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10 Podcasts to Help You Grow in Faith
COMMENTARY: At a time when Christians in general are feeling marginalized and the world is trying to pronounce the Church irrelevant, Catholics are still influencing the culture. Father Roger Landry April 27, 2021 Source At the beginning of the year, there was the uplifting news that a new podcast, “Bible In A Year” (with Father Mike Schmitz), topped the Apple Podcast chart not just for religious or for Christian podcasts but for all podcasts.  It was noteworthy for a few reasons.  The first is because the Bible, and a Catholic priest, ha...

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Our Lord’s Ezer

Posted on April 30, 2021 in: General News

Our Lord’s Ezer
Robert L. Judge Published: April 27, 2021 Source In the resurrection of Christ the fullness and completion of salvation has been unveiled, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The penances of Lent give way to the climax of Holy Week in which we remember our collective and individual salvation from the greatest evils. Sin, which causes death, was overthrown and its power over mankind was crushed forever in the one definitive act of Jesus on Calvary. His ignominious death as a common criminal would seem to be the greatest defeat of all. Yet in perfect divine justice, mercy a...

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4 Things To Do When Your Prayer Time Is Dry
Samantha Delfin Source What happens when we enter into the desert of prayer?  While some of us easily walk in the hope and solace of Christ in the sacrifices of the season, others of us wonder whether we’ve wandered from our Guide and question His ongoing Presence. The saints often speak about dryness in prayer. While I am no canonized saint (though I believe in God’s greatness to make me one), it brings me a bit of comfort knowing that I am not alone in experiencing a similar dryness in the spiritual life despite my efforts. Dryness in prayer tim...

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East Texas Missionaries: Redemptorists Serve Vietnamese Communities in the Diocese
Elizabeth Slaten Published: April 23, 2021 Source As a diocese spanning over a significant geographical area, the Diocese of Tyler is a home to a great diversity of peoples and cultures. Many people have found a home in East Texas and are blessed to be able to grow in their faith here in the diocese. This is true for many of the Vietnamese immigrants who have settled in East Texas over the years. Large numbers of faithful Vietnamese Catholics have moved to this diocese, and they have come with a desire to have their spiritual needs met.  In an effort to serve t...

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Defending the Resurrection

Posted on April 15, 2021 in: General News

Defending the Resurrection
Dr. Luke Arredondo Published: April 6, 2021 Source If someone asks you to identify the single most important doctrine in Christianity, how would you reply? It’s probably not the principle of double effect. Could it be the fall of Adam and Eve? Creation itself? The infallibility of Scripture? All of those are fine and well, and very important for Christianity. But according to St. Paul, there is one teaching that stands out above all the rest. If this one teaching is true, it changes everything, and if it is not, then everything is a lie.  Paul gives us th...

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Looking for a Personal Relationship with Jesus? Take the Eucharist, Say the Church Fathers
By James R. A. Merrick, Ph.D. April 9, 2021 Source They taught me to pursue a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ. They said I had to avoid the use of lifeless objects like crucifixes, statues, and even the Eucharist. If these objects were not overtly idolatrous, to my Protestant parents and pastors they were problematically impersonal and phony. Such objects would make Jesus seem distant, strange, and mute and would prompt me to be unnecessarily formal and withdrawn in relation to Christ. My spiritual mentors said that the authentically personal was ...

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“Like Son” | A Short Film on Catholic Fatherhood
By Will Wright Source Before diving in to my reflection, I invite you to please watch this short film (2 minutes, 40 seconds) produced by Blackstone Films. It is a fantastic message for Catholic fathers about their importance from www.strongcatholicdad.com.  Like Son The About section of Strong Catholic Dad reads: “Strong Catholic Dad exists to help fathers lead their families to heaven. Founded by Michael O’Rourke, father of 12 (two in heaven), we equip dads to grow in their own relationship with the Lord, build fulfilling relationships with...

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Everything You Need To Know About Divine Mercy Sunday
By Becky Roach Source This beautiful glimpse into the life of St. Faustina is a clip from the award-winning movie Faustina: The Apostle of Divine Mercy, recently released by Ignatius Press.  The film is based on St.Faustina’s “Diary” and tells the story of the Polish nun who received powerful messages from Jesus.  Jesus appeared to St. Faustina frequently throughout her life and used her as way to transmit the message of His Divine Mercy to others. In her diary, St. Faustina describes in detail the image of Mercy that Christ...

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Should Suffering Shake Our Faith?
by Bishop Robert Barron April 13, 2021 Source Premier Christian Radio in the UK just sponsored a survey that investigated how the COVID crisis has affected religious beliefs and attitudes. There were three major findings—namely, that 67% of those who characterize themselves as “religious” found their belief in God challenged, that almost a quarter of all those questioned said that the pandemic made them more fearful of death, and that around a third of those surveyed said that their prayer life had been affected by the crisis. Justin Brierley, who hos...

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The Holy Week Shadows of St. Joseph: Spy Wednesday
Father Raymond J. de Souza March 31, 2021 Source A reflection on St. Joseph by Father Raymond de Souza for your Holy Week contemplations. In his apostolic letter for the beginning of the Year of St. Joseph, Pope Francis cites Polish author Jan Dobraczyński. The Holy Father explains that his novel, The Shadow of the Father, “uses the evocative image of a shadow to define Joseph. In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way.” (Patris Corde #7) ...

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The Holy Week Shadows of St. Joseph: Holy Tuesday
The first of several reflections on St. Joseph by Father Raymond de Souza for your Holy Week contemplations. Father Raymond J. de Souza March 30, 2021 Source In his apostolic letter for the beginning of the Year of St. Joseph, Pope Francis cites Polish author Jan Dobraczyński. The Holy Father explains that his novel, The Shadow of the Father, “uses the evocative image of a shadow to define Joseph. In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way.&rdquo...

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St. Joseph: Just, Wise, and Faithful
Fr. Justin Braun Published: March 19, 2021 Source In this year of St. Joseph called for at the universal level of the Church by Pope Francis and locally by Bishop Joseph Strickland, we are being invited to familiarize ourselves with the person of Joseph, to ask his intercession more frequently, and to imitate him in our own lives. The sacred liturgy is always the safeguard of the Church’s teaching, and specifically in her prayers of the Mass and the rituals, we see the unfolding of our theology in practice. A privileged place to see this is in the Preface Prayer,...

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The Holiest of Weeks

Posted on March 31, 2021 in: General News

The Holiest of Weeks
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland Published: March 28, 2021 Source I was pleased to be invited to reflect on Holy Week, the week of weeks for us as Catholics. Beginning with Passion, or Palm, Sunday, and continuing until the Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, these days are truly sacred to us in the Roman Catholic Tradition. It is important to note that, as with the season of Lent, Holy Week is a liturgical practice which grows out of the witness of Sacred Scripture. As Catholics, it is important to underscore the connections between Scripture and our liturgical cel...

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25 Things You Can Do On Good Friday To Remember Christ’s Sacrifice
By Becky Roach Source Good Friday is the most solemn day of the year for Christians. This is the day when we remember Christ’s death on the cross for us. We remember the suffering He endured for our sake. We are reminded of the depths of His love for us. Do not let Good Friday go by as just any other day of the year. Take time to contemplate all that Christ’s death on the cross signifies for us. This isn’t a day for Easter egg hunts or last-minute shopping for Easter Sunday. Set this day aside to grow near to the Lord. We’ve created a list ...

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Icon Writing Workshop Comes to East Texas
By Teresa Darby March 9, 2021 Original Article When can I enter and see the face of God? (Psalm 42:3) An opportunity to experience the sacred art of icon writing is finally available for East Texans. Typically, we glance at icons with the impression that it is just another picture. However, an icon is not meant to be viewed as a painting on the wall of a home. Icons are much more than that; they are often referred to as “Windows to Heaven”. They call us to prayer, meditation and a response of faith. When we are still before an icon, we can feel the prese...

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The Family: A School for the Cardinal Virtues
March 5, 2021 Original Article Years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. The idea of sitting down and strumming some tunes while sitting on the porch sounded so attractive. I am not at all musically inclined, and I grossly underestimated how difficult picking up a new skill would be. After a few painstaking hours of trying to learn some chords and some very sore fingers, I decided that maybe this was not for me. As wonderful as the idea sounded, the process to get there seemed impossible. The time required to acquire the necessary skill set was more...

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5 Reasons Every Man Should Love St. Joseph
by Bob Waruszewski Original Article St. Joseph often slips under the radar because of his quiet demeanor and hidden life. However, he has much to teach us about growing in holiness. Here are 5 reasons to discover St. Joseph. 1. He is the Patron Saint of Workers. As men work takes up a great portion of our lives. Often we struggle to work in a way that honors God. St. Joseph can teach us how to work well if we ask him. One way to do this is to start your work day with a prayer to St. Joseph. St. Joseph is also good to invoke if you are having difficul...

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The Temperate Man Gives Alms

Posted on March 12, 2021 in: General News

The Temperate Man Gives Alms
the 10th commandment: vague placeholder or key to happiness? by Jason Craig Original Article Have you ever thought that the ten commandments kind of start strong and peter out?  It’s like listening to a sermon that starts strong (“You shall have no gods before Me!”), gets appropriately practical (“Honor your parents”), but then gets so broad that it sounds like a platitude.  I’m speaking of that last commandment, “you shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”  The ninth is a touch more specific –...

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A Lenten Walk with Saint Joseph
By Robert L. Judge, M.A. March 2, 2021 Original Article This Lenten season, before we take up the usual practices of not eating dark chocolate and drinking fine Bordeaux wine (which are certainly severe enough abstentions that one could have faithfully completed these as Lenten penances), perhaps we could use Lent as an opportunity to increase in learning and turn away from evil. In suggesting this and in keeping with the year of St. Joseph, we can turn to the man whom God called just and saw fit to be the guardian and protector of Christ and his mother. St. Joseph, th...

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Imagination and the Will

Posted on March 05, 2021 in: General News

Imagination and the Will
What You Gaze On Is What You Become by Sam Guzman Original Article How many times have you vowed to exercise more, eat better, or get more sleep? Or on a spiritual level, promised yourself that you were going to pray more consistently, practice certain virtues, or embrace asceticism more willingly? Yet, when it comes time to move idea into action, from commitment to practice, something within us freezes and resists. Before long, we’ve abandoned our commitment and find ourselves frustrated and depressed. When we think about growing in virtue, we usual...

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Parish Serves Poor in a Time of Great Need
Elizabeth Slaten February 26, 2021 Original Artcicle Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:34-36, 40 In this passage from Matthew&rsquo...

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Massive Catholic Center Planned for East Texas
‘Veritatis Splendor’ will enliven the faith of Catholics in the Lone Star State and around the world. On nearly 600 acres of land, the Catholic center of Veritatis Splendor will be built near Tyler, Texas. (photo: Veritatis Splendor website) Kathy Schiffer February 27, 2021 Original Article “This is the choice of our moment: whether to be Catholic in the fullest sense or to let that option fade, for the foreseeable future, into darkness.” — from the foreword to Light and Leaven: The Challenge of the Laity in the Twenty-First Centur...

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Sign Up for TEXTS from Bishop Strickland
Bishop Strickland on Your Phone! Would you like to get regular messages and updates from Bishop Strickland on Saint's feasts, prayers and more sent straight to your mobile phone as text/SMS messages? To join, you can text the word strickland to 313131directly from your phone, or... Sign-up below here we'll add you to the Bishop's list.

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Why YouTube Needs Catholics

Posted on August 10, 2017 in: General News

Why YouTube Needs Catholics
Catholic YouTube junkies of the world, unite – you are needed for the New Evangelization. That was essentially the message of the recent Catholic YouTubers Hangout, the first-of-its-kind online meeting of dozens of Catholics from around the world who last month about bringing the Gospel to their YouTube channels. About 50 channels logged on to take part, hailing mostly from the United States, but also with channels joining from places like Italy, Brazil and Spain. The hangout started as the brainchild of Daniel Glaze, who is one-half of the channel &ldqu...

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What Having a Ton of Kids Has Taught Me
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted a ton of kids. My mother to this day laughs about how, even in my “too cool” teen years, babies would always melt my heart. I had no problem looking like a fool in front of my peers if it meant getting a laugh out of a child or having a chance to hold a baby. (If you’ve ever watched that scene in The Office where Michael Scott states that he tries to hold a baby every day, I can completely relate.) I can’t really explain why I’ve always had that fascination with children, but the best I can say i...

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8 Ways Not to Make a Good Confession
“Let us allow ourselves be touched by the mercy of God with a good confession, in order to become ever more merciful like the Father.” —Pope Francis Confession is difficult for everyone. So I’ve laid out some simple principles on how to make this very demanding and taxing event a bit easier, with the hope that by the time you exit the confessional, you feel better about yourself. That’s the point right? Let’s get started.  (1) First things first: find a good distraction Facebook, Clash of Clans, Instagram, heck eve...

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Archbishop Chaput Proposes ‘Revolution of Joy’
Christians have a path to the future in lives of joy and love, Archbishop Charles Chaput said at the annual Napa Institute conference. NAPA, Calif. — In a world that can sometimes seem disheartening, Christians have a path to the future in lives of joy and love, Archbishop Charles Chaput told those gathered Thursday at the annual Napa Institute conference. While Christians need to see the world’s problems as they are, “we can’t let the weight of the world crush the joy that’s our birthright by our rebirth in Jesus Christ through bapt...

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Bishop Strickland Requests 54-day Novena To Support Teaching Of Catholic Faith
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland is calling on the clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Tyler to pray a 54-day Rosary Novena in support of his vision for a teaching diocese. The Novena will begin on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and continue until Oct. 7, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. “I recently outlined in my Constitution for Teaching the Catholic Faith a bold new vision for catechesis and evangelization in the Diocese of Tyler. My earnest hope is that we as a Diocese more boldly and effect...

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Do Catholics Worship Saints?

Posted on July 27, 2017 in: General News

Do Catholics Worship Saints?
Fr. Mike Schmitz wants to straighten out some confusion regarding Catholics’ veneration of saints. In this video he explains how—far from being icons to worship—statues and paintings of the saints are reminders of what God can do in someone’s life, so honoring the saints doesn’t take away from the glory we give God. It actually brings him greater glory.

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Bishop Barron on the Sacrament of Marriage
Recently, I had the great good pleasure of presiding at the wedding of my niece, Bryna and her now husband, Nelson. While we rejoice in their love for each other, the fact that they have now become living symbols of Christ the Bridegroom’s ecstatic love for his Bride, the Church is reason, in the very deepest sense, to give thanks.

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Father Justin Braun introduces you to our new seminarians for 2017
Meet the five new men entering discernment and formation for the priesthood in the Diocese of Tyler in 2017.

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Father John-Mary Bowlin teaches The Prayers of Fatima: The Pardon Prayer
As we continue to celebrate the centenary of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, Bishop Strickland has asked the faithful of the Diocese of Tyler to learn and take inspiration from the prayers that the Angel of Peace and Our Lady gave to the three children. In July, we consider what is known as The Pardon Prayer.

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Bishop Strickland Promulgates Constitution On Teaching The Catholic Faith
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland has released a new pastoral constitution designed to guide the teaching of the Catholic Faith in the Diocese of Tyler for the next 30 years. The constitution was promulgated to the Diocese in the May edition of the Catholic East Texas magazine and can be downloaded here. Recognizing that the darkness of evil, especially in the forms of relativism, secularism, and apathy, is an ever-increasing threat to humanity, even in East Texas, the constitution lays out an ambitious plan to counter that trend by “allowing the Light ...

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St. John The Evangelist Church In Emory Destroyed In Tornadoes
EMORY – St. John The Evangelist Church in Emory was destroyed by one of the tornadoes that ripped across East Texas the evening of April 29. About 45 people were sheltering in the parish hall some 10 feet away from the church during the storm, but no injuries were reported. Mass was held outside the church April 30, with parishioners gathering “in prayer and gratitude,” according to St. John’s Facebook page. St. John is a small parish of about 150 families in Rains County. The Catholic community formed in 1994, and was named a parish ...

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