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5 New Episodes of “My Lourdes Faith Journey” Starting July 10

From Monday, July 10 to Friday, July 14, 5 new episodes of My Lourdes Faith Journey will premiere on EWTN at 5:30 PM EST with encore daily at 2:30 AM EST.

This special series is produced, directed and filmed by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers and graciously aired by EWTN.

Watch on your local EWTN cable network or tune in online live at www.ewtn.com/tv/watch-live.

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Movie Review “Sound of Freedom”

Review of “Sound of Freedom”

Sound of Freedom MovieChild trafficking doesn’t quite fit the bill for most family entertainment; and quite frankly, I prefer movies that tend to be uplifting.  So, I really wasn’t motivated to watch this movie; however, since Jim Caviezel was the star, and Angel Studios produced it,  I was anxious to check it out.  It’s based on a true story, and I discovered this movie had a realistic feel to it, rather than being a documentary…. and to me that made it much more watchable, since I am not a big fan of documentaries (yes, I know..I should be).

Although riveting, it is also sad and yet has an ending that is heartwarming.  Alas, if all reports are even half-true, millions (and we mean many millions) of children are sex slaves to traffickers, and few of them are likely to have happy endings.

Those in the U.S. have watched an estimated 500,000 undocumented aliens stream across the Southern border each year and we have to wonder….how many of these are child traffickers?  The same can be said for some European countries.

Well..back to the review of “Sound of Freedom”:

Casting was great…not just Jim Caviezel, as well as the supporting cast….including the children.  Cinematography was also great.  It was thought-provoking….you can’t help wonder how many children are exploited annually….and what finally becomes of them? Of course the movie doesn’t tell us that.

Note:  the movie was made in 2018.  It is arguably even truer today than then.  The production company initially had a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox. However, after the Walt Disney Company acquired 20th Century Fox, Sound of Freedom was shelved.  The film’s producer, Eduardo Verastegui, spent more than a year getting rights for the movie from Disney. Unfortunately, as soon as Disney released the rights for the film, the COVID pandemic hit and prevented the producer from getting it released.

The real-life Tim Ballard, the DHS agent played by Caviezel, has testified at a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee and shared footage of the sting operation portrayed in Sound of Freedom with the media. CBS applauded Tim Ballard and “Sound of Freedom” in 2014 for their efforts against child trafficking. Yet, today, the same mainstream media is dismissing the film based on Ballard’s work as a “paranoid” QAnon conspiracy. Why the sudden shift?

Spoiler Alert:  Watch for it!  Some actual footage of the sting operation plays during the final moments of the movie (or was it during the credits?) …but you’ll have to be looking for it…it flashes by quickly, with some of the faces blurred out in the images. By the time Tim left Colombia, he and the team had rescued over 120 victims and arrested more than a dozen traffickers,” reads text on the screen. I found that part fascinating.

Read more

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Andrea Bocelli to Sing in Lourdes on July 16

On July 16, Andrea Bocelli will be singing to celebrate the last apparition of the Virgin to Bernadette

On July 16, to celebrate the 18th and final Apparition in Lourdes, Dançar Marketing and Colégio Vértice (BR) will be offering pilgrims in the Sanctuary of Lourdes a special concert by Andrea Bocelli entitled “Prayers for life” for families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

After the Marian procession, which will begin at 8:30 p.m., Andrea Bocelli will perform, accompanied by the Choir and Orchestra of Pau Pays de Béarn, from the city of Pau, conducted by the Italian maestro Carlo Bernini and accompanied by the Ukrainian violinist, Anastasiya Petryshak and by French soprano, Clara Barbier Serrano.

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Faithful Catholic families….do we fight or flee?

As we look at the culture around us, we see what would seem to be a steady downhill slide…. some governments and businesses pushing the LGBTQ agenda; abortion as a “right”; gender identity (apparently there are up to six genders!); politicians who openly sow racial discord; sports leagues that have gone “woke” and so many other things in opposition to what we, as Catholics, hold dear.

Much of what follows is directed toward U.S. residents, but in general it also applies to Canada and a host of other countries as well.

Abortion in a Post-Roe World:

Here in the U.S., some states have banned abortion completely;  some after a certain number of weeks; but other states have offered to become “abortion sanctuaries” for those who cannot procure a legal abortion in their own state.

The U.S. military will grant up to three weeks of administrative leave and reimburse service members who travel to other states where abortions are legal.

So, although Roe vs Wade has been over-turned, it is only one battle in the war against abortion.  It merely sent the abortion issue back to the states.


The Transgender Movement:

As Catholic Christians, we believe as the Book of Genesis states: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”.

Drag Queen Story Hours in Public Schools
(Photo: Twitter/@RealOmarNavarro)

Not content with being left alone (that’s what they used to say) the proponents of the transgender movement now want to become mainstream…..and force you to accept their beliefs.  And yet, we are said to be the intolerant ones!

Some public schools and libraries proudly host “drag queen story hours” for children….and parents pat themselves on the back for being so open-minded.

Believe it or not, the people hosting these events are not open-minded…they are after your children!

TV cartoons feature gay characters; game shows seem to almost require at least one participant to be gay or trans-sexual; everything is in your face, and it is put out there as normal.

Likewise, we see free speech (not liberal speech, of course…just conservative speech) being limited on college campuses.

“Separation of Church and State”

Try to bring religion in to the public square and people will shout “separation of church and state” without having the slightest idea what that means.  The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution does not say that, it merely states that the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech

But, of course, that does not stop those who are determined to push God out of everything.  Many news anchors ignore (or are ignorant of) the First Amendment and prattle on about “threats to our democracy” with absolutely no idea of what they are talking about….but they all got the same memo, so they keep repeating the phrase.

 Did you ever think you would be talking about lack of religious tolerance in your own country?

Of course tolerance of other religions is highly encouraged, it is only Christianity that is held up as a threat. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center (which, ironically, once championed civil rights) has said “right-wing extremism exploits Christianity and the Bible to radicalize and mobilize its violent adherents toward criminality and terrorism“.  So, if you speak out against abortion, or gay rights, or a host of other Christian principles, you are a terrorist.

Christians are sometimes called “transphobic” or “homophobic” which of course is not the case.  To be phobic is to be fearful…we do not fear transvestites or homosexuals, we merely deem their actions to be contrary to Christian beliefs.  But that doesn’ fit their narrative.

So what do families do? Well, some choose to stay and fight against these attacks on religious freedom, while others choose to flee to other locales that seem a bit more Christian family-friendly. Faced with the hostile environment in some cities or states, many families have decided to put that behind them and move to locations where they feel they can better raise their families in the Catholic Christian tradition.

Families are moving to places where there are strong orthodox Catholic religious communities nearby, such as the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Clear Creek in Hulbert, Oklahoma; the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA; Little Portion Hermitage, in Berry, ARSubiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Arkansas and others.  Then, there is the growing Catholic Land Movement…a loose connection of those wishing to practice a simpler way of life.

And there are entire Catholic communities being formed, such as Veritatis Splendor in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.

Here is a great article written by Johnathan Liedl for the National Catholic Register that tells the stories of some of those who have pulled up stakes and moved to more family friendly communities where their faith can be nurtured rather than attacked.

Of  course not everyone wants to re-locate nor are they in a position to do so. In the case of re-location, there are jobs to consider (fortunately work-from-home has helped make this easier for some), elderly parents nearby, etc.  Some are not in a position to move to a more Catholic-friendly area and others prefer “fight the good fight” where they are, perhaps by home-schooling their children through an online program such as Tan Academy; being active in the pro-life community; or a host of other opportunities.

Others have chosen to seek out a more traditional, and rural life.  One example would be The Catholic Land Movement.

Regardless, whatever the situation, we must fight back….“it can’t happen here” has been said by many over the course of history….and then it happened “here”.  Most recently in Rwanda, Bosnia, and currently in Nigeria, among other countries where Christians are attacked.

It calls to mind “First They Came – by Pastor Martin Niemöller“.

The old saying “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing”.

Unfortunately, the way many Catholics have given in to the Covid hysteria and given up rights we thought were inalienable, concerns us.  We’re not there yet, and at The Catholic Travel Guide we remain optimistic as we see people start to realize that we are in a war with certain elements of the society around us.

Have a story to tell?  Please contact us and let us know.

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Come on, Dad…we’re on vacation…why do we have to go to Church?

That was my plea, but my dad said: “We don’t take a vacation from God”

Growing up in western New York State back in the 60’s, our family always went to church on Sundays,  even when on vacation.   Having to wake up and get dressed seemed out of place.  Wasn’t a vacation was supposed to mean a break from all the rules of every day life?  But my dad was serious about his religion and so we went to church on Sunday no matter where we were.

We were “low-church” Episcopalians (no “smells & bells” for us…we left that up to those who were “high church” Episcopalians….good grief, they might just as well have been Catholics).

In our church there was just a plain cross over the altar (which faced East, against the wall….we did have an altar rail and took communion kneeling, but the similarity ended there).

Phot of St Paul's Episcopal Church Harris Hill, NY
Photo courtesy St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Harris Hill, New York

(Now that I am Catholic, I miss the sense of reverence that came with kneeling at the altar rail, since they no longer exist in many Catholic churches).

We recited the Nicene Creed…but when we got to the part about one holy, catholic and apostolic church my big sister leaned over to me and said “don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we’re Catholic“….whew…what a relief…..apparently being Catholic was something to avoid at all costs, although I had no idea why!



Well, back to my point about going to church while on vacation:

It was pretty easy to find an Episcopal church in many towns…you could often find a sign like this one hanging as you entered the town.

We didn’t necessarily fit in….if it was a summer vacation town near a lake, then maybe, but otherwise we felt a bit out of place in our casual clothes among all those people in their “Sunday Best”.  Today, of course, vacationers might fit right in to those who trot off to their local Mass in shorts and flip-flops…but don’t get me started on that!

If you’re not lucky enough to spot a sign….yes, some Catholic churches still have them, but not many…..then be sure to plan ahead.


Cop with Nun in New York City
Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

You might find a New York Cop…or a Nun… to help with directions, but that is pretty unlikely (kinda like the photo, though, so I thought I would add to this article).

We do have some suggestions for those going on a cruise…or those who might be looking for a Mass in an airport.

In the U.S. & Canada there is a website called Masstimes.org that is useful.

Otherwise, dads…Sunday Mass attendance is an obligation under the Catechism of the Catholic Church….so spend as much effort planning to attend Mass as you do to getting to your destination!  Some day in the future, your kids will appreciate it.


Post by Harold Johnson

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Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster….do we have a new “incorruptable”?

Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster
Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster

When Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, the foundress of The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, died on May 29, 2019 at age 95, her body was not embalmed and was placed in a simple wooden coffin to be buried in the convent where she lived.

Recently, it was decided to move her body into the chapel of the convent.  When the body was exhumed and the coffin opened, it was discovered that there was a crack in the wooden casket that had allowed dirt and moisture into the coffin, which would have accelerated any decomposition.  Despite this, her body had not decayed as expected and appeared to be relatively intact.  In addition, her habit, which she so zealously fought for, was completely preserved, while the lining of the coffin had deteriorated and was gone.

The nuns created a wax mask for Sister Wilhelmina’s face and also coated her hands with wax, the story said. Her body will be displayed in the chapel at the Abbey of Ephesus in Gower, Missouri until May 29, when there will be a rosary procession. After that, her body will be encased in glass in the chapel.

We are not in a position to say that the body is incorrupt….nor are the Sisters.  The local ordinary, Bishop Vann Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, visited the monastery to see Sister Wilhelmina’s remains. Johnston issued a statement the same day, saying that a “thorough investigation” was needed to answer “important questions” raised by the state of her body  More investigation will be required before that can be decided.  You can read the statement here.

You can find an email that was recently sent out by the Sisters of The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles explaining the recent events here.

Here is a video with Reverand Mother of the Order describing the unearthing of the body.

And here is a great video concerning Sister Wilhelmina by Father Mark Goring.

Visitors viewing the body of Sister Wilhelmina (photo courtesy Alex Simone | News-Press NOW)

Huge crowds came to see her body while it was still open for visitors to see and touch.  Now, her body has been placed in a glass case but can still be viewed.

As you can imagine, this has created an influx of visitors to the Abbey….and, in fact, the Sisters are no longer taking phone calls since it interferes with their spiritual life.



If you do plan a visit to view the body of Sister Wilhelmin in Gower, Missouri, please be aware of the following;

1.    There is a dress code in their chapel; Marian modesty:  Women must wear sleeves, a veil, and a dress below the knees or lose fitting pants when they visit.  Veils, skirts, and shawls can be borrowed.  Men also need sleeves.

2.   DO NOT TALK. Not at all.

3.   You are in their home. Be aware of that. They are VERY hospitable, and won’t complain if you violate things, but please be respectful.

4.  Her body will be encased in a glass case on May 29, so you need to visit before that if you wish to touch her.

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LGBTQ IN YOUR FACE in San Antonio, Texas

Never-ending LGBTQ Propaganda aimed at YOU!

Most of us are getting sick of the controveries over the push to make LGBTQ+ a normal lifestyle.  Budweiser Bud Light and Target are only two high-profile promoters of the LGBTQ lifestyle; but there are hundreds more.  If you are a Catholic Christian working for a major corporation, there is a good chance there will be someone responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)….to very admirable sounding terms until you realize what they mean to those in power.  Often times it means you need to promote others based on race or sexual preference rather than ability. And to push the envelope further, you must celebrate lifestyles that directly in opposition to Church teaching.

It  all began with “we just want to be left alone” then “we just want to be able to get married” then “you will endorse our life style“.  Fight back, and they will do everything in their power (with most of the media on their side) to crush you.  Get you fired from your job, put you out of business, ruin your life.  And make no mistake, they are after your children and grand-children.  Accepting pedophilia is on the horizon….just check back with us in a decade or so.  Don’t want to bend to their will?  They will get you fired or put you out of business.

Well-meaning people say “we have to be compassionate”.  This is not to say that there are not good people in some of these communities, but encouraging in their sinful behavior is not compassionate…it is enabling.

Founded by Catholics in the 1500, this event is a far cry from what those early missionaries could have imagined.
What harm could it do to watch?  Well, you are encouraging a lifestyle that is ultimately a dead end.  God created male and female for procreation….not going to happen between to people of the same sex…unless they start creating babies in a test tube, which still violates God’s law.

Then you have the push (and we do mean push)  to convince young people in their teens and even younger to “choose their sex” would have been laughed at only a few years ago….but suddenly it is all over the place.

There will be families here celebrating “diversity” or “exclusion” and bringing their kids along.  How sad it will be (as a friend of ours discovered) when their daughter comes to visit and announces that she is about to get married to another woman! Well….where do she get the idea in the first place?

We are sad to see one of our favorite cities, San Antonio, Texas hosting a pride parade.

On June 24, 2023 there will be families here celebrating “diversity” or “exclusion” and bringing their kids along.  It seems harmless enough…just watching a parade…..but those kids are watching, and getting the idea that this is all normal.  How sad it will be if, as a friend of ours recently discovered, their daughter comes to visit and announces that she has fallen in love and is about to get married to another woman! Well….where do think she got the idea in the first place?

And, as if the parade is not enough, there is the Bud Light Pride River Parade & Celebration.  Gee, have they not learned their lesson?

We have known a few homosexuals who really born that way, but many have chosen to bear this cross.  And even among those who have not, it is only a small militant minority who push this on everyone.  But they are a strong minority, and have infiltrated our governments and our businesses.

We don’t know how many Catholic Christians will attend this event…..sad to say, we think there will be many.  “What harm can it do?” is the popular expresssion.  “After all, we want to be ‘inclusive’..’non-judgmental’..’welcoming’ “.  And we certainly don’t want to be accused of being “homophobic” or “transphobic”.

Still, if you visit San Antonio, there are some great Catholic sites to see in San Antonio (named after Saint Anthony and founded in 1718). It is a great place to visit..perhaps not so much on








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Book review: ‘Courtship of the Saints’ by Patrick O’Hearn

Middle ranking civil servant, Catholic, 43, immaculate past, from the country, is looking for a good Catholic, pure girl  who can cook well, tackle all household chores, with a talent for sewing and homemaking with a view to marriage as soon as possible.”In today’s world, of course, such an ad would be accused of being “sexist” and the man attacked viciously (verbally, at least).

Wow, this is quite an ad .   From a dating website?  No, this ad dates from the 1920’s and was placed in the German Newspaper Bild am Sonntag (BamS) by Joseph Ratzzinger, Sr. It was the second of two ads…the first being earlier with no mention of being a mid-level civil servant.  The newspaper ad was answered by a young womand named Maria, who had to postphone marriage for some time due to family considerations.  Both married late in life for those times.  As you might have already guessed, of the three children that resulted from this holy couple, one of them went on to become Pope Benedict XVI.


This book covers many courtships, from early saints in the both the old and new Testaments of the Bible (Saints Anne and Joachim, or Saints Joseph and Mary, for example) up through Emperors such as Karl of Austria and his wife Zita, who are now Blesseds, the pathway to sainthood. Some of these couples you will have heard of, and some may surprise you, since their story is not well known.  We won’t spoil it for you, but their stories are compelling as well as inspirational.

The term courtship may seem out of date today, but it still

My only criticism of the book is the title, since “courtship of the Saints” is not applicable to all those mentioned in the book.  No doubt all these couples were saintly in many ways, but not all have been given that title.  Still, that is a minor thing….the fact is, this book gives us a fascinating way in which God works to bring couples together….and on the path to sainthood.  As pointed out by the author, marriage is a form of martyrdom:  a denial of self for another.  Not easy…and perhaps it was never meant to be.

About the Author:

Patrick O’Hearn is an acquisitions editor at TAN Books. He has writen several books in addition to “Courtship of the Saints”, including ‘The Shepherd at the Crib and the Cross’.

Check out all the great TAN books here.

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Who says they don’t build beautiful churches any more?

One of the over-reactions (in our opinion) to Vatican II in the 1970’s was a desire to minimize the architectural beauty of many new churches being built.  Liturgical experts were brought in to explain why things needed to change….although Vatican II never said anything to that effect.  Suddenly we had bland, ugly buildings with a plain table and two candles for an altar.  It was simplistic taken to extremes.  The tabernacle may….or may not…have been visible to the congregation.  In other words, tradition was to be despised and we all needed to “get with the times”.  Of course, we know where that led….but that is another story for another time.

Priests and lay people hoping to build more traditional buildings often had to fight their own diocese to accomplish it……making quite a few compromises along the way.  Fighting the architectural commitees of their diocese was often an uphill battle.  Keeping the tabernacle in a prominent position was certainly one of those battles…in some cases it was practically in the broom closet.

St Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Charleston, SC
Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church

But the pendulum has begun to swing back, and there is a growing  appreciation (you might even say a hunger) for greater beauty in the sanctuary.  Utilitarian is beginning to be replaced by Gothic or Baroque styles of buildings.  Many of the churches being built today have a more traditional look….and some older churches are being remodeled to look traditional.

While many parishes in the Northeast and Midwest have found it necessary to close, the “sun belt” states have seen tremendous growth over the last few decades.  The South was formerly called “the Bible Belt” due to its heavy Protestant influence…just don’t tell them that Catholics wrote the Bible!.   Along with that growth came the need to build new churches to accommodate the many Catholics moving into these states.

It is always sad to see some of these beautiful old churches close, especially those with such features as marble altars, old stained glass windows, hand-carved statuary, etc.  But as many cities aged, and people moved out of the area, these churches had such low attendance that they were forced to close and either torn down or turned into something else.  The magnificent features that made them so beautiful were sold off.

Fortunately, in some cases, the contents of these churches were purchased and used in new church construction elsewhere.

One example of this is the new sanctuary building for Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  The building committee had found out that the Sisters of Saint Joseph Convent in Pittsburgh, built in 1897, was designated to be sold and the chapel furnishings auctioned off.

It said that some things are not coincidences, they are God-incidences.  And this is certainly one of them.  The new building here in Charleston was designed so that the windows would be fitted with clear glass until a future time when the parish could afford stained glass windows.  They needed 12 windows.

The chapel in the Sisters of Saint Joseph Chapel had 12 stained-glass windows designed by renowned German window maker Franz Mayer of Munich!  And they fit their architects’ design for the new church by a matter of inches (the 120 year-old windows were 18 feet tall by 8 feet wide).  Not only that, two of them depicted Saint Clare of Assisi!  Coincidence?  We think not.

According to the pastor, Rev. Gregory West of St. Clare of Assisi, the church paid about $450,000 for the windows and their removal.  New ones would have cost many times more than that, he said.

In addition, they have also purchased  the Stations of the Cross, the high altar (reredos), the main altar, statues of Saint Joseph, the Blessed Mother, Saint Clare of Assisi, and a baptismal font.  They will all have a new home here at Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in Charleston.

Here in South Carolina you will find a church that inspires you with its architecture. The address might confuse you, but Daniel Island is a planned community within the city of Charleston.

Address:  990 Etiwan Park Street, Daniel Island.  (by the way, Etiwan, also spelled Ittiwan is the native American tribe that lived here). They were located approximately 30 miles northeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

Click here for the official website of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in Charleston.  You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Photos courtesy Saint Clare Catholic Church, Charleston, SC

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U.S. Coast-to-Coast Eucharistic Pilgrimage 2024

Catholics are Invited To Participate In Coast-To-Coast 2024 National Eucharistic Pilgrimage


The executive team for the National Eucharistic Congress is excited to announce an unprecedented multi-route nationwide pilgrimage across the country as part of the historic movement to set hearts ablaze.

Rooted in daily celebration of the Mass and modeled after the Gospel account of Jesus’ journey to Emmaus two millennia ago, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will involve four different routes starting from four different cities.  Depending upon the route, they will begin on May 17, 18 or 19, 2024 during the Feast of Pentecost.

Each route will be a walk with our Eucharistic Lord across the country for approximately two months.  Four dozen young adults will make the entire journey, traveling full-time from May 2024 until July of 2024. They will be led by clergy and followed by a support van and travel 10-15 miles each day while taking part in a minor Eucharistic procession. Along the routes, parishes will host Mass, Adoration, 40 Hours devotions, praise and worship services, lectures on the Eucharist, pilgrim testimonies, meals, and fellowship.

The Perpetual Pilgrims will rely on the biblical hospitality of local hosts, including lay families, parishes, religious orders, schools, and shrines along the way.

Jesus will be the focus of the entire pilgrimage! Join them for segments of this massive expedition across the nation, physically walking side-by-side with our Risen Lord.  You can find additional information on their website here.

Four routes for the 2024 National Eucharistic pilgrimage:

The routes, named for saintly significance corresponding to the geographical starting point, will pass through many major U.S cities. The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will cover four different routes:

Marian Route (North) Starting in Bemidji, Minnesota

Seton Route (East) Starting in New Haven, Connecticut

Juan Diego Route (South) Starting in Brownsville, Texas

Serra Route (West) Starting in San Francisco, California

The routes will all converge in Indianapolis on July 16 for the National Eucharistic conference scheduled for July 17-21.