Advent with Fr. Pontifex - Week 1

Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. We focus upon the reality of the coming of Jesus Christ: past, present, and future in a new and fresh way. With so much focus on the end of the world, how do we navigate our way through all the talk as people of faith.



Advent Gangnam Style

Advent Gangnam Style!

Why is this Advent season so important? It is a time to stop - to prepare - to wait. Take a look at this video on the real meaning of Advent.


Fr. Barron Skyfall

"Skyfall": A Commentary by Fr. Barron


If you have not watched the movie, you may want to wait to watch this until after if you don't want to know what happens.



St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Pope proclaims seven new saints, including St. Kateri Tekakwitha

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Proclaiming seven new saints - including St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marianne Cope from North America - Pope Benedict XVI said they are examples to the world of total dedication to Christ and tireless service to others.

In a revised canonization rite Oct. 21, the pope prayed for guidance that the church would not "err in a matter of such importance" as he used his authority to state that the seven are with God in heaven and can intercede for people on earth.

An estimated 80,000 pilgrims from the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Italy, Spain, Germany and Madagascar filled St. Peter's Square for the canonization of the holy women and men who ministered among their people.

The pilgrims applauded the proclamation of the new saints, who included: Kateri, an American Indian who was born in the United States and died in Canada in 1680; Mother Marianne, a Sister of St. Francis who traveled from Syracuse, N.Y., to Hawaii to care for people with Hansen's disease and died in Molokai in 1918; and Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged Philippine catechist who was martyred in Guam in 1672.

The other new saints are: French Jesuit Father Jacques Berthieu, martyred in Madagascar in 1896; Italian Father Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of religious orders, who died in 1913; Sister Carmen Salles Barangueras, founder of a Spanish religious order, who died in 1911; and Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman, who died in 1925.

Pope Benedict called St. Kateri the "protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint," and he entrusted to her "the renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America."

The daughter of a Mohawk father and Algonquin Christian mother, St. Kateri was "faithful to the traditions of her people," but also faithful to the Christianity she embraced at age 20. "May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are," the pope said.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, who is of American Indian descent, told Catholic News Service, "I think many young people today are embarrassed about embracing the Catholic faith because they live in a secular culture that's hostile toward religious experience."


Dolan Letter to Pres

Cardinal Dolan Writes To The President

Dear President Obama,
In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States.  The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility.  The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America.
In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant.  We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.  We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone.
May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.

Sincerely yours,

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bible vs Protestant

Catholic Bible vs. Protestant Bible

Learn why Catholics and Protestants have different versions of the Bible. This is the video that was shown at the last Newman Club Meeting.

Communion of the Saints

Communion of the Saints



Prayer for our Nation Before the 2012 Presidential Election

Prayer for our Nation Before the

2012 Presidential Election

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In a little over two weeks, Americans across the country will go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States.  Without doubt, this is an important time for all Americans, especially for those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ.  Currently many of the values that have shaped our Country from its founding seem to be at risk, religious liberty being one of the most prominent.  Religious liberty, which is the first value guaranteed by the Constitution, is being eroded and is on the verge of being denied with the HHS mandate that would compel Catholic employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception and sterilization.  Pope Benedict XVI and the United States Bishops have recognized this erosion, and have encourage Catholics across the Country to defend our religious freedom and to defend those Christian values upon which the United States was founded.

So, as Catholics, we have always turned to the Mother of God for help in times of need.  The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is sponsoring a Novena to the Mother of God for the NationThis novena is a great way to ask for the Blessed Mother's intercession! Each day, there is a short reflection and prayer, which can be prayed online everyday, or downloaded to print.  It is a great way to pray with others all over the country and world for the future of the United States and for religious freedom.  And if you start tomorrow, Sunday, October 28, the novena ends one day before the Presidential Election.

Tell your family and friends about the novena, and let's ask Mary the Mother of God to intercede for us so that religious liberty may be protected and the values we cherish as "one nation under God" would be respected and promoted!

Click here for the novena website.

Thank you and God bless you!


Pope John Paul II

What is So "Great" About John Paul II?

Q - I have heard a lot of people referring to Pope John Paul II as "John Paul the Great". I do not feel comfortable giving him this title although I think he is one of the greatest popes ever. What do you think about calling him John Paul the Great now, and how does a pope receive that designation?

A - Thanks for the questions. The first question is easy for me to answer, since JPII has had such a formative influence on my life - I have no problem with it at all.

The second question requires a bit more background.
There are three other popes who have been called "The Great":

  • Pope St. Leo I
  • Pope St. Gregory I
  • Pope St. Nicholas I

Here is the interesting thing, none of the three have ever been officially recognized by the Church as "great". It is a popular title given, that rises up from the people and tradition surrounding the men. Since they received the popular title, the have been listed in Church documents with "The Great" appended to their name, but never has the Church given the title to them officially.

So, why would we list John Paul II as another "Great"? There are many reasons, so here is a short list:

  • He was the third-longest reigning pope of all-time (26 years).
  • His leadership helped bring down the Iron Curtain of Communism.
  • He was one of the most prolific authors of papal documents and he was widely considered one of the best philosopher-theologians of modern times.
  • He presided over the writing of the Catechism and the new Code of Canon Law.
  • He traveled more than any other pope in history.
  • His charismatic personality drew him to a wide range of people.
  • He saw more progress in Ecumenical dialogue (especially with the Orthodox Churches and secondarily with Lutherans) than any other Pope.
  • He helped continue the healing of wounds between Judaism and Christianity that has been simmering for centuries. This healing was started by previous Popes, but went to new levels with JPII.
  • He advanced the teachings of the human person and sexuality to new levels in his Theology of the Body.
  • His holiness and virtue have helped lift him to the level of a "Blessed" and will soon make him a "Saint".
  • He was an orthodox Catholic leader who also had a very nice understanding of how to pastorally apply the teachings of the Church.
  • His love for young people helped start World Youth Days.
  • He continued to lead the Church while suffering greatly, thus showing us how to carry our crosses with dignity and love.
  • He was a great defender of all human life. The poor, the baby, the elderly, etc.
  • He helped lead the Church into a new millennium and prepare the Church for the changes that come with time, by challenging us to a "new evangelization" of fallen-away Catholic cultures and peoples.
  • He recognized more Saints than any other Pope - much needed in a culture of death and injustice.
  • Many more reasons are not in this list.

I expect history won't downgrade John Paul from being the next "Great" Pope.

The Angelus

The Angelus

An online, video version of the Angelus has been produced by the Catholic Advance as part of the Year of Faith activities and to promote the traditional prayer. Bishop Michael O. Jackels leads the Angelus, a set of prayers in honor of the Incarnation. It is traditionally prayed three times a day, morning, noon, and evening, at the sound of the bell. The faithful are invited to bookmark the prayer which on the diocesan homepage at


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