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Death & Divine Mercy – Nov. 2

What happens when I die?

It’s a common question, often frightening or mysterious to think about.

This week, Angela Santana hosts Fr. Moses of Jesus Pillari, of the Mission of Divine Mercy religious community based in New Braunfels, for a candid discussion on ‘the last things,’ God’s mercy, and the visions a certain saint received of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

Join us this Solemnity of All Souls (or Dia de los Muertos) to learn about these important subjects. We hope it will give you faith, courage, and renewed hope.

Our regular hosts, Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, are off for the next couple of weeks; The Pilgrim Center of Hope is leading a pilgrim group to Marian shrines in Europe from October 31 to November 11. Join them spiritually by clicking on the link for the ‘Spiritual Pilgrimage’ listed in the bullets below.

Sounds great! How can I participate in this program?

South Texans can tune into Time Warner Cable channel 15 or radio 89.7 FM – and anyone can listen online by clicking the LISTEN LIVE button on from 8pm – 9pm Central Time!

Submit questions / comments using the form on or call during the program: (210) 734-5371

More information related to this episode of Catholicism Live!:

Pearl of the Week-Oct 26, 2011: The Rosary Army

Pearl of the WeekThe Rosary ArmyAn apostolate dedicated to making, praying and giving away rosaries!

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” – Pope Pius IX

Resources include:

  • Simple one-page printout of how to pray the rosary (English, Spanish, Dutch)
  • Request a free rosary
  • Scriptural Rosary meditations – Scripture to meditate on every bead as you pray
  • Audio rosary available for free (and Stations of the Cross)
  • Instructions on how to make Rosaries
  • Donating Rosaries for distribution
  • Total Consecration to Mary

PO Box 82721, Conyers, GA 30013

Saint of the Week- October 26, 2011: St. Anthony Mary Claret

Saint of the Week: St. Anthony Mary Claret (October 24)

St. Anthony Mary Claret was born in Catalonia, the northeastern corner of Spain, in a town called Sallent on December 23, 1807. He was the fifth son of Juan Claret and Josefa Clará’s eleven children. His father owned a small textile factory, but was not rich. Anthony grew up in a Christian environment, and at a very early age had a strong sense of the eternal life that Christ wanted all men and women to enjoy. He wanted to spare sinners eternal unhappiness, and felt moved to work for their salvation. When he was about eleven years old, a bishop visited his school and asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without hesitation he responded: “A priest.”


As soon as Anthony was old enough, he began working as an apprentice weaver. When he turned 17, his father sent him to Barcelona to study the latest techniques in textile manufacturing and to work in the large textile mills. He did so well in the textile design school that he began receiving offers from large textile companies. Even though he had the talent to succeed, he turned down the offers and returned home after experiencing the emptiness of worldly achievements.


The words of the Gospel kept resounding in his heart: “what good is it for man to win the world if he loses his soul?” He began to study Latin to prepare to enter the Seminary. He wanted to be a Carthusian Monk. His father was ready to accept the will of God, but preferred to see him become a diocesan priest. Anthony decided to enter the local diocesan seminary in the city of Vic.

He was 21 years old. After a year of studies, he decided to pursue his monastic vocation and left for a nearby monastery. On the way there, he was caught in a big storm. He realized that his health was not the best, and withdrew from his decision to go to the monastery.

He was ordained a priest at 27 years of age and was assigned to his hometown parish. The town soon became too small for his missionary zeal, and the political situation -hostile to the Church- limited his apostolic activity. He decided to go to Rome to offer himself to serve in foreign missions. Things did not work out as expected, and he decided to join the Jesuits to pursue his missionary dream. While in the Jesuit Novitiate, he developed a strange illness, which led his superiors to think that God might have other plans for him. Once again, he had to return home to keep searching for God’s will in his life.

“Apostolic Missionary” in Catalonia and Canary Islands

Back in a parish of Catalonia, Claret began preaching popular missions all over. He traveled on foot, attracting large crowds with his sermons. Some days he preached up to seven sermons in a day and spent 10 hours listening to confessions. He dedicated to Mary all his apostolic efforts. He felt forged as an apostle and sent to preach by Mary.

The secret of his missionary success was LOVE. In his words: “Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.” (Autobiography #438-439).

His popularity spread; people sought him for spiritual and physical healing. By the end of 1842, the Pope gave him the title of “apostolic missionary.” Aware of the power of the press, in 1847, he organized with other priests a Religious Press. Claret began writing books and pamphlets, making the message of God accessible to all social groups. The increasing political restlessness in Spain continued to endanger his life and curtail his apostolic activities. So, he accepted an offer to preach in the Canary Islands, where he spent 14 months. In spite of his great success there too, he decided to return to Spain to carry out one of his dreams: the organization of an order of missionaries to share in his work.

Founder and Archbishop of Cuba

On July 16, 1849, he gathered a group of priests who shared his dream. This is the beginning of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, today also known as Claretian Fathers and Brothers. Days later, he received a new assignment: he was named Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. He was forced to leave the newly founded community to respond to the call of God in the New World. After two months of travel, he reached the Island of Cuba and began his episcopal ministry by dedicating it to Mary. He visited the church where the image of Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba was venerated. Soon he realized the urgent need for human and Christian formation, specially among the poor. He called Antonia Paris to begin there the religious community they had agreed to found back in Spain. He was concerned for all aspects of human development and applied his great creativity to improve the conditions of the people under his pastoral care.

Among his great initiatives were: trade or vocational schools for disadvantaged children and credit unions for the use of the poor. He wrote books about rural spirituality and agricultural methods, which he himself tested first. He visited jails and hospitals, defended the oppressed and denounced racism. The expected reaction came soon. He began to experience persecution, and finally when preaching in the city of Holguín, a man stabbed him on the cheek in an attempt to kill him. For Claret this was a great cause of joy. He writes in his Autobiography: “I can’t describe the pleasure, delight, and joy I felt in my soul on realizing that I had reached the long desired goal of shedding my blood for the love of Jesus and Mary and of sealing the truths of the gospel with the very blood of my veins.” (Aut. # 577). During his 6 years in Cuba he visited the extensive Archdiocese three times…town by town. In the first years, records show, he confirmed 100,000 people and witnessed to 9,000 sacramental marriages.

Confessor to the Queen of Spain

Claret was called back to Spain in 1857 to serve as confessor to the Queen of Spain, Isabella II. He had a natural dislike for aristocratic life. He loved poverty and the simplest lifestyle. He accepted in obedience, but requested to be allowed to continue some missionary work. Whenever he had to travel with the Queen, he used the opportunity to preach in different towns throughout Spain.

In a time where the Queens and Kings chose the bishops for vacant dioceses, Claret played an important role in the selection of holy and dedicated bishops for Spain and its colonies.

The eleven years he spent as confessor to the Queen of Spain were particularly painful, because the enemies of the Church directed toward him all kinds of slanders and personal ridicule. In 1868 a new revolution dethroned the Queen and sent her with her family into exile. Claret’s life was also in danger, so he accompanied her to France. This gave him the opportunity to preach the Gospel in Paris. He stayed with them for a while, then went to Rome where he was received by Pope Pius IX in a private audience.

First Vatican Council

On December 8, 1869, seven hundred bishops from all over the world gathered in Rome for the First Vatican Council. Claret was one of the Council Fathers. His presence became noticeable when the subject of papal infallibility was discussed, which Claret defended vehemently. This teaching became a dogma of faith for all Catholics at this Council. The Italian revolution interrupted the process of the Council, which was never concluded. Claret’s health deteriorated, so he returned to France accompanied by the Superior General of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, his congregation.

Last Days in Exile

In France, Claret joined his missionaries who were also in exile. Soon he found out, that there was a warrant for his arrest. He decided to go into hiding in a Cistercian Monastery in the French southern town of Fontfroide. There he died on October 24, 1870 at the age of 62. As his last request, he dictated to his missionaries the words that are to appear on his tombstone: “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” His remains are venerated in Vic. Claret was beatified in 1934 and in 1950 canonized by Pope Pius XII.

St. Anthony Mary Claret, pray for us! Click to read his autobiography and other writings.

Biography adapted from the Claretians’ website.


Why Go to Mary? – Oct. 26

Why should I have a relationship with Mary?

Have you ever struggled with the idea of having devotion to Mary? Have a tough time praying the Rosary? Wonder what Mary is really like?

This week, Angela Santana hosts Fr. Joseph Mary Marshall, SM, pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, for a candid discussion on these subjects. Perhaps you’ve heard apologetics presentations about Mary, but this episode will be about getting to know Mary as a Christian in today’s world. Join us!

Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox will be preparing to lead a pilgrim group to Marian shrines in Europe from October 31 to November 11. Join them spiritually by clicking on the link for the ‘Spiritual Pilgrimage’ listed in the bullets below.

Sounds great! How can I participate in this program?

South Texans can tune into Time Warner Cable channel 15 or radio 89.7 FM – and anyone can listen online by clicking the LISTEN LIVE button on from 8pm – 9pm Central Time!

Submit questions and comments using the form on or call in during the program: (210) 734-5371

More information related to this episode of Catholicism Live!:



Pearl of the Week-October 19, 2011: Saint Catherine Laboure

Pearl of the WeekSaint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, by Fr. Joseph Dirvin. Available from EWTN Religious Catalogue online or by calling 1-800-854-6316, or contact your local Catholic bookstore.

ISBN: 9780895552426

Also available as text for free, from EWTN’s website: click here.

Fr. Joseph Dirvin tells the authoritative story of the life of St. Catherine Laboure, the daughter of charity who received the miraculous medal from the Blessed Virgin in Paris in 1830. No sacramental since the Rosary has had such impact on the Church. St. Catherine chose to remain unknown, except to her confessor, as the visionary of the Miraculous Medal. Paperback. 245 pages.

Saint of the Week- October 19, 2011: St. Catherine Labouré

Saint of the Week: St. Catherine Labouré (November 25)

The fact that St. Catherine rested her hands on the lap of the Blessed Mother did not make her a saint. She personally worked no miracles, nor did she practice externally heroic charity like other great saints. She was not materially poor as were the children of Fatima and Bernadette…. She sprang from upper middle class parents among the meadows and vineyards of Burgundy, France. Her father was educated man and an excellent farmer-living in the village of Fain-les-Moutiers not far from Dijon. Her sanctity consists in half a century of faithful service as a simple Daughter of Charity.

Catherine was born of Peter and Louise Laboure on May 2, 1806. She was the ninth child of a family of eleven. Fifteen minutes after her birth, her name, Zoe Laboure, was entered on the City records. The next day, she was baptized on the feast of the Finding of The True Cross.

When Catherine was nine years old, her saintly mother died. After the burial service, little Catherine retired to her room, stood on a chair, took Our Lady’s statue from the wall, addressed it, and said: “Now, dear Lady, you are to be my mother.”

After living a year in Paris with her Aunt Margaret, Catherine came back to her father’s home to supervise the household. She was her father’s favorite child, and this efficient, stern, upper middle class farmer depended upon her. On January 25, 1818, Catherine received her First Holy Communion. From that day on she arose every morning at 4:00am, walked several miles in order to assist at Mass and to pray.

One day she had a dream in which she saw an old priest say Mass. After Mass, the priest turned and beckoned her with his finger, but she drew backwards, keeping her eye on him. The vision moved to a sick room where she saw the same priest, who said: “My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God has designs on you-do not forget it.” Later she awoke, not knowing the significance of the dream.

Sometime later, while visiting a hospital of the Daughters of Charity, she noticed a priest’s picture on the wall. She asked sister who he might be, and was told, “Our Holy Founder St. Vincent de Paul ‘; This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the dream.

In January of 1830, Catherine Laboure became a postulant in the hospice of the Daughters of Charity at Catillion-sur-Seine. Three months later she was again in Paris, this time to enter the Daughters of Charity. Shortly after she entered her new home, God was pleased to grant her several extraordinary visions. On three consecutive days she beheld the heart of St. Vincent above the reliquary in which his relics were exposed. At other times she beheld Our Divine Lord in front of the Blessed Sacrament; this would occur especially during Mass when He would appear as He was described in the liturgy of the day.

On the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, July 19, the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their Holy Founder and gave each of them a Piece of cloth from his surplice. Catherine earnestly prayed to St. Vincent that she might with her own eyes see the mother of God.

She was convinced that she would see the Blessed Virgin Mary that very night; and in her conviction, Catherine fell asleep. Before long, she was awakened by a brilliant light and the voice of a child. “Sister Laboure, come to the Chapel; the Blessed Virgin awaits you.”

Catherine replied: “We shall be discovered.”

The little child smiled, “Do not be uneasy; it is half past eleven, everyone is sleeping . .. come, I am waiting for you.” She rose quickly and dressed. The hall lights were burning. The locked chapel door swung open at the angel’s touch. Amazed, Catherine found the Chapel ablaze with lights as if prepared for midnight Mass. Quickly she knelt at the communion rail, and suddenly, she heard the rustle of a silk dress . . . the Blessed Virgin, in a blaze of light, sat in the director’s chair. The angel whispered: “The Blessed Mother wishes to speak with You.”

Catherine rose, knelt beside the Blessed Mother and rested her hands in the Virgin’s lap.Mary said: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.” A look of pain came to the Virgin’s face.

“Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek for them You will have the protection of God and St Vincent. I always will have my eyes upon you. There will be much persecution. The Cross will be treated with contempt. It will be hurled to the ground and blood will flow.” Then after speaking for some time, the Lady like a fading shadow was gone.

Led by the child, Catherine left the Chapel, marched up the corridor, and returned to her place in the dormitory. The angel disappeared, and as Catherine went to bed she heard the clock strike two.

Catherine lived the normal life of a novice of the Daughters of Charity until Advent. On Saturday, November 27, 1830, at 5:30 p.m., she retired to the Chapel with the other Sisters for evening meditation. Catherine heard the faint swish of silk . . . she recognized Our Lady’s signal. Raising her eyes to the main altar, she saw her beautiful Lady standing on a large globe. Mary’s silken robe shone with the whiteness of dawn. The neck was cut high, and the sleeves were plain. A pure white veil fell to her feet, and beneath the veil she wore a lace fillet binding her hair. A small golden ball was in her hands, which she offered to God with her eyes Heavenward. Suddenly, Mary’s hands were resplendent and flashed in a brilliant cascade of light. The flood of glory was so bright that the globe on which Mary stood was out of sight. Catherine understood that the rays symbolized the graces shed on those who seek them; gems on Our Lady’s fingers which did not have rays symbolized the graces for which souls forgot to ask. Then the ball vanished. Mary’s arms swept wide and down and an oval frame of words surrounded her head: “O Mary,conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

The Virgin spoke again, this time giving a direct order: “Have a medal struck in this form. All who wear it will receive great graces.” Then the vision of the Virgin turned completely around and on the other side appeared a large letter “M” with a cross above it. The letter rested on a bar beneath which appeared two hearts. The first heart was encircled by a crown of thorns; the second was pierced by a sword. The explanation is simple. We are Christians, purchased by a God who was crucified in the very presence of his own mother, the Queen of Martyrs.

Catherine asked how she was to have the medal struck. Mary replied that she was to go to her confessor, Father Jean Marie Aladel, saying of this saintly priest: “He is my servant.” Father Aladel at first did not believe Catherine; however, after two years, he finally went to the archbishop who ordered two thousand medals struck on June 20,1832. When Catherine received her share of these first medals from the hands of the priest, she said: “Now it must be propagated.” The spread of a devotion to the medal urged by St. Catherine was carried out so swiftly that it was miraculous itself. The formal name of “Medal of the Immaculate Conception” was soon forgotten It was the “Miraculous Medal” even in those days, for the power working through it seemed to be truly miraculous. From that time on, it would never be called anything else.

For over forty years, Catherine spent her every effort in caring for the aged and infirm, not revealing to those about her that she had been the recipient of Our Lady’s Medal. The sisters with whom she lived held her in the highest esteem, and each one longed to be her companion.

In 1876, Catherine felt a spiritual conviction that she would die before the end of the year.  To her Sister Superior, Catherine revealed the fact that she was the sister to whom the Blessed Mother appeared. On the last day of December, 1876, St. Catherine passed.

When her body was exhumed in 1933 it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Though she had lived seventy years and was in the grave for fifty-seven years, her eyes remained very blue and beautiful; and in death her arms and legs were as supple as if she were asleep. Her incorrupt body is encased in glass beneath the side altar at 140 Rue du Bac, Paris, beneath one of the spots where Our Lady appeared to her.

St. Catherine Labouré, pray for us! Read more about her and the Miraculous Medal at the Association of the Miraculous Medal.

Biography adapted from this parish website.

Fatima and Lourdes: Marian Apparitions – Oct. 19

Have you heard of Fatima and Lourdes?

These are two of the most famous places where the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to children, giving them important messages about prayer and returning hearts to God.

Learn about apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal and Lourdes, France from Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox before they lead a pilgrimage of 60 pilgrims to these sites in Europe.

Sounds great! How can I participate in this program?

South Texans can tune into Time Warner Cable channel 15 or radio 89.7 FM – and anyone can listen online by clicking the LISTEN LIVE button on from 8pm – 9pm Central Time!

Submit questions and comments using the form on or call in during the program: (210) 734-5371

More information related to this episode of Catholicism Live!:



Pearl of the Week- October 12, 2011: Miracle Moments

Pearl of the WeekMiracle Moments: Powerful Prayers of Healing and Hope, by Linda Schubert. Available from Linda Schubert online or by calling (408) 734-8663, or contact your local Catholic bookstore. Less than $10.

This book is an invitation to prayer that will help us to see, know and experience the heart of God as He moves through His people. These are simple prayers to reveal a profound love. Includes prayers for emotional healing, to heal damaged relationships, to redeem failure, to strengthen marriage, for physical healing, and more.

A PRAYER FOR HEALING (taken from Healing Powers of Prayer by Robert Abel)

Precious Lord Jesus, I thank you for your loving care.  You came into the world to set me free from the consequences of sin.  You embrace the violent death of the cross to pay the penalty on my behalf.  You suffered the scourge at the pillar, taking the sickness of humanity upon your own flesh, so that I could be healed.

I come before you now to place all my sins upon your cross and ask for your precious blood to wash me clean.  I place the penalty for my sinfulness, all my sickness, diseases and infirmities upon your cross, and for the sake of your sorrowful Passion, I ask to be set free.  I accept your sacrifice and receive your gift of reconciliation.  I confess your Lordship over every aspect of my life, heart, mind, body, soul and spirit.  Amen.

Saint of the Week- October 12, 2011: St. Teresa of Avila

Saint of the Week: St. Teresa of Avila (October 15)

Born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515, St. Teresa was the daughter of a Toledo merchant and his second wife, who died when Teresa was 15, one of ten children. Shortly after this event, Teresa was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns. After reading the letters of St. Jerome, Teresa decided to enter a religious life. In 1535, she joined the Carmelite Order. She spent a number of relatively average years in the convent, punctuated by a severe illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years, but then experienced a vision of “the sorely wounded Christ” that changed her life forever.

From this point forward, Teresa moved into a period of increasingly ecstatic experiences in which she came to focus more and more sharply on Christ’s passion. With these visions as her encouragement, she set herself to the reformation of the Carmelite order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite. From 1560 until her death, Teresa struggled to establish and broaden the movement of Discalced (or “shoeless”) Carmelites. During the mid-1560s, she wrote the Way of Perfection and the Meditations on the Canticle. In 1567, she met St. John of the Cross, who she enlisted to extend her reform into the male side of the Carmelite Order. Teresa died in 1582.

St. Teresa left as her legacy many new convents, which she continued founding up to the year of her death. She also left a significant legacy of writings, which represent important benchmarks in the history of Christian mysticism. These works include the Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle. She also left an autobiography, the Life of Teresa of Avila.

Saint Teresa of Avila is famous for having written this prayer: “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains everything. God alone is enough.” St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

Read more about St. Teresa here. Download her book Interior Castle for your computer or digital reader here.

Biography adapted from Christian Classics.


Healing the Family – October 12

 How can my family find healing?

This week on the program, popular preacher Fr. Martin Scott speaks about the reality of wounds in our lives due to bad relationships. He shares his own story of abuse, and how he chose Christ for healing.

Sounds great! How can I participate in this program?

South Texans can tune into Time Warner Cable channel 15 or radio 89.7 FM – and anyone can listen online by clicking the LISTEN LIVE button on from 8pm – 9pm Central Time!

Submit questions and comments using the form on or call in during the program: (210) 734-5371

More information related to this episode of Catholicism Live!:

  • Archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family Life & NFP – contains resources for families and couples (click here)
  • For Your Marriage – Resources for engaged & married couples (click here)



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