Real Spirituality in the Real World

Do you ever feel like you could be more spiritual if it weren’t for the daily struggles of life?

This week, Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI, sat down with Miles and Misela Gonzalez Vandewalle to talk about how our spiritual life and ordinary life are not opposed, but in fact, two sides of the same coin!

Seeking Foster Homes in San Antonio

We sat down with Beth Green, Director of Development for St. PJ’s Children’s Home in San Antonio.

St. Peter-St. Joseph provides a supportive environment for children in need of emergency shelter, and they’re looking for new foster parents!  Take a listen to this episode and learn more about the need in our San Antonio community for foster homes.

St. Peter-St. Joseph Children’s Home
919 Mission Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78210
(210) 533-1203

The Laity & the New Evangelization

In her book Forming Intentional Disciples, author Sherry Weddell cites a Pew Research study saying that only 30% of American Catholics are currently practicing their faith.

It’s likely that you know someone in your family, friends or other circles, who has drifted away or consciously broken with the Catholic faith. Especially when the person is close to us, we often want to help ignite in them a new sense of the beauty, meaning and peace of our relationship with God and the Church.

This speaks directly to the call for a New Evangelization: the call to re-evangelize people and culture who may belong to the church via baptism, but have not been exposed to the Gospel in the robust life of the Church.

Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI, sat down with Dan Duet to talk about what lay Catholics can do to evangelize in the modern world.

Mary Knows the Way

Why do Catholics make such a big deal out of Mary if she’s only mentioned in the Bible a few times?

It may seem like Mary only appears in the Bible a handful of times, but if you go looking for her, you may be surprised to see her all throughout scripture!

But first, there is need to understand how Christians have historically read the Bible, particularly the practical of typology, which in Christian theology is the practice of seeing predictive events, persons or statements in the Old Testament that would be fulfilled in the New Testament.

St. Paul gives us an example when he calls Adam a type of Christ: “But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come,” (Rom. 5:14). Just as sin and death entered into humanity through Adam, so grace and life restored humanity through Christ.

The early Christians also saw a parallel between Eve and Mary. The Church Father, St. Iranaeus (d. 202), explains, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. The knot of which the virgin Eve tied by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary opened by her belief.”

Want to learn more?

Mary Jane and Deacon Tom Fox discussed Mary – her life, her love for Jesus, and her role in the Church.

Related resource:

Mary Undoer of Knots Website


Jerusalem - Holy Land

Prayer Service for Peace In the Middle East

It can be overwhelming to read the headlines from Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine. So many have died as a result of war and genocide, and so many are now fleeing from the terrors sweeping through their homelands.

We are called to hope in Christ, who absorbs all of the world’s sin and transforms it into radiating love. We are called to unite in compassion, to help our brothers and sisters in need, especially in these most dire situations. We have confidence in Jesus, who assured us that prayer and fasting can drive out demons.

Mary Jane and Deacon Tom Fox hosted a special prayer service for peace in the Middle East August 11, 2014.

Related Resources

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Website
Franciscan Holy Land Website

Want to show your solidarity with Christians in the Middle East? Wearable Jerusalem Cross pins are available at the Pilgrim Center of Hope for a $5 donation. All proceeds will benefit the Church in the Middle East.  Contact us for your Jerusalem Cross pin.

Prayer to Our Lady of Jerusalem

O Mary Immaculate, gracious Queen of Heaven and Earth, we beseech you to turn a pitying glance on the Holy Land, which more than any other land belongs to you, and from there you have given the Redeemer to the world. Watch, therefore, with special protection over your native country, bring Peace and Justice to the people of the Holy land.

Obtain for us all the grace to serve the Lord in sanctity and justice during all the days of our life, so that by the merits of Jesus with your motherly aid, we may pass at last from this earthly Jerusalem to the splendors of the heavenly one.

Our Lady of Jerusalem, pray for us. Amen.

Friends In High Places

Why do Catholics pray to saints? Some Christians think that we should only pray to God, not any human being.

We pray to saints to ask for their prayers on our behalf (called “intercession”). Intercessory prayer builds up the Body of Christ, the Church, because it is a demonstration of our mutual dependence and love for one another in Christ.

Prayer to saints is a tradition founded in biblical theology and practiced throughout the history of the Church. In several instances in the Old Testament, angels are described as praying for God’s people on Earth. In Revelation 5:8, John receives a vision in which the “elders” in Heaven each “were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Around 258 AD, St. Cyprian, in a letter to Pope Cornelius, wrote:

“Let us be mutually mindful of each other, let us ever pray for each other, and if one of us shall, by the speediness of the Divine vouchsafement, depart hence first, let our love continue in the presence of the Lord, let not prayer for our brethren and sisters cease in the presence of the mercy of the Father.”

Nan Balfour and Julie Reyna chatted with Melanie Rigney, speaker for the 2014 Catholic Women’s Conference and author of Sisterhood of Saints.

Getting Prayers Answered

Is there a secret to having your prayers answered?

What might it mean if you don’t get what you asked God for?

Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI, chatted with Rob and Camille DiMaio to answer these and all your questions about prayer.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

The Importance of Prayer

What is prayer and why is it important?

Prayer is our communication with God. As St. Therese of Lisieux has said, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned towards heaven; it is a cry of recognition and love; embracing both trial and joy.”

God made us to live united with Him and with one another. After the rupture caused by original sin, God still bound himself to a sinful humanity and made his presence known by covenants and the voices of prophets. Jesus came that unity with God would be fully restored, and prayer is the pulse of communication in this intimacy.

Mary Jane and Deacon Tom Fox discuss the importance of prayer with Fr. Patrick Martin, blind missionary priest.

We Are Made for More: What Our Bodies Tell Us

I’ve heard of the “Theology of the Body”, but I’m not really familiar with it. What is it?

The Theology of the Body (TOB) refers to the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II about the meaning given to our bodies made in the “image and likeness” of God. He expounded this teaching during weekly audiences from September 1979 to November 1984, and in various letters during his papacy.

So . . . what does the body mean?

In short, John Paul II explained that the body reveals God because it is designed in his likeness. This summary has as many applications as there are aspects of human life, because every human area is in relation to the body.

Our hands can be used to create music or hold a baby, embrace a loved one or plant a garden. Each one of these uses has much to say about God, and that’s just reflecting on the hands!

Where can I learn more about the TOB?
Author and 2014 Catholic Women’s Conference speaker Emily Stimpson joined host Nan Balfour and Danielle Smith, to talk about Emily’s book, These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body.


All Things New: Fighting Modern Slavery

The Catholic Church teaches that every person is chosen by God to love and be loved for all eternity. Our bodies exist as signs of this reality, and the dignity and integrity of each person – body and soul – deserve great respect from individuals and society.

Many social ills make this Christian ideal difficult, and in this episode of Catholicism Live we’re going to talk specifically about prostitution. The Catechism has this to say:

“Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents . . . While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.”

It’s an unfortunately common myth that women become prostitutes by choice, as if prostitution were simply another career.

The truth is that women are largely tricked and coerced into prostitution from the start, by manipulative and deceptive men who use mental, emotional and physical abuse to keep them locked in their position. Often, a pimp spots a vulnerable girl or woman and uses her own needs to trap her. He may promise to provide love and security at first, and then become isolating and dominative. He may lie, saying that no one else would care for her, as he pretends to.

In other cases, girls or women find themselves suddenly tricked into prostitution when money appears on the nightstand after a regrettable night. Pimps wield power over women considered property by subjecting them to desolating abuse, and even outright torture, if a prostituted woman does not follow instructions or fulfill a quota.

The tragic reality of prostitution and sex trafficking arrives in the news when large arrests are made at the border and major sporting events. But these ongoing problems occur in our own backyard on a daily basis.

Fortunately, police officers are trained to find prostituted women and offer them a way out. Even then, it can be very difficult to leave prostitution, because of the conditioning created by dire circumstances and manipulation by pimps. But many do leave, praise be to God.

There is hope for prostituted women.

We were delighted to host Linda Caswell, founder of All Things New, a ministry for prostituted women, on this episode of Catholicism Live! The ministry was closed, and Linda moved out of state. Pilgrim Center of Hope no longer has contact information for Linda. However, we hope this program will educate & encourage you to learn more about the reality of sex trafficking. San Antonio Police Department has information about reporting sex trafficking tips.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.