Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

Sign-Up to receive updated stories from OC Catholic.

EPISODE #177
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: TOTALLY COMMITTED

Deacon Steve Greco’s guest on today’s episode is a young adult leader here in the OC who is truly making a difference in the lives of her peers.

Her name is Gia Chacon, and she shares about the twists and turns of her own personal faith journey.

Tune in and be inspired! 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 12/30/18

 

EPISODE #168
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: ANSWERING THE CALL (IN THE PHILLIPPINES)

Host Deacon Steve Greco interviews guests on a variety of topics. On today’s lively show, he welcomes several folks to the studio. These individuals were all involved in Deacon Steve’s recent trek to the Phillippines, on behalf of the Spirit-Filled Hearts Ministry.

Listen in, and be inspired to action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/14/18

 

BEING CHRISTIAN MEANS BEING MISSIONARY, POPE SAYS

“May the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervor and instill trust and hope in everyone,” he wrote in a letter encouraging preparations for an “extraordinary missionary month” to be celebrated in October 2019.

The Vatican released the letter Oct. 22, World Mission Sunday, as Pope Francis was reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“I exhort everyone to live the joy of mission by witnessing to the Gospel in the areas where they live and work,” Pope Francis said. “At the same time, we are called to support with affection, concrete aid and prayer the missionaries who have set off to proclaim Christ to those who still do not know him.”

The pope told visitors in the square, “It is my intention to promote an extraordinary missionary month in October 2019 with the goal of increasing the passion for the church’s evangelizing activity ‘ad gentes,'” a phrase meaning “to the nations” and used to describe missionary activity focused on people who still have not heard the Gospel.

The special missionary month will coincide with the centennial of a major document on missionary activity issued by Pope Benedict XV. “In 1919, in the wake of a tragic global conflict (World War I) that he himself called a ‘useless slaughter,’ the pope (Benedict XV) recognized the need for a more evangelical approach to missionary work in the world, so that it would be purified of any colonial overtones and kept far away from the nationalistic and expansionistic aims that had proved so disastrous,” Pope Francis wrote.

The document, and the Second Vatican Council 50 years later, emphasized how missionary activity is essential to the life of the church, Pope Francis said. And St. John Paul II noted how Christians’ mission to spread the Gospel could be seen as having just begun.

To be Christian is to be missionary, he insisted. It “can no longer be enough” simply to try to keep one’s parish or diocese going.

“Let us not fear to undertake, with trust in God and great courage, a missionary option capable of transforming everything, so that the church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation,” the pope wrote.

Pope Francis prayed that the centennial of Pope Benedict’s document and the extraordinary mission month would “serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past.”

“In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict,” he prayed that Gospel hope would be shared and spread all over the world.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HONORS JESUIT MISSIONARY WITH LEGACY DAY

TUMACACORI, Ariz. (CNS) — Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian missionary to the American Southwest known as the “Padre on Horseback,” was honored Jan. 10 at the Tumacacori National Historical Park with Kino Legacy Day.

The celebration of the priest — who founded 24 missions and was also known as an astronomer, builder, mapmaker, linguist, agriculturalist and stockman — kicked off the yearlong celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.

Bob Love, superintendent of Tumacacori National Historical Park, said Father Kino played a key role in the park’s story.

But that morning, park rangers left much of the storytelling to Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, whose diocese covers the land that Father Kino crisscrossed, building his missions when he traveled more than 15,000 miles by horseback.

During Mass, held outside the ruins of Mission San Jose de Tumacacori church, the bishop told the crowd what it is to be a great missionary. He compared missionaries such as Father Kino to archers, ardent with a singular, fixed target.

“They teach Christ, they preach Christ, they lead to Christ,” he said. “That was the purpose of Kino’s whole life, to lead the native peoples to Christ. To teach them about a God who loved them dearly and who was there among them, always at their side.”

The Tumacacori mission church dates to the early 1800s. It had a short-lived tenure as an active church. Apache attacks, upheaval following war with Mexico and one particularly hard winter led to its abandonment by the mid-1800s. The site was named a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, and in 1990 Congress created Tumacacori National Historical Park, which includes the old monument land and the remains of two smaller missions.

Father Kino was born in 1645 in the northern Italian town of Segno and was educated by Jesuits. As a young man, he fell seriously ill and prayed for God’s grace and healing, calling on the Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier as intercessor. When he got well, he joined the Jesuits.

He yearned to do missionary work in China, but was sent to Mexico instead. He worked in Baja California for three years and spent the rest of his life in Pimeria Alta, what is now the northern part of Mexico’s Sonora state and southern Arizona.

He first arrived in Tumacacori (pronounced Too muh ka’ koh ree) in January 1691, responding to an invitation of its O’odham people. Shortly after, there were four Kino missions in O’odham communities. Today, San Xavier del Bac remains the only active Kino mission in Arizona. Located just south of Tucson, the northernmost point of the Sonoran mission trail, it is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists.

Tumacacori, about 20 miles from the border city of Nogales, Arizona, covers 360 acres and is among the smallest of the 23 national parks within Arizona.

During the Kino Legacy Day, the park service set up displays of heritage horses, livestock and other items associated with the missionary priest who brought cattle, other livestock, European farming tools and seeds to the area so the missions would be self-sufficient.

Southern Arizona rancher Dean Fish said Father Kino’s lasting impact on the area is significant.

Cattle raised for beef remains a large part of the economy in Arizona’s Santa Cruz County, Fish said.

“We’re honored to be a part of that, to feed America a little bit and to be able to work and be a part of God’s land,” he said.

Mark O’Hare of the Kino Heritage Society handed out Kino wheat to Tumacacori visitors. The grains came from a line of winter wheat the Jesuit brought to the missions.

O’Hare, a Tucson native and admirer of Father Kino since boyhood, runs the society’s website, padrekino.com. He said the group was formed in 2010 to make Father Kino’s life and legacy more known to the public and to assist the Diocese of Tucson in promoting his cause for canonization.

“Spiritually, he was this man of great faith,” O’Hare told Catholic News Service. “He was what we’d call a white martyr, not someone who died for the faith, but someone who dedicated his life for the salvation of souls.”

The Mexican Archdiocese of Hermosillo in Sonora, the Diocese of Tucson and the Italian Archdiocese of Trent, where Father Kino was born, have all been advocating for his canonization.

The Vatican received the diocesan petition and documentation on Father Kino’s life and work in 2006, but has yet to act to name him venerable, the next step in the sainthood process.

Tucson resident Rosie Garcia, president of the Kino Heritage Society, said moving his cause along would a blessing for area. She marks her admiration for the missionary with the vanity Arizona license plate that reads KINOLND.

“He was a man of peace and that is what we need right now — peace in these border areas where there is so much turmoil,” she said.