Monthly Archives: November 2016



Christ The King statue in Świebodzin, Poland.  This is the largest statue of Jesus in the world (yes, even larger than Rio de Janeiro).  It is 33 meters (over 108 feet) tall.  One meter for each year of Jesus life.  Note the gold crown.

               The last Sunday of the Church liturgical Calendar is celebrated as the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  Although Christians have celebrated Jesus as the King of Kings since the very beginnings and the Jews have celebrated the Messiah as the coming King long before Jesus, this Feast is relatively new.  Pope Pius XI instituted this Feast in 1925 in his encyclical QUAS PRIMAS and it was first celebrated in 1926.  Pope Pius XI instituted this Feast as a result of changes that were occurring throughout the world.  There was a rise of both Communism and non-Christian dictatorships that tried to keep their people from worshiping God and following the Church.  There was a large growth of secularism that had people questioning the role of God and the Church in their lives.  People were simply denying Christ and doubting His authority and existence, as well as doubting the Church’s power to continue Christ’s authority. 

               The truth of the matter is, this seems to be occurring again today.  People are putting Jesus aside and are not going to Church.  Even our own government has tried to take away the Church’s authority over its people.  God has been taken out of our government, and schools and courts.  That is why this Feast is so timely even today.  Our recent Presidential elections have shown a great divide in our country and some people seem lost.   The problem is, our hope should not be fully in who is leading our country.  Our hope should be in the Lord.  I saw a sign before the elections that really brings this home.  It said:



               Today’s Feast day celebrates that very thought, and much more.  Let us look at what Pope Pius XI hoped to accomplish in celebrating this feast:

1 – That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas 32).

2 – That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas 31).

3 – That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feas, as we reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas 33)

               The first two of these are a constant battle.  We need to make sure that the State recognizes our rights to freely worship God as we are called to do.  The second is also difficult.  We must elect leaders who can give respect to Jesus.  The third, and last, is where we ourselves need to work the hardest.  We MUST see Jesus as King of everything that we are.  He must reign in our hearts, minds, wills and bodies.  Today individualism has been so embraced that for many, the only authority is the individual self.  They reject the idea of Jesus as ruler.  Many see the title of King or Lord as archaic and borrowed from oppressive systems of government.  Certainly some Kings have been oppressive, but Jesus surely is not that kind of King.  He himself said in Mark 10: 42-45, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” and Jesus replied in John 18: 36-37, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

               Jesus certainly knew the oppressive nature of some Kings and in contrast to them he showed His role as King as one of humble service and commanded all His followers to do the same.  He tied His Kingdom to His own suffering and death.  He will come again as King to judge the nations.  However He showed us that His Kingdom is one of love and mercy and peace and forgiveness.  Jesus turned around the concept of Kingship.  We know that when we make Him King of all that we are and all that we do, we will experience that Kingdom.

               Let us all strive to make Jesus our King.  Here is a prayer that may help us in doing that:

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ the King

Most sweet Jesus,
Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us humbly prostrate before you.
We are yours, and yours we wish to be;
but to be more surely united with you,
behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today
to your Most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known you;
many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus,
and draw them to your Sacred Heart.
Be King, O Lord,
not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you;
grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house,
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof,
and call them back
to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith,
so that soon there may be
but one flock and one Shepherd.
Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance
of freedom and immunity from harm;
give tranquility of order to all nations;
make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation;
to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.
Also known as “Iesu dulcissime, Redemptor”



“That they all might be one” – Our big failure by Deacon Marty McIndoe

Even though Jesus repeatedly calls His people to be united, in practice we are quite divided.  Presently, and tragically, the divisions in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern Churches (mostly Orthodox) and 23 percent Protestant (with an estimate of over 33,000 denominations), speaks very poorly about the unity that Jesus calls us to.

The divisions started in the 400’s and again in 1054 when the Roman Church and Eastern Church split, with the largest split in the 1500’s with the beginning of Protestantism.  Check out the timeline below:


There is no doubt that the division of the Church is not what Jesus had in mind when he said, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be one in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” John 17:21.

Throughout the ages, there have been many men and women who have worked to bring the Church back together.  One of them is Saint Josaphat.  We celebrate his feast on November 12th.  I thought it would be beneficial for us to take a look at this Saint, who fought hard for, and gave his life for, unifying the Roman and Eastern Churches.

Saint Josaphat was born in Lithuania in 1580 in to an Eastern Catholic family.  The country was divided between Catholics and Orthodox.  When Saint Josaphat was 15, the bishops of the Ukrainian and Byelorussian Churches who lived within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth held a Ruthenian Synod in 1595 and voted to unite with Rome under Pope Clement VIII.   The churches were united and those who followed the Byzantine rites were allowed to continue doing that.  In 1604 Saint Josaphat entered the Byzantine monastery of The Holy Trinity.  In 1614 he was ordained the Catholic Archbishop of Polotsk.  He always held firm to unity with Rome, but did not like that some Roman Catholics wanted to replace the Byzantine rites with Roman rites.  He believed that unity with Rome was important but that unity did not mean giving up the Byzantine traditions of his people.  Many of the other Catholic bishops of his country did not like Josaphat because he refused to “Latinize” his churches.  Saint Josaphat worked hard to maintain unity with Rome, while maintaining their Byzantine traditions.  He saw no problem with doing that.  Rome certainly agreed, but many of the people in his country did not.

There was considerable political friction between the Catholics and the Orthodox.  The Orthodox ordained their own Archbishop of Polotsk and the frictions reached the point that violence erupted.  While Josaphat was visiting Vitebsk (Belarus), he was cruelly hacked to death on November 12, 1623. He was about forty-five years old.

Josaphat had said before his martyrdom, “I rejoice to offer my life for my holy Catholic faith.” He had prayed, “Grant that I be found worthy, Lord, to shed my blood for the union and obedience to the Apostolic See.”  All that Saint Josaphat did, was done for the sake of Unity of the Church.

In May 1643, twenty years after his death, Pope Urban VIII declared him “Blessed.” But it was not until June 29, 1867, that Pope Pius IX canonized him “Saint.” He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be formally canonized by Rome.  On November 12, 1923, the tercentenary of Josaphat’s martyrdom, Pope Pius XI declared him the heavenly Patron of Reunion between Orthodox and Catholics. During the Second Vatican Council, at the express wish of Pope John XXIII, who himself was most interested in reunion, the body of St. Josaphat was finally laid to rest at the magnificent altar of St. Basil in St. Peter’s Basilica. This took place on November 25, 1963.  In 1964, newspaper photos of Pope Paul VI embracing Athenagoras I, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, marked a significant step toward the healing of a division in Christendom that has spanned more than nine centuries.  The Church is still working on that unity today.

So what does that mean for us today?  It has been only a few days since the election of our new President.  Newscasters keep telling us that the country is much divided.  Even within families there is a great deal of separation.  Some family members don’t even talk to each other.  The Churches themselves are still much divided and Unity seems almost unreachable.  It appears that we are a people who like to separate ourselves into different camps.  There is no doubt that Jesus called for unity, especially in His Church.  We need to have a certain amount of unity in our country.  Unity within our families is much needed.  Unity is definitely something we must strive for at so many levels.  I know that it is difficult.    However, with a great deal of prayer, and with hard work, I hope someday we can.  May Saint Josaphat pray to help us achieve that unity.




Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness by Deacon Marty McIndoe


               Our country began with our Declaration of Independence which states the well known phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  It goes on to say that governments are instituted to protect those rights.  I think it is time for all of us to see how well our government is doing in protecting these rights.

               The United States of America has maintained a strong Army, Navy and Air force (and related services) to try to keep its citizens safe from foreign aggression.  It has done a pretty good job of this, but there have been some instances where it just was not enough.  Our 9/11 attack as well as subsequent terrorist attacks have shown this.  Still, we responded to these attacks by strengthening our intelligence services and our military.  There have been some indications that recently our military has been weakened by financial cuts and political decisions.  We must be careful to keep our military strong as we do face a definite threat from foreign governments and ideologies.  To protect our way of life in America is a primary function of our government.  I personally salute all those who have served us in our military and have not only kept our country free, but have also helped free other countries.  We should be very proud of their service.  War and fighting is an absolutely terrible thing, but unfortunately has sometimes been necessary.  I pray that some day we may all live together in Peace, but that seems so far away.

               Our government also must protect the Life and Liberty of its citizens from people inside of our borders.  It is unfortunate, but very true, that we need protection on the home front.  We have numerous Law Enforcement Agencies to protect us from crime.  This crime can be life threatening and liberty threatening.  Our Police and related services have a difficult job and need our support.  The work that they do puts their own lives at risk, but they do that to protect us.  The vast majority of the time, they do an excellent job and should be commended.  Our government, at all of its levels, should be very supportive of our Law Enforcement Agencies.

               Our liberty is very important to us.  We are known as the Home of the Free and our personal liberties are among the best in the world.  Yes, we do have laws that sometimes seem to hinder our liberty, but it is important for governments to pass laws that help to protect us.  Some people still complain about speed limit laws and seat belt laws, but they save many lives.  Government has the difficult job of deciding what laws are necessary to protect the majority, and what laws are just too restrictive on our freedoms.  At the heart of these laws, the government must see how they affect the three unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Thomas Jefferson said, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

               Presently there is one nationwide “law” that I believe is at odds with what Thomas Jefferson said and with the three unalienable rights, especially the right of Life.  The most important right is the right to Life.  Without that, there is nothing.  Somehow we have allowed our country to legalize the killing of unborn children.  Right now we average about 2,000 abortions per day.  Our government is supposed to protect its citizens, especially those who cannot protect themselves.  We have allowed a society to exist where mothers can kill their sons and daughters simply because having them would be an inconvenience to them.   This is so wrong.  Not only that, it seems that the primary agent in all of this, Planned Parenthood, is targeting “undesirables” such as black and poor and immigrant peoples.   Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is quoted as saying, “Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.” (April 1932 Birth Control Review) and “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population” (Women, Morality and Birth Control – New York Publishing Co. 1922).  Our country should be so much better than that.  Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, said, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb”.  This was based on a NYC Dept of Health report showing that 60% of all pregnancies of black women end in abortion.  It looks like Margaret Sanger is getting what she wanted.

               There has always been the argument that woman should have the right to choose because it is their body.  However, what about the right to live of the baby inside the womb?  That baby has no one to speak for her or him.  It is the government’s responsibility to protect that life.  Another argument is that the government should allow free access to abortions because if it doesn’t, women will find someone to perform it that is not skilled.  To me, that is a poor argument.  We don’t legalize things to make it easier because people will do it anyway.  The mass killing of babies in this country is truly an abomination and must be stopped.

               We have also been a country where we acknowledge the Freedom to practice our Faith.  Recently the government has been forcing some church organizations to do things that are not allowed in their faith.  This too is so wrong.   Let’s hope that our government stance changes to reflect what our founding fathers set up in this country.  It is sad to see that God has been taken out of our schools, courts and government meetings.  It is time to bring Him back.

               I think that there are so many people that feel that our country is headed in the wrong direction on so many levels.  I do think that is true, but I also see our country as something really great.  We do need to return to some of the values that we have had in the past.  Let all of us work for this and pray for this.  God Bless America.


Truth Within A Tagline by Catholic Girl Bloggin’


(note: This was original published in July)

A new film called The Neon Demon is now in limited theatrical release.  No, I will not be seeing the movie.  The trailer alone made me feel unsettled.

However, while browsing through Facebook, the teaser trailer of the movie’s FB page kept popping up on my newsfeed.  The caption above the promotional video caught my eye:

“The face of an angel can awaken the demon.”

As disturbing as that line is, something about it resonated with me.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that within the frightening quote lies a hint of truth.

I once had a dream where I was looking at what seemed to be a girl made entirely of light slowly spinning around amidst a deep gray fog.  I texted a friend of mine about it and his response was, “Hmm…sounds like a beacon of holiness in the midst of darkness…” Looking back on that dream now combined with The Neon Demon tagline, I think it all points to the fact that where there are angels, there are demons and vice versa.

You and I exist in the physical world, but within our reality lies a hidden spiritual world where the forces of Light and darkness reside in oppositional existence.

Imagine that there is a veil between our visible reality and the invisible realm, a fabric barrier that angels can pass through with no limitations, but you and I can’t even touch with our fingertips.  On the other side of the veil is an invisible realm where the forces of good and evil do not coexist peacefully, but rather do battle with one another.

On the other side of our reality is a battlefield where angels of God fight to protect us while the demons of the evil one seek to drag us down.

While we eat, sleep and go about our routines, this is taking place:


Wherever there is goodness, evil is sure to follow behind like a relentless stalker.  Purity cannot flourish without corruption creeping in to put a stop to it.

However, at the same time, when corruption does rear its ugly head, purity arrives to interrupt and overtake it.

Admittedly, it is terrifying to think that darkness comes after light, that there will always be an infernal force ready to wreck havoc wherever goodness appears.  And yet, I take comfort in the fact that the opposite is true: Where darkness reigns, Light will surely intervene.

Whenever there is a Lucifer who tries to bring about division and chaos, there will also be a Michael who courageously stands up to restore peace and unity.

If the face of an angel can awaken a demon, then take heart in the fact that while the demon is rising from its slumber, the angel is already up and alert, ready to fight.


Saint Padre Pio was a man who frequently encountered both good and evil residents of the hidden world.  Angels would greet him and demons would beat him.  He had every reason to want to avoid the spiritual world, and yet he embraced the celestial reality.

“Do not fear him (devil). Trust more and more in Jesus, who never leaves you alone when confronted by Satan.”

–Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

The next time the devil hisses at you, “Where Jesus is, I am,” just smile and say with confidence, “But where you are, He is.” 

Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael, pray for us.

Catholic Girl Bloggin’ website can be found at

Lord of the Dead by Deacon Marty McIndoe


Death is something that we don’t usually think about or talk about.  We do know that people die, but somehow most of us feel that we won’t.  Intellectually, we know that we will, but we still we do not embrace death as something that we are heading to.  Yet we are.  You could say that we are all born to die.  None of us know when, or how, it will happen, but unless the Lord comes again while we are still alive, we will experience death.  Our faith, based on the death and resurrection of Jesus, tells us that death is not the end.  Surely the body stops, but who we are as a person continues.  The Church celebrates the Resurrection in all that we do.  In November, the first two days really call this to mind.

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul said, “To this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living”.   Matthew, Mark and Luke all say that “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living”.  In looking at these two statements, at first they seem at odds with each other, but in essence they are saying the same thing.  Death no longer exists.  God is Lord of us in our death and our life.  When our bodies fail, we know that our soul continues on.  As Catholics we believe that we go to Heaven, Purgatory (preparation time for Heaven), or to Hell (quite permanent).  We also believe that someday, at the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom, our souls and our bodies will come together in the Resurrected body.  Until that day, the “dead” in Heaven and Purgatory still exist in communion with the living Church.  We are all the Living Church.

While we Christians are alive here on earth, we are known as the Church Militant.  We are soldiers of Christ who still struggle with sin and evil.  We have been redeemed by Jesus, and filled with the Spirit and can raise ourselves to great Spiritual heights, but we still fight darkness within ourselves and throughout the world.   We continue to work for the transformation of the world by preaching and living out the Gospel.  We do hope to receive God’s grace and go straight to heaven at the moment of our death.  We look forward to being a Saint.  Sometimes we make it, sometimes we don’t.

Often when we die we are not quite prepared for heaven.  We are definitely on the way, but we need a time of purification.  We call this time Purgatory.  The souls in Purgatory are known as the Church Penitent (or Suffering or Expectant).  It is a time when we know that we will see God in Heaven, but we must first come to grips with what keeps us from fully coming face to face with God.  Do not think of Purgatory as a mini or temporary hell.  It is more like a waiting room or antechamber for heaven where we get ready in order to enter.

For those who go straight to Heaven and for those who go there after their purgatory process, the souls in Heaven are known as the Church Triumphant.  We will be face to face with God and with His angels and Saints.  The Church here is Triumphant, but still awaits the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom at the end of time when all will be one in praise of God.  All things will be made new.

This all brings us to the two days we celebrate this week, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  All Saints Day commemorates ALL of the Saints in Heaven.  Even though it includes everyone in Heaven, the main focus is on the Saints who have been named by the Church.  All Saints’ Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon (originally used by the Romans to honor their gods) at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD. Boniface IV also established All Souls’ Day, which follows All Saints.  All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. 

The day after All Saints Day, we celebrate All Souls Day which commemorates all those souls who have died, but have not gone to Heaven yet.  These souls are in Purgatory.  They are being prepared for heaven.  They enjoy the knowledge that Heaven is theirs, but they need some time to remove the stains of venial sins.  They are a very important part of the Church.  In our Catholic wake service we start by saying that “all of the ties of friendship and affection which knit us together as one throughout our lives do not unravel with death”.  Our loved ones, whether in Heaven or in Purgatory still have connections with us.  We can turn to them to help us in prayer.  We are not sure of their status, but whether they are in Heaven, or in Purgatory, they are still connected to us and can pray for us.

Truly our God is a God of the Living.  The scriptures are filled with story after story and parable after parable and teaching after teaching that points this out.  Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Death no longer has a hold on us.  We were all born to die.  It is a natural part of God’s plan for our salvation.  We should not fear death, for in death we find LIFE.  Those who have gone on before us, whether they are in Heaven or in Purgatory, are still a part of us as the Church.  They still care for us and love us and pray for us.  These first two days of November are a time for us to see that our God is God of the living and the dead.  We, as a Church, are all alive in Him.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).