How Important is the Holy Rosary? Well, I Have Written On It 10 Times.

Today, in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Holy Rosary is important and should be prayed by all the faithful as it has been told to do so by Our Lady in apparitions. There are two important components to the Holy Rosary – one is meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, and two, vocal prayer. The most important aspect of the Holy Rosary is that it focuses on the life of Jesus Christ. Through the intercessory prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we meditate and pray the life of Jesus Christ.

So how important is the Holy Rosary? Well, I have written on it 10 times. Below is the collection of blog posts, mostly from my series “Mondays with Mary”, I have written on the Holy Rosary beginning in 2012. Please feel free to share this post or any of these others with family and friends.

1. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary (May 7, 2012)

2. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary, Part Deux and St. Therese of the Child Jesus (September 30, 2012)

3. Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7, 2012)

4. “Mondays with Mary” – The Holy Rosary Through the Words of Blessed John Paul II (October 8, 2012)

5. “Mondays with Mary” – 37th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona (October 22, 2012)

6. “Mondays with Mary” – The Saints and Popes on the Holy Rosary (October 29, 2012)

7. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Benefits of Praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 19, 2013)

8. “Mondays with Mary” – The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7, 2013)

9. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of the Rosary (October 6, 2014)

10. “Mondays with Mary” – The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa (June 29, 2015) – This rosary is different than the Loretto Rosary, but still an important prayer to be prayed.

Our Lady of the Rosary…Pray for Us.

Nuestra Señora del Santisimo - Damián Domingo

Nuestra Señora del Santisimo – Damián Domingo

With today’s blog post, that would be now 11 times.

“Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II, Challenges of the Family, and Marian Prayer

Yesterday, the Synod on the Family began in Rome with a selection of Bishops from around the world to discuss the pastoral nature of the family in the 21st century. In my many years as a Catholic, I never seen a Synod gather the attention like this one has gathered. Beginning last year with the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, and now the current one, being held from October 4-25, 2015, it is my thoughts that we must pray, and pray hard, for the Bishops of this Synod that they remain faithful to the doctrines of the Catholic Church when it comes to marriage, divorce, and same-sex unions. The Devil is working overtime and seems to be forcing the hand of some in the hierarchy to make changes to teachings they cannot change.

During the next three weeks, our Bishops need our prayers and support. We especially need to pray for those Bishops that think the Church must align with the secular culture, such as many of the German Bishops. It seems to be that many of them have lost their way and are being influenced by a culture that wants to destroy the traditional family of man and woman.

As Catholic men and women, we combat this secular culture with evangelization, catechesis, and charity. If you have not read Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s Apostolic Exhortation, Into the Breach, which was published this past week, I would highly encourage you to read it as soon as possible. Although it was written to men, women should read it as well as they can share in assisting the men in their life to accomplish the goals set out by Bishop Olmsted.

For today’s “Mondays with Mary,” I would like to share with you the very prophetic words of Pope St. John Paul II. The reason why I am focusing on these words today specifically is because they mention the challenges facing Christian families, but also because the prayer that he speaks of is prayer rooted in the Marian devotion. These words come from his Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America (The Church in America), a document that was produced from the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Vatican from November 16 to December 12, 1997.


This document, written only 16 years ago, should be a reminder that even then the Bishops of the Americas and the Holy Father himself saw the great dangers that were occurring in the world to the traditional family at the time, and seem to be even greater today. The emphasized words below are mine. Facing the challenges of Christian families, The Great Polish Pope says,

“God the Creator, by forming the first man and woman and commanding them to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen 1:28), definitively established the family. In this sanctuary life is born and is welcomed as God’s gift. The word of God, faithfully read in the family, gradually builds it up as a domestic church and makes it fruitful in human and Christian virtues; it is there that the source of vocations is to be found. Marian devotion, nourished by prayer, will keep families united and prayerful with Mary, like the disciples of Jesus before Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14)”. Many insidious forces are endangering the solidity of the institution of the family in most countries of America, and these represent so many challenges for Christians. Among them we should mention the increase in divorce, the spread of abortion, infanticide and the contraceptive mentality. Faced with this situation, we need to reaffirm “that the foundation of human life is the conjugal relationship between husband and wife, a relationship which, between Christians, is sacramental”.

Hence there is urgent need of a broad catechetical effort regarding the Christian ideal of conjugal communion and family life, including a spirituality of fatherhood and motherhood. Greater pastoral attention must be given to the role of men as husbands and fathers, as well as to the responsibility which they share with their wives for their marriage, the family and the raising of their children. Also required is a serious preparation of young people for marriage, one which clearly presents Catholic teaching on this sacrament at the theological, anthropological and spiritual levels. On a continent like America, characterized by significant population growth, there needs to be a constant increase of pastoral initiatives directed to families.

In order to be a true “domestic church” the Christian family needs to be a setting in which parents hand down the faith, since they are “for their children, by word and example, the first heralds of the faith”. Families should not fail to set time aside for prayer, in which spouses are united with each other and with their children. There is a need to encourage shared spiritual moments such as participating in the Eucharist on Sundays and Holy Days, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, daily prayer in the family and practical signs of charity. This will strengthen fidelity in marriage and unity in families. In such a family setting it will not be difficult for children to discover a vocation of service in the community and the Church, and to learn, especially by seeing the example of their parents, that family life is a way to realize the universal call to holiness.

The one thing that stands out for me is that a lot of what the Holy Father suggests in these three paragraphs is currently happening in the dioceses around the world. Although more is always needed, there is good fruit being produced, especially when it comes to the sacramental prep in marriage as well as helping men understand their role as men in the Church (see Bishop Olmsted’s letter). In my diocese and at my parish, we are doing what Pope St. John Paul II asked for in this document when it comes to marriage preparation, encouraging men to be active in the Church, and strengthening marriages and families.

Let us pray this week through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the entire Holy Family that dioceses in the Universal Church will heed this call by the Great Pope St. John Paul II to enrich Christian families through evangelization and catechesis. Let us also pray for Pope Francis and the Bishops of the Synod on the Family that they will stand firm with the doctrines of the Church, established by Jesus Christ, that teach about marriage and family. Mary, Jesus, and Joseph…Pray for Us. Amen.

575th Blog Post 

Are You Hungry For More?

Wednesday night, October 7 (Our Lady of the Rosary) at 9:00pm Eastern Time, 6:00pm here in Arizona, I will be on the Fiat Ministry Network for an interview with Al Smith on his show, Hungry for More.

The Fiat Ministry Network is a Catholic Internet Broadcasting TV Network which encourages us to to say “Yes” to Jesus Christ, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary said “Yes” when the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation announcing the coming of the Messiah.


It’s my hope that many of you will be able to watch the show via the Internet. To watch the interview LIVE, just click on the Fiat Ministry Network above or bookmark it today.

And, please pray for me. 

7 Quotes from St. John Vianney on the Feast of the Guardian Angels

In recent years, the relationship I have with my Guardian Angel has grown and developed into a more intimate friendship. I will often ask for my Guardian Angel’s assistance, not nearly as much as I should, but I do ask him to protect me more than I did when I was a child or even as a young adult. Each of us has a spiritual protector that follows us throughout our entire life from the moment we are conceived till the day we pass into eternity (Ps 34:7, Mt 18:10, Acts 12:15). Our Guardian Angels are there to assist us, but they will never interfere with our free will. It is important to get to know your Guardian angel, but we should never ask for their name.

In regards to the Angels, I would like to share a story with you I once heard – A young woman was walking home alone from her friend’s house one night. During the day, a prisoner had escaped from jail and was on the loose, but the girl felt that she would be safe since her house was only one block away. As she was walking home, someone began to follow her. She turned around quickly to see who it was and it happened to be the man that had escaped. As she started to walk faster, he also picked up his pace. But all of sudden, she turned around and man was running in the opposite direction.

In the morning, she found out that the man had been caught and wanted to notify the police that he was following her too. She made her way to the police station. As the man was being brought out for transfer to another location, she caught sight of him. She said to him, why did run from me last night? He responded, I wasn’t going to come any closer to you, not with those two huge guys walking beside you. She asked what two guys. The man replied – the two guys dressed in white and glowing. The “two huge guys dressed in white and glowing” were more than likely Guardian Angels because the girl was all by herself, at least to the visible world.

This story might not be a common occurrence in daily life and the angels don’t interfere with God’s plans for our lives, however, this story simply states that although we do not see these invisible creatures in the visible world, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are there.

The Guardian Angel by Pietro da Cartona

The Guardian Angel by Pietro da Cortona

Now let’s turn our attention to the 7 quotes from St. John Vianney for the Feast of the Guardian Angels

1. “Our Guardian Angels are our most faithful friends, because they are with us day and night, always and everywhere. We ought often to invoke them.”

2. “The Angels take great pleasure in helping us with our enterprises, when they are in accordance with God’s will.”

3. “That which above all should inspire us with veneration for the holy Angels is their unswerving loyalty to God.”

4. “What joy it is to know that when we go out of the house, we are never alone en route.”

5. “The first thing about the Angels that we ought to imitate, is their consciousness of the Presence of God.”

6. “It is our Angels who ask God to grant us a deep sorrow for our sins.”

7. “With what humility should we assist at Mass, if we realized that our Guardian Angel was kneeling beside us, prostrate before the Majesty of God! With what eagerness should we not ask him to offer our prayers to Jesus Christ!”

If you don’t know what the Catholic Church teaches on the Theology of Angels, I would suggest you read last year’s post from my Quick Lessons from the Catechism Series.

On a more personal note, this day has a significant meaning for my writing. It was on this day three years ago that Kevin Knight first posted a blog post I wrote about the Angels on New Advent. The title of that post is – The Angels Were Not Invented by Hallmark Cards & Gifts.

Into the Breach – Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s Letter to the Catholic Men in the Diocese of Phoenix

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” is a line spoken by Henry V at the beginning of Act III from William Shakespeare’s aforementioned play. This was the first thing that entered my mind yesterday afternoon after seeing the title of the newly published Apostolic Exhortation, Into the Breach, written by the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix. Just as King Henry V rallies his men to battle, so too has Bishop Olmsted sought to rally the Catholic Men of the Diocese of Phoenix with this letter.

Knowing that it was about to be released, I was excited to read it quickly, not realizing that I was going to read in within hours of its initial release for the simple reason – I could not put it down! As a Catholic man, this letter says to me that there is so much more that I should be doing in my daily life. It makes me realize that some of the decisions I chose in my youth were not the best for me. It helps me realize that I am not alone, that other men, “bands of brothers,” are fighting just as I am fighting. Finally, it makes me realize that even in dark times, the light of Christ’s hope shines for all to see.

This Apostolic Exhortation is truly a rallying call to not only the Catholic men of the Diocese of Phoenix, but to all Catholic men in every diocese in the Universal Church. The two words that came to mind when I read this letter are – Boldness and Fortitude. Bishop Olmsted speaks to his “spiritual sons” in the way that we need to hear it. Using analogies such as an athlete, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the British Spy Agent, James Bond, the Ordinary of Phoenix articulates what true and real masculinity should look like today.

Using the words of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Francis, and other Popes and Saints, Bishop Olmsted examines all aspects of the masculine nature. In a time when the culture is trying to destroy masculinity and femininity like never before, this letter stands as a direct order to the men of this diocese, and all dioceses, to stand up, to speak up, to be boldly Catholic, and to do battle against Satan and all his allies. The opening paragraph of the letter states,

“I begin this letter with a clarion call and clear charge to you, my sons and brothers in Christ: Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.”

This opening paragraph mirrors what I have been telling my now RCIA Catechumens and Candidates since the beginning of August. The Church has always been at war with spiritual forces, and at times, physical forces, but for us today in the early years of the 21st century, we are engaging in a specific battle that is part of the overall war. To place it in context of the Second World War, we are in the Battle of the Bulge. Just as the Battle of the Bulge was a German offensive, the battle we fight today finds its offense in the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s. As the Allies fought the offensive; so we must do the same today.

With this all being said, let me entice your spiritual appetite a little more to personally pick up and read this Apostolic Exhortation by quoting some points that stand out for me, although there are many more that I could share –

“A true Catholic man stakes his life on this proposition – that all is made new in Jesus Christ.”

“Be confident! Be bold! Forward, into the breach!

“We truly encounter Christ at Mass when we receive the very gift of Himself in the Eucharist. For this reason, I call upon my brother priests to awaken the sense of transcendence in the hearts of men through reverent and beautiful liturgy, helping men to rediscover Jesus in the Eucharist each and every Sunday…Teaching men to understand the fullness and power of the Mass must be a top priority.”

“Men, we must never believe that holiness and courage are things of the past! You and I are called to a holiness that shows Christ to the world as our forefathers have done countless times throughout history, following the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

“Do you, my sons, have true brothers in Christ in your life?”

“Next, let us seek to understand more deeply man’s calling to spousal love. Every man is made to live as a husband and a father in some way: “God assigns the dignity of every woman as a task to every man.” Each man is called to commit and give of himself completely.”

To read the Apostolic Exhortation, Into the Breach, click on the link and you will be brought to the main page where you find English and Spanish translations. I would also encourage you to watch the trailer as well. It looks like there is going to a video/film aspect of this letter. When I find out more about it, I will write about it on my blog.

Pray that this letter is well received here in the Diocese of Phoenix and that Catholic men will have the courage to subtract the things in their lives leading them away from Jesus, and add those things that will bring them closer to Him. Pray for Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and all the Bishops of the Catholic Church. Amen.

St. Jerome…Pray for Us.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes on the Family from the Guardian of the Redeemer

As I said from my blog post on June 22, 2015 from the “Mondays with Mary” series titled, The Fatherhood of St. Joseph, I would return to the document, Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer) during the time of the 2015 World Meeting of Families. However, because I wrote so much on the nature of the Catholic Church last week from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I did not fully complete my promise to all of you, and to that, I apologize. I felt the need to really help people understand what the Catholic Church says about herself and to the world, especially those in the media because they often get things wrong when it comes to reporting on Church matters.

So for today’s “Mondays with Mary,” I am going share with you 10 quotes that have to do with the family as well as the Holy Family from the aforementioned document written by Pope St. John Paul II. Since the Blessed Virgin Mary is the heart of the Holy Family, I don’t think she will mind me focusing on the family as well as the Holy Family for this series titled and dedicated to her. In the quotes below, the bolded words are mine.

1. “It follows that Joseph’s fatherhood – a relationship that places him as close as possible to Christ, to whom every election and predestination is ordered (cf. Rom 8:28-29) – comes to pass through marriage to Mary, that is, through the family.” (7)

2. “The Savior began the work of salvation by this virginal and holy union, wherein is manifested his all-powerful will to purify and sanctify the family – that sanctuary of love and cradle of life.” (7)

3. “The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church his bride.” This being the case, it is in the Holy Family, the original “Church in miniature (Ecclesia domestica),” that every Christian family must be reflected. “Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families.” (7)

4. “The growth of Jesus “in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of “raising” Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father.” (#16)

5. “For his part, Jesus “was obedient to them” (Lk 2:51), respectfully returning the affection of his “parents.” In this way he wished to sanctify the obligations of the family and of work, which he performed at the side of Joseph.” (#16)

The Tondo Doni - Michelangelo

The Tondo Doni – Michelangelo

6. “This bond of charity was the core of the Holy Family’s life, first in the poverty of Bethlehem, then in their exile in Egypt, and later in the house of Nazareth. The Church deeply venerates this Family, and proposes it as the model of all families. Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery.” (#21)

7. “Together with human nature, all that is human, and especially the family – as the first dimension of man’s existence in the world – is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph’s human fatherhood was also “taken up” in the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation.” (#21)

8. “If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus’ work at the side of Joseph the carpenter…Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel.” (#22)

9. “…Joseph was in his day the lawful and natural guardian, head and defender of the Holy Family…. It is thus fitting and most worthy of Joseph’s dignity that, in the same way that he once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ.” (#28)

10. “…the Church has implored the protection of St. Joseph on the basis of “that sacred bond of charity which united him to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God,” and the Church has commended to Joseph all of her cares, including those dangers which threaten the human family.” (#31)

As the participants from the World Meeting of Families return to their respective cities and countries, and as the Holy Father returns to Rome, let us pray for the safe return of all traveling this day and week. Let us also pray that the families through the New Evangelization will have an impact on the communities in which they live. In a time when the family is being attacked like never before, let us invoke the prayers and intercession of the Holy Family who is the perfect example of love, sacrifice, and beauty to the modern world.

This blog post is dedicated to the Phoenix pilgrims, and all pilgrims, including Pope Francis, who traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. 

What is Infallibility? (With a little help from Bishop Robert Barron)

Over the past couple of days, as Pope Francis has been in the United States on his Apostolic Journey, I have seen comments made on social media as well as in the news outlets about the teachings of the Catholic Church. Frankly, most people that speak ill about the Church’s teachings, Catholic or not, usually speak in ignorance (they just don’t know & different than stupidity) or they speak ill of the Church because they hate what she stands for. This is not something new. We have seen in the past and will see it in the future.

I think Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen summarizes perfectly this notion when he says, “There are not one in a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church.” As my pastor has said in the past and in his article on the Sacramental Worldview from our Sunday bulletin on August 30 (page 4), most people don’t understand the Church’s teachings because they lack an understanding of the Catholic Worldview, which is much different than the worldview of the secular culture and different than that of our Protestant brethren.

Saint Peter with Keys - Peter Paul Rubens

Saint Peter with Keys – Peter Paul Rubens

So for this blog post, let‘s focus our attention on the teaching of Infallibility, but instead of explaining it to you in my words, below is a great 3 minute and 57 second clip from now Bishop Robert Barron’s series Catholicism. Before we get to this video clip, let’s examine what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about Infallibility and define some terms. Paragraph 891 says,

“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,” and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.” This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

Now here are some terms for you:

Pope (Roman Pontiff) – The successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the universal Catholic Church. The Pope exercises a primacy of authority as Vicar of Christ and shepherd of the whole Church.

Collegiality (college of bishops) – The principle that all the bishops of the Church with the Pope at their head form a single “college,” which succeeds in every generation the “college” of the Twelve Apostles, with Peter at their head, which Christ instituted as the foundation of the Church. This college of bishops together, with, but never without, the Pope has supreme and full authority over the universal Church. Same as Body of bishops.

Doctrine/Dogma – The revealed teachings of Christ which are proclaimed by the fullest extant of the exercise of the authority of the Church’s Magisterium. The faithful are obliged to believe the truths or dogmas contained in Divine Revelation and defined by the Magisterium.

Magisterium – The living, teaching office of the Church, whose task it is to give as authentic interpretation of the word of God, whether in its written form (Sacred Scripture), or in the form of Tradition. The Magisterium ensures the Church’s fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles in matters of faith and morals.

Ecumenical Council – A gathering of all the bishops of the world, in the exercise of their collegial authority over the universal Church. An ecumenical council is usually called by St. Peter, the Pope, at least confirmed or accepted by him. (Last ecumenical council was Vatican II, held from 1962-1965).

Obedience of Faith – The first obedience is that of faith: to listen and freely submit to the word of God.

Deposit of Divine Revelation (Deposit of Faith) – The heritage of faith contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, handed on in the Church from the time of the Apostles, from which the Magisterium draws all that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed.

Authority (mentioned in a few of these definitions) – Not “power” but “right” such as “author’s rights”. The Church only has authority because she is under the authority of her Author and Lord. Authority of the Church is not control or arrogance, but humility in its origin, who is Jesus Christ.

Now with these terms defined and everything else explained, let’s get a little help from Bishop Robert Barron on Infallibility. Like he did on Tuesday using golf as analogy for understanding the law and freedoms of God, in this clip he uses baseball to explain Infallibility.