Archpriest Seraphim Nedosekin on Confessing the Faith in Soviet Times

01-31-2021Weekly Reflection

In our interview, (from the orthochristian blog and edited) we asked him how these Heavenly and earthly Christian warriors can help us overcome the problems of this world. (Note: in the Eastern Catholic Church and the orthodox churches there are married priests.)

Fr. Seraphim, are there any stories in your family history that show how with God’s help people of the twentieth century managed to withstand persecution, just as the early Christians and St. George the Victory Bearer faced the challenges that God chose to give them? Upon hearing God’s call, all Christians will follow their hearts and answer His call. These opportunities to confess our faith are presented to us all the time.


Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as 46th President of the United States of America

01-24-2021Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

My prayers are with our new President and his family today.

I am praying that God grant him wisdom and courage to lead this great nation and that God help him to meet the tests of these times, to heal the wounds caused by this pandemic, to ease our intense political and cultural divisions, and to bring people together with renewed dedication to America’s founding purposes, to be one nation under God committed to liberty and equality for all.


Timeless Wisdom and Teaching from Pope Leo XIII An Architect of Catholic Social Teaching

01-24-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

These paragraphs from the encyclical, Diuturnum Illud, On the Origin of Civil Power (1881) are particularly relevant to the situation facing Catholics in the U.S. today:


Praying for the Souls in Purgatory: What Does It Mean?

01-17-2021Weekly Reflection

St. John Paul II stressed the need to pray for the Souls in Purgatory. He said, "The first and highest form of charity for brothers is the ardent desire for their eternal salvation ... . Christian love knows no boundaries and goes beyond the limits of space and time, enabling us to love those who have already left this earth." Therefore, not only the belief in purgatory but also the spiritual duty to pray for the souls there remains part of our Catholic faith. Contrary to what some may erroneously believe, Vatican II's "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" asserted, "This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors in the living communion which exists between us and our brothers who are in the glory of Heaven or who are yet being purified after their death; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, of the Council of Florence, and of the Council of Trent" (No. 51).


Not a Christianity a la Carte

01-10-2021Weekly Reflection

Dear brothers, [...] we have heard the passage from the Acts of the Apostles (20:17-38) in which Saint Paul speaks to the presbyters of Ephesus, intentionally recounted by Saint Luke as the testament of the apostle, as a discourse destined not only for the presbyters of Ephesus, but for the presbyters of all time. Saint Paul is speaking not only with those who were present in that place, he is really speaking with us. So let us try to understand a little of what he is saying to us, at this time. [...]


Ashamed of the Son of Man?

01-03-2021Weekly ReflectionBlessed Rupert Mayer S.J.

They who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it.

Blessed Titus Brandsma O.Carm

Hearing (Mark 8:34ff), the following hard words of Jesus hit home: For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.


The Saint Benedict Medal

01-01-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

The Saint Benedict Medal St. Benedict (born at Nursia, Italy, in 480) had a profound veneration for the holy Cross and for our Savior Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross, he wrought many miracles and exercised great power over the spirits of darkness. In consequence of the great veneration in which St. Benedict was held from the early Middle Ages, it followed that a Medal was struck, one side of which represents St. Benedict holding the Cross in one hand and the Holy Rule in the other. Around the image of St. Benedict are these words in Latin: "May his presence protect us in the hour of death." St. Benedict has ever been the patron of the dying, because of the circumstances attending his own most glorious death, for he breathed forth his soul while standing in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament.


The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

12-29-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

The Church teaches that the Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the Cross. Click here to help deepen your understanding of this foundational teaching of the Church.

The early Church summed up Mary’s Maternity in a single Greek word.

12-27-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

In the year 431 there was a fierce debate raging in the Catholic Church regarding a specific title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The debate required a rare Ecumenical Council at the city of Ephesus to resolve the issue. Two different arguments were presented, one by Bishop Nestorius of Constantinople and the other by St. Cyril of Alexandria. Nestorius firmly believed that Mary should be called Christotokos, “Birth-giver of Christ” (also translated as “Christ-bearer”).


The Riches of the Church’s Liturgy and Heritage of Prayers

12-27-2020Weekly Reflection

One of the sources of the Church’s beliefs is the liturgy and sacraments of the Church belonging to the Church’s received Tradition from the Apostles. Another area which reflects the Church’s teachings is the area of prayers approved by the Church for use. In the prayer below, used by the priest in preparation for Mass, there is a wonderful exposition of the meaning of the Mass and the Incarnation:


Are Christmas and Easter Pagan?

12-20-2020Weekly Reflection

One occasionally hears the accusation that early Christians derived Christmas and Easter from pagan celebrations, and that these feasts are therefore pagan (though overlaid with a thin veneer of Christianity). How much truth is there in this assertion?


Since the Western Christmas (25 December) falls near the Winter Solstice (21 December), it occurs at the same time of the year as certain pagan solstice feasts. One such feast was the Roman celebration of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Nativity of the Invincible Sun), which commemorated the birth of the sun god Mithra. After Emperor Aurelian declared Mithra/Sol Invictus to be the patron of the Roman Empire in 274 AD, this feast in his honor became very popular.


Ambrose, Shepherd and Defender of the Church of Christ and His Holy People.

12-13-2020Weekly ReflectionProfessor Domenico Pennino

The Limits of Imperial Authority. Freedom of Speech Is the Benchmark of Power That Is Not Tyrannical.

St. Ambrose set himself as bulwark and defense of the Catholic Faith against the Arian heresy.

Through his many theological and scriptural writings, he is one of the four great doctors of the Church in the West. St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, in the letter to Paternus shows his desire to call things as they are: “to beat an enemy is victory, to strike against the guilty is equity, to strike the innocent is homicide (hostem ferire victoria est, reum aequitas, innocentem homicidum).


Go to St. Joseph

12-11-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis has declared the Year of St. Joseph which began December 8, 2020 and will go to December 2021. Read his Apostolic Letter about this here. Many plenary indulgences* are available to the faithful during this here. You can read about them here.


The Meaning of Peace

12-06-2020Weekly Reflection

Humpty Dumpty and Peace

The Humpty Dumpty (HD) Nursery Rhyme shows the loss of peace. The high wall that HD sits on is human nature created by God enhanced with His special gifts: immortality, perfect harmony of body and soul, easy access to knowledge, and intimate friendship with God through sanctifying grace. HD’s great fall was original sin and HD’s humanity pulled apart, fractured by original sin. Sin is not about breaking rules as often is said but about wounds to our humanity, which as the nursery rhyme goes no King, or earthly power can put HD back together again. The person, who sins, acts against himself. The meaning of peace, the Hebrew word shalom is to be made whole, to be put back together again. This is the gift of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord to those who will accept it. The meditation below is by Fr. Francis Fernandez in his book of meditations, Conversation with God Volume 1. (Edited)