A few years ago, I was visiting my brother in Nashville. Many of his friends are lovely people and devout Christians. Every Monday night, when they're home, my brother and his friends serve at a homeless ministry called People Loving Nashville. Whenever I visit him, I attend as well. After one night of ministering to the homeless, we went out to eat after. We were talking about many different topics ranging from movies and popular culture to theology. Eventually, we started talking about travel. One of my brother's friends began talking about her recent trip to Israel. I mentioned that I had been a few years earlier, and we discussed our favorite places.READ MORE
Greg and Julie Alexander thought divorce was the only way out of their lifeless, loveless marriage. Quite unexpectedly, a faithful priest guided them back to the truths of the church, and as they began to incorporate these truths into their lives, they were able to restore the love they once had for each other. Marriage 911 chronicles their journey back from the brink of divorce to marital happiness built on a strong Catholic faith.
Told from both spouses' perspectives, their very personal story shares: three key questions every married couple should answer; practical, real-life tips for getting a marriage back on track; and hope for all married couples on the brink.
Just about a year ago, I was out during the day and received a message on my phone, "Do you want to go the Holy Land with Jim Caviezel?" For those who do not know, Jim Caviezel is the actor that played Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. I assumed this was a prank, however, when I returned to the rectory, I saw a note in my mailbox with a number to call. I called the number and realized 206 Tours had contacted me. They asked if I would be able to be a spiritual director on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Naturally, as any good son would do, I called my mother to see if she wanted to go. She asked my aunt and uncle, and now, this trip became a family affair. Additionally, Patricia Ahrens, a parishioner here at St. Patrick’s attended.READ MORE
Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful, life-giving women who have brought us into this world. Not only have you given us birth, you have given us yourselves in countless ways. In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.” Are not these the words of every mother who guides her child or children through their younger years? Yours is the voice of love, gentleness, humility, and patience. You carry us in your heart from the moment of conception and throughout your whole life. What a powerful example you are of how we are created in God’s image and live it out with joy and wonder. Thank you!!!!READ MORE
In Catholic Literary Giants, Joseph Pearce takes the reader on a dazzling tour of the creative landscape of Catholic prose and poetry. Covering the vast and impressive terrain from Dante to Tolkien, from Shakespeare to Waugh, this book is an immersion into the spiritual depths of the Catholic literary tradition with one of today's premier literary biographers as our guide.
Focusing especially on the literary revival of the twentieth century, Pearce explores well-known authors such as G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, and J.R.R. Tolkien, while introducing lesser-known writers Roy Campbell, Maurice Baring, Owen Barfield, and others. He even includes the new saint, Pope John Paul II, who wrote many literary and poetic pieces, among them the story that was made into a feature film, The Jeweller's Shop.
Do you love me? We hear Jesus asking that question of St. Peter three times in today’s Gospel passage. We know who the people are who truly love us and are always there for us. In those situations we love them in return. The bond with our parents and siblings in childhood is expanded to those outside our family circle when we become adults and go out on our own. We think about whether or not people we encounter in countless ways care about us. We are drawn to trust people who listen to our concerns and respond in helpful, practical, and encouraging ways. It is delightful and encouraging to find people who we can rely on that help us with our homes, cars, computers, health, spiritual life, etc. As talented and resourceful as we are, we need one another to make our lives fuller and richer.READ MORE
Hunger is a driving force in our lives. We hunger for far more than good food. There is the hunger to be accepted for the person we are, the hunger to have financial security, the hunger to see new places and have new experiences, the hunger to have a meaningful life. But the ultimate hunger and driving force in our lives is the hunger to be loved and the hunger to love in return. There are many obstacles and challenges we face in seeking to satisfy this ultimate human hunger. We see this ultimate, innate hunger in Jesus, especially during Holy Week and this first week of Easter. There was nothing that prevented, deterred, or distracted Him from giving Himself totally, completely, and perpetually. Nothing could extinguish this burning desire in His heart and soul - not betrayal, not denial, not mockery, not an unjust and extremely painful death. The key is to take the time to reflect on His love. It is His love and only His love that will answer the words of the gift of His prayer to us: “Thy Kingdom come!”READ MORE
Since his election to the papacy, Pope Francis has inspired millions by urging us to embrace mercy, ultimately revealed in the face of Christ. Now comes an extraordinary new film on this powerful message that brings hope, healing, and forgiveness to a broken world. Narrated by Jim Caviezel, The Face of Mercy explores the history and relevance of Divine Mercy in our turbulent times. Watch its story unfold, from an unpretentious Polish nun who experienced powerful visions of a merciful God, to her countryman Saint John Paul II who propelled the message of Divine Mercy onto the world stage, and the Year of Mercy bestowed upon the Church by Pope Francis. Filmed in stunning 4K and seamlessly weaving together theology and history with modern testimonials and visual effects, this stirring film creates a remarkable tapestry of what constitutes the face of mercy in our modern world.
Meet the woman who found freedom in forgiveness after seeing her family wiped out by genocide; the former-NFL linebacker who walked away from football to share Christ's mercy with the homeless; the baseball player who traded MLB ambitions for the monastery; the priest with a drug-dealing past, and the young widow who chose mercy towards her husband's killer. These moving testimonies will remind us all that Divine Mercy is not just a devotion of the past or some abstract theology—it is alive, it is present, and it will transform the world.
If Christ has not been raised, said the Apostle Paul, then Christian Faith is in vain. The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is not an incidental or minor aspect of Christianity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is certainly false.
Skeptics have long tried to show that there was no Resurrection. Today, there has been a resurgence of attacks on this central truth of Christianity. Some people claim that the followers of Jesus fabricated the Resurrection. Others argue that the disciples hallucinated or had a “vision” of their dead master, which they confused with a truly risen Jesus. Others still suggest that the Resurrection was a myth or that the Apostles may have seen a spirit or witnessed a “spiritual resurrection” that had nothing to do with an empty tomb and the transformation of Jesus’s dead body. Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? carefully scrutinizes the historical evidence. Rather than accept Christian belief blindly, top scholars, and biblical historians critically examine alternative explanations. In the end, they show why it is a matter of sound reason as well as faith to affirm what the early Church proclaimed: Jesus is risen.
A fascinating, fast-paced, exciting exploration of Jesus’s fate, Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? shows how Jesus’ Resurrection has consequences for every one of us.
Happy Easter! As much as spring is upon us and nature is once again blooming, today’s celebration begins our fifty-day celebration of the ultimate source and meaning of our lives. Once again we focus on the fact that not only is there life after death, but on the power of our life with God in Jesus every single day of our lives. We began our forty-day preparation to celebrate Easter on Ash Wednesday, looking to pray more, to fast to strengthen our desire and ability to rise above our own needs and concerns, and to open our hearts to give generously of our time, talent, and resources. Yes, Lent is over and hopefully we can look back and see where we have nourished ourselves spiritually, morally, and mentally. Now is our time to see where we are inspired to rise not only above all that is not good, sinful, evil, and life draining to ourselves and others, but most importantly, to see where we can and want to rise to do all that is good and life giving for ourselves and others.READ MORE
On Monday, April 15th, confession will be offered in our parish from 3:00 to 9:00 PM. Whether you are someone who frequents this sacrament or someone who has not been in many years, this video is a great confession help. Based upon his proven and powerful parish mission presentation, Fr. Larry Richards’s talk on Confession has become the #1 talk in North America for learning more about this Sacrament. He is riveting, honest, humorous, down-to-earth, and often touchingly gentle. Fr. Larry provides listeners with hope to strive for a closer, healing relationship with Jesus Christ.
When I was in my next to the last year in the seminary before ordination the first semester we went to Pilgrim State Mental Hospital on Wednesdays. We would begin our day with Mass with the residents celebrated by the chaplain. We brought guitars and sang music at the Mass. But each time we came to communion, one of the residents would beat us to the punch and start singing the old traditional hymn “O Lord I Am Not Worthy.” The first verse is: O Lord, I am not worthy That Thou should'st come to me, But speak the words of comfort, My spirit healed shall be. Those words came to mind as I was praying evening prayer last week in Psalm 114 which had the verse: “Lord, what is man that you care for him, mortal man, that you keep him in mind; man, who is merely a breath, whose life fades like a shadow?” That verse and the first verse of the hymn “O Lord I Am Not Worthy” jump out as we listen to and reflect on the Gospel for today, Palm Sunday, the Passion according to St. Luke. Why did Jesus suffer what He did?READ MORE
“Get a life!!!!” I along with about ten other people heard those words spoken with an angry voice as we were praying in front of Planned Parenthood on Maple Avenue last Tuesday morning. The voice was a woman’s and came from her as she was passing by in her car. Obviously she is pro-choice and our presence triggered anger in her. How sad. But as soon as I heard those angry words I smiled in my heart as this thought came immediately to my mind: “That is exactly why we are here praying in front of this abortion facility. We want much more than a life, we are there to save as many lives as possible!” When I arrived there this past Tuesday, one of our parishioners greeted me with joyful news. A lady came across the street before I got there and told the people praying that she came with her daughter who was considering an abortion and went into the facility. But the daughter had second thoughts and left. They came out to the people praying and told them thank you for being there. Those praying gave them the number to call for help with the pregnancy and they left happy and grateful. Standing in front of Planned Parenthood is not the most desirable thing to do. We live in a country that has adamant pro-abortion people in Planned Parenthood as well as in our elected state and federal government. Many people right here in the Smithtown area are pro-abortion and make their objection to our presence in prayer known. But how good it is to know our prayers and presence are making a difference.READ MORE
Go behind the scenes of Unplanned, the inspiring true story of one woman's journey of transformation. All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women. As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she fought to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America.
This feature includes behind the scene interviews with Abby Johnson, Ashley Bratcher (who plays the role of Abby in the film), the screenplay writers, and more! Go behind the scenes of Unplanned, the inspiring true story of one woman's journey of transformation. All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women. As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she fought to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America. This feature includes behind the scene interviews with Abby Johnson, Ashley Bratcher (who plays the role of Abby in the film), the screenplay writers, and more!