A world wind day seeing lots of things in and around Jerusalem. First, was a very emotional and moving Mass at Gethsemane at the rock was Jesus sweat drops of blood.  You can see/hear Fr. Gavin’s homily here. From there to the top of the Mount of Olives where Jesus taught his disciples to pray and ascended into heaven.

From there we went to the Western Wall on the eve of Yom Kippur–very interesting! Then lunch at Ramat Rachel Kibbutz.  Our next stop was Mount Zion or we visited the Upper Room and the Dormition of Mary.

Some free time followed and then we gathered on the roof of Jerusalem for dinner—the 4th floor of the Notre Dame Center in the open air in an elegant setting was good food and wine overlooking the Holy Sepulchre  in the Holy City of Jerusalem. It is the Eve of Yom Kippur!

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Seven Things Every Kid Needs to Hear

by Steve Ray on September 18, 2018

Thanks to my friend Patrick Madrid. Might I suggest you plan to tell your kids all of these things over the next week or two?

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 Many people know Jimmy Akin. I call him my friend and have great admiration for this friend. He is also a Square Dancer. But do you know his story?

Get a cup of coffee, turn off the TV and settle in for a great story. Not just gut-wrenching and edifying, but also an Introductory Course in Apologetics. Enjoy the conversion story of the man I now call “The Godfather of Apologetics.”

A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY
James Akin


I broke off a piece of the popsicle in my hand and placed it carefully in the mouth of my dying wife. Renee lay on her back, restless in the hospital bed, suffering from an advanced case of colon cancer which we had discovered a little more than a month before.

jimmy-390x390The doctor said she still had a chance of responding to the chemotherapy and might conceivably live for a few months, possibly even six or more, but that a year would be miraculous. In light of the urgent state of Renee’s condition, we talked about accelerating my entrance into the Catholic Church. It didn’t look like there was much time.

My Early History

I was born in 1965 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My mom and dad took me to a local Church of Christ until I was five or six, but then quit going. After that I was raised outside any church. This did not mean I was uninterested in religion-I was. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I started reading the Bible, but only those parts I thought dealt with the “end times.”

As a result of what I read in the Bible, I got scared, seeing terrifying visions of God’s wrath and judgment without having them balanced by the message of his wondrous grace and mercy. This helped drive me into the next phase of my religious development: the New Age movement.

555d5cf0ecdd9dd21e0127734456dc7f--speaking-in-tongues-catholic-answersThe reason I moved in that direction was that New Age philosophy holds that there is no hell. New Agers believe we reincarnate through many lives until we become perfect. This made the New Age attractive to me, not only because it presented reincarnation as a bold adventure where you get to go to exotic places and be exotic people, but because believing in reincarnation allowed me to escape having to believe in hell.

I was a New Ager for about five years. But in my first year of college I broke with the New Age movement and began to drift into a no man’s land between religions. During this time I did believe in God, but I didn’t believe anyone knew anything about him or what he wanted. The only stable thing in my personal religion at this time was an intense dislike of Christians, whom I had learned to detest in high school. The mere sight of a person with Christian mannerisms aggravated me. It was not until some time later that I found a preacher who acted enough like a non-Christian for me to be able to listen to him.

Click here for the rest of the story…

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Israel Day 6: Israel Museum, Jordan River, Jericho, Qumran, Dead Sea, Riding Camels

September 17, 2018

We give everybody a free day today but we offer an optional tour for those who would like to go. Our Mass today was at the Notre Dame Center and you can see Fr. Gavin‘s homily here. We start at the Israel Museum and see the Temple Model and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then we […]

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Israel Day 5: Bethlehem All Day – including Dancing!

September 16, 2018

Today we spent the whole day in Bethlehem. We did some shopping to support the local Christians (you have to see the store to believe it), and then we went to the Church of the Nativity to touch the birthplace of our Lord Jesus. Then we ate Schwarma and falafels before going for Mass in […]

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Mr. Bean on Why We Should be Allowed to Insult Each Other – Freedom of Speech

September 16, 2018

Well said, Mr. Bean! (2.5 minute video)

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Israel Day 4: Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter Fish, Visitation, Arrival in Jerusalem

September 15, 2018

Our final day in Galilee and we had Mass at Capernaum where Jesus said “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” Fr. Gavin’s homily here. I also gave an abbreviated version of my talk “Defending the Eucharist.” Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and viewing 2,000 year old “Jesus Boat.” Would you like  eating St. […]

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Why the Centering Prayer Movement is So Off-Center

September 15, 2018

By Patrick Coffin The curious should, to say the very least, approach the practice of Centering Prayer with a critical eye and serious discernment. A technique out there purporting to be a form of Christian prayer has made inroads in countless parishes across the U.S. and Canada. Its promoters try very hard to sound Catholic and […]

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Steve Ray interviewed “Why These Catholic Converts Remain”

September 14, 2018

Leaving the Church in ‘protest’ against perceived problems isn’t a Catholic option, former Protestants explain. Interview with Judy Roberts CULTURE OF LIFE |  JAN. 7, 2018 “For Lannette Turicchi, changing churches because of a scandal or the way the pastor interpreted the Bible was part of being a Protestant. But now that she has professed faith in […]

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Israel Day 3: Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Golan Heights, Tabgha, Primacy & Magdelena

September 14, 2018

We started our day at the Mount of Beatitudes and had Mass at the same place Jesus gave his sermon. You can watch Fr. Gavin Badway’s homily here. Then up to Banias which in the Bible is called Caesarea Philippi where Steve gave his talk “Peter: the Rock the Keys in the Chair.“ We drove […]

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Israel Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana & Nazareth

September 13, 2018

Mass at Mount of Transfiguration (Fr. Gavin’s excellent homily here), renewal of wedding vows in Cana and all kinds of amazing things in Nazareth. Enjoy today’s video!

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So You’re an Atheist? A Few Fun Things to Lighten Dark Times

September 13, 2018
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2nd Half of our Group Arrive in Israel

September 12, 2018

The second half of our group, those who did not join us in Jordan, have arrived in good shape. We picked them up at the airport in Tel Aviv and brought them up to Tiberias where they arrived on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We had a great dinner and Mass and they […]

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Jordan Day 5: Baptism Site and Crossing into Israel

September 12, 2018

We left Madaba Jordan and went down to the lowest place on the face of the earth for a Mass  on the shore of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. For Fr. Gavin‘s family, click here. We spent the morning learning and investigating the site and then drove north along the Jordan River and […]

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Response to a Challenge of Why I Rejected “Sola Scriptura”

September 12, 2018

My e-mail response: Regarding Sola Scripture: First, when Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives and before he entered the cloud he did NOT yell back down saying, “Oh by the way, don’t forget to read My Book!“ In fact, Jesus left no book called the New Testament, he never wrote anything down […]

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Jordan Day 4: Petra! Cooking Class and more

September 11, 2018

One of the  Seven Wonders of the World and a site related to biblical history with both Moses and St. Paul, today we toured Petra! This is one of those sites that seems to be on everyone’s Bucket List. We left our beautiful Marriott Hotel and entered the massive  and colorful sandstone corridors leading up […]

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