular handbook [on Guadalupe.] Interest on Guadalupe is at an all-time high. A number of organizations and apostolates have taken her as their special patron, not of least of which is the pro-life movement. . . .To sum it up, we know from personal experience that Our Lady does great things with the most unlikely instruments. The key word in all this is TRUST. As she said to Juan Diego, ‘Trust in me, am I not your mother?’—a lesson which we all learn and put into place.”—The Editor.

Guadalupe Mysteries, Deciphering the Code, by Gazegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon
Ignatius Press, 1348 10th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2304
Again, an excellent book. Taken from Ignatius Press: Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most beloved symbol of Mexican Catholicism, and devotion to her is widespread in the USA. While she has entranced and encouraged Mexican Catholics for several centuries, believers and even nonbelievers the world over are inspired and intrigued by her. Millions of pilgrims visit her shrine in Mexico City every year. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have travelled there to pray for her motherly intercession. And scientists from many disciplines have studied the amazing attributes of her mysterious image. In this glorious, lavishly illustrated book, the renowned author-photographer team Grzegorz Górny and Janusz Rosikon take the reader on an illustrated pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. They tell the amazing story of her apparition to Juan Diego in 1531 and its dramatic impact upon the destiny of an entire people. They interview the various experts on the image and reveal its symbolic messages, those of the past and those speaking to us today.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, by Dr. Warren H. Carrol
Christendom Press, Crossroads Books, Rt. 3 Box 87, Front Royal, VA, 22630
Dr. Carrol is a noted Catholic scholar. He puts his sharp mind to the task of explaining the dramatic account of the conversion of Mexico from a religion steeped in human sacrifice to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe and her servant St. Juan Diego brought the message of Catholic faith to the indigenous people living in Mexico. The Tilma told the story our Holy Mother, and religious faith, using symbols which were understood by the Aztec priests. Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Juan Diego, and the Franciscan missionaries all played an important role in the conversion of millions of people to the Catholic faith. Dr. Carrol does a brilliant job in providing the historical background for this amazing story.

1531—The Story that is not Finished Yet—DVD, by EWTN
This DVD will take you deeply into the mysteries of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here is a description from EWTN: “There are stories to be told and this is one of them. Submitted by its protagonists, this film exposes differently what really happened before and after the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico in 1531. This is a film that goes beyond reason, to touch your heart. After watching 1531, your life will not remain the same. Filmed in Spanish, dubbed in English with sub-titles.”

Guadalupe—The Miracle and The Message—DVD, by the Knights of Columbus
Here is another excellent DVD. Taken from the Knights of Columbus web site: The most important event in the evangelization of the New World occurred in December 1531. Over the course of four days, the Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, appeared to an indigenous convert named Juan Diego. As a result of this encounter, and the image miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s Tilma (cloak), nine million Native Americans embraced the Catholic faith, and the Americas began its transformation into “the Catholic hemisphere.” Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message of love had replaced the institutionalized violence of the Aztec culture and built a bridge between two worlds.
Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message, narrated by famed actor Jim Caviezel, traces the history of this transformative event from the 16th century to the present. Featuring interviews with leading theologians, historians and experts on the scientific inquiries into the miraculous image—this gripping film explores both the inexplicable mysteries behind the image, and the continued relevance of the Guadalupe apparition to the modern world.

For Greater Glory—The True Story of Cristiada—DVD
This is a heart rendering story about the Cristeros War fought in Mexico in the late 1920’s. Here is one of the reviews taken from the Internet Movie Database:
“An under the radar film about a subject I knew nothing about that absolutely floored me. It’s a high-quality film with flat out superb performances that makes you contemplate and appreciate faith and freedom like few films have ever managed to convey. Yes, it is a faith based film. If that offends some, then this isn’t the movie or the subject for you. Unlike other faith based efforts, this effort is not cheesy or ham-fisted or even preachy.
“It’s the tale of the Cristeros War (1926-1929); a war by the people of Mexico against the Mexican government who cracked down in brutal ways against the Catholic Church and against religious freedom in general. Andy Garcia is Oscar level good here as General Gorostieta, a man with limited faith who responds and masterfully leads the fight for freedom. It’s intense and, at times, surprisingly violent and impactful. This movie delivers real emotion and doesn’t dodge tough questions about faith. It delivers an exceptional balance of showing why people behave and choose to engage in certain behaviors even when such behavior is contrary to the core of their belief system.
“One thing is certain; no one who has faith will take it or their religious freedom for granted after watching and EXPERIENCING this film. That’s how it registered with me at any rate.”