Tag Archive for: Church teaching

Making a Journey of Hope to a Cemetery

How can we make our next trip to a cemetery a journey of hope? Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox for this encouraging & enlightening conversation on this truest sense of “journey of hope.”

During this program, learn:

  • What happens during a Catholic burial?
  • When visiting the grave sites of loved ones, what is good for my family & I do?
  • What is the purpose & origin of All Souls Day?
  • How can we have hope today amidst so much suffering & loss?

Closing Prayer

This is a prayer asking St. Joseph’s intercession for a holy death. He is the patron saint of the dying.

Begin with +Sign of the Cross

O glorious St. Joseph, behold I choose thee today for my special patron in life and at the hour of my death. Preserve and increase in me the spirit of prayer and fervor in the service of God. Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my death may not come upon me unawares, but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally and to bewail them with a most perfect understanding and a most sincere and perfect contrition, in order that I may breathe forth my soul into the hands of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Finding Peace In Our Times

How can we find peace in our times?

Let’s start by looking at Sunday’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which shows us the first council of the Church, the Council of Jerusalem, resolving a conflict that was disturbing the peace of the early Christians.

Jewish converts to Christianity were expecting that Gentile converts should undergo circumcision and abide by the same guidelines that were fundamental to the Jewish faith. This Council marks the first time that a collective decision was made for the faith community which was not confirmed by Mosaic Law or the Jewish Scriptures, but rather on the authority given by Christ to the Church. The Apostles said, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriages.” Thus, the Council relieved the new converts of those burdens.

Church Councils: Working for Unity & Peace

Did you know that, through the centuries, the Church has similarly convened councils to define matters of faith which affect our practice of the faith today? For example, the Church formulated a set of beliefs called the Nicene Creed which we recite at every Sunday Mass, during the Council of Nicea in the year 325.

Also at that time, many written letters and texts were circulating among the Christian community and used during gatherings for prayer and liturgy. At the Council of Nicea, the Church decided which of these scriptures were the inspired Word of God.

The latest council (the Second Vatican Council or “Vatican II”), was convened at the Vatican to bring new life into the Church. In spite of the holiness of many people, others had fallen into living as a “Church of routine.”

I was a freshman in college when changes happened. One Sunday, the celebration of the Mass was as usual; but the next Sunday, my local church implemented the Vatican II changes. The altar was moved with the priest facing the congregation, and the Mass was in English instead of Latin. The main reason for these changes was the Council members’ hope that every Catholic would be more formed in their faith and influenced by it—instead of expecting that the priests and religious should have the main responsibility of living out the Word of God. The Council was especially directed to the lay faithful and our personal responsibility to live and share the faith as a response to our baptism. Other documents would follow, such as “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” which is a beautiful directive on how the entire Church is expected to live and share the faith. It was a directive that is still waiting to be fulfilled.

Experiencing True Peace In Our Lives

This Sunday’s Gospel could be a brief explanation of why Vatican II was necessary. Jesus says,

Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and, we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Each of us is personally responsible to live our lives in communion with God. No one can love God for us and no one can keep his word for us. Even though we are sustained by the unconditional love of God, our personal experience of that love depends on two things: Loving God above all else and keeping his Word.

It is natural for us to want to relate to God on our own terms, but it is impossible for a relationship to happen that way. God has revealed a plan that will bring purpose and happiness to our lives; we see how this plan works in the lives of the saints. Still, somehow we think there may be a different plan for us that won’t require such a commitment. However, if that were so, God would be untrue to himself.

The world we live in does not offer us the peace that gives rest to our soul. That peace is found in a personal relationship with God who is the source of all love and everything that is good. If we want to know how to love God and experience the peace that Jesus offers, we should:

  1. Decide to believe what God has revealed to us. Seek to understand God’s revelation to us through the Church and the Scriptures.
  2. Ask for the grace to do what you know is right, but often find difficult to do. Ask for the grace to forgive people who have hurt you deeply. Hatred, bitterness, stubbornness, resentment and jealousy are a few of the sins that are obstacles to experiencing the love of God and the peace he offers us.
  3. Remain close to God by participating in the sacraments. Almighty God, who wants us to call him Father, knows us better than we know ourselves. For this reason, our Heavenly Father has given us the Church and her sacraments as the means to make grace available to us. If we want to love God, we will then want to be reconciled to God and to others through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We all sin and need the help of God’s grace to overcome temptation and grow in virtue. We will want to worship Our Lord during the holy sacrifice of the Mass and receive the precious Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion and spend time with him in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

When we remain close to Our Lord in this way, God will help us to experience true love and peace in every circumstance—even the most difficult trial, because Our Father is true to his word.


Deacon Tom Fox, K.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Mother Teresa & the Communion of Saints

As they looked forward to the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox are diving into the Communion of Saints. Where did the teaching come from? Who are the saints to us? We’ll have a special focus on the Rose of Calcutta!

Listen here:

In a Foreign Land: Refugees in San Antonio

Greg Camacho talks with Michael and Joy Lopez Mader, founders of the Refugee Support Ministry in San Antonio; and Beatrice Hiyonsaba, a young woman refugee born in Tanzania, whose parents fled the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

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The Consistent Life Ethic

Greg Camacho talks with Aimee Christine Murphy and Lisa Twigg, President and Social Media Coordinator of Life Matters Journal, about the Consistent Life Movement: what it is, what it isn’t, and what’s going on in an increasingly diverse pro-life movement.

The Prosperity Gospel and Christian Unity

Are you a victim of popular “Prosperity Gospel” teachings? Does God really bless us financially if we’re obedient? What does our Catholic faith teach about this?

Leticia Adams joins Greg Camacho to talk about the Prosperity Gospel: how it distracts us from knowing Christ and subverts the life that Christ desires for His people.

Leticia Adams is a Catholic woman, wife and mother living in Round Rock, Texas, a self-described “hot mess convert” with a wonderfully unique voice in Catholic media.

Women’s Dignity and Calling

Let’s set the record straight: What does the Catholic Church really say about women?

In this episode of Catholicism Live!, three women answered this question. Mary Jane Fox hosted Catholic Women’s Conference Coordinator, Nan Balfour, and special guest Marge Fenelon – speaker at the 2012 Catholic Women’s Conference – to discuss what official documents and teachings of the Catholic Church actually say about women. Plus, we consider recent issues about whether women can “have it all” addressed in The Atlantic Magazine and NBC’s Meet the Press.

About our Guest: More than 15 years ago, Marge decided to leave behind the secular business world after several years as a public relations consultant, in order to focus her talents and energies on serving the Church and Catholic media. She is a longtime contributor to a variety of Catholic and secular publications – including Our Sunday Visitor and National Catholic Register. Also an author, Marge’s latest book “Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home,” has foreword written by Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

Marge is a regular guest on Sacred Heart Radio’s “Son Rise Morning Show” and has appeared on many others, including “Conversation with the Cardinal” with Cardinal Dolan, Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air,” and Spirit Catholic Radio’s “Inside the Pages.” She’s an enthusiastic speaker and small group leader, and has invigorated audiences in a variety of venues. She holds a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Certificate in Spiritual Mentoring from Cardinal Stritch University, and a Certificate in Marian Studies from the International Marian Research Institute.

Marge and her husband, Mark, are members of the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt and assist in the faith formation of young couples in the movement. They have four children ages 26 to 16 who, combined with a rocket of a dog named Daisy, configure the fun-loving and sometimes outrageous ‘Fenelon Clan.’

Related

Free from Vasectomy

Why would a man opt to have a vasectomy, then decide to reverse it?

We spoke with Dr. Mark Hickman, a local Catholic surgeon whose medical ministry reverses vasectomies, as well as Steve & Mary Van Sciver, who experienced a total marriage transformation after having Steve’s vasectomy reversed.  How and why?

More information related to this episode: