The International Week of Prayer and Fasting, in collaboration with the Legion of Mary, runs from October 20-28, 2023.
The International Week of Prayer and Fasting campaign is a grassroots movement of Catholics and other Christians from around the world participating in a global network of prayer and fasting.
Most of the presentations are virtual. This entire event will be available FREE via livestream on the day of the events. An all-access pass will be available for a donation, which will allow unlimited access for a year following the events.
The Week culminates on Saturday, October 28th, featuring speakers Fr. Timothy E. Byerley, Ray Grijalba, Dr. Carlos Parellada, Sister Deirdre Byrne, and Ted Flynn.
This event also includes a procession of the nations, a global living Rosary recited by people representing Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The participants will be wearing traditional dress from their countries of origin. There will also be the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and the opportunity for confession.
To register online and to receive more information, visit their website at www.IWOPF.org or call +1 888-478-PRAY.
Saint Jude Thaddeus: The Gospel tells us that St. Jude was a brother of St. James the Less, also one of the Apostles. They are described in the Gospel of Matthew as the “brethren” of Jesus, probably cousins. St. Jude is sometimes confused with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. Jude traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Libya, and Persia with Saint Simon…… preaching and building up the foundations of the early Church. St. Jude died a martyr’s death for his unwavering faith.
After his martyrdom, the body of St. Jude was buried temporarily in Mesopotamia and then taken to Rome where he was interred in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with the other Apostles. His forearm was incasesd in a silver reliquary for many centuries was located in Armenia. At the beginning of the 18th century, Armenian Dominican Missionaries left Armenia because of the Moslem persecution and brought the relic to Smyrna, Turkey. After another round of persecutions, the relic was given to the Dominicans in Turin, Italy.
In 1949, the Dominican Province of St. Peter Martyr in Turin presented the relic to the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude in Chicago, Illinois on the 20th anniversary of their Shrine’s dedication to St. Jude, where it is on permanent display. It is reportedly the largest relic of an Apostle located outside of Europe.
Here is an interesting article from Chicago Catholic newspaper about the custodian of the relic. The picture on our site is from that article. Photo credit: Karen Callaway, Archdiocese of Chicago.
From time to time the relic is taken on tour for special events like Solemn Novenas, healing, and prayer services across the United States.
Such is the case in 2023, when the arm will be available for veneration in the U.S.A. from September 9 through November 6 in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and possibly more to be added. You can find the tour schedule here.
Those of us growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s in the U.S. (I know, there are fewer of us each day) remember going to Mass in churches that looked like….well, churches. Most had statutes of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and various saints. There were usually stained glass windows depicting various scenes from the Bible. Marble altars, altar rails and other features told you that you had entered somewhere special….and even sacred! And the sanctuary lamp, always burning over the tabernacle, which was in plain sight, reinforced this feeling.
Then, in the wake of Vatican II (and we are not knocking all of Vatican II…just some of the excesses), we found many members of the building committees wanting to throw out everything that made Catholic churches unique, despite the fact that Vatican II had nothing to say on the subject of church construction.
It was an effort to “keep up with the times“…..and yet, the Church is timeless. It dies when it tries to keep up with the times….as many protestant denominations are beginning to find out.
So, beauty was cast aside and we ended up with some churches resembling bomb shelters or gymnasiums. Those purposely bland structures certainly did not inspire anyone. You couldn’t show the beautiful stained glass windows to your children to enhance their biblical knowledge…because in many cases the windows were gone!
We know of priests, when designing a new church, had to fight with their Diocese and, often, compromises were made just to get these churches built. For example, the best the priest might hope for is that the Tabernacle would be placed in an Adoration Chapel…somewhat visible from the main sanctuary, but not necessarily near the altar. But that is the best outcome..in some churches the tabernacle was practically in the broom closet. And then people wonder why belief in the Eucharist has fallen amongst Catholics!
We know, the Mass remains sacred regardless where it is said, but there is something about a church designed with beauty in mind that adds a sense of reverence, wonder, and dignity.
There is a hunger for beauty in our world, and that certainly extends to our churches as well. We are beginning to see a rejection of the modernist trend that led to these buildings and many churches (those being built, and those being re-modeled) are beginning to look like those beautiful churches of the past.
One example of that trend is shown below: the “before” and “after” of the re-design of Saint Dominic Church in Brick, New Jersey. And “before” was mild compared to some of the other churches we have seen.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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 onMay 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:
Now in its 15th year, New York Encounter is an annual three-day cultural event in the heart of New York City, offering opportunities for education, dialogue, and friendship.
The New York Encounter strives to witness to the new life and knowledge generated by the faith, following Pope Benedict XVI’s claim that “the intelligence of faith has to become the intelligence of reality.” In pursuit of this goal—and according to St. Paul’s suggestion to “test everything and retain what is good”—the Encounter aims to discover, affirm, and offer to everyone truly human expressions of the desire for truth, beauty, and justice. The Encounter, thus, becomes a meeting point for people of different beliefs, traditions, and cultures striving for reciprocal understanding, mutual building, and true friendship.
The theme this year is: “Who Am I That You Care for Me?”
Among the highlights will be Sunday February 19 with Mass offered for Pope Francis’ intentions for peace, celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston.
You can find more information about New York Encounter here.
All New York Encounter events are free and open to everyone.
The main events will also be live-streamed via YouTube and available, free of charge, on the Encounter website
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