Catholic & Spiritual

As I mentioned in My Story, I am a Roman Catholic, but you are welcome to visit the sites below, even if you are of another faith…

The Diocese of Steubenville has a web page, as does the Diocese of Toledo.

My hometown parish, Blessed Sacrament, has a web site at the Wintersville Parishes page.

On September 18-21, 2008, I lived my Cursillo© in Fremont, Ohio. I can’t do justice to it here. Take a look at the link to the National Cursillo© Center and see it for yourself.

In Sandusky, I am a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, where I am currently the chairperson of the parish Social Concerns Committee. “We commit ourselves to responsive action against oppression and environmental erosion. We strive for the betterment of life and the reality of peace. We challenge ourselves to build human integrity, inclusiveness and equality.” (From the Parish Vision Statement). The Social Concerns Committee seeks to create a social consciousness within our parish that promotes human dignity and provides for basic human needs. The committee also concentrates on educating itself and the parish on the social teachings of the Church and the challenges to everyday realities.

In the fall of 2003, I joined the Sts. Peter and Paul Pastoral Council for a three year term.  That term ended in the summer of 2006. I opted to not continue for a second three year term, but it was a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the parish.

I have been involved in a number of parish retreats at Sts. Peter & Paul.  The first retreat I attended was in March of 2001.  Since then I have participated in three retreats as a team member and served as co-leader at the March 2004 and November 2009 parish retreats.  Thank you Fr. Marty, Sr. Martha, Dave & Kay Faetanini, Tom Leber, Betty Pretto, Sue Daniel, Ann & Gene Gnidovec, Doug & Gloria Lamb, Adolfo & Barb Leal, Karen Capizzi, Connie Jackson and all of the other team members and leaders who have made ALL of my retreat experiences the best!  If you haven’t already been there, read Our Story to hear about my ultimate retreat experience.

As a result of a parish  retreat in March of 2001, I helped to establish a new Bible study prayer group with a few other people. Not by choice, but by design, this evolved into a men’s bible study group. We meet each week on Monday evenings at 7:00 at one of our member’s homes. Our group is NOT restricted to members of our parish, so if you are in the Sandusky, Ohio area, are free on Monday evenings, and are interested in this type of group study and sharing, please e-mail me and let me know of your interest. We are always willing to invite another person to our group.

A former member of our group has spent much time and energy studying and creating Three Steps to the Fountain. “A journey to Absolute Truth.” Spend some time at this site devoted to Catholic Apologetics.

A few years ago I created my first blog called No Coincidences, devoted to experiences of “non-coincidences” with God. For a more complete description of the blog click here.

In 2004 I completed the final year of the diocesan Lay Ministry Formation program, with an absolutely great bunch of people. This is a holistic formation process which incorporates prayer, reflection, teaching, and application skills through group work. During the first year (called “Catholic Identity”) we met together one weekend each month at St. Mary’s parish in Vermilion. The second and third years of this program, “Called & Gifted A & B,” involved intensive Scripture and Theology study. Fortunately for me, they were hosted at my home parish in Sandusky. During the final year of the program “Empowering Leadership” I had a personal emphasis on Social Justice issues for future use in my roles on the social concerns teams mentioned above.  During that final year, we met monthly at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. You can read more about this program here.

(The program has undergone various revisions and my group was sort of a transition group, so the structure now is quite different from what I have described above, but still maintains the same essential elements).

I am a member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, which seeks to promote scholarly endeavors and efforts and approaches in applied fields which are oriented to helping rebuild the culture according to the principles of the papal social encyclicals (with justice and charity as foremost considerations), securing protection for the dignity and rights of the Christian family and of all innocent human life (from fertilization until natural death), and furthering respect for the legitimate rights and duties of the human person.

In 2010, Annunciation Radio went on the air in Sandusky at WHRQ 88.1 FM, featuring Toledo and Northwest Ohio Catholic radio programming and religious news.

Before reading further, understand that there are SO MANY wonderful links waiting for you if you click through the initial links below. The sites I have linked are only the starting point.  I could have easily posted hundreds of Catholic links, but I chose to only touch on a few. You REALLY should visit the links pages that each of these sites have compiled.

The Vatican is online! Click here to visit The Holy See.

Mass Times is a free ministry to traveling Catholics. It allows you to locate a parish local to the area you will be visiting and determine the Mass schedule so that you can plan to attend services there.

Mobile Gabriel is a web site designed to help people “keep in touch with the Sacred.” It includes a daily liturgical calendar (with Mass readings and reflection), Saint Feast Days, a weekly Q/A titled “Dear Pater”, recent religious
news, and excerpts from the Catholic Catechism. It syncs to various mobile devices so that you can take this content with you on the go.

Special thanks to Fr. James Schmitz for this wonderful service!

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a listing and biographical information on all (266) popes in the history of the Church.

Bob and Linda Easterbrooks have created a Catholic Calendar web site with daily updates of information relating to the Catholic Church calendar.

The Franciscan University of Steubenville web site holds a wealth of information on the Catholic Church and Catholic education. I still cherish the time that I spent here and the lifetime friends that I made. It really pains me to admit that it was ten years ago that I received my degree from FUS, when it still seems like yesterday. An ABSOLUTE MUST visit (both the web site and the campus in person) if you want to see young Catholics in action.

Catholic Online is another site devoted to the Catholic faith with many additional links.

The Patron Saints Patronage Index provides information on the patron saints of almost every occupation and cause imaginable.

The Catholic Goldmine has the most comprehensive collection of Catholic
related links on the web.

Daily Catholic is another Catholic resource online.

The Catholic Doors Ministry has many interesting links and downloads including Catholic computer icons and midi music files, plus many others.

You might also be interested in the music of Martin Doman. Martin is an alum from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and his music carries a strong Christian message. I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending Martin while we both attended the Franciscan University together. He really is a great guy! Martin Doman has his own web site where you can listen to clips of his music and order it online.

If you enjoy a spiritual/inspirational style of music backed by guitar and piano, I ABSOLUTELY recommend all of Martin Doman’s CD’s, including: Praying Twice, Image in Love, and Praying Twice Volume II: Open Wide the Doors. I’ve personally used Martin’s CDs in all of my ministries: to accompany religious education lessons for ten year olds, to complement prayer services, and to tie home spiritual topics giving retreat witnesses or RCIA presentations to adults.  Each time I have more and more people come up to me afterward asking for more information on his music. He truly is a great guy with a fantastic voice and he uses that gift to praise and honor God!

I’ve subscribed to a few inspirational e-mail lists that you might want to check out for yourself. Below are links to the web sites where you can find more information on each list. If you are interested,  you can then subscribe to these lists from the web sites. I strongly recommend any of them. 

Inspire sends a crisp, thought provoking, generally positive and inspiring quotation to you each day via email. It’s free. Quick and easy to digest. A wonderful way to start your day.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a well known series of books offering inspirational stories for all.  Now the creators of this series of books offer an online e-mail version.

Having trouble getting started in the morning? Kick start your day with an inspiring message right out of the Word of God. Every day His Word is spread around the world and brought directly to your desktop via VOTD providing some insight and encouraging words that help you start your day.

Verse A Day also mails a scripture passage once per day, and directs you to read Mark 16:15 for an explanation of the *fees* they charge for this service.

Mary has a very special presence in our daily lives.

The Medjugorje Web™ is dedicated to providing information about one of the most incredible and important supernatural events of our time: the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, located in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Fatima Network details Mary’s appearance to the three Portuguese shepherd children in 1917.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, likewise, explains the appearance of Mary to Juan Diego.

Visit The Mary Page for more extensive information about this Blessed Woman, and the well informed FAQ page.

The Sorrowful Mother Shrine is a beautiful place to visit and worship, located south of Bellevue, Ohio. Many other Catholic shrines are indexed at Catholic Shrines USA.

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