Keep Company With St. Joseph

03/19/2015 Comments (5)

As head of the Holy Family, St. Joseph’s silence speaks eloquently about the company we keep.

Who did he spend time with every day? Who did he live with, and who did he talk to and listen to? Mary and Jesus.

What a lesson he gives to fathers and what a model he provides for them as a foundation for leading their families. In fact, what a lesson it is for every member of the family, too.

Fathers today — and this goes for father figures, whether they have biological children or not, because they might have godchildren or nephews and nieces — need to spend time with Jesus and Mary every day, modeling themselves after St. Joseph. He shows the way.

There is daily Mass, if possible. There is...READ MORE

Filed under holy family, st. joseph

Cook Your Way Through Lent

Recipes for soul and body, for these 40 days and beyond

03/07/2015 Comments (3)

Lent is a time for focusing even more on our spiritual journey, as we head toward Easter, traveling to our destination with our eyes fixed on, as my wife would say, a spiritual GPS system: God’s Precious Son.

As humans, we need two kinds of food — one to fuel the soul and one to feed the body.

To help with both, there’s A Lenten Cookbook for Catholics by Angelo Stagnaro, wherein he gives us recipes for both body and soul in a palatable way.

This is no ordinary cookbook. With Lenten ingredients and detailed recipes for the spiritual part of our journey, this is the only cookbook that has actually received an imprimatur. You read correctly — an imprimatur: from Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Bishop...READ MORE

Filed under food, joseph pronechen, lent 2015, lenten fast, recipes

A Song of Salvation

Threads link shrine-recorded CD to a saint and possible future saint.

02/15/2015 Comments (1)
Courtesy of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis.

Msgr. Joseph Hirsch's CD is now available by popular demand after showings on EWTN.

– Courtesy of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis.

Less than two weeks ago, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., received 1,000 audio CDs it had made of a song from a music video called The Salvation Poem.
“We put it on YouTube, and the video’s producers gave it to EWTN,” Jack Socha told me. Socha, who works in the communications department at the shrine and does a radio show for the La Crosse Diocese, said EWTN has been airing the music video on occasion for more than a year.
Once viewers saw the short video of Msgr. Joseph Hirsch, a priest with the La Crosse Diocese, singing The Salvation Poem, they began phoning in about it from all over the country. As they continued to call, the shrine decided to put the song...READ MORE

Filed under music, our lady of guadalupe shrine, pope st. john paul ii

National Open-House Day Opens Minds and Hearts

Events Held Across the United States to Celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life

02/11/2015 Comments (1)
Courtesy of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

A sister of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus gets ready to welcome visitors to the order's open-house event.

– Courtesy of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

Visitors poured into more than 150 convents, monasteries and motherhouses across the United States this past Sunday, Feb. 8, in a first-ever national open-house event to celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life.

According to the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), some convents received as many as 450 visitors in a single location, as sisters welcomed the public and answered questions about consecrated life.

“It was such a pleasure to work with religious sisters from across the country, opening our doors to families of the Catholic faithful and introducing them to religious life,” said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, superior general of the Sisters of Life and chairwoman of...READ MORE

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Proven Way to End Abortion

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy Can End Abortion

01/22/2015 Comments (8)
courtesy National Shrine of Divine Mercy/Marians

– courtesy National Shrine of Divine Mercy/Marians

The March for Life 2015 may be over, but keep praying to end abortion. One of the most powerful prayers is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

That is right from St. Maria Faustina’s experience and teaching.

It’s time to realize the circumstances for which St. Faustina received the chaplet and how they tie into our present day.

So remind Divine Mercy for America’s initiators and directors, Joan and Dave Maroney, remind us. They are the founders and directors of Mother of Mercy Messengers, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception based at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.

“Many are unaware that the Lord originally requested this prayer, in...READ MORE

Filed under chaplet of divine mercy, divine mercy, st. faustina

The Only Way to True Peace

The answer has been around 97 years and counting.

12/30/2014 Comments (8)
Courtesy of Children's Rosary

Children's Rosary at Assumption Church in Kenya

– Courtesy of Children's Rosary

An email from the founder of the Children’s Rosary recently explained about a gift for Christmas — a gift that can bear the kind of fruits in 2015 that only heaven can count.

This specific gift — the rosary — was going overseas, the email said.

What a perfect gift at this time: Jan. 1 is the Octave Day of Christmas on which we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

This perfect mother — Mother Mary — who wants the best for her sons and daughters, told us simply and clearly what we must do to have peace in the world and in our hearts: Pray the Rosary.

She told that to three young children — ages 7, 8 and 10 — at Fatima.

At every apparition, she told the...READ MORE

Filed under mother of god, rosary

A Treasure Found for the Church

How a fisherman made a new adoration chapel possible in Baltimore

12/12/2014 Comments (2)
Olivia Obineme, the Catholic Review

A miraculous find leads to an adoration chapel with historical roots.

– Olivia Obineme, the Catholic Review

Can you imagine the look on a fisherman’s face when he pulled in a catch that nearly 20 years later would take on an important role in devotional life at Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

That’s what eventually happened when an anonymous fisherman threw his line into Loch Raven Reservoir, which is in a suburb about 20 minutes from Baltimore’s downtown. He reeled in a surprise treasure.

Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori described the treasure and the circumstances in his homily on Corpus Christi Sunday, Nov. 23. On the feast, he was inaugurating the new Eucharistic adoration chapel in this basilica, a historical and architectural...READ MORE

Filed under baltimore archdiocese, basilica of the national shrine of the assumption of the blessed virgin mary

NYC Church With Major Artwork Merges

11/06/2014 Comments (1)
Joseph Pronechen

The Crucifixion scene by Brumidi fills the apse in St. Stephen/Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Manhattan

– Joseph Pronechen

The Church of St. Stephen/Our Lady of the Scapular is one of the nine Manhattan parishes that the Archdiocese of New York announced on Nov. 2 are among those to merge with other parishes and then, by Aug. 1, 2015, be used only for special occasions.

The decision is quite understandable yet sad, because this church is adorned with very significant artwork by painter Constantino Brumidi.

In fact, it has the largest number of Brumidi religious paintings done in a single church in the United States — 45 in all.

The major mural is the Crucifixion scene. It’s one of two he painted in Manhattan churches. Both Crucifixion scenes are more than 20 feet wide and 44 feet tall and among the biggest...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of new york, religious art

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About Joseph Pronechen

Joseph Pronechen
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Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds BS and MS degrees and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside in Connecticut.