Journey into the Desert: Reflections on Worship

Journey into the Desert: Reflections on Worship is the title of our first Lenten Video Study, and the first video series of its kind to be produced by the parish of St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert, Arizona.

When I began working at the parish in my current position, there are were a few ideas Fr. Will and I discussed that we hoped we could eventually offer to the parish as part of adult faith formation. A video series focusing on a particular topic was one of those ideas. I am proud to say that after three years of working at the parish, we have now brought this particular idea to fruition.

This project began in a meeting late last summer, in which Fr. Will wanted to create a video series for the parish during the season of Lent. After setting the outline, which would focus on Worship, we brought in two of our co-workers to discuss their participation in the series, and then after countless hours of writing scripts, reading them to each other, tweaking them a bit, and then filming in front a two cameras and very bright lights, Journey into the Desert was born. Accompanying the videos at the beginning and the end is sacred music sung by a Schola directed by our Director of Sacred Music.

Filmed in the studio at the Diocese of Phoenix Pastoral Center, Journey into the Desert: Reflections on Worship is a 6-week study focusing on the different aspects of worship – how God shows us to worship, the Cross in relation to worship, change is required in worship, offering our sins, suffering together as a Church, and making Sunday a priority. For a detailed explanation of how this study will work each week, check out the trailer below of Fr. Will Schmid.

To sign-up for Journey into the Desert: Reflections on Worship – Visit from your computer or smart phone.
Click “Sign me up.” Follow the prompts to add yourself to the “Lenten Study” group and “create a password.” If you already have a Flocknote account, you can just log in.

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.

I will be at the Arizona Marian Conference this weekend

From what I have been told, there will be around 900 participants this weekend at the Arizona Marian Conference, being held at the DoubleTree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. I will be there selling my book, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as promoting this blog and my “Mondays with Mary” series found on this blog.

Tom Perna Flyer

If you have happen to be coming to the Marian Conference this weekend, and you follow me through this blog, I would love to meet you. Please stop by table located in the bookstore at the conference.

O Blessed Virgin and Immaculate Mother…Pray for Us. 

Heads Up – June 2016

Now that we have entered the summer months and things have slowed down a bit for me at the parish, I wanted to update everyone on what you can expect from me over the next few months.

First, I am going to continue to write throughout the summer, as I have done in the past, but the writing may not be as frequent as in past summers. I will continue to focus on my “Mondays with Mary” and Quick Lessons from the Catechism series, but there might be some days (Mondays in particular) that you won’t find a new blog post. I am going to take some much needed vacation time to spend with family and friends.

Second, the reason why my writing is not going to be as frequent is because it is my hope to finish two manuscripts that I have begun. One is based on my “Mondays with Mary” series and other is focused on the Doctors of the Catholic Church, also part of my blog writing. I really need to get these finished, edited, into the hands of the diocese for ecclesiastical approval, and then to publishers. Pray that Catholic publishers are interested in my manuscripts so that you can purchase them in the future.

Third, although I am compensated well through my position at the parish, there is always a need for more financial support, especially for those of us who have chosen to work for the Church. If you enjoy what you read on my blog, would like to thank me for my blog posts, and want to see more posts faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, please prayerfully consider making a donation. You can find the PayPal link on the main page of this blog or just click on the aforementioned link. Thank you in advance.

Lastly, please pray for me. Working for the Catholic Church is hard work, and more often than not, the devil is prowling around seeking to destroy and confuse. There are two scripture passages that I often think about – Ephesians 6:10-18 and 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 – they often bring me consolation knowing that even St. Paul endured sufferings.

Thank you for the support and enjoy your summer!

Praise Be Jesus Christ…Now and Forever!


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I would like to wish all of my readers, Facebook followers, Twitter followers, and those in the different Catholic Facebook groups I am a member of, a very blessed and sacred Easter Season. Don’t forget, just like Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for days and weeks, not just one day. Thank you for reading my posts and helping the promotion of the one truth faith of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

It’s not easier in our world today to be a Catholic. Don’t be fearful to let the world know that you are a Catholic…Profess it boldly and Be Not Afraid!

To the 23 adults in our RCIA/Adult Confirmation process that received Sacraments last night at the Easter Vigil – allow the light of Christ to shine in you today and everyday. Congratulations and Welcome to the Family!

The Top 5 “Mondays with Mary” from 2015

As we begin 2016, I want to share with you the Top 5 “Mondays with Mary” from 2015. It was this series that got the attention of some of the editors at Emmaus Road Publishing back in 2014, which in turn asked me to write a booklet on Mary as part of their Faith Basics series. One of the few blessings I received in 2015 was that my first major published work was released through the aforementioned publisher, which is titled, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To everyone who either follows my blog or reads it on a weekly basis, I want to personally Thank You for the support. Please continue to pray for my work on this blog as well as my work in the parish as the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis.

Mary and Eucharist

Here are the Top 5 “Mondays with Mary” blog posts from 2015 –

1. “Mondays with Mary” – Symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary

2. “Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin in Sacred Art (3rd Anniversary & 150th post)

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Dignity and Vocation of Women

4. “Mondays with Mary” – The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa

5. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Quotes on Fatima from Pope St. John Paul II

All Praise and Thanksgiving to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Now and Forever. Amen.

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

On my blog, 2015 was a very blessed year. I surpassed 2014 with 168,571 views in 2015 and 116,265 visitors. I published 130 blog posts, the least amount of posts over the last few years, but since I my writings are frequently on New Advent as well as Big Pulpit, and now, Catholic Exchange, the reach of my blog has been extended to many others. Thank you to the editors of these sites – Kevin Knight, Tito Edwards, and Michael Lichens.

Another blessing that happened this year was that my first published book came out in September through Emmaus Road PublishingUnderstanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary. As I write my weekly blog posts, I am working on two other manuscripts, both which derive from writings on my blog. I hope to share those with you in the near future.

Thank you for the support and prayers this year that you have provided me and my family. I hope that you continue to read my blog and share it with others throughout 2016.

Here are the Top 10 Blog Posts from 2015 –

1. 10 Quotes from the Treatise on Prayer from St.Catherine of Siena 

2. The Four Cups, the Last Supper, and the Cup of Consummation 

3. 7 Quotes from St. John Vianney on the Sanctification of Daily Life 

4. Quick Lessons from Catechism: The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony 

5. The Life of St. Augustine through the Words of Pope Benedict XVI 

6. My First Published Book – Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary 

7. The Rookie Card of Pope St. John Paul II 

8. My Friend, Bishop-Elect Steven J. Lopes 

9. What was Mary Thinking the Week Before She Gave Birth to Jesus? 

10. Father’s Day Without Dad 

To Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Our Lady Guadalupe, to whom this blog post is dedicated, I ask for continued blessings and the grace to work for the Catholic Church and the Kingdom of God. Amen.