Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Today on Register Radio, Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken spoke about ways we might participate in the Church's upcoming Year of Faith, which begins on October 11.
"The goal of the year of faith is to repropose Jesus Christ to those who think they know Him and those who do not," said Bishop Ricken. "The Holy Father has called us to open the door of our mind and the door of our heart to Christ, who is always asking to be invited in."
Bishop Ricken spoke about the Year of Faith coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
"We're at an incredible moment of history," said Bishop Ricken. "Some wonder why talk about the Second Vatican Council, as if it has been implemented. But it wasn't really implemented. There was a 'spirit' of Vatican II which was vague. The Year of Faith provides a kind of threshold experience."
Bishop Ricken recommended that individuals read one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, participate in the Sunday liturgy, and return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Year of Faith.
"The further you get from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the harder it is to come back," said Bishop Ricken.
He also recommended making a friend of a saint who can lead you to Christ.
Speaking of the Our Lady of Good Help Shrine in Champion, Wisconsin - the country's only approved Marian apparition site - Bishop Ricken said that he receives at least one letter a month from people who ascribe some healing to their pilgrimage to the Shrine.
"The Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest evangelist in Church history," said Bishop Ricken. "This apparition happened 150 years ago. It was confined to the neighbors of Door County, but now the Blessed Mother is reaching out to more souls and she continues to teach us."
40 Days for Life
In our second half, Lauren Muzyka, campaign strategist with 40 Days for Life, spoke about their 11th national campaign, which began 10 days ago in 316 locations across the country. 40 Days for Life is a volunteer effort of establishing a peaceful, prayerful presence outside of abortion businesses. Muzyka said that this is a record number of campaigns. In addition, she said that there are campaigns taking place in seven Canadian provinces, in other countries, and for the first time an international campaign in the country of Uganda. It's the first time that 40 Days for Life has touched the continent of Africa. of the 316 campaigns being held nationally, Muzyka said that 46 are first-time campaigns.
Asked about the success of the campaigns, Muzyka said that 40 Days for Life has helped to save the lives of more than 5,000 women and their babies since beginning in the fall of 2004 in College Station, Texas.
"It's not uncommon to see the number of saves rise above 700 during each campaign," said Muzyka. "Every time a campaign hears a concrete sign that a woman has chosen life, it's added to a ticker on our website. So far this fall, we're on day 10 of the campaign, and 93 babies have been saved."
In addition to the lives saved, Muzyka added that 24 abortion businesses have closed, with the latest being in Knoxville, Tennessee. She also said that 69 abortion workers have left the abortion industry.
Muzyka ended by telling the story of a Planned Parenthood business in Storm Lake, Iowa. Sue Thayer, a former manager at that Planned Parenthood not only left, but also headed up a 40 Days for Life campaign outside that business in the fall of 2011. To learn more of the amazing story of what happened, listen to the show.
As always, to hear the full interviews listen to today's show at 2 p.m. EASTERN Friday on any EWTN Radio affiliate or Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. The program re-airs at 7 p.m. EASTERN on Saturday and 11 a.m. EASTERN on Sunday, and is also available on the Register Radio web page, and via podcast.