Monday, December 30, 2013

Prayer for a Blessing on the New Year

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Biblical films' Hollywood comeback in 2014

News excerpt from The Telegraph

Superheroes are being elbowed out by Noah and Mary as Hollywood makes 2014 year of the biblical epic.

The saint-like image of a hooded woman looms out from the movie poster, her arms outstretched as a divine light bursts from the sky. A message written above is simple and unambiguous: “You Will Believe.”

So goes the promotional campaign for the forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster Mary Mother of Christ. “It is a part of Mary, Joseph and Jesus’s life that has not been shown on the big screen before,” reads a synopsis. “Under the reign of terror of Herod the Great and, against all odds, they survive as young parents in one of the most treacherous times in history.” It promises “faith-based high action drama” − and there is no room in the audience for doubting Thomases.
Mary Mother of Christ, whose title character will be played by Odeya Rush, a 16-year-old Israeli-born actress, is one of a series of  Christian biblical epics due to appear next year, marking an unprecedented overture by Hollywood to America’s evangelical heartland.

In March audiences will be treated to Noah, a $150 million special effects-laden extravaganza, in which Russell Crowe will build an ark and rescue mankind from the Great Flood. Harry Potter actress Emma Watson will play his adopted daughter, and Sir Anthony Hopkins is portraying Methuselah.

Noah will be followed by Sir Ridley Scott’s Exodus, in which Christian Bale, as Moses, will part the Red Sea. Scenes from ancient Egypt have been reconstructed in southern Spain, with Bale wielding a bow and arrow and Sigourney Weaver playing the Pharaoh’s wife.

Read more: Biblical films' Hollywood comeback in 2014

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wishing all Family, Friends and Visitors a Joyful and Merry Christmas!

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Please join us at St. Mary's Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day!

St. Mary's Christmas Schedule:

December 24th, Tuesday
Christmas Vigil Masses: 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm

December 25th, Wednesday
Christmas Day: 7:00 am, 8:30 am, 11:30 am

Saint Mary's Church is located on 15 Myers Avenue, Denville, New Jersey, 07834. For more information, please call St. Mary's Parish on 973-627-0269. Website:

The photograph shows a live nativity scene from the 2013 Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Photographed by Loci B. Lenar on Thanksgiving Day at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis named Time's 2013 Person of the Year

News story and excerpt from

By Eun Kyung Kim

Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff who won hearts and headlines with his humility and common touch, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013, the magazine revealed Wednesday on TODAY.

Pope Francis stood out "as someone who has changed the tone and perception and focus of one of the world's largest institutions in an extraordinary way," Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said Wednesday.

The magazine staff makes the ultimate decision, Gibbs said, but they poll readers and take public opinion into account. This was the third time Time named a pope as its Person of the Year.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told TODAY in a statement that "the Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the gospel — a message of God's love for everyone — he will certainly be happy about that."

Read more: Pope Francis

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Man Attributes Miracle Survival to Psalm 54

CBN News -

Video of a man's miracle survival after being trapped underwater for three days has gone viral.

Harrison Okene, a Nigerian cook, is the lone survivor of a 12-member crew of an upended tug boat. He attributed his survival all to prayer.

Footage of his rescue, which happened more than six months ago, was just posted online this week.

During the time he was trapped, Okene found an air pocket in the boat and said he was praying to God the whole time, reciting Psalm 54, also called the prayer for deliverance.

That was the last Psalm his wife had sent him via text message. Okene said he believes his rescue after more than 60 hours at 100 feet underwater is a sign of divine deliverance.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Join St. Mary's Parish for an evening of "Lessons and Carols" on December 15th

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Saint Mary's Parish - Advent and Christmas Schedule

Advent Evening of Reflection - "Lessons and Carols" - Sunday, December 15th at 7:00 pm in St. Mary's Church.
Parish Advent Reconciliation Service - Wednesday, December 18th, 7:30 PM

Saint Mary's Church is located on 15 Myers Avenue, Denville, NJ, 07834.  For more information, please call St. Mary's Parish on 973-627-0269.

St. Mary's Christmas Mass Schedule
December 24th, Tuesday
Christmas Vigil Masses: 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm

December 25th, Wednesday
Christmas Day: 7:00 am, 8:30 am, 11:30 am

St. Mary's Weekly Mass Schedule

Sunday: 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30 AM

Saturday: 5:00 PM

Weekdays: 8:00 AM and 12:05 PM - (Except June ~ Labor Day - No 12:05 PM)

First Fridays: 8:00 AM, 12:05 PM, 8:00 PM - (Except June ~ Labor Day - No 12:05 PM)

Holy Days: 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 12:00 noon, 7:00 PM

Eve of Holy Days: 5:00 PM

(Loci B. Lenar is a parishioner of the Parish and is the founder of

Friday, December 06, 2013

Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix

▶ [Official Video] - Pentatonix - YouTube

The new version of the Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix is refreshing and extraordinary! I recommend listening to this beautiful song!

The five-person a cappella group from Arlington, Texas, is five vocalists: Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola.

The five-person a cappella group won the third season of NBC's competition series "The Sing-Off" in 2011.

Read more here:

Read more here:

St. Nicholas: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa

News excerpt and photo from Catholic Online

By Peg Luksik

HARRISBURG, PA. (Catholic Online) - Years ago, a little girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote to the editor of the New York Sun asking if Santa Claus was real.  His answer, which spoke of skeptical men in a skeptical age who only believed in what they could see, is as relevant today as it was when Frank Church wrote it.

The name and face of Santa has been plastered over advertising, billboards, movies and television.  We have single Santa's looking for wives, reluctant Santa's trying to escape their destinies, drafted Santa's to replace one who is "retiring", and even bad Santa's.  The stories all have happy endings, with the magic of the North Pole somehow saving the day.

Thankfully, none of them is Santa.  Because Saint Nicholas, like every saint, is real.

He was born in Asia Minor and was bishop of the town of Myra in the fourth century.  When he died he was buried in the cathedral there.  When the Saracens conquered Myra in the early eleventh century, his remains were moved to the Italian city of Bari in 1087. His tomb is visited by thousands every year, even to this day.

His bones exude a clear liquid, called the "manna of Saint Nicholas", which is extracted from the shrine every year on May 9 in a formal ceremony conducted by the Rector of the Basilica in Bari, in the presence of the delegate of the Pope, the Archbishop of Bari, an Orthodox Bishop, civil authorities, the local clergy and the faithful.  This has happened every year since 1980.  The manna is distributed and is considered a relic with healing properties.

Nicholas is the patron saint of children, Russia, Greece, Sicily, sailors, prisoners, bakers, and pawnbrokers.  His image is second only to Mary's in religious icons of both the Eastern and Western churches.

The stories of his generosity and kindness are legendary.

Santa Claus is a translation of his name.

Saint Nicholas is a person who made that connection.  When people pretend to be Santa, they act with levels of generosity and charity and kindness that they do not normally exhibit.  In other words, they get closer to God.  In doing so, they discover happiness.

And even in the convoluted versions of Santa being pushed by today's secular media, that message of happiness through goodness continues to resonate.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He is not just an idea.  He was, and is, a saint.  A saint who reminds us that we are loved without limits.  A saint who challenges us to remove the limits on how we love others.  A saint who calls us to holiness as we prepare to celebrate the greatest gift mankind has ever received.

Read more: Saint Nicholas

How One Prayer Healed Autism


Gina and Brian witnessed their son Ethan experience victory over autism.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Countdown for Christmas: unique Advent calendar for the digital age

News excerpt from

With Christmas just around the corner, there's a new Advent calendar to help prepare for the holidays. But this isn't your average calendar. It is high-tech, and it can be seen through a website or a smartphone.

It was launched by the Archdiocese of Sydney and it's called the 'Xt3 Advent calendar'. It truly is an online journey towards Christmas. Every day, a door virtually opens so that users from all over the world can have a unique yet shared experience. 

The website includes all kinds of interactive material like daily reflections, podcasts and even videos like this one, featuring children talking about the true meaning of Christmas. And all the way from Australia, it will also share Cardinal Pell's message for the holidays and a special surprise for Pope Francis' birthday on December 17th.

It's the fifth year the Archdiocese launches this project, and it's also available for iPhone and Android. A new way to count the days for Christmas in the online world.

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Divine Rescue on Highway Six


It’s been called The Miracle on Highway 6. After a fiery car crash and desperate prayers, witnesses say angels showed up and performed a miraculous rescue.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Feast of St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for November 30th

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18)

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O My God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen
It is piously believed that whoever recites the prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (November 30th) until Christmas (December 25th) will obtain what is asked.
The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. 
(Imprimatur: +MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York, New York, February 6, 1897.)
Stained glass window photographed inside Saint Peter the Apostle Church, Parsippany, NJ, USA.

Read More: History of St. Andrew
Photograph Copyright Loci B. Lenar

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fatima and the Conversion of Russia: Pope Francis Meets President Putin

News excerpt from Catholic Online

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The return of Christianity to Russia should give us hope for our own Nation as we face the effects of moral relativism, secularism and the growing hostility toward Christianity. I want to suggest something which will raise many eyebrows. Is what is happening today in Russia today a partial fulfillment of the promised conversion of that Nation? President Putin exchanging icons of Mary with Pope Francis today was not simply a mere nicety. Accounts which have surfaced indicate that it was done with reverence and genuine Christian piety. Could this be a part of the promise of Fatima being fulfilled?

Read more: Fatima and the Conversion of Russia

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Rosary - A Biblical Prayer

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Preparing for Advent - Morning of Reflection on the Joyful Mysteries

Are you ready for Advent? Join us for an uplifting and engaging morning of Sacred Scripture as we welcome Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Steven Smith, author of The Word of the Lord: Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study.

Saturday, December 7, 2013
9:00 am - 12:00 pm 
15 Myers Avenue
  Denville, New Jersey 07834  

Together, we will learn about the 5 Joyful Mysteries in the Gospels:
  • Learn how the Rosary truly is a 'biblical' prayer
  • Contemplate Mary ... and her heart for Jesus
  • What does it mean that Mary is 'Full of Grace'?
  • What are the mysteries of Jesus in the Temple - and what do they reveal?
  • What are the '3 R's' - and how can they help us study the Gospels?

Dr. Steven Smith is Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary's Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), the largest - and one of the most respected - graduate programs and houses of formation in the United States. Steve has a Ph.D in New Testament from Loyola University of Chicago. As a seminary professor, he teaches on a wide array of biblical topics (OT, NT, etc.) - including a course on Catholic Scripture study which inspired his first published book. In the Fall of 2012, Our Sunday Visitor released Dr. Smith's new book, The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study. It is endorsed by Francis Cardinal George among others.

Signed copies of his book - and major CD sets of biblical teaching will be available at the event.

Dr. Steven Smith's website:

He and his wife Elizabeth have been married 13 years. They Have two lovely children and live in rural Maryland.

(News Release Supplied by St. Mary's Parish)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saint Mary's Prayer Service Scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 PM on November 21, 2013

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar
St. Mary's Catholic Church holds a monthly service for prayer with Fr. Richard Tartaglia including special prayer intentions which are submitted through the website of

St. Mary's Catholic Church is located on the corner of Myers Avenue and Route 46, Denville, New Jersey.

If you cannot attend the prayer service, you can still join in by praying in unity for all special prayer intentions.

There is great power through the Holy Spirit when people join together in agreement while praying for God’s help and intervention.

Regarding prayer, Jesus said, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:19-20)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vatican University looks into the 'Beginning' of the Universe

News from

The sheer magnitude of stars, planets and  galaxies have always triggered questions about the beginning. Mostly, how was the Universe created and why? Was something created out of nothing? Those very questions were addressed by experts at the Vatican's Gregorian University, where the 'Big Bang' theory and others less popular theories were discussed. 

Vatican Observatory 
“There is the scientific possibility that there is not only one universe, but that there are many 'universes' and they are parallel, independent, each one from the other.” 

Father Gionti is a Jesuit who lives in Castel Gandolfo, where the Vatican has one of its two observatories. He has spent a lifetime studying mathematics, science and more specifically, 'Quantum Physics.'  He says the fact that the Universe follows an intelligent, rational order, could be indirect proof, that God created it

Vatican Observatory 
“That it can be explained through mathematics and through science is not in contrast with the idea of a God who created this world.” 

Director of Fundamental Theology, Gregorian University 
“For this very reason, scientific discoveries and everything science brings is an added blessing. Scientific research and that yearning triggered by faith, are not on two opposing ends.” 

The forum addressed theories based on science, philosophy and Theology, since sometimes theories that seem to oppose one another, often have a common denominator

Vatican Observatory 
“Big Bang seems to be in agreement with Genesis and Creation, but Creation is a notion that really is not in science.” 

In a field where scientific research is based on proof, they admit, not everything can be explained through faith, but they also add that not everything can be explained through science.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

American Protestant-based group making inroads with Catholics

News from

Founded nearly 200 years ago, the American Bible Society has always played a big part in spreading the Gospel within the United States.  

The non-profit organization was founded by Protestant leaders in the early times of the American nation. But in the past few decades they've begun reaching out to Catholics

American Bible Society 
“The mission of the American Bible Society is to spread the Word of God, to make available to all people. And certainly, an important segment of Christianity is the Catholic Church. And so this inter-confessional organization called American Bible Society is opening the door to the Catholic Church and serving the Catholic communities.” 

This outreach has reached the top levels of Catholicism. The organization's president addressed the Synod of Bishops in 2012. And their latest effort is the book Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word. It was published in collaboration with the LEV, the Vatican's publishing house

The book is described as a manual on Lectio Divina, studying Christianity's Holy Book. It features a four step process: knowing the text, understanding the words, meditating on their message and putting them into action. 

American Bible Society 
“The end goal of the Lectio Divina is to bring people back to the Bible, and to bring people back to praying with the Bible. It's to bring people to get to know the God of the Bible, and a relationship that can become a personal relationship between myself and the God of the Bible.” 

The book is available in three languages: English, Italian and Spanish. It's available at specialty bookstores. Over time, the American Bible Society has expanded its services beyond the United States. Keeping in line with their mission, this book is another resource they provide for Catholics worldwide to better understand the Gospel. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

All Souls Day

Photograph By Loci B. Lenar

Prayer of the Day for Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Catholic Online

Daily Prayer For The Holy Souls

Immortal God, holy Lord,
Father and Protector of all You have created,
we raise our hearts to You today for those
who have passed out of this mortal life.

In Your loving mercy, Father of all,
be pleased to receive them in Your heavenly company,
and forgive the failings and faults
they may have done from human frailty.

Your only Son, Christ, our Saviour,
suffered so cruelly that
He might deliver them from the second death.
By his merits may they share in the glory
of His victory over sin and death.

For all the faithful who have died we pray,
but in particular for those dear to us,
parents, relatives and friends.
nor do we forget all who did good to us while on earth,
who helped us by their prayers, sacrifice and example.
We pray also for any who may have done us harm,
and stand in special need of Your forgiveness.

May the merits and prayers of our Virgin Mother,
Mary, and those of all the Angels and Saints,
speak for us and assist them now.
This we ask in Christ's name.


The Cross of Reconcilation can be seen on the grounds of the National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Catholic shrine is situated in Warren County on Mountain View Road, Washington, NJ, USA. The shrine has the distinction of being known as the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.

Photograph Copyright Loci B. Lenar

Friday, November 01, 2013

Feast of All Saints

Feast of All Saints -

Instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown. It owes its origin in the Western Church to the dedication of the Roman Pantheon in honuor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs by Pope Saint Boniface IV in 609, the anniversary of which was celebrated at Rome on 13 May. Pope Saint Gregory III consecrated a chapel in the Vatican basilica in honor of All Saints, designating 1 November as their feast. Pope Gregory IV extended its observance to the whole Church. It has a vigil and octave, and is a holy day of obligation; the eve is popularly celebrated as Hallowe’en.

(Image From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pope Francis ranks among Forbes' most powerful people

News from

Who are the most powerful people in the world? According to Forbes magazine, first on the list is Russia's president, then the United States followed by China. Fourth on the list is Pope Francis.  

So Vladimir Putin takes the number one slot, then Barack Obama, followed by the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping. 

Forbes magazine explains that since Pope Francis was elected in March, a new wave of energy was given to Catholicism, the world's largest religion with over 1.2 billion people. The magazine notes that Pope Francis also has a presence in social media. On Twitter alone, he already has over 10 million followers. He's also the first Pope to have taken a picture of himself with a cell phone. 

The ranking places the Latin American pope above others political and financial leaders like Angela Merkel and Bill Gates.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our Lady's Monthly Message to Visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

Medjugorje WebSite - Our Lady of Medjugorje Messages and Apparitions

Latest Medjugorje Message of October 25, 2013

Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.

(Photograph From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sister Antonia Brenner dies at 86; nun moved into Tijuana prison to tend to inmates

Sister Antonia Brenner consoles inmate Jorge Villalobos - Los Angeles Times Photo

News Excerpt  from

By Richard Marosi

Guards and inmates in La Mesa penitentiary referred to Brenner as the prison angel. In the cellblocks she was known as 'Mama.'

Sister Antonia Brenner, a Beverly Hills-raised mother of seven who became a Roman Catholic nun and moved into a notorious Tijuana prison where she spent more than three decades mending broken lives, easing tensions and dispensing everything from toothbrushes to bail money, has died. She was 86.

In 1977, after her children were grown and two marriages had ended in divorce — a source of sadness that she rarely talked about — Brenner gave away her expensive clothes and belongings, left her Ventura apartment and moved to La Mesa penitentiary. She had delivered donations in the past to the prison, each visit filling her with compassion.

"Something happened to me when I saw men behind bars. … When I left, I thought a lot about the men. When it was cold, I wondered if the men were warm; when it was raining, if they had shelter," Brenner told The Times in a 1982 interview. "I wondered if they had medicine and how their families were doing. …You know, when I returned to the prison to live, I felt as if I'd come home."

Small of stature, with blue eyes peeking out from under her traditional black–and-white habit, Brenner cut a strikingly serene presence in the overcrowded prison of 8,000. She lived as any other inmate, sleeping in a 10-by-10-foot cell, eating the same food and lining up for morning roll call.

She would walk freely among thieves and drug traffickers and murderers, smiling, touching cheeks and offering prayers. Many were violent men with desperate needs. She kept extra toilet paper in her cell, arranged for medical treatment, attended funerals.

A revered figure in Tijuana, where she counted police chiefs and politicians among her friends, Brenner was honored with the naming of a street after her outside the prison. In the late 1990s, she established her own religious order, the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour. Tijuana Archbishop Rafael Romo said she possessed the qualities of a saint and said her death was a "terrible loss" for the city, the Tijuana newspaper Frontera reported.

Read More: Sister Antonia Brenner

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blessed Angela of Foligno is declared a Saint by Pope Francis

News story from

The Vatican announced that Blessed Angela of Foligno has been declared a saint by Pope Francis. The 13th century mystic writer was born in Umbria back in 1248. After experiencing a powerful religious conversion, she recorded her journey in a publication titled: 'Book of Visions and Instructions.'   

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints made the official announcement on Friday, but Angela of Foligno was declared a saint by Pope Francis on October 9th, 2013.

Read more: Angela of Foligno

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Feast of the Guardian Angels (October 2)

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Please give thanks to God for His angelic protection as we honor our guardian angel on this special day!

Daily Prayer to Guardian Angel

Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.


Regarding angels, one of the most dramatic stories of God's angelic protection is found in Scripture, the Acts of the Apostles.

About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the people he proceeded to arrest Peter also. It was the feast of Unleavened Bread. He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayers by the church was fervently made to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him saying, "Get up quickly." The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, "Put on your belt and your sandels" He did so. Then he said to him, "Put on your cloak and follow me." So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting." Acts 12:1-11

Stained glass window photographed inside Saint Peter the Apostle Church, Parsippany, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright Loci B. Lenar

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Angels Are Our Invisible Friends

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

News excerpt from National Catholic Register

September 29th is the Feast Day of the Archangels

By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

"Make friends with the angels, who, though invisible, are always with you. ... Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs." So encouraged St. Francis de Sales.
And as the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, "The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being" (352).
How blessed we are to be so close to angels. From our birth and all throughout our lives, marvelously, an invisible companion has taken a personal interest in us and our salvation: our guardian angel.
St. Basil the Great reassures us, "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life." Yet, so often, we forget all about the presence of these mysterious creatures — the angels — simply because we can’t see them.

Read more: The Angels Are Our Invisible Friends

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Our Lady's Message of September 25, 2013

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Monthly Message from Our Lady to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your relationship with prayer be a daily one. Prayer works miracles in you and through you, therefore, little children, may prayer be a joy for you. Then your relationship with life will be deeper and more open and you will comprehend that life is a gift for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mary of Nazareth

News release and video from

MARY OF NAZARETH is an epic new motion picture on the life of Mary, mother of Christ, from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus.

This full-length feature film about the life of Our Lady, shot in English in High Definition, was filmed in Europe in very authentic locales with outstanding cinematography, a strong cast, and a majestic music score . Actress Alissa Jung gives a beautiful, compelling and inspired portrayal of Mary. Pope Benedict XVI had the opportunity to screen this film in the Apostolic Palace, and was touched by the portrayal of Mary so movingly revealed on film.

The film vividly captures the essence of Mary’s profound faith and trust in God amidst the great mysteries that she lived with as the Mother of the Messiah, her compassionate humanity and concern for others, and the deep love that she and Jesus shared for one another. This movie underscores her special role in God’s plan for our redemption, her unique relationship with Christ, and the tremendous suffering that she endured in union with his passion and death, as well as her serene joy at his Resurrection.

Directed by acclaimed European film director Giacomo Campiotti (BAKHITA, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, ST. GIUSEPPE MOSCATI) and written by Francesco Arlanch (RESTLESS HEART, PIUS XII, POPE JOHN PAUL II), in addition to the luminous performance by Jung, the film provides inspiring portrayals of all the main roles, including Andreas Pietschmann as Jesus, Luca Marinelli as Joseph, Paz Vega as Mary Magdalene and Antonia Liskova as Herodias. The original music score was written  by Guy Farley.

Originally a 200-minute film, it has been edited down to 153 minutes for the theatrical release.
MARY OF NAZARETH will become available for sponsored screenings in theaters through Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications beginning  October 1, 2013. Don’t miss your chance to bring the life of the Mother of Christ to a theater in your town during this limited engagement!

To sponsor a screening of this film, call the following number: 1-770-591-0045

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ROME REPORTS releases a special program about John Paul II's miracle

News from

There's a miracle behind this face. On April 8th 2011, Floribeth Mora woke up with a headache so strong she had to be taken to the emergency room.

“I was hospitalized. They told me I had a brain hemorrhage.” 

The doctors didn't have good news for Floribeth's husband. They told him her days were limited. But that was before John Paul II came into the picture. Now, in a special program produced by ROME REPORTS, they share the human drama they went through and the unexpected outcome of their story. A heartwarming and emotional story that saved her life and paved the way towards John Paul II's canonization.  

EDWIN ARCE, Floribeth's husband
“I try not to remember those difficult moments because they were filled with pain.” 

“Then, I suddenly hear a voice in my room that tells me: 'Rise.' I got up and went into the kitchen, where my husband asked me what I was doing. I told him: 'I feel fine.'” 

Now, TV channels from around the world will be able to air the emotional story of John Paul II's miracle narrated by those who were directly affected. 

San Gennaro 'miracle' repeated in Naples

News excerpt and photo from GazzettaDelSud

Naples, September 19 - The Miracle of San Gennaro was repeated on Thursday when the blood of Naples' patron saint liquefied at 9:41 Italian. A huge crowd of faithful, who had been pouring into the city's cathedral and the square outside from the early hours of the day, greeted the announcement of the miracle recurrence with warm applause.

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, held up a phial containing the blood of the 3rd-century saint while a traditional white handkerchief was waved.

The miracle takes place on the anniversary of the martyrdom of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) in September 305 AD. The dried blood of the saint is preserved in two glass phials and traditionally liquefies three times a year, the Church says, thanks to the devotion and prayers of the faithful. Aside from the anniversary of the saint's beheading, the miracle also takes place on December 16 to commemorate the 1631 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, believed to have been halted by the saint's intervention, and again on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May. On this occasion, there is a procession through the city's streets to recall the many times the relics have been moved over the centuries. 

A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of the phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon.

Read More: San Genaro Miracle

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prayer for Those On Medication

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer of the Day - Catholic Online

Gracious God, You have given us many healing remedies that are a benefit to us when we are sick. Through the miraculous intercession of St. Anthony, we ask Your blessing upon the medication prescribed for (mention name) so that he/she may experience healing, and be restored to full health in mind and body.



The stained glass window detail of St. Anthony and infant Jesus can be seen inside St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, Paterson, NJ.

A Tribute to Saint Cecilia

St. Cecilia

Saint Cecilia by Stephen B. Whatley |

News excerpt from the website of the artist:

A new tribute painting of Saint Cecilia, Patron Saint of Musicians and Church Music - painted by expressionist artist Stephen B. Whatley on the 48th anniversary of his baptism in London, September 5, 2013.

It is said Cecilia, born in Rome in the 2nd century AD, "sang in her heart to the Lord" as the musicians played at her wedding - which inspired the liveliness of this painting.

Peace, Joy of Hope and Blessings.

Oil on canvas
27.5 x 19.5in/70 x 50cm

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Pope Francis' homily during peace vigil: War is a defeat for humankind

News from

“Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation.  Look upon your brother’s sorrow and do not add to it, stay your hand, rebuild the harmony that has been shattered; and all this achieved not by conflict but by encounter!”, asserted Pope Francis during this Saturday's peace vigil.

Read More: Peace Vigil

Friday, September 06, 2013

Pray for Peace in Syria, the Middle East, and the World

Pope Francis

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pope Francis has called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria, the Middle East, and the world to be held on September 7, 2013, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace. The Holy Father reminds us that "peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected" and that "all men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace."

A Prayer for the People of Syria

Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion, the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope. Hear the cries of the people of Syria; bring healing to those suffering from the violence, and comfort to those mourning the dead. Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees. Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.

O God of hope and Father of mercy, your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs. Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with enemies.  Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria, and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end the fighting and choose a future of peace. We pray to the Lord…

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Pope Francis invites world to take part in day of fasting and prayer for peace

News from

Pope Francis strongly reaffirmed his calls for peace. During the first general audience after his summer vacation, he invited the world to take part in a day of fasting and prayer for peace, including a prayer vigil he will lead at St. Peter's Square on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

“This coming Saturday we will live together a special day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world. But also for the peace in our hearts, because peace begins in our hearts. I renew the invitation to the whole Church to live this day intensely, and even now I express gratitude to the other Christian brothers and sisters, to the brothers and sisters of other religions and to the men and women of good will who desire to join in this initiative, in places and ways of their own.” 
Read More: Pray for Peace

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Join the 54-Day Rosary Novena in Support of Pope Francis!

Our Lady of Fatima

News release from the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA

Pope Francis is consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13, 2013.

Accompanying the Holy Father as he leads Marian devotions leading up to the consecration is the statue of Our Lady that stands on the site of the apparitions in the Capelinha in Fatima shipped to Rome to mark the occasion.

In support of the Holy Father, all members and friends of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA and people throughout the world are invited to participate in a 54-day Rosary Novena, beginning on September 16th and ending on November 8th.

The first 27 days of the novena will serve as a time to petition Our Lady leading up to the consecration. The following 27 days will be days of thanksgiving for all the blessings given to us through Her intercession.

The apostolate’s intention for the novena is:

That Pope Francis’ consecration will bring mercy from God the Father for the salvation of souls; grace from God the Son for the conversion of sinners; enlightenment from God the Holy Spirit as we pray for world peace; an increase in practice of the First Saturday Communions of Reparation; and an increase in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we approach the 2017 Centennial of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

If you already have a novena booklet you’re ready to go.

Novena booklets are available from our gift shop: 866-513-1917

If you don’t have a novena booklet, complete prayers and instructions can be found at:

Monday, September 02, 2013

Prayer for World Peace

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

God the Father
Creator of the Heavenly Kingdom
We petition the Court of Heaven
And humbly pray for mercy and divine intervention.

Send forth blessings of spiritual deliverance—
Free nations from the strife of war—
Release cultures from the shackles of poverty—
Instill stability and prosperity—
Healing earth of suffering—
With saving grace for humanity—

We implore Heaven for miraculous signs
By altering the destiny of humankind
Into a glorious era of peace and harmony
Through divine love and prayerful unanimity—

Almighty Father we graciously thank thee
In granting our prayers through the name and power
Of your divine Son, Jesus. Amen

Prayer Copyright © 2005 Loci B. Lenar
Registration number TXU1-224-853

The prayer is posted at the following link:

Prayer for World Peace is written with inspirational words to pray daily to Our Heavenly Father for peace and unity.  I was spiritually inspired by Our Lord Jesus Christ to write a prayer as a result of witnessing several spiritual signs and wonders.  ~Loci B. Lenar


The stained glass window detail of Jesus can be seen inside St. Teresa of Avila Church, 306 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ, USA.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI saved boy from cancer, says family

News excerpt from 

By Dave Delozier  

DENVER (KUSA) - The world viewed Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of more than a billion Catholics world-wide. He was regularly seen speaking to thousands in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

But Peter Srsich saw a different side of the pope.

When Peter was just 17-years-old he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

"He had a chest x-ray and it revealed a softball sized tumor in his chest," Laura Srsich, Peter's mother said. "It was determined that it was stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

While doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado worked to save Peter's life, the Make-a-Wish Foundation granted him his wish.

"First thing Peter said, 'I'd love to go meet the Pope in Rome,'" Laura said.

On a sunny day in May Peter got his chance to meet Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.

 "When I got up to actually talk to him I was struck by how human he was," Peter said. "It was a humbling experience for me to see how humble he was."

Pope Benedict XVI listened as Peter told him about his journey with cancer. Peter presented the pope with a lime green wristband that had printed on it, "Praying for Peter." In return the pope offered a blessing for Peter.

 "Then he blessed me. He put his hand right on my chest where the tumor had been. He didn't know where the tumor was, but he put his hand right there," Peter said.

Nearly a year later, Peter is now cancer free and a sophomore at Regis University.

He is hoping one day to become an ordained priest.

Read More: Peter Srsich

Secretary Kerry asks Iran to release American pastor

News Excerpt from Catholic News Agency (CNA)

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has renewed calls for the Iranian government to release American citizen Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor serving an eight-year sentence on religion-related charges.

“The United States respectfully asks the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to help U.S. citizens,” Secretary Kerry asked in an Aug. 29 press release, to “return to their families after lengthy detentions.”

“These men belong at home with those who love them and miss them.”

In his statement, Kerry also asked for the release and location of Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson, who are detained and missing in the country as well.

The secretary of state explained that as of September 26, “Mr. Abedini will have spent a year in detention in Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges related to his religious beliefs.”
Born in Iran, Abedini converted to Christianity in 2000 and obtained U.S. citizenship after marrying a U.S. citizen. The pastor lived with his wife and their two children in Idaho. He was arrested in 2012 during a visit to Iran to work with non-religious orphanages in the country.

Following his arrest, Abedini was charged with posing a threat to national security for his earlier work with the churches. He is now serving an eight-year sentence in Iran’s Evin Prison, and has reportedly been faced with brutal beatings, attempts to make him renounce his faith, and insufficient medical attention.

On Aug. 26, it was announced that Abedini’s appeal for a reduction in his sentence’s length was denied.

Kerry noted that Hassan Rouhani, the newly-elected Iranian president who took office Aug. 3, “has shared in his speeches and interviews over the past few months his hope and vision to improve the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s relationship with the world.”

Kerry asked that in light of this wish, Rouhani urge the government to release the prisoners “so that they may be reunited with their families as safely and as soon as possible.”

Naghmeh Abedini, Saeed’s wife, said in a statement that she is “very thankful for the statement that Secretary of State John Kerry made to Iran regarding Saeed's immediate return to our family.”

Read More: Release American Pastor

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Are You Ready to Receive God's Blessing and Grace? If so, Take a Leap of Faith

Photo by Loci B. Lenar is growing and helping to lead the way in evangelization by reaching a global community with visitors coming from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom (UK), India, Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Germany, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and many other countries.

Please consider answering the call by taking a leap of faith and opening the door for God to enter your life, and witness His divine love and mercy through news of life-changing miracles.

In a world which appears to be out of synchronization with gospel teachings, let Jesus change your life and make it better by attending Holy Mass or weekly church services. Make a personal effort and return to the sacraments of the church.

Regardless of your religious denomination, start reading the gospels and let Our Lord bless you, and set you free with His divine favor and peace!

If you're ready to step forward -- than allow Our Lord to guide you with words of wisdom: 
"Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
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▶ Modern Art by Stephen B. Whatley at Westminster Cathedral

August 2013 - YouTube

Exhibition of 'Paintings From Prayer' - including a new portrait tribute of Pope Francis by British expressionist painter Stephen B. Whatley, uniquely on show in the Chapels of St. Andrew and St. Patrick in Westminster Cathedral, London, UK, ( August 8- 22, 2013)

Whatley's work is in collections worldwide and public collections including BBC Heritage, the London Transport Museum and the Royal Collection. There is a permanent walkway of his 30 paintings for the Tower of London just outside Tower Hill Station, leading to The Tower.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

▶Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - I Have a Dream

August 28, 1963 [FULL SPEECH] - YouTube

Fifty years later, and still the most famous speech (I Have a Dream) of the 20th century by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

PRAYERS - Claretian Ministry

By Fr. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F 
Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglects, and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the... sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially livings or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living or dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessings to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in the area of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious name.


St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us.

The above prayer is posted on the website of Claretian Teaching Ministry:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our Lady's Monthly Message to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Message of August 25, 2013 from Our Lady to Visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

"Dear children! Also today, the Most High is giving me the grace to be with you and to lead you towards conversion. Every day I am sowing and am calling you to conversion, that you may be prayer, peace, love - the grain that by dying will give birth a hundredfold. I do not desire for you, dear children, to have to repent for everything that you could have done but did not want to. Therefore, little children, again, with enthusiasm say: 'I want to be a sign to others.' Thank you for having responded to my call."

The image of Our Lady is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, August 23, 2013

Doctor Declares Miracle After Father, Dead for 45 Minutes, Wakes Up When Son Prays and Screams: 'You're Not Going to Die Today'

Lawrence Yahle

Excerpt from

By Leonardo Blair , CP Reporter

A doctor at the Kettering Medical Center in Ohio pronounced a miracle this month after a man he had declared dead for 45 minutes came back to life after the man's 17-year-old son prayed over his lifeless body and screamed: "You're not going to die today."

"Well, they (doctors) were working on him for 45 minutes and all the doctors and nurses came into the room. They sent us into a counselling room. They didn't have to say anything, you just knew they were gonna pronounce him dead," the teenager told CNN about his father, Tony Yahle, 37, a diesel mechanic.

But something wasn't right with the way the doctors were reacting said Lawrence.

"They almost just looked at us and no emotion almost. Everyone in tears. For some reason, I just thought 'he's 37 years old, he's never had a heart problem. He's not dead in that room," he said in defiance while sporting a crucifix around his neck, surrounded by his father, mother and two sisters.

"I go back there, my pastor, he was there. We were praying next to the room. I was in the doorway and something came in me and got me to point at him and I said 'dad, you're not going to die today.'"

"When I said that, I stood there for a few more moments and then started walking back to the counseling room to comfort my sisters and my mom and anyone else. I took about three steps when my pastor called," he continued.

"He looked at me and said, 'Lawrence, Lawrence,' got my attention then he said 'your dad, he has a heartbeat. So I got the rest of the counselling room and cheered everyone with that news. So it was awesome!" he said.

Tony's cardiologist at Kettering Medical Center, Dr. Raja Nazir, told that it was a "miracle."

"I'm calling it a miracle because I've never seen anything like it," said Nazir.

"When I looked at the electrical activity, I was surprised," Nazir said after Lawrence had prayed and screamed at his father. "I thought we'd better make another effort to revive him."

And when he did, said Nazir: "Very slowly, the heart rate was picking up."

The incident took place on Aug. 5 and doctors thought that Tony Yahle would need a heart transplant or would be in a vegetative state for the rest of the life, but everything he has done since he came back from the dead has defied all medical logic.

Read more: Doctor Declares Miracle