August 2018

I found this article by George Weigel in First Things to be very insightful and compelling. It is one more voice confirming the integrity and importance of Archbishop Viganó and what he wrote in his 11-page letter. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to read this article.

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He ends, “What Archbishop Viganò testifies to knowing on the basis of direct, personal, and in many cases documentable experiences in Rome and Washington deserves to be taken seriously, not peremptorily dismissed or ignored. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the U.S. bishops’ conference president, evidently agrees, as his August 27 statement makes clear. That is another step toward the purification and reform we need.”

For the whole article, click here.

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An Interview with Catholic Evangelist Steve Ray

“My family and I have discovered that the Catholic Church is the best-kept secret in all of human history.”

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I recently had the opportunity to speak with Catholic evangelist Steve Ray. Since I am a high school theology teacher, I have long been impressed with what Steve has done for the Church; for instance, I have shown some of his “Footprints of God” videos to my students, who are justifiably spellbound by the remarkable imagery of the Holy Land. Steve, a reliably entertaining and informative Catholic media personality also has a website, “Defenders of the Catholic Faith,” and he is active on Twitter. If you would like to learn more about why Steve Ray embraces the Catholic faith as a proud and fearless disciple of Jesus Christ, you can find his books on Amazon or at Ignatius Press. May you be inspired by Steve’s testimony here.

1) What initially drew you to the Catholic faith, and how has Catholicism enriched you and your family’s life since converting

That’s a big question. I was born and raised an Evangelical Protestant. My parents were inspired by Billy Graham, and I grew up in that warm environment. I considered myself a Bible teacher. I became Catholic not necessarily because I saw anything beautiful in the Catholic Church at first, but when I was 39, I began to see three problems with Protestantism: 1) What was worship? 2) What is the authority that binds Christians? (We thought this was the Bible alone, but that would never work.) 3) How many Churches did Jesus start? (There was only one, per Matthew 16:18 and John 17.) We spent a lot of time contemplating these questions. Then, a good friend of mine, Al Kresta, converted to Catholicism in 1993. Al and I have been best friends since 1983. We home-schooled our kids and studied the Bible together. My wife and I told him that was the stupidest thing we ever heard — why would someone become Catholic? We started studying the Church Fathers to prove Al wrong, but instead, the Church Fathers kept proving the Catholic Church right! A year later, we became Catholic.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 6.24.49 PM2) As a high school theology teacher, I have enjoyed showing some of your “Footprints of God” DVDs to my students over the years. What is your favorite site to visit in the Holy Land, and why?

(Picture: Our film crew with Iraqi soldiers)

Oh, my goodness. Well, we’ve been to so many different places. The favorite place that I have visited is Iraq. That is where it all began, with Abraham, who had even worshiped pagan idols (see Joshua 24:2). It was exotic there, but even dangerous; when we were there, ISIS was beginning to come in. It’s hard to get there, and hard to get out, and very difficult to be there, but it was still my favorite.

3) You have written various books – which was your favorite to write, and why?

That’s like asking which of your four kids you like the best. I like each book, but for different reasons. The one that has had the greatest impact is our conversion story, Crossing the Tiber. That was my first, and probably most impactful, of the books. Twenty years later, I am still getting emails from people telling me that that book made them Catholic, and I get a sense of humble joy from that. It’s actually selling more now than when it was written!

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 6.41.50 PM4) Ignatius Press is in the midst of celebrating its 40th anniversary. What have been some of the joys that you have experienced working with Ignatius Press as your publisher over the decades?

(Picture: With many Ignatius staff at 25th Anniversary)

They have been around for 40 years, and I have worked with them for 24 of those years. I would say their loyalty and top quality; everything is so thorough and meticulous, whether grammatically or theologically. They are a marvelous organization. They have really taken care of me and other authors, not only with books, but with DVDs and other media. They have given me free rein to make those movies, and God has a great sense of humor, in letting a former janitor do this, instead of somebody with a Ph.D.

5) If you were to meet someone who had never heard of Jesus, what would you say, in a paragraph or so, to convince him or her that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. John 14:6)?

I would start probably one step before that by telling the person that life demands an explanation: where did this come from? It wasn’t by chance; there had to be a designer. What kind of designer would this be? He would have to be perfect and loving. This God is so amazing that he came down and become one of us. He literally condescended; it’s the scandal of the Incarnation! The angels must have thought: what in the world is he doing? One should look at the big picture about why we are here, and it all points to Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of our redeeming God.

6) I always ask this of my interviewees: what is your favorite scriptural passage, and why?

One stands out, and it may be trivialized by sporting events and so forth, but it is John 3:16. That verse is a summary of the whole Scriptures, and of the heart and mind of God. That verse, in a few words, tells everything in a simple sentence. Everything is wrapped up in that one verse. I am proud to say that my mom gave me $0.50 for every verse that I memorized, and they are all in my mind today.

7) Any parting wisdom for our readers?

My family and I have discovered that the Catholic Church is the best-kept secret in all of human history. We see the humanity of the Church, but it is also, of course, a divine institution. There is no better place to be than in the heart of the Catholic Church, even with everything going on and some people making a lot of mistakes. It is the place where I will live for the rest of my life. I also want to thank Ignatius Press for all they have done, especially through their orthodoxy. Ignatius Press tries new things, such as the use of technology with making my movies. I wish them a good 40th anniversary, and I am glad to have been a small part of it.

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Drink to be Holy – A Little Humor in Dark Times

by Steve Ray on August 29, 2018

The Latin below reads, “He who drinks sleeps; he who sleeps does not sin; he who does not sin is a saint; therefore, he who drinks is a saint. Pass the mugs!”

Was it St. Augustine who said, “He who jokes in Latin, jokes twice”?  :-)       (thanks Fr. Goyo).

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Cut off His Head! John the Baptist

August 29, 2018

 Beheading of John the Baptist August 29 He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New. He was the first to proclaim the news that Jesus was the Messiah, the Lamb of God. He was 100% from the lineage of Aaron the High Priest. He is the prophesied “Elijah […]

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Really? The Pope has more important things to do ?!?!

August 28, 2018

When I saw this I couldn’t believe it. With the sex scandal raging, Cardinals exposed as perverts, young men, seminarians and priests abused and raped by clergy, men raised to Bishop and Cardinal while doing such despicable and perverted things, the Pope credibly charged with culpability — and Cupich of Chicago says there are more important […]

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Former Apostolic Nuncio to Washington DC calls prelates out — naming names and exposing corruption to the highest levels including Pope Francis

August 26, 2018

UPDATE Sunday morning:  Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas responds to the letter below. A courageous Bishop… I hope other bishops follow his lead (write your bishop to do the same). UK Spectator aticle here. (Picture: Pope Francis greeting the perverted predator knowing what he was according to the letter below.) UPDATE COMMENT Sunday Evening: This continues […]

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Why Visit Mexico? Why Visit Guadalupe? Is it Safe? Join us!

August 23, 2018

Let’s deal with the big issue first: IS IT SAFE? First, we would never take pilgrims anywhere that is not safe. We have done this tour of Mexico a number of times and it has always been perfectly clean, safe and friendly. There is a lot of bad news in the media about Mexico, but […]

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Queenship Of the Blessed Virgin – August 22

August 22, 2018

Last week was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and today, August 22 is the Queenship of Mary. The other day a man called to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of […]

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

August 20, 2018

I am reposting this because of the huge response two years ago. Thought it would be helpful again for many people who have lost their spouse. My dad died almost eight years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. […]

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Teresa Tomeo Invites you to join her in Jordan & Israel with Steve & Janet Ray

August 19, 2018

Deepen Your Faith With A  Retreat & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land February 13-22, 2019 Join Hosts Steve & Janet Ray and Teresa Tomeo with husband Deacon Dominick Pastore for a beautiful, inspiring, and faith-filled 10-Day Retreat and Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February! Sea of Galilee You’ll visit the major places of Our […]

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Steve Shares a 9-minute Story of his Early Life and Conversion

August 19, 2018

While at Steubenville two weeks ago, the Coming Home Network and The Journey Home asked me to share stories of my conversion not heard before. Hope you enjoy it.

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Still Good Bishops Who Speak and Act…

August 19, 2018

Everyone is dismayed and uncertain who they can trust right now. The Catholic hierarchy has to be cleaned up. It is certain there are bishops who knew and were silent. BUT not all bishops were complicit. I know many that I trust were as shocked and angry as us. Here is one: Read his recent […]

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Janet & I Just Watched “I Can Only Imagine” with a box of Kleenex

August 17, 2018

?If you haven’t watched the movie “I Can Only Imagine” then get it this weekend, settle in and enjoy. Makes you proud to be a Christian! Janet and I just watched it and went thru a box of Kleenex. Very redemptive! Lovely family movie!?

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“Grand Jury Report Debunked“ by Bill Donahue

August 17, 2018

For the the sake of objectivity, I am posting this interesting critique of the recent Pennsylvania Report on sexual scandal in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. I am not agreeing with everything in this article, nor am I unaware of Donahue’s association with Wuerl. I am simply posting this because I consider it important to […]

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Willow Creek Protestant Megachurch Paid $3.25M in Lawsuits Over Sex Abuse of Disabled Boys

August 16, 2018

If you don’t like this post, or think I’m pointing fingers, then read below under the line of asterisks ******* By Stoyan Zaimov Aug 16, 2018 | 8:01 AM “Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois reportedly paid $3.5 million in lawsuits over the sex abuse of two developmentally disabled boys. The evangelical megachurch, which recently […]

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About Witholding Funds from the Church

August 16, 2018

There has been a lot of discussion about withholding funds from the Church as a way of speaking out against bishops who have not done their job and been bad shepherds, protecting bad shepherds. I have suggested it is something we should think about especially if we know of abusers or those who facilitate abusers. […]

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