Author Archives: Joe

About Joe

I'm just another "average" Catholic.

Fr. Richard Sutter – A Catholic Priest and A Cause to Inspire Kona!

Fr Richard racing for Military Chaplains

Fr. Richard Sutter, Catholic Priest and U.S. Army Airborne Ranger Infantry Officer Veteran, with the help of Kona Inspired, will race October 12, 2013 to gain support and raise awareness for the tireless service of Military Chaplains who, throughout the world, minister daily to our service members, wounded veterans, and their families. Fr. Richard will carry on the race course 140 prayer intentions for Military Chaplains. One intention for each mile of the race. Please support Fr. Richard by voting for him (click “vote for this” at the bottom of the video) by June 3, 2013! Just click on the link below watch the video and click on the vote for this button.

Kona Inspire grants participation waivers to 7 people who would like to support a cause by competing in the Ironman triathlon. Fr. Richard wants to be one of those 7 people!

1,000 votes by June 3rd! Video of Fr. Richard Sutter – A Catholic Priest racing for Military Chaplains.

Feel free to repost this to any of your own blogs. Thanks for your support!


The Charity of Pope Francis in Pictures

The Charity of Pope Francis in Pictures

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote:

Charity is a habit, not a gush or sentiment; it is a virtue, not an ephemeral thing of moods and impulses; it is a quality of the soul, rather than an isolated good deed.

So long as there are poor;

I am poor;

So long as there are prisons,

I am a prisoner;

So long as there are sick,

I am weak;

So long as there is ignorance,

I must learn the truth;

So long as there is hate,

I must love;

So long as there is hunger,

I am famished.

Such is the identification Our Divine Lord would have us make with all whom He made in love and for love.

The following pictures remind me of how Pope Francis lives this authentic love, this Christ-like charity. Enjoy!

May God bless each and every one of you. And may the Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to bless and guide our beloved Pope Francis.


Self-Knowledge: What We Should Know

Hello everyone! I sincerely apologize for my absence. I’ve had an extremely hectic past year. I was engaged in a book project with a good friend and mentor of mine through the end of last year. I also took a new job working in a completely new industry. So there has been a lot of adjusting.

Anyways, I just wanted to share with all of you an exert from the book project. Currently, the title of book is Catholic You! Where Self-Knowledge and Fellowship Meet. The following is taken from the Introduction. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

The Art of Self-KnowledgeSELF-KNOWLEDGE: WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW

“To know the truth of what I am – the truth of why my body and soul are in conflict – the truth of how they can be reconciled – the truth of how to find Divine Strength to overcome sorrow and sin and Divine Knowledge to overcome my mistakes – would mean I could be free to live.”  - Venerable Fulton Sheen

Who are we? Self-knowledge involves taking an honest look at ourselves – our worldview, our temperament, our predominate sin, our inclinations to the Seven Deadly Sins – and how we relate to reality.

We are in the fight of our lives. Seriously. Not only are we in a fight, with unimaginable happiness or misery at stake, but we are also being soundly thrashed. Believe it or not, we are. We willingly side with our enemy every day. Don’t think so?

    Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1849).

How could an enemy be so powerful and clever as to dupe us into siding against ourselves? Pretty easy really; he seduced our first parents into committing that Original Sin.

Because our first parents failed to live the deeper love of obedience, our human capacity to love has been genetically changed. We became users instead of lovers. We inherited selfishness and self-centeredness, much like we inherited our genetic characteristics, from our parents, grandparents…first parents.

Original Sin explains why we do what we do.

Our bodies, despite their continual demands and desire for fleshy satisfaction, are really the more inferior side of who we are. Through Original Sin the body suffers and dies. Yet the deeper wound caused by Original Sin is to the soul (the more God-like side of us). Our intellects and wills have been seriously damaged. The truth is that without God’s help we would have been hopeless.

Yet we have this great hope – God loves us and sent His only Son to save us from our sins. He offers us His grace, that “free and undeserved gift that God gives us to respond to our vocation to become his adopted children” (ibid. pg 881).

Catholic You! Where Self-Knowledge & Fellowship Meet, through 7 steps, leads us deeper into ourselves and prepares us to become better channels of God’s grace.

I’ll be posting more exerts over the next couple months. I’m also working on making the book available in a downloadable format soon.

May God bless and keep each and every one of you.


2012: Happy New Year, Everybody!

Christ, the Judge - The Last Judgment

Happy New Year, Everybody! Well we made it…another chapter closed, 2011. What a year!

I’m wishing all of you a happy, healthy, spirit-filled 2012. Regardless of what is happening in our temporal lives it is important to remember that we are only here to get out of here. So we must keep striving to live in the present moment, trusting in our Loving Lord Jesus to guide us safely home.

Things are starting to settle down for me, so hopefully I can get back on a regular writing schedule.

Anyways, you all remain in my prayers.

May God bless you and keep you in 2012 and beyond. May our Blessed Mother surround you and your family with her mantle. Amen.


St. Jude Novena @ PrayMoreNovenas.com

Pray the St. Jude NovenaJoin me and over 5,000 other Catholics in praying the St. Jude Novena beginning on October 19th. Sign up at PrayMoreNovenas.com – St. Jude Novena.

Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.

“Pray these novena prayers to Saint Jude with confidence. Catholics have relied on his intercession in times of extreme need for centuries.

This Apostle and Martyr has helped countless souls through his epistle in the New Testament and his intercessions on behalf of those who seek his aid in times of trial.

Pray this novena for your intentions asking St. Jude to intercede to God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit on your behalf.”

PrayMoreNovenas.com is worth checking out. I think this is a fantastic way to bring Catholics together in prayer.

St. Jude pray for us!


Fatherhood 101: Raising Catholic Kids @ LovingTheChurch.com

A Father's Guide to Keeping Your Children CatholicThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, I share some of the ground rules Krista and I have focused on in raising our kids Catholic – Fatherhood 101: Raising Catholic Kids

Fatherhood can be very challenging but raising Catholic kids is the primary responsibility of every Catholic father. I can’t give what I don’t have. Living the Catholic Faith is extremely important and takes a “daily” effort. Here are a few simple ways that Krista and I do that.

May God bless you and keep you.

*The photo this week is of my sister, Maria, and her family.


Progress Not Perfection: Striving To Be The Husband I Should Be @ LovingTheChurch.com

Practical Tools for getting through Marriage ProblemsThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, Progress Not Perfection: Striving To Be The Husband I Should Be.

I’m a sinner and that effects my relationship with my wife. Like most married couples, we have our disagreements and problems. We can get on one anothers’ nerves. In Progress Not Perfection: Striving To Be The Husband I Should Be, I discuss several practical tools I try to use to work through those difficult, challenging times in marriage.

Married life is my vocation, so while generally a blast, it will always entail the Cross as well. The way of Marital Bliss is also the way of the Cross.

May God bless you and keep you.


Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family @ LovingTheChurch.com

A look at Familiaris Consortio, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World.This week at LovingTheChurch.com, I discuss Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family. Turning to his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), I consider the questions:

What exactly is the Catholic family?

What practical things can the Catholic family do to remain faithful to Christ?

Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family

May God bless you and keep you! Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us. Amen.


The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: A Girl, a Priest, and the Promise of the Sacred Heart

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of JesusToday is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a solemnity near and dear to my heart.

Growing up, we would all gather each night to pray the rosary in our family prayer room around a little prayer altar over which hung a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the same as the one I’ve included here).

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus had a profound effect on me; our Lord’s eyes would appear to follow me. Regardless of where I would sit or knee in the room, Jesus was always watching me with His Heart wrapped in thorns and burning with love.

You don’t forget things like that. It’s a testimony to the importance of sacred images in the home. Children need that sense of wonder and mystery that only images of our Lord, His mother, and the saints can give.

Click here for more on the history of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Today, I would like to share with you an amazing story told by Fr Jorge Bugallo García, LC about life & death, the priesthood, and the mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

A Girl, a Priest, and the Promise of the Sacred Heart

A Girl, a Priest, and the Promise of the Sacred Heart

June 9, 2010. San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. A priest’s life is full of unique and unrepeatable experiences. He is “taken from among men and chosen to represent them” (Heb. 5:1). Unlike other more “ordinary” moments, this one marked my life in a profound way from its very beginning—and also marked my incipient priestly ministry.

I was ordained to the priesthood on December 12, 2009, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Rome. That day, at 10:30 in the morning, Christ had made me his priest forever. It was a Saturday, the 12th of December, in the Year for Priests. I could not have asked for more. That night, I couldn’t sleep a wink from the excitement and the reality of what I had lived that morning. Well, God was already in a hurry, and Our Lady did not waste the opportunity.

On Sunday, December 13, I celebrated my first Mass, right on the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe, next to the tomb of St Peter, and just a few meters from John Paul II’s tomb. What an immense grace! I felt profoundly happy and could not contain myself in the homily. Amidst tears and emotions, I kept repeating “Thank you!” to God, to our Mother in heaven, and to all those who accompanied me in these twenty-some years of preparation and formation. And yet, even then, heaven was carefully preparing a great event for the following day.

On Monday, December 14, I went with my family to San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio’s monastery and tomb are located. It was over five hours away from Rome, but it was worth the effort, because I had reserved an altar to celebrate Mass there, and we wanted to visit the place. We arrived around midday and I was able to celebrate Mass at the appointed time. By six in the afternoon—we had already fully enjoyed the day—and it was getting dark out. We got into the car to come back to Rome. My brother asked if he could stop by a shop to fix his cell phone, since it wasn’t working. It was already late and starting to drizzle. But we stopped to look for a shop so that my brother Luis could solve his problem. One thing led to another, and half an hour later, he bought a phone card and that took care of it.

The clock showed that it was 6:45 when we finally started heading down the mountain along the national highway, heading toward the freeway that would lead us to Rome. The going was slow because of the darkness and the rain. Added to that was the fact that a motorcycle, driven by a young woman at a very prudent speed, was setting the pace for the (at least) seven vehicles behind her. While we prayed the Rosary, halfway down the mountain, I suddenly noticed that the motorcycle had disappeared after one of the countless “tornanti” or hairpin curves.

I noticed because the line started to move more quickly and the motorcycle was no longer visible. But a few curves down the road… I saw the motorcycle! It was about five meters from the highway, with its headlight on, lying down with its front wheel turned in the wrong direction. At that moment, something inside me told me: “Stop and go down!” I stopped the car on the side of the highway and told my mother and my brother to wait for me, that it would be something quick. I got out of the car.

It was still raining and the only light guiding me was from the headlight of the partially dented motorcycle. I noticed, from the state of the motorcycle, that whoever was driving it had suffered an accident or at least a bad fall. I called out to see if anyone heard me. There was no answer. I tried again, a little stronger, with the best Italian I could muster. No one answered. As it was the forest, full of overgrown shrubs, and hard to see, I imagined the worst.

Since the motorcycle headlight was pointing toward some trees, I walked toward them. I was completely taken aback when a few meters ahead, I saw the girl who had been on the motorcycle just a few minutes earlier while we were descending the mountain. I was horrified to see that her left arm had been completely amputated, and her shoulder was bleeding nonstop. She had only half of her other arm, from her shoulder to her elbow, and it was also bleeding profusely. Her legs were thrown up toward her shoulders, and both were completely broken. She seemed like a broken doll, but in reality she was a living person. It was a spectacle that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I came closer. Her face was only half visible, since the helmet had been smashed onto her head, crushing the entire right side of her head and face. Only her left eye was visible. I spoke into her ear, saying, “I’m a priest… can you hear me? If you want, I can give you the absolution… If you agree, it’s enough for you to make some small movement…” I saw her head move a little.

Meanwhile, my mother had come closer, and she screamed. My brother also came, alerted by the scream. I asked my brother to use his cell phone—which was now working—to call an ambulance from the town. Fifteen minutes later, the ambulance came. During that time, I was with the girl, accompanying her and trying the best I could to squelch the flow of blood from the places in her body where she was bleeding. And most importantly, I gave her the absolution. She was the first person to whom I gave this sacrament—only 60 hours had gone by since my ordination.

The paramedics came and took her pulse. She was very week. “Non ce la fa,” one of them whispered to me. “She’s not going to make it.” I took the girl in my arms, and while I was carrying her to the ambulance, she looked me in the face, closed her visible eye, and her head fell forward on her neck: she left this world. She went to heaven while she was in my arms. Her name was Rosanna and she was 17 years old.

That’s how it happened. Among the girl’s belongings, we found her cell phone, and we were able to call her mother. She lived in a town ten kilometers away from the accident. Imagine what it is like to tell a mother that her daughter has just died in a road accident. In our conversation, I also told her:

“Ma’am, I am a priest. I was just ordained on Saturday. Look, I had the opportunity to share your daughter Rosanna’s last moments of life, and I am very happy to begin my priestly ministry this way.”

In between tears and with her voice breaking, the mother thanked me for the call and among all the words she said, which I was not fully able to understand (she spoke a kind of regional dialect), I did hear her say:

“Father, you are a priest. Father, you should know that my daughter was very devoted to the Sacred Heart. I am a believer like my daughter. And I don’t know why, but I do know one thing. Rosanna did the novena to the Sacred Heart twice. She had Communion and confessed on the first nine Fridays of the month a few times. That is why she could not die without the help of the Heart of Jesus. Thank you, Father, and may God bless you always.”

The words speak for themselves. I do not remember them all exactly, but that was as much as I remember.

That night, we got to Rome around dawn. I could not sleep. I kept thinking about everything I had lived a few hours earlier. It is not easy to explain the things that happen to you sometimes, at least, not like that. I was just starting to assimilate the priesthood I had received a few hours earlier and God was already asking for my help.

Two paths crossed that night: Rosanna’s and mine. And Christ was in a hurry that night. My brother’s cell phone, which hadn’t been working, had slowed down our departure. Then the accident happened while we were praying the Rosary. Thanks to my brother’s cell phone, which was now working, we were able to call the ambulance and Rosanna’s mother.

It’s very clear. There are no coincidences in life. Just God’s hand and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin were enough to work the miracle, to bring a person to heaven.


Marriage Between One Man & One Woman, G.K. Chesterton & The Father’s Role @LovingTheChurch.com

G.K. Chesterton on the role of the father as head of the houseThis week @ LovingTheChurch.com, I reflect upon an article written by G.K. Chesterton, The Head of the House and how it is so applicable to what is unfolding in our modern culture.

Marriage Between One Man & One Woman, G.K. Chesterton & The Father’s Role

May God bless you and keep you!


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