Remembering Fr. Thomas Byles, One of the Heroes on the RMS Titanic

As a Martyr of Charity, His Cause Should Pick Up Steam This Year of Mercy

04/21/2016 Comments (2)
courtesy Titanic

Father Thomas Byles

– courtesy Titanic

Forget the made-up, special-effects dramas about the Titanic. The real special effects were like the heroic actions of Father Thomas Byles, one of the passengers who perished in that sinking.

On April 14, the 104th anniversary of the Titanic hitting an iceberg, Father Byles was rightly memorialized in Brooklyn N.Y., where he was headed to celebrate the wedding Mass for his brother William and his bride Isabel Katherine.

A plaque dedicated to Father Byles and his holy heroism on that 1912 night of April 14-15 was unveiled and blessed at St. Paul and St. Agnes Church, his brother’s parish. The event included Benediction and presentations on the life of Father Byles.

Benjamin and Cady Crosby with Fr. Joseph Nugent, the pastor of St. Paul’s Church (Photo Credit:

This great memorial...READ MORE

Filed under

A New Song to Remember Mother Angelica on Her 93rd Birthday

04/20/2016 Comment

A new song called The Story of My Soul, beautifully melodic, came out recently in honor of Mother Angelica. It joins the ways she is being honored by those whose lives she has touch and changed.

The Story of My Soul by Catholic singer/songwriter Russ Rentler captures the amazing “catches” Mother made among the countless number of channel surfers who happened on her show in a divinely-inspired moment.

Couldn't sleep last night,
Troubles — they were on my mind
Turned on the TV
Channel surfin' for a dream.

The singer finds “an angel dressed in brownwho, he says, “turned my whole world upside down.”

And how did she do that? In the Chorus he lets us in on the major way:

And everything she...READ MORE

Filed under

17 Things Jesus Revealed to St. Faustina About Divine Mercy

04/03/2016 Comments (9)

As a person, as a country, as a world, do we not need God’s mercy more and more in these times? For the sake of our souls, can we afford not to listen to what Jesus told us through St. Faustina about his mercy and what our response to is should be?

Benedict told us “It is a really central message for our time: Mercy as the force of God, as the divine limit against the evil of the world.”

Let’s remind ourselves right now. Or learn the highlights for the first time. Divine Mercy Sunday is the perfect day to start listening to what Jesus himself tells us:

(1) I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths...READ MORE

Filed under

Impressions From Mother Angelica's Beautiful Funeral Mass

04/01/2016 Comments (1)

The final resting place of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation (Jeffrey Bruno/EWTN News)

The angels lining the clerestory windows in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament were certainly smiling as they formed an honor guard for the funeral Mass for Mother Angelica. Maybe they were thinking heavenly thoughts about what proper place for her funeral in this incredibly beautiful temple she was inspired to build for our Lord, her Eucharistic Jesus and her Divino Niño.

So might have been the thoughts of many of the mourners who filled the shrine’s pews and the extra chairs along the nave’s sides. And those faithful the shrine could not hold who had to attend from out on the piazza out of necessity.

The bishops and archbishops — including Birmingham’s Bishop Robert J. Baker and...READ MORE

Filed under

Praying the Angelic Salutation for Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation

03/30/2016 Comment

(Photo by Jeffrey Bruno/EWTN News)

Yesterday’s brilliant blue sky turned to a canopy of crackling gray over the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament today. The piazza was fairly empty early in the morning, awaiting the first arrivals coming to pray the Rosary for Mother Angelica and then to pay their respects.

Four people had already arrived, stopping to pray before the statue of Divino Niño in the piazza. An elderly woman and a young teen knelt, while behind them a young man and, several feet away, a woman stood in deep thought or prayer.

But inside the shrine, pews had already nearly filled. A reverential silence eloquently expressed the love people had for the Blessed Sacrament and at this very particular time for...READ MORE

Filed under

Welcoming Mother Angelica to the Shrine

03/29/2016 Comments (1)

EWTN prepares for the funeral of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of EWTN Global Catholic Network, who died on March 27, 2016. (Photo Credit: EWTN)

Tuesday afternoon in Hanceville, under a bright sun and a cloudless blue sky like the color of the Blessed Mother’s mantle, people gathered on the piazza of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament for the reception of the body of Mother Angelica into the shrine.

People across the age spectrum, from old to young, grandparents to early teens, were there for the solemn occasion. Even the few very small children there who would normally be laughing and playing were quiet, somewhat in wonder at what was going on.

A young teenage girl standing near my wife and me carefully put on a white lace mantilla as the white hearse was arriving. A few older women were wearing black mantillas.

With no...READ MORE

Filed under

Can You Bear Up to This Lenten Challenge?

02/17/2016 Comments (5)
Pro-Life Action League

Eric Scheidler

– Pro-Life Action League

This won’t be easy for some people, but Pro-Life Action League’s 2016 Lenten Prayer Challenge is a real challenge. And it’s one that people can tackle right from their own home.

To find out what the challenge is about, and why it started, I had a conversation with Eric Scheidler, the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League based in Chicago.

“We’ve been asking people for many years to pray for abortion workers as a regular Lenten thing,” Scheidler began. First, he reminded that it’s especially appropriate because Lent is a season when each of us is called to recognizing our own sinfulness and attachment to the world and realize our deep need for grace. We pray, we fast, and we see...READ MORE

Filed under

Forget the Groundhog, Remember the Real Celebration

02/01/2016 Comments (1)

Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Hochfelden, Eglise Saints-Pierre et Paul, Tableau d'autel "Présentation de Jésus au Temple" (XIXe)

On Feb. 2 forget Groundhog Day. It’s yet another dumb secular intrusion into what is a triple celebration day in the Church. We don’t need weather prediction from a groundhog.

It’s a “triple” celebration day in the Church because the feast actually has three names — the Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas, and for centuries before 1970, the Purification of Mary.

We remember two of those names every time we pray the fourth joyful mystery of the Rosary.

Yet, “In everyday modern life we are hardly aware that on Feb. 2nd we celebrate an ancient feast,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — then Cardinal Ratzinger — wrote in Seek That Which Is Above, (Ignatius 2007). He said that many historical...READ MORE

Filed under

Page 4 of 15 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›

About Joseph Pronechen

Joseph Pronechen
  • Get the RSS feed
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.