Month: April 2011

Radio Archive #88: Palm Sunday Potty Training

cndpodcastrss1In this episode: Potty Training at Church on Palm Sunday and Greg’s New Vocal Exercises. This podcast is courtesy of Sirius 159/XM 117 (The Catholic Channel). You can get a full three hours of The Catholics Next Door, Monday through Friday from 10AM to 1PM EST, only from Sirius/XM. Sign up today!

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and other podcast aggregators with this RSS URL: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/thecatholicsnextdoor.

Palm Sunday

Major kudos to Rob Kaczmark and the crew at Spirit Juice Studios for this awesome video.

Daily Devotionals

Listener Janie asks:

Love the show!  I sometimes sit in my car after arriving at my destination to finish  hearing a segment.  Unfortunately, today was not one of them.  Could you provide a list of the devotionals talked about in today’s show?  I only heard a few and would enjoy seeing what is out there.

This topic came up because Jennifer has started taking the boys to daily Mass, and on yesterday’s show we started wondering if there were any daily Catholic devotionals for kids and young teens. We currently subscribe to Magnifikid! for our children, but that only covers the Sunday liturgy.

The only daily devotional we found was Living Faith Kids, which also has an adult devotional. Have you ever seen this? Is it worth subscribing to?

We’ve also been longtime subscribers to Magnifcat, and years ago we subscribed to Word Among Us, and I’ve thought about subscribing to it again, though when I used it about 10 years ago, I started to feel like a lot of the meditations were sounding very repetitive. My mom continues to subscribe to it and depends on it each day.

As we talked about it on the show, other people called in and suggested the “Little Black Book” devotional, which also has a purple book and other colors for other liturgical seasons.

Do you have any suggestions for printed daily devotionals? What do you use to help the daily Mass readings come alive for you? And if you have any suggestions particularly for children, we’d love to hear those, as well.

Radio Archive #87: Tony Melendez and JP2, Bert Ghezzi and Sacramental Grace

cndpodcastrss1In this episode: Musician Tony Melendez performs the song he played for Pope John Paul II and Bert Ghezzi talks about Sacramental Grace and putting it into action. This podcast is courtesy of Sirius 159/XM 117 (The Catholic Channel). You can get a full three hours of The Catholics Next Door, Monday through Friday from 10AM to 1PM EST, only from Sirius/XM. Sign up today!

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and other podcast aggregators with this RSS URL: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/thecatholicsnextdoor.

What to Expect at an Easter Vigil?

Listener Camille asks:

I listen to your show often and really enjoy it.  My question isn’t really about your show but it’s a catholic question.  I was raised southern baptist but when I was in college I got exposed to the Catholic faith by accident.  That was 15 years ago.  During this time I have been thinking, praying, and researching.  To make a long story short, I am converting and will be confirmed at the Easter Vigil this year.  What should I expect during this mass? Thanks for your help and for your wonderful radio program.

This is a great question!  If you’re a convert, or just someone who loves the Easter Vigil, what should Camille and other converts expect?  What makes the Easter Vigil Liturgy special for you?

NFP and iPad Bible Apps

A listener asked a two part question (or rather two questions) in one email, both of which I thought were great though somewhat unrelated.

A few weeks ago you had a fertility specialist on the show. I was very
interested because my wife and I have been trying to conceive for a
little while now with no success. Well, I was in Mass for the part
where she discussed testing male fertility in a sin-free way. Could
you point me in the right direction?

Also, Greg, can you recommend a good Bible app or mobile site for
iPhone and iPad? Preferably RSVCE?

I love your show; I try to listen everyday.

I faintly remember Dr. Raviele making that comment, but don’t remember the details, however, the entire conversation was put out in that week’s podcast and you can listen to it here.

Hopefully that extra detail will be of help.  If not, there was also a website we discussed on the program that will let you find an NFP-only doctor in your area that would probably be more than happy to help.

As far as a Bible app, that’s a sore spot for me.  I would like to have an NAB one just so it more closely matches the Mass readings, but there aren’t really any out there. When I DO use a mobile Bible, it’s usually the YouVersion Bible, but I really am not a huge fan of that one, either.  If I just want the daily Mass readings, I get them from iBreviaryPro or iPieta.

I’ve attached a screen shot of the Catholic apps I currently have on my iPad.  I have a lot more on my phone, but I rarely use a lot of them.

The ultimate Catholic Bible App has become somewhat like the Yeti for me.  I sort of doubt it even exists.

And while I’m looking for a good Bible app, I’m still hopeful that Marquette University will make their NFP resources available as an app to make it easier to track fertility cycles.  That would be awesome, and rumor has it that they may be working on that.

Square Foot Gardening

I’m not a handy man, nor have I ever been much of a gardener.  So the fact that not only did I build a square foot garden, but I planted the thing, too, is something of an accomplishment.  Our son Ben was a huge help.  All those years of building with LEGO bricks has made him naturally handy, and he’s quite proud of himself.

A listener told us about Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew last year and after checking it out from the library and thinking about it since last spring, I finally bought my own copy and have been working on putting this all together.

The only “cheats” we did so far was buying starter plants for tomatoes and two kinds of peppers (those are the plants you see already in the picture).  The rest (God willing) will all come from seeds.  In addition to those, we planted cantelope, corn, two kinds of peas, red onions, chives, basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, and…something else I can’t remember.  Which isn’t a very good thing.  Guess we’ll find out in a few months.

Have you ever had much luck with something like this?  We’d love to read your gardening advice.

Is JP2’s Upcoming Beatification Scandalous?

Yesterday on the show we talked with Tony Melendez about his experiences with Pope John Paul II and shared how much of an impact he had on our lives, as well.

While I know some people may not feel as affectionately towards JP2 as we do, I’m still surprised whenever we encounter people who seem to have outright disdain for the man, like in this email from someone who listened to our discussion yesterday.  My comments in red, but we’d be curious to read your take on this.  Do you think this email has any valid points?

I periodically listen to your show.  Recently, I heard a show in which you were fawning over JPII [Fawning implies that we were falling all over ourselves.  I would say we were sharing our appreciation for a loved one, much like we would a grandparent].  While he was loved by the masses, so is Obama [Right off, he lost me at this point.  He may as well have invoked Godwin’s law].   That should not be the sole qualifier for sainthood!

JPII was in charge of our Holy Church when it was scandalized by pedophiles [and he addressed this criminal issue and important changes have been made in the Church to prevent these offenses in the future]. JPII allowed the litany of liturgical abuses to continue under his leadership [I would argue that the blame for many of these abuses falls in the hands of certain bishops, who of course, were under the leadership of JP2]. JPII attempted to change the most holy rosary instead of merely making his mysteries a separate chaplet (like the chaplet of St Michael) [he didn’t “attempt to.”  He did.  And I welcome the change, personally.].  JPII presided over these awful prayer meetings at Assisi; we do not stand side by side with heretics [Is that what Jesus meant in John 17:21?  I’d encourage you to read Ut Unum Sint for more on this].  JPII allowed these rock like concerts to occur under the title “world youth day” [you mean with its emphasis on Eucharistic Adoration and drawing the youth closer to Christ in the Eucharist?].

No doubt that JPII had some very endearing qualities. But proclaiming him a saint (blessed), especially after just a couple of years [it’s been six years now, not two] after his papacy, is possibly scandalous and certainly premature.  It took holy mother church many many years to canonize Robert Bellarmine and there is no comparison to the work he performed to save us (Holy Church) from Protestantism [but because of our modern day society and technology, the work of John Paul II is much more documented and accessible than that of Robert Bellarmine, with whom many Catholics are entirely unfamiliar].

I realize that your wife is a convert and you are a cradle catholic and both post-VatII babies, but there are currently two western Masses (TLM and the Novus ordo). You should explore the difference before clinging so tightly to the new one [you assume we haven’t].  The FSSP has a beautiful Latin rite church in Atlanta [and we’ve been told multiple times by different families that with as loud as some of our kids are, we wouldn’t be overly welcome at such Masses in our area]. You both owe it to yourselves and your children to explore it [we would welcome the opportunity to celebrate in the Latin rite, but in this season of our life it is not possible].

I would be interested in hearing your comments and thanks for the pro life work you both do.

1962 was the year in which Pope John XXIII issued a solemn papal bull, Veterum Sapientia, which confirmed that, as it had been in the past; Latin, it must ever continue to be the language of the Mass and the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John XXIII  specifically rejected the use of a vernacular language as unCatholic and confirmed Sacred Tradition and the dogmatic Council of Trent that anyone who called for the use of any other language in the Mass than the traditional Latin is condemned. [I’m not overly familiar with this last document, so perhaps someone else can chime in on this matter.  UPDATE 3/8/11 – I reviewed this document and it does not include what the email claimed.  See more details in the comments below.].

So what are your thoughts?  I still believe John Paul II is entirely deserving of beatification.  Did he make mistakes?  Certainly.  Could he have done better in some circumstances?  Without a doubt.  But the same could be said for every single saint we honor in the Church today.

Best Places to Raise Catholic Families

This morning I was reading news on my iPad and saw one of Apple’s “iAds” being advertised in the bottom corner.  Normally, like most web surfers, I avoid pop-up ads, but because advertisers are trying to be more creative with their advertising, and making these new iAds more like short games or entertainment, I’ve been curious to see how well different companies implement these features.

The iAd in particular that I saw was for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, and it allowed you to virtually design the perfect place to live.  Not only did it ask about the size of house you’d like, but the amount of neighbors, types of restaurants, and the importance of schools.

One thing it did not include, which was no surprise, was the type and number of Churches you’d like in a potential city or town.

During the years I lived in Columbus, Ohio as a kid, there were a good number of Catholic Churches within a short driving distance.  Living in Atlanta as an adult, the choices are not as many.  Along with that, the ability to send our kids to a parish Catholic school is pretty much an impossibility for many people in many cities.

Jennifer and I often think about relocating to a new city entirely in hopes of giving our children more opportunities in terms of school, activities, and especially their faith community.  If we could pick a perfect home, it would be one located near a Catholic Church with activity communities for young families, older families, singles, married, and the whole gamut of Church life.  We’d love a parish school, and a community that is truly in love with our faith, and that faith is reflected in the entire extended community and not just the Church property.

Does such a place exist?

Not many people know that just a few years ago, we tried to sell our house so that we could move to the Overland Park/Olathe area of Kansas where there are more than 20 parish schools in one county, and all tithing families can send their kids to those schools.

We’ve thought about Front Royal in Virginia, near Christendom college, though we’ve never visited there.

We’ve contemplated Pittsburgh and Steubenville and even Ave Maria, Florida.

Of course, anywhere we’d someday (hopefully) move, we’d only want to do if it was the will of God, and so far God in His wisdom has kept us exactly where we are.  But, still, we feel a tug from time to time.

So what are the best places in the United States, in your opinion, to raise Catholic families, and what would you consider to be the important qualifications for your ideal place to live?

Radio Archive #86: Unschooling

The Catholics Next DoorIn this episode: Suzie Andres and Terri Aquilina talk about The Little Way of Catholic Homeschooling. This podcast is courtesy of Sirius 159/XM 117 (The Catholic Channel). You can get a full three hours of The Catholics Next Door, Monday through Friday from 10AM to 1PM EST, only from Sirius/XM. Sign up today!

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and other podcast aggregators with this RSS URL: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/thecatholicsnextdoor.

NFP and a Non-Catholic Spouse

A listener writes:

I’ve been listening to your podcast for a couple of years now and really enjoy getting access to the material.  Thank you, Sirius!

I just listened to the podcast with the NFP doctor and had a couple of questions/suggestions for future shows.  I apologize if you have covered this in past shows, I only have access to the podcasts.

I heard a caller talk about how his wife was not willing to go to NFP classes.  While you were helpful in giving him resources (e.g. sending him to the NFP doctor website and the Marquette one), you didn’t address the other issue that he brought up.  That was the fact that his wife was unwilling to go to classes and trusted her doctor.

When I went to the Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend, I was with 30 other couples.  Of those couples, only a handful had both future spouses being a part of the church.  I think that it would be wonderful if you could address more fully how to work through some of the issues of marriage when you are in a marriage that has a “disparity of cult.”

I would like to try NFP, but my husband is unwilling.  What do you do in that situation?  How do you work through that sort of a marital issue?

I would really appreciate some more content that discusses how to work through the sacrament of marriage with a non-Catholic spouse.  I think that this would be useful for many people.

This is a tough question.  Has anyone else been in this similar situation?  How should she approach this?

Rancho San Antonio

A listener has called in before and told us about this really neat sounding boys home.  He’s a big supporter and volunteer at Rancho San Antonio.  Apparently they need help right now.  If you’re looking for a place to offer Lenten almsgiving, this might be a place to consider.

Here’s what Dean had to say about this apostolate:

I have told you about Rancho San Antonio and would like to have a chance to make a shameless plug. They need your help.

I am a 4th degree knight of Columbus.  The Knights have a yearly open house Car show and BBQ this year we are adding a Texas hold em’ tournament $50 bay in.

This is the only Catholic Boys live in facility in Southern California. All the boys are from 12 to 18 and although the facility is government subsidized the needs outweigh the income provided. This is a second chance for the boys. This is the last chance before Jail.

May 1 is the date this year and I know with the 100s of thousands of people that listen to your show, you may bring in the people for the open house and maybe some DONATIONS from your world wide range of listeners.

Please email me to set up an interview. If this is something you are moved to support.

Its all about the boys.

Please get schooled on rancho and make it a part of your show it could be a cover story for Lenten penance.

Go check it out.  And if you can give, please do.