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EPISODE #289
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH – WITH GUEST FR. STEVE CORREZ

This episode of Empowered by the Spirit features a very special first-time guest to the program, Fr. Steve Correz.  Host Deacon Steve Greco and Fr. Steve discuss the important topic of mental health, with an emphasis on depression.  Fr. Steve is especially candid on this podcast, as he shares about some of his own personal battles; and, how he sought help through counseling and by God’s amazing grace.

This is powerful stuff. Be sure to share this podcast with someone who you know can benefit from this timely wisdom.

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 11/7/21

EPISODE #288
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: BEING “ALL IN”

What does it mean to be “all in” as a follower of Jesus?

We’re going to explore that powerful question on today’s episode of Empowered by the Spirit, with your host, Deacon Steve Greco.

Listen in – and be sure to SHARE this podcast!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/24/21

EPISODE #287
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: PILGRIMAGE TO THE HEART OF ST JOSEPH

On today’s episode, Deacon Steve welcomes two members of the Spirit Filled Hearts team to the studio: Katie Hughes and Michael Aimola. This discussion is a follow-up to the recently completed St. Joseph Summit. It was really quite an amazing and successful online summit, that featured about 64 unique speakers. These included all three of our bishops here in the Diocese of Orange: Bishop Vann, Bishop Freyer, and Bishop Nguyen.

Tune in, and be inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/17/21

EPISODE #286
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: LIVING TESTIMONIES (THE 5TH GOSPEL)

On this episode of Empowered by the Spirit with host Deacon Steve Greco, he welcomes back Catholic singer, songwriter and speaker, Donna Lee. This broadcast is part of an ongoing series that’s been coined as “Living Testimonies – The 5th Gospel.” As Deacon likes to often say, WE are the 5th Gospel! It’s the way we live our walk of faith, each and every day!

Tune in, and be inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 9/19/21

EPISODE #285
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: ST JOSEPH, OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER

Catch up with Deacon Steve Greco on Empowered by the Spirit. As we continue in this ‘Year of St Joseph,’ as instituted by Pope Francis, we present you with this dynamic broadcast.

Today’s title is: “St Joseph Our Spiritual Father.” Deacon Steve’s special guest today is Gil Alderete, the president of Catholic Men’s Fellowship of California.

Please be sure to share this podcast with others!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 9/12/21

EPISODE #20
SOUNDS FROM THE SANCTUARY: THE CHURCH MUSIC OF AUTUMN

Episode No. 20: The Church Music of Autumn

Fall is a beautiful season – the beginning of the academic and choral year, the changing of the leaves, the cooling of the weather. In the church, there are many important liturgical moments that are celebrated in October, and in today’s episode we listen to some of the gorgeous music that accompanies these liturgies including the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi, the White Mass for the medical profession, and the Red Mass calling on the Holy Spirit upon our lawmakers.

MEN OF DIGNITY

On Oct. 23, with the seats filled to capacity inside Christ Cathedral, Bishop Vann presided over an ordination Mass that welcomed 13 new deacons into the Diocese of Orange. The first ceremony of its kind since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mass was the culmination of a five-year formation journey for the candidates and their wives.

The Diocese of Orange Diaconate Class of 2021 and their wives include: Juan Carlos and Anita Castro, Manuel and Maria Espitia, Roberto and Lourdes Hernandez, Jeffrey and Tamie Kosidowski, Carlos and Ana Lozada, Alexander and Maritess Menez, Darrell and Kelly Miller, Bernie and Pamela Ocampo, Agustin and Antonia Olivare, Tao David and Dianne Phan, Thomas and Blanca Saenz, Eric and Alison Summerfield and Robert and Kathy Ward.

“A deacon takes the grace of the altar to the streets, and he brings the needs of the streets to the altar,” said Director Emeritus of the Office of the Diaconate for the Diocese of Orange, Deacon Frank Chavez, on the role of a deacon within the Catholic church.

The five-year formation journey consisting of academic and spiritual classes, spiritual growth, retreats and service projects occurred partially during quarantine, forcing the experience to move to an online format. Having to pivot may have been a challenge but produced several silver linings for the group.

“We were forced to learn in new ways and journey together in new ways,” said Deacon Tom Saenz. “We continued to learn and continued to serve and adapt. It was an experience that strengthened us all and prepared us to face new challenges as we head into this new ministry.”

At his home parish of St. Juliana Falconieri in Yorba Linda, Deacon Saenz has always had a heart to serve the poor and disadvantaged. As a third-generation Hispanic American, he and his wife Blanca feel this next step in their faith journey is where God wants them to be.

“It’s difficult to have the words to
describe the range of emotions that we experienced heading into it,” said Deacon Saenz. “The entire Mass was truly amazing in that everything affirmed our call.”

Deacon Eric Summerfield and his wife Alison call Santa Clara de Asis in Yorba Linda their home parish, and while they are in a life stage that includes four young children, the idea of beginning this next phase of serving couples and families has brought them peace.

“It truly was amazing how all of the doors we thought were going to be struggles seemed to continue to be opened by God,” said Deacon Summerfield.

Overwhelmed by the emotion of the Ordination Mass, Deacon Summerfield felt that the service was less of an acknowledgement of what they had accomplished and more of a celebration of what is to come.

“It was a beautiful way to highlight what we had done for the last five years, but even more so, it was a starting point or what we are called to do now,” said Deacon Summerfield.

Deacon Manuel Espitia from Our Lady of the Pillar in Santa Ana agreed with that sentiment.

“It was very emotional, and I was very nervous but also very excited,” said Deacon Espitia. “It’s not as if we are finishing something. We are actually just getting started. I think we all agreed that we [became] prepared to start something.”

Steeped in ritual and Catholic tradition, the ordination Mass included several points of symbolism, including the Promise of Obedience, the presentation of the diaconal vestments and Bishop Vann laying hands on each of the candidates. One of the more beautiful parts of the Mass was when the men laid on the ground in prostrate position, in complete surrender to God, as the choir sang the Litany of the Saints.

“It was such a powerful moment,” said Deacon Saenz. “All of that was an amazing experience that empowered us to move on.”

In recognition of the integral part the candidates’ wives play in the process, Deacon Chavez called the wives forward toward the conclusion of the Mass to acknowledge them and their vital contributions to the formation journey, as well as their role in the ministry. The congregation followed with a standing ovation.

“It was truly moving and beautiful to see our wonderful wives receive that acknowledgement and that honor,” said Deacon Saenz.

Each with their own strengths and interests, the newly ordained deacons felt the support from both the capacity crowd inside Christ Cathedral and the Catholic community as a whole as they move forward in response to the needs of their respective parishes and the greater community.

“For anyone who is looking into what the diaconate is all about and is willing to help our community and our church, this is one way to go,” said Deacon Espitia. “It was a challenging journey, but I would not change anything.”

EPISODE#240
OC CATHOLIC RADIO: GUEST IS CHRISTOPHER WEST FROM THE THEOLOGY OF THE BODY INSTITUTE

Welcome to another episode of Orange County Catholic Radio, featuring host Rick Howick.

On this program, we are excited to welcome noted Catholic author, speaker and theologian, Christopher West. He founded the Theology of the Body Institute, based in Pennsylvania. He shares about a truly unique presentation that he brings to parishes all over the country. It’s called Made for More – Visions of the Promised Land, to be held at St. Angela Merici Parish in Brea. It’s an evening of visual beauty, live music, and reflection that will open your senses to the secret of God revealed in all of creation.

This is a fascinating conversation. Be sure to share this podcast with a friend!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/30/21

EPISODE#65
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: THE EXPANSION OF THE MEMORIAL GARDENS AT CHRIST CATHEDRAL

It’s time for another episode of Cathedral Square featuring host Fr. Christopher Smith.

We welcome three very special guests to the program today. Mike Wesner and Alma Ochoa are no strangers to our studio, having joined us for a previous episode. Mike is the Director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Diocese of Orange; and, Alma is the Associate Director of Operations for Cemeteries. Fr. Christopher is also thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Devereaux to the program. She is an architectural glass artist; and, she has made a significant contribution to the Memorial Gardens.

Tune in for a fascinating and lively discussion.

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/23/21

AROUND OUR DIOCESE

LAMBERTIAN PASTORAL CENTER
On Saturday, Oct. 9 the Lovers of the Cross inaugurated the Lambertian Ministry Center in Garden Grove. Bishops  Kevin Vann, Timothy Freyer and Than Thai Nguyen attended the event. The bishops blessed the center which is located in the Little Saigon area of the city. Facilities include Sacred Heart Chapel, Bishop Lambert Hall and Lambees Preschool. The center offers spiritual and social assistance to the local community including a food pantry, after school program, Respect Life assistance and a yearly Mission of Love to Vietnam.

OKTOBERFEST
On Saturday, Oct. 16, San Francisco Solano Catholic Church celebrated its second annual Oktoberfest. The evening was filled with fun for the whole family and featured Oktoberfest-themed meals, a pie-eating and stein holding contest, a train ride and pumpkin decorating stations for kids and more.

 

 

 

MARIAN DAY CELEBRATION
St. John the Baptist parish in Costa Mesa welcomed Bishop Than Thai Nguyen, Auxilary Bishop of Orange, on Oct. 9 for the final day of the parish’s Marian Days celebration. Bishop Nguyen participated in the Marian Procession, which included clergy, religious sisters, religious education students, members of the Knights of Columbus, the Legion of Mary and many parishioners. Bishop was also the principal celebrant for a tri-lingual Mass. A traditional Vietnamese meal followed the Mass.

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is honoring the Diocese of Orange’s health and well-being consultant Linda M. Gigliotti — MS, RDN, CDCES, CSOWM, FAND — with one of the academy’s 2021 Medallion Awards. The awards, which have been distributed since 1976, recognize outstanding service and leadership in the Academy and the nutrition and dietetics profession.

A recently wed Orange County couple on their honeymoon in Italy recently received a dream wedding gift from none other than Pope Francis himself. According to Rome Reports, while at the Vatican, Kevin and Ivy Nguyen met the Holy Father during his Papal Audience. The couple was wearing traditional Vietnamese wedding outfits as he blessed their marriage. The couple said that being able to meet and speak with the Pope was very special – a dream come true.