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From Lighthouse Catholic Media…

Evangelizing Catholics by Dr. Scott Hahn!

evangelizing catholics“In this informative and dynamic presentation, Dr. Scott Hahn discusses why the New Evangelization is the greatest priority of the Church at this time, and how we are all called to share our faith. He shows how the Eucharist relates to explaining Jesus’ death and resurrection, and how Blessed John Paul II’s called for a New Evangelization must be based on the Eucharist.”

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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


Praying Backward

What is your prayer time structured like?

woman-praying-with-bible-featured-w480x300-300x187“Our private prayer is meant to mirror the public prayer of the Church—the liturgy. In the first part of the Mass, our prayer is devoted to listening to God’s Word: the Liturgy of the Word. In the second half of the Mass, we participate in the most beautiful prayer of thanksgiving: the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Sandwiched cozily in between listening to Scripture and giving thanks, we lift up our petitions to God, what we call the Prayers of the Faithful. But here’s the thing about our petitions: they make up a mere fraction of the entirety of the liturgy. Almost all of the Mass, we are listening to God and giving thanks and praise to God, and for just a few brief moments, we are telling Him what we need.”

Read more here. Can you relate?


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.


National Catholic Register: Converts Come to the Church Like St. Paul

CULTURE OF LIFE
Converts Come to the Church Like St. Paul

Answers to: ‘What Helped Your Conversion?’
BY Jim Graves
June 16-29, 2013 Issue | Posted 6/10/13 at 5:08 PM

June 29 is the feast day of one of the Church’s most famous converts — St. Paul — who went from being the Christians’ greatest foe to a pillar of the nascent Church.

Every Catholic has a family member or friend who is far from the Church, and it is often difficult to know what the right thing is to say or do to lead them in the right direction.

As the Church celebrates St. Paul’s feast day (also the feast of St. Peter, the first pope), the Register asked notable converts, “What was most helpful to you on your road to conversion?”

Many have been aided in their entry or return to the Catholic Church through the efforts of Tom Peterson, a former advertising executive who founded Catholics Come Home (CatholicsComeHome.org). Headquartered in Atlanta, the organization produces inspirational television commercials that reach out to those not practicing the faith. Peterson also operates a pro-life website, VirtueMedia.org, and a website in support of priests, EncouragePriests.org.

Although not technically a convert, Peterson went from being a nominal Catholic to a zealous one. As he recalled, “I’d be there physically at Mass, but I didn’t follow the teachings of the Church.”

What called him to conversion, he said, were “people who spoke a common language with me and treated me with love and compassion.”

When an opportunity arises to talk about your faith, “keep it simple,” he urged.

He also believes in connecting on a personal level with a potential convert: “When people showed they cared about me, listening to my questions and needs, they drew me in. I wanted to be more like them, and ultimately more like Christ.”

Peterson also suggests inviting potential converts on a retreat, as a retreat played a significant role in his conversion. “Offer to go with them, as having a mentor and guide can help a great deal.”

Deacon Joe Calvert of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., once dabbled in Eastern religions and was an ardent anti-Catholic.

Being an avid reader and a “truth seeker,” however, Deacon Calvert studied Catholic teaching, including the new Catechism of the Catholic Church when it came out in 1992.

“I was looking to poke holes in the logic, but I couldn’t find any,” he said. “I did not rejoice as I finished the Catechism. If this book were true, then I would have to admit that I had been wrong about many things.”

He entered the Catholic Church in 1995 and was ordained a deacon in 2008.

In conjunction with his studies, what was helpful to Deacon Calvert on his journey to the Church was the example some Catholics provided him.

However, a hindrance to his entry into the Church was the widespread ignorance among other Catholics he knew about the basics of the faith: “I’d ask them questions, but so few knew why they believed what they did.”

When evangelizing others, he recommends patience: “When you evangelize, remember you’re working on God’s time, not yours. We don’t know what’s going on inside someone; often, when they’re most obstinate, they’re just about ready to convert. Pray, trust in God, and put it into the hands of the Blessed Mother.”

Matthew Arnold heads the Catholic apostolate Pro Multis Media (MatthewArnold.org) and is host of the Radio Maria program Shield of Faith (RadioMaria.us/shieldoffaith). A dedicated evangelist today, he was once agnostic and interested in the New Age.

He attributes his conversion to the prayers of others, particularly his Catholic wife, Betty, but he also points to some other positive influences. He attended a Catholic Engaged Encounter so that he could marry in the Catholic Church, for example, “which, although I grumbled about it at the time, it demonstrated to me that the Church saw marriage as something serious.”

He agreed to raise their children Catholic, although he had no intention of converting himself. He took RCIA classes, however, and was impressed by the witness of a priest who taught them, Father Benjamin Fama, who would make “provocative” assertions, such as about Church teaching on apostolic succession, and then say, “Don’t complain to me if you don’t like it. I’m just the messenger.”

Arnold reflected on “Jesus giving the keys to Peter” and recalls going to dinner one night and “having this mental image of a long line of popes, from Peter to [at the time] Pope John Paul II.” That helped him come to understand and accept the teaching.

His advice for evangelizing potential converts is what he terms “the three Bs”: 1) Be bold; 2) Be brief, realizing you can’t explain the whole Catholic faith in a few minutes; and 3) Be biblical when speaking with non-Catholic Christians, as they’ll be impressed with Catholics who know their faith and Scripture.

In all circumstances, reflect a fourth “B”: Be Catholic all the time.

“Make the Sign of the Cross and say grace before meals, for example, whether you’re at home or at McDonald’s,” he said. “As a non-Catholic, when I met Catholics who really lived their faith, it was very compelling.”

Richard Lane is a former Lutheran who entered the Catholic Church in 2003. Today, he operates a full-time Catholic apostolate, Qorban Ministries (Qorban.net).

For Lane, it was a caring attitude among Catholics he met that first attracted him to the Church. As a non-Catholic, he attended Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Oakland, Calif., and recalled it as “one of the most loving and welcoming parishes I have ever been in.”

He later accepted the invitation of a fellow Catholic to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Lane is excited that his apostolate has been an effective tool in leading many to a “deeper relationship with Christ.”

He encourages his fellow Catholics to learn their faith and then “approach people in love and without fear. Do not approach them with an accusatory tone; approach in love and respect. Go and make disciples, and preach the Gospel boldly!”

Dave Armstrong is a Catholic author and apologist who once worked as a Protestant campus missionary. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1991. He is the author of numerous books and operates a website, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism (BiblicalCatholic.com).

Armstrong first took notice of the Catholic Church regarding the issue of artificial contraception. He was “shocked” to learn that no Christian group had accepted its use before 1930. “I immediately grasped the absurdity of a scenario where the entire Christian Church had been completely wrong all those centuries, and, all of a sudden, we get this revelation in 1930 — in our supposedly ‘enlightened’ and ‘progressive’ age — that contraception is okay.”

He also took notice that the Catholic Church was the only Christian denomination that did not reverse its teaching.

Discovering Cardinal John Henry Newman’s “Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,” he recalled, “did me in.”

Unfortunately, he knew only one Catholic at the time, which is “striking and sad.”

The “Catholic apologetic revival and strong presence on the Internet” have improved things for potential converts today, he added.

Regarding evangelizing others, he suggested, “Be gentle; don’t push. Wait for the other person to bring things up. Be a witness by your life and demeanor. Look for common ground, as St. Paul did on Mars Hill in Athens.”

Above all, he said, “The Holy Spirit is what converts souls, not us. We simply remove roadblocks.”

Jim Graves writes from

Newport Beach, California.


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