Tag Archive for: Evangelization

The Children of Fatima

Looking for information about our Radio Encore Broadcast of Fatima – Discovering the Message of Mary?

Podcast Episode

This week’s virtual pilgrimage will be a unique one, join Renee Polka, a member of our Speaker Team, who will share with you the experience of Jacinta – 7 years old, her 9-year-old brother Francisco, and their 10-year-old cousin, Lucia. Three three shepherd children from Fatima, Portugal, witnessed the apparitions in the early 20th century.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • The children’s interactions with Our Lady
  • Visions which Our Lady revealed to the children and why?
  • Renee’s experience on her visit to Fatima, Portugal

Listen to this program on our podcast feeds starting Thursday, May. 12, on any of the following podcast services:

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Jewel for the Journey

“Putting up with any sacrifices that are asked of us in our day-to-day lives becomes a slow martyrdom which purifies us and raises us up to the level of the supernatural, through the encounter of our soul with God, in the atmosphere of the presence of the Most Holy Trinity within us. We have here an incomparable spiritual richness!” – Servant of God Lucia Santos


Guest Information

Renee Polka

Renee has a background in education, linguistics, and fundraising. She currently works in the non-profit sector raising funds for community health and wellness initiatives. In 2015, Renee attended the Theology of the Body Institute for the Head and Heart Immersion course with Christopher West, and has taken continuing education courses in theology with Father Nathan Cromly of the St. John Institute. She teaches CCD at St. Brigid Church, in San Antonio, TX.

 


A Closer Look at The Children of Fatima and The Mirace of the Sun:


Where is Fatima, Portugal?

Everyday Prophecy

Today I had the privilege of being a prophet . . . twice!

It was not the future vision type of prophecy, nor the ‘have a medal struck’ or ‘institute a feast day’ type of prophecy. It was just an ordinary, everyday prophecy as the Catechism of the Catholic  Church explains,

“Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 64).

These are lofty words for what I am calling everyday prophecy, and though I made up the name, the belief is founded solidly on our Catholic teaching that through Baptism,

“we are anointed by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king,” (CCC, no. 1241).

Through this anointing, Christians are given the charism (special gift) of prophecy to act on promptings of the Holy Spirit to help build up the Church, one soul to another. This understanding was proclaimed by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council in the Document on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church titled, Lumen Gentium (Light to the Nations). They wrote,

“It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, “allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills, He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit, (LG, 12).”

Spreading Hope

Here are two experiences that challenged me to respond to my baptismal anointing to help build up the Church:

  1. On my way out the door this morning to attend Mass, I grabbed a Rosary bracelet given to me that was touched to the Tomb of Christ during a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It sat on my dresser since I got it, but for some unknown reason this morning, I picked it up and put it on my wrist. When I arrived at Church, I came face-to-face with a woman coming out of the restroom as I was going in. I asked how she was doing. She told me she was going in for a life-threatening surgery next week and asked for prayers. While I was sitting in Adoration before Mass a thought came, ‘Give her the Rosary bracelet.’ With this thought, I looked up at the Blessed Sacrament and the words to share with her came pouring into my heart, “Tell her whatever happens, I am with her. She will receive new life in Me.” I got up, found her sitting in a pew, and did as I was told. With my task complete, I left her so she could have time alone to thank the Lord for his gifts.
  2. An opportunity came from someone through whom I received the grace of a miracle healing over a decade ago. How she was able to connect with me after such a long time I knew could only be the work of the Holy Spirit, so when she told me she needed my help with a writing project, I went to see her. As she spoke, I prayed quietly to the Holy Spirit to guide me on how to help her as my writing schedule is already full of writing deadlines. As I listened, the truth she needed to hear came to my lips, “What you have written is good, ” I said, “I believe you are being tempted to doubt yourself.” I could tell by how she immediately closed her eyes, bowed her head, clasped her hands in prayer, and whispered, “Thank you, Lord,” this was exactly what she needed to hear, and all that was required of me. I thanked God with her for as the bishops state further in Lumen Gentium,

“These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church, (LG, 12).”

All that acting on these promptings of the Holy Spirit cost me was one Rosary bracelet I can have replaced (a perk at working at Pilgrim Center of Hope!) and an hour and half of my time. What I received was so much more . . . the profound blessing of collaborating with God to build up his Church.

Knowing When To Act

It is a challenge to know if a thought to act comes from the Holy Spirit. As Jesus tells us in regard to the Holy Spirit,

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit, (John 3:8).”

If the thought prompts you to help, console or encourage another, it is worth the risk.

A quick prayer to offer before you act, “Come Holy Spirit, help me do Your Will and only your Will.” Then go!


Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

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.

Meet the Master

St. Joseph, A Marvelous Role Model | Meet the Master

Welcome to Meet the Master; a monthly series by Pilgrim Center of Hope for one and all to encounter Jesus in his words and actions, all for reflection, learning, and inspiration.

The theme for this Meet the Master audio retreat is to encounter Jesus of Nazareth in Scripture and reflect on recognizing good role models. Our Host, Mary Jane Fox, Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Co-Founder, and Co-Director, leads us all on a journey through Scripture, to reflect on a marvelous role model, St. Joseph.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Mary Jane Fox

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!

We especially would like to thank the Marian Center of San Antonio for sponsoring this episode of Meet the Master! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.


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Schoenstatt Shrine & May Blossoms

In this week’s spiritual pilgrimage, join Angela Sealana as she leads us on a journey to a very special Marian shrine; the original located in Schoenstatt, Germany; and identical shrines located throughout the world!

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Be taken on a journey through the story of the founding of Schoenstatt, one of the first Marian movements of the 20thcentury that survived World War I and even the concentration camps of WWII
  • You’ll hear a description of the Schoenstatt Shrine, and learn about the meaning behind each carefully selected element
  • And discover a special, simple spiritual practice that your whole family can follow called May Blossoms which can not only improve your family life but also your personal lives.

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Dian Coleman in memory of Ronald Coleman, who made this podcast episode possible.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“Our mates must be able to sense our Catholicism through our whole being. Every action must bear the stamp of belonging to God…” – Servant of God Josef Engling


A Closer Look at the Schoenstatt Shrine & May Blossoms:


Get More Out of Your Journey with This Suggested Reading:

Blog: A Simple Way to Boost Your Spiritual Life –Advice from a Young Soldier

Find books about Schoenstatt through your local Schoenstatt Shrine. Locate the nearest Schoenstatt Shrine here

May Blossoms, written by the Schoenstatt Junior Sodality, 1916


Map of Schoenstatt Shrines:

How to Avoid the Trap of Unforgiveness

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he said this he showed them his hands and his side.” (John 20:19-20)

Even though the doors were locked, Jesus stood in their midst because his resurrected, glorified body does not have the same limitations as our physical body. For this reason, he shows them his wounds, and in another Gospel (Luke) asks for something to eat to prove he is not a ghost.

He then breaths on them and says,

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:22-23)

He gives the Apostles and their successors the authority to forgive sins. This is the basis for the sacrament of reconciliation in which Jesus himself forgives the sins of those who confess to Catholic priests who are successors to those who were in the upper room. It is fitting that we hear this Gospel on Divine Mercy Sunday because the Sacrament of Reconciliation is especially a sacrament of our Lord’s mercy. When we confess our sins to a priest, Jesus not only forgives our sins and relieves us of the burden we carry, He also gives us the grace we need to help us overcome temptation and grow in virtue. It is, for this reason, we should try to go to Confession at least once a month. If we only go to Confession a couple of times a year so many of the things, we do that offend God and others begin to pass unnoticed and become part of our life routine, and small sins that are habitual lead to more serious sins.

Forgiveness Through Jesus

Because of our fallen nature, it is so easy for us to fall into the trap of unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and stubbornness that cause us to be negative people, and this negatively affects all of our relationships. If you have not been able to forgive someone, ask Jesus to help you forgive because you know he wants you to forgive, actually he commands you to forgive so he can, and relieve you of that burden of sin.

In 1934 Jesus revealed to St. Faustina that he wanted the second Sunday of Easter to be known as Divine Mercy Sunday. These are his words to her:

“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”

Even if we are not aware of having committed a serious sin, we still need this merciful encounter with Jesus in Confession so that we can remain close to him and grow spiritually.

In the Gospel of John (20:19-31), the Apostle Thomas was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them on Easter evening and he said he would not believe that Jesus was alive unless he would put his fingers in the nail marks and his hand in his side.

Our human logic is very powerful. Even though the disciples he trusted told him they had seen Jesus, he would not believe them without proof. For him, it wasn’t logical that someone would rise from the dead, even though Jesus said he would.

Walk Daily with Jesus

That’s the world we live in. We are at the point where just as many people do not believe in God as those who do believe, and that number continues to grow. Of course, that is the reason for so much hate, violence, and confusion in society. The only thing that can reverse this present trend is God’s love and mercy, which he freely offers, but does not impose upon us. In His Church, He has given us everything we need to live in peace and happiness, but we must approach Him in faith and humility. Jesus says,

“Come to me… and I will give you rest.”

The rest he offers us is the peace he promises to those who put their trust in Him, especially when experiencing trials.  Even the most hardened sinner can experience this peace if he would turn to Jesus in humility and ask for the grace to turn away from sin.

I am reminded of a woman I visited many years ago who was dying of cancer. She was in much pain and death was not far away, and yet she said she thanked God for cancer because it gave her a chance to turn back to God. She said if she would have died suddenly her soul may have been lost.

Salvation is not a casual thing, but God’s love and mercy are not only about saving our souls. It is first of all about a daily relationship with God that fills our lives with joy, hope, and guidance. He has shown us how this is possible in the Scriptures and in the Church. The solution has been revealed to us, but do we believe?

What we all believe right now is a consequence of the choices we have made up until this moment. Does our faith influence the most important decisions we make? Have we asked Jesus to be the Lord of our life and then pray for the grace we need to trust Him in every situation? If every day, throughout the day we pray from our hearts, “Jesus I trust in you,” it will become a reality. He will gently guide us if we are sincere, and our lives will be filled with hope and peace even as we undergo trials.

Jesus, I trust in you!


Deacon Tom FoxK.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.

The Shroud of Turin, A NEW JOURNEY

Join Mary Jane Fox and Nan Balfour, as they guide us on a different kind of journey. They are giving you a behind-the-scenes story of how Pilgrim Center of Hope has come to work on our biggest project yet! In fact, it has been over ten years in the making, a new journey with the Shroud of Turin, an ancient burial cloth that mysteriously has eluded scientists and experts for hundreds of years. In a groundbreaking, new streaming media series from Pilgrim Center of Hope; Who is the Man of the Shroud? will explore the facts from science, art, history, and more.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Who is the Man of the Shroud? Exhibit
  • How is Pilgrim Center of Hope involved?
  • Tips on how we can evangelize

Click here to subscribe to upcoming episodes and stay up to date with Who is the Man of the Shroud?

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Veronica Leal in honor of Deacon Dan McShane, who made this podcast episode possible.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

The Holy Shroud of Turin represents an extraordinary witness of the Paschal Event: the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a silent yet shockingly telling witness! To the believer the importance of the Shroud lies in the fact that it provides a mirror to the Gospels… The Shroud is indeed an extraordinary sign that refers us back to Jesus, the true Word of the Father. It bids us follow the example of the One, Who gave Himself up for us. – St. Pope John Paul II on the Shroud of Turin


Related Media


A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Upcoming Who is the Man of the Shroud? Media Series

 


Where is The Shroud of Turin Located?

Meet the Master

What brings Jesus Joy? | Meet the Master

Welcome to Meet the Master; a monthly series by Pilgrim Center of Hope for one and all to encounter Jesus in his words and actions, all for reflection, learning, and inspiration.

The theme for this Meet the Master audio retreat is to encounter Jesus of Nazareth in Scripture and answer the question: “What brings Jesus Joy?” Our Host, Nan Balfour, Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Speaker Team Member and Events Coordinator, leads us all on a journey through Scripture, to reflect on this very question.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Nan Balfour

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!

We especially would like to thank the Marian Center of San Antonio for sponsoring this episode of Meet the Master! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.


Podcast Episode


 

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Rising Above The Temptation To Fear

Everyday we encounter numerous temptations. Things from the flesh, the world, and the devil challenge us to better seek Christ and overcome obstacles. One prevalent temptation in today’s time is the temptation to fear. It is interesting how we were in the middle of Lent in 2020 when the covid outbreak started. And now, in 2022, we start lent during the first major conflict between two countries in recent history. There is also fear of the uncertainty of life, of our country, of the economy. In short, it is easy to fear, and there are a lot of good reasons to tempt us in that direction.

You Are Not Alone

How do we overcome the temptation to fear? Trust and humility.

Do we trust that God is in the midst of our sufferings, that He is in the midst of our troubles? God unites himself with us in our struggles of life, allowing His will to be achieved even in the worst of situations. This is why praying the psalms can offer much comfort in that reality.

“Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.” (Psalm 23:4)

God is with us always, and He is in control. The more we reflect on that, the most we can trust that good will always conquer evil – even if things do not appear that way to us now.

Humility Can Be An Eye Opener

Often our fear comes with the feeling of helplessness. What can we do to fix everything that is wrong in the world? The answer can be found in the examples of numerous saints throughout Church history. We do what we can, and we do it with love. Thus, humility is needed to help us recognize our call of service, but to know that we can only do so much and that God will use that and do even more.

Another answer can be found in our Lord’s prayer: our daily bread. No more, no less, we move one day at a time in hope.

“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that he, in his goodness, sends to us day after day.” – St. Gianna Molla.

So when we continue on the journey of Lent and find ourselves tempted to fear, let us seek to trust Christ by growing in prayer, let us do what we are called to do in our almsgiving and fasting, and let us be in peace that God’s will always be done.


Daniel Quintero is a newlywed husband, writer, and avid karaoke singer. He currently attends Prince of Peace Catholic Church where he volunteers in the lector ministry and with faith formation. His favorite motto: Awkwardness does not exist. 

Meet the Master

What Does Jesus Teach Us About Authority & Our Identity? | Meet the Master

Welcome to Meet the Master; a monthly series by Pilgrim Center of Hope for one and all to encounter Jesus in his words and actions, all for reflection, learning, and inspiration.

The theme for this Meet the Master audio retreat is to encounter Jesus of Nazareth in Scripture and answer the question: “What Does Jesus Teach Us About Authority & Our Identity?” Our Host, Angela Sealana, Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Speaker Team Member and Media Coordinator, leads us all on a journey through Scripture, to reflect on this very question.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Angela Sealana

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!

We especially would like to thank the Marian Center of San Antonio for sponsoring this episode of Meet the Master! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.


Podcast Episode


 

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Subscribe and listen to Meet the Master at any of the options below.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Spotify  Listen on Google Podcasts  Subscribe via RSS Feed

Achieving Holiness through Authenticity

What we say should reveal a great deal about who we are. As stated in Sirach (27:6),

“The fruit of the tree shows the care it has had, so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind.”

I am sure we have all said things we wish we would not have. I know I certainly have. I often think about the mistakes I have made during my lifetime and ask God for the grace to be more prudent. At times, I imagine we all have made a spontaneous response to a question or situation before we have given thought to the consequence of our words. Perhaps most of the negativity we see in our culture is the result of casual, irresponsible remarks. It seems to me that language is more crude and more disrespectful than at any time in my memory. I was guilty of some of that until I began to take my faith seriously. I still at times say things that I wish I had not said, but not in the same way I use to say them.

In the Gospel of Luke (6:45) Jesus says,

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

It is very easy to respond in a negative way to a negative experience. It can just happen naturally. When we say negative or evil things it doesn’t necessarily mean we are evil unless it is habitual as a persistent negative attitude which can lead to making bad decisions. When I was in the military, away from people who knew me, I picked up the language of some of the young men around me. I don’t believe I had an evil heart, but I didn’t have a formed conscience and a developed faith that would have helped me overcome the temptation to blend in. Bad language and peer pressure were the doorways to other temptations.

We all give in to temptations at times, but left unchecked they can become a storehouse of bad decisions that can affect how we see ourselves and how other people see us. Christianity calls us to enter the struggle to overcome that which leads to sin. St. Paul describes it well. He says,

“I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.”

The first phase of the battle is to recognize what is good and what is evil. We know that Paul won this battle because he was finally able to say,

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me.”

He is the example of what we must become before entering heaven.

It might seem this is beyond us, but with the help of God’s grace, it is possible. We have the same resources as Paul did. Even more than Paul because of the example and prayers of countless saints who have reached their perfection in heaven and can assist us on our journey. Like them, we have the Scriptures, the authority of the Church, and the sacraments which are the source of the grace that makes it possible for us to become saints, to do what we can only do with God’s help.

Becoming An Authentic Christian

We are all called to holiness even though we fall at times as all the saints did. When it is our desire to become spiritually mature, our faith will have a powerful influence on our lives and the decisions we make. Our faith will not only be a great benefit for us personally, but it will also have a positive impact on our families and on the Body of Christ. We will be able to draw from the goodness of our hearts to produce goodness and reach our goal to become an authentic Christian.

This, God can do in us if we have but the desire. Our Lord will give us the grace to make the changes we need to make if we pray, Jesus, I trust in you. Help me to be the person you created me to be, for my own happiness and the happiness of the people I love.


Deacon Tom FoxK.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.