My Writings. My Thoughts.
We are very blessed to have Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., as our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” this Tuesday March 4th at NOON ET.
Fr Andrew is the author of Fatima For Today, The Urgent Marian Message of Hope. We will be mostly talking about this book. I must confess that I was really skeptical about what Our Lady of Fatima could say that might be relevant to today. But once I started reading Fatima for Today, I could not put it down. I certainly was familiar with much of the Fatima account of Mary appearing to three Portuguese young children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in 1917, but Fr Apostoli puts it all together in one place and adds MANY details that I was not aware of. His introductory chapter contrasting Mary the New Eve with the original Eve is by itself worth the modest price of this book, which I downloaded from Ignatius Press and am reading on my computer.
Questions I have for Fr Andrew: Has the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart been accomplished? Why has it taken so long? Is there evidence of Russia’s promised conversion? What about Crimea and the Ukraine? How did the children suffer? Why pray the Rosary?
Father Apostoli is a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and he has been teaching and preaching retreats and parish missions for several decades. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the apparitions at Fatima and he has authored numerous books, including Following Mary to Jesus and Walk Humbly With Your God. Fr. Apostoli is the vice-postulator for the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and a frequent host on EWTN television, where he hosted the TV special “Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion”.
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Author of No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy says this: “Learn, live, and spread the message of Fatima! This is the express desire of Pope Benedict XVI. And Pope John Paul II once stated that the message of Fatima was more important now than in 1917!” That is why this wonderful book on Fatima is so important. Fr. Apostoli has recaptured this heavenly message of urgency and hope for a new generation. Our world needs the message of Fatima more than ever, and I pray that many people are brought back to Jesus, Mary, and the Church through these pages.
I often tell people that most American Catholics have never heard a homily explaining Church teaching on the intrinsic evil of unnatural birth control, and the benefits of Natural Family Planning. But, with the recent publication of a 2nd edition of A Preachable Message, those homilies are bound to increase. In fact, some of the more recently ordained priests are eager to spread these truths that have the power to transform marriages and families from misery to joy.
Sue Ek of BOMA-USA, publisher, and Dorothy Duganzik, editor, along with Fr Matthew Habiger and possibly other priests who contributed to the book will be our guests on this week’s “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”.
Fr Habiger is a Benedictine priest who with Fr Daniel McCaffrey represent NFP Outreach. They travel the world teaching priests and bishops how to speak about God’s plan for love, marriage and children–from the pulpit. According to a study by Mary Rice Hasson and Michele Hill, virtually all Catholic women receive their instruction in the Faith exclusively from the weekend homily. In other words, if they don’t hear a homily on birth control, NFP, and the blessings of children, they will never know what the Church really teaches. They (and their families) deserve better.
Fr Sauppe’s 2013 article about the demographic winter that forced closing of his parish school received lots of attention because it brought focus to a national problem affecting most communities and the Church–not enough children. See www.onemoresoul.com/pdfs.
If the AVERAGE woman in a country consistently births fewer than 2.1 children in her life time, the country’s population will eventually decline. This population shrinkage is already in process throughout Europe.
In “The Church in the Modern World as I lived It”, The Bellarmine Forum (Winter 2013), Father shares his experience as a seminarian and priest/pastor in the post Vatican Council II Catholic Church. His experience verifies that some of the good of VCII was sabotaged by efforts to hitch change agendas to VCII’s call to open the windows and let fresh air into the Church. Unfortunately, the infiltration included a “progressive wind” and the “smoke of Satan” that joined other events to weaken the Church in modern times.
Fr Sauppe is taking steps to blunt these evil forces and turn his small part of Church back to a renewed sense of God in the liturgy and the family. In this effort, he draws encouragement from the 1985 Extraordinary Synod on “The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council”.
Since Father is also a Mariologist (working toward the STD at the International Marian Research Institute), I can ask him Mary is guiding the Church in the Modern World.
Dr. Paul Byrne is a pediatrician and neonatologist from Toledo who early in his career pioneered the development of ventilators and other medical devices tailored to children born pre-term.
He is also a world renowned expert on, and opponent of, “brain death” for determining actual death, and has spoken and testified in numerous venues including several courts of law and the Vatican. So, Dr Paul is the perfect mix of pediatrician and brain death expert to help us understand two recent situations, including his personal intervention for the parents of Jahi–the 13 year-old California girl who had cardiac arrest during a tonsillectomy and was declared brain dead by hospital staff. But her parents challenged their diagnosis, and with assistance from Dr Byrne, were able to have Jahi transferred to a medical facility that would insert a feeding tube to prevent starvation.
Another current case from Texas has a pregnant woman on life support to save her baby, as required by Texas law. But her husband sued the hospital insisting that life support be withdrawn, thus terminating both the mother and baby. A judge ruled in the husband’s favor. Mother and daughter are now deceased.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014, marks the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton decisions legalizing the killing of pre-born children in America. Trent Horn is an appropriate Guest for this week’s “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” program.
Trent holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently an apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers. He specializes in training pro-lifers to intelligently and compassionately engage pro-choice advocates in genuine dialogue. He is the author of Answering Atheism and Making the Case for Life (DVD), both published by Catholic Answers.
Making the Case for Life is a very valuable teaching tool for transforming any abortion debate into a fruitful conversation–one that opens minds and hearts to the humanity of the pre-born child while maintaining a non-confrontational environment. Trent’s approach has been developed by refining ideas of seasoned pro-life leaders and applying them with hundreds of college students.
John Preiss is President of the Fatima Family Apostolate International, founded in 1986 by the late Father Robert J. Fox. The mission of the Fatima Family Apostolate International is to promote the message of Fatima and the sanctification of family life.
John is also the Editor of the quarterly magazine the Immaculate Heart Messenger. He has been interviewed on Catholic radio and recently on Vatican Radio about the consecration by Pope Francis. He has written several articles on the message of Fatima and on family life. He is also the author of the new children’s book, The Miracle of the Dancing Sun at Fatima. Since November of 2013 this book has sold close to 1000 copies.
John and his wife Teresa currently reside in Hanceville, AL with their six children: Mark, Lauren, Brenden, John David, Anna Sophia and Ella.
John will be our third Guest speaking about a particular Marian apparition, Our Lady of Fatima. The last two programs featured Fr Peter Stryker on Our Lady of Good Help and Kevin McCarthy on Our Lady of America.
I have asked John to tell us about Our Lady of Fatima-dates, location, seers, miracles, warnings, promises, etc. How are her apparitions in 1917 still relevant in the 21st Century, particularly to the Quest for a Culture of Life in America and the world?
What is the nature/validity of the controversy over the consecration of Russia and the World to Mary’s Immaculate Heart?
I am especially interested in Mary’s promise that Russia will be converted. It seems that is happening based on information I found at www.excerptsofinri.com and Life Site News.
We will be drawing some comparisons between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Barack Obama’s USA.
We were expecting Kevin McCarthy to call in two weeks ago, but his phone was out-of-order, so he didn’t call, and I had to “wing-it”. Last week’s Guest Fr Peter Stryker educated us about Our Lady of Good Help and her shrine in Champion WI. This week we will try again to have Kevin teach us about Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.
Kevin is a Civil and Canon Lawyer who has dedicated his life to improving access to Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin. “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin”, is a title for Mary that is not as well know as “Our Lady of Guadalupe–Our Lady of the Americas”, the Empress of all the Americas, with a message of unity. Our Lady of America is specific to the United States of America, and her message is a call for purity. And who would deny this pressing need in our country plagued as it is by all manner of sexual sins that are even promoted by government health care mandates for free access to contraception, abortion and sterilization.
Kevin will be able to trace the story of Mary’s locutions and apparitions as “Our Lady of America” to Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil), of the Precious Blood Sisters of Dayton Ohio. Sister Mary Mildred also experienced apparitions and messages from Our Lord, St Joseph, St. Gabriel and St. Michael. Sister’s spiritual adviser for over 40 years was Father/Msgr/Bishop (Evansville IN)/Archbishop (Cincinnati) Paul Leibold of Dayton Ohio.
Sister Mary was asked by The Blessed Virgin Mary to draw a picture according to the vision of Our Lady of America and have a statue constructed accordingly and placed after a solemn procession into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, DC, and honored there as Our Lady of America. Our Lady says that if this is done, the United States of America would turn back toward morality and the shrine would become a place of “wonders.” Sister Mary Ephrem, died on January 10th, 2000, near Fostoria Ohio.
Fr Peter Stryker is a native of Cincinnati. After a stint providing hospitality to Westin Hotel guests, he followed God’s call to priesthood with the Fathers of Mercy and now provides hospitality to pilgrims visiting Our Lady of Good Help Shrine near Green Bay Wisconsin. For over 150 years people have come to this site where the Blessed Mother appeared to Adele Brise , asking her to teach the catechism to children of French and Belgium descent. Adele succeeded in raising the funds to build a school, convent and chapel at the apparition site, which has become a place of physical and spiritual healing.
It was on October 9, 1859, that the Queen of Heaven appeared to Adele Brise in Champion (Robinsonville), Wisconsin.The apparitions to “Sister” Adele took place 20 months after Mary appeared in Lourdes France to St Bernadette.
When Adele asked the apparition, “In God’s name, who are you and what do you want of me?”, the lady in white replied,
“I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning, and that is well. But you must do more. Make a general confession, and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”
The Blessed Mother went on to say, “Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation.” Adele replied, “But how shall I teach them who know so little myself?” Mary replied, “Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”
On December 8, 2010, the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken gave official Church approval of the Marian apparitions that occurred in the month of October at Robinsonville, now known as Champion, Wisconsin. The Bishop stated, “I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.”
This declaration makes the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only Marian shrine in the United States that is on the site of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.