Archive for November 2008

Catholic radio in our area

November 30, 2008

For some spiritual nourishment during this Advent season, why not tune into our local Catholic Radio station — JMJ 750 AM.  The radio station broadcasts from dawn to dusk.  Currently, because it is a developing new station, it sends out a signal of limited power.  It is our hope to have the power increased, providing a stronger and much clearer signal in the days ahead.  But the programming is great!  Perhaps you are able to help financially, or to sponsor a program.  If so, please contact Ed or Carol Niewinski at 287-4670.


Don’t just walk away…investigate!

November 29, 2008

George Weigel wrote the definitive biography on Pope John Paul II, and is widely known for his insights concerning our culture and Catholic life.  In his book: The Truth of Catholicism, Weigel wrote:

The Catholic Church is, arguably, the most controversial institution on the planet; it is certainly the most controversial religious institution.  Whether the question is the uniqueness of Christ, the meaning of freedom, the dignity of human life from conception until natural death, or the use and abuse of sex, the Catholic Church often finds itself a Church of contradiction, in opposition to what seems to be the common wisdom of our times.  Because of that, the Church is sometimes an object of hatred and scorn, especially for those who think that the Church’s teachings dehumanize or marginalize them.


Weigel, quoting Evelyn Waugh, said is it is very difficult to “know what the Church is like from outside.”  Waugh invites all those who are curious, attracted or disturbed by the Church’s teaching and way of life to “come inside.”  This is what Jesus said to those who were curious about Him: “Come and see.”

To Former Catholics: “Come home!”

November 28, 2008

Our lives on earth should be a wholehearted search for God and His truth. For some, the search is easy and quick, for others it can be long and laborious. The purpose of Catholics Come Home is to make your search for the fullness of truth easier and more fruitful.


The old saying is so true: God loves you. He loves you so much that He sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise again from the dead to redeem and save you from sin and alienation. And, as Christ Himself promised, I will not leave you orphans (John 14:18). He established a Church, the Catholic Church, with all its human imperfections as the shelter from the storms of this life.


God loves you so much that He will not stop searching for you, reaching out to you, and seeking you, so He can bring you safely home to a big, warm, and loving Catholic family. But God is gentle… the choice is yours.


These words summarize the mission of, to which we’ve added a link on the right sidebar.  Please check it out, especially if you are a former Catholic:


Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008


     During the last five years I have been a Catechist for Gate of Heaven Church in Dallas Pa. I teach children of the parish in the seventh grade who attend the local public school. For the last few years I have asked them the Sunday before the Thanksgiving Holiday why Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Invariably the students who answered said they were taught in school that we are thanking the Native Americans who helped the pilgrims through their first winter in America.

I am then happy to bring out copies of the Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President George Washington on October 3, 1789. George Washington proclaimed that it is “the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly  to implore His protection and favor. In recognition of that duty the President set aside November 26, 1789 as a day for the People of the United States to “unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks”. Washington also asked Americans to pray for pardon for our national transgressions and to pray for a government that among other things would promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.

I then proceeded to further amaze them by disputing the date and place for the first Thanksgiving in America. The history books designate Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts as the place and 1621 as the date. I shared with them a USA newspaper article about historical research performed by Robyn Gioia which has documented  that the first Thanksgiving occurred on September 8, 1565 in the area of present day St. Augustine, Florida. The Thanksgiving Day feast began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by Spanish explorers and missionaries in thanksgiving for their safe arrival in the New World . After Mass concluded The Catholic missionaries and explorers shared a meal of bean soup with Timucua Indians.

Discovery of these little known facts should lead us to be proud of our Catholic Christian heritage and the contribution Catholics have made to our nation since before its inception.  It should also confirm that we were established as one Nation under God

Finally I give my class a Thanksgiving Day prayer and ask them to share it with their parents for use on Thanksgiving Day. The prayer is as follows:


Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.


Thank you for all the graces and blessings You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage, our food and shelter, our health, the loves we have for one another, our family and friends.


Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year.


This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Brother. Amen.

Defending the Faith

November 25, 2008

 “…Sanctify Christ as Lord of your hearts.  Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Pt. 3:15).


Apologetics, that is, being able to defend the faith, is an important aspect for all of us as we respond to the call of the Vicar of Christ to the “new evangelization.”  All Catholic men need to learn how to answer questions others have and be ready as St. Peter says to give an explanation for our hope.


One of our members, Jerome D. Gilmartin, is the author of a new book called:  THE 7-STEP REASON TO BE CATHOLIC.  It is a magnificent work of Catholic apologetics. 


In his book, Jerome places before us “THE SEVEN ULTIMATE QUESTIONS.”  The first question he poses is: “Does strong scientific evidence point to the intelligent design of the universe?”  The prestigious National Academy of Sciences states: “Science can say nothing about the supernatural.  Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”  In his inaugural Mass April 24, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI said, “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.  Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed, each of us loved, each of us is necessary.”  Astrophysicist Hugh Ross, Ph.D., author of “The Finger Prints of God,” says that “there is compelling scientific evidence that seems to rule out all explanations but the one that is beyond the realm of science:  That an all-powerful ‘Intelligent Designer’ created the universe.”  To bring the Gospel, we need to be able to give an explanation for our faith and reasons for our hope.


To order a copy of Jerome Gilmartin’s book, call toll-free (866) 578-4077, or for Customer Service call (570) 650-1327.

Rosary Priest

November 24, 2008
St. Peter's Cathedral

St. Peter's Cathedral

 Fr. Patrick Payton, the “Rosary Priest” had the beautiful expression: “The family that prays together stays together.”  Fr. Payton, from Ireland, and later a resident of the Diocese of Scranton.  His cause for canonization as a saint is now being studied in Rome.  While in Scranton, Patrick Payton was a simple sacristan at St. Peter’s Cathedral.  Later, he became a member of the Holy Cross Fathers [King’s College] living at Notre Dame University.  He is an excellent model of manhood and priesthood. 


November 24, 2008

Men’s Retreat coming soon!  Registration deadline is December 1st.   Register today!  See here for details.