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EPISODE#222
OC CATHOLIC RADIO: TRENDING WITH TIMMERIE – MILLENNIALS IN THE CHURCH

On this episode, host Rick Howick is thrilled to welcome back a dear friend to OC Catholic Radio.

Timmerie Geagea is a powerful and persuasive “millennial” voice for authentic feminism. We were fortunate to hear her well-informed views on our show today.

Catch her nationally syndicated radio show “Trending,” where she discusses popular current topics in the context of timeless Catholic values. You can stay in touch with Timmerie through her website radiotrending.com.

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 2/27/21

EPISODE #261
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: A FAMILY GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL WARFARE (PT. 1) WITH GUEST KATHLEEN BECKMAN

Welcome on in.. to another episode of Empowered by the Spirit with host, Deacon Steve Greco (of Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry).

Today’s guest is author/speaker Kathleen Beckman. On this episode, we’re going to touch on an area we don’t really hear a lot about in our churches and communities.. but it’s high time we bring it out and expose it to the light.. Our topic is spiritual warfare.

Our guest today has immense knowledge on this topic. In fact, Deacon Steve and Kathleen covered so much ground in the studio that this session became a 2-part series!

Be sure to tune in and SHARE this podcast!

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 11/15/20

EPISODE#201
OC CATHOLIC RADIO: SPECIAL EDITION “OUR JOURNEY BACK..”

This is a very special podcast-only edition of Orange County Catholic Radio!

Lend an ear as host Rick Howick welcomes Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Freyer back to the studio – to discuss the re-opening plan for our parishes in the Diocese of Orange.

Listen and SHARE.

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 6/5/20

EPISODE#197
OC CATHOLIC RADIO: GUEST IS BISHOP KEVIN VANN

When we began producing the OC Catholic Radio Show in early 2015, many referred to this program as ‘The Bishop’s Hour.’ In other words, this broadcast would always be the vehicle where he could get the word out to the faithful, via the radio (and now podcast) airwaves.

On today’s show, host Rick Howick has the opportunity to catch up with our very own Bishop Kevin Vann. What is on his mind and heart during these days of the COVID-19 pandemic? Tune in and find out!

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 5/2/20

WHAT DO CATHOLICS BELIEVE ABOUT THE CHURCH, THE DEVIL, AND FAITH? A NEW POLL SHEDS LIGHT

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2020 / 02:00 pm (CNA) – A poll released Monday provides new insight into the religious practices, beliefs, and other demographic trends of U.S. Catholics.

Only a small majority of Catholics in the U.S., 56%, say they accept “all” or “most” of what the Church teaches, according to the poll, released Feb. 24 by RealClear Opinion Research. Only 18% say they accept all the Church’s teachings and try to live them out, with another 38% saying they “generally accept most of the Church’s teachings” and try to put them into practice.

A slight majority of Catholics, 51%, believe that religion is “very important” in their own lives, while another 35% deem it to be “somewhat important.”

The research, conducted by polling firm RealClear in partnership with EWTN News, surveyed more than 1,500 Catholics in the U.S. from January 28 through February 4. The poll gathered information on the religious beliefs of Catholics, their political party affiliation, and their frequency of prayer and Mass attendance.

The poll reveals a divide in Catholic acceptance of particular Church teachings.

While more than seven-in-ten Catholics, 72%, believe that certain actions are “intrinsically evil,” a majority do not think that abortion, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide are intrinsically evil acts.

The vast majority of Catholics, 81%, however, believe in the existence of Hell, and 78% believe that Satan exists.

A substantial majority of Catholics also do not attend Mass on a weekly basis—although the Church holds that Catholics are required to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

35% attend Mass at least once a week—less than one percent attend Mass daily, 5% more than go once a week, and 29% once a week.

Fourteen percent say they attend “once or twice a month,” and 25% “a few times a year,” and 3% “once a year.” Another 15% say they attend Mass less than once a year, and 8% said they never attend Mass. Divides on religious practice and political beliefs were clearly visible between Catholics who say they accept everything the Church teaches, and those who say they only accept “most” or “some” of Church teaching, or who do not think religion to be very important in their lives.

Eighteen percent of U.S. Catholics say they accept all the Church’s teachings, “and that is reflected in how I live my life.”

Within this group, respondents were far more likely than other Catholics to attend Mass weekly or more, 72%. Nearly one-in-three, 31%, of these Catholics pray the rosary daily, and 71% pray daily.

More Catholics who say they accept all of the Church’s doctrine received an undergraduate degree from a religious college or university (49%) than a secular one (43%).

Such Catholics are far more likely than Catholics overall, 63% to 36%, to be aware of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty and Pope Francis’ declaration that it is “inadmissible.” Even so, 61% of Catholics who say they accept all the Church’s teachings support the death penalty, compared to 57% of all Catholics.

On religious freedom issues, Catholics who say they accept all of the Church’s teaching are more likely than Catholics overall, 57% to 45%, to support the rights of religious business owners not to serve a same-sex wedding. They are also more likely, 50% to 41%, to support the freedom of adoption agencies not to match children with same-sex couples.

Demographically, the vast majority of Catholics surveyed hail either from urban, 33%, or suburban, 50% communities, with just 7% from small towns and 10% from rural America.

Just over half, 51%, are married, while 26% have never been married. One in ten Catholics report they are living with a partner, 9% are divorced, and 4% are separated.

CATHOLICS IN SERVICE IN THE DIOCESE

Service is the oxygen of faith. Belief in the risen Christ will save us, but service to that faith validates and proves what we believe.  

In St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians 2:16, he tells us that a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ. But later in Romans 2:6-7, St. Paul says God will repay everyone according to his works.  

Rather than argue over faith or works, the Catholic Church says it is both. Going to Sunday Mass doesn’t automatically check off the “faith” box any more than donating to a worthy cause checks off the “works” box.  For salvation, God asks that we focus both our faith and our works into dynamic affirmation of our commitment to Him.  

Every parish in the Diocese of Orange has its own ministries and outreach programs that give members a chance to put their faith into action. Most of these projects are highly localized and driven by the interest of the parishioners. This is a great thing.  

However, there are a lot of projects that are county-wide in scope or too large for one parish to take on. Under the leadership of Director Greg Walgenbach, the Diocese of Orange Office of Life, Justice and Peace is the command center for Diocesan outreach in the county.   

“Service is the mission of the Diocese of Orange as we are the local Church which is made up of all the parishes,” says Walgenbach. His office facilitates parish involvement in the work of a number of Catholic charitable organizations that together have a significant impact on Catholic outreach to people in need.   

For example, several years ago food distribution centers in North Orange County were noticing that more and more people were coming for help to make ends meet and put food on the table. According to Walgenbach, “Our office supported clergy and parish leaders from three churches in Fullerton – St. Philip Benizi, St. Juliana Falconieri and St. Mary’s – to effectively engage with the community to find answers. The Diocese role was to help the parishes connect to organizations such as the Illumination Foundation, which provides shelter and support services for homeless families, and individuals in Orange County and St. Vincent de Paul.    

The parishes began monthly meetings with Fullerton City staff and councilmembers to address community service gaps that were not being met and to advocate for solutions.  As the discussions progressed the Fullerton City Council started to make policy decisions that moved the discussion from charity to change. 

While most local nonprofits focus on a single mission, the Diocese is involved in many important initiatives.  

The Life, Justice and Peace Office distributes grants from 25% of the funds raised locally by the USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a national Catholic anti-poverty effort. Some of the organizations that have received funding include Obria, a crisis pregnancy clinic; Justice and Education; Higher Ground Youth and Family Services; Thomas House Family Shelter; Creer Comunidad Familia, and American Family Housing. 

There is always a need for people to become involved. 

More than 600 people work in jails with the Restorative Justice Ministry to the incarcerated. The Lights On program, which is part of St. Vincent DePaul, stations people outside jails to help prisoners who are released in the middle of the night with no one to meet them.   

Food pantries such as the Doris Cantlay by Catholic Charities and St. Vincent De Paul are connected with a network of food pantries throughout the county.  

Unfortunately, a plurality of children in foster care come from families that identify as Catholic. The office provides resources for parishes to recruit foster parents through the county and Olive Crest. 

Another increasing problem in Orange County is human trafficking and labor trafficking, otherwise known as slavery.  The office helps parishes build awareness by distributing materials and information prepared by the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.  

The Pro-Life movement supports one of the most foundational principals of our faith – the respect for all human life from conception through natural death.  Precious life shelter, Casa Theresa, Mary’s path, Horizon Pregnancy Center, the Viet Respect Hotline and three Obria locations are all supported by the Diocese to embrace women during and after their pregnancies. 

On the other end of the life spectrum, the End of life ministry embraces a whole person care initiative offering clarity and support in conformance with Catholic teaching so that people can say yes to life in all its forms.  

For Catholics, we are called to respond when we see suffering. “Faith and service is what God created us for – to care for creation and the common good,” said Walgenbach. “I can’t imagine worshiping God without serving others as well.”   

Anyone who wants to learn more about the Diocese Office of Life, Justice and Peace can subscribe to the newsletter at rcbo.org/resource/about-life-justice-and-peace.

U.S. BISHOPS EXAMINE CHALLENGES FACED BY CHURCH, SOCIETY

BALTIMORE (CNS) — On the agenda for the U.S. bishops’ Nov. 11-13 meeting in Baltimore were elections and discussions of key challenges in the church and the nation. Unlike recent previous meetings, their response to the clergy abuse crisis was mentioned but was not the primary focus.

On the second day of the meeting, Nov. 12, the bishops elected Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles to a three-year term as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit as conference vice president.

Archbishop Gomez, the first Latino to be elected to this role, was chosen with 176 votes from a slate of 10 nominees. He has been USCCB vice president for the past three years and his new role begins at the end of the Baltimore gathering.

Among the other votes Nov. 12, the action item that received the most discussion was about new materials to complement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” their long-standing guide to help Catholics form their consciences in public life, including voting. The bishops voted to approve the additions, including the addition the statement prompting the discussion that called abortion the preeminent social issue of our time.

The second day of bishops’ meeting coincided with oral arguments at the Supreme Court over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA and bishops at the Baltimore meeting spoke up in defense of DACA recipients on the floor and in interviews with Catholic News Service.

Bishops also heard a wide-ranging report on immigration Nov. 12 which included updates of policy, how programs to resettle refugees, including those run by the Catholic Church have closed or reduced activity because the administration has moved to close the country’s doors to those seeking refuge, and efforts on the border to help asylum cases.

After the report, Major-Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia said that no community, more than Catholics in the U.S., know what it’s like to be an immigrant in this country.

The bishops’ second day of meetings also included a presentation of the pope’s document “Christus Vivit,” which was issued following the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia and Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, collaborated on the presentation, which included two young adults.

Brenda Noriega, a young woman from the Diocese of San Bernardino, California, said the document “lays out some areas that are especially important to encounter, including young people impacted by marginalization and poverty, young people feeling overwhelmed by culture, family or judgment, young migrants and refugees and immigrants and those impacted (by the) immigration situation.” These areas also are important, she added, to youth who are bullied or ostracized online young, people who feel unloved, “youth or young adults experiencing or witnessing abuse in all forms.”

In the document the pope reminds them of love and of hope, she said, telling them they are not worthless, alone and that Christ is alive.

The bishops also heard that a new “pastoral framework for marriage and family life” should be ready for a vote by the U.S. bishops by next November at the latest, according to Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

He said the document might be ready for a vote when the bishops meet in June 2020 but stressed that it is not a “plan,” since it is intended to be applied within parishes and dioceses. “It was never meant to be a single comprehensive national plan but a resource towards the development of pastoral plans at the diocesan/eparchial levels.”

On the first day of the meeting Nov. 11, the bishops raised pressing issues that included the priesthood shortage, gun violence, young people leaving the church and the need to provide support services for pregnant women.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, mentioned some of these challenges in his opening remarks, along with the need to welcome migrants and fight racism. He also urged the bishops not just to focus on the challenges before them but to consider how they could further develop collegiality and collaboration with one another.

In his final address as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston told his fellow bishops that it has been “an honor to serve you, even in the difficult times.”

The 70-year-old prelate thanked the bishops, whom he called brothers, for the past three years and was thanked by them in return when the group gave him a standing ovation at the end of his nine-minute presentation.

“Let’s begin anew,” he said, at the close of his address, veering away from prepared remarks, and quoting St. Augustine.

The cardinal, who suffered a mild stroke earlier this year, did not elaborate on specifics of the abuse crisis in the church, particularly highlighted this past year, but spoke of the bishops’ continued work of transparency related to dealing with the crisis. He said the abuse measures adopted by U.S. bishops at their meeting last June are “only a beginning. More needs to be done.”

At the start of the meeting, Bishop Earl A. Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, asked for an update on the Vatican’s report on the McCarrick situation, which many of the bishops, by voice vote, also said they wanted to hear.

In a brief presentation, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley told the bishops the Vatican has not yet published a report about its investigation of now-defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but a report could be ready by Christmas, or in the new year.

He said he and other bishops at the Vatican for their recent “ad limina” visit said they were “anxious to receive the Holy See’s explanation of this tragic situation, how he could become an archbishop and cardinal, who knew what and when.” He also stressed that the “long wait has resulted in great frustration on the part of bishops and our people and indeed a very harsh and even cynical interpretation of the seeming silence.”

In another vote, the bishops voting overwhelmingly on a revised set of strategic priorities to take them into the next decade. They also discussed upcoming votes during their gathering, such as news materials to complement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” their long-standing guide to help Catholics form their consciences in public life, including voting.

Retired Army Col. Anita Raines, who chairs the National Advisory Council, said in a report to the bishops that the group supported the prelates’ effort to promulgate its “Faithful Citizenship” document and supplemental materials.

To help ensure the document’s wide distribution to parishes and individuals, the council recommended the USCCB implement “a strong communications strategy fully leveraging social media.”

This wasn’t the only mention of social media during the start of the meeting.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles urged the bishops to promote social media in their dioceses as one way to link young people with the church. He said the church is losing young people in greater numbers and must face the challenges of how to get the religiously unaffiliated, or “nones,” particularly young people, back to the Catholic Church.

The bishop presented a three-minute video on the issue and spoke of his concerns and ideas for bringing young people back to church which involved: not dumbing down the faith and involving young people in the social justice aspects of the church.

His presentation led to discussion that lasted for more than an hour with bishops from across the country agreeing that this issue is of great concern and sharing other ideas to bring young people back which primarily involved catechism but also an increased devotion to Mary.

Bishop Barron, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, who is known for his website, “Word on Fire,” and for hosting the documentary series “Catholicism,” initially brought up this topic during the bishops’ spring meeting. He said at the time, and reiterated Nov. 11, that this topic needs to be a priority for the church today.

The bishops also heard about societal issues such as gun violence and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, said Catholic clergy and lay leaders can play a role in bringing together people along the rural-urban divide to build understanding of the need for sensible policies that can end the scourge of gun violence.

The bishop, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, outlined the USCCB’s long-held stance of the need for “common sense” legislation that governs the availability of guns. But he also said it was time for people to come together so that there is greater understanding of how gun violence affects urban communities in particular.

He told Catholic News Service that the USCCB’s work on the legislative front was important, but that a pastoral response to gun violence was needed.

“It’s time for a different approach,” he said.

In a new approach for the bishops’ pro-life efforts, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, invited his fellow bishops to devote a year of service to pregnant women starting next March.

He said Catholic parishes can be one of the first places a woman facing an unexpected or challenging pregnancy can turn to for assistance rather than think of seeking an abortion and they could offer a variety of support services to women who may be thinking about whether to carry their child to term.

The bishops also heard about plans to revise the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ existing Program of Priestly Formation for U.S. dioceses.

In his homily at the Nov. 11 Mass in the hotel ballroom, Cardinal DiNardo stressed that St. Martin of Tours, whose feast was celebrated that day, offered them a fitting example.

He said little is known about what the saint wrote in the late 300s but plenty is known about what he did: “reconciling the Christian community and reconciling the clergy, even then.”

“Brothers, we have someone to imitate tonight,” he told them.

The bishops referred to another saint from long ago in their assent Nov. 12 to the call to have St. Irenaeus declared a doctor of the church.

“This is perhaps a way to correct an oversight of history,” said Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, about the saint who was born sometime between A.D. 120 and A.D. 130 in Smyrna in Asia Minor.

 

SISTER ACTS

Decades ago, as I approached high school graduation and began to think about my future, I prayed about a possible calling to religious life. 

Not only had the Sisters of Providence at Marywood High School encouraged me to consider a vocation, becoming a sister was a viable alternative to life as a working professional, especially following 12 years of Catholic education.  

My choice to study journalism led me to a long career as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and public relations consultant – but I never stopped thinking ‘what if?’ about life as a sister. 

Today, many young Catholic women regard religious life as far-fetched. Yet remarkably, that notion is changing, according to a recent Georgetown University-affiliate survey. 

After 50 years of decline, the number of young women “discerning the religious life”—or going through the long process of becoming a Catholic sister—is substantially increasing, notes the 2017 survey of American Catholics. Thirteen percent of women from age 18 to 35 responding to the survey say they have considered becoming a Catholic sister – that’s more than 900,000 young women. 

Still, the vast majority of women professing final vows are 40 years old or older. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, its 2009 study undertaken for the National Religious Vocation Conference finds that 91 percent of women religious are 60 years old or older. 

In 2010, CARA noted that 47 percent of women professing final vows were aged 40 to 59. Another 26 percent were between 30 and 39. The median age for the class was 44.  

Then researchers noticed the trend toward younger women taking final vows. By 2014, only 27 percent of women taking final vows were ages 40 to 59 and those younger than 30 had increased from 18 percent to 25 percent; the median age of the class dropped to 35. But 75 percent of the class still was 30
or older. 

A September 2015 story by M.B. Caschetta, “The Comeback of the American Nun” in the Women in the World newsletter, notes that though the Catholic Church does not provide recent statistics, “a slew of media reports from People Magazine to the New York Times suggest that increasing numbers of Catholic millennials are feeling the call of God in growing numbers across the country. 

Why now? One clue comes from the National Religious Vocation Conference, which reports that of the more than 2,500 women who completed online VISION Vocation match profiles in 2013, the majority were under 30, desired to wear a habit or distinctive religious garb, preferred to enter an apostolic community, and attended Catholic school. 

Recent generations of Americans report losing their faith and becoming alienated from organized religion, yet young people increasingly are turned off by the world’s emphasis on materialism, sex, money, and status. 

Indeed, conference leaders say, young women are open to conformity to rules and desire lives of service. Many believe religious life may be personally fulfilling, allowing them to discover who they are, their purpose, and how they want to live. 

At the same time, significant numbers of older women who’ve lived full lives as professionals are discerning vocations late in life.  

Likewise, life as a religious still appeals to me after three kids, a happy 34-year marriage, and success as a small-business owner – so, perhaps there is hope for me yet.  

EPISODE#13
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: GUEST IS COLE HAUSO, THE DIRECTOR OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY

On today’s program, Fr. Christopher is thrilled to welcome Cole Hauso to the show. Cole was recently named the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry on the campus of Christ Cathedral.

Listen in as he shares about his background; and, the vision for youth and young adult ministry and the future of the church.

Tune in, and be inspired!

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 9/14/19

EPISODE #204
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: CATHOLIC MEDIA AND EVANGELIZATION

Do you enjoy reading? How about in the realm of Catholic articles and periodicals? If that is the case, today’s guest has a name you may very well recognize.

Jim Graves lives locally here in southern California, but his writing subjects have taken him literally around the world. He has written for publications such as Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, The Catholic Herald and Aleteia – just to name a few.

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 7/21/19