10-31-2021Weekly Reflection

Is Halloween part of a Catholic feast day?

Halloween is a derivative of All Hallow’s Eve, Hallows being an old English expression for saints, een being a contraction of evening, hence the evening of All Saints Day, the latter being a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation. This is an ancient feast established by the Church in the eighth century. Therefore, this is truly a very special Catholic feast day.


The Patricians: Who Are They?

10-24-2021Weekly Reflection

The Society of the Patricians was established in 1955. Its purpose is to build up the religious knowledge of the people, to teach them how to explain themselves and to encourage them to apostleship. Its method was intended to be experimental but it has remained unchanged. Though minds were busy at first in proposing alterations, it is realized that all of these were but reversions to other established methods, such as the catechism class, the lecture system, the question and answer session. These have their own essential place, but they do not cope with what is probably the root problem of the Church: adult religious ignorance and the paralyzed tongues of the laity. The Patricians has been showing itself effective in that field and therefore must be jealously safeguarded.


Catechism on the Angels Part II

10-20-2021From the desk of Fr. VillaFr John Hardon S.J.

8. What was the grace which the angels possessed when they were created? It was sanctifying grace. It was a supernatural gift of God which gave them a share in the divine nature along with a title to inherit the Kingdom of God in the beatific vision. Associated with sanctifying grace, the angels also received the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit, together with a right to those actual graces which were necessary to preserve and increase the supernatural life.


Cognitive Dissonance in the Church?

10-17-2021Weekly Reflection

The dictionary defines cognitive dissonance as follows: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

On the plane from his trip to Slovakia Pope Francis held a press conference and he said the following:…(A)bortion: it's more than a problem, it's homicide, whoever has an abortion, kills. No mincing words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA... it is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear! To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: Is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to kill a human life?


The Rosary, Lepanto, & Our Spiritual Lives

10-10-2021Weekly Reflection

This past week (October 7) we celebrated the feast of the Most Holy Rosary and the whole month of October is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and the Rosary. The Rosary developed in the Middle Ages and was given to St. Dominic. Christians greeted the Virgin Mary with the title, Mystical Rose, the symbol of love and joy. As an expression of this affection her images were crowned with bouquets of roses called a Rosarium, hence the name Rosary. Whoever was unable to recite the Church’s psalms in her prayer book called the Book of Hours would pray as many Hail Mary’s to compliment the 150 psalms.


Catechism on the Angels Part I

10-07-2021From the desk of Fr. VillaFr John Hardon S.J.

Although human reason can reasonably speculate that angels exist, the existence of pure created spirits requires divine revelation to make the fact absolutely certain. Indeed a fair index of sound Christianity is the acceptance of angels as created by God and now living in two states of being: those in heaven who also minister to our needs, and those in hell, who are demons and bent on the destruction of the human race through estrangement from God. Why a catechism on the angels? Because we need one. There is such a preoccupation with human psychology and physiology as almost to exclude the whole world of reality which is at once intelligent and deeply involved in the affairs of men. Even in Christian circles, the complaint has been justly made that "the angels have taken flight from Catholic schools of thought," with only token attention from some professional theologians.


Should I Attend

10-03-2021Weekly Reflection

ISSUE: Does the Catholic Church prohibit Catholics from attending weddings that the Church does not recognize? If a Catholic is invited to such a wedding and can attend, is it permissible for him to be in the wedding party? It Depends….The Catholic Church does not explicitly prohibit Catholics from attending weddings whose validity she does not recognize. There are certain moral principles, however, that should be considered before a Catholic decides how to proceed. Most importantly, Catholics must avoid any actions that cause scandal or encourage others to sin.


Morality and Media

09-26-2021Weekly Reflection

What is the moral influence of film, theater, TV and so forth?

The influence is largely psychological. Media can exert an extraordinary power on habits. Images affect body, soul, and the powers of the mind: the sensitive powers, the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.


St. Augustine on Good and the Evil in the Church

09-22-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

The same [Church] is spoken of, when, in regard to the fewness of her numbers as compared with the multitude of the wicked, it is said: Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14 And again, it is of the same Church that it is said with respect to the multitude of her members: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore. Genesis 22:14


Against Impurity

09-12-2021Weekly ReflectionDominic Pino (Edited)

Pornography is a spiritual disaster, and the euphemisms of Sunday sermons aren’t getting at the problem. It’s not a secret that we have a pornography problem. By “we,” I mean American males, but also American Christian males. It’s also a problem for females, but not as big a problem and I can’t speak to it very well, so I’m focusing on the male side of things. If you need survey data to back up the claim that American males have a pornography problem, you haven’t been paying attention.


The Mission of the Piarist Fathers in Central Africa

09-05-2021Weekly Reflection

Dear brothers and sisters,

After the Ebola pandemic that claimed thousands of lives in some Sub-Saharan African countries from 2013-2016, Judy Kuriansky, a psychologist, said that, “Education is a vital part in the redevelopment of affected countries and mitigation against negative impacts of future crisis.” I think we can all agree with that statement. In 1648, our Religious Order was founded in Rome by a Spanish priest called St. Joseph Calasanz (feastday = August 25th). He wanted our religious Order to be present where the human and spiritual welfare of the poor were threatened. He wanted us to respond to God’s call to work for social transformation and human integral development through education.


Join the St. Paul the Apostle Purgatorial Society

09-02-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

A Purgatorial Society is an association of Catholics who pledge to pray for the souls in Purgatory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the following: #1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.