If we haven’t prayed yet for the US Election…it’s time to start praying!

In all my years, I can’t remember an election cycle that has had more contention and open hostility than the election cycle we are currently in. Not to be overly dramatic, but this election could potentially have effects on many of us for years to come. And with such ill content for the Catholic Church, at least the Catholic Church that is faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Magisterium, I think we need to be aware of the threats to religious freedom, which includes, openly professing our faith in the public square.

With this being said, I think it’s time, if we haven’t already, to start praying for the US Election. In not so many words, it’s time to get our prayer on!

As we have seen throughout history, such as the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when Catholics start praying devoutly and faithfully, we have the spiritual prowess to get things done and to turn the tide in our favor. In our time, at this moment in history, we need to collectively come together as the Catholic faithful and pray for the US Election. This election will not only impact this country, but the world as a whole.

So how do we get this done?

First, Pray the Rosary! The Rosary is so important that I have written about it on here 13 different times.

Second, pray novenas. A novena is a nine-day prayer and has been spiritually beneficial for many people over the ages. The two novenas I suggest: The National Novena for the Election given to us by the Knights of Columbus and the Novena for the Election given to us by PrayMoreNovenas.com. Pray one, pray both, but whatever you do, pray one of them and start on October 30th.

Third, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Make your prayer intention for our country and for the election. Jesus Christ through His Divine Mercy hears our prayers.

Fourth, invoke the intercession of the saints who suffered persecution and even martyrdom for their faith. Most importantly among the saints, ask for the intercession of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. You can also pray to the other English Martyrs, the Mexican martyrs, and St. John Paul II, who as priest, bishop, and Pope stood up against tyranny and threats to religious freedom.

Fifth, pray the Memorare and the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer.

Lastly, although many of the above suggestions already include Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray to Our Lord through His Mother under her titles of Our Lady, Help of Christians, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of America.

There are other things you can do too, but these are my suggestions, however, whatever you do, start praying today!

Our Lady of America…Pray for Us! 

My Interview on “Catholics Matter” with Fr. Rob Clements

Over the summer, I was interviewed on Catholics Matter with Fr. Rob Clements. We spoke about Marian Devotion. Fr. Clements is a friend and a great priest here in the Diocese of Phoenix. I enjoyed my time with him on the show. Below is the YouTube video from the show. I hope you can watch it and share with others. 

If you are a local Arizona resident, you can catch “Catholics Matter” on AZ-TV 7/Cable 13 after the 9:00am Mass on Sunday Mornings.

Thank you Jesus and Mama Mary for giving me the talents to share my faith with others.

“Mondays with Mary” – Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians

This Thursday, October 27, is the Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians, the immense and stunning basilica that was built by St. John Bosco during the years of 1863 to 1868. In the year 1844, he had a vision-dream where the Blessed Virgin Mary displayed for St. John Bosco a massive church and said,

“This is my house; from it my glory shines forth. You will understand everything when, with your material eyes, you will see in actual fact what you now see with the eyes of your mind.”


In 1863, some nineteen years after his vision-dream, Don Bosco began the process of building the basilica. In another vision, the Blessed Virgin Mary told Don Bosco where the basilica should be built in Turin – on the site where Saint Adventer Solutor and Saint Octavious were martyred. Both men fought as soldiers in the fourth century under the Roman Emperor, Maximianus.

After the foundation of the church was laid, Don Bosco set out to pay the contractor fully aware that he didn’t have that much money. When the contractor received only 8 pennies, he was in shock since he should have been paid with many gold coins. After witnessing the face of the contractor, Don Bosco smiled and said to the man, “the Madonna will see to the payment of her church. I am just the instrument, the cashier. You will see.”

As Don Bosco promised, Our Lady came through with the financial support needed to build her church. Many devout individuals and some very generous supporters donated most of the money necessary for the church. The rest of the money often came in small amounts from people who were granted prayers after asking the Blessed Virgin Mary for intercessions.

Although the basilica is filled with many breathtaking monuments, the most impressive one is the painting above the main altar (see below). Our Lady, Help of Christians is in the center, surrounded by God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and the Gospel writers.

Marian Altar and Painting

Even though there was strong resistance to naming the building in honor of Our Lady, Help of Christians, St. John Bosco finally was able to convince those forces to name the church so. He knew that Our Lady’s help under this title would come in need again, not only in Italy, but for the entire world, just as she had at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 and in Vienna on September 12, 1683.

On June 9, 1868, the immense basilica was dedicated to Our Lady, Help of Christians. The festivities for dedication lasted nine days. On each day, a Bishop preached while another participated at the festival. The devotion grew so quickly to Our Lady, Help of Christians, that in 1911, Pope St. Pius X elevated the church to a basilica, and thus it became known as – The Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians.

The relics of the two aforementioned martyrs are held in the basilica as is the remains, the uncorrupted body of St. John Bosco. There are also 6000 relics from a variety of saints in the crypt of the basilica. I was blessed in the year 2000, the Jubilee Year, to visit the basilica in Turin, Italy, as part of the World Youth Day pilgrimage to Rome.

The Marian Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians is celebrated on May 24, you can read about it by clicking on the link.

To visit the National Shrine of the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians here in the USA, please click here.

Our Lady, Help of Christians…Pray for Us. 

Pope St. John Paul II’s Rookie Card

Today is the memorial for Pope St. John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) as well as the 38th Anniversary of his Installation to the Papacy of the Catholic Church. Below you will find two pictures – the front and back of a prayer card from October 1978.

In some aspects, this prayer card for Pope St. John Paul II is like a “baseball rookie card.” It states the dates of his birth, ordination to the priesthood, elevation to the episcopate, cardinal creation, election to the papacy, and installation to the papacy.

If the prayer card below is like his baseball rookie card, then my blog post titled, Pope Saint John Paul: Mission Accomplished, is his induction to the Hall of Fame, well in this case, the Heavenly Kingdom.

In the 4½ years of writing on this blog, I have written about Pope St. John Paul over 50 times. He is one of the main reasons why I teach and write about the Catholic faith so much. His inspiration in my life, which began through Robert “BK” Kloska, has fueled many of my projects on here and in different parish and school positions that I have held over the years.

JP2 Rookie Card, Side 1JP2 Rookie Card, Side 2









For your reading pleasure today, here are the blog posts that I have written on the Polish Pope and Saint since last year’s memorial day –

1. Pope St. John Paul II on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

2. 7 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Mary’s Connection to Pentecost

4. “Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Mary as the Virgin of Virgins

5. Remembering Pope St. John Paul II: Eleven Years Later

6. “Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Presentation of the Lord

7. 10 Quotes on the Holy Family from Pope St. John Paul II

This link will take you to the many other blog posts I have written on him.

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray For Us!

JP2, We Love You! 

Be Not Afraid! 

Beatification Pic of JP II

Karl von Habsburg: The Last Catholic Emperor and King of Austria

Today is the memorial for Blessed Karl of Austria, the last Catholic emperor and king of Austria, who is currently in the Canonization process.

Karl von Habsburg was born on August 17, 1887 in the country of Austria. He had a wonderful childhood and was taught the Catholic faith. He was a virtuous young man known for his generosity, loyalty, and intelligence. His tutor recollects that he loved serving as an altar boy in Mass. From his young days as a child, he had a great devotion and love for the Holy Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When he turned 16 years old, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Imperial Army.

After courting Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma (now Venerable Zita) for some time, Karl takes her to the Marian Shrine of Mariazel. There he proposes to her in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He places their engagement under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the night before their wedding Karl tells his bride: “Now
 we must help each other get to Heaven.” Their marriage is blessed with eight children.

As a family, they focused on daily devotions such as the Rosary, novenas, and reading the Scriptures. They would attend daily Mass together, study the catechism, and were devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, the Immaculate Conception, and the Holy Cross.

Blessed Karl and Venerable Zita Wedding Photo

On June 28, 1914, Archduke
Ferdinand is assassinated beginning the First World War. Karl is the next in line for the throne. On November 30, 1916, Karl is elevated to Emperor. He was a good moral and Catholic emperor who desired to put the needs of his people before his own which did through spiritual and civil actions.

After the First World War was finished, he was told he had to give up his throne. He refused stating that the crown entrusted to him was from God and a holy trust. He could never betray God, his subjects or his dynasty. For Karl of Austria, the culture he bears is Christianity.

In the end, he is exiled with his family. At the end of his short life, at the point of death, he calls his eldest son to be at his bedside to say good-bye. He says to his son, Otto, watch “how a Catholic and Emperor conducts himself when dying.” At the age of 34 years old, in his wife’s arms, he enters eternity holding a crucifix and saying the words, “My Jesus, Thy Will be done—Jesus.”

At the Mass for his Beatification, Pope St. John Paul II said in his homily,

The decisive task of Christians consists in seeking, recognizing and following God’s will in all things. The Christian statesman, Charles of Austria, confronted this challenge every day. To his eyes, war appeared as “something appalling”. Amid the tumult of the First World War, he strove to promote the peace initiative of my Predecessor, Benedict XV.

From the beginning, the Emperor Charles conceived of his office as a holy service to his people. His chief concern was to follow the Christian vocation to holiness also in his political actions. For this reason, his thoughts turned to social assistance. May he be an example for all of us, especially for those who have political responsibilities in Europe today!

To learn more about Blessed Karl of Austria, I would suggest checking out these websites – Blessed Karl of Austria Beatification and Canonization SiteOrder of Malta – Blessed Charles of Austria, and Crisis Magazine – Blessed Karl von Habsburg.

Blessed Karl of Austria

Blessed Karl of Austria…Pray For Us.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Scripture passages from St. Luke’s Infancy Narrative that have influenced my Prayer life

Since tomorrow, October 18, is the feast for Saint Luke the Evangelist, I figured that I would draw from his own Infancy Narrative. The entire Infancy Narrative in St. Luke’s Gospel is beautiful, since it’s the Word of God and it’s the story and aftermath of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but ever since I studied Mariology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, there are certain passages that move my heart either in prayer or during the Marian Solemnities in the liturgical cycle.

I can remember a time in graduate school sitting next to one of my fellow students in the Christ the King Chapel during Mass on the Immaculate Conception. When Mary’s Fiat was read during the Gospel Reading, we looked at each other and were brought to tears since our understanding of that scripture passage had drastically changed and we understood it differently than before. I remember thinking to myself that my relationship with Christ was strengthened because I now knew his Mother in a way I didn’t previously.

So for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, which happens to also be my 700th blog post, I give you 10 scripture passages from Saint Luke’s Infancy Narrative that have and continue to touch my heart. It’s fitting that the 700th post is a “Mondays with Mary”, since I have written for nearly 4 ½ years on the Blessed Virgin Mary. The translation of the scripture passages come the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.

1. “And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’ And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Lk 1:28-31)

2. “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no husband?’” (Lk 1: 34)

3. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word’” (Lk 1:38). [This was the aforementioned passage that brought me to tears when in graduate school]

4. “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth” (Lk 1:39-40).

5. “’Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:42-43) [Even as I write this to you today, my heart is penetrated with the words of St. Elizabeth, and think that these words could come from my lips.]


The Magnificat, which I have written about here

6. “’My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever’” (Lk 1:46-56).

7. “And Joseph also went from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed, who was with child” (Lk 2:4-5).

8. “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manager, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7).

9. “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19).

10. “…And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’” (Lk 2:34-35).

I would encourage you to read or reread the Infancy Narrative in the Gospel of Saint Luke. I would also encourage you to include meditating on these passages this week during your daily prayer time.

For more information pertaining to the Infancy Narratives, I would suggest reading Pope Benedict XVI’s book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives.

Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin…Pray for Us.

700th Blog Post 

The Canonization of Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio

Before the Fall of 2011, I had never heard of Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. I first heard of the young Mexican martyr when I was teaching at a Catholic high school in Texas. The Spanish Club moderator and head of the Spanish Department knew of him and she made him their patron saint. Once I did learn about this very courageous young martyr, I researched information about him, which I actually coincided with the release of the film, For Greater Glory. I would highly encourage you to check out this film, if you have not seen it yet. At the very end of this post, there is an embedded clip from the film.

Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio was born on March 28, 1913 in Sahuayo, Michoacán, Mexico. Desiring to protect the religious freedom of his own faith and the faith of all Catholics in Mexico, he asked his mother for permission to join the Cristeros – the Mexican freedom fighters who fought against the Marxist government and soldiers. To learn more about the Cristeros War, I would encourage you to read about it here on Catholic Answers.

Two of his older brothers had already joined the movement, but his mother refused his request at first stating that he was too young. His response is saintly, “Mama, do not let me lose the opportunity to gain Heaven so easily and so soon.”

On February 5, 1928, St. Jose Sanchez was captured during a fight. He was placed in in a church sacristy. He was forced to watch the hanging of another Cristeros fighter, in the hopes that this would make him afraid and he would tell his captives information about his unit’s whereabouts. Before the man died, St. Jose said yet another saintly comment – “You will be Heaven before me. Prepare a place for me. Tell Christ the King I shall be with him soon.”

While in prison, St. Jose would pray the Rosary and sing hymns of faith. He wrote a letter to his mother telling him that he was in the hands of God now and ready to do God’s will. Although Jose’s father tried to ransom him out of prison, he was not able to attain the money he needed in time to save his son’s life.

On February 10, 1928, St. Jose was tortured in a very brutal way – the soles of his feet, the very skin of his feet, were sheered off by a knife. He was then forced to walk on salt, through the entire town, even walking up stone steps, to the cemetery where he would eventually be buried. Although he would scream in pain, the young saint refused to give in to his captor’s requests. During this long walk, the soldiers would taunt him and say, “If you shout ‘Death to Christ the King’, we will spare your life.” His response, “Long live Christ the King, Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!”

Upon arriving at the cemetery, St. Jose was asked one last time if he would deny his faith in Jesus Christ, he responded with great strength and conviction, “Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long Live Christ the King!). He was first stabbed and then eventually shot in the back as he lied on the ground kissing a cross that he had drawn with his bloody hand.

Pope St. John Paul II declared St. Jose Sanchez del Rio a martyr. In 2005, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI beatified him, and today, Pope Francis declared him a Saint of the Universal Church. During his homily at the Canonization Mass today, Pope Francis said the following about St. Jose Sanchez del Rio and the other six saints canonized with him,

“The seven witnesses who were canonized today also fought the good fight of faith and love by their prayers. That is why they remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart.  Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer.  May we cry out day and night to God, without losing heart. May we let the Holy Spirit pray in us, and may we support one another in prayer, in order to keep our arms raised, until Divine Mercy wins the victory.”

Let us pray this day for the intercession of St. Jose Sanchez del Rio. Let us remember that St. Jose stood against a tyrannical Marxist government seeking to destroy the Catholic Church and let us take consolation in his life that Christ is always in control and will always be with us.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of Guadalupe…Pray for Us! 

 Here is the scene of St. Jose Sanchez del Rio’s torture and martyrdom from the film, For Greater Glory – 

Source for article:

“Biographies of New Blesseds – 2005.” Eternal Word Television Network, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.