CCH Recommends

From Saint Joseph Communications…

Life is Worth Living MP3: yours FREE! You just pay shipping and handling!

In conjuction with our friends at Catholics Come Home, we are offering this MP3 Disc.

After twenty-six years of reproducing these programs by Archbishop Sheen, Saint Joseph Communications has uncovered a pristine set of vinyl recordings of Life is Worth Living. Digitally re-mastered with state-of-the-art technology, these recordings are the cleanest, best-sounding presentations by Fulton Sheen available anywhere. In fact they sound even better than the originals! You won’t believe your ears!

Life is Worth LivingDiscover the Catholic Vision of Life
Archbishop Sheen was well known as a sophisticated prelate with a rock-solid theological background. But he also had the ability to relate complex concepts with great insight and wit in a way that appealed to everyone, from theological scholar to the typical Catholic-in-the-pew! Perhaps that’s why his words are still fresh and inspiring today, and continue to change the lives of thousands-even non-Catholics!

This magnificent series is the most comprehensive explanation of the Catholic vision of life ever offered and every Catholic home in America should have a copy. That’s why Saint Joseph Communications is offering this phenomenal series at the unbelievable price of $89.95-that’s less than $2 per talk! Order now and rediscover why Life is Worth Living!

Program Titles in this series:

The Anxiety of Life
The Unbearable Repartee
The Divine Invasion (Good and Evil)
Puppets or Men?
Line Up the Claimants (Good and Evil)
Eternity Claiming the Past (Truth)
The Earth’s Most Serious Wounds
My Four Writers
Love En-fleshed (Christ’s Divinity)
Does God Know What It Is to Suffer?
It Takes 3 to Make Love (Blessed Trinity)
Nature’s Solitary Boast (Mary)
Lengthening Shadows of the Cross Bar
By His Wounds We Are Healed
Beyond the Space Age (Ascension)
Something Too Deep for Words
The People of God (Body of Christ)
The Rock Man (Peter Vicar of Christ)
Authority and Infallibility
Freedom and License (Communism & the Church)
The Great Battle in Heaven
The World’s First Revelation (Original Sin)
How We Got That Way (Original Sin)
Leading a Double Life (Sanctifying Grace)
The Seven Rivers of Life (Sacraments)
The Twice Born (Baptism)
No Man is an Island (Confirmation)
Love’s Deepest Intimacy(Eucharist)
God’s Road Company (The Eucharist)
Drama with Three Acts (Mass)
Hurting the One We Love (Sin)
The Moment of Truth (Penance)
Psychoanalysis on its Knees
Healing the Gateways of the Soul
Men, Not Angels (Holy Orders)
The Five Tensions of Love (Marriage)
Our Love (Marriage)
Sex is a Mystery
Mutual Self-Giving & Self-Recovery (Birth Control)
For Better or for Worse (Marriage)
The Lovable Are Adorable
Am I My Brother’s Keeper? (Commandments)
Is Christianity Easy?
Ultimate in Computers(Death and Judgment)
Washing Our Baptismal Robes (Purgatory)
Heaven is Not So Far Away
The Hell There Is
The True Feminine Mystique (Mary)
Prayer is a Dialogue
World, Soul and Things

For Catholic Moms and Dads

Check out these articles, recently published on IntegratedCatholicLife.org and TheRadicalLife.org.

mother-and-daughter-walking-featured-w480x300-300x187Article for Catholic Moms: 10 Lessons from My Mom on How to Be a Great Mother

It is amazing how much my pregnancy has given me pause for reflection on my relationship with my own mother, and on the qualities that make her the most remarkable role model in my life. I can honestly say that my mother is the most saintly person I know — an unmatched giving, loving, patient, faithful, prayerful woman who knows her life’s work is to be a wife and mother, and boy does she live out her vocation well.
If I am half as good at being a mother as my mother is, than I think my children will be exceedingly blessed. But I certainly have my work cut out for me. Fortunately, after observing my mother’s graceful living over the past 24 years of my life, I’ve picked up on some of her unsaid but well-lived tips for being a great mom. Read more

Article for Catholic Dads: It’s My Fault

Being a father is a radical responsibility. One that’s been neutered of its uniqueness and weight and reduced to a mere luxury of the human economy. Well, we may have produced an economy of hard working men (and women), but we’ve also enabled a generation of slacker dads. Even the “good dads” are slackers. And I’m intent on not being one of them. Read more

New Commercial in Production: “Heavy Burdens”

Dear Friend of CatholicsComeHome.org,

Catholics Come Home® is blessed to announce another new evangomercial and a family coming home story!

Catholics Come Home® announces production of a new evangomercial: “Heavy Burdens”!
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The New Evangelization begins in the Confessional.” Taking that to heart, Catholics Come Home® is in production of a new website dedicated to Confession and will start production on a new evangomercial called “Heavy Burdens” this November, to be released on Ash Wednesday. Please keep our production process in your prayers! This effort is also inspired by our dear friend Jeff V. Jeff, who was diagnosed a short time ago with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), was given 2-5 years to live. He is spending the last years of his earthly life drawing near to God, frequenting the Sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist, and spending time with and providing for his family. We hope you too are inspired by a short clip from his recent interview with me.

Please help us fund our “Heavy Burdens” commercial!

Mary and her family return home with the help of Catholics Come Home®!
Please take a moment to read this powerful and beautiful story, sent to us by our new friend Mary from Trenton, New Jersey:

Mary_AB_family.1Our family—my husband, my three teenaged sons and I—has heard the call of Catholics Come Home and we have received this invitation. I was not raised as a Catholic as my husband had been, but became a Catholic just prior to our wedding. It was wonderful to belong and worship the Lord but I was new in my Christian faith, had much to learn and felt the draw to seek church experiences elsewhere. Just before my third son was born, we began to move away from the Catholic Church where we were married and where our first two sons were baptized. We spent some time visiting various churches, but no matter how long or in what manner of worship we tried, we just weren’t home. I had felt God leading me back to the Catholic Church but didn’t know where to begin. Our church traveling lasted for fifteen years.

I prayed for guidance and turned in faith to the Catholic School of our home parish. They welcomed us with open arms and this was the beginning of our return.

It was just a few months ago that the “Catholics Come Home” campaign had begun to catch my attention. The website was intriguing and had enough information to encourage me to visit often. I especially loved to watch the Evangomercials. I was a born-again Evangelical Christian who had finally realized that the Catholic Church was my home; it is vibrant, relevant and deeply steeped in Christian tradition. The journeys I had made through the other denominations were nice places to visit, but I couldn’t manage to make them a permanent home. The website, book (Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life) and Facebook page “Catholics Come Home” have been instrumental in guiding me back, in guiding my family back.

As I have made my full circle journey back home to the Catholic Church I now find that my love for the LordMary AB Solo is complete. The Bible tells us to” Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” and seeking has brought me back to the Catholic Church and my family with me. We are no longer searching for spiritual fulfillment but have found our hope, our comfort and our faith in the Catholic Church once again.

Returning was easy, I walked into the rectory office, explained that we were moved by the “Catholics Come Home” campaign and would like to return. To my surprise there was no questioning, no condemnation or accusations, there was simply…welcome back. You can go home again and it is my heartfelt desire for people to come to know Jesus Christ and His Gospel, to place their faith in Jesus and experience Him through the Catholic Church. Thank you for the invitation; this Catholic has come home.

GK Chesterton once said, “The difficulty in explaining ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.” Let us continue to pray that more souls like Mary and her family will rediscover the goodness, beauty, and truth of Catholicism. With your help, we can continue airing Catholics Come Home® evangomercialsTM, particularly our newest “Heavy Burdens” ad, which will help souls all over our country find the peace and healing that only comes from God!

As always, we thank you for your continued support of our mission to invite Catholics and non-Catholics home to the Catholic Church.

Reasons People Avoid Confession by Lorraine Murray

Published: June 7, 2012 in The Georgia Bulletin

A priest once mentioned that the loneliest time of his week was Saturday afternoon when he sat in the confessional waiting for parishioners to show up. Although his comment was humorous, it points to a real problem. And here are some reasons many of us avoid this sacrament:

1. We may be afraid of looking foolish because we haven’t been to confession in a long time—and are uncertain about what to do. If you fall into this category, you can ask your confessor to guide you—or check this website for a refresher: www.catholic.org/prayers/confession.php.

2. We may have bought into the notion that we can confess our wrongdoings directly to God—and thus don’t need this sacrament. This belief goes against Catholic teaching, however, and it is not scriptural. Christ instituted the sacrament of reconciliation when he said to his apostles, the forerunners of today’s priests and bishops: “Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven. Whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

3. We’re uncertain about what to confess. One solution is getting a good examination-of-conscience guide to help us discern our sins. Many parishes provide these guides in the narthex, or you can ask a priest or deacon to suggest one. An excellent one for teens can be purchased at the Life Teen website: http://store.lifeteen.com/comeclean.aspx. A good examination of conscience for adults can be found online following my column at the Georgia Bulletin website.

4. We are embarrassed to mention our sins to another person. This is a common feeling because it is hard to admit our failures out loud. Praying ahead of time for the grace to be honest and courageous will help. It also helps to realize that the priest acts in persona Christi, which means that he is standing in for Jesus Christ, who knows our hearts so well.

5. Many people have been taught there is no need to confess venial sins, and they have not committed any mortal sins—so they don’t go to confession. However, according to the catechism, confession of venial sins is strongly recommended, since it helps us fight against evil tendencies.

6. Perhaps we struggle with the same sins over and over, and we are ashamed to admit this. It is true that part of a good confession is promising to avoid sins in the future—but we may fall short of the mark. Confession reminds us that God’s well of forgiveness is infinitely large.

7. We may need more than just a few minutes because we require spiritual counseling about our sins. In this case, it is best to make an appointment to see the priest in his office.

8. We are afraid of shocking the priest. Keep in mind many priests have heard thousands of confessions over the years. They surely won’t be astonished by what we confess. In fact, most priests are overjoyed that people are coming to confession, and they are eager to offer absolution.

9. We may be hesitant to tell our sins to someone we also socialize with at church suppers. The confessional has a privacy screen, but if this isn’t reassurance enough, you can always confess to a priest at another parish. Keep in mind that priests will never divulge to anyone what you have confessed.

10. We may be afraid the priest will ask us to make changes in our lives. For example, a confessor may tell a couple engaging in pre-marital sex that this is a mortal sin, or tell a married couple that using contraception is a mortal sin. It is hard to face the truth about ourselves and often it is difficult to change. But if we avoid doing this, our souls are in grave danger.

The "St. Louis Review" Reports: Catholics Come Home® evangelization campaign brings people back to Church

The St. Louis Review July 25 issue highlights the positive impact of the recent Archdiocese of St. Louis Catholics Come Home® evangelization initiative.  Read the excerpt below, including two testimonials of returnees and converts to the faith:

Catholics Come Home® evangelization campaign brings people back to Church

July 25, 2012 | Barbara Watkins | bwatkins@archstl.org

The altar at St. Joseph Parish in Farmington.

Madge Winch came home this year.  Prompted by the Catholics Come Home® television commercials that aired throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis this winter, Winch returned to the Catholic Church through St. Joseph Parish in Farmington.

“I really came home, and I just love it,” said Winch, who had been born and raised Catholic but left the Church before she was confirmed. “I returned because I saw those ads. It was like the ads were talking to me.”

Winch is being joined by her husband, Allen Winch, a non-Catholic who is entering the Church. Winch said their three children were raised in the Church, but she herself stayed away from the sacraments for 33 years. When she took her children to church, “I always had to sit back in my seat and not receive communion. … Now every time I do receive communion, I come back to the pew and tears just flow, I feel so good.” She added, “It’s like a burden has been lifted off me.”

The Winches are going through the Rite of Christian Initiation at St. Joseph in Farmington, along with more than 30 other people joining or returning to the Church.

Father Rickey Valleroy, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, called Catholics Come Home® “a wonderful campaign.” He said, “It touched people’s hearts, and it spoke of the true Church to come home to. It’s been very successful for our parish.”

Catholics Come Home® was an archdiocesan-wide evangelization effort that involved more than 2,600 commercials, in English and Spanish, that aired between Dec. 16 and Jan. 22. For the campaign, the Archdiocese of St. Louis partnered with Catholics Come Home Inc., a Georgia-based nonprofit lay Catholic organization that uses a mass media outreach to evangelize fallen-away Catholics and others with an interest in learning more about the Catholic faith.

Funding for Catholics Come Home® St. Louis came from several sources, including a second collection in parishes one weekend in October.

“For us it worked wonderfully,” said Father Valleroy.

Also returning to the Church through St. Joseph in Farmington is Shirley Hill, who was raised a Catholic in St. Joseph Parish and attended elementary and high school there. She and her husband, Tom Hill, were married in the Church, but “as time went by, we got kind of lax (about going to Mass) and it became easier and easier” to stay away.

Shirley Hill saw the Catholics Come Home® ads and “they caught my eye. I thought they were informative and encouraging to bring me back.” Although a little hesitant at first to return to the Church, “I didn’t need to worry. It’s been great.”

Tom Hill is joining the Church and is in the parish RCIA program. Shirley Hill added that recent attacks on the Church “politically and otherwise” also prompted their decision. “If we want to fix our country, we have to fix ourselves first. If we’re not participating and talking to God through Mass and the sacraments, we are lax in our beliefs.”

Father Valleroy said he had a dozen people contact him as a result of the Catholics Come Home® commercials. “The parish hosted a dinner for them (and their spouses) … and I matched each person who came to the dinner with a very active parishioner who helped get involved in the life of the parish. … I think 100 percent of the people we invited from Catholics Come Home® worked at our parish picnic this June because they already felt a part of the parish.”

Father Jack Siefert of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Brentwood also reported positive results from Catholic Come Home®. “We have seen an increase in Mass attendance at church. That’s not just me saying that. Parishioners have told me they’ve seen a pretty good increase in Mass attendance. And there has been a significant increase in loose collections, that is up considerably.

“I know that Catholics Come Home® is not about money, but that increase is an indicator,” Father Siefert said. “We have seen an increase in Mass attendance and in stewardship numbers.”

Click here to read the entire St. Louis Review article

Visit the Catholics Come Home® “where we’ve been” page to see a sampling of the 33+ CCH diocesan partners to date, and highlights from their campaigns.