Dec 29, 2015

Sunday Sermon, December 27 -- St John the Evangelist and the Blessing of Wine

There is a Catholic tradition of blessing wine on December 27 in honor of St John the Evangelist (who was the beloved disciple, one of the Twelve Apostles, and wrote three letters and Revelation in addition to the Gospel which bears his name). We consider the life and example of St John, as well as several reasons why it is so fitting to bless wine in his honor during the Christmas Season.

Listen online [here]!

Christmas Sermon: Imitating Jesus in Consecration to Mary and Joseph

Jesus chose to come into the world through the Blessed Virgin Mary, and he was totally consecrated to her in all things. Her will was his will, her desires his desires, her joys his joys, her sorrows his sorrows. Jesus began his saving plan in the womb of Mary and competed the work of redemption with her at his side. As Christians, we are called to be Christ-like. This is why we must consecrate ourselves Mary: Because Jesus was truly consecrated to his most holy Mother.
Furthermore, Mary wasn't only a woman, she was a wife. If we love the wife, we must love the husband. And, even as Jesus entrusted himself to the care and patronage of St Joseph, we too consecrated ourselves to St Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church.

Listen online [here]!

Dec 28, 2015

Daily Sermons, December 22, 23, 26

Sermons from daily Masses, December 22, 23, 26.

Mary's Magnificat, Christmas Eve, St Stephen.

Dec 24, 2015

Sunday Sermon, December 13th -- The Perfect Knowledge of the Infant Christ

4th Sunday of Advent -- The Perfect Knowledge of the Infant Christ

"75. Now the only-begotten Son of God embraced us in His infinite knowledge and undying love even before the world began. And that He might give a visible and exceedingly beautiful expression to this love, He assumed our nature in hypostatic union: hence - as Maximus of Turin with a certain unaffected simplicity remarks - "in Christ our own flesh loves us."[156] But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condescension of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity! In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself." (St Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi)

St John the Baptist was given the use of reason as he leaped in the womb of his mother. If St John had reason in the womb, how much more did Christ Jesus! We consider the perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ who even in his humanity was a perfect man in the moment of his conception.

What Child is this? Who coming into the world said, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith: Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not: but a body thou hast fitted to me: Holocausts for sin did not please thee. Then said I: Behold I come: in the head of the book it is written of me: that I should do thy will, O God." (Hebrews 10:5-7)

Listen online [here]!

Dec 19, 2015

Weekday Sermons, December 16-19

Sermons from daily Masses, December 16 through 19.
Christmas Novena, O Antiphons, St Joseph, Silence.

Dec 14, 2015

Sunday Sermon, December 14 -- Profiting from God's Inspirations

Sunday Sermon, December 14 -- Profiting from God's Inspirations.
The hidden meaning of St John's words, "I am not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandal."
The joyful expectation of Christmas which leads us to prepare the way for the Lord.
How to overcome two obstacles to profiting from God's inspirations: Procrastination and Spiritual Avarice.

Listen online [here]!

Weekday Sermons, December 9-12

Sermons from daily Masses for December 9 through 12.

St Juan Diego, St Damasus, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Dec 9, 2015

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: Mary, Mother of Mercy

Sermon of Tuesday, December 8 -- Immaculate Conception

The meaning of the Dogma.
1. Mary's conception without any sin.
2. Jesus' holiness does not rely on Mary being sinless.
3. Catholics don't worship Mary.

Why we call Mary the "Mother of Mercy"

Listen online [here]!

Dec 7, 2015

Sunday Sermon, December 6 -- How to benefit from regular Confession

Second Sunday of Advent, December 6th.

There are two primary temptations when it comes to confession -- we either feel that we are "too bad" to go to confession, or that we are "too good" to go to confession.
To make a good confession, we strive for perfect contrition, we confess our sins (serious sins according to kind and number), and we we make satisfaction (especially through completing our penance).

Listen online [here]!

Dec 5, 2015

Daily Homilies, December 1 through 5

Homilies from daily Masses, Dec 1 - 5.
Advent, St Bibiana, St Francis Xavier, St John Damascene, Mother of God.

Dec 1, 2015

Sunday Sermon, November 29 -- The Three Advents of Christ

First Sunday of Advent: November 29

This, then, is the mystery of Advent. Let us now listen to an explanation of this threefold visit of Christ, given to us by Peter of Blois, in his third sermon de Adventu: 'There are three comings of Our Lord; the first in the flesh; the second in the soul; the third at judgment. The first was at midnight according to the words of the Gospel: At Midnight there was a cry made, Lo, the Bridegroom cometh! But this first coming is long since past for Christ has been seen on the earth and has conversed among men. We are now in the second coming, provided only we are such as that He may thus come to us; for He has said that if we love Him, He will come to us and take up His abode with us. So that this second coming is full of uncertainty for us; for who, save the spirit of God, knows them that are of God? They that are raised out of themselves by the desire of heavenly things, know indeed when He comes, but whence He cometh or whither He goeth they know not. As for the third coming, it is most certain that it will be, most uncertain when it will be; for nothing is more sure than death, and nothing less sure than the hour of death. When they shall say, peace and security, says the apostle, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. So that the first coming was humble and hidden, the second is mysterious and full of love, the third will be majestic and terrible. In His first coming, Christ was judged by men unjustly; in His second, He renders us just by His grace; in His third, He will judge all things with justice. In His first, a lamb; in His last, a lion; in the one between the two, the tenderest of friends.'

Listen online [here]!

Nov 28, 2015

Daily Sermons, November 23 - 26

Sermons from daily Masses, November 23 through 26.
St Clement I, Vietnamese Martyrs, St Catherine of Alexandria, Requiem.

Nov 22, 2015

Christ the King Sunday, November 22 -- St Vincent Ferrer and the End of Time

Sunday, November 22 -- Feast of Christ the King

Before beginning the homily, I explain why our parish offers Mass "ad orientem" (the priest facing toward God with the people). Also an explanation of why we say the Eucharistic prayer in a quieter tone of voice at Corpus Christi.

St Vincent Ferrer was the great wonder worker whom God sent to prepare the world for the day of judgment, which would have occurred had not men been converted by his preaching. St Vincent worked far more miracles than any other saint!
St Vincent explained that we belong to Christ's Kingdom and will persevere in the Last Days only if we have true faith and accept all the Jesus has revealed through his Church.

Listen online [here]!

Talks at Gregorian Chant Conference, November 20 and 21

Chant 101 -- An Introduction to Reading and Signing Gregorian Chant.
Ursuline Centre, Great Falls, MT
November 20-22, 2015

Nov 21, 2015

Daily Sermons -- November 17 to 21

Sermons from Daily Masses, November 17 to 21.
St Elizabeth of Hungry, Basilicas of Sts Peter and Paul, Requiem, Presentation of Mary.

Nov 15, 2015

Pre-Advent Morning of Reflection, November 14 -- Solemn Liturgical Worship and Perpetual Adoration

Conference I, Adoration and the Mass
Listen online [here]!

Conference II, Solemn Adoration and Perpetual Adoration
Listen online [here]!

Sunday Sermon, November 15 -- Meditating upon Death

Sunday Sermon, November 15 -- Meditating often upon our death.
First, a mini-homily on the Perfect Knowledge of Christ, who most certainly did know the day and the hour of the Judgement (even though it seems as though he says the opposite in today's Gospel).
The importance of meditating upon death, and heaven. Consider what you will wish you had done differently when you are dying, and make the changes needed right now to prepare for an holy death.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Sermons, November 11 -14

Sermons from daily Masses, November 11-14.
St Martin, Mother Cabrini, St Josephat.

Nov 8, 2015

Sunday Sermon, November 8 -- How to Not Become A Poor Forgotten Soul In Purgatory

Sunday Sermon, November 8 -- How to not become a poor forgotten soul in purgatory.

Our prayers can assist the souls in purgatory who can't help themselves in any way. We also want to be sure that if we are in purgatory we don't end up forgotten and languishing in the agonizing pains of purgatory with no one to pray for us.

A few ways to not be forgotten:
1) Ask family and friends to pray for you. 
2) Let your funeral be a real funeral, a Mass of the Dead (black vestments, no canonization). 
3) Be devoted to the poor souls during your life. 
4) Stay close to Mary (rosary, scapular). 
5) Be a saint.

Listen online [here]!

Weekday Sermons, November 3 - 7

Sermons for daily Masses, November 3 - 7.

Black Vestments, The Requiem Mass, Purgatory, Praying for Dead Priests, Sabbatine Privilege.

Nov 4, 2015

Sunday Sermon, November 1 -- Feast of All Saints, Defending Devotion to the Saints

The logic of devotion to the saints.

Christ is the head, the church is the body. The saints especially are the body. To take Christ without the saints is to attempt a theological decapitation! It is grotesque to come to Christ Jesus without his saints.

How the saints show us God's greatness and lead us to love God more perfectly.

Listen online [here]!

Weekday Sermons -- October 27 through 31

Sermons from daily Masses, October 27 - 31.
St Frumentius, Sts Simon and Jude, Thursday Eucharistic Devotion, On Loving God, The Assumption of St Joseph.

Oct 27, 2015

Sunday Sermon, October 25 -- Praying the Rosary Well

Sunday, October 25 -- Ideas on how to pray the Rosary well.
The power and necessity of the Holy Rosary. Practical ideas on how to meditate with the Rosary, and on how to pray the Family Rosary.

Listen online [here]!

Oct 26, 2015

Daily Sermons, October 20 - 24

Daily Mass Homilies, October 20 through 24.
St Isaac Jogues, St Joseph, St John Paul II, St John of Capistrano, Sorrowful Mysteries.

Oct 18, 2015

Sunday Sermon, October 18 -- St. Luke, the Ox of the New Testament

Solemnity of St. Luke the Evangelist, in the Church of St Luke.

St Luke was of Greek descent, and never met Christ in person. Having converted to the faith, St Luke as a close disciple and friend of St Paul. He wrote a Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. His Gospel as the Apostolic Authority of St. Paul as it's foundation.

St Luke is pictured under the figure of an ox:
1) An ox is the symbol of Temple sacrifice, and St Luke's Gospel begins with Temple sacrifice and focuses on the Temple.
2) The ox is the hardest working of all farm animals, and St Luke labored for Christ in preaching with St Paul and especially in writing the Gospel which bears his name. St Luke is far and away the most prolific New Testament author -- his Gospel and Acts are the two longest books of the New Testament. St Luke wrote about 1/3 of the whole New Testament!

Listen online [here]!

Oct 17, 2015

Daily Sermons, October 13 - 17

Daily Sermons, October 13 through 17.
The Fatima Story, St Callistus I, St Margaret Mary, St Joseph.

Oct 12, 2015

Sunday Sermon, October 11 -- On Poverty of Spirit in the Midst of Riches

Sunday Sermon, October 11 -- On poverty of spirit in the midst of riches.

Jesus tells us that it is difficult to be saved, and that it is very hard for a rich man to be saved.
In this sermon we discuss how a Christian can be saved while yet possessing and even increasing his wealth.

Listen online [here]!

Saturday Sermon on the Rosary with St Joseph: The Hidden Life at Nazareth

Saturday Series on Rosary Meditations with St Joseph -- The Obedience of Jesus and Mary to St Joseph in the House of Nazareth.

Oct 7, 2015

Rosary Meditation with St Joseph: The Finding of the Child Jesus

Saturday, October 3 -- The Finding of the Child Jesus by St Joseph

Sunday Sermon, October 4 -- The Catholic Response to Same-Sex Relationships

A defense of the Catholic teaching about the nature of marriage.

The relation between the civil government and marriage is rooted in the protection of children. The government has no business making a legal recognition of "love" -- this is not what marriage law is about. Marriage law is designed to regulate and protect that union which can produce children, for the sake of the protection and well-being of children. Therefore, no love which is precludes children can be regulated by marriage law. This does not mean that one love is better than another or that certain persons are better than others, but only that the love of an husband and wife is ordered toward children in a way that no other love can be.

When the Church states that same-sex relationships cannot be afforded the same legal standing as marriage, we do not state that there is nothing good in these relationships, but only that the very nature of such a relationship is that it cannot beget children.
Even as it would be absurd for the government to offer a legal certificate declaring two persons to be best friends, it is utterly absurd for there to be legal recognition of the love of same-sex relationships.

Listen online [here]!

Sep 27, 2015

Sunday Sermon, September 27 -- Internet Pornography Devouring our Children

"The largest consumers of Internet pornography are children between the ages of 12-17. More than half of boys and a third of girls have seen pornography before their teenage years. 35% of young teenage boys (13-14 years old) say that they have seen pornography "more times that I can count." By the age of 18, more than 9 out of 10 boys, and 6 out of 10 girls have seen pornography online." (Virtus article "Pornography Consuming our Children" by Luke Gilkerson)

The impurity and filth spread by today's media and entertainment industry is devouring our children. Jesus said, "Woe to him who scandalizes one of these little ones who believes in me." One way of giving scandal is to be aware of an horrific and public evil and yet say or do nothing about it. When we give our children monitored and unrestricted access to the TV, to internet, to games, to movies, we are being a real stumbling block and cause of sin in our kids.

This has to stop. We have to take a tougher, more protective and more loving approach to the media and the internet with our kids.
This homily will tell you how to help protect your children from these evils.

Listen online [here]!

Sep 26, 2015

Sermons, Week of September 22-26

Daily sermons, September 22-26.
St Matthew, Sts Linus and Padre Pio, The Temple, St Cleophas, Nazareth.

Sep 20, 2015

Sunday Sermon, September 20 -- How to Practice Mental Prayer, a step-by-step guide

On the necessity, importance and power of prayer. How to overcome distractions and dryness.
A step-by-step instruction on how to engage in Christian meditation.

Preparation - recognize God's presence in the whole world, where I am, in my soul. Ask for the assistance of Mary, Joseph, my angel, the saints.
Meditation - consider various aspects of the mysteries of our faith, of Scripture, of the Rosary. Focus especially on the love God has for you, and end by telling God how much you love him.
Resolutions - make some concrete plan on how to grow holier today. Resolve to pray again tomorrow.
Petitions and thanksgiving -- Ask God for all the graces needed today and tomorrow and the grace of salvation when you die. Ask God for all the other needs you have, and offer him all your concerns about family and friends. Thank God for this time of prayer, thank Mary and Joseph and your angel. Close with the Glory Be or some other prayer of praise and adoration.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Sermons, September 15-19

Daily Sermons, September 15-19.
Our Lady of Sorrows, Sts Corneilus and Cyprian, St Robert Bellarmine, The Holy Cross, The Flight to Egypt.

Sep 16, 2015

Sunday Sermon, September 13th -- Carrying the Cross for Love

Sunday Sermon, September 13th -- On Carrying the Cross for Love of God, Love of Neighbor, and Love of Self.

Love of God -- To suffer rather than sin and to suffer rather than deny the faith.
Love of neighbor -- To suffer for our vocation.
Love of self -- To suffer so as to love the soul more than body, the importance of mortification.

Listen online [here]!

Weekday Homilies: September 8 and 9

Weekday Sermons, September 8 and 9.
The Birth of Mary, St Peter Claver.

Sep 6, 2015

Sunday Sermon, September 6 -- Three Sermons: Year of Mercy, Mary, The Poor

Three short sermons for Sunday, September 6th.

1) For the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is allowing priests to lift the excommunication and absolve the sin of abortion. This could cause some confusion, since priests have been able to do this throughout most of the USA for many years. We explain.
Also, Pope Francis is allowing priests of the SSPX (a break away, pre-Vatican II group) to have legitimate confessions during the Year of Mercy. Explanation that the pre-Vatican II group in Black Eagle, MT is SSPV (another break away group) and is not covered under the Pope's provision.

2) On Mary: This week we have two great feasts of Mary, of her birth (September 8) and of her Name (September 12). The feast of Mary's birth calls to mind the devotion to the child Mary (Maria Bambina). The feasts of the Holy Name of Mary commemorates the great victory Christendom won over the Turks in Vienna on September 11 and 12, 1683. It was in retaliation for that victory that the terrorists attacked the USA on September 11, 2001.

3) On the Poor: We love the poor because God loves the poor. But we are also meant to be a Church "of the poor" (as Pope Francis says). We can see that many are a Church "of the rich" when they ignore the fact that most of the poor Catholics of the southern hemisphere accept the Church's teachings on issues like contraception and divorce.

Listen online [here]!

Sep 5, 2015

Daily Sermons, September 1 - 5

Daily Sermons - September 1 through 5.
Signs of the Times, St Stephen, St Gregory the Great, Sacred Heart, The Name of Jesus and St Joseph.

Aug 23, 2015

Sunday Sermon, August 23 -- Receiving Communion Well, Preparation and Thanksgiving for Mass

Sermon for Sunday, August 23 -- the conclusion of the Bread of Life Discourse.

On making a good preparation before Mass and a good thanksgiving after Mass.

Listen online [here]!

Saturday, August 22 -- The Immaculate Heart of Mary and St Joseph

Sermon for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (traditional calendar).
The human race has a heart to love the Lord, and this (Mary's own heart) was given fully to St Joseph.

2015 Eucharistic Conference, "The Eucharist: Sacrament to Be Adored" -- August 16-21

Talks given at our Eucharistic Conference from August 16 to 21. Priests came to Corpus Christi from around the USA to offer this conference with a daily Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass followed by a talk on the Eucharist and closing with benediction.

Sunday Sermon, August 16 -- On Unworthy Communions

The great sacrilege of an unworthy communion.

Listen online [here]!


St. Cyril of Jerusalem said: "They who make a sacrilegious Communion receive Satan and Jesus Christ into their hearts - Satan, that they may let him rule, and Jesus Christ, that they may offer Him in sacrifice as a Victim to Satan."

The Lord said to St. Bridget, "there does not exist on earth a punishment which is great enough to punish it sufficiently!"

The Council of Trent: “For fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.”

US Bishops, 2006: “If we are no longer in the state of grace because of mortal sin, we are seriously obliged to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until we are reconciled with God and the Church. While we remain members of the body of Christ and continue to be part of the Catholic Church, we have become lifeless or dead members. We no longer share in the common bond of the divine life of the Holy Spirit. Because our sin has separated us from God and from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we have forfeited our right to receive Holy Communion, for the Eucharist, by its very nature, expresses and nurtures this lifegiving unity that the sinner has now lost.”

Examples of mortal sins, given by USCCB:
• Believing in or honoring as divine anyone or anything other than the God of the Holy
• Swearing a false oath while invoking God as a witness
• Failing to worship God by missing Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation
without a serious reason, such as sickness or the absence of a priest
• Acting in serious disobedience against proper authority; dishonoring one’s parents by
neglecting them in their need and infirmity
• Committing murder, including abortion and euthanasia; harboring deliberate hatred of others; sexual abuse of another, especially of a minor or vulnerable adult; physical or
verbal abuse of others that causes grave physical or psychological harm
• Engaging in sexual activity outside the bonds of a valid marriage
• Stealing in a gravely injurious way, such as robbery, burglary, serious fraud, or other
immoral business practices
• Speaking maliciously or slandering people in a way that seriously undermines their
good name
• Producing, marketing, or indulging in pornography
• Engaging in envy that leads one to wish grave harm to someone else

USCCB: “If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definitive teaching on moral issues, however, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain”

August 15, The Assumption -- Veneration of Mary's Body

Sermon for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Body and Soul into the Glories of Heaven.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Mass Sermons, August 11-14

Daily Sermons, August 11-14
St Clare, St Jane Frances de Chantal, Sts Pontain and Hippolytus, St Maximilian Kolbe

Aug 13, 2015

Sunday Sermon, August 9 -- What we mean when we say that Jesus is present in the Eucharist

Sunday Sermon of August 9 -- On what the Church really means when she teaches us that Jesus is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament.

To understand Jesus' presence in the Eucharist, we must know that the Church believes in transubstantiation which means that, by the power of the words of the priest, the whole substance of bread is changed into the substance of Christ's body and the whole substance of wine is changed into the substance of Christ's blood (and because the body and blood are united in heaven, the whole Christ is present under each species, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity), yet the accidental properties of bread and wine remain.

It is the substance (the underlying reality) that changes, while the accidents (the sensible and physical attributes) remain the same.
From this dogma, we can answer certain questions: Could I get sick from drinking the Precious Blood during flu season? Could a consecrated Host decay? Is Jesus present in the tabernacle in the same way he was present in Mary's womb? Is the physical body of Jesus really present in the Eucharist? Is Jesus bilocating when he is present in all the tabernacles around the world? And many more!

Listen online [here].

Aug 8, 2015

Daily Sermons, August 5-8

Homilies from daily Masses, August 5 - 8.

Our Lady of the Snows, Transfiguration, St Sixtus II, The Nativity.

Aug 5, 2015

Sunday Sermon, August 2nd -- The Miracle of the Manna and Why the Bread of Life Discourse Cannon be a Metaphor

Sermon for Sunday, August 2nd -- Bread of Life Discourse, part 2.

The manna in the desert fed over one million Jews every day for forty years. From the biblical narrative, we can estimate that roughly 300 rail train cars full of manna came to the camp each day (twice as much on Friday and non on Saturday). And yet, Jesus says that the bread his Father gives through him makes the miracle of the manna to be nothing at all in comparison. 
Could a mere symbol be a greater miracle than the manna? No. The Eucharist is greater, because the bread has changed into a man who is God. And, as God infinitely surpasses the whole universe, so too does the Eucharist infinitely surpass the manna.

Four reasons why the Bread of Life Discourse cannot be a metaphor:
1) Jesus doesn't use metaphorical language (he says, "Truly, Truly I tell you", "indeed", "true food", "true blood", etc.).
2) The people listening thought Jesus meant it literally, and our Lord doesn't correct them.
3) The metaphor "eating flesh" is used in Scripture to mean "to attack", "to persecute", "to hate", etc. Thus, it would be a bad thing to "eat Jesus' flesh" if we were to mean it metaphorically.
4) The earliest Christians never thought it was a metaphor but understood the Bread of Life Discourse in relation to the Last Supper.

Listen online [here]!

Jul 27, 2015

Sunday Sermon, July 26 -- The Key to Interpreting the Bread of Life Discourse, the Waking on Water

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 26 -- The Beginning of the "Bread of Life Series" from St John's Gospel, opening with the Multiplication of Loaves and continue in the next four Sundays with the Bread of Life Discourse.

To understand the Bread of Life Discourse we must recognize the immediate context of this sermon which Jesus gave and John records in the sixth chapter of his Gospel. The Bread of Life Discourse is in parallel with the multiplication of the loaves and fish, with Jesus walking on the stormy waters to rescue the disciples being in the middle and at the heart of the two. 

Jesus comes to the disciples upon the water, but they cannot recognize him with their sight, it is only when they hear his voice "It is I, do not be afraid" that they have faith and receiving him into the boat to save them. This is the key to interpreting the Bread of Life Discourse -- the boat is the Church, the sea is the world, and we are the disciples. We sometimes seem to be all alone in the world, but Jesus comes to us in a manner unrecognizable to our sight (he looks like bread), but we hear his voice "This is my Body, this is my Blood" and we believe and truly receive him into our own bodies and souls.

This is why the Bread of Life Discourse can't be a metaphor and the Eucharist can't be a symbol -- because a metaphor wouldn't have saved the apostles, and they didn't receive a mere symbol of Jesus into the boat. 

Finally, the fact that Jesus cares for every little fragment of the multiplied loaves, shows us the reverence we must have for every piece and crumb of the Blessed Sacrament.

Listen online [here]!

Tuesday Catechesis, July 21 -- The Epilogue of St John's Gospel -- Adult Formation on John, Session 12

Final session in our series on Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of St John.
Considering the Epilogue, Chapter 21 -- The great haul of fish, the supremacy of St Peter, and the death of St. John.

Handout is below the audio.

Daily Sermons, July 21-24

Homilies from daily Masses -- July 21-24.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Shrabel.

Jul 19, 2015

Sunday, July 19 -- The spiritual meaning and biblical foundation of the Brown Scapular

Thursday, July 16 was the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel, and of the Brown Scapular which Mary gave to St Simon Stock on this day in 1251 with the promise that whosoever should die wearing the scapular would not suffer eternal fires. This is the promise of salvation given to all who devoutly wear the Brown Scapular, not as a "good luck charm" but as truly being clothed with Mary, with her love, her protection, and all her virtues.

This is essential to understanding the scapular: It is a piece of clothing. It comes from the religous garb of the Carmelites and is rooted in the Jewish traditions laid out in the book of Numbers. All devout Jews wore a scapular -- Jesus, Mary and Joseph all wore scapulars. The Apostles all wore the scapular.

Through the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:44), the Blessed Virgin Mary came to the world as "Our Lady of Mount Carmel", calling to mind by the appearance of a cloud that she would crush the head of the ancient serpent with her own heel and with the heel of her Son.
The Brown Scapular of Carmel is nothing less than the mantle or scapular with which Elijah called Elisha. When Elisha took up the Brown Scapular of Elijah, the Scapular of Mount Carmel, he had received a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.

In these dark times, we all need a double portion of Elijah's spirit, we all need the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Listen online [here]!

July 14 -- Tuesday Adult Formation Series on the Gospel of St John, The Resurrection -- session 11

Adult Formation Series on the Gospel of St John, The Resurrection appearances to St Mary Magdalene and St Thomas.

Handout is below the audio.

Jul 18, 2015

Eucharistic Conference -- August 16 to 21

Eucharistic Conference

Corpus Christi Catholic Parish -- 410 22nd Ave NE, Great Falls, MT -- (406)453-6546
Sunday, August 16th to Friday, August 21st

Daily Schedule
5:30 PM Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass
6:45 PM Light dinner provided
7:30 - 8:30 PM Conference on the Eucharist
8:30 - 9 PM Adoration and Benediction
40 Hours Eucharistic Devotion
Wednesday 5:30 PM to Friday 9 PM
Bishop Michael Warfel will be presenting the talk Wednesday, August 19th to start our Solemn 40 Hours Eucharistic Devotion
Block rooms available at Staybridge Suites (406-761-4903) with a kitchenette starting at $109.99, and a basic room at Best Western Hotels (406-761-1900) starting at $89.99. Reserve by August 1 for discount. Mention “Corpus Christi”.
Come experience the beauty of the Roman Liturgy in its most solemn and exalted form, while learning more about the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar through nightly conferences given by priests joining us from around the country, all of whom have received advanced degrees from Pontifical Universities in Rome.
For those unfamiliar with the Traditional Latin Mass, booklets and instruction will be provided.
IF YOU CAN ONLY MAKE A COUPLE DAYS OF THE CONFERENCE -- I recommend you try to come for Wednesday through Friday, as these will be special "family days" with fun family time each day at noon at Giant Spring Park, the family Rosary, and also many special devotions for the 40 Hours Eucharistic Devotion starting Wednesday night!

Daily Mass Homilies --- July 14-18

Daily Sermons, July 14 through July 18.
St Kateri, the Brown Scapular, the Precious Blood, The Nativity with St Joseph part 1

Jul 13, 2015

Sunday Sermon, July 12 -- The Anointing of the Sick

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- July 12.

We read in the Sunday Gospel that the Twelve anointed many sick persons which oil and cured them -- this indicates the matter of the sacrament of anointing of the sick, perhaps the most misunderstood sacrament in the Church today. In this homily, we discuss the nature and pastoral use of Anointing of the Sick.

Below the audio is a list of articles that will help to clarify further: 

Listen online [here]!

This sacrament is only given in danger of death  Anointing of the Sick is called the sacrament of the dying [here] 
Only the sick can receive this sacrament – When should I receive anointing of the sick; or How sick is sick? [here]
When surgery may occasion this sacrament – Should anointing of the sick be given before surgery? [here]
Only priests can confer this sacrament  Why can't deacons confer Anointing of the Sick [here]
Young children can’t receive this sacrament – Why can’t young children receive anointing of the sick? [here]

Jul 11, 2015

Daily Sermons, July 7 - 11

Daily Sermons, July 7 -11.
Priestly Vocations, St Elizabeth of Portugal, The Chinese Martyrs, St Felicity, The Visitation.

Jul 5, 2015

Sunday Sermon, July 5 -- The Brothers of the Lord, and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

St. Mark tells us the names of for of the "brothers" of Jesus -- James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. The term "brother" is often used in Scripture to refer to a cousin rather than to a literal blood brother.

We know that these cannot be blood brothers of Jesus, son's of Mary and Joseph. Indeed, St. Matthew (27:56) specifies that the mother of James and Joses was another Mary who, St John (19:25) tells us, is the wife of Cleophas!  The Catholic Church knows the Bible better than any protestant, because Catholics were the ones who wrote the New Testament.

These "brothers" aren't children of Mary, nor are they children of Joseph from a previous marriage -- Matthew 27 and John 19 show that they are the children of Cleophas and another Mary not Mary the Mother of God! Nothing in Sacred Scripture would lead us to think that Mary had any children beside Jesus, nor even that St Joseph had any children from a previous marriage; in face, the Bible teaches that the "brothers and sisters" of Jesus can't possibly be children of either Mary or Joseph.

We consider further that the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus precisely because they didn't pay due honor to Mary and Joseph and the other saints -- if we want to be true followers of the Lord, we must be intensely devoted to those two to whom He was most devoted, Mary and St. Joseph. Further, we must beg our Savior for a true love and reverence for all the saints.

Listen online [here]!

Jul 4, 2015

Daily Homilies of June 29 - July 4

Sermons of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time.

Sts Peter and Paul, Roman Martyrs, Bl Junipero Serra, St Thomas, The Annunciation.

Jun 30, 2015

Adult Formation: Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of John - The Washing of the Feet, Session 8

Session 9 of our series on Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of St John, in which we consider the washing of the feet and the Last Supper as related in the Fourth Gospel.

We see the connection between the washing of feet and the institution of the priesthood and of the Holy Eucharist.

Handout is below the audio recording.

Jun 28, 2015

Sunday Sermon, June 28 -- The Catholic Response to the Legalization of Same-Sex Unions

Sunday Sermon, June 28 -- A Martyr for Marriage, The Catholic Response to the Legalization of Same-Sex Unions

June 24th was the Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist. Consecrated as a prophet from the womb, he gave testimony to the light. But St. John died as martyr for marriage - opposing the immorality of King Herod.

The Church, especially after the horrific decision of 5 of the judges of the Supreme Court, must be a voice in the wilderness speaking the truth about marriage and family life.
The Catholic Church is alone in this battle -- for all the Protestants have already lost by accepting contraception and divorce with remarriage.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Sermons, June 24-27

Daily Sermons, 12th Week in Ordinary Time.

St. John's Birth, Loving the Lord, Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Jun 22, 2015

Sunday Sermon, June 21 -- Jesus is Lord of nature, The Pope's new encyclical on the environment

Jesus shows his power as God when he stills the wind and calms the sea. By his word the heavens and the earth were created - all creation is subject to his word.
This Divine Person, Jesus Christ, is the Lord of creation and the King of the universe.

This past week, Pope Francis gave us an encyclical letter on the environment -- Laudato Si' (named after the "Canticle of Brother Sun" of St Francis of Assisi).
We consider the Catholic vision of the environment, as well as a few points from the Holy Father's encyclical.

Listen online [here]!

Weekday Sermons, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Sermons of June 15 - 20.

Preparing for Mass, Guardian angels, St Joseph, Our Father, St Juliana Falconieri, The Sacred Heart.

Jun 21, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

Sunday Sermon, June 14 -- Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Consideration of the theological foundations of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Why we worship, love and adore the Sacred Heart.

Practical ways of being devoted to the Sacred Heart, especially family enthronement.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Sermons, June 9-13

Daily Mass Homilies, June 9 through 13.

St Ephrem, St Margaret, St Barnabas, Sacred Heart, St Anthony, and the Immaculate Heart.

Jun 11, 2015

Adult Formation on John's Gospel, Session 7 -- The Bread of Life Discourse

Session 7 of the Adult Formation Series on the Gospel according to St John.

The Bread of Life Discourse is truly the heart and interpretive key of the whole Gospel. Studying the Gospel as a literary masterpiece, we see that the Bread of Life Discourse is thematically at the center of the Gospel.

4 reasons why the Bread of Life Discourse cannot possibly be a metaphor.

Handout is below the audio recording.

Corpus Christi Sermon -- The Real Presence of the Humanity of Jesus in the Eucharist

While it is true that Jesus is present everywhere in his divinity, in his humanity he is only substantially present on earth in the Holy Eucharist.

This is why praying before the Eucharist is so important, and why Mass is so necessary. The humanity of this same Jesus who is present in all places as God, is really truly and substantially present on earth only in the Sacrament of the Altar.

We can come to God in the mountains or in our home, but to divorce God from the Eucharist would be to approach the divinity apart from the humanity of Christ -- but it is through Jesus that "God saves".

Listen online [here]!

Jun 6, 2015

Daily Homilies, June 2 through 6

Daily homilies June 2nd through 6th.
Sts Justin and Angela and the Sacred Heart, Sts Marcellinus and Peter, St Charles Lwanga, The Eucharist, Peace from the Eucharist.

Jun 3, 2015

Adult Formation on the Gospel of St. John, the Wedding Feast at Cana.

A study of the role of Mary in the first miracle of Jesus.
Also, the spiritual interpretation of this miracle.

Handout is below the audio.

Trinity Sunday Sermon, May 31 -- The Divine Processions, Three Persons in One God

Sermon for Trinity Sunday.

The Processions in God, compared to knowledge and love in the soul. God knows himself and the Father begets the Son, God loves himself and the Father and Son breath the Holy Spirit.

Why we use these names, "Father" and "Son" and "Spirit".

The Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father. The Father and Son are in the Spirit and the Spirit is in the Father and the Son. Each fully God and all fully one God.

Listen online [here]!

May 30, 2015

Daily Sermons, Octave of Pentecost

Daily Sermons, May 26-30.
St Philip Neri, The Name "Holy Spirit", The Fruits of the Holy Spirit, The Joy of the Fruits, and The Holy Spirit as Spouse of the Virgin Mary.

May 27, 2015

May 26 -- St. John's Gospel Compared to the other Gospels. Adult formation on the Gospel of St. John, session 5

Adult formation on the Gospel of John, session 5 -- The Fourth Gospel compared to the others

A consideration of the uniqueness of the Gospel of St. John compared to the other three Gospels.
St. John has a style all his own.
St. John relates more years of Jesus' public ministry.

Handout is below the audio recording.

Pentecost Sunday, May 24 -- The Personhood of the Holy Spirit on our Interior Life

Pentecost Sunday, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.

The Holy Spirit isn't a "what" or an "it", the Holy Spirit isn't a "thing". The Holy Spirit is a "who", a "he", a Person. He is the Third Person of the Trinity, a real person, more a person than you or I.

If he is a person, then he knows and loves. He knows you and loves you, and he desires you to know and love him -- even as we can know and love the Father and the Son, we are called to have a true friendship with the Holy Spirit.

Every true friendship requires familiar conversation, and this is all the more pertinent with our Divine Friend, the Holy Spirit. How often do you speak with the Holy Spirit? How often do you listen to what he wants to speak to you?

This is the key to growth in holiness -- to listen to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
He hear the Holy Spirit through the dogmatic teachings of the Church, through Sacred Scripture, through the lives of the saints, through legitimate authority, through our families and friends, through our neighbors, and especially through the poor.
Daily prayer allows us to recognize the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.

Listen online [here]!

May 23, 2015

Daily Sermons, Seventh Week of Easter

Daily Sermons, May 18 to 22.
Sts Venantius, Bernardine of Siena, Christopher Magallanes, and Rita of Cascia.

May 20, 2015

May 19 -- The Prologue of St. John's Gospel, part 2. Adult formation on the Gospel of St. John, session 4

A detailed consideration of John 1:1 -- In principio erat Vebrum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

A consideration of the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

Handout is below the audio recording (same as session 3)

May 17, 2015

Sunday Sermon -- It is better for us that Jesus has ascended

It truly is better for us that Jesus has ascended. We benefit from the removal of his visible presence.

Consider the historical data related the transformation that occurs for the Apostles and the Church after the Ascension. Before the Ascension, the Apostles were cowards and thought in an earthly and human mode; but after the Ascension, they are brave and have an heavenly vision. Before the Ascension, the Church was small and only a very few believed in Jesus; after the Ascension, the Church spread through the whole world and many believed.

This is because the removal of his natural, visible, perceptible presence from us, directs us to Jesus' presence in all the Sacraments and especially in the Holy Eucharist. The Sacraments are more powerful for us precisely because Jesus has ascended.

In our own relationship with Jesus we must not cling to a pre-Ascension mode of relating to him. In the Liturgy, we do not try to go back to how it was at the Last Supper, or to a casual mode on the sea of Galilee; but we allow a post-Ascension mode of relating to Jesus which is more mystical, mysterious, solemn and reverent. 
Again, in the spiritual life, we don't cling to a pre-Ascension relationship by holding on to emotions and feelings, having an highly sentimentalized prayer life; but rather a life of faith, letting go of emotion and consolation so as to grow in a new way, living a life of charity for God and our neighbor.

Listen online [here]!

Daily Sermons of the 6th Week of Easter

Daily Sermons, Friday and Saturday. May 15 and 16.
St Isidore, and the Ascension.

May 10, 2015

Sunday Sermon, May 10th -- The Role of Mary in the Salvation of the human race

A May sermon on the important role which the Blessed Virgin Mary played in salvation history and the role she must play in our own spiritual growth.

God wills that, ordinarily, he should give no grace to the world except that it should come through the Virgin Mary -- the Daughter of God, the Mother of God, the Spouse of God.

The Father placed the Divine Will entirely at the disposal of the will of Mary.
The Son was wholly consecrated to Mary and subjected to her in all things.
The Holy Spirit loves Mary with a perfect and ineffable love.

We too then must be wholly consecrated and submissive to Mary. We too must love her with the most tender affection and devotion.

Listen online [here]!

May 9, 2015

Father's Corner -- Corpus Christi Parish and Catholic Schools in Great Falls

Father’s Corner – Corpus Christi and Catholic Schools

As many have heard, Bishop Warfel is moving forward with plans for a new model for Catholic schools in Great Falls in which parishes and schools are invited to unite to form a single system. At this time, Holy Spirit School and Great Falls Central High School are the two schools and Holy Spirit Parish and St. Ann’s Parish are the two parishes uniting in this school system. At this time, Our Lady of Lourdes School and the Ursuline Early Childhood Center are the two schools who are not joining the consolidation, as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Corpus Christi Parish, and Malmstrom AFB Chapel.

Some have wondered why Corpus Christi Parish has not joined in the new school system. Simply put, there is no little misconception about the support which Corpus Christi offers to Catholic education in Great Falls. Corpus Christi Parish has very clearly expressed support for all Catholic schools in Great Falls and will continue to support Catholic education in whatever form it is present in Great Falls – whether in a single system, or not. Here are just a few ways that Corpus Christi does support and will continue to support Catholic schools in Great Falls:
-          We make financial contributions to the elementary schools, $400 per parish student attending the schools. This adds up to thousands of dollars a year, given as a donation to support the schools.
-          We advertise for the school fundraisers and promote registration for all the Catholic schools not only in our bulletin but also with mounted signs both inside and outside the building. We also have registration materials displayed in the gathering area.
-          Father Ryan has preached about the importance of Catholic education, stating the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that all Catholics are obligated to support Catholic education and that Catholic schooling is to be preferred whenever and wherever possible.
-          A number of our parish families send their children to the Catholic schools.
-          Some parishioners are teachers or administrators for the Catholic schools.
-          Father Ryan is regularly present at Central High School: Offering Mass, hearing confessions, teaching in classrooms, offering presentations during the lunch hour, assisting with monthly adoration. Further, Father Ryan even offered to be a part-time teacher at Central without any payment, when the school was looking for a religion teacher.

All of this, taken together, shows that Corpus Christi Parish is more involved and supportive of Catholic Education in Great Falls than ever in recent history. We are very much a parish which supports and believes in Catholic schools.

It is important also for people to realize that Corpus Christi Parish, although not able to make any further financial contributions (beyond what we are already doing), has offered spiritual and pastoral support for the new school system. We certainly continue to support Catholic education in Great Falls.

That being said, Corpus Christi Parish could not responsibly join fully in the new school unification process on account of the fact that the financial commitment which this would entail has never been clarified. As most know, Catholic education can be extremely costly, and even in our own city we can see that there are major financial concerns which weigh heavily on the future of the Great Falls Catholic schools – this burden is especially great when considering the massive costs associated with the re-opening of Central Catholic High School, a debt which Corpus Christi cannot carry. As much as Corpus Christi Parish supports Catholic education, it would be irresponsible for me as the Pastor to commit the financial resources of our Parish to this new school system, especially when there has been no clear indication of just what this financial commitment would entail. Whenever the schools have been discussed in our Parish Finance Council, it has been clear that any greater financial commitment would be impossible. This concern is only exacerbated by the fact that Corpus Christi Parish is already struggling financially and is still currently running a negative budget – there simply isn’t any ability to give more money to the Great Falls Catholic schools than what we already donate.

Nevertheless, Corpus Christi Parish remains a strong supporter of our Great Falls Catholic schools. In no way does this imply any negative attitude toward public education, nor less to homeschooling (indeed, isn’t the Catholic home the best Catholic school of all?). While respecting the rights of all parents to determine how to educate their children, Corpus Christi Parish seeks only to offer support and guidance for all families in whatever they have determined to be the best model for their particular circumstances. Still, following the Second Vatican Council, our Parish does have a special love for Catholic schools, and we are honored to be able to support Catholic education in Great Falls in whatever form it is found – but we know that all parents must discern for themselves what is truly best and most beneficial for their family.

If I may offer a personal note, I am proud to state that I am entirely a product of Catholic education. I credit my vocation to Catholic schools, as I discerned the call to the priesthood through Billings Central High School. My family became a “Catholic school family” when I was in junior high, and this brought about an incredible conversion for all of us. My brother attended Catholic schools as well. Eventually, my parents made a huge financial sacrifice when mom quit a very good job to become the financial manager for the Billings Catholic School System – she remained in that position for several years and did a lot of good work for the schools. I firmly believe that the future of priestly vocations in our Diocese depends upon Catholic education, especially considering that the number of priestly vocations for our Diocese is heavily dependent upon Catholic schools (although there are certain exceptions, the basic trend is that those who attend Catholic schools are far more likely to answer the call to the priesthood and this holds true for our Diocese as well). I, personally, have the greatest love for Catholic schools and especially for Catholic homeschooling, and I believe that the future of the Church in America rests with Catholic education. That being said, I also know of so many good and inspiring families who send their children to public schools – and I believe that the Church has a duty to offer them the same support, guidance, and care as we do Catholic school families. There certainly should be no sense of discrimination, and the gift of Catholic education should never lead to a sense of superiority, pride, or judgment against those who do not send their children to Catholic schools. Still, speaking personally, Catholic education is among the greatest blessings in my own life – and I am honored to belong to a parish which is so involved in the Catholic schools in Great Falls.

                                                                                                Father Ryan Erlenbush

                                                                                                Pastor, Corpus Christi Parish

Daily Sermons of the 5th week of Easter

Daily Sermons, May 5-9.

Acts of the Apostles, St John, St Stanislaus, St Michael, the Trinity.

May 7, 2015

May 3rd -- The Prologue of St. John's Gospel, part 1. Adult Formation on the Gospel of John, session 3

Introduction to the prologue of St John's Gospel, verses 1:1-18.
This is far and away the most important passage of Sacred Scripture.

Overview of the prologue and consideration of certain themes.

Handout is below the audio recording.

May 6, 2015

Sunday Sermon, April 3 -- Remaining on the Vine, Keeping the Precepts of the Church

Being a good Catholic isn't about "feeling good" but about "doing good", actually living the faith and following the commandments of Christ given through his Church.

To be a good Catholic and a good person, we start with following the "bare minimum" which is the precepts of the Church.

1) Attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day
2) Confess serious sins at least once a year
3) Receive communion worthily at least once a year during Easter season
4) Following the laws of fasting (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and every Friday of the year, though on Fridays outside of Lent in the USA we are permitted to substitute some other form of penance)
5) Contributing to the material needs of the Church
6) Following the laws of the Church with regards to marriage

If you want to grow in holiness, start with these precepts and build from there. Just as we know that it is good to receive communion more than once a year (precept 3), we know that we need confession more than once a year (precept 2), and Mass more than just once a week (precept 1), and we should practice penance on more than just Fridays (precept 4). Of course, we should be generous with the Church (precept 5).

Listen online [here]!

May 2, 2015

Question and Answer about the obligation to practice penance on Fridays

Father’s Q&A on Friday Penance

Following up on the earlier handout regarding the obligation to do penance on all Fridays of the year, a little question and answer:

Does the Church really say I have to do penance on Fridays outside of Lent? Yes, if you are over 14, you are obligated to do penance on all Fridays excepting Solemnities. This was re-affirmed and declared to bind under pain of mortal sin by Pope Paul VI (See Canons 1250-1253 of the Code of Canon Law, and "Paenitemini" by Paul VI, 1966)

Do I have to abstain from meat on every Friday? The US Bishops have allowed you to practice some other penance on Fridays outside of Lent. However, the Bishops state the abstinence from meat on all Fridays still holds "first place" among all forms of penance. But Catholics in the USA are permitted to substitute some other form of penance on Fridays outside of Lent, if they so choose. (See Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, 1966)

Is it a mortal sin to fail to do penance on Fridays? If you are over 14, it would be a mortal sin intentionally to fail substantially to do penance on Fridays. Thus, it would not necessarily be a mortal sin to fail to do penance on any one Friday, but it would be a mortal sin intentionally to fail to do penance on numerous Fridays throughout the year. Obviously, certain exceptional circumstances (like serious illness) can free us from the obligation to practice penance on a particular Friday.

Am I in mortal sin, if I've never heard about this and have never done Friday penance before?! If you truly did not know, but generally seek to follow the teachings of the Church, you are not guilty of committing a mortal sin you didn't know about. However, we all have the obligation to learn and spread the fullness of the Catholic teaching, so we must strive from now on to practice Friday penance.

Why haven't I heard about this before? If it really is an issue of mortal sin, why haven't other priests told me about this?! Sadly, this is one of many areas where many priests and bishops of the past 50 years have failed gravely in their duty to teach the Catholic faith and guide the people to holiness. And this is no small fault or slight oversight -- the fourth precept of the Church demands that we keep the days of fasting and penance as prescribed by the Church. Friday penance is just the bare minimum for being Catholic! (See Catechism of the Catholic Church 2043)

Daily Sermons April 28 - May 2

Daily Sermons for the 4th Week of Easter.
St Louis Marie De Montfort, St Catherine of Sienna, St Joseph, Pope St Pius V, St Athanasius.

Apr 29, 2015

April 28th -- Who was St. John the Evangelist? The history of the life of the Beloved Disciple. Adult Formation on the Gospel of St John, session 2

Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of St. John

An overview of the life of the Beloved Disciple. Who was St. John? The son of Zebedee, the brother of James the Greater, the caretaker of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the theologian and priest and prophet, the Evangelist.

Handout is below the audio recording.

Good Shepherd Sunday, April 26 -- Christ alone feeds his flock with his own doctrine

Christ is the Good Shepherd who feeds and defends his sheep.
He feeds them with his own teaching, and he defends them by dying that they might live.

The Church is a big tent, all are welcome, there is room for everyone. But Jesus is the Shepherd and he alone feeds the sheep, and there is only one Gospel and one doctrine. Therefore, all are welcome, but not all ideas. There is room for everyone, but not room for every opinion.
In fact, no other doctrine is welcome in the Church, but that which is professed as the true Faith. And there isn't room for any opinions in the Church when it comes to matters of faith and morals.

And priests who preach their own opinion or who dissent from Church teaching are not your friends, they are the enemies of your salvation, they are wolves and not shepherds.

Priests today are called to lay down their lives for the sheep. That means sacrificing their reputation in order to teach the truth that comes from Christ, through his Church!

Listen online [here]!

Daily Homilies, April 21 - 25

Daily Homilies for the 3rd Week of Easter.
St Anselm, the Good Shepherd, St George, St Fidelis, St Mark.

Apr 22, 2015

April 21 -- Who wrote the 4th Gospel? Adult Formation Course on the Gospel of St. John, Session 1

Introduction to Catholic Commentary on the Gospel according to St. John.

Catholic commentaries on the Gospel of St. John. The preeminence of this Gospel.
Discussion of who wrote this Gospel -- Who was the beloved disciple?

See handout below the audio recording.

Apr 20, 2015

Sunday Sermon, April 19 -- Jesus was made known in the breaking of bread

This Sunday Gospel is the continuation of the apparition to Cleophas and the other disciple on the road to Emmaus. As Jesus appears to convince the apostles and disciples that it is truly he himself, present in his very body, he is also attesting to the fact that he is present to his Church always in the "breaking of bread", i.e. in the Eucharist.

We also discuss who this Cleophas was -- the father of James the Less and Jude Thaddeus, the grandfather of James the Greater and John, and the brother of St. Joseph.

Listen online [here]!

Apr 16, 2015

Another handout on Friday Penance all year

Below, please find another article on Friday penance that may be helpful to distribute to family and friends. This article was written by a priest friend of Father Ryan's, and says essentially the same, only in a bit more accessible language!

At the end, please find an homily which explains the logic of fasting and abstinence.

Catholics Must Do Penance on Every Friday Throughout the Year

Below, please find the text of the "Father's Corner" from Corpus Christi Parish, given on Easter Sunday.


FATHER’S CORNER – Penance on Fridays through the year

As we conclude the season of Lent and enter into the joyful Easter season, it is good to review the penance and fasting which the Church requires of all Catholics throughout the entire year. Indeed, we know that penance is the badge of our spiritual combat; and, as the Christian warfare against vice and temptation knows no rest, neither do we rest from the regular practice of penance.

Let’s review the Canon Law of the Church:
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. […]
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. […]
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

It is clear that each and every Friday through the entire year is a day of penance. This is prescribed by the Law of the Church. In the Universal Church, Catholics are obligated to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. Because Americans are weak in their faith, the US Bishops have obtained permission for some other form of penance for Fridays outside of Lent. However, we must recall that all US Catholics are obligated to do penance of some sort on every Friday of the year (excepting if it be a solemnity; for examples this year, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on June 12, or Christmas on December 25). Penance on Fridays is binding on all Catholics from 14 years until death. There is no upper age limit to abstaining from meat or some other form of penance outside of Lent. However, the two days of fasting (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) bind only from 18 to 60 years – Catholics are strongly encouraged, but not bound, to fast also on Holy Saturday.

But how serious is this obligation? After Vatican II, Pope Paul VI issued a declaration regarding the necessity of penance in the Christian life. Regarding abstinence from meat (or some other penance as determined by the Bishops’ Conference) on every Friday throughout the year, the Pope states, in 1966, “Their substantial observance binds gravely.” (Paenitemini, Norm II.2) This was further clarified by the Vatican, stating that omitting a part of the prescript of penance “which is notable either quantitatively or qualitatively, without an excusing motive” is a grave sin. (Dubium of 31 March 1967).

What does this mean? It means that Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to practice penance on every Friday throughout the year, and not just during Lent. The universal way in which Catholics practice this penance is by abstaining from meat. However, in the USA other forms of penance may be substituted, but some sort of penance is mandatory. To omit penance on numerous Fridays (even outside of Lent) without a grave reason would be a mortal sin.

Let us take up our Cross and follow Christ! He is truly Risen from the dead! Those who share in his Cross will one day share also in the glory of his Resurrection!